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Project daily driver

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Picked up an 88 MJ couple weeks ago.  Been sitting for 10 years according to the guy I bought it from. Rear diff is grenaded.  Clutch slave is bad ( probably from sitting). Its a 4.0 5spd, 4x4 long bed.

Brought it home. Installed some 4.5 inch R.E. front coils. Scored some bilsteins and a R.E. adjustable trac bar from Craigslist. In the process of installing a 8 1/4 in the rear SOA. Made some 7 inch long pads and built a bastard pack from some wagoneer fronts. Spring pack consist of.

Mj main

Wag main with eyes cut off

Wag 2nd

Mj helper 

Currently have it mocked up in driveway waiting for day off to finish weld perches and install driveshaft. Then I can push it in garage to do clutch kit and clean fuel system. Its cold in the driveway in North idaho right now. Haha.


I'm using the axles out of a 97 xj. Chry 8 1/4, hp 30 non disconnect. If I understand this correct. Mj stock was 3.07 gears. Axles I'm swapping are 3.50 so I shouldn't have an issue with 31s to 33s. I don't really want to cut too much fender at this point. Though I am toying with idea of bobbing the bed. Not sure yet as I will haul firewood occasionally.  

Any who. Comments? Suggestions? 






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Looks like your off to a good start.
Welcome, pull your carpet, and check for rust. If you put your Vin in the registry someone will get you a build sheet. And lastly enjoy your truck

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don't bob the bed if you pan to use the bed for its intended purpose. :D   Can't beat that 7footer for volume of cargo!  :banana:    though you should probably armor up the rear corners though if you plan on offroading her.  :L:  



welcome to the addiction :D 

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I'm wanting to buy a new radiator and use parts off green 97 to get an open cooling system. I have a new water pump that I already bought for the 97 before I decided to use it as a donor for the truck.

I know I need to do front control arms but that's going to have to wait for a bit. There is a used long arm kit locally for $500 but that's out of the budget right now.

Any opinions on core4x4 control arms. Wifes jeep needs arms also. Would long arms be any good for a daily driver? I drive 60 miles a day on freeway. 


Pic with the tires in back is because it has a rake to it empty even with flatter spring pack and lowest spring pads i could come up with. I wanted to see how soft it was. Figure it will settle a bit also so I'm going to run with it for now.

  Oh yeah. I havent swapped front axle yet because I want to clean it up and put some gussets on it. So it won't actually be 4x4 for a bit. Opinions or recommendations on gusset kits?

The floor pans do need some attention. Not to concerned about it. It will be good practice for when I have to do my camaro.

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Well.... Got rear diff installed. Made some new shock mounts. Waiting on a rear rubber brake hose. Ordered a dakota one. Hope it works. I managed to get the clutch slave to pump up and function so I don't have to swap it out quite yet.

Siphoned out old gas. Added fresh fuel and took it for a spin around the block. (Rear brakes disabled for test drive) Seems to run decent enough.

Went to top off renix overflow bottle and its like dejavu... Brown foam....


When I first got my wifes 00 xj.  I towed it home. Put on a lift wheels and tires before ever driving. Test drive revealed a cracked head. Ended up getting a complete overhaul.


So.... I guess I will flush the cooling system. Do a leak down test and go from there..


On a side note I did pick up a set of 17" take off wheels. I plan on using 265/70 or 235/80 17s as I have a set of both laying around and the 33s rub pretty good.

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So next question is. Would I be better off rebuilding the 4.0 out of the 97? Would that long block be compatible with the renix system? I know I'm going to get told to search. Think I'm just going to do a head gasket and flush the system for now. I tried that with the 00 and found out the head was cracked so I ended up doing a complete rebuild piece by piece. I kind of want to avoid a repeat.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 17" take off wheels? I assume those are 5 on 5" lug spacing? What adapter did you use? Are you having any balance issues on the freeway?


I've always liked the Rubicon Moab wheels, but the 5 on 4.5 spacing are harder to find. 

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Yes the wheels are 5 on 5.  I don't remember what brand these adapters are. I bought them on Amazon. Haven't driven it at highway speed yet. Still doing some adjustments.  I have the G2 adapters on my wifes xj with Rubicon take offs and it is fine on the highway. I think the biggest thing on spacers is to make sure they are hub centric. Not lug centric.

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  • 1 month later...

  Well, been getting little things done. It got a new header panel. Still needs some tweaking. Waiting on ups for front bumper.  I ordered the same kit that I used on the red jeep. Debating on a hoop or a small stinger. I already have an extra hoop but kinda want to mix it up.


  I drained the gas tank and put a fresh tank of non ethanol 92 octane in it with some seafoam. It seemed to run great for about 20 miles..  I'm pretty sure the filter is plugged already as the one I took off had a bit of fine rust in it. Wish I would have dropped the tank when I had the axle out now. The fuel pump seems kind of loud so I'm wondering if the pick-up screen could be plugged also.


I was glad to see the speedo is within 2 mph with the 265s so I will stick with that size tire. 

 Guess thats it for now. 20200520_191421.jpg.840c5221e04c1489fba7381dde1ee155.jpg20200520_191434.jpg.9bf891f850973694f0967f759eb0dc2b.jpg


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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I put some bfg ko2s on it that I had. Drives pretty decent. Springs are a little soft for hauling much. I guess that means I just have to make more trips. It rides pretty smooth. Don't have a lot of clearance with the factory flares. 

 I ended up replacing the fuel tank and pump. Its much happier now. 


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  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, 187Camaro said:

 Started on some bumpers. Ran out of welding wire so had to call it quits till next weekend.







Good job! I couldn't help but notice the old 5 window chev  pickup in the last pix, Brings back memories , I had one just like it. Put a small block V-8 in it and it would fly. I wish I still had it.

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I used the factory bumper brackets for the rear. I hope they are strong enough. I don't plan on pulling anything heavier than my Rhino or a couple quads so it should be fine. Had to get creative to pull the dent below the taillight. Used winch on wifes jeep to pull it out. 

 The knock off bumper kit I purchased took a little extra tweaking. One part must have shifted when getting cut out. Not a huge deal but it did take a little work to make fit. Still worth it in my opinion for under $150. Guess I need to order a winch now.




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