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89 MJ 'THe Christmas Jeep"

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I've talked about it enough, now here's the project thread for my son's MJ.




Interior will be replaced with a full gauge set and a new dash/full console. Also, the shift will be moved to the floor and a tilt wheel installed.



Red seats that came with it. I have a set of grays that will be recovered.


Needs a new headliner.



Can anyone tell me (1) what there are for (I know they are vaccum canisters), and (2) where they are supposed to be? The PO said he thought they should be mounted behind the front bumper, and said he needed to hook them up for the truck to run correctly. In the corner see the green circle where the other end connects to the manifold.


Finally, I've figured out why the AC won't hold a charge:


Today I replaced the valve cover gasket and cleaned up the wiring at the rear (PO must have had 15 plices back there for various trailer hook-ups). More pics as we go along.

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Without the vacuum canister your HVAC, cruise control, and probably some other things won't work properly. The HVAC will only blow out of one set of vents - can't remember which. You won't be able to switch from the floor to dash to defrost vents.


It goes in the front bumper on the passenger side. You should see a couple of holes in the bottom of the bumper that line up with the mounting holes in the vacuum canister. You should also only have one canister. Looks like you have a spare.



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  • 1 month later...

Haven't updated for awhile, so here goes:


Once the old rubber mat came up the floor was, well, rusty as usual for a twenty year old truck. I didn't get pictures of it at the time, but there numerous porforations. Now, the floor is patched and sealed with a coat of undercoating to top it off. My son has decided he wants to go back with carpet.






After that fun, I went ahead and started to prepare for the new dash and console. I found that the splices using the inline taps by the PO were not just limited to the rear bumper area....I removed 8 more from under the dash. It seems he was getting power from evey hot wire he could find! In any case, once the dash was out I traced out each of the plugs and labeled them...



Then ran down all the problems with the dome and underdash lights....solving the door to frame short and several others in the process, and added the harness for a power antenna from a donor XJ. Also rewrapped the entire harness to solve abrasion and rattle problems. The best part was when the interior lights actually came on:



This book was invaluable - everyone should have one! It really doesn't matter what year (between 86 and 89 are the same as far as I can tell). It has all the 4 trim level harnesses and identified all the plugs.



Also replaced the e-brake cable from the pedal to the underbody plate. The new one was from Autozone; I mention that because it was completely rubber coated and sealed (unlike the old one which was rusted solid).



Next is the donor console, dash and tilt wheel. The interior will be the blue/gray. More to come later.

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I found that the splices using the inline taps by the PO were not just limited to the rear bumper area....I removed 8 more from under the dash. It seems he was getting power from evey hot wire he could find!


LOL! I think my PO and your PO were one in the same! My PO had the dealer added brush bar and bed cap which were both wired for lights and all that came off the day I got it. So I'm not sure what the other 50 electrical taps he had were for!

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If you can scan that book into PDF format, I will pay money for it just as will other folks.


x2 Jerry, I was thinking the same damn thing!


Well, I can't take money for it, as it is copyrighted. But I will see about getting it in electronic format and let ya'll know when I can loan it out :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

More pictures to follow!


Got a good bit accomplished today...did the vacuum brake booster upgrade (from 89 to 96) and replaced the mal-adjusted tilt steering column and finished the floor shift conversion. Also finished the interior wiring harness repair and started the re-install of the dash. Discovered that the replacement dash had the small speakers installed in the knee panel...never saw them before. Installed the interval wiper moduls and headlight delay module, Put the blue 'buzzer' module in today...now the damn thing buzzes when the headlights are on whether the key is in the ignition or not...wierd stuff...


old column

The straight column shift link

Where the link goes thru the firewall to the transmission

The old straight column

New floor shift plate

Replacing the key cylinder in the new column


Still have to solve the adjustment problem on the floor shifter (wants to stay in reverse instead of going into park) and need to find a way to rig the 89 brake light switch on the 96 pedal assembly (when brakes are depressed, the bnrake lights don't come on).

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  • 1 year later...

Have not updated in a great while...pics to follow. Been busy with all sorts of stuff.


The MJ is close to final paint, did the wet sanding on the primer yesterday. As we want a total color change, the engine/transmission will come out next, then the bed will be removed. Hope to have the final color on by 04 july.


Question on bed bolts - I know where they are and what size they are, but most folks that have removed them have had at least one or more snap off in the nut. I saw one member (Goblazers?) had simply welded a new grade 8 bolt to the nut and turned it into a stud...but how have the rest of you guys repaired that problem? Easy outs and heat? Drill and tap?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Pulled the engine and trans, finished the blocking and the wet sand. Will be applying the epoxy sealer and the finish this weekend.







Will remove the cat before painting - I still like his color....

Still need to remive the steering column and various brake lines and charcoal filter line. I want to remove the power steering lines but the tubes are trying to turn with the nut...see my post in the tech section if you have an answer!

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Wet sanded the clear down with 2500 grit today...it is slick as a baby's butt now...will buff it out tomorrow and then post pics.


Found some spray-can "Plastidip" (usually just comes in a dipping can) today as well and plan on using it to refinish the window trim.


Gotta drill out the two bolts that held the load leveling valve from the bed as they snapped off when I removed the bed...more fun.

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