Category | Project Archives

New Front Bumper Ends, Spash Shields, & Air Deflector

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Over the weekend I removed and installed new bumper ends and a air deflector.  My old bumper ends had become very worn down from the elements and the bottoms were cracked from offroading over the years.  I decided to replace the splash shields in the front wheel wells because the old ones had rotted out.

Here are some before and after photos below:

Before & After

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Woodgrain Dash Trim on a 97-01 XJ

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I found a woodgrain dash trim console on eBay that was originally in a limited edition XJ.  The sides of the panel were a kind of greyish color so I painted them black to match my dash.  I like the way it came out.  It looks a little bling, but I think it breaks up the black.

I was thinking about putting in a tan center console to go with a different two tone look or to accent the black more.  I found a tan center console on eBay but haven’t decided yet if I like the idea or not yet.

Here are some photos of the woodgrain dash console below:

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Custom Gauge Mount in Ashtray on 97-01 Cherokee XJ

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Awhile back while browsing the web, I came across someone who had gaugeplates.com make a custom gauge plate where the original ash tray was situated in the 97-01 Cherokee.  They used theirs as a switch panel, while I had the idea of using the same plate for a transmission temperature gauge.  I installed a transmission cooler recently because XJs transmissions are known to run hot.  My original transmission went out I believe because of overheating.  I thought it would be a good idea to install a gauge to keep an eye on the temperature.  Especially if I end up towing a boat at some point with the Jeep.

To get it to fit just right, I had to use my dremel saw to cut out the old recessed plastic that originally housed the removable ashtray.  The gauge plate came with 3M adhesive tape.  Once I cut out the recessed area, I was able to fit the plate snugly over the area.

Attached are a couple of photos below of how it came out.  I think it looks pretty good…

The Sending Unit

To mount the sending unit, I used a T-Junction fitting (See Photo Below).

 

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Oil Pressure Sending Unit Replacement

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For many years the oil pressure gauge in my Cherokee has been on the blink.  I actually had the oil pressure sending unit replaced (So I thought) years ago.  The repair shop told me they replaced the sending unit but they said it hadn’t fixed the problem with the gauge.  I replaced the sending unit today just to see what would happen and it ended up fixing the problem with my gauge.  Either the repair shop never replaced it originally or the unit they replaced it with was faulty.  The sending unit cost me $25 and about 5 minutes to remove and install.  It sure pays to read a little bit on the internet and do your own repairs.  I think I remember paying a couple hundred dollars for the repair years ago.   Lesson learned…

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Type III Hitch on a 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ

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One of my goals in fixing up my XJ is to tow a small boat with it in the future.  It has always been my dream to have a small boat and cruise do some bay cruising.  I recently had a type III hitch installed on my XJ.  The Max weight advisable to tow for the XJ is 5,000 lbs.  However, most people say anything more than 3,500 lbs is pushing it.  The boat I want weighs approximatley 2,500 lbs so Im hoping my XJ will tow the boat without any problems.

I had the hitch installed by my local Uhaul.  I found the “Jeep” branded hitch insert on eBay.

Listed below are some photos my new hitch…

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New Jeep Floor Mats

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Here are some photos of some new floor mats I got for my XJ…


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Installing Polk Audio 1″ Tweeters in a 97-01 Cherokee XJ

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I recently installed new door panels on my XJ as the old ones were really worn down and in need of replacement.  While doing this, I decided to upgrade my speakers.  I ended up replacing the stock speakers with a 6.5″ 2-Way Polk audio speaker.

Since I got my Jeep, I always found there to be poor sound quality due to the low position of the speakers at the bottom of the door panel.  To resolve this problem, I decided to install tweeters in my door panel.  I installed some 1″ Polk audio speakers in each door panel.

To cut the 2″ holes, I used a dremel saw.  The trick is to draw a guide first.  Then once you know where your going to cut, make small around your circular patter.  Then try and install the tweeter in the hole with the mounting bracket.  If the hole is too small, continue cutting little by little until you get a good fit.  If you cut too much too soon, your screwed.  There is no going back.  Take your time and don’t be hasty.

Listed below are some photos of my finished installed tweeters:

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Installing Door Panels on a 97-01 Cherokee XJ

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I had a very difficult time finding a used front passenger side door panel with a manual door setup on eBay.  Very few vehicles have manual windows and door locks which made it difficult.  I finally found a replacement from a tan interior 97-01 Cherokee XJ below:

My interior on my XJ is black, so I had to paint the door panel to match.  To do this I cleaned it thoroughly before painting with Simple Green.  I then painted it with interior vinyl paint.  I used Flat Black Dupli-Color Spray Paint for vinyl surfaces.

I was driving around for the longest time without a door panel, below:

Finally after all the painting and installing, I ended up with a nice like-new door panel, below:

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Fixing Quick Connect Transmission Lines on a 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ 4.0

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I’ve noticed several small leaks coming from my transmission lines recently.  After further inspection I realized that the leaks were coming from the quick connectors where the metal meets the rubber connection.  From what I understand, they are intended to last the life of the vehicle.  I tried virtually everything under the sun to remove them to no avail.  Some of the connectors are removable with a tool.  However,  the quick connectors that are not removable are pictured below


The Solution (Instructions)

1.  Cut the 3/8 metal line with room to spare for affixing a compression fitting.  Cut the metal tube with a tubing cutter like the one displayed below:


2. Install a”1/2″ x 3/8 female compression to tube” adapter on the end of the metal line.  Tighten well.  The fitting should look like the images listed below:


3. Screw on a 3/8 “Brass Hose Barb” fitting on the male end of the 3/8 compression fitting.  The fitting should like the image listed below:


4. Connect 3/8 transmission tube to “Brass Hose Barb” fitting.

After following the instructions above you should have something like this:

Note on Threads
I used thread tape on all of the threads to ensure there was no leaking of the lines.  I used a thicker thread tape intended to be used for gas lines as transmission fluid can deteriorate gaskets and surfaces over long periods.

Tightening of Bolts
I was told to tighten the bolts as much as possible with the compression fittings to ensure the compression fitting tightens down on the metal transmission line.  I personally don’t light to overtighten as this can often do more harm than good.  With that said, I used my own discretion in tightening them.  I had a problem stripping one of the fittings over tightening it on my first attempt.  So after that, I eased up a bit.

More Photos of Fittings Listed Below:

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