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My 1988 MJ RestoMod/Tribute (New pics 01.09.12 on p4)

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See page 4 for updated pictures of the truck after the respray to Chili Pepper Red!


First off, this website is a great new resource. I have been on JU since 2000, and it was great when I had my XJs, but there is not a ton of MJ support, plus as the MJ/XJ gets further from production, interest and support seems to wane.


Anyway, I have just bought/inherited a 1988 MJ LB 4x4 that has been in my family since it was new. 93K, no A/C, paint that is failing (or gone), sloppy steering...but a great truck.


It belonged to my grandfather, who bought it new in 1987/88, then to my father. My grandfather passed away a couple of weeks ago and my father bought the truck that my grandfather had at the time of his death, so I bought (for dirt cheap) the MJ to keep it in the family. I hope to do a basic update/restoration to keep it running for as long as possible. It is my 7th Jeep. I had a few XJs (86, 95, 98, 95) and another MJ (another 88), as well as an 04 WJ Overland (LEMON!!!).


Pictures, after getting it in the driveway last week:



So what makes it a project?


The paint is gone on the hood and roof, and I need to get something new on there as soon as the spring rolls around and it is warm enough to respray the truck. At this point, I thik I will shoot it with the stock color again, because it is pretty unique, and it looks pretty good in the areas where it is still on the truck. I will not be re-applying the Pioneer stripes.


I tweaked the rear bumper when my father still owned it (I was using it to pull root balls from the front of my house).



I do not have a welder, not access to the skills needed to fabricate a rear bumper. As this will not see trail duty any time soon, a stock replacement will most likely work. I was looking online and found the following option:


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007VNZMM?smi ... nkCode=asn

(It is chrome in the picture, but the description lists it as black.)


So if I understand correctly, this is really a Dodge Dakota replica bumper, which from searches on JU, should bolt up. However, does it bolt to the stock MJ mounts, if I still have them (I do), or do I need the MJ adapters listed in the ad, even if I have the stock mounts in place?


I also had (maybe still have) some leaking at the top of the driver's side door. The truck has never been wrecked, and all of the lines are still aligned, but the top of the window frame has a gap between the window frame and the still spongy/rubbery stock door weatherstripping. I added some additional weatherstripping to the door itself, and it seems to have worked. Now I just need to pull the interior out and make sure that the floor is still good.


Otherwise, the interior is pretty good, with no cracking or tears anywhere, and only minor staining in the carpet. I can fix that (and replace the underlayment) when I pull the carpet to check the floorboards.


While I am on the interior, I would like to do a full gauge swap to real gauges/sensors (not the current idiot lights) and I would also like to replace all of the window weatherstripping. I found it online, and man is it expensive for a few lousy rubber parts! I would not mind new door speakers (88 stockers still in place) and a smooth dash face from the mid-90s XJs.


On to mechanicals, the truck currently suffers from a very loose steering feel with no real center and very sloppy response. Having owned my past XJs, I know that it is not normal. There are also a few minor oil leaks in and around the valve cover that I hope to address soon.


The fog lights are crap, but I have a set of nice aftermarket lights with lellow lenses that should work on the bumber. I woudl not mind refreshing the grille and headlight surrounds (minor cracking on the passenger side of the grille and the headlight surround), but I may just pull them and spray them black when I am painting the rest of the truck.


I have another vehicle project (a 92 BMW 318i that I am trying to build for autocross use) and I have a TON of home remodelling projects, so time and money won't be flowing as I woud like. I am considering selling the BMW, but I doubt that I could get out of it anything close to what I have in it, so I may just move it to the back burner for now.


Well, that is all for now. I will keep this thread as updated as possible.

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Oh yeah, while the tires are little 225- or 215- 75-15 street tires, they have about 1000 miles on them, so for now they will stay. But I have to go tomorrow or the next day and pick up a set of 10-holes that I found for cheap. Those steelies that are on there now are actually from a 99 XJ SE. The 88 MJ Steelies (which were white :huh???: ) are still around somewhere.


I don't want to do this as a stock restoration- I want to make it a nice as I can while not breaking the bank. I am sure that my grandfather would approve, as he always helped me on my old XJ projects (and never asked WHY I was doing a particular modification!). :thumbsup:

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Welcome to the club :cheers: .


Great looking original MJ you have there. I would just get the factory door seal from a newer XJ - they are a better design and a few of us on here have had awesome results with them.


On the rear bumper: It is a shame you can't get a factory replacement, they really look good. I would suggest a better built after market bumper. JCR, Detours, Tomken, and my favorite PROTOFAB :bowdown: . Actually, IIRC $500MJ (CC member) has a real nice custom bumper for just a little more than the one you are looking at.


I would start looking through the rest of the MJ project threads on here. It is amazing what some of the members have accomplished.


Great back story on the MJ and glad to have you here - Rich

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Well, I sold my "Main" project car this weekend. I had a 1992 BMW 318i 5MT that I was building for autocross use in D Stock. It needed a lot to really be competetive, btu then the MJ dropped in my lap and I found myself waning to work on it over the E36. When I try to do two projects, one always suffers, and this one has a lot of benefits over my other one.


Personal importance (was my grandfather's truck)

Practicality (BMWs are nto good for hauling mulch or lumber)

MJ was already road-ready (though needing some work, whereas the Bimmer needed some $$$ to get on the road

Who really needs insurance on 4 cars?


So anyway, I took a deposit on the BMW this weekend and even sold my spare (M3) wheels and tires with it. That cash will go right into the MJ. I am about to order a new rear bumper for it. I considered a nice aftermarket one, bit for $150 shipped, it was hard to resist the Westin/Fey step bumper, especially since it won't be a trail rig.


I am supposed to pick up a set of 10-holes this week, if I can ever synchronize schedules with the guy!

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You wrote: "I considered a nice aftermarket one, bit for $150 shipped, it was hard to resist the Westin/Fey step bumper, especially since it won't be a trail rig."

I tried to find and buy one of those bumpers 2 months ago on several online sites who said they had them in stock,took my money and couldnt produce a rear bumper. BEWARE, call before sending money talk to a real person,verify they have one and if they have a foriegn accent HANG UP. soapbox.gif Good Luck Thanks to a generous club member I did obtain this used bumper at a really great price,alittle straightning and paint and.....

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I tried to find and buy one of those bumpers 2 months ago on several online sites who said they had them in stock,took my money and couldnt produce a rear bumper. BEWARE, call before sending money talk to a real person,verify they have one and if they have a foriegn accent HANG UP. soapbox.gif Good Luck Thanks to a generous club member I did obtain this used bumper at a really great price,alittle straightning and paint and.....

Mine is being drop-shipped from the manufacturer. I ordered it from JC Whitney, which is at least reputable if I end up needed a refund.

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Thanks to a local Jeeper, I picked up these for a great price:


Image Not Found


Last night I leaned them up against the truck, just for fun. They don't look perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but once polished up, they should look pretty good, and since they were a part of the Eliminator package, they actually will look "right" on a truck of this vintage. The tires are junk, and though my current tires are small, I am not going to buy another set of tires just yet- at least not until I decide whether I do any sort of lift. Even then, I think that a 30-31 will be as large as I go. In the end, I would love to have a set of YJ Gamblers from an old Wrangler with the Renegade package or some TJ Gamblers. I had a set back in 2001, but sold them when I got a set of gunmetal 16" Icons (from a 2000-01 XJ Classic) to go on my 98 Classic.

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Finally got the carpet pulled, and the floor looks to be in okay shape on the driver's side.


See my link here for the thread on the repair job:




Some pics:



January 25, 2009 update about the floor:


I attacked the floor with a wire wheel for about 15-20 minutes today. With great pressure, I knocked loose a little bit more metal, but I mainly just removed a good deal of surfact rust. Where the edges look rough, I will be using a wire ball on the end of my drill to get back to solid metal, but I could not do any more with my wire wheels. Also, there is nothing but perfect paint under the rubber/foam flap behind the pedals.


This may be better than I had feared.



End Edit.



And the carpet:


I also picked up a set of 5.25" speakers for the doors. I grabbed some inexpensive Pioneer TS-A1371R coaxials. I will add pics once I get them installed. They are not great by any means, but an electronics store near me was closing down and I snagged the pair for $18.


http://www.crutchfield.com/S-GVINWxJzVO ... 1371R.html


Crutchfield says that they don't fit in the MJ, but unless depth is too deep for the doors or there is too much tweeter protrusion, I don't see how they could not fit...I guess I will find out!

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man that truck looks just like mine.same color and pioneer package as well.i also inherited mine from my grandmother 10 years ago as she bought it with only 8k miles on the clock.it's starting to get a little rust above the rear fender flares but it has served me faithfully for 10 years and i wouldn't trade it for the world.good luck with your project.

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I think I have that bumper on my comanche:



No other comments about it, other than maybe its not great for towing.

I would not be towing anything heavy with it, but it looks like I should explore the optin of a decicated class 3 if I decide to tow any more...


On a positive note, the bumper and mounts came in- $131 shipped from JC Whitney...

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i am upgrading my cluster to one with a tach and will be taking my gauge cluster out.it has gauges but no tach.let me know if your interested in it.i'll let it go pretty cheap.

Thank you for the offer, but I just paypal'ed a guy on here for a 3/4 cluster (no tach, other gauges are full gauges) with the column-shift indicator.


If you post yours up, it will sell in no time!

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I got the Fey/Westin diamond tread bumber installed. Despite being told that I needed the mounting kit, I actually re-used the factory brackets, as they seemed a LOT more solid than the $30 Fey kit. It did require that I drill an additional hole in the bumper (on the mounting flange) to line up with the stock holes, but I could have just as easily drilled the factory mount to line up with the existing holes on the bumper bracket.


Either way, the mounting kit was a waste, btu JC Whitney only sells it with the kit. I should have ordered it frm Amazon for $99.99 with free shipping.



JCWhitney refunded my money for the whole bumper, then re-charged me only $99 for the bumper itself, matcing the Amazon Price. They sent a return label. I have had a great time dealing with them. I used the refunded money to order some more goodies. :cheers:

End Edit





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what's your zip? do you want the tire too or just the wheel?

I have some 235/75/15s that I could hang onto as spares, so I would just need the wheel. Plus, it is ia lot cheaper to ship that way.


Could it be stored in the factory location, or is the 15x8 too thick?


ZIP is 25403

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It should store in the factory spot no problem, especially if you only mount up a 235. I have seen several posts on here about guys mounting aftermarket wheels and late model 15x8s like these with 30s and even 31s on them with no problem.


Sending you a PM on price, didn't know you were in Martinsburg so we are only a couple hours away. When I lived in Pittsburgh for 4+ years, Martinsburg was one of our two regular stopping points for food, gas and taking a leak whenever we came home to VA.

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Phenry, calling Phenry? You out there?

Sorry, I have been spending my "spare" time trying to sort out my lift, including the right shocks, plus I have ordered a POR-15 kit (wow, that stuff is not cheap!!!).


Until I calculate the cost of my shocks, the spare gambler is on hold.


Sorry for the delay in responding.

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