1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ Buildup - The $400 All-Purpose XJ: Part 3Posted in How To on December 1, 2010
You might have noticed that we missed a build installment in the last issue. Well, I seem to be having some stroke of luck right now, and unfortunately it's not the good kind. After Jeeps R Us fixed and modified the engine on my $400 '97 Cherokee, T and J Performance installed a Rock Krawler front and rear long-arm four-link suspension. I drove it up to the Central Coast of California to do some off-roading, where my XJ was sidelined with a busted transfer case. I finally found enough parts to fix the T-case and hit the road. I had my XJ on the road for about six hours, driving from San Luis Obispo to Barstow, when the engine decided to let go. Since 4.0L engine blocks are usually bulletproof, I wasn't expecting a bearing to spin and a connecting rod to fracture on the bottom end. It's taken a little while to get it going and back on the road again. In fact, it isn't on the road yet. Most of the parts are here, but Jeeps R Us is waiting on a piston before we can put the engine back together (again).
In the meantime, I figured we could use the time to bolt on the front and rear OR-Fab bumpers, some Rusty's cut-out flexy flares, and install some new Corbeau seats so my XJ is more more prepared, more legal, and more comfortable the next time it's able to move under its own power.