The Dragoneer -98 XJ back yard budget build


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Old 02-15-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
Qstg01
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Default The Dragoneer -98 XJ back yard budget build

Hello everyone! This is my budget back yard build Jeep Cherokee known as the Dragoneer. She was featured in JPFreek Adventure Magazine Fall 2016.

If you want the short story:
The Walk Around (shows the most detail):
The Evolution of the Dragoneer:

I guess this story must begin way back when............ almost 10 years ago - I decided to buy another Jeep Cherokee. This one was stock as heck when I got her.


I took her off road with some family members....... you know one of the "unique" holes and quickly realized ...... I'm not getting it done like this. I already knew I wanted to lift her.... just time to get my rear in gear.

So being a broke arse college student divorced mother of 4 I bought a Rough Country lift kit 4.5 lift baby. Some one was supposed to sell me some 31" Thornbirds but they were dry rotted super bad so I ended up buying new 31x10.5x15 snow tires.... not what I wanted but what is in the budget and since I already had put the lift on it I needed tires fast! This is my daily driver.




So next thing I wanted KC lights but not in the budget either so I went and bought lights from Harbor Freight and made a light bar out of the luggage rack. I found a used roof rack and put that on it.

So now I am ready..... lights before lockers you know! Well it didn't take long to realize that there was a few issues with my bumpers...... oh yeah they suck and have no tow points. I can't get into the offroad parks or mud bogging cause I have no tow points. So time for new bumpers. Just a basic no thrills bumper made out of tubing.


First trip to Washita Off road park rock crawling - ripped the cat and exhaust off ..... good thing I had that roof rack because that is how the exhaust made it home. I never put the catalytic converter back on but just welded a cherry bomb muffler on (still like this cause it's obnoxious and I like it although I am missing an 02 sensor). Also ripped out the carpet and painted the floor boards. I made drain holes cause I kept taking her in deep enough water that the floor would be covered and anyone who has a Jeep knows that water has no way to drain.



Time to get rid of these tires! I grabbed a jigsaw and cut the fenders and shoved a set of used Kumho 33x12.5x15s under that girl .... sweet. I ran those for quite a while but then I cut again........ and again and shoved a set of 35x12.5x15s under there! Awesome! Due to unforeseen circumstances I no longer have the 35" tires and I am back on those same old Kumho 33's (still today- like 7 or 8 years later). Hoping to get new tires this spring.

Second trip to Washita and I soon ended up with this nice huge battle scar down low on passenger door. Well better late than never I decided I needed some sliders on that thing. So we found some galvanized steel tubing from an old car wash and laid it out in the yard. Measuring and cutting laid out the slider design in the yard. Welded it all together and crammed it under there. It is off a little bit if you really really look..... but that thing is beast and doesn't rust (except end caps are just steel).

33X12.5x15 Kumho Tires, Rock Sliders, and battle scar. My son in front of the Jeep


Rear bumper mounts got ripped off at Brownstown Mudfest - so the back bumper got modded quite a bit. Also the addition of a custom home made grill. *** The white Cherokee that is behind me in all these pictures is my brother.



It's a typical Jeep that runs hotter than heck so I found some cool stainless steel house vents that I liked so we put those in the hood. They even have close levers on them so I can close them.
My paint job being dark purple blue showed every scratch and scrape in the clear coat so I sanded her all down - primered, sanded, primer, sanded, and rattle canned it Blue.... I used blue high temp motor paint. I was going to shoot actual auto paint cause I had the guns, compressor etc. but time and money it ended up being a rattle can job.



So I was going to put Bushwackers on it but I fender cut it too hard and they wouldn't fit... then I bought some TJ flares for it but again I cut too hard and they wouldn't fit. My brother ended up with them. I have the fenders cut up to the bottom of the washer bottle that is located on the drivers side.

Next my brother had a found a pair of race seats cheap but didn't go get them right away so I beat him to them! We had to make home made brackets to install them but they are cool cause they sit a little higher than stock seats.

Next Mods:
Home made winch plate
snorkel
Smittybuilt winch (that died this winter)
Actual KC lights and light bar
CB Radio & antenna (mounted on passenger side of the hump)
Do you guys know a better place to mount them?





============================================
2016 I decided to learn airbrushing..... I had tried about 6 years ago and never really got anywhere with it so I put it up. This year I done about 10 practice sheets of skulls, wood, etc. I had not practiced that much at all but I decided I wanted to airbrush my Jeep - for practice! Why not? Well it went way out of hand.

I wanted something like a lizard skin... oh heck lets do Dragon scales. I want my Jeep Blue so blue dragon scales. Instead of wood holding it together I thought of the metal grid work.... all rusty with rivets. Of course you cant airbrush something and not have skulls of some type.

I just started with the front bezel, I wasn't even sure if I was going to do the whole Jeep or not. I brought it into the house and primered it. I used AutoBorne Sealer white base coat and then taped off where I wanted the metal grid work. I created some skull stencils and a tribal stencil that I taped on. then I painted the blue dragon scales. I used some gear stencils that I collected here and there and airbrushed gears on top of the dragon scales. Then removed the tape and painted the metal grid work adding rust and deterioration to it. Last I removed the skull and tribal stencils and airbrushed them in. It looked pretty cool so I decided I was going to do the whole Jeep...... hmmm what was I thinking?



Last edited by Qstg01; 02-15-2017 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Nice jeep. Interesting paint job to say the least
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:05 AM   #3
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I will have to finish this tonight from home.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:52 PM   #4
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Dang. My cb is between the sunvisors.

Also, why galvanized? Did you weld on it, and if so, did you take precautions to keep from breathing it? That **** will kill you.
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2001 XJ: 4" lift (Rustys LCAs, MetalCloak UCAs, Tuff Country coils, IRO aal), 31x10.50r15 Cooper STT Pros, rear Spartan locker, SYE, custom gas tank skid, Durango steering box, Yakima roof rack on custom crossbars, WickedBilt LED lighting, 784 injectors, and Afe intake

1948 Sears utility trailer project

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Old 02-15-2017, 05:37 PM   #5
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Wore a respirator and super good ventilation 😉

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Old 02-15-2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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Better than nothing lol.
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February 2016 Modified Cherokee of the Month
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2001 XJ: 4" lift (Rustys LCAs, MetalCloak UCAs, Tuff Country coils, IRO aal), 31x10.50r15 Cooper STT Pros, rear Spartan locker, SYE, custom gas tank skid, Durango steering box, Yakima roof rack on custom crossbars, WickedBilt LED lighting, 784 injectors, and Afe intake

1948 Sears utility trailer project

YouTube channel: XJSUPERMAN
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:04 AM   #7
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Weather is starting to get warmer so starting a bunch of upgrades to this rig.... 6.5 long arm lift kit. 35x12.5x15 master craft MT tires... New rims ..ford 8.8 rear axle 31 spline limited slip 4.88 gears... 4.88 front Dana 30. New exhaust.. New back bumper. New roof rack.. And more!!!!





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Old 03-20-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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That's a nice list of mods, now git-er done!
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:41 PM   #9
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Yeah hoping to get lift, tires, and axles on by April... Hopefully weather permits

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Old 03-21-2017, 04:41 AM   #10
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Looking Good! Your to do list is long, good luck and have fun!
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:36 AM   #11
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Thanks Mike!

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Old 05-18-2017, 03:04 PM   #12
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Ok - other than the MOTC forum posts I have not updated lately so here it goes.

I bought that rolled Jeep above and talked hubby into helping me ........ we swapped out the axles (Ford 8.8 rear and dana 30 front with 4:88 gears), the 6.5 RC long arm lift, 35x12.50x15 Master craft tires, and Ion Alloy rims over to the Dragoneer.

The fun part was the new long arms mount to a skid plate/cross member under new Jeep so swapping the cross members out was kind of like a Jenga game.

Taking parts off the silver Jeep not so much of an issue ...... taking the old off the Dragoneer, well let's just say we went thru a few cutting blades on the grinder and sawzall.

So along the way we had to cut off the stock control arm mounts. We also ended up cutting some of the old bolts from the control arms and leaf springs. I broke a bolt in the frame rail for the sway bar.

oh - outta time .. I will have to add pics later.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:21 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting this thread; I have always wanted to learns to air brush but never took the time. Actually bought a decent airbrush/kit that the only person that used it was when my son had to do a project for his social studies class and built a world war II fighter jet. He practiced on a large big gulp cup and then turned the plane into a master piece. (I think the teach, thought I helped him). May be some day I will pick it up.

Very nice XJ and great work on your creation. By the way I was very torn between voting for you and 5-Speed who I have been following his thread for a long time, but had to give you my vote. Your rig and work warranted it. Congrats!
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:39 AM   #14
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Hey thank you very much JandDGreens!!! I had bought my airbrush a few years back but only tried a lil bit and didn't get anywhere. I threw it in storage and never dug it out til last spring. So I really don't have many practice sheets at all. I just started airbrushing that old JEEP for practice... To try to airbrush on something besides paper and use colors. It just went way outta hand.

I brought the header panel in the house and did it first. Then the hood came in.... Game on! The brush went outside after that.

It was quite the project that kind of took a life of its own.
Now the dang thing looked cool but ran like crud.. Handled even worse. Time to upgrade the rest of her... After all of the lift etc was about 9 years old. So hubby helped me swap out axles, lift, tires, etc.
So now almost (or so I always think) done.

My advice grab the airbrush ... Turn on some tunes and just mess around. Nothing serious ... Just have fun!
Thanks......

Susan

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Old 05-22-2017, 10:41 AM   #15
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Here is a link to the updated walk around video.

https://youtu.be/j8kp8J5uEmk

Also took her to Go Topless Day Saturday and she did real well!!!

https://youtu.be/EcLnsX0AWNY



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