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Thread: Project "Side-trac" XJ

  1. #161
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Spent today working on the parking brake. The 8.8 uses the stupid internal shoe system which is a real pita. Easiest way is to pull the axles so I dove in.
    Spent almost an hour and a half trying to get the ruff stuff diff cover off. I don't know what I used for gasket goo last time but holy cow! It finally took using the floor jack to apply pressure and an air chisel to break the seal.
    Pulling it apart is pretty straight forward from there. Putting it together however...different animal. I learned something interesting after fighting and struggling to get the little spring clips on and turned to secure the shoe pins. I had bought a complete new hardware kit and it all seemed legit. There are, however, different designs for those little clips. I caught hell trying to get the drivers side together and it wasn't until I got to the passenger side before I realized the difference. The new ones were shorter and firmer. The ones I removed were far easier to get set. I'll add pics of the two in a sec.
    Got everything all bolted together except the tires so tomorrow I'll do some adjusting and see if the new shoes fix it. Then I have a laundry list of things to do before going to inspection.

  2. #162
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Finished adjusting the parking brakes. Seems ok. Moved on to rear bumper 2.0 so I will pass inspection.


  3. #163
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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  4. #164
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Roofrack is back on.

  5. #165
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Did some touch up painting to the roofrack and other spots. Then began the nightmare of installing the Alpine. This is gonna take some work. Also picked through some of the audio stuff I've scrounged from various junkyards. Not sure if any of it is quality enough for the "nice" jeep. I may just see about buying nice speakers and saving this stuff for the beater jeeps.


  6. #166
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Despite time rapidly fleeing me I just can't make myself stop building. It's like a disease. Today while pondering what next to work on to get the stereo installed I started on something kinda easy. Found a good place to mount the grand cherokee seat heater switches in the XJ. Won't be wired in yet but at least I won't lose the switches while movng.


    I then decided to build the partial bulkhead which mounts behind the seats. It's main purpose will be to act as a support for the drawers when in their stowed position. Keeps them from coming into the seatbacks and hopefully eliminate any possible rattles. As a bonus I plan to mount all the various stereo stuff (brain box, amps, etc) to the forward side of the bulkhead. This should keep all the wiring and damage-able parts protected and safe from what have you. Got it built and then had to quit when primer/bedliner ran long trying to dry.
    Need to wrap this up but am still wanting to do an internal rack similar to a headliner. That would give me spaces to mount additional speakers, put the cb overhead, and an additional little "trick" I want to incorporate.

  7. #167
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Btw... here's the monitor/head unit installed as well as the funky marine door speakers with LEDs.

  8. #168
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Today my back didn't feel like hammered poo so I had a chance to look closer at the XJ. I've had some interest from folks wanting to buy it but I just don't feel right selling it when it had some issues. I've been driving it the last couple weeks since I fixed the wheel adapter issue but it has a really bad wander. Not like death wobble... more like death wander. It just kinda weaves around and is kinda like steering a ship. You just suggest where it is supposed to go and roll with it. After a little while you kind of get a feel for it and the white knuckles can relax some but it takes a lot of concentration to keep it in the lane.
    So I crawl under it (not fun) and put the eyeball to stuff followed by the shake test. I found the lower bolt for the track bar was a little loose so I hit that with the wrench. Then I gave the drag link adjuster bolts some attention as they too were loose. I realize when you put an entire jeep together there will be gremlins, I guess these are them.
    So I noticed the front tires are showing a slight weird wear pattern. I put the tape measure to them to check the toe in and WOW! It's almost an 1"+ toes in! No wonder it rode weird. So I cranked out on the tie rod until it sat at a more acceptable 1/8" toe in and tightened it up. Last thing I did was remove the one remaining away bar link since having only half of it connected was pretty worthless. I'll drive it to school tonight and see how it does. Hopefully it's better, not worse. Haha.
    If the back keeps being livable I may try and hook up the radio stuff tomorrow so it works, and gets it out of our spare bedroom.


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  9. #169
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    So I am happy to say that the XJ drives much better now. It's still not perfect but the toe in adjustment made a big difference. Very little wander now and it fells less scary to drive. If I can fix the swaybar issue I'm sure it'll be great. Yea! Score one for the home team!


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  10. #170
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Well... As of yesterday, project sidetrac has moved on to a new owner. With the shop unexpectedly closing and finding myself out of a job, we needed to find a way to reduce our debt and create some $$ for a safety margin until I can find a new job. As much as I hate seeing it go away after so much work, effort, and money... It's gone to a good home. Time to move on to a different project. Thanks to all who have followed along with this build.


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