New Member introduction.

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Hello everyone,
After visiting and lurking for a while on this site I finally decided to join this forum. I have been 4wheeling and owned many different rigs for years. I have wanted to build a "overlander" for years. Something different than my truck and camper. The truck/camper works great for what it is, but not for all the places I want to go.

I started thinking I would build my 97' Landcruiser, then found what I hope to be a better SUV for me. A 95' Jeep Cherokee XJ. The guy I bought it from did a lot of the hard work and did a professional job. He took a stock rust free Cherokee from Texas and starting building a nice SUV. The Cherokee Sport did come stock with 4.0L motor and AX15, 5 speed, 231 t-case, and d30 front, d35 rear axles with 3.07 gears. Now the work he did! He completely rebuilt an 85' 617 Mercedes, 5 cylinder, turbo diesel, and mated that to the stock AX15, 5speed transmission. Set up the injection nozzles to run vegetable oil or diesel. Winch bumper on the front, with winch. And nice bumper in the rear. Also, ran the exhaust up and to the roof, along with the air intake to the windshield of the SUV. Lots more work too, but that is the bones of the Cherokee.

It runs a drives okay, but I wanted more. So now I am starting "my build". I am having a shop in Wenatchee, WA. Rockridge 4x4 doing lots of work.:
I found a 96' Ford Explorer 8.8 rear axle with disk brakes. The shop is rebuilding the axle to fit under the Cherokee with New 3.73 gears, OX air locker, Yukon axles shafts, going in.
New 3.73 gears, Ox air locker, Yukon axle shafts, in the front d30.
I have a new ARB twin air compressor that I have been saving for a build that will go in the Cherokee, to power lockers and fill tires, and air up after wheeling as needed.
The Cherokee came with a winch, but I have a brand new Warn Zeon 10s winch, again that I have been saving for a build.
Next up is new 235/75/15s, on steel wheels.

I have some parts, like CB radio, lights, fridge, need to build a sleeping platform and more that I have saved up too. Does it ever really stop?

So, that is the start of my build on my Cherokee. More to come for sure. Hope to get many more Ideas from the members here. Thank you for the information I have read as a non- member too. Vance.
 
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R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Thank's for the welcome. My 97' Landcruiser will going up for sell to fund the improvements on the Cherokee. Will add some pictures soon of the Cherokee as it sits now, before I start working and changing things. The plan is to have the Cherokee ready next spring for a trip through the USA. From Texas to Montana. I want to try and do the trail that the adventure motorcyclist do. Starting South for the weather in the spring, giving the snow a chance to melt in the North parts of the planed route. Hope to time it for Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT. I will take short trips before the bigger trip, to make sure I have a system down and the Cherokee sorted out! After the trip South to North in the USA, I want to go South to the Panama Canal.
 

Jerry

Adventurer
Welcome, RED. Hope all of your modification ideas work out. I haven't been keeping track of the new 4x4 options available today, but I had an OX locker in my Jeep Wrangler and it was a manual, wire controlled unit. Our old Cherokee as well as our Bronco II had ARB air lockers. The Cherokee used an A/C compressor with a manifold and pressure reducer that split duty between airing up tires and feeding the ARB lockers. The Bronco II had two separate compressors, one was the ARB brand for the front locker and the other was a ViAir electric model for airing up. All of our rigs had Detroit Lockers in the rear axle and the ARB's or OX in the front, as mentioned above.

Anyway, your build sounds like fun and should be practical for most of the 4x4 trails around here.
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Jerry,
Thank you for your thoughts. With the Ox lockers, I will be using air, from my ARB compressor, to power both of the lockers and filling tires as needed. I also wrote down the wrong gear ratio, I will be using 3.73s. My set up is over kill, but hope to insure no axle troubles in my journeys!
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Glad you asked. That is my exhaust pipe! Works good to keep the exhaust from starting a fire here in the wheat fields and dry terrain. The PO. had this exhaust setup like this and I just have left it. Like you, I get asked the same question almost every time I drive it. Normally it is run on vegetable oils, but now for the fall and winter, I will be running pump diesel.
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Did some planning for my electrical system for on board electrical assories like my ARB twin air compressor, lights and the like. Rough Country, makes a cheaper copy of the s-pod setup. Has all the wiring, fuses and relays, plus I can set it to turn off things if I run my batteries down, set it to a certain % of my choice. Be nice for my fridge and lights when camping. Getting my solar system planed out too. My Cherokee will be in the shop soon for some work, one part of that is the air lockers. More to come soon.
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Well the madness continues! Finalized the build of my 95' Cherokee today with the shop doing the work. Going with 4.10 gears, as I want to run 31" tires. They were even starting the building of the Ford 8.8 rear axle. Also, picked up a nice set of Black leather seats in good shape, for $100. out of a 99' Grand Cherokee. Four Wheeler mag. had a article on this, stating the the seats will bolt up easily to the existing seat rails. You have to use, 99'-01' seats. Hope I can get the electrical wiring to work for the seats?give it a try!
 
Love the XJ's. My son has a 2001 that he adores and that has brought us closer together through discussions and shared projects. We'll likely sell it when he leaves for college in a couple of years and I can't tell you how much I dread thinking about it all.

I'm too new here to say "Welcome to the forum" like a long-timer, but welcome to the forum anyway. Oh, and here's our XJ:

IMG_5312.JPG
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Thanks for the welcome. Looks like a nice Cherokee! I have had many Jeeps, but bought my Cherokee due to my plans of building a reliable SUV. The diesel motor was a big part in my decision, and the fact that there are so many parts available in our country. Also the desire to be able to sleep in it and still 4wheel into places I cannot with my truck and camper.
 

R.E.D.

RetiredExtremelyDangerous
Well did get the front seats in. I did have to reuse my seat brackets and rails, from my 95' Cherokee seats. And I wrote the wrong information about what seats fit. It should of been 99'- 01' Grand Cherokee seats! Had to loose all the other electrical seat functions, but will try to set up something to set my seat backs back just a bit. I did leave on the electric motors for that function. Thinking of just using a jumper wire and set the seatbacks once to my liking and call it done for now. I will say this about the Grand Cherokee seats, much more comfortable!
 
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