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Father and Son beater jeep (93 XJ)

4695 Views 51 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  warrpath4x4
Started this last year

About 7 years ago I bought my son a 1972 K5 Blazer when he was 3, I daily drove it for a couple years in Wyoming and parked it when we moved to Washington. We are going to overhaul that for his high school vehicle, and it is in too good of shape to go wheel it hard.

Now for the real reason you clicked on this build, we wanted a wheeler we could go beat on and not have to worry about driving it to work come Monday morning. I found this on FB marketplace and played hell trying to deal with the seller who couldn't make up her mind when and where we were supposed to meet up. 1993, 4.0L, AW4, NP231, D30/C8.25, 2.5-3" lift, cut (and already dented) fenders, Rusty's throttle body spacer, cone air filter. I have a bunch of parts already that I am going to throw at it winch, switch panel, dual batteries, Rigid lights. I ordered a bunch of other stuff for it, 33x12.50x15 Patagonia Milestars, Spartan lockers front and read, Lube locker diff gaskets, extended brake lines, aluminum axle tube seals, new u-bolts and spring plates from Ruff Stuff. I will end up re-gearing it probably next summer, but for this winter its small things and getting out there to wheel it.

Besides the steering column being broke, the interior isn't bad, dirty but not bad.

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ordered Solid diff covers front/rear today for $65 a pop, diagnosed that I have a NSS issue, but really have not put any work into this yet because I have to finish putting the steering upgrades together on my 77 Jimmy first.

I took a day off work that was supposed to be our best weather that week and work on the Cherokee, first I had to finish hooking the steering up on my 77 Jimmy.

Then I put some new battery terminal ends on the existing cables and had my kid drive it over to the shed so I could weld the driver door back on (had him drive so I didn't have to climb over the center console again lol)

its a dark pic but he had a huge smile on his face and said "this is WAY better than driving the tractor"

found a few more issues while working on it, I think I need new motor mounts lol

obviously the steering shaft has made contact with the motor mount bracket before

I am really glad i just bought this thing to beat the crap out of cause someone already made a fine start to it

and whatever these "repairs" were supposed to be. they will end up getting plated and repaired.

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I stripped a bunch of stuff off like the a/c, battery and tray, alternator, and ordered motor mounts after seeing just how bad the driver side one was.

Saturday I got a bit of time to work on it and got the motor mounts changed, just put stock replacements back in for now.

motor mounts are easy once you have everything out of the way

he was excited to get out and work on it

he was not excited that i kept taking his picture lol
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vacation policy changed at work so they cashed out extra hours, little extra money there so I bought an aluminum fan shroud with 3 electric fans, a Barnes 4WD heim steering kit, Barnes 4WD axle tubes, 136 amp alternator that I am relocating to where the a/c compressor was smittybilt 2781 air compressor for it. Thinking I can squeeze it by the extra battery under the hood edit, air compressor is not going to fit by the extra battery but cant really come up with a good location for my air tank, probably just in the cargo area for now.

been working on dual battery trays for the last week or so, getting a few minutes in here and there.

here is where the second battery will go but i am going to have to move the ECM

we built both trays basically the same, I copied the original shape of the plastic tray and made a mount, a tray, and a hold down

test fitting, we used riv-nuts the hold the tray to the mount, the passenger side we used the 3 original studs to bolt it in, the driver side we used 3 more riv-nuts to bolt it in

the top side of the tray and the bottom side of the hold down are sprayed with bedliner

This is a sheet of tool box drawer liner I am laying in the tray as a cushion from the bolt heads to the battery

second battery mounted

both batteries

there is some vibration in the brackets, thinking I will watch it once i have it running again, if I need to I can easily remove it and put a cross brace in the lower bracket.
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With adding the second battery I needed to relocate the ECM, I found if I spun it around and built a new mount I wouldn't have to change any of the wiring. Here is the beginnings of the mount and location.

The kid was having a hay day with the dimple dies lol

The ECM mounts on the inside with rubber washers between it and the mounting bracket, I still may need to work on the fender side of the mount, not sure if the hood hinge bracing is going to contact it or not. (and obviously trim the mounting screws for the ECM)

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finally made some headway on the alternator, seems like it took forever and it kind of did with about 5 revisions.

On my last Cherokee I ditched the A/C and relocated the stock alternator to where the a/c compressor was, that time I ground down the a/c bracket to flat and used the stock alternator bracket bolting the 2 brackets together. this time I was putting a bigger alternator in and figured I would just bolt a plate over the stock a/c bracket then bolt the stock alternator bracket to it, this didn't work because then the whole thing was too tall and the hood wouldn't close and I'm not ghetto enough to just cut a hole in the hood for the alternator to stick through lol.

so I started to grind down the original a/c bracket like last time and just was not liking it this time, so I started making my own bracket.

I was going to bolt the stock alternator bracket to it but because I changed the height there was contact issues with the alt and the heater pipe running from the water pump. The first alternator used a 6 and 12 o'clock mounting position, I looked online and found an alt from a early 2000 Grand Cherokee or Dakota would fit better, I wouldn't have to swap pulleys, and its 136Amp.

it had its own small issue though, this mounting bracket that I wouldn't be using would be in the way when changing plugs

so now its not

I made a couple of cradle brackets, lined the alt up with the other pulleys and welded them in

(the sun made the pictures hard to see)

then it was onto building battery cables, there was a bracket next to the fuse box that held the overflow bottle, i cut the uprights off cut some sheet metal, bent a half inch lip to firm it up and mounted it there. here I have a resettable breaker between the alt and battery, also the (not wired yet) VSR to handle charging the second battery.

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I planned on getting a new radiator down the road but yesterday I noticed a leak starting so I ordered an aluminum radiator today.

I just want to know where the hell are they shipping this from???
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This is caught up as of today.
I planned on getting a new radiator down the road but yesterday I noticed a leak starting so I ordered an aluminum radiator today.

I just want to know where the hell are they shipping this from???
glad I didn't pay the extra $1500 for shipping lol tracking says it will be here Monday.
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Bonus time at work, ordered up 4.88 gears and a new carrier for the dana 30 and a set of Stinkyfab Racing shackle relocation brackets.
That will be fun stuff when you get it done
ya I really need to take a week off just to work on the jeep lol
I had been VERY slowly working towards finishing up the charging/electrical upgrades when life and work and weather weren't getting in the way.

I was also being lazy and not wanting to crawl under it and pull the wiring from the starter to re-do it, but good thing I did

I had to buy a replacement plug for the new alternator and of course its just generic white wires, the junkyards around here wont cut a plug from a harness since they want you to buy the whole harness.

When I upgraded the alternator on my TJ I had to re-do the plug on it and if you hooked the wires up wrong the gauge wouldn't work, I have swapped the wires back and forth on this one and the gauge seems to be working either way.

And it runs again by the way.
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Congrats on running again
Thanks, I made sure I had the fire extinguisher out there when I fired it up... just in case I wired something wrong since I had it all ripped out lol The wife was looking at me funny
I was supposed to have the whole weekend to myself... ya that didn't happen. But I did get a few hours Saturday.

After pulling the facia off I started noticing just how bad the damage was. you can see the driver side is quite a bit higher than the passenger.

some more pics of before

not only is it broke all the way across it, but it is caved inward also.

At this time I was really contemplating moving onto version 2.0 where I pull all the drivetrain out and put it into my CJ6 after building a new frame but damn it we wanna go wheeling sooner than later and we just plan to beat the crap out of it anyways.

so I beat the crap out of it... with a 15# sledge hammer

hard to tell without setting the radiator back in but it came back down quite a bit

then I moved onto getting rid of some of the bent and badly welded scraps

I am going to build a new crossmember and trying to decide if I want to put the winch behind it, or just in front of it? behind it will give a better approach angle but also make it harder to free spool

and I was super shocked when I unbolted the steering box and this came out in 1 piece with all the damage around it.
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is there a way to pull the inner steering box brace from inside the "frame rail" or is it welded in?
It is welded in
that's what I figured, I tried prying on it a bit but wasn't sure if it was just wedged from the bends and breaks. thanks
I picked up a portable band saw and cut off the front frame flanges, cut out some 3/16" plate, bent the sides and dimpled some 3" holes in it.

its not in its final location, just sitting there, I wrapped it around each side 3 inches, I will weld it, and will also add some L-braces on the inside of the rails, along with a piece over the top. First thought the wind needs to quit so I can weld all the cracks up in the frame rails. Thinking I might run another piece off the bottom under the steering box as a skid.
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Yesterday would have been a wonderful day to weld outside... if I had gas for the welder.

So being at a stand still on the front I moved to the back, pulled the rear bumper and hitch, while I was under there I noticed this

so now I get to replace the fuel tank, luckily one of the wrecking yards near me has a couple for $57

Then I pulled the carpet out of the rear and started a cut and fold on the rear quarters but I think I got lost somewhere lol

I have done the cut and fold on other Cherokees but this time I decided to just cut it all off with the thoughts of lengthening the rear wheel wells, then I will just plate in what's left.
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Hmmm, lengthening the rear wheel wells? Do I see larger tires in the future?
I already have a set of brand new 33's for it I just haven't bothered switching yet. I probably should have gone with 35's but I bought them before I got the 4.88 gears.
I am looking for a set of F150 leaf springs to replace the messed up pack thats in there, that will move the rear axle back 2 inches.
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