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My lifted '89 HEEP Cherokee

ChrisR1S

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:icon_confused: I know..I know..I bought a jeep :thefinger:

Got a Jeep from a buddy who was in need of some cash. Figured it'd make a decent trail ride. $500 scored me 2 1989 Cherokees; this one driveable, and the other that was rolled over but has a good drivetrain.
Specs:
-1989 Jeep Cherokee 4x4
-Inline 4.0 220x miles
-Auto w/NP231 t-case




and last but not least...MONSTER FLEX!!!:icon_rofl:
 


ChrisR1S

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So yeah this thing needs some serious help, especially if it ever plans on seeing anything other than pavement!

First thing i had to address was the "overheating" issue. My buddy had replaced the radiator in it and uh failed to burp the xj's cooling system which led to the coolant boiling within minutes which caused the overflow tank to warp due to heat and spew coolant everywhere. To fix it i simply burped the system, replaced the coolant tank with that from the donor(rollover) xj, and installed a 21lb stant coolant cap from a volvo. :icon_thumby: She runs nice and cool now.

Being as that was all that was mechanically wrong with the Heep, time to start moving on to the funner stuff, starting off with the Interior which I'm positive a clan of homeless people were taking up residence :annoyed:

I removed the 5(thats right FIVE) yellow TREE air freshners, cleaned out 3garbage bags of junk, pulled the carpet, found a brand new tool set, AND found rust :bawling:



SOOO time for the grinder to come out and play. Stripped the whole floor, firewall to the back hatch, Cut out all the rust spots, replaced with new sheetmetal, prepped it, then applied the roll on Herculiner. I must say I'm really impressed thus far with the Heculiner. It goes on really easily, lays down pretty thick, and has a nice texture.

While i waited for the bedliner to dry, i redid the seats with Duplicolor tan. Also did the dash duplicolor satin black with tan trim. While everything was apart i took out the stock idiot lights and speedo and replaced it with the whole actual gauge cluster from the donor XJ. Only mods needed to get the gauges to work in my XJ were swapping in the coolant and oil pressure senders. Huge improvement over the idiot lights!

Bedliner down and starting to reinstall the interior
 

ChrisR1S

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Interior is now finished other than the door panels and adding drain plugs in the floor for easy interior cleaning. So now that the interior is liveable, lets move on to the outside!
The thing needed to grow in height just a bit! I found a slightly used set of control arm drop brackets made by Rough Country for $100shipped. Found a set of 6.5" coils, shocks, add-a-leaf, and trackbar for $300, new front hitch and rough country rock sliders on CL for $150, and ordered a set of RC shackles for $35. Also had a set of 33x12.50 Wrangler MTRs on 15x8 D-windows waiting to go on..
So while waiting to acquire all of my parts i decided to go ahead and remove the stock fender flares and trim my fenders a bit.

MidWay through..Look over the rear tire and you can see how much i took out


And here it is sitting on 33s with stock suspension and cut fenders

 

ChrisR1S

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So went and picked up all of my parts i mentioned, including a NIB safari snorkel for $150. Got back home realized the shocks were toast so i ordered a new set including steering stabalizer, and u-bolts from Rustys. Got the lift put without too many issues other than one upper control arm bolt was rusted to the bushing :icon_welder:. Fixed it though:icon_thumby: THEN had to end up doing all new brake lines thanks to the rust demon. And ended up running the extended SJ lines from my ranger on the front of the jeep.

So heres how she sits with 6.5" coils, CA brackets, add-a-leaf, and shackles



And beside a stock '98 XJ
 

ChrisR1S

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My thoughts so far: the Heep actually isnt THAT bad:thefinger:
ALTHOUGH it does have issues that need to be addressed. The biggest issues being the DIM headlights(or lack there of!) and horrible bumpsteer. Both problems were easily fixed and didnt hurt the pocketbook too bad considering how much more reliable and safer they made the rig.

HEADLIGHTS- the lights were fixed by upgrading the wimpy stock wiring with an aftermarket headlight harness. I purchased this harness for about what it would have cost me to build my own from scratch. total cost: about $30shipped. and installed within 30 minutes including the time it took to replace the fuseable links with inline fuses. Then to take advantage of the new harness, i opted to get new headlight housings and bulbs. For the housings i went with autopal E-code housings from ebay, and i choose 100/90w Hella Bulbs, both for around $50 shipped. *please dont go on and on about the legality of the e-codes and the hellas. this rig is for offroad 95% of the time, and the headlights are good quality and properly aimed so they DO NOT blind oncoming traffic like the ricer kids and their bargain HIDs in stock housings. They simply put out more light where its needed.*:icon_thumby:

All in all in very pleased with the light upgrades. Light doesnt blind oncoming traffic and is better than the setup on my 06cobalt ss which isnt bad by anymeans. :icon_cheers:

BUMPSTEER- my bumpsteer was coming from the angle difference between my draglink and trackbar, and the fact that my RC adjustable trackbar was worn out and wouldnt stay tight(it also limited my droop to only 4"). so to fix all the above problems at once and add a little beef to the front, i went with the double shear track bar upgrade from IronRock Offroad for $210shipped. The part is absolutely huge compared to the stock bar and bigger than the RC piece. it Installed super easy and fixed all my issues. Steering is super tight now and it flexes like a dream without binding. :yahoo:





And thats how the Heep sits now. Its going in tomorrow for an alignment then the plan next week is to get my snorkel mocked up and get the jeep painted. going desert tan with herculined rockers. Then install the snorkel for good and get the sliders on and find some mud :icon_twisted:
 

dhinch279

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Nice build, I do like the XJ's
 

schaffer

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Did the sway bars yet?..

And add a leaves on XJ's like to go from a nice arch to flat...
 

ChrisR1S

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Did the sway bars yet?..

And add a leaves on XJ's like to go from a nice arch to flat...
Sway bar in the rear was ditched. used the mounts to make rear bar pin eliminators. Front needs to be extended. they are secured and out of the way for now. no real highway use until they are made though.

Add a leaves were already used and the spring packs in the XJ are 21years old so im not worried about it for now. I went the cheap way for now, figure since it still works, why not? but if i need to later down the road, ill build a bastard pack or go aftermarket.
 

jhammel85

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Nice. I'll always have a soft spot for jeeps..I like your build
 

xkotyx

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where in va are you located??
 

ChrisR1S

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Located in southern VA, about 15mins off of I85 from the NC line. A little ways from Waynesburro. I used to go up there some though, heck of a drive.

Well Jeep needs a new hub assembly on the driverside. Took it in for the alignment thursday and it was so loose they couldnt do anything with it:annoyed: Gotta price a new assembly now... I dunno if it'd be worth the hassle to try and snatch it off of the spare axle? I reckon $$$ will dictate that..

I did find out that i need to bumpstop the front...:D I have no supports on the front fenders so everything popped back out thankfully :icon_thumby:

 

Roger

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If the spare axle is 89 and older, then you could probably use the unit bearing off it. In 1990 some had the older style hubs and brakes, some had newer... About 1/16th" difference.
 

xkotyx

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Located in southern VA, about 15mins off of I85 from the NC line. A little ways from Waynesburro. I used to go up there some though, heck of a drive.
oh ok. one just like yours runs around here, wondering if maybe i found someone new to wheel with :icon_thumby:
 

ChrisR1S

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Well got a bit more done on the Heep in the past few days. I replaced the hub assembly and u-joint on the driverside and got it aligned...MUCH better! But still need to get the front sway bar links extended. Also got a new beefier steering stabalizer put on.

OH an yeah got a custom bumper made! Bedlined it with the roll/brush on Herculiner.

 

Ranger Sport Honduras

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impressive work man!! looks really good.

i would like to get one for parts to convert my Ranger to 4WD lol
 

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