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  • #31
    No more tailgaters.
    2016 Wrangler 2 Door Willys
    Current Mods: Daystar Hood Wranglers, Cobra 29 LTD, ARB Stubby Front Bumper, ARB Rear Bumper, MetalCloak 2.5" Dual Rate Springs w/1in Spacers, Rock Krawler Adjustable Control Arms & Bumpstops, Currie AntiRock Front, Synergy Front & Rear Trackbar, Rock Hard Crossmember and Oil/Trans Skid, Teraflex tire carrier, 17x8 4"BS Steel Wheel 295/70/17 General Grabber X3, 4.56 gears, sleeve and gusset front axle.

    Comment


    • sjlplat
      sjlplat commented
      Editing a comment
      Ha! I haven't wired in a switch yet, so I'd have to drop it in reverse for that.

  • #32
    Laredo Seats

    For a 30-year old rig, this XJ is super clean, but being a base model it lacks a lot of the amenities of the higher-tier models. I really like the look of the Laredo interiors, with the thick side bolsters and tweed inlays, so I've been on the lookout for a decent set of Laredo seats to swap in.

    I picked up a rough 1990 Laredo with the seats I like, but the driver seat was in pretty bad shape. I figured I'd look for an upholstery shop to re-upholster all of the seats, assuming the old fabric might not have a perfect match available for a partial job. This was going to be pricey, but might be my only option.

    This weekend I was very fortunate to run across an ad on Facebook for a 2-door Laredo to be parted out. Judging from the pictures, the seats looked to be in fair shape, so I contacted the seller to inquire about them. He quickly replied with a $50 price tag on each seat, and I jumped. After a 6-hour drive, I was back home with a fair set of 2-door seats and sliders in need of a good scrubbing.

    This afternoon, I installed the 2 freshly cleaned 2-door seats and sliders, and the matching rear bench from my parts rig. The 2-door sliders and seats differ from the 4-door variants in several ways:
    1. The 2-door seats have a separate lever to tilt the seat forward for rear-seat access.
    2. The 2-door sliders provide more front legroom because they slide further back.
    3. The 4-door sliders have an additional tilt mechanism to adjust the entire seat in a rocking motion.
    Although I really like the tilt mechanism in the 4-door sliders, I opted to use the 2-door sliders to provide more legroom. At 6'2" tall, I found that the 4-door sliders made for a somewhat cramped driving experience.

    Before

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    To Do
    • The passenger seat has a half-dollar sized hole in the fabric. The passenger seat in my parts rig is pristine. I may try to swap the fabric between the two.
    • The rear bench has a small tear in the vinyl in the rear of the seat. It's not visible, but needs to be repaired to prevent it from getting worse.
    - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

    - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

    - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

    - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

    - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

    - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

    Comment


    • #33
      Passenger Seat Upholstery Swap (4-door frame to 2-door frame)

      Being the obsessive compulsive person than I am, I couldn't leave well enough alone. The half-dollar sized hole in the new (used) passenger seat was bothering me all week, so I decided to try my hands at some basic upholstery work.

      Removing the Seat Backs

      Removing the seat backs was relatively straight-forward. There are 4 bolts holding the seat cushion to the base of the frame, and 4 bolts holding the frame to the slider. The slider does not need to be removed from the floorboard.

      Once the frame is removed from the slider, the fabric simply unhooks from the inside of the frame, and slides off the top. There are two spring-loaded headrest latches that must be removed from the inside of the frame before the fabric will slide completely off. As you can see in the pictures, there are a couple slight differences in the frames between the 2-door and 4-door variants. Swapping the 4-door upholstery onto a 2-door seat frame requires cutting a slit for the tilt mechanism on the side of the seat.

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      Replacing the Seat Backs

      Replacing the seat backs is just as easy as removing them. Simply reverse the steps taken to remove them, and you have a freshly re-upholstered seat. This is quite literally one of the easiest repair jobs I've done. I now have a complete set of Laredo seats in my XJ with no rips or tears.
      - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

      - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

      - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

      - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

      - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

      - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

      Comment


      • #34
        Nice Work!

        Comment


        • #35
          You’ve allowed me to motivate myself!
          2004 Grand Cherokee (WJ), Laredo 4.0
          4.5" Frankenstein Short Arm lift, Rusty ADJ CA's, trussed Waggy 44 Front & 44HD Rear; 315/70:17 Patagonia M/T mounted on Micky Thompson Classic Lock II 17x9

          Comment


          • sjlplat
            sjlplat commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey now! Don't make me take out a 2nd mortgage!

        • #36
          Wing Windows

          I've been eyeballing the wing windows in my parts rig for awhile now. I finally have a week off from work, so I decided I'd dig in to the parts rig and see what it takes to swap those windows.

          Removal

          Removal is surprisingly straight forward. Remove the door panels, roll the window down, remove one bolt in the bottom of the window run, and remove the 2 screws from the door inside the door jamb. From there, the wing window rotates backwards, up, and out.

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          Installation

          Installing the window is just as simple as removing it. Simply reverse the steps taken for removal, and you have wing windows!

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          - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

          - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

          - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

          - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

          - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

          - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

          Comment


          • #37
            Dash Bezel & Stereo
            I thought the silver dash bezel in the Laredo might look better than the plain black one in the base model, so I decided to swap them. During that process, it was a good time to swap the Kenwood stereo in my parts rig in favor of the old factory AM/FM Jeep stereo. Nothing glamorous here; just a few screws and plugs to contend with.

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            - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

            - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

            - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

            - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

            - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

            - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

            Comment


            • #38
              Nice work! Your new seats look good and comfy.

              Comment


              • #39
                I went back and was reading up on the injectors you installed. My question is the 746's just for the renix XJ engines? I am looking to replace some fuel system parts on my TJ and would like to replace the injectors at the same time. I am not going bigger injector just want the best injectors for my engine. There is so many different brands and options available for an OE replacement.

                Comment


                • #40
                  Originally posted by ZacT View Post
                  I went back and was reading up on the injectors you installed. My question is the 746's just for the renix XJ engines? I am looking to replace some fuel system parts on my TJ and would like to replace the injectors at the same time. I am not going bigger injector just want the best injectors for my engine. There is so many different brands and options available for an OE replacement.
                  Yes, the 746's are only recommended for the Renix engines. The 703's are used in the HO models. I've also seen some 12-hole injectors that supposedly work really well in the HO's.
                  - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

                  - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

                  - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

                  - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

                  - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

                  - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

                  Comment


                  • #41
                    Windshield Wiper Motor & Intermittent Delay Module

                    No pictures, but I spent a little time this weekend swapping the front wiper motor assembly and intermittent delay module from my parts rig. The wipers only worked with the switch on high, and moved as slow as molasses. After swapping the motor assembly, there was no improvement so I moved on to the intermittent delay module.

                    With the intermittent delay module replaced, all setting appear to be working fine. However, the speed is still concerning. I've noticed that the speed increases with engine RPM, so I'm thinking my electrical gremlins may be linked to a weak alternator. I'll probably go ahead and order a 200-amp alternator to replace the old 61-amp OEM unit, given future plans for a heavier load later on.

                    I also found a fair deal on a manual driver-side window regulator, so I'm going to fore-go the power window upgrade for now, and work on more important things in the near term. All new window seals and weatherstripping are on the way, so I'll be replacing those when I install the new (used) window regulator.
                    - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

                    - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

                    - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

                    - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

                    - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

                    - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

                    Comment


                    • #42
                      Gauge Circuit Bypass and 1990 ECM Swap

                      In my ongoing fight with Renix electrical gremlins, I decided to bypass the OEM gauge circuit. The original design placed the circuit for the blower motor between the gauges and the battery, so simply turning on the A/C blower motor causes a huge drop in voltage at the gauges, leaving them virtually useless. To correct this problem, I elected to install a relay off the OEM circuit, and run a direct line from the battery to the gauges. This guarantees that the gauges will turn on and off as originally designed, but they will show the true voltage at the battery. This mod is completely reversible, as I used spade connectors in the fusebox instead of splicing wires.

                      While I was at it, I decided to swap in the ECM from my 1990 parts rig. The ECM was changed in 1989 with a new air/fuel algorithm, yielding an additional 10HP, and it is a direct plug & play upgrade for 1987 & 1988 models.

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                      - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

                      - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

                      - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

                      - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

                      - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

                      - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

                      Comment


                      • #43
                        Wow, good job! Even thinking about tracking down electrical problems gives me a headache.
                        2001 TJ 4.0, 32Rh auto tranny, Dana 44 Detroit Truetrac 3.73 rear, Dana 30 Detroit Truetrac 3.73 front, 2 inch lift rear 3 inch lift front, BFG mud terrain km3 32/11.50/15 tires

                        Comment


                        • sjlplat
                          sjlplat commented
                          Editing a comment
                          This low idle issue is making my head spin. I've checked and re-checked everything I can think of. I'm starting to wonder if it's related to the bored-out throttle body. Luckily, I have a parts rig with a stock throttle body that I can throw at it. Might try that when weather permits.

                          I hate to think I dropped $70 bucks on a mod that caused a problem instead of fixing anything!

                      • #44
                        Originally posted by Knighttime85 View Post
                        That XJ looks clean for an 88! I'm looking forward to see what you do with it.
                        Definitely looks clean. Reminds me of my cousin's next jeep project right after we finished the last mods, rack and tonneau covers on the current truck project. The XJ needs some TLC and the dash needs a new paint. Yours looks totally neat on the inside.

                        Comment


                        • sjlplat
                          sjlplat commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The pictures are a little deceiving. It's definitely clean, but still a 30-year old Jeep that was daily driven.

                          I've steamed the seats with a household shampooer, and the base model is all plastic and vinyl, so it doesn't trap dirt and grime like the premium models.

                          The engine bay really shows its age. I'd love to clean it up...just takes time.

                      • #45
                        Open Cooling System Conversion

                        The Renix cooling system is often touted as the worst design that Jeep engineers developed for the XJ. In the peak of summer, I quickly learned why this is the case. Driving on the highway was fine, but the instant I became stuck in city traffic or idled for any period of time, the temperature creeped up to dangerously high levels. Although routine maintenance will ensure that the cooling system functions properly, the common solution is to convert to an open system. This guarantees that air will not be trapped, and cause the common overheating problems that Renix owners know well.

                        I received most of the parts I needed to do the conversion on Friday, so I started digging in Saturday morning. When I got down to the radiator, it was apparent that the cooling system was indeed 30-years old. Here, you can see the original AMC label on the radiator.

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                        In comparing the old and new radiators, there are a few glaring differences. First, the new radiator is much thicker than the original, boasting two cores instead of the original one. Second, there is now a radiator cap! The original closed system required adding coolant to a sealed pressure bottle.

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                        Installation requires removal of the Renix pressure bottle, 3-way hose tee, and optionally the heater control valve. When removing the heater control valve, coolant flows through the heater core all the time; there are some pros and cons to this. If the HVAC blend door is inoperable, then heat will enter the cab all the time. Fortunately, my blend door is functional, so I opted to remove the valve.

                        The inlet and outlet on the heater core are reversed from the inlet and outlet on the block, so the hoses are sized 3/4 on one end and 5/8 on the other. This means that it is not possible to use a single length of hose to the heater core. Brass reducers can be used to splice a 5/8 hose to a 3/4 hose, and change the size on each end. Optionally, the flow of coolant can be reversed through the heater core, though this can cause air entrapment in the system.

                        The most tricky part to the conversion is figuring out where to put the new coolant bottle. After some reading, I learned that the 4 cylinder XJ coolant bottle can be mounted to the space on the driver-side inner fender by relocating or removing the fuel pump ballast resistor and the EGR solenoid. Since my new coolant bottle hasn't been delivered yet, I decided to temporarily install the one from my '98 4.0L parts rig.

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                        Once the system was flushed and topped off with new coolant, I took it for a test drive. Engine temps are now rock solid at 210-215 degrees, with no indication of overheating.

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                        - 1988 XJ Base - I don't actually drive it. It just sits in the driveway while I throw parts at it.

                        - 1990 XJ Laredo - Old and busted, but it'll get the job done!

                        - 1994 XJ Base 2-door - Where'd the other doors go?

                        - 1996 XJ Sport - It's red. What else can I say?

                        - 1997 XJ Country - My wife wanted something "pretty".

                        - 1998 XJ Limited - Cheap and leathery.

                        Comment

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