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Thread: Picking up a 1990 XJ this weekend...Any Suggestions?

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    I served...Now I Protect vwJarhead's Avatar
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    Default Picking up a 1990 XJ this weekend...Any Suggestions?

    Picking up a 1990 XJ this weekend...Any Suggestions as to what economical mods can be done in a short time. I have no experience with leaf springs and I am told that the rear of the XJ is sagging... Will an add a leaf type lift correct this or should the whole assembly be replaced? Also, any trouble areas to take notice of? Can I "stack" components like leafs, blocks, and shackles to gain more height and still be strong enough for the trail? Any help, guidance, or direction from XJ owners is highly appreciated. Hope to have this green/blue trail ready for Camp MJ.
    "You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered"
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    The Cow Shall Rise Again theyeti1775's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwJarhead View Post
    Picking up a 1990 XJ this weekend...Any Suggestions as to what economical mods can be done in a short time. I have no experience with leaf springs and I am told that the rear of the XJ is sagging... Will an add a leaf type lift correct this or should the whole assembly be replaced? Also, any trouble areas to take notice of? Can I "stack" components like leafs, blocks, and shackles to gain more height and still be strong enough for the trail? Any help, guidance, or direction from XJ owners is highly appreciated. Hope to have this green/blue trail ready for Camp MJ.
    If it's already sagging, I would get the full leaf replacement. Cost wise it isn't that much more.
    The hardest part on my Cow Beast was the right rear upper shock bolts both snapped as we were installing the last shock on.

    First MOD - Gas Tank skid. Not all XJ's came with them.
    Second mod - Oil pan armor. Don't know how it sits in the 4.0l's, but that should be the first mod. My Cow's 2.8l was protected by the axle. For a rock to reach it I would have had to snap the axle housing.
    Third mod - Rock rails

    What rear axle is it? If D35, find yourself a 8.25 or D44 to swap in from another XJ. D35 can be done, just limits you in some ways.

    Lifts, if your not worried about ride comfort and what not, look at Rough Country 4.5" for price. I think Diego is a dealer for them nowadays. I got mine through Jeff at Adrealaine Off-Road there in Burtonsville, MD. 1 1/2 ago it cost me around $500 I think, Georgia would know the exact price.
    I ran 32" BFG M/T's with a lot of trimming on it.

    Really depends how stock you want to stay.
    You can pick up 31's rather cheap from someone in a YJ/TJ that is going to 33's. Bolt patterns are the same. Also you can look at Ford Rangers. The newer ones have the same bolt patterns as well I belive. Some F150's as well.

    All and all my Cow Beast was a $3k build to include purchase, lift, wheels, tires, new carb. So XJ's are great for budget building.
    Yeti

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  3. #3
    I served...Now I Protect vwJarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theyeti1775 View Post
    If it's already sagging, I would get the full leaf replacement. Cost wise it isn't that much more.
    The hardest part on my Cow Beast was the right rear upper shock bolts both snapped as we were installing the last shock on.

    First MOD - Gas Tank skid. Not all XJ's came with them.
    Second mod - Oil pan armor. Don't know how it sits in the 4.0l's, but that should be the first mod. My Cow's 2.8l was protected by the axle. For a rock to reach it I would have had to snap the axle housing.
    Third mod - Rock rails

    What rear axle is it? If D35, find yourself a 8.25 or D44 to swap in from another XJ. D35 can be done, just limits you in some ways.

    Lifts, if your not worried about ride comfort and what not, look at Rough Country 4.5" for price. I think Diego is a dealer for them nowadays. I got mine through Jeff at Adrealaine Off-Road there in Burtonsville, MD. 1 1/2 ago it cost me around $500 I think, Georgia would know the exact price.
    I ran 32" BFG M/T's with a lot of trimming on it.

    Really depends how stock you want to stay.
    You can pick up 31's rather cheap from someone in a YJ/TJ that is going to 33's. Bolt patterns are the same. Also you can look at Ford Rangers. The newer ones have the same bolt patterns as well I belive. Some F150's as well.

    All and all my Cow Beast was a $3k build to include purchase, lift, wheels, tires, new carb. So XJ's are great for budget building.
    Thanks for the info Yeti. It is the 4.0 and I may make it a trailered Trail Rig(not sure yet). I will check out the axle though...
    "You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered"
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    No Mas Jeepalonie
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    OK I agree with some of this but not all of it. Order of precidence on mods I see as different. First thing I would suggest is Rocker Armor. The rockers are VERY vulnerable on XJ's. Then Undercarrage armor as needed.

    As for "stacking" lift parts in the rear. It is ok to an extent. Do a full replacement spring pack in the rear. With that you can do extended shackels but no more than 1" lift. Finally an angled block can be added but not recommended, no MORE than .50".

    As for axles you can keep a D35 for a while if you stay on 31's. Your front is already a HP D30 which is a plenty strong axle. If you go any bigger than 31's get rid of the D35 for a D44. If you have an 8.25 you should be ok to boot for around 33's
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    The Cow Shall Rise Again theyeti1775's Avatar
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    How trailered do you want it? Never registered or on pavement?
    How big do you want her?


    Sawzall will be your friend. LOL

    Is it a 2 door or a 4 door.

    Like Fred said your Rockers are quite vulnerable on XJ's. The only reason I put the other two pieces of armor first are that if they are punctured your not going anywhere.

    Than besides that:
    Yeti

    Jeep Cherokee - Stock for now
    "Long Live The Cow Beast"
    http://www.virginiakrawlers.com/forums/
    http://www.beltway4wd.com/


  6. #6
    I served...Now I Protect vwJarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theyeti1775 View Post
    how trailered do you want it? Never registered or on pavement?
    How big do you want her?


    Sawzall will be your friend. Lol

    is it a 2 door or a 4 door.

    Like fred said your rockers are quite vulnerable on xj's. The only reason i put the other two pieces of armor first are that if they are punctured your not going anywhere.

    Than besides that:
    3n63k53o4ZZZZZZZZZ937c573fca772d5181b.jpg3mc3p93oaZZZZZZZZZ9374c5c05238e591fcd.jpg
    3n03mf3l2ZZZZZZZZZ93785b07d086e311fe7.jpg3n03m83p7ZZZZZZZZZ93778b9138999b91171.jpg
    I was thinking 4.5'' lift +1'' shackle,spacer. Trimmed fenders. trimmed bumpers. No doors. 32-33'' tires w, 1'' spacers. Long travel shocks...and of course a cage and a spare.
    So far it looks like Rustys and RC are the most cost effective. Next year maybe a weld in cage if money permits.
    Last edited by vwJarhead; 03-09-2009 at 15:18.
    "You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered"
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    Indecisive servicemember medicbear's Avatar
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    you could do a bastard pack lift... as there are several vehicles whos leafs will fit or can be slightly modified to fit s-10 and dakota/durango being another... f-150 springs will fit up front but ride a bit stiff but being a trail rig i wouldnt worry to much about that... grand cherokee brake lines will also swap in to give you added length... head on over to JF in the XJ section and take a look around there is alot that can be done on the cheap for an XJ...!
    2001-2005 Air Force Medic, 2005-2006 Navy Corpsman, 2007-Present Army Medic/Chaplains Asst.

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    Indecisive servicemember medicbear's Avatar
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    that lift and 32 tires might look a lil small 33's would prolly look real good and thats without trimming
    2001-2005 Air Force Medic, 2005-2006 Navy Corpsman, 2007-Present Army Medic/Chaplains Asst.

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    Kick A$$ Jeep Chick georgia's Avatar
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    Did you find that on Craigs LIst--i think i may of seen that one.
    God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy.

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    Kick A$$ Jeep Chick georgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicbear View Post
    that lift and 32 tires might look a lil small 33's would prolly look real good and thats without trimming
    Im not so sure about that--we had a 4.5" lift on ours and ran 32's and had to still trim cause we had lots of rubbing.
    God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy.

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