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2000 XJ - Red Riddle

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Picked up this 2000 XJ a couple of months back for $1000. The original idea was to transfer and convert the truck, but I decided against because of the timeline I was working with to get the truck back up and running. Now I don't know what the heck to do with it. Debating on selling the WK2 and just making this into a DD. Could be a bad idea, but the WK2 is only 2wd and can't be taken everywhere I want to go. The 5.7 is so nice though!


I suppose I could fix it up and sell it too, but where's the fun?


Guy I bought it from said it just died on him and wouldn't start again. After a quick grab of the multimeter I determined the CPS. Replaced and fired right up.


I haven't had time to fully dig in yet since the truck was priority but here's the interesting stuff I've found so far:

  1. Hood release cable broke so they added hood pins... yeah
  2. Looks like a JY swap motor. Has white writing on side of block
  3. Blown head gasket
  4. Head is definitely older model - Has plugged temp sender port and no bracket for coil pack.
  5. Leaking radiator & either ATF or Motor Oil in there
  6. AW4 had almost no fluid in it
  7. Heater core bypass
  8. Almost all of electrical connectors don't have tabs
  9. Leaf springs are flatter than Earth
  10. No parking brake
  11. PO said had death wobble at about 40mph
  12. Rockers have rust


The interior is actually in pretty good shape! That was one of the reasons why I couldn't justify converting the truck. That, and it's pretty much stock other than a botched motor swap and front bumper. Oddly, though, every single interior bulb was removed and placed in the cupholders. I noticed the rear hatch doesn't quote close all the way without a little force so my guess is the lights stayed on and killed the battery but they couldn't figure it out. Dunno, but it'll be an interesting find either way!


Potential ideas for plans:

  1. Restore
  2. 2in lift, bumpers, and keep mostly stock otherwise
  3. 3 or 4.5" lift and a mild off-roader


Open to other ideas on what to do! I'm not cutting it all up...












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  • 3 weeks later...

Got the motor pulled. Ran into some hefty problems with lug nuts. Someone ugga dagga's the piss outta every bolt on this thing and cross-threaded a lot of them. Took me almost 2 hours to drill out one of the lugs. I was going to just cut all the spokes but would like to keep using as a roller for now. Also had to cut out the exhaust system and bash the O2 sensor because the bell housing was resting on it and couldn't get the engine out.


I hate automatics :fistshake1:

So much extra crap





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Was cleaning up the engine bay a bit as I'm planning to piece it together this weekend and found a nice surprise when I removed the battery tray. Need to source a cutout and weld in a replacement. I've got leftover Key-Parts floor from the MJ that I didn't use and can maybe make that work as a permanent solution.



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Was able to get the piece cut. Not perfectly but it'll work.


Nothing like learning to flux-core weld sheet metal. AKA, not really happening, but after quite a while you start to end up with something.









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  • 3 weeks later...

She's up and running as of today. Lots of things still to do but she drives down the road.


Just bought a camper on Tuesday and thinking this could be a perfect tow vehicle if I re-geared it and replaced all of the suspension :thinking:


Trailer only weighs 3,400lbs so I think she'll take it. Just a lot more work still... May sell the 2wd WK2.





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