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Discussion Starter #1
I acquired this XJ through a bunch of schinanigans. It belonged to a co-worker's girlfriend, and I had made some drunken deal that when she bought a new vehicle I'd buy this pile. Granted I'd never even seen it when I agreed to this. Being a man of my word, when I got the phone call I headed over with cash in hand.

Did I get ripped off? Uhhhhhhhhhh......

Not the worst looking from here.



Swing out spare - doesn't interest me.



Rockers were optional I guess.



The B-pillar took a hit and is dented in, the door frame is twisted, and generally there's dings all over the place.



The good stuff:

4.0L/AX-15/NP231. Not a bad combination. Personally I'm more of an AW4 guy, but whatever.
1990 - it's a renix, I understand it.
2drs, since I'm young and stupid.

The bad:

The rust, dents, dings, ugly paint.
Clutch slave or master is out.
Water pump MIA.
No AC, although I only want it for the pump. It's probably a good thing actually...
10 000 other things.

My 'Plan' (like I really have one)
Build a 'mild' wheeler for camping/expiditions. I no longer live in an area where there is estabilished hard-core wheeling, and you can't do that alone. I'm thinking I will probably run about 2-3" of lift and some 33s, along with some body mods. The back seat and cargo area interior will be axed in favor of making enough space that I can sleep, and some storage. I'm planning dual batteries but haven't entirely sold myself on how they should be done. OBA is needed, and I will run a sanden style compressor out of convenience. However, the biggest emphasis of this build will ultimately be the reliability of the rig as a whole (more on this later).


So, the first order of business was to change the water pump and serpentine belt. The old belt got eaten as the water pump had played up to the point that the belt got thrown into the mechanical fan. I changed the lower rad hose while I was at it, the old one looked rough.

Serpentine belt shredded around fan:


Since I need a new belt, I did the idler pulley delete. No sense keeping a useless pulley. Which I've had fail before, not a good thing.

Reference picture of belt routing minus the idler:


Part number for the belt (upside down so it's easy to understand)



Then I did my first major mod. I plan to turn this one into a write up. I think many would benefit from it.



Yeah, the gas struts are worn out, the 2x4 keeps the hatch up... No, I won't actually write a how-to on it, sorry. So I changed them. Apparently the parts store wants $60 each for the struts here (jerks).


Started pulling out the interior junk. Found that the roof braces had de-bonded, probably as a result of whatever had hit the B pillar on this thing before. I think I'll just use some 3/16" bolts to re-attach it, and seal them with poly or something. I'm undecided, but definatly not going to bother replacing the roof to fix the dent.




Rust, rust, rust...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Started pulling the rear bumper off... I said I didn't like the swing out - so off it came. I broke EVERY bolt that held it on. And while I'm sure you could just unbolt the bumper from its brackets, I was not interested in that game (torx). So I just cut it apart...


Bumper removed, only snapped two of the bolts that hold the brackets on. Trailer hitch/boat anchor removed mostly - I had to cut one of the tabs off it as the bolt was not removable yet (still getting to that)


I have to comment on who-ever the genius was that had installed this aftermarket hitch... Put some damn anti-seize on the bolts, I only broke 4 of the 5 that I removed (with the 6th still in place, as they installed it in a creative manner, I will remove it whenever I have more stuff out of the way). And that was after I heated them cherry-red with the torch.

Began the first of the sheetmetal mods... This part was all rusty, and really doesn't do anything for me. So, I butchered it off. Just the inital cut.


Before you jump on how I cut all of this, I just went for it. Later I'll clean it up, I was just concerned with getting it out of the way for now.

View from inside... I'll weld in some 22ga or something in the hole.



The pretenda-rockers had to go next... I'm going to weld in some 2x6x.188 in their place, I think.


Mostly cut out in rough...


All cut out. Other than the end there. I need to figure out exactly what my plan is there. I was going to use some MJ rear flares over the rear (cut and fold it), and see if that part was 'covered'. But that's kidna hack. I might just have to cut a bunch more out, and maybe patch it (heaven forbid).



Took off most of the junk from the front that doesn't interest me... Vacuum bottle and horn will get relocated. There's more work to be done here, but not for tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did some more work....

This area had to be cut out... I was about half done at this point, all of it had to go. Oh yeah, there's a few cracks there, don't mind those, they're on the list.



At this point I figured I was about done cutting this side. Yeah...



I cut out the back of the uniframe rails to put my bumper mounts in (2x3x.188).


Yeah, I cut that one very square... Shh. The top shackle bolt extends too far and is in my way. Luckily it has about 20 threads more than it needs.

So I pulled it out, cut off about five threads, then ground the end to a bit of a point so it would self centre.



Threw some anti-seize on and reinstalled. Plenty of clearance.


(I know that's a picture of the other side, just imagine everything backwards if it's a problem)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Test fitting the new rocker/slider. Looks like it'll work... Of course I had to cut way more stuff off.


More test fitting...


You can see how it doesn't extend too far back. More on that later...


Capping the ends.


Ugh. Was still dialing in the welder (haven't welded in 2 months), then realized it was spooled with crappy wire (I lend it to a friend when I'm at work). Of course, had I looked before I started welding, this wouldn't have happened. Anyways, I ground that part out and re-welded it.


I cut the front of them on a 40* angle, then capped them too. At this point I was getting a little more comfortable.


Ground smooth (same with the rear). Then I RO sanded the entire thing to promote paint adhesion.



Shimming it all into place for welding...


Welded most of it up. Had a minor, almost major, fire in the interior. Apparently this foam lights up really easy. Considering I was welding on the other side of the A-pillar when it lit off.


Welded all around the top... Ain't done, but I was sick of welding. Thick steel to thin sheet it trying of one's patience. The welds vary from decent looking to horrible. I think I'm going to put a sealer of some sort over them anyways, so nobody will really see...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And I partly built both rear bumper mounts... Just some 2x3x.188 with some nuts welded in it. They aren't as hardcore as some people's, but I pick up 4 place on the uniframe per side, plus the 4 stock holes per side (other than the ones that have broken bolts in them, something to do sometime...) I used 1/2" GR8 hardware for no reason other than it fit the holes in the frame nicely, and GR8 has a nice plating on it so it doesn't rust as quick.


Made the ears for the bumper mounts:


In retrospect, those could have been made from a single peice, and it probably would have looked better. Ohwell, nobody sees 'em. Oh yeah, the new hardware is AN, I think AN6-11As, but whatever, I have lots of it and it'll work. I drilled through the stock captured nuts and will just put nuts on the back.

Of course, prior to this I figured I should remove the two snapped off stock bumper bolts. Welding a nut to them did not work. So I chose to drill them out. After dulling a lot of bits in a short period of time (I lack a bench grinder to resharpen them here, and have to do it at work), I tried using my nice lennox step drill since it has a carbide edge. I broke the end off. Swearing, lots of swearing.


Anyways, welded one of the ears on.


Other side.


Main part of the bumper is 2x4x.188. I cut the ends at a 40* angle. RO sanded for paint adhesion, yada yada...


Welded the caps on the ends, wasn't overly impressed with myself with the bead appearance, but the penetration was good. I ground them smooth afterwards anyways.


Tacked it place.


Keg stand! But not quite how I did them in college. Man do I ever have a ghetto shop, instead of a welding table I either use my trailer or whatever is around... Anyways, welding the bumper mounts on. You can see the shape of the brackets...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the other slider welded on. Well, half welded on. To the same stage as the other one anyways (good enough for now)


Some of the welding went awesome, some of it was ugh.


But I managed to get it to match the other side pretty darn well, even the slight angle they're on (they slope outwards a bit so water will run off) is the same. I have to say though, these were more time consuming than I thought. So much cutting stuff off, then putting them in place, only to pull them off and grind a bit off something else, and try again and again... But I think they'll be worth it.


Now, what I did that I do NOT like at all. Instead of doing the cut'n'fold on the rear wells, I decided to try something different. My reasoning was that I couldn't get as much clearance by just folding them as if I changed/removed the lip/pinch seam completely. Also, I had a rust issue, and I wanted to cut it out.

So, I did this.


Basically I screwed it up so bad that I'm going to have to do some major surgery to fix it. I took 1x.125 flat bar and welded it between the quarter panel and wheel well from the inside. Then I cut off the pinch and ground everything 'flush'. My mistake was that I should have used much wider flat bar (2" or 2.5") or just done it with sheetmetal like a regular person. As it is, I've not got a properly shaped wheel well.



I didn't even bother cleaning up the front because I'd realized it was screwed.

I'm pretty mad at myself. Normally I think about things enough ahead of time that I don't get in this situation.


As it is, I'm back 'at work' so there won't be any updates for a bit. I bought some stuff for it, nothing special though. Well, okay, maybe one thing. Anyways, time...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
2dr that is one strong looking build you have started there. I missed something about the reason for the idler pully delete can you elaborate please.

That idler pulley is a little unreliable. Along with the one where the A/C compressor should go. They have a sealed bearing that doesn't always stay sealed. So, the bearing might just lock-up without warning. It gives you about 12 seconds before the belt slipping over the locked pulley will destroy the belt. This is rather bad if you're out in the middle of nowhere - as most people wouldn't think to carry a spare pulley and a spare belt!
 

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I'm gonna enjoy this build-up. These are some of the same body mods I have planned for mine. Good point about the idler pulley, I always carry a spare belt, but not a pulley.
 

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My pulley just went on me last week between Vernon & Kelowna. The bearing pretty much exploded. Luckily I wasn't far out of town and I limped to Lordco and changed it in the parking lot.


I would love to make rocker/sliders like that on mine...need a shop...and a welder...and.

Keep up the build dirty!
 

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A porta power or creative use of a bottle jack might take care of the kink in the passenger side b-piller. HTH!!
 

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Are you going to be putting doors back on and if so do you need to trim the bottom?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are you going to be putting doors back on and if so do you need to trim the bottom?

Yeah, they need trimming. And they're going back on. I hate wheeling without doors. I think I need to take about 4" off the bottom, but I'll worry about that when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A porta power or creative use of a bottle jack might take care of the kink in the passenger side b-piller. HTH!!

No dice. The inside of the pillar is fine (or so it appears), so short of taking the roof off you have no access to the outside. If I had a stud-gun I might be able to make it a little better. I might be able to make a dolly that I can slide between the roof and B-pillar support to straighten the roof a bit, but it's pretty low on my priority list.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I need normal doors for the winter, and to pass inspection. Yes, I plan to build this in such a manner that I can tell a cop to get bent when he tries to issue me a VI. It won't technically be legal, but close enough that I can argue anything.
 

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dude im looking all over for that rear bumper here in PR.. no junker has it.. arg...
 
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