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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like a freakin' year since I posted my introduction and my restoration plans two months ago but finally the wheels are rolling in the right direction. I dropped my 2000 XJ at my local performance shop to go through the front and rear diffs, transmission and transfer case, radiator, exhaust and a ton of other stuff. When they're done, she'll travel down the road to our 4x4 shop. I had talked to them about a complete Rough Country 3-3.5" lift but I'm scaling that back after realizing the 'ole girl's whole front needs redoing. So the next month will see the biggest upgrades to date.
The Plan
1.) Exhaust
2.) Front, rear diffs, transmission and transfer case checked out and serviced.
3.) Radiator/water pump
4.) Valve cover replaced - 4th time since 2000 - that I know of.
5.) 2" lift kit consisting of new leaf springs, Bilstein shocks
7.) Wheels - I have searched high and low and have my heart set on these but the backspacing is way off. Amazon says they won't fit. Do I have any options?
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8.) Tires - not set in stone but leaning towards these below. Issue is, Walmart says "Will not fit your vehicle". Is this true? Is 225/75/15 the biggest tire I can get?
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AS always guys and gals, thanks for the help and pictures of my girl's progress will come. Take care, R&R
 

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Lets take a step back for a sec. You were going to put on a lift but aren't now? Is it worth waiting for the lift before you get new tires?

If the jeep is at stock height with untouched (not cut) fenders, those 235/75s are not going to fit very well. They'll rub while turning probably and any flexing will cause more rubbing. Smaller tires until the lift. If you can wait, it makes sense to me to buy once, not twice.

If you go with a 2" lift, then yes, those 235s will fit perfectly. I ran that for years on my stock wheels. You say new leaf springs and shocks, but what about the front? Coil spacer pucks or new coils? Hopefully this shop will assist you with brakelines, trackbar, pinion angle and all the little things a lift requires to be addressed.

Wheels need to be 5x4.5" bolt pattern (I didn't go check the metric equivalent). Stock wheels are usually 4.5" backspacing and 15x7". Those 235/75s will fit a 15x7" wheel better than 15x8". If you go bigger, you'll probably want to get wheels with a BS of something closer to 3.5-4" to help push the tires out and away from control arms and such. But for now (235s) you'll be fine.
 

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I checked the measurements. Bolt pattern is correct. Your back spacing on these will move the wheel to the outside by about 2". The wheel is not the same back spacing as OEM, so that may be why the shop said they wouldn't fit. So basically, you are getting a 29" tire that will be moved out 2". It should be OK with the flare and may stick out past the flare 1/2" or less. Go for it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the feedback a great deal. XJSuperman asked about doing a 3.5" lift and now not doing it. I decided against the 3.5" lift due to cost of the whole front suspension needing to be redone. If I forego everything that needs replacing, that 3.5" is no problem but the 2" lift, leaf springs, shocks, front end rebuild, etc. is coming in at $1,865.00. The quote for the 3.5" lift and front end rebuild was going to kill my budget. I also had to be a little realistic in what I want from the restoration project, 1.) go anywhere, climb anything, ford any river beast or a 2.) mall crawler or a 3.) daily driver that looks good, handles great and is able to do light off-roading to our favorite campsite. I'm going #3.
Wheel advice is appreciated too. I ordered them and then called an American Racing distributor who felt they would fit but worried they would rub suspension pieces. I didn't want the hassle of them causing issues so I canceled my order.
Some bad news - advice needed. I got a call about 30 mins. ago from the shop doing at my exhaust and other tidbits when they tell me the computer is bad. I said wait a second, why are you saying that. The guy explained the codes on his scanner showed that was the culprit of my overheat/electric fan delay. "Dude, you have got to be joking. No way." Sorry but that is the news was his reply. I told him I owned a one owner '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee that ate computers for lunch - 4 NAPA units in one year and $3K later I traded for a Hyundai. I won't be doing that again. Any ideas why this would come about now? 8, almost nine years, no computer issues. Are they trying to burn a new one in me?
Thanks, R&R
 

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It is a tupical failure on the 00 XJs. But all is not lost. You can wire in a relay to turn the efan on when ever you want, or get fancy and wire the relay into the AC circuit to come on with that. Lots of options there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks 4.3L XJ - so you're saying my computer is good to go and do not buy another computer. Right? I drove it 30 miles to their shop and my wife was surprised I was running 70-75 with no issues. Temp gauge never got over the middle mark. Only idling for a long time is it an issue. I usually turn the heater on & temps get to normal in a hurry. Fingers are crossed!
 

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The only reason I can think of to replace the ECM is if you have to pass smog tests and cannot have a CEL. Other than that, wiring in the fan some other way will have benefits. Such as using it all the time instead of as it is now only with the AC on. When you do, we can help you with wiring
 
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Quick update: I picked up my XJ today and to be honest the shop it was at was not where it should have been. As I stated earlier they told me the (one guy there said CPU and another said ECM on the phone) computer was causing the overheating issue and after spending $197 for a muffler I'm glad that's all the money they'll get from me. I was driving home and felt cold air on my hands and thought that was strange. I looked and the A/C was on but the fan was off. I turned the fan on high and for the first time in 8 yrs. drove with the A/C working. When I bought our XJ I had it checked out and was told I needed a complete A/C redo. Of course I said, "I ride motorcycles in full gear, I don't need A/C." I called my wife who was following me and she swore I was lying. Then she pulled along side of me and saw my windows were up...👀...was the look on her face.
BTW, I had asked this shop to replace my valve cover and gasket and they called to say it would be $173.61. I said that is awesome! I said what was the brand of the valve cover, "That price is to replace the gasket partner. The valve cover from Auto Zone runs $169" WTH?
PS - Now, I need to find a shop that won't try to rip me off in Greensboro, NC. Any suggestions?
 

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Well, my first suggestion is to learn how to do some of this stuff yourself. For instance, you can get a blue tooth code reader and Torque app for your phone to read your own codes. Sounds like people are trying to take advantage of you. Also turn on the AC and see if the aux fan runs when the compressor does. Also should run when the defrost is on
 
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Discussion Starter #10
4.3L XJ - man you crack me up...I'm 57 yrs old, my first engine rebuild was a Dodge slant six when I was 16. I could rattle off a bunch of Hero Stats but that is for all those big web egos. I get up at 4:00am everyday but Sunday - my only day off - get home at 4:50pm Monday - Saturday. I work in the Aerospace industry and even though our commercial stuff has died, our military orders have been super strong for the last 7 years. I wish I had the time to do my own wrenching, heck; it wound be therapeutic. I have the money to spend but who wants to get hosed because arsehats want to steal instead of charging a fair fee?
 

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Gotta be honest, I got the same reading as 4.3L. But if you have to work, you have to work. So, paying for a shop to do it means knowing your stuff beforehand and keeping a stranglehold on what the shop is supposed to be doing for you. I can't think of a reason to replace a valvecover unless you want something fancy looking. A new gasket, a can of brakkleen, some primer and paint and ta-da, its new haha. The plastic hardware vents are $7-14 bucks each but relatively easy to swap.

Are there any shops local to you that specialize in jeeps or similar vehicles? I know I can't take my jeep to the dealer any longer because the last time it was there they told me they couldn't do an alignment on it. Its a pretty simple vehicle to align, everything easy to reach and nothing rusted up, so the fact that a jeep dealer couldn't align a jeep was a big red flag for me. If (and thats a big if) I ever have to take mine to a shop, it won't be going to your typical place. Maybe a friend or fellow jeeper's shop/home.

Anyways, Im glad your AC is working and you've got a new muffler.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Oil leak at the valve cover gasket. I had the gasket replaced 7 years ago and it has leaked for the last 6 yrs. Two separate mechanics (you'd have to see it) suggested replacing it but I waited until I was going to do all this redo.
I have a lead on a solid mechanic I am going to see today. A guy at work told me, "this guy is so honest, I'd let him sleep with my wife...both of them could be nude too." I didn't ask to see a picture of his wife but I want to meet this cat anyways. Cheers!
 

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We want pics of the wife lol. Sounds like a good lead on a mechanic. Good luck!
 

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Well, l finally found an honest mechanic. They are an elusive breed for sure. I didn't tell him what the other shop told me I just asked him to check it out. BTW - the guy is a Jeep guy! His quote to me, "I have owned, restored and sold more XJs, CJs and TJs than I can count!" He called and recommended installing an electric fan due to the temp hanging at 217 degrees after idling 21 mins. He never said the words, "new CPU". I did have 4 new lovelies show up today. Man I hope they mount up ok.
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PS - friend at work showed me a drawing of his wife, "man I ain't been able to take a picture in years..."


228300
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This week the main work begins. A picture of the starting point, A.R. Ansen wheels, Detroit Axle front suspension kit and 30x9.5x15 Mastercraft tires. Not pictured is the 1.5 - 2.0" lift, new leaf springs, etc. Of all the things I'm adding, the tires are the one thing I don't know much about. Anyone rolling on these? More pictures to come!
 

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Everybody like different tire brands, I prefer Cooper on mine currently. If you want a solid at tire, the Cooper AT3 has stupid good reviews, and I have personally been involved with 4 sets on 3 different vehicles that wore excellently, and at least one of which lasted over 80,000miles last time I checked. Thats crazy. A set of those would do you well.

You will want to check on that trackbar alignment after your lift install too. Might need to redrill the axle side mount hole, depending on how bad the axle alignment is.
 

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I ran the Mastercraft mt's for years. Just sold them and they still were at half tread. I thought they were a good tire. A little noisy. I would think the AT's would be quieter.
 
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