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View Full Version : I got a stock XJ, whadda am I going to do?



Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:28 PM
Several years ago I owned a 1983 Chevy Truck. It was great fun, but I wanted to put bigger tires on it, which meant a lift kit. No Internet in those days, so magazines, and asking people that had lifted trucks was my research.

http://muckleroy.com/images/Tonys_Old_Truck.jpg

4" lift with 36.6" tires. I had to use the steering wheel to pull my self up and into the vechicle.

The truck was a lot of fun. I got lots of looks and always was asked, "How do you get up in there!?!?"

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:29 PM
Now, in the 21st century we DO have the Internet. I researched lifting my Jeep XJ (Cherokee). It seems there is a BIG problem with BIG lifts on an XJ. Drive train vibration. This is easily solved for about $400 dollars!

So no 6" lift for me, not now. A 4.5" lift seems to be the best, and cheapest way to get the Jeep into the air.

During my Internet research I found this blue Jeep (see below), same year as mine. This really helped me in deciding what lift and tires I wanted.

http://muckleroy.com/images/Steve_98XJ.jpg
1998 Jeep XJ with a 4.5" lift and 32x11.50 tires

So with the success of this person I have purchased a 4.5" lift, BFG 32x11.50 tires and American Racing 15x10 wheels.

http://muckleroy.com/images/future_xj1.jpg
You can see the very nice work done to my "crunched" Jeep. It's all better now. I do need some replacement decals...

http://muckleroy.com/images/future_xj2.jpg
In case you cannot tell, these are the new tires next to the Jeep. Just getting an idea how much higher the Jeep will be with the lift and new tires.

Going from 27" diameter tires, to 32" is a difference of 5". Half that would be the additional height gained, or 2.5". With a 4.5" lift that should increase my Jeep body height gain of 7".

The bottom of my Jeep (rocker panel) is at 17". this should increase to 24"
The top of my Jeep (top of rack) is at 64". This should increase to 71". 72" is 6' (6 feet)

http://muckleroy.com/images/jeep_xj.jpg
Here it is as it came from the show room.

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:30 PM
Tomorrow I go to get the lift kit put on. I'm taking the camera so hopefully I'll have some good pictures of the install.

I certainly will have pictures of the finished Jeep.

After this? Finding a way to carry a spare tire!

It will either be on top of the Jeep, or a swing away tire rack on the back.


http://muckleroy.com/images/LOADED.jpg
Best I can figure it will cost $1000 for the rear swing away

http://muckleroy.com/images/xj_top_tirerack.jpg
or $150 to carry it on top.

I like the rear swing away, but I like the price of the top mounted rack.

http://muckleroy.com/images/WildernessXJ_rack.jpg
This is pretty cool, and it is only about 1/2 the price of the rear swing away.

More to come...

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:32 PM
Ok I've been to work and the parking garage. Everything fits, but I don't think I'm going to be able to get in there with a spare tire on top of the XJ.

I did some more looking around and I found a rear tire carrier for $339.

Strangely enough it doesn't come with the part that the wheel attach's to, that's another $58. Still this is a lot cheaper than the others I have seen for $900+

http://www.quadratec.com/Assets/Images/25274/25274-md.jpg

I will still have to find a way to mount the license plate so it can be seen.

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:41 PM
Well I found this and fell in love with the design. This bumper is from DetoursUSA.com

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_roughcut_bumper.jpg

Three styles of bumpers were offered. RoughCut, Smooth and a third that escapes me. The roughcut is all diamond plate. Smooth (duh!) and the third was a smooth back, with diamond plate on the sides. (I believe this is the 3rd style of bumper)

This pictures shows the DetoursUSA bumper with all the options. Tire carrier, backup lights, and integral 2" receiver.

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:45 PM
I contacted DetoursUSA about availability of their bumpers and shipping costs. I found out that each bumper was built to order, so there was a lead time of a couple of weeks. The shipping was substantial but I think that is understandable when you are shipping a huge piece of metal across country.

(I am in Texas, Detours is in Connecticut)

After about 6 months of wanting and wishing I finally called DetoursUSA to place my order. I spoke to a guy named Mark. He was very helpful, and informative. I think we spent about 45 minutes on the phone! Great customer service. He answered all of my questions, and gave me information that I hadn't even though of!

Now it was time to wait!

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 02:59 PM
Well the DetoursUSA bumper finally arrived, and it looks like it is in good shape. I had heard a couple of horror stories from some folks on NAXJA and from Mark at DetoursUSA about the delivery service damaging the bumpers.

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper11.jpg

I'm no welder, but I do have an eye for quality and this bumper is top notch. Pretty scary when you are spending a house payment (shipping was $100) for something that you "think" looks good over the Internet.

Well the first thing I did was to paint it flat black. I'm still up in the air about painting it the same color as the rest of the Jeep "Poppy Red", or going with glossy black, or leaving it flat black.

While the paint was drying I go to taking the factory bumper off.

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper12.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper9.jpg

It really helps to have a pair of small hands available...
http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper10.jpg

You may have noticed I didn't get the backup lights, or the 2" receiver. I already had the OEM trailer hitch.

Now when I ordered the bumper, Mark asked me if I was going to put any aftermarked flares on the XJ. I told him YES, Bushwackers. He said he would build my bumper to fit witht he bushwackers! Wow! I had not even thought of that. One of the main reasons I liked this bumper is that it wraps around and, of course, that will be an issue when I put larger flares on.

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper1.jpg
Here you can see that large space between the back tire and the start of the bumper. Man those bushwackers are huge!

By the way, the standard DetoursUSA tire carrier doesn't come at an angle like that. That was a custom they did without any bitching or moaning.

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 03:03 PM
http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper5.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper4.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper15.jpg

I run this bumper now for 7 months now, and I love it. No noise, smooth operation, and lots more cargo space in the back of the Jeep!

You may wonder about seeing out the back!

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper14.jpg
I can still see, just not right behind my head. The plus side? I now have a bullet barrier between me and the driver behind me! :D

Mudderoy
03-08-2009, 03:09 PM
I recently purchased and installed a set of Bushwacker fender flares. I was curious to see how much of that gap the bushwackers would fill on the back bumper.

http://muckleroy.com/images/Jeep_Bushwackers5.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/Jeep_Bushwackers1a.jpg

You can't see it in these pictures, but there is about a 1/2 inch gap between the rear bumper and the Bushwackers. I painted the gap flat black.

:toothorn:
I continue to get "deer in the headlight" stares and awe struck compliments on the Jeep. The look and quality of the DetoursUSA bumper is a large part why.

TeXJ
03-08-2009, 09:23 PM
Nice write up!

I did some more fender trimming on mine yesterday, and I bought some extended bump stops for the rear, today.

Mudderoy
03-09-2009, 01:13 AM
You need to post some pictures up. I love seeing other people's rigs.

Mudderoy
09-06-2009, 04:11 AM
Ok so I've been needed to complete the installation of my Detours slimline bumper. Mark has reminded me that I need to get those "L" brackets installed before I pull, or get pulled.

Well after about 3 weekends of trying to get motivated to do this I finally got to it today. I started about 5pm and finished up at 2am!!!!!

The "L" brackets tie into the frame "unibody" at the same point as the trailer hitch. Then the bumper ties into a single point on the "L" bracket. With that installed you have the 8 factory bolts holding the bumper on and then a bracket parallel with the unibody.

To accomplish this you have to cut off some of the nut strip that the hitch, factory skid etc... bolts to.

So I removed the factory trailer hitch. My God those bolts/nuts were tight!
Then I removed the factory gas tank skid, much easier.

After removing two rivets on each nut strip I was able to extract the nut strip from inside the unibody. I removed about 4 inches from it and reinserted it in the frame. Now it was all loosy goosey and hell to try and pass the bolts through 4 holes and screw it into the "L" bracket.

After all that the bolts are about 1/8" too short (I'm sure I did something wrong Mark :P) so I'm off to Home Depot tomorrow to get a bolt twice as long. I'll be sure to get what a grade 8 or something?

Oh and I had to drill a 1/2" hole in the skid and the trailer hitch so I could screw in the back bolt into the "L" bracket.

I had this silly notion that I was going to PAINT the bumper today when it was off, NOT! Wow I can't believe that took so long. Finding out that I had to drill those holes set me back a little. Clean up was a bitch! Not only the garage, but me! :rotfl2:

Well I certainly learned a little more about the "XJ" today!

WagoneerCrawler
09-06-2009, 09:15 AM
Very nice write up MudderRoy! I'm in awe of your rig.

BlueXJ
09-06-2009, 09:19 AM
Don't know how I missed this write-up until today. You did a great job with the XJ's history muddy.
Thanks

Mudderoy
09-06-2009, 11:53 AM
Very nice write up MudderRoy! I'm in awe of your rig.

Thank you, I am very proud of her.


Don't know how I missed this write-up until today. You did a great job with the XJ's history muddy.
Thanks

This was one of the first posts I did back in March when the board started. It was a combination of a lot of old stuff I had on my personal website. I was trying to remember this morning if I had a post like this so I had to do quite a bit of searching before I found my own post! lol

Thanks again.

Melissa
09-06-2009, 01:16 PM
So Mudderoy, did you ever come up with a name for your sexy girl??

Mudderoy
09-06-2009, 01:39 PM
So Mudderoy, did you ever come up with a name for your sexy girl??

Nope. I was just asking because a few of you were suggesting.

BlueXJ
09-06-2009, 02:42 PM
Well I have two pick-ups. One is a large White Chevy Z71 and the other is my MJ. Since I have been working on the MJ, my wife has dubbed it "Lil' Red". I told her that Howlers XJ has that name and her answer was "There are many rifles but this one is mine". Which is a holdover from my days at bootcamp, 40 years ago. She has an excellent memory.

Mudderoy
09-06-2009, 07:28 PM
I went down to "Lowe's" this morning. I took one of the bolts that came with the DETOURS slimline bumper. I was trying to see what size it was when I dropped it, it hit the front of my shoe and took off under the 15 foot wide rack in front of me!

I had already got a couple of measurements when this happened, so based on that I looked until I found the "Grade 8" bolts, and then got the one I thought it was. I grabbed some washers to go with the bolts, but I was still nervous that I didn't have the right bolt, then I had an idea! I called DETOURS, 3 rings later I had Mark on the phone! Amazing for his "off" day. Anyway I proceeded to tell him what bolt I was looking for, slimline, "L" bracket, the part that the bumper ties into. After a couple of seconds of silence he replied, "Who is this?"

lol, I thought he had caller ID. Turns out I had the right bolt.

I returned home and installed the bolts. Over a year later the bumper is finally installed! :rotfl2:

Mudderoy
09-06-2009, 07:33 PM
Things I learned recently.

1. The trailer hitch is much lighter than I thought it would be.
2. The factory skid tank is much lighter than I thought it would be.
3. Having a lifted XJ makes it much easier to work on things underneath, not so much the engine bay though. ;)


3 of the bolts that hold the skid on are double bolts. One part screws into the frame the other part hands down and accepts a nut. How do you screw it in? There a 8mm hex head at the end of the exposed portion of the bolt.

prerunner1982
09-10-2009, 06:10 PM
Mudderoy... I like your XJ... but 73-87 (91) Chevys are my other love and that is a nice rig as well. Here is my old 82 Chevy. It was only a 2wd but I had 32"s on it.

http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2999/1781/7495890013_large.jpg
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2999/1781/7495890014_large.jpg

Mudderoy
09-10-2009, 10:24 PM
Mudderoy... I like your XJ... but 73-87 (91) Chevys are my other love and that is a nice rig as well. Here is my old 82 Chevy. It was only a 2wd but I had 32"s on it.

http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2999/1781/7495890013_large.jpg
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2999/1781/7495890014_large.jpg

The 83 was great fun, but it was a very different type of vehicle than the XJ. I also owned a 80 LWB Scottsdale 2WD

Mudderoy
10-21-2009, 03:48 PM
http://xjtalk.com/images/special/Jeep_Photoshoot060.jpg

Mudderoy
01-21-2011, 12:10 PM
Here is another old thread that brings back some good memories... :popcorn:

Outlaw
01-21-2011, 12:42 PM
Here is another old thread that brings back some good memories... :popcorn:

I'm glad you posted on this... I dont think I would have ever seen it! Thanks!! Oh and like I said on FB that is one sexy xj!!:thumbsup:

Jeepster19
01-21-2011, 11:25 PM
I recently purchased and installed a set of Bushwacker fender flares. I was curious to see how much of that gap the bushwackers would fill on the back bumper.

http://muckleroy.com/images/Jeep_Bushwackers5.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/Jeep_Bushwackers1a.jpg

You can't see it in these pictures, but there is about a 1/2 inch gap between the rear bumper and the Bushwackers. I painted the gap flat black.

:toothorn:
I continue to get "deer in the headlight" stares and awe struck compliments on the Jeep. The look and quality of the DetoursUSA bumper is a large part why.

Hey Mudderoy,when you get a free minute can you take a closeup pic of the gap between the detours rear bumper&the buschwacker fender flare.One more question,will detours make the swing out for the tire carrier swing opposite from what you have on your Xj?Great write up by the way!:thumbsup:

modestmar00xj
01-23-2011, 12:12 AM
http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper5.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper4.jpg

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper15.jpg

I run this bumper now for 7 months now, and I love it. No noise, smooth operation, and lots more cargo space in the back of the Jeep!

You may wonder about seeing out the back!

http://muckleroy.com/images/detoursusa_bumper14.jpg
I can still see, just not right behind my head. The plus side? I now have a bullet barrier between me and the driver behind me! :D

Yeah thats what i want to get! that rear bumper is amazing! im gunna go on the site a check it out!

Mudderoy
01-23-2011, 07:55 AM
lol but you won't get a full diamond plate slimline. He stopped making them! Smooth or diamond plate on the ends now. :rotfl2:

I know most of you don't like diamond plate anyway :P

gary63
01-23-2011, 10:21 AM
good wright up and thanks for the inf. on the hitch and skid plate. I was thinking about put on a hitch and then the bumper now I will get it all in one.
It may be easyer putting on and taking off if I need to for something like the
fuel pump change out.And the jeep LOOKS GOOD!