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88 Chief

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I’ve owned my XJ since I was 18 and always wanted an MJ, 16 years later I’ve finally purchased one. The MJ will be a mall crawler only I won't do anything more than some logging roads. I have the XJ for rocks.
The truck didn’t look horrible but maintenance wise it has been neglected.
Previous owner put a full traction lift and fox shocks on it before I bought it.


My initial plan was to swap in AC from a parts XJ and paint it.
As I’ve progressed I’ve ran into a number of issues.
PO stuck an antenna through the roof and never sealed it which caused floorboards to rust out.  -FIXED Page 1
Clutch MC was leaking which caused more floorboard rot, surprisingly no visible damage to the fuse block but I’m replacing it anyway.  --FIXED Page 1
Power steering pump is toast, PS box leaks like a sieve  -FIXED 
Tcase output seal - Fixed Page 1
Motor mounts
trans mount- Fixed Page 1
Chassis wiring harness had melt spots  -FIXED  Page 1
Interior wiring harness was cut up/ ghetto wired in multiple spots. - FIXED Page 1

Radiator reservoir (all metal) was smashed in on one side. - Fixed  Page 1
Remove ghetto Pushbutton Start - FIXED
Speedometer cable - Fixed
Battery mount was broken, bolts were rotted out.- Fixed Page 2

In addition to fixing these issues I’ll also be swapping to HO open cooling
eliminating c101 --- DONE  Page 1
and upgrading the headlight harness. --DONE  Page 1

Welding a Dirtbound DIY Rear Bumper -- Done Page 2

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The only thing stock on my XJ is the trans. I'll post a little on it before moving on with the MJ. 

87 XJ 2door, 4.6L, aw4, Atlas 2, D60 ARB , 10.5 Detroit, 5.38's, 41" Iroks, 14" swayaway coil overs, Hydroboost brakes, PSC pump/box , Nickintime REM sensor monitor (Can't stress how essential this is), stuff. 

Here's the stroker parts list for anyone interested https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xTunJzocDmT51AIPQOVKN-plp82W3o7mqS9_Ko1n_K8/edit?usp=sharing




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AC Swap
I’ve looked thoroughly through the AC and non AC systems. The only thing Jeep left of any use in my non AC MJ was the hole drilled in the relay bracket for the AC relay. If you’re looking at doing this I’d swap the entire wiring from an AC’d XJ ( MJ Evap cores are different). There’s about a foot of AC wires on the engine side of the chassis harness before it terminates, these wires have nothing to connect to on the interior side of the c100/fuse block so it’s pretty worthless.

AC Parts List
Rock Auto
UAC EX9449C Expansion Valve $9.89

UAC HA11332C Suction Hose with muffler (compressor to evap) $27.79

UAC HA111331 Discharge Line (High Pressure: Compressor to Condenser $18.87

UAC RD9086C Drier $13.50

26758 Four seasons Oring set $5.69

93024 Heater Core Spectra Premium 30.79

Cherokee Liquid Line Drier to Condenser 27-5551 1 $43.99

Cherokee Liquid Line Drier to Evaporator 27-5552 1 $39.99

UAC EV 4177ATC A/C Evaporator Core 70.00
Spectra Premium 7-4173 A/C Condenser for Jeep Cherokee $77.57
Four Seasons 58580 Compressor with Clutch $175.00

RedTek oil $15
RedTek refrigerant (formerly known as R12A) $30.00

Total $529

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I purchased an 89 parts xj from what I've read in other AC posts Evap cores for MJs are impossible to find. 
The Heater box fit right in but the but the evap core didn't quite fit I had to cut away some of the plastic the hoses pass through and cut the foam seal.
The hoses on the evap core are vertical instead of angled like stock jeeps. 
Also the AC switch probe has a hole for it on the stock core the replacement does not. I wrapped it around the side and pushed it through the middle. 

Not really too much to talk about here, I'll need a vacuum diagram or maybe I'll just go to the JY since my MJ didn't have the vacuum reservoir I need to know where things go. 
Other than that there's a crap load of wiring to deal with. 


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5 minutes ago, eaglescout526 said:

You've piqued my curiosity, What years and engines do those lines fit?

The rockauto ones are listed from 80-90 the jeepairs are listed as 91+ though I've seen them posted here as fitting renix. I'm not a huge fan of going blindly off forum posts but we'll see. 

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Ac is on hold until I finish with the steeringbox/pump since It's really easy to get to right now.

Today I deleted the C101
I highly recommend doing this one wire at a time and paying attention to which ports they come from. Some change colors, some terminate in the connector. No sense in leaving room for error. 
I'm surprised anything connected through this mess. 

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The drivers side rust came from both the clutch MC and the roof leak. The first picture is a massive hole right over the fuel lines I had to weld up. 
I wrapped them in welding blanket, removed them from their clips and pulled them away with a strap as much as I could. 
Nothing exploded so we're good.
I didn't get a picture of the rust from the MC but it was everywhere the sealant jeep used on the floors did a good job of holding it underneath so it couldn't drain away. I'd be willing to bet anyone that had to replace their fuse block/c100 has hiding rust holes. 

Passenger side  before and after patch, I should have ground it more flat but I was impatient that day. I kept burning through the floor with .30 wire, I'm sure being weakened by rust wasn't helping.  I wirebrushed/flap disced everything to metal and sprayed it with rust reformer. 

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Well the entire AC system is in, it's sitting under vacuum right now and appears to be holding. 


A couple notable mentions. 
1st, the AC heater box has a drain spout in the bottom. The Non AC MJ does have a plug for it you just have to remember to remove it. Luckily all of my cussing getting the heater box in didn't damage the box and pushed the plug out of the way. 

2nd, The drier has this fitting cluster F... attached to it. It does not come with the new hoses or the new drier.  So there's an Oring I didn't get to replace it's inside the fitting and requires a dental pick. IjNa0bH.jpg

New steering box and pump are in, engine harness is back in. 
Just need to reinstall the dash, interior wiring, and cooling system.

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3 hours ago, eaglescout526 said:

Heh. Just got off that boat. Miniut gave me a good tip, said to crank the compressor over about ten times before charge.  


That dryer location makes me appreciate the location for the 2.5's a little more.


Good luck!!:L:

You all done with yours?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm finally getting back into this, I got pretty sick from a severe infection for a while then bought a new RV that had a lot of issues  to fix along with doing a 600w install /w battery bank. 
Planning on recharging the AC today, the good news on that front is it held vacuum all of this time.
I completed merging the 89 cherokee chassis wiring. Since the Comanche doesn't have separate blinkers this required a trailer wire converter. 

Here's what I have for driver's side kick panel wiring that connects all tail lights/ fuel pump/ interior illumination.
XJ side

Black connector
1- GY/RD Park Brake Switch
2- PK Cargo Lamp Feed
3- LB/BK Stop Lamps
4- DB Illumination Relay (Running lights?)
5- BR Right Turn Rear
6- TN Fuel Guage
7- BR/WT Reverse lights.
8- BK/WT Courtesy Lamps
9- BK/WT left Door jamb somthing
Gr/BK Left Turn Rear
10- WT Sealt Belt Switch

Gray Connector
BK Speaker return right rear
Wt/bk Speaker feed right reat
Or/Bk Console Illumination
Y/bk Wiper motor
LG/BK stop lamps
Br/Wt Speaker return left rear
GR Speaker feed left rear
Yellow/Brown Rear wiper
grwt? Rear defogger middle of connector


MJ side 

Weatherpak (thanks Ohm)
Orange Fuel pump hot

Drk BR Right turn / Stop
Blue Running lights
Tan Fuel gauge
 D spot on weatherpak Reverse lights
Gray left turn/ stop


Gray connector

Wt Right speaker feed
Br right speaker return

bk/ylw Left speaker return

Gr/wt Left speaker feed

Pink interior lights

Bk/wt Door jamb switch for interior lights. 

Bk, Ground ( no XJ connection I cut and grounded to chassis. )
Wt seat belt chime  ( only masochists connect this) 
Pink /BK   Cargo light  (no XJ connection)

Notes : Their are 2 white wires, one goes to the RH speaker one to the stupid seatbelt chime. I just used an ohm meter to check which is which. 
Several wire colors change at the connector on both XJ and MJ. My XJ list is fuse block side. I changed my MJ wire colors to the back side of it since I cut the harness behind the seat. 
Ones I remember are the MJ's speaker wires Bk/ylw and the white one both turn into something else. 

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I did a tcase seal yesterday  HF seal puller worked great.  To get the new seal on I cut the rubber off the old seal so it wouldn't hit the new rubber and set it over the new seal while hitting it. This kept the rubber protected from the flat seal driver. 

Also did a spedometer cable ATP Y-924 Speedometer Cable fit perfectly, it does NOT ship with cable lube though despite saying it does. Don't use wd-40... I used Dorman 03344 graphite cable lube. 

The leak from the roof was coming from a poorly done Antenna install.  The hole looked like it was cut with a holesaw without a guide. 
I'm not sure if I'll weld that up in the future but for now I saw this "amplified" shark fin antenna on amazon and thought I might as well try it. 
It has a molded rubber seal that will hopefully work, I also added a circle of "Proflex" sealant around the hole. 


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Off topic 
My new RV Jayco 245rlsw and 2019 Ram 1500, both of which have been getting some mods of their own. If you ever buy an RV go through it thoroughly I know people say that for the inspection but I mean more than that. Bring it home, take the undercarriage liner off ( which is a pain) and check Everything! 
I'll list a few of the major issues.  
2" Insulation was cut off the Brake + wire, which was right next to an exposed ground. 
Propane hose was being cut into by sheet metal wouldn't have lasted 1000 miles, at 600 it was already getting deep. 
6/ 20 black tank screws were broken off from over torquing another 2 weren't in all the way.
2 gray tank screws were broken with a few loose. 
Trailer light wires literally fell out of their crimps when touched.
The entire undercarriage was severely rusted. It was a brand new custom order built in November 2019. 
I'll leave it at that but the list of little things goes on. I'm very happy with it now but it was absolutely dangerous. 


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I recharged the Ac, I didn't check the temp but it blew cold! 
Also gravity bled the clutch.  
I got to take it out for a spin everything worked great.  
I spent some time scrubbing all of the interior parts. If anyone has a recommendation for paint for that gray interior plastic I'd appreciate it. 
I then tried removing the stupid wheel spacers. I got 2 wheels off but 2 lugnuts stripped before coming off... I ordered an extractor for it hopefully it works. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

My last project on this for now was the shifter seals and tranny mount both didn't go well.  I couldn't get the shifter separated with pickle forks, the tranny tunnel bent in without it budging. I tried with heat aswell. So the seal on top of the tranny is still trash. 
My tranny mount was demolished.  The one I ordered said it fit but it didn't. I might just weld a plate to the top of it vs paying $100 for the other one. 

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