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  1. #16
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Right around that time I found a deal on a nice set of new tires that happened to be mounted on XJ wheels. Seeing as I needed new tires anyway, and I really didn't care for the snowflake wheels to begin with, I took this opportunity to jump up a bit in tire size too.

    New 30x9.5x15's on black steel wheels:



    Also bought some Brown Dog engine mounts and got them mounted in place.




    I honestly hated putting all of the pieces back into the engine bay after I had just got done cleaning and painting it. I really wish I had time to go through a wire tuck in there to make it a little nicer....but I had to keep reminding myself that this isn't a show truck.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Next up on the list was dealing with the electrical system. Thanks to all of the good advice I had read here on XJtalk, I figured that I would upgrade the main wiring sytem as I reassembled everything.

    First thing was to upgrade to the 136A alternator. My plan was to jump up to the 160A from the 5.9L Durango but the only one I could find through my local parts store was in W. VA. and it would have cost me 250 to get it to me. That was a bit excessive for me at that point so I settled for the 136A.

    Picture of the minor bracket grinding that is necessary.



    I also figured I would upgrade the wiring to and from the battery, alternator and PDU while I was at it. I have a local mom and pop auto store here in town and it turns out they make really nice custom length wires for a very reasonable price.

    Picture of one of my new 2ga wires next to the stock ground.



    And the rest of them. All in 2ga.


  3. #18
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    There were a couple other tings I did while I was in there with the engine out but I didn't take pictures of them. First thing is I replaced all of the hard brake lines from the MC all the way to each wheel. Super easy when you can stand in the engine bay to do the front passenger side one. I'd hate to try that one with the engine in place. Also got new tubing for the front dif breather and transfer case/trans breathers. Put a new trans mount on the trans cross member before putting that back into place as well.

    Soooooo, now it was finally time to put the engine back in place!!! You can see here that I also decided to paint the fuel rail for good measure while I had it out.



    Most everything after this was fairly uneventful and mostly just hooking everything back up. Hence no pictures.

    A couple of modifications I did while on the way were fun to research and decide on.

    First one was the big dilemma on which injectors to run. Well after reading a ton of information I new I wanted the 4 holes and decided on the Bosch 0-280-156-007 so I order them up and installed them. They are neon green though so they look a little funny next to my red fuel rail.

    Next up was to dump the coil rail in favor of the stand alone coil with wires. I did a fair amount of research and decided on PN 56032520AC from the 05-07 Chrysler minivan (amongst other vehicles). I started the install by making a small bracket that wraps around the coolant overflow tank. I mounted the coil to the bracket and then measured to see how much length I would need to add to the harness. IIRC it was close to 12" of wire needed. So I spliced in the wires and made the extension. Next was to order the new set of Taylor 8mm spark plug wires, in red of course, to match the fuel rail.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    You will enjoy that wiring upgrade. I cannot believe how chinsy the factory is with their copper
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 4.3LXJ View Post
    You will enjoy that wiring upgrade. I cannot believe how chinsy the factory is with their copper
    Agreed. It is obvious that the power I get on a daily basis is very clean. Nothing dims the lights. No sluggish fan. Love it. Well worth the upgrade.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Due to the switch from the 2000 exhaust manifold with the dual drops to the 97 manifold with the single drop, I needed to fab up some kind of exhaust pipe that would allow for the O2 sensor to be hooked up. I had little pieces of the original 97 exhaust laying around along with some of the pieces from the original 2000 pipe and welded up one really ugly, but functional down pipe.


  7. #22
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    A few more items needed wrapping up but I was getting a lot closer by the week.

    First item was to redo the entire rear brakes. This was before I knew of the disk brake conversion so I just redid all of the drum brake parts. The only thing I didn't do while in the rear was to replace the wheel cylinders. I realized later that this was a mistake. The brake bleeders on these original wheel cylinders would not open when I went to bleed the brake system. That was a bummer. Not a huge issue because the disk brake conversion is on the short list of upcoming upgrades.

    Next up was to install the new B&M trans cooler. I like to run coolers on my trans for cheap insurance. The original trans still shifts awesome and I don't want that to change any time soon. So, no big deal but simple install with no issues.

    Last thing was to replace all of the u-joints in the drive shafts. Turns out my front drive shaft is pretty worn out. There is a bit of slop in the slip joint. So far it is functional but I can hear it knocking around every once in a while so it will be on the short list as well.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    So all this brings me up to the end of May 2014. The last major thing I wanted to do while I was rebuilding was to rewire the headlights. A friend of mine clued me into this upgrade. I used the original passenger head light power wires as switch wires to relays. I mounted the relays, one for high beam, one for low beam, on the same bracket that my new coil is mounted to. I then ran 12ga wire from the PDC to the relays and from the relays to the headlamps. Also made new head light socket connectors too so that it is now 12ga wire the entire length. I'm sure these aren't as bright as the LED's and what not that are out on the market but I sure am pleased with how bright they are. I notice other XJ's on the road and they seem to have yellow headlights. I look at mine and these seem very much white. Overall, I'm happy with them for now.

    So with all that said and done, it was all put back together. Nothing left to do but give it a crank. So I called the wife and kids out to the barn for the big show. These are the times when you really hope you caught everything. After staring at the engine, crawling under the car and going through every step in my mind 100 times, I figured what the heck.....

    Happy to report it fired right up on the first crank with no hesitation at all. I revved it up to bring up the oil pressure as fast as possible and it when straight to 70psi. My kids kind of looked at me funny at this point. They had that look like, "You called us out to the barn to watch you start a car!?" So, with no real fan fair, they went back to the house and I pulled it outside to let it warm up completely.

    The first day completely road worthy, May 31st 2014.



    A couple of days later "flexing" on a dirt pile in the back yard.


  9. #24
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    At this point I began slowly introducing the XJ into DD duty. I wanted to do a proper break-in period for the engine so I spent some evenings driving around at different speeds and RPM's just to get some miles on it. Changed the oil at 100 miles and then again at 500 miles. Everything has gone really smooth with the engine so far. Runs like a top!

    So here I was with a 2000 XJ with 140K miles on it and a brand new engine. Now it was time to dive into the rest of the Jeep. Obviously there are a ton of wear items that tend to go bad after 140K miles. First thing was to replace the sway bar bushings. The original ones were worn to about 2X the diameter of the sway bar, and hence a bunch of clunking in the front end. New poly bushings tightened things up considerably. But, like anything, as you fix one thing, the next weakest link shows up, this time literally. I was exiting the hwy on the way to work one day and hear a loud POP from the front end. Nothing felt funny so I just assumed I hit something in the road. Well on the way home the front end clunking came back. Turns out the passenger sway bar link snapped clean off the sway bar. Well, seeing as I had been eyeballing the JKS web site anyway, I decided that the only proper way to replace broken sway bar links was with JKS Quicker disconnects. So I ordered them up and installed them once they arrived. That took care of that little issue.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    I've been slowly working my way through the front end piece by piece. I'm still not done but it's February in Michigan and my barn time has reduced proportional to the temperature.

    I needed to tighten up the steering a bit because there was about 10 degrees of free play in the steering wheel with nothing happening at the tire. Turns out that most of the issue was that somebody thought it better to loosen the set screw on the top of the steering box. Once I got that put back where it was supposed to be, everything was much nicer. Now that there was more correlation between the steering wheel movement and the tires, it was easy to see that I needed a new inner tie rod end. Picked one up and installed that one evening after work. Much better road manners at this point.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Next up on the list was to do something about the worn out shocks. Now, I knew there would be some sort of a lift coming in the near future but I just couldn't deal with it any longer. I found some new in box rear shocks on CL for 40 and then stopped at the local parts store and picked up new fronts. I managed to break off all 4 of the rear upper shock bolts as soon as I showed them the wrench. This gave me the opportunity to get the hole saw out and make nice access panels in my floor so that I could drill and tap the nuts to a slightly larger size. The fronts went on with no such shenanigans.

    Even for the cheapest factory replacements, the ride improved a ton! Well worth the time, and now my rear shocks will be easy to replace once I get the lift.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Back to the front end work. The passenger side unit bearing was howling something fierce so it was time to replace that for sure. Go the bearing and a U-joint for the passenger axle shaft at the same time. Figured if I'm going to be touching this thing, might as well only do it once. (Right, like I really believe this will be my last time in here!) Anyhow, new unit bearing and u-joint installed with no issues. Found out while I was in there that someone had recently done the front brakes and replaced the calipers with brand new ones! Score for me!

    Now that the passenger unit bearing was quiet again, it became very obvious that the drivers side one was also on it's way out. So, back to the parts store for another unit bearing and u-joint for the drivers side. Installed the drivers side without incident and then back on the road. Nice and quiet up there now!

    I really think that this was one of those cars that was neglected it's entire life. Everything is original on this thing but many of these little jobs had long since needed to be done. I'm assuming it was just one of those things where they drove it until it was completely dead then offed it. No big deal to me though as I now have a personal record of everything that has been replaced and exactly when.

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    After seeing DD duty for about 2 months, the remaining pieces of the steering systems began to show their age. Seeing as I was still at stock height, and never plan on going higher than 3" anyway, I made a trip to the parts store to upgrade. Ordered up the remaining pieces of the drag link and took the opportunity to upgrade to the V8 ZJ tie rod setup. That is one amazing difference in size/strength/weight between the stock XJ hollow piece and the solid link of the ZJ. I was amazed and pleasantly surprised. So with the previous TRE and all the new pieces, the steering system is completely new.

    I believe I'm still looking at the original track bar though so I'll add that to the list of future upgrades. I'll probably upgrade to double shear when I get around to it just because I can and prefer that setup over the stock ball joint.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Sounds like real progress. Any well used vehicle has issues like this that have to be straightened out
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Innojazz XJ Build Thread

    Moving right along...

    This brings us up to the Halloween time frame and a local event called Jeep Creep. Loaded up the family to make the day trip and enjoy our first offroad experience in the XJ. Took a few hour trip down some ORV trails. Nothing too extravagant but tons of fun. We all had a blast and the XJ worked awesome!

    Family after the trail ride:


    Trail:


    Other nice looking XJ's:


    And the JCR Offroad XJ! Love this thing:

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