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Spent some time cutting out the bumper corner driving light recess. An incredibly time consuming process to get it right -- mix of dremel, x-acto, assortment of files, wet sand paper, and finally SEM trim paint. One down and one more to go. 

 

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Also got the bumpers back from powder coating and mounted the front one.

 

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  • 8 months later...

It's been a while since I posted on this thread -- as I've been focused on my MJ. Currently out and about with the 97 XJ really driving it for the first time since I bought it back in May 2019! Broke in the brakes, and stretching the legs of the various engine and suspension mods made. Running good! (I will say it did take some effort getting this thing started... seems the fuel may have lost its octane as I couldn't get it to start until I poured 5 gallons of fresh 92 octane fuel in the tank.)

 

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I'm picking up the recovered headliner, overhead console and visors this morning... And at the same time will be dropping off the MJ upholstery to get those seats done.

 

Once I'm finished painting the MJ, I plan on letting the paint cure for about a month before re-assembly begins. In that time, I'm aiming to get the agate interior into this XJ.

 
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The weekend has given me the chance to focus on the XJ...I decided to refinish the interior panels as they were all various shades of the agate color. Probably due to production year/ paint batches. I just knew I would eventually regret not just handling refinishing these -- so adhesion promoter, color, and low sheen clear is now covering these parts. The cargo area panels I’ll do last as I need to trim-out the passenger side quarter panel for the custom recessed sub box. After that I’ll refinish those also. Getting there...

 

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Got up extra early to tinker/ trim on the XJ’s passenger side interior quarter panel for subwoofer installation. Nothing quite as terrifying as botching the last NOS agate panel in Chrysler’s parts location.

 

The below is my mist gray rough-cut junkyard tester panel from a while back. This cut follows both the enclosure manufacturers recommendation and the outer most line of the quarter panel insert. To me, it just looks to be too big of an opening. It loses the character lines of the original panel.

 

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The lower two pics are of the NOS agate panel I cut keeping to the inner most cut line with enough lip so I could keep the interior panel flush to the speaker enclosure. I used some thick foam tape to guide my eyes and be there as insurance should I slip up. Lucky for me I didn’t. First pass was the easier straight length cuts to the plastic opening. Next, I cut the corners triangular with plenty of room so I could carefully round out the openings with the Dremel. First step was marking the curve, then I cut. All went well…Many passes with 800 grit wet sandpaper and all looks factory to the eye. Since my goal is aesthetics on this sub, I decided to follow the more inside line of this panel.

 

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Really, I only saw two good options for this panels cut…The original wider cut top pic (mist gray panel) or the bottom smaller cut (agate panel). Another goal of this installation is making sure the speaker is centered in the carpeted area. But the way this enclosure was built, it wasn’t going to happen without extra effort. Further back on my build page around this topic I had already trimmed about an inch of vertical inside sheet metal to move the box back to center things up…But since I’ve decided to go with the smaller trim of the quarter panel plastic, I need to follow the line of the subwoofer and around out about 1/8” left and right of the speaker on the interior panel to make all right. Dead center top and bottom carpet space.

 

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Last step will be refinishing the agate color on the panel with the other cargo area panels and recovering the enclosure face with OEM Jeep fuzzy carpet material for perfect match cargo area. I got this carpet off the back of a ’99 XJ rear seat back panel that had no stains, frays or damage. Thank God for people who don’t use their cargo area…

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