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  1. #1
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    Default CJ's Blue 97 build

    Whats up everyone?

    So last Friday I picked up a new project/daily. This ride will be used to commute to and from work and become a weekend exploring rig when time allows.



    On to the details...

    97 2.5L Ax5, Np 231 and the good ol' 8.25 (4.10's) in the rear.

    the chassis has 213,xxxk currently and the motor was changed about two years ago from what the last owner told me, reasons unknown to me. She was originally asking 3k I ended up getting it for 1,800 after pointing out every blemish and fault with it...

    Now that I have it home it will be getting prepared for my daily travels etc., first things first. I removed the seats and set them in the garage and cleaned the carpets as best as I could to remove the funky smoker smell and whatever funk was in this thing (so far so good).

    in the mail currently:

    New Clutch Kit (clutch, pilot bearing, pressure plate, throw-out bearing)
    Flywheel and new flywheel bolts
    Rear main seal
    IAC Valve (I think the current one is acting up)
    1.5-2" budget boost for the time being.
    5) 15"x8" 4.75 B.S. D windows
    thinking 30's maybe 31's General grabbers, Coopers, or BFG's not sure yet..
    Motor mounts, trans mount

    I still need to pick up some random stuff here and there from the JY:

    ZJ tie rod
    passenger tail light
    plastic sill piece over license plate
    rear window wiper arm

    Now I'm more familiar with the 4.0 honestly but I figured Jeep built this thing and this 2.5L has been used in wranglers for years so I can't imagine its a total poor motor. And the 4.10's will help with anything I'm personally going to do with it here in Florida (Mostly exploring trails and such in FL and the occasional trip to NC). Is there any thing you guys can recommend with these motors?

    I do have one fluid leak that I know about but its been kind-of hard to diagnose without physically driving it. I think it could be power steering/maybe something to do with the brakes. It looks almost like it is coming from the "T" located just below and to the left of the Brake master, I'm not personally sure if this is our proportioning valve or not.

    Prior owner has replaced these parts fairly recently:

    Starter, Radiator, water pump & hoses, thermostat, Fan clutch.

    Should be ginning more photos as the build begins to progress, not too much but bolt-on's honestly, but I plan on keeping it a simple exploring rig/daily.

    Until next time,

    Chris.
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  2. #2
    Pinkyman's Avatar
    Pinkyman is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Welcome! Looks like a good platform to start off with

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Thanks, I'm hoping so. it seems really well kept aside from the coffee and cigarette smell that was looming inside the day I drove it home. My 96 had some rust from being up north for awhile, this one looks mint underneath. it does have the typical slight paint bubbling on the rear corners on the roof but I'm about to take care of that before it becomes a bigger problem.
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  4. #4
    Pinkyman's Avatar
    Pinkyman is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Thats understandable. I had the infamous smoker smell in mine too, and the windows didnt go down....... I fixed the windows and shampooed the carpet, and used about 2 dozen air fresheners and xxx cans of Febreeze. A few months later it was finally gone.

    Mine is a midwest Xj also, and the rust on the underside is embarrassing lol.

    Ill be looking forward to updates as this build gets going!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Nice looking ride and for a great price.
    If the previous owner was a smoker. Go or call your local
    Equipment rental store and see if they have an ozone machine.
    In a day no more smells.
    Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    NE Florida
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Blazer2 : thanks for the tip, I will look into that. currently the new spare tire is releasing its fresh rubber smell in the back so the smell is quite tolerable now especially after the long cleaning process that commenced earlier this week.

    Update : 5-17-2016

    I have finished installing the 2" budget boost and all went well. I think I will be upgrading the shocks to some bilstine's with my next bonus check from work and I'll start looking into some storage solutions for the rear. however I think I'll need a rear tire carrier before I get into that so I can get the 30" spare from the trunk.

    So I installed the Flywheel, Clutch kit and got everything finished up while going through a sickness I called the plague, I still have a nasty cough after the meds from the doctor but all is well in the world of Chris.



    Unfortunately I found that Amazon's seller had sent me the incorrect clutch disc at the sacrifice of the new pressure plate.. As I was tightening everything down the pressure plate fingers didn't look right they were beginning to compress and I had second thoughts about it and sure enough, I pulled it back apart and found the inside edge of the clutch disc that holds the springs in had come in contact with the pressure plate surface and left some less than appreciated indentions on the surface. needless to say after a call to Amazon they refunded the entire purchase and I was able to find a clutch kit locally .

    The next morning I installed the new power steering line that had ruptured, refilled the reservoir and with the front end still in the air did some rotations of the steering wheel back and fourth from full lock.

    Yesterday I received a call from the tire store that my rims and tires were ready, so on my way home I used the wifes truck to haul the payload home . All went on great and even had some time to fix the collapsed trans mount and a quick test drive before the long drive today to work and back.



    Just a heads up I drive roughly 120+ miles per day for my daily commute so keep in mind this is the reason I didn't go 33" tires and 4.5" lift on this Cherokee. so far so good, today will bring fresh oil and I believe I will be changing the motor mounts today.


    Lift: 2" Terra Flex
    Tires: 30"x9.50"x15" 4.75" Back spacing (No control arm rubbing at full lock)

    Thanks,

    Chris
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Came out really well!

    Sent via messenger pigeon. I talk, he types.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Thanks, it's coming along. I have a lot of thing I still want to do. The rear hatch struts were shot so I replaced those today. Filler her up and took it for a cruise.
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Finally replaced mine a while back after ten years of banging my head on it...



    Sent via messenger pigeon. I talk, he types.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    yeah my buddy has been doing the same thing on his Toyota forever..
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    It is coming along nicely Chris...
    FORMER GREEN XJ CLUB MEMBER
    IF YOU DON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!!
    DOING SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE YOUR BUDDY DOES IT THAT WAY MAKES AS MUCH SENSE AS SHARING TOOTHBRUSHES

  12. #12
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Thanks Bluedragon436

    Update 5/25

    This past weekend me and a couple friends went for some trail riding through the national forest in our area. place is really neat, tons of trails and some crazy assortment of trails. being in Florida we don't have much in the way of large rocks like out in the mid west but we do have some sand and small elevation changes here and there. couple of sink hole areas that can be fun to play with.

    Overall the xj performed great, I didn't have any complaints for the most part (A/C is dead haha). I'm thinking on doing a full 3" lift on this with the new leaf packs and some bump stops. and looking into some bumpers for recovery and protection (maybe some limb raisers) most of the area is thick with underbrush and hanging limbs and they are very tight trails.

    Picture from a clay pit the park rangers mistakenly left open, there are no keep out signs but usually the 4" steel pipe that blocks the path is locked, this day it wasn't so we got to play.


    so yesterday driving home on I-4 I noticed that I was starting to get a vibration and the xj was pulling to the left. I pulled over to the shoulder and investigated what I had already somewhat assumed was going on and sure enough the driver side brake caliper was stuck (thankfully I caught it early and it didn't get too hot). I backed it into the shade by an on ramp and tore it apart to investigate.


    It appears that the caliper piston boot is torn so I will be replacing the calipers on this xj too. cheap fix for the most part. I ended up having some left over lube from my last encounter with this issue on my last xj still in my tool box so I compressed the piston with a 6" c-clamp worked it a little and lubed up the slides (they were pretty dry) either way it made it home and I drove it in today with no problems. I need to make a run to the u-pull it this weekend if possible and snag some stuff. my buddies want to do another trip out exploring the north area of Ocala, we will see what happens though. I'd rather get everything squared away.



    Question for the gurus: What OBD2 tool are you using to stream data to your phone? I have seen this several times but I'm looking into one of these setups any advice? I have an Iphone so I would need something applicable for that. My cluster has only the dummy lights and it really bothers me cause I can't even see what my RPM's are at or temps while on the trail. I imagine these sensors might not display digital data possibly just open and closed switches?

    Thanks Guys !
    97 SE converted to Sport
    4.10 gears 3" on 30's
    Bumpers/tire carrier
    Tie rod, track bar & D.L.
    Stove
    OBA
    Dual battery

  13. #13
    abebehrmann's Avatar
    abebehrmann is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Quote Originally Posted by Cjsmithfl View Post
    Thanks Bluedragon436

    Update 5/25

    This past weekend me and a couple friends went for some trail riding through the national forest in our area. place is really neat, tons of trails and some crazy assortment of trails. being in Florida we don't have much in the way of large rocks like out in the mid west but we do have some sand and small elevation changes here and there. couple of sink hole areas that can be fun to play with.

    Overall the xj performed great, I didn't have any complaints for the most part (A/C is dead haha). I'm thinking on doing a full 3" lift on this with the new leaf packs and some bump stops. and looking into some bumpers for recovery and protection (maybe some limb raisers) most of the area is thick with underbrush and hanging limbs and they are very tight trails.

    Picture from a clay pit the park rangers mistakenly left open, there are no keep out signs but usually the 4" steel pipe that blocks the path is locked, this day it wasn't so we got to play.


    so yesterday driving home on I-4 I noticed that I was starting to get a vibration and the xj was pulling to the left. I pulled over to the shoulder and investigated what I had already somewhat assumed was going on and sure enough the driver side brake caliper was stuck (thankfully I caught it early and it didn't get too hot). I backed it into the shade by an on ramp and tore it apart to investigate.


    It appears that the caliper piston boot is torn so I will be replacing the calipers on this xj too. cheap fix for the most part. I ended up having some left over lube from my last encounter with this issue on my last xj still in my tool box so I compressed the piston with a 6" c-clamp worked it a little and lubed up the slides (they were pretty dry) either way it made it home and I drove it in today with no problems. I need to make a run to the u-pull it this weekend if possible and snag some stuff. my buddies want to do another trip out exploring the north area of Ocala, we will see what happens though. I'd rather get everything squared away.



    Question for the gurus: What OBD2 tool are you using to stream data to your phone? I have seen this several times but I'm looking into one of these setups any advice? I have an Iphone so I would need something applicable for that. My cluster has only the dummy lights and it really bothers me cause I can't even see what my RPM's are at or temps while on the trail. I imagine these sensors might not display digital data possibly just open and closed switches?

    Thanks Guys !
    I have this one.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QRE0OOA/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1944687522&pf_rd_s= lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00871CJFI&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX 0DER&pf_rd_r=1CXW70W95B2C4NR2R17Z"]Amazon.com: ELM327 WIFI Wireless ELM327 OBD2 OBDII Auto Diagnostic Scanner Tool Adapter for Smartphone / PC / iOS / iPhone/ iPad/ iTouch /Mac: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WrTHFAlDL.@@AMEPARAM@@41WrTHFAlDL[/ame]

    I'm not sure if this is the case now, but at least when I purchased mine they didn't offer any bluetooth ones that work with iphones. The wifi one works just fine, but it's kinda annoying to have to turn off the wifi if you want to use your phone's data. Mine had the idiot light gauges too, and it works just fine with those, all the late model sensors are the same no matter the gauge cluster you have. I ended up replacing my gauges with a full gauge cluster I picked up from the junkyard because I was tired of dealing with connecting to the app every time I wanted to see my temp/oil pressure.

    PS- I'm jealous you get to explore Ocala Nat Forest. That's probably my favorite place in Florida.

  14. #14
    abebehrmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    I forgot to mention that I use the OBD Fusion app with the Elm327. It's pretty cool what it can do, it will log all of the data your OBDII system gives you and can overlay it on a map with other data like elevation that I think it gets from your phone. I tried a few of the free apps that work with it but the few I tried were crap, so I sucked it up and paid the 10 for the app. Pretty sure it's still the only app I've paid for.

  15. #15
    Pinkyman's Avatar
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    Default Re: CJ's Blue 97 build

    Thats a nice looking Xj! Were you disco'd in that picture with you flexing?

    As far as live data, I use this one. It came with my Xj, but combined with the Torque App it seems to work really well.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products-34t5-Bluetooth-Android/dp/B005NLQAHS"]Amazon.com: BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android Devices: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qPjS0dkUL.@@AMEPARAM@@41qPjS0dkUL[/ame]

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