98 XJ basic weekend project

Discussion in 'Build Threads' started by BB98xj, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Hey guys,

    Another attempt at trying to build a little trail rig. Nothing fancy like some of these builds but I would like something capable and to meet some guys to ride with. I need to get the flares off, fenders trimmed and rolled, then probably a set of 32’s or 33’s. Hope to get some of your guys input and meeting up to save me when I get stuck.

    Here is the ride, nothing crazy. 3” lift with 31s and a set of JCR bumpers.
     

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    marty79, drkelly, Creekin and 2 others like this.
  2. R Q

    R Q Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Charlotte
    Go ahead and do whatever frame reinforcement and steering box support you're going to do before you ever take it on the trails.
     
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  3. C.Berry

    C.Berry Bad News

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Blacksburg, Va
    X2 On frame support first!! Best thing I’ve found for unibody stiffening is square tube in between the rails and plate both sides of square to to unibody with flat plate, add one up front one in middle one in rear or get a hitch and cut all the hauling stuff off and there’s a stiffener I made 3 for my zj for like $45 from scrap yard buying rusted tube and 3/16 plates! 10-20 bucks on machining welding sqaurectovplaye if no welder of drill and hardware your set... just make sure your plate is not a 4x4 piece I went with 10” wide to bottom of uniframe! Sorry no picks of my junkyard creation tho lol
     
  4. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Thanks for the input! I’ll probably pick up some ruff stuff stiffeners.

    Can anyone confirm the ride height of a stock XJ? I read ~17” front center of wheel to bottom of fender flare.
     
  5. 77GreenMachine

    77GreenMachine Phillip Talton

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Trinity, NC
    This right here
    https://www.ironman4x4fab.com/product-page/xj-zj-steering-box-brace-with-sector-shaft-support

    Along with a bumper that braces the outside of the frame area around the steering box it the single greatest thing you can do for your steering. It changed everything about my XJ.
    You should get frame stiffeners ASAP.

    It’s possible I may be parting out my XJ soon, which has the steering brace mentioned above, rock sliders, f/r bumpers, built axles, and much more.
     
    BB98xj and Keith1138 like this.
  6. Jeff B

    Jeff B pool boy

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    Lincolnton N.C.
    let me know about that steering brace if you part it out.
     
  7. marty79

    marty79 Well-Known Member Banned Twice Already

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Location:
    Newton NC
    i have a set of the factory steering box brace that goes on both sides with tow hook points free for the taking for whoever wants it @Jeff B ? had em for years but always end up making my own lol
     
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  8. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Thanks! Let me know on the part out. I’ve got some JCR bumpers, but I would be interested in a few things.
     
  9. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Picked up some pristine TJ rubis for $225. Older lady said her wife almost threw them away.
     

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  10. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Snagged some 285/75s with less than 5000 miles.
     

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  11. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    I managed to get the tires mounted and the flares removed before my daughter lost her marbles last night. She is getting her 2yo molars and my wife works from home...it’s a war zone. Good news is, no rubbing anywhere on the test drive without any trimming.

    Next is:

    Cut fenders
    Steering brace
    Frame stiffeners
    Make tire carrier
    Convince myself I need @NickMaul s axles.

    The guy had the rear springs re arched when they started sagging. I noticed yesterday he threw some 2” spacers on the front coils while he was at it... at this point do I buy bigger coils for the front and ditch the spacers? Or buy a new kit so I know what I have? Or just send it?
     

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  12. skyhighZJ

    skyhighZJ Thanks for your taxes

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Polk, La.
    My .02 would be to check the geometry you have now and given it’s kosher I’d send it. Use what you have until it doesn’t suit your needs and by that time you could save the funds for a newer/ nicer setup. Given you have said it’s meant for DD/WW Duty I’d see how it rolls now and go for it.
     
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  13. BLarkin

    BLarkin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    I agree. Nothing wrong with running the coil spacers, for what you are wanting to do. Send it until you decide to change it up/go bigger.
     
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  14. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Steering box spacers with brace?
     
  15. skyhighZJ

    skyhighZJ Thanks for your taxes

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Polk, La.
    There is a spacer between the box and the “frame”. They are made from aluminum from the factory and are known to crack/break/ fall apart. At this point the box is sloppy loose and handling goes splat in the shitter and can cause lack of control. This failure is amplified by installing larger tires/ off-roading. They make cheap aftermarket ones from steel. Buy one. Once that’s complete the stress will continue to be applied to the uni rail and over time the bolts are known to break through/ rip out and crack the metal. They make a brace that goes from the passenger side across and holds the steering box tight and spreads the force. Numerous places make them but Iron Man Fab is awesome and worth every penny!!

    Spacer:
    https://www.ironman4x4fab.com/product-page/xj-steering-box-spacer
    Brace:
    https://www.ironman4x4fab.com/product-page/xj-zj-steering-box-brace-with-sector-shaft-support

    If you notice that American Flag laser cut into his product, that means quality!
     
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  16. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King

    Thanks! That’s what I was looking at. I didn’t specify my question very well, the spacer is needed with the brace though, yeah? To upgrade the shitty factory one?
     
  17. skyhighZJ

    skyhighZJ Thanks for your taxes

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Polk, La.
    They are separate entities but one is as inevitable of a failure as the other so do the spacer and then do the brace. Boom problems solved and staying solved! Only other thing “frame” wise is adding stiffeners and those cannot be understated as to the importance of building a bullit proof XJ even for light duty service. They make handling of all sorts (on and off road) night and day different. Absolutely well worth the $$
     
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  18. marty79

    marty79 Well-Known Member Banned Twice Already

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Location:
    Newton NC
    I'm in Hickory if you want them since nobody else has.
     
  19. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Finally got the front frame stiffeners in from HD Off-road, still waiting on the steering box brace from Ironman4x4, and meeting up with @NickMaul to get his axles on Sunday. Next weekend should be a busy weekend!

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. toyota1

    toyota1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    Are you taking your carpet out to weld them in? Im going to be doing some myself soon
     
  21. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    I didnt plan too. Hopefully it doesn’t burn to the ground!
     
  22. skyhighZJ

    skyhighZJ Thanks for your taxes

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Polk, La.
    The fronts won’t be such an issue with carpet. Are you gonna do mid frame stiffeners as well?
     
  23. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    Yeah kids and rear will be next.
     
  24. skyhighZJ

    skyhighZJ Thanks for your taxes

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Polk, La.
    The mids and rear will need the carpet lifted. It’s a crappy job but it is worth it! Can’t wait to keep seeing progress!
     
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  25. BB98xj

    BB98xj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    King
    It should a good time! :beer: Thanks man, me neither, I just want to take it riding.
     

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