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Dzimm

Dying XJ Conundrum

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So I bought a beat up 95 XJ 4wd auto two years ago for $800 for a winter DD.  Invested $300-$400 in it to fix a few things and put a lot of miles on it since(has 177k) now.  This last fall I rebuilt the transfer case and replaced the completely gone floors but it's still really rusty on the body, frame is fine.  I also just replaced the radiator as it started leaking, otherwise I haven't touched it.

 

I'm fairly certain it's got a bad head gasket as it doesn't run great and spews lots of white smoke regularly and has a misfire for about 30 seconds if I shut the motor off and restart within a few minutes, such as when pumping gas.  If I remember correctly cylinder three had low compression when I tested it a year ago.  

 

I'm debating whether it's more cost effective  to pull the head and see what the head gasket looks like and replacing if that's the problem, or parting and junking it.  I really would rather put the time into my MJs and I plan on getting rid of this XJ soon to get a newer vehicle anyway.

 

I will eventually be buying a C8.25 axle and sagged XJ leaf springs for my red truck so those are parts I could use, otherwise the rest is pretty much useless to me as I've already got spares.  The problem I see is when I pull the rear end out, how do I get it to the scrap yard??  

 

Assuming the head gasket made it run good again, I could probably get $1000 for it, but then again, it might not fix it.  Assuming I could get it hauled off after removing the rear axle, what is a reasonable amount to expect from parting it?  

 

What would you guys do in this situation?

 

 

 

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someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think 95 has the good 8.25.  :dunno:  I mean, they are all better thana dana 35, btu the early years were (I think) 27 spline.

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12 minutes ago, Pete M said:

someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think 95 has the good 8.25.  :dunno:  I mean, they are all better thana dana 35, btu the early years were (I think) 27 spline.

I never realized there were different C8.25.  that would make a difference in this decision!

 

Edit: seems you are correct, multiple NAXJA threads state 96.5 as the transition to 29 spline...

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I would put a head gasket in it and sell it complete. I have been looking for a 95/96 stick to swap out my BA10 and complete junk is selling for $1500. The wonderful world of high priced Jeeps in Iowa. 

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34 minutes ago, JMO413 said:

I would put a head gasket in it and sell it complete. I have been looking for a 95/96 stick to swap out my BA10 and complete junk is selling for $1500. The wonderful world of high priced Jeeps in Iowa. 

That was kind of where I was leaning but it also needs exhaust work, new brakes, and new tires..  interior is in good shape though.

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31 minutes ago, Dzimm said:

That was kind of where I was leaning but it also needs exhaust work, new brakes, and new tires..  interior is in good shape though.

Used tires, Rock auto Cheap brakes and exhaust parts? Sell for a decent price and have some $ for the 2wd build. 

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39 minutes ago, JMO413 said:

Used tires, Rock auto Cheap brakes and exhaust parts? Sell for a decent price and have some $ for the 2wd build. 

Even on the cheap end it's too expensive.  It needs everything from the manifold back so I'm looking at $200+ just in exhaust, add to that the head stuff, brakes, and tires it's starting to add up, plus the leaves are inverted so those should be replaced too.  Plus the time to do it all is another problem.  I wouldn't ask more than $1500 for this thing even if it doesn't need all this work.  Maybe better to just throw it up on Craigslist as is for like $600 and see if someone wants the headache?  If nobody takes it in a month or two, pull a few parts and scrap it?  What are scrap prices these days anyway?

 

Edit: oh and the shocks are bad, feels like an old Cadillac... 

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XJ leaves are always inverted. They're designed that way.

 

Take everything out of the back. Measure from the center of the wheel/hub/axle straight up to the bottom edge of the flare. You're looking for 17 inches.

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21 minutes ago, Eagle said:

XJ leaves are always inverted. They're designed that way.

 

Take everything out of the back. Measure from the center of the wheel/hub/axle straight up to the bottom edge of the flare. You're looking for 17 inches.

16 1/4"

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My thoughts - milk the XJ out, as is, for what ever time you can. Put your money in a newer Daily Driver and just scrap the XJ.  Way too much time to part it out for a small, slow return of money.

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8 hours ago, Dzimm said:

Even on the cheap end it's too expensive.  It needs everything from the manifold back so I'm looking at $200+ just in exhaust, add to that the head stuff, brakes, and tires it's starting to add up, plus the leaves are inverted so those should be replaced too.  Plus the time to do it all is another problem.  I wouldn't ask more than $1500 for this thing even if it doesn't need all this work.  Maybe better to just throw it up on Craigslist as is for like $600 and see if someone wants the headache?  If nobody takes it in a month or two, pull a few parts and scrap it?  What are scrap prices these days anyway?

 

Edit: oh and the shocks are bad, feels like an old Cadillac... 

Craigslist for the win.

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yeah, I think I'd have that engine/trans out and getting refreshed to drop in another chassis at this point... if it were me.

 

but I have chassis' around waiting for powertrains.

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12 hours ago, Dzimm said:

16 1/4"

 

So it's down 3/4 of an inch. Not terrible for a 30 year old vehicle. Certainly not cause to replace them.

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44 minutes ago, Eagle said:

 

So it's down 3/4 of an inch. Not terrible for a 30 year old vehicle. Certainly not cause to replace them.

Definitely not as bad as I thought.  That 17" measurement is good to know, Thanks!

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I'd be inclined to be in the sell-it crowd too.  It's just my nature, but I can't half azz fix up something and run it, knowing other stuff needs fixing too.  But that's just me.

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