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Beginner Advice?


 
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Beginner Advice? Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and the four wheel drive world. I'm purchasing my first 4X4 tomorrow (December 7, My birthday). The vehicle is a 1988 Cherokee XJ 5 spd 4.0. It has a 4" lift already installed and has 170,000 miles. I am extremely interested in making this vehicle into a capable, off road machine. However, since I'm currently a full time student in high school I am on a budge. If anyone can give me tips or advice for making this Jeep into a capable 4X4 I would really appreciate it. I am a certified welder and have access to metal and machinery.

The first things on my to-do list are to install skid plates and a winch.

What else should I do?

Thanks.

Tim Hallam

P.S. I'm looking for "ok" gas mileage too.
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Billy's89XJ
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Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Location: I'm the Charlie Browniest

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tim and Welcome to the board!!

My first rule of thumb Change ALL FLUIDS! Oil, Trans, Transfer case, Axles, etc.

Then check all u-joints and bushing etc. God knows you don't want something so easy to fix to ruin your day on the trail

The MOST important!! Before you buy it find out ALL MODS DONE to it!! Also get brand names, helps incase you need to replace certain things and helps us know what kind of lift, mods, ets you have on the rig. This being said post what you have so we can see what kind of beasty you bought!! Wink

Skids are a great idea to have!!
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ThePhantum
Pissed-Off Admin
Pissed-Off Admin


Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Location: I knew it...I'm surrounded by Assholes!

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cherokee is already a capable offroad vehicle in it's stock form. Since you are new to the sport and the Jeep already has 4" of lift, I would change all the fluids as Billy said. Then take it and wheel it like you stole it. Learn exactly what it can and cannot do. Then plan your mods accordingly.

Have fun...and welcome. Wink
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very difficult to respond to such a general question about how to improve an XJ because there are literally hundreds of different upgrades you can do to your XJ to make it a "capable offroad performer." The answer is also dependant on one's definition of "capable offroad performer." For some it means strictly "how much crazy crap can I drive over." For others, like myself, it's "how much crazy crap can I drive over without bashing my rig into a ball of tinfoil." And for others, it is "can I drive through some mud and a couple of berms to go hunting." But, you asked for our opinions, so hear is mine...

Slow speed (like rock-crawling, extreme dirt trails, etc.) fourwheeling performance can be simplified into three things... LLT. Lift, Lockers, Tires. (if you want to go fast, talk to the JeepSpeed guys). All the other modifications you do to your rig are to prevent you from breaking or bashing things. But it's the LLTs that make your rig more capable from a performance standard.

So, since you already have a lift, and you know how to fabricate, start by (1) protecting your rig with offroad bumpers, some rocksliders, and undercarriage protection (I'm assuming your lift includes a SYE). In the meantime, save up $1500 to $2000 and make your next addition (2) some lockers (+new gears) and a larger set of tires. It could cost you a little less or a lot more depending on the style of lockers and tires you choose. Then, (3) everything else you after that will be to try and prevent those larger tires and the rocks they crawl over from destroying your rig.

A final benifit to doing the body protecting first, before all the offroad perfomance mods and drivetrain upgrades, is that you will learn to be a better wheeler if you are forced to wheel with open differentials and smaller tires. If you learn to wheel that way, it will only be that much easier once you add these traction and clearance aids.
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

find out if it has a dana 44 rear axle .

gas millage with a lifted vehicle ........ not much you can do except buy a rice burner for a daily driver .
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice everyone, I appreciate it.

I'll let you guys know more about the Jeep as soon as I do. I'm looking forward to the winter now!


Tim Hallam - Weed California
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Tardis
Member


Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Beginner Advice? Reply with quote

Tim Hallam wrote:
The vehicle is a 1988 Cherokee XJ 5 spd 4.0. It has a 4" lift already installed and has 170,000 miles. I am extremely interested in making this vehicle into a capable, off road machine....


What else should I do?


If you want a strong off-road machine, you need to 86 the Peugeot BA 10/5 trans, and replace it with an AX-15 if it hasn't been done already.
Those Peugeot trannys are weak, and blow up just from street use.
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well,

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the '88 XJ on my birthday due to lack of $$$ which I had expected to have.

Tell me more about this Peugeot transmission though.

This is the first time I've heard anything about Jeeps having weak manual transmissions. I met a guy today with a 2001 XJ. We talked for a while and I told him about the '88 Cherokee that I have my eye on and he advised me not to get it simply because of that transmission. "French shit" he called it. He suggested getting an automatic Jeep because those transmissions are a lot tougher and can handle "way more abuse than the manuals" he said.

What year XJ's have good manual transmissions?

Is it better to have an auto trans rather than manual because of clutch burn up during off-roading?

Thanks for all the comments on my posting, I appreciate it a lot and it's been very helpful. Thank you, everyone!

Tim Hallam - Weed California
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Tardis
Member


Joined: 07 Aug 2004
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peugeot BA 10/5: 1987-1989, YJ/XJ/MJ
See Picture
The Peugeot BA 10/5 is a split case design. The case is assembled around the bearings and hard parts. The cases get torqued, and expands/contracts at the mating surfaces. The hard parts shift around inside the weak case and wear out. Then synchros, bearings,and gears start grinding. Finally the 5th/Reverse idler shaft falls apart and you lose 5th/rev. My friend is on his 3rd trans in his 88 XJ. They all blew up the same way, in that order. An AX-5 would hold up better behind a 4.0L then these trannys do!

AX-15: 1989-1999 YJ/TJ/MJ/XJ/(early)ZJ
See Picture
Aisin AX-15's are much better. They are similar to Toyota R154 manual transmissions. The are a Split Case/Intermediate plate design. Everything's built around the plate. The front and rear halves of the case are bolted to the plate. It's a much stronger design, the hard parts don't flex, and the bearings are pressed into a solid case/plate. Problems I've seen with these are binding shift forks/rails, bad synchros, and reverse idler gear/shaft failure. Thats after 100,000-150,000 miles of abuse though.

AW4: 1987-2001 XJ's (early ZJ's)
See Picture
Aisin/Warner AW4's are great. There are tons of them out there, cheap too. The AW4 is a Computer Controlled 4spd OD. Shifting is controlled by the TCM and 3 solenoids. The TCM receives input/output from various sensors and switches, and controls 3 solenoids, and the torque converter lock-up. The AW4 is the same trans as Toyota A340, and Isuzu 30-40LE transmissions. Very tough transmissions, will last 200,000 miles easy. They're also used behind the 400Hp V6 Supra Turbos.

In my opinion, the AW4 is the best choice for Driving and Wheeling. They're really tough, cheap, and easy to repair and/or replace.
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c130herc
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DavidXJ wrote:
you will learn to be a better wheeler if you are forced to wheel with open differentials and smaller tires. If you learn to wheel that way, it will only be that much easier once you add these traction and clearance aids.


X2, this is one of the best ways to learn. It will also help you later on when you’re spotting for a jeep with open diffs as you already know what it takes to make it over obstacles.
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88 XJ - 35" tires, T&T LA, D44/F9 Other mods
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, my seemingly endless journey to find the perfect Jeep continues...

The '88 XJ mentioned in the beginning of this post has been sold to someone else.

There are three Jeeps I'm currently looking at.

#1
1990 XJ 4 door 5 speed 4.0 for $300. It needs a clutch and battery. I don't know how many miles. (I'm checking it out this weekend.)

#2
1995 U.S. Forest retired 5 speed 4.0HO XJ with 108K on it for $2000. The vehicle was stolen and found in mud up to the body but has no apparent damage other than the missing dome light.

#3
1990 Automatic 4.0 XJ, 4 1/2" Pro Comp lift 32X10.5 new tires 160,000 miles for $1,600 OBO. This Jeep I found on www.craigslist.org and the seller "needs the money to fix his Cadillac." Well, it just so happens that my money source for a Jeep will be coming from my '89 Coupe Deville when I sell it. So, I emailed him incase he is interested in trading. He hasn't replied yet.

Anyway, I'm just posting to keep up to date.

I'm really really wanting a Jeep! I did some four wheeling in a '91 4Runner and that didn't help my Jeep craving any!

http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/640/crw3910nt4.jpg

I live in such a beautiful place full of endless 4X4 Forest Service roads and trails. There's on particular trail that begins in Mt. Shasta CA and heads West throught the Eddie mountains all the way to the California coast and the 101. I would love to drive that. I don't know the name of the road but the firt main obstacle is named "Shit Hill."

Again, thank you for all of the great information on those transmission you have provided me. I can't thank you enough!

Tim Hallam

P.S. I hope it's not a crime to post a Toyota in here... ?? I won't do it again.
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