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The Paradise MJ


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About 2 years ago I saw a very nice (cherry almost) MJ for sale. The guy wanted $3800 for it. I called, he would not budge on the price. After owning 2 XJ's before I just knew I could find one cheaper, if I had to do some work on it, fine.

 

I wanted 4x4, I wanted short bed. I looked all over Northern California for one, zip. Well, I bought this one for myself for Christmas. $400 + delivery on a trailer (didn't run). What it looked like when I bought it, before delivery. It looked like the PO had tried to sand off the decals.

 

 

This isn't camo job gone bad. I sprayed primer on the bare metal spots before I put it under a tarp for the bulk of winter.

 

 

So, here's what I got. 1988, 160K on the clock, 4.0, BA-10, D30/D44 w/LSD w/3.07's...bed not bolted down, interior out, no rust other than some surface rust, here's a pic of the floor.

 

 

Like I said, it didn't run. PO said he had no idea why it wouldn't start. I put in a CPS and charged the battery. Fired right up, ran at idle to temp in about 15 min. Had a slight tick that quieted down after it ran for 5 minutes.

 

I just about stripped another MJ at the junkyard and got ALOT of parts right away, a header panel off an XJ, tank skid, front skid, receiver hitch, an extra set of tail lights, headliner panel, fuel parts etc. etc. for SUPER cheap.

I also got a AW4 from a guy over on NAXJA for free. Thanks again rysam.

 

What I've done so far:

Cleaned it up, swept out black widow webs and sprayed it down with bug spray. Twice

Replaced the cracked header panel

P/S pump/hoses etc. (fluid alert)

Converted to Open Cooling, all new hoses, new rad, NO heater valve!! (fluid alert)

Brakes all around, complete job, hoses, rotors, calipers, wheel cyls. etc. (fluid alert)

Shackles on rear (coils coming for front)

Shocks (it was missing the fronts)

Cleaned up axles and refilled with (fluid alert).

Dropped tank, cleaned out, etc.

Headliner

Fixed wiring to taillights (and replaced the headlight switch)

Edit: ...and a Comanche Club sticker!!!

What I'll do in the next month:

Coils for front

Bolt down the GD bed!!!

Start putting the interior back together. Door panels are fine, I have all the parts (they were piled in the cab of the truck when I got it).

XJ (2 door) buckets.

 

Future plans:

Find better axles (gears)

Drive the crap out of the BA-10 til it dies...by then I should figure out how to swap in the AW4.

SOA and all the parts that go with that. (when I win the lottery)

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Great deal, great save and great work already. I wonder if the guy actually got what he wanted for the mj from 2 years ago.

 

I saw it on craigslist for a couple months...I'm thinking he held out for the price. I live in a pretty small town and I haven't seen it rolling around town, so he probably did. Looking back at what it had, the conditon, the mileage, I probably would have saved $$ in the long run.

 

But then what would I do on the weekends other than laying around under this one with grease up to my elbows :cheers:

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Added a third brake light today from an XJ at the junkyard. A litlle cutting and wiring under the headliner. Works, looks good. My springs are here. I also ordered new lug nuts, the old ones were toast and the holes were all wallowed out, other set of wheels ready.

 

Torque to ?? 80...100

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tech Qs should really go in the tech forum so more eyes will see it and the answers will show up in searches. :thumbsup: I torque them to pretty-darn-tight, then drive around the neighborhood, then re-tighten to pretty-darn-tight.

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tech Qs should really go in the tech forum so more eyes will see it and the answers will show up in searches. :thumbsup: I torque them to pretty-darn-tight, then drive around the neighborhood, then re-tighten to pretty-darn-tight.

 

Gotcha!! Thanks.

 

:doh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

This week I was able to get the tarp off of it and do some little stuff that's been bugging me.

 

Got the bed bolted down, solid.

Fixed top vents on fuel tank

Finally got the wipers working - everything works there, pump, intermittent etc. all good

Headlights, blinkers, tailights & markers now working.

Fixed and/or replaced ALL vacuum lines.

New (old ones off my XJ) wheels on the BFG's + spacers (1.5")

 

Paperwork to DMV - still NON-OP

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  • 1 month later...

I've been taking little trips around the block (2 miles) to test things out as I'm going along. Trans shifts fine, good throttle response, but there are still some unknown rattles and clunks.

Went to DMV finally got it legal (I have 2 months before I have to smog it) so now I can take it on some longer trips (as in maybe 10 miles, maybe more) til I get more of the bugs worked out.

 

I found the right bracketry for the tank skid, turns out I only have to modify 1 mount and it'll work fine. More later, including pics.

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  • 2 months later...

Long time no post.

 

The project is coming along, got it smogged, registered and legal. The first try at smog failed because the roll over valves at the top of the tank were mangled by the PO. I thought it was going to be a beeotch getting to them, but I only had to drop the tank about 1/4 way.

Gave me a chance to replace the funky straps and strap bolts. All buttoned up there and smogged great second time.

 

I found that the exhaust hanger had been unbolted and was a major source of rattling. The tank skid can go on now. As far as the engine compartment, everything is just about finished to how it SHOULD be. Wiring is tight, all lights operational. There's also an issue with the clutch hose fitting leaking but I think I just need to put some thread sealer on there and tighten it back up.

 

The truck is now being painted. More and pics...later.

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  • 2 months later...
This week I was able to get the tarp off of it and do some little stuff that's been bugging me.

 

 

Finally got the wipers working - everything works there, pump, intermittent etc. all good

Headlights, blinkers, tailights & markers now working.

 

How did you go about doing that? I have the same problem :P nothing works

 

-Nate

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I finally got some work done on the MJ and took some pics. You can see some of the "before" pics at the top of this post.

 

Paint: Rustoleum Metallic Racing Green - and Rustoleum Clear Coat. I seriously could not afford a $1500 paint job for my $400 truck, so rattle can it was. I think it looks good, not showroom but fine for what I want. If the paint peels off and I'm still having fun with it I will either say, "screw it, who cares about paint" or I'll get it painted by a shop.

 

 

...and put the stock wheels from my XJ on it. I'm working on the flares now and looking for 1 stinkin' flare bracket but the JY will only sell me the whole FENDER. Not pieces.

 

Then I Herculined the bed...I really like that. It even makes the ride seem a tad quieter especially when I have stuff in the back that USED to roll around.

 

 

I have been looking for 2 door XJ buckets for the seat swap, but I got a great deal (free) on some 4 door XJ seats that actuall match my interior, so I figured I'd install them now and just put in some 2 door seats (or other type) down the road.

 

This pic is just for fitment, right now I have an insulated rubber floor and It works fine, but I still want carpet, so that's next on the list and then I can install the seats permanent like..

 

 

...and I got the seats with rocket sliders so it's pretty tall, but I'm not, and when I adjust the set just right it's super comfy

 

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My paint dilema as well, high dollar paint job doesn't make sense for me. I really like my Baltic Blue and don't want a flat paint. So...I'm still planning. Good job on the paint. I went with the 4 dr seats as well until something comes up. Really hasn't been a bother so far.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 8 months later...

The Jeep BEFORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior - BEFORE

 

The good: no rust...the bad...no interior. It had a bench seat but I got rid of that right away and went on the search for XJ 2 door buckets

 

 

 

 

 

 

I needed new seats. So I got these. Rockers. They mount about 2" higher

 

 

 

 

Old Seats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said I sttled at first but I stayed on the quest for the 2 door or MJ seats, no luck. Then I stumbled on a 2 door in the junkyard. The seats were FILTHY!! I scrubbed them down with Oxy-Clean and they look brand new, no rips, great condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I traded this...for these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the mounting problem. On the old seats all I had to do was grind off the old XJ mounts and bolt on the MJ mounts from the crappy bench seat that it came with.

 

 

 

Old bracket

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sliders are different width. I wasn't sure of the year of the donor but it looked to be 96+

 

I was able to use the entire rear mount but had to cut & paste the fronts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jeep AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm sure they had the same mounts as the ZJ, don't know of a ZJ 2 door. I do know that you can fab mounts for just about any forward folding seat from a Dakota or similar, even a 60/40 split seat would be cool.

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  • 1 year later...

  I've tinkered away on this for the last 3-4 years, between work, working my property, taking care of my father-in-law, I've had precious little time to do any big projects on my truck. 

 

I put the AW4 in back a few months ago and spent a couple weeks working all the bugs out.  Swapping from 5 speed Peugot (Renix) to an AW4 (HO) was a wiring challenge.  I had to separate all the wires coming from the TCU to jive with the wiring in the Jeep and spent ALOT of time LEARNING to read wiring diagrams and then making it happen. 

 

I finally got the exhaust in and have no more tickety tick at throttle.  Now I can gear up to replace most of the brake lines, upgrade the booster and do the prop valve delete before I take it out for my first reasonably long road trip...to Yellowstone/Jackson Hole area.  It's still NOT my DD, but only because of mileage.  My commuter car gets 33 MPG and the MJ gets 16-18, so it adds up driving 300+ miles a week.

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