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Premium Member
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965 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few people asked me to do a build thread so here goes. I skipped through some of the details so if you want them just ask.

The XJ joined my life as a clean 72K mile stocker in January 2003.



Quickly made some changes… long arm lift, tires, wheels, gears, lockers, steering, brakes, etc.



Wheeled it for a few years and had a lot of fun, made bumpers, skids, etc.
Then decided to get more serious.

Out came the rockers, in went sliders.



I also spent a long time researching and designing a hybrid cage. I took my plans to JCR and they agreed to build the cage and some rear doors for me.



Then I put some paint on it - Hemi Orange.






I drove it around and wheeled it like this for a while and started to become unhappy with the “performance” of the 4.slow. I was never impressed with the stroker motors for the gain vs. cost and about this same time a friend put a 5.7L Hemi in his JK and another friend put an LS1 in his XJ. I drove them both and was instantly hooked, I HAD to have a V8.

I could not find an LS1 that was reasonably priced and I wasn’t thrilled about putting a scoop on my hood to cover the LS truck motor intake so I looked and read, looked and read and looked and read some more. Finally, I learned that an LSI intake could be mated to the 5.3l and with some accessory rerouting it would stay below my hood line.

Pick this up from a friend at Premier Auto Parts in Cedar Springs. It’s a 2005 5.3L 45K miles and all accessories, PCM, harness, TAC and pedal.



Found an LS1 intake with injectors and fuel rail on ebay and dropped it on top. That’s when I learned the water pump would be an issue too.



I picked up and LS1 water pump and started playing around with accessories rerouting and came up with this. I was never thrilled that the upper hose was captive, but it worked and I was up against the clock to get something done.



One of the things I really wanted to do was keep the Jeep instrument cluster. I spent a great deal of time searching, reading and experimenting but I was unable to make it work. Edit: The details start on post 95.

Ultimately this is what I ended up with and I am pleased with it.



Somewhere around this time I bumped up to 35’s. So, I was enjoying my new V8 and wheeling with a D30/8.25 with stock shafts. Although I never broke anything, the Internet made me think I would every time I went out.

Picked up a D44/9” from a ’75 F100 for 200 bucks and went to work narrowing and building them. OX/Detroit, alloys, 300M joints, 35 spline rear, 5.13’s, high steer, and hydro-assist. I did a write-up on those and you can find it here.
XJ: Narrowed D44/9" Swap - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest


Everything was going great, trails were getting harder and harder and I was having a blast when the Internet again made me think my transfer case would never hold up to the abuse I was giving it. I started researching upgrades and decided to build my 231J into an HD version using a 6 planetary gearset and a wide chain. I did a write-up on that and it can be found here. 231J HD Transfer Case Upgrades - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest


So, that pretty much brings it up to date. However this week I came across these babies! 38X12.5X15 Super Swamper SX, thanks Daryl.



So, now I know what I will be doing for my winter project this year…
 

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1ton XJ
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579 Posts
nice job, I guess a stretch is in order for the winter, will you be adding any frame stiffeners with all that added HP ?
 

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Premium Member
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965 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
nice job, I guess a stretch is in order for the winter, will you be adding any frame stiffeners with all that added HP ?
Winter plans include a set of HD Offroad mid-stiffies and building my own fronts. I have the Ruff Stuff leaf spring perches with the three holes, so I am going to move the axle back 1" with that. Then I am going to open the rear wheelwell up similar to the T&T Project Low Wagon on NAXJA. They put 37" tires on 5.5" of lift, I have about 8".
 

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Registered
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1,772 Posts
are u keeping the 1/2 tons with the 38's? im hoping so other wise i have to rethink my half tons with the 38's i got. i figure if u can keep the front together i shouldnt have a problem with the 4 slow lol.
 

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Premium Member
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965 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
are u keeping the 1/2 tons with the 38's? im hoping so other wise i have to rethink my half tons with the 38's i got. i figure if u can keep the front together i shouldnt have a problem with the 4 slow lol.
Yes. The 9" has a 35 spline Detroit, so that will never concern me. I loaded the D44 pretty good - OX, chomos, 300M u-joints and truss so it should hold. Most likely I will put a set of the Synergy ball joints in though. I know there are people who break axles and ball joints (or both) just going to the mall, I drove/wheeled the D30 without issues and the only thing I did to that was put an OX in it.
 

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missmrgreenagain
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21,342 Posts
nice rig
 
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