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neohic

The Pirate Baboon

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Okie doke... So yesterday Austin and I made a bit of a trade. My green '91 was a mixture of two of his old trucks. He was getting itchy to move around some of his vehicles and after seeing the grin on his face while driving it, it was pretty clear that it was time to let his truck go back home. Now that leaves me with my half of the deal... and it's kind of a turd.  :D

 

Pirate? It talks like one...

 

Baboon? Well...

 

Overall first impressions? She's needs some lovin'...

 

I think the trade went okay. He's happy and now I've got something new to look at. It's been way too long since I've had a scrappy Jeep that I can go out and play with and not worry about... and that was really what I was looking for! While it does look pretty beat (thanks to Austin  :shake: ) it's got some pretty good parts. 4.56 gears, Bilsteins, decent 33s... and so on. No lockers but the rear is welded. That'll need to get sorted out being that this is my new winter driver for when the wife and I can't drive into town together. Overall, I'm just about as indifferent about it as I was the green truck. Expect to see not much of a build up as it already is. What it needs is to be gone through and made road worthy again. Probably a bunch of little projects along the way too.

 

Seems strange... this is the newest Jeep I've ever had! Stay tuned.  :wrench:

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Is there anything near a factory fresh condition trade with you?  :idea:

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No school today so I spent my time going through the front end and getting to know the new Jeep. Ol' Captain Rafiki was a real mess underneath. I ended up going through and checking every bolt and quite a few were barely tight... the steering box being one of them.  :eek: When Austin had it, he ended up tearing the frame around the box. There was a bolt on frame patch but I went ahead and welded it in there. Need to make up a steering box brace that ties over to the other frame rail at some point too. Set the toe, cleaned up some wiring, removed what was left of the TJ rear fender flares, and hung my big ugly bumper on a big ugly Jeep... which I think looks way better on this than it did on my Eliminator.

 

 

Otherwise things looked pretty good from the firewall forward. It's got a wobble that sure surprised me going around a corner though. Not near as bad as death wobble, but it was enough to make me really test the brakes (which also need some attention). During my road test the mistake was made to go splashing through a puddle as there was no washer fluid bottle anymore. Dug through my stuff and, wouldn't ya know it, I had one from an older XJ. Perfect! Had to reroute some wiring, but it fit in nice and snug where it would've been in the '96 and older models.

 

 

Had to cut off the ends of the factory wiring to make it work, but I'm sure the Jeep didn't mind. Still a bunch of odds and ends to take care of, but it's nice having almost everything work. The only thing left to do with the wiring is to take a look at why the dome lights aren't working (maybe) and to figure out some reverse lights as the aftermarket boxes don't have room. I'm sure it'll end up in the rear bumper when that time comes... hell, it'll probably get another hand-me-down from the Eliminator! Next weekend I'd like to craw under the rear again. I retorqued the u-bolts already but I think it should get the same attention as the front. I've got a set of ZJ disks that'll probably make their way on. The front brakes need to be freshened up as well. Until then, I'm still trying to figure out where everything is on the dash of these darn '97+ XJs!  :laughin:

 

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Spent some more time picking away at the buccaneer primate. Like I said before, the frame was a mess around the steering box. Took a closer look at the inside and underside and the decision was made to do some more plating.

 

 

Yikes...  :eek:

 

 

So I guess that means that it'll never see a sway bar ever again... meh... I also pulled the rear wheels off again to re-retorque the u bolts. Then it was time for something fun. I took a page out of Willy's book of fender flares and started on some reconstructive surgery. The Jeep had 36s on it when Austin had it so to make room it got the knife treatment... big time. Started with some 16 gauge and went from there.

 

 

Soon to follow are the flares themselves. Absolutely nothing fancy here... tube?... nope... 1" schedule 40 pipe as that's what I had leaning in the corner. Played around with the bender (HF kinker) for the first time after modifying some stuff to actually make it work nice.

 

 

... more tomorrow.

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ok how did you modify the hf bender to make it work better? id like to see it because mine just sits on the shelf unless i have a small bend 

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ok how did you modify the hf bender to make it work better?...

 

I'll take some action pictures tomorrow.  :thumbsup:

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those bends look way better than mine ever have. i usally run down to my buddys exhaust shop. i wanna make a wide hoop for my jcr bumper

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ok how did you modify the hf bender to make it work better?...

 

I'll take some action pictures tomorrow.  :thumbsup:

 

Okie doke... HERE'S HOW I DID IT.

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As for the Jeep, another day was spent in the shop. For how proud of myself I was yesterday for getting the bends where I wanted them on the first try, I ended up cutting the pipe to change some stuff. Meh... not a big deal. Just added some time for making some splices and cleaning them up. Anyhow...

 

 

Obligatory close up of a weld...

 

 

They ended up being not quite 4" from the body. I'm thinking they'll end up black with bedliner over the actual flare. The top edge pulled a lot more than I was figuring so I'll need to figure out a filler... probably some kind of gasket or something. I dunno... I'll figure it out when the times comes. Now it makes the rear quarter sure look like garbage!  :laughin:

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maybe you should build a few and sell them. theres quite a few guys on cherokeetalk.com looking for something bolt on that looks better than rustys metal flares.

if i was building another xj id ask for a set.

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I'd love to build this kind of stuff for a living!... the reality is that I'm by no means set up for production. Having a ton of fun building stuff that I'd never dream of putting on my Eliminator though. I'd need to be paying way closer attention to what I'm doing too. So many measurements are right off the thumb.  :roll:

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Old idiom: You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

WRONG! Very nice work Ben.  :cheers:

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I see those fenders as another source of income for ya if needed.You do know you could probably sell them faster than you could build them.Very nice.

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Old idiom: You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

 

WRONG! Very nice work Ben.  :cheers:

 

I don't know, Don. You can put a turd in that silk purse and on the outside it looks nice... too bad it's still a turd on the inside.  :laughin:

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Well, the Ape got a bit of a down grade today. Trying to figure out the wobble that it has and decided to swap wheels/tires with the Eliminator. No more wobble!... but it's on 31s probably for the rest of winter. On the other hand, it's a real hot rod with the 4.56s!

 

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On another note, I got the new fender skins painted and shot some bedliner on the flares... not that I really need them with the 31s though.  :shake:

 

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Looks slick! Too bad about the tire size. It looked awesome on the old ones.

 

Only temporary. I've got a line on a good set of used 33" Kevlar MTRs.

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I know, I know. I had my chance.  :roll: On tho other hand, tomorrow I'm doing something with this Jeep that I need it to be able to do... highway speeds.

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