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1997 Jeep XJ Country

Author Topic: 1997 Jeep XJ Country  (Read 44345 times)

Offline Callelle

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1997 Jeep XJ Country
« on: October 22, 2011, 10:36:38 PM »
I figured since I finally got my Cherokee back on the road running, Id try and throw up a quick build thread. I will say ahead of time, All of the initial mods were done at East Coast Tire in Batavia. My mechanical knowledge is very limited, and almost everything that is done to it is mostly by friends teaching me along the way. Anyway, on with it. I bought my XJ in '07 when it was only at 38k on it. Its been my daily driver until this coming winter.

 

In Febuary I'd Finally gotten the funds to start my build. I started with a Superlift 4" Lift kit, 15" Procomp wheels, 31" Maxxis Bighorn Tires, 4 KC daylighters, Magnaflow Cat back exhaust, and K&N Air Filter.



Almost Immediately after I bought JKS quicker disconnects, a Hanson Pre-Runner front winch bumper, and replaced the exhaust with a magnaflow high flow cat and a Flowtech Redhots glass pack (didn't really like the sound of the Magnaflow cat back).



The problems/upgrades that have really hindered me for the past 2-3 months is when I cracked the housing of my transfer case at the summer picnic (giving me the opportunity to upgrade to an SYE).



Since I figured Id have my Jeep on the lift for a while, I decided to get some JKS extended boomerang shackles. Since they are one 1" longer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remove the lift blocks I had under the springs. The problems started when I broke the oil pump locating tabs on the transfer case from not installing it right. Aside from shipping issues on the new pump housing, I tried removing my old shackles and broke the weld nut on the passenger side. After a few frustrating weeks and a hole in my floor later, some friends of mine and I finally got the transfer case, shackles, and lift blocks taken care of. I also ended up installing new H4 headlights (Housings, Bulbs and harness), 2 Hella driving lamps on my bumper, and a Rusty's transfer case skid plate.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 01:33:21 PM by Callelle »
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 03:34:54 PM »
Finally got a decent enough day to take a good full view picture of it.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 01:33:52 PM by Callelle »
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 11:38:16 PM »
Been putting together ideas for what I want to do to it next, here's what I have so far.

Winter Projects
- LED Interior and Dash lighting
- New Stereo and sub
- Bed lining cargo area

Major Future projects pending on money
- Fix Rockers and instal 2x6
- New Gears, Axle shafts, and Lockers
- T&T Customs long arm kit
- Rear bumper with spare tire carrier

I haven't decided on what gearing I want to do yet. I'm stuck between 4.10 and 4.56. It's still going to be a summer time daily driver and I think the biggest I'm gonna be running for tires is 33s, which I'm gonna be switching to next set. Also as far as lockers go, I want to end up running ARBs since they are the only selectable for the 8.25. My dilemma on that is whether I want to save and get the ARB right away or if I should run an Aussie in the time being until I get a lot of my other stuff done first.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 03:32:55 PM by Callelle »
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline Wingman

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 06:21:43 AM »
Put an Aussie in the rear and save for a selectable in the front.  The front selectable can help save your u-joints and axles from breakage.  4.10s for mostly street and some off-road seems like the way to go with 33s.

$0.02

Offline Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2011, 06:01:25 PM »
4.10s are what I was leaning a bit more towards. As far as lockers go I think I\'m gonna get front and rear Aussies simply because Id like to get on some rocks (and not suck at it) at some point before I win the lottery. I also found a shift controller for the AW4. I\'ve always prefered a manual over a slush box and I really dont like some of the shift points when normally commuting. Plus I think it could help on the rocks since I could lock it into first. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

http://radesignsproducts.com/14Shiftcontrollers.aspx

The one I\'m looking into is the Baja 2 because the rail shifter looks like just a tiny switch that would be to finicky to deal with.
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline smichaelR22

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 08:33:03 AM »
3x6 is huge for rockers, 2x5 11g is the way to go
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Offline xjh3

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 08:38:13 AM »
Check my build thread for what 3\"x5\" looks like. I wouldn\'t want to go any wider. I used 3/16\" wall. 11ga would work too.
97 XJ on tons
95 2500 Cummins

Offline Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 10:20:34 AM »
http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f58/another-2x6-tube-rocker-build-107100/  This was the thread I was getting my idea from
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline Wingman

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 11:19:52 AM »
Unbased opinion (having never rock-crawled an auto): I don\'t think a shift controller will make any difference without a very low crawl ratio.  Others here have wheeled autos and never complained about the trans shifting out of first.  You\'ll be 2-footing it over obstacles until you get a decent low range anyway.

Lockers are nice to have but you\'d be very surprised how far you can get without any or with just one.  Don\'t be in a rush.  Wheel, upgrade, wheel, upgrade. etc.  It will make you a better driver.

Bottom line = get out and wheel often.

Offline xjh3

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 11:54:59 AM »
Quote
Don\'t be in a rush.  Wheel, upgrade, wheel, upgrade. etc.  It will make you a better driver.

Bottom line = get out and wheel often.


Great advice. I don\'t regret a single upgrade I\'ve made in the last couple years, but wish I spent more time wheeling than building sometimes.
97 XJ on tons
95 2500 Cummins

Offline Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 12:29:21 PM »
Quote

Wingman wrote:
Unbased opinion (having never rock-crawled an auto): I don\'t think a shift controller will make any difference without a very low crawl ratio.  Others here have wheeled autos and never complained about the trans shifting out of first.  You\'ll be 2-footing it over obstacles until you get a decent low range anyway.

Lockers are nice to have but you\'d be very surprised how far you can get without any or with just one.  Don\'t be in a rush.  Wheel, upgrade, wheel, upgrade. etc.  It will make you a better driver.

Bottom line = get out and wheel often.


I didn\'t just want the shift control when wheeling. I wanted it for on road driving do. I hate when I\'m starting to go up a bit of an incline and I just give it a little bit of gas to maintain my speed and It drops it right to second. There\'s no need for it and its like my AW4 completely denies the existence of third when its in over drive. Like I said originally, I don\'t like slush boxes. But swapping to an AX15 is way beyond my skill level. Plus I know the AW4 is a strong reliable box. So I\'m gonna settle for the next best thing. And I love to get out and wheel as often as I can. I tried my hardest to get down to Rausch Creek at least once this year. But a lot of family stuff got dumped on me all at once. That and the crack in my transfer case from the picnic had me down for about two and a half months. But I learned a lot from the trips I did go on. The transfer case and my crushed passenger side rockers taught me that. And the fact that a locker is on the top of my major to do list. I appreciate the feed back through ^_^
1997 XJ Country 4.0/AW4 - DD/Weekend Wheeler
  4.5-5" lift, TnT Long arms, IRO/RE springs, Aussies, a bunch of armor
2006 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 - Tow Rig
  Firestone Airbags

Offline etk300ex

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 08:17:56 AM »
Its a very well known product in the toyota world as the the aw4 is the same guts as a a340, never heard a complaint.  Troy has one I do believe.
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Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 02:40:00 PM »
So I've got a bit of money saved together and my XJ is already up on the lift, just begging to get worked on. Ive decided on getting a locker. After the summer picnic I really saw what a difference it would have made. I've decided on an Aussie after talking to Bill and I'm kind of leaning twords a rear locker. I know it's not really necessary on 31's but I also want to get upgraded shafts for the axle I put it in. I don't really know if anyone has a preference over what company makes better shafts than others but I was looking into Yukons. I also don't really know where to buy them, Yukon's site says the closest place is Gevo's Rears & Gears out in Seneca Falls, but I can get both rear shafts shipped for about $275. Is there anything else I would end up needing other than the locker and shafts? Also, having never taken an axle apart before or doing anything to a dif other than taking off and replacing the cover. Is this something that is easy enough that I'd be able to / should do (considering I'd probobly just be going off of a Haynes manual and the internet)?

Offline AWL4928

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 04:03:09 PM »
If you haven't purchased the locker yet I would consider doing the front instead.  I put one in on My jk and it has been a major increase in the wheeling ability.  Also because there is no power to the front axle on the street its like its not there.

Callelle

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Re: 1997 Jeep XJ Country
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 04:14:58 PM »
The reason I don't want to do the front is because of the fact that I want to upgrade the axle shafts at the same time. I don't have the money from chromoly front shafts (from what Ive seen they are 600 - 1000 dollars). And from what I've read, XJs with a rear locker is fine on the street.