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  1. #1
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    Default "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Its about time i got this going on here. Be prepared to be quite bored cause i get a bit detailed and there will be a few pics as well.

    This build has been going on for 8 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days. So, i've got a bit of backtracking to do and i'll try to test your patience with my procrastination.

    I was looking for my first vehicle for my 16th b-day and knew i wanted an xj. After a little searching i got a Sunday paper and there was two candidates - an '89 xj limited for 1375 and a '92 xj Laredo for 1300. I called about the '92 and decided to look at it. I didn't even call about the '89. It had everything i was looking for - 4.0l, auto, 4x4, a/c, and was in good enough shape, so i went to take a look and fell in love. It, of course, had its faults, but seemed like a good vehicle. It had 172,xxx miles. The p.o. was a young girl that moved from Iowa, where the xj lived most its life. Her father had replaced the front/left axle u-joint earlier that day. It had some rust mainly the rockers, quarter panel behind rear tires, and a couple spots in the floor. It had been in a hail storm so it had quite a few small dings. A few things didn't work - driving lights on bumper, window washers, and few others. It didnt overheat, the a/c worked, ran and drove well, and i saw the potential even though it was filthy inside and out.

    The p.o. worked at wal-mart and while it was in the parking lot for her shift somebody ran into the rear passengers side and broke the tail light and smashed that side of the bumper. It was parked just out of view of the cameras, so no one could be caught. She was brutally honest about its past. Her fiance was a volunteer fire fighter in Iowa. She told me he drove it threw mounds of snow, would floor it to get to emergencies, among other things. Anyway, i decided i wanted it and talked her down to 1100. From there we went on a several hour adventure to switch the title. She was very accommodating and went threw the whole thing to get it done. It did also pass an emission test with flying colors.

    There's probably more to the buying story, but its been eight years and i don't remember everything. I didn't have a camera for the first few years so i dont have many pics from that time, just ones from when i borrowed my moms camera. This will be a recap of what i've done to it in the past seven years and once i've caught up with current times it will continue.

    I love this jeep. I will never get rid of it, hence the title "Lifelong Build". Here's Stormy right after i bought it (and after a bath). Btw, i bought it on 4-8-2004.






  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Cant wait for more of this read man.
    Shot of Whiskey and a camp fire. Perfect night time

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4Dalton View Post
    Cant wait for more of this read man.
    Thanks Bear, although its mostly little stuff so don't get too excited.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    4/04
    Here's some more pics of Stormy when i got it. After i bought it i figured out what all it had - H.O. 4.0L, AW4, NP 231, H.P. 30, Chrysler 8.25", 3.55 gears, ps, pb, ac, tilt, cruise, power windows, power doors, rear defrost, etc.








  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Wheeler View Post
    Thanks Bear, although its mostly little stuff so don't get too excited.

    Cool bro.Thats what makes these build post great,the lil stuff.Well that and pics
    Shot of Whiskey and a camp fire. Perfect night time

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4Dalton View Post
    Cool bro.Thats what makes these build post great,the lil stuff.Well that and pics
    Well i have a lot of both of those.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Summer 2004
    I was an amateur and pretty ignorant on how to fix a lot of stuff at the time so some of my earlier repairs will not make much sense. Well, after i got it home and did a major detail that made a huge difference i started doing some little things on it.

    I replaced the broken tail light with one i got from a '89 parts xj. The license plate was taped to the rear window because someone had cracked the mounting holes in the liftgate. So, i used double sided tape on the back of the plate to stick it on its original spot. I could get one screw in it in case the tape let go. The rear view mirror had fallen off the windshield so i took it to a glass shop and they glued it back up. I spread some bondo over the rust on the rockers and quarters and painted over it with some rattle can that was a pretty close match. I know better now, and am paying the price. I peeled off some of the stickers and added a few of my own. Replaced the wipers and stuck some deer warners on the bumper. Again, its been a while so i've probably forgotten something. I know, very exciting huh.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Dude its what makes it yers.Enjoy.
    Shot of Whiskey and a camp fire. Perfect night time

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Fall 2004
    Well, enough with the boring stuff. I had originally wanted to get an 8" lift for it, i wanted it big. But i talked myself down to a 6", then realized how much more money it would be and didn't have that kinda budget. So, i settled on 4.5" and wanted a complete and good quality system. I decided on Rubicon Express because of their reputation. I got the Super Flex 4.5" short arm w/full leaves. The kit came with upper and lower control arms, 4.5" coils, swaybar discos (first gen), front bumpstop extensions, adjustable track bar, full 3.5" leaves, 1.25" lift shackles, u-bolts, front and rear ss braided brake hoses, 3/4" t-case drop, and i found a package online that came with doestch tech shocks for the same price as R.E. had it w/out shocks.

    Being a beginner, to actually working on vehicles, i had a local shop install the lift. I shopped around for a cheaper quote to install it. I did try 4 wheel parts and they said 3000 because they wouldn't do it without installing a sye and driveshaft at the same time. So, i settled on a local shop (closed their doors not long after i had my lift installed), they quoted cheapest. So, i took it over there with the lift in the back and dropped it off. They took three days installing it and couldn't get the front brake hoses off. They said it was the worst vehicle they've ever worked on due to rust. They said they had to cut off most of the old parts. They cut two holes in my unibody "frame rails". They also said that it wouldn't move after they installed the lift because the rear driveshaft was binding, so they put in some 6 shims to bring up the pinion. It worked pretty well, i only have minor vibes while slowing. Also apparently they didn't do an alignment (originally said it was included in quote), i lived with not going faster than 55 (death wobble) for more than a year. But at least after all that work and the hard time my xj gave them they stuck to their original quote.

    The first pic is Stormy at the shop after they finished installing the lift. I didn't get bigger tires on it for a couple days, so its got the stock size 215s in the pics - kinda funny lookin huh. The other pics are at a storage facility, more on the storage later on.






  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Still Fall 2004

    Next, i put some old 31" bfg muds that had been taken off my moms zj. The tread on the tires was very chopped, so the ride did suffer. Horrible pics, sorry.




  11. #11
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    Just found your thread, Jake! Can't wait to read more!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    2004/2005?
    Put on some tow hook bumper mounts that my brother gave me (he got an arb bullbar) and chrome tow hooks. While I had my bumper off i removed the air dam thing (it was damaged before i bought it, i'm guessing by a blowout) and cut the bottoms off the flares to line up with the bumper.
    Newer pic - didnt have one from then.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    2004/2005?
    I ripped out the old aftermarket driving lights, they didn't work and the wiring was a mess. Got a 10 clearance set of driving lights from my brother and installed them. They just happened to be the exact same lights as the old ones. Got an optima blue top battery. Perfect timing too, when got home with the battery my old one died. Installed a 49" tailgate lightbar behind my rear window on top of the panel.




  14. #14
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    2005/2006
    Borrowed my brothers tires and wheels for a couple years. His xj wasn't running and my tires were horrible and i had death wobble (thought they might help, they didn't). Thanks bro. They were 31"x 10.5"BFG m/t's (the original) and Eagle Alloy 589s 15" x 8".



    Got a new stereo - Panasonic am/fm/cd/mp3/xm ready head unit and (4) Pioneer 5 1/4" door speakers.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: "Stormy": The Lifelong Build

    very nice

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