1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Landrover, Range Rover, Jeep or whatever - off-road or not, this is the one.

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:12 pm

One option is water wetter - it allows heat to flow more easily from engine to coolant to radiator and therefore out to atmosphere. Upgraded metal radiators are available from the USA - not cheap but maybe worthwhile in the long run.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard C » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:11 pm

re-reading this has reminded me of a program or rather a series that is running on the Discovery channel at the moment, I can't remember the exact name but its along the lines of one car two men. I saw the first in the series and these two guys one a off road nut and the other some sort of SAS survival expert and they were dropped into a desert (Chilie I think) and they were provided with a little red Jeep Wrangler and the challenge was to drive to the Ocean. The Wrangler sprang a leak from the rad and the off road dude fixed it with an egg white into the coolant which blocked the hole enough for them to drive to safety. Having seen the split in your rad Rich I reckon you would need a dinosaur egg to fix that with the same method.
Richard

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1989 827 Si Fastback, Manual, Pulsar Silver Metalic
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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:38 pm

Dinosaur egg is about right!

One Car Too Far is the progrmme. I watched it but to be honest wasn't that impressed - the off-road expert seemed to be pretty clueless about tackling obstacles and the whole thing is the usual American TV over dramatised stuff. Nice scenery, though!
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:50 am

I'm well overdue an update on this so by way of a start, I've got a set of these wheelarch flares on their way to me now:

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Wed May 08, 2013 6:42 pm

And here we go with my version:

This is what the original flares look like:
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This is the kit of wider flares. Single-piece front flares, two-piece rears (part for the door part for the wing) and two funny looking bits that have yet to be identified! :
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I used fibreglass matting and resin to beef up the areas where the bolts go through (sorry no "after" pic just yet):
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There were no instructions or bolts but it's not rocket science. Whip off the original flares, offer up the new ones and get an idea where the slightly mis-shapen fibreglas needs to be trimmed. Then get brave with the angle grinder and attack the wing!
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This is what came off:
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After drilling a load of holes in the flares and the wing (all rust treated and painted), I used some small bore irrigation tube (split down the middle) to edge the lip that presses up against the wing. Then I bolted it into place with some nice M8 hex headed bolts. The area under the front end of the flare has been left untrimmed for now - once I've get everything in place I'll trim/fold/paint it to tidy it up.
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Then it's time to tackle the other side. Here you can see the mounting holes. No going back now! You can also see here the lift springs and uprated shocks that I had fitted some time back (about 1.75" of lift). Needless to say, this side took a lot less time than the first!
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You'll probably have noticed that the new flares cover the area of the side repeaters. i have fitted some LED indicator repeaters to the mirrors (you can see them in the last three shots) and will see if there is somewhere convenient to refit the side repeaters - probably above the crease line.

Now the rears are going to be a bit more tricky because there are some double skinned, areas that I really don't want to trim because it would weaken the shell (where the inner arches meet the rear wings) so I will have to fold, weld and paint those bits and spend more time trimming the flares.

I'm reasonably pleased with them although the rear end of the front left flare is a rather poor fit at the bottom of the wing and could do with building up - but that's a job for another time. Rears first!

Also, the wheels look a little lost now (as expected) so I may swap them for the ones on my red Grand Cherokee which have a wider offset or fit spacers. Hopefully I'll get one or both rear arches done this weekend.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Thu May 09, 2013 9:53 am

Richard C wrote:Are all metal upgraded rads available?
I have just bought one - all brass, beautifully put together and all the way from America. Not cheap but I think it will be worth it as it has an uprated core, too. Actually, for what it is, it is great value at $204 including shipping to my US courier - then it cost me just over $100 to get it here! The suppliers were also very helpful.

http://www.btr-radiator.com/partslistin ... =-1&id5=-1

Once it is in and tested I shall post some more piccies.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Thu May 09, 2013 10:08 am

PS: I fitted these headlights some time back: http://www.ebay.com/itm/170899360075?ss ... 1439.l2649

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They have clear "glass" and the light beam is shaped by the reflector, not the lens. They're the type used on about 99% of new cars and are supposed to give a better light pattern. They seem to have made a big difference but if the standard H4 bulbs don't do it, I should be able to put an HID kit in there (like I did on the Luminaro). However, they seem OK thus far.

Talking of which, I've been enjoying the XJ so much that I haven't really missed the Lumina like I expected I would.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard C » Thu May 09, 2013 7:11 pm

They look a lot more purposeful than the old ones, at first I thought those wheels looked lost in those arches and then spotted you have it on stands and jacked up :oops:

look forward to the report about the rad
Richard

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1989 827 Si Fastback, Manual, Pulsar Silver Metalic
2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.7CDTi EcoFlex, Macadamia

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Thu May 09, 2013 7:23 pm

The extra width of the new flares makes the heel track look too narrow - hence the idea of fitting spacers. The trimming will make more space under the wings, which is just as well because the front wings were catching every now and then
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Mon May 20, 2013 8:23 pm

Driver's side arch on:
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The plastic "beading":
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Never mind the quality, feel the width :) :
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A gap that even a Range Rover would be ashamed of!
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Rear arch:
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All 4 arches on:
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Relocated side repeater and Cherokee badge
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I'm reasonably pleased with the results but it's not a job I fancy repeating any time soon. I'll be charitable and say that "the fit could have been better" - in fact, I think that the arch flares were made by someone who had once seen a Cherokee from a distance but never actually got close enough to measure up :) . A LOT of fettling was required - perhaps made worse by the fact that I did not want to trim the rear wings/inner wheelarches because of the risk of weakening the structure, so I just folded the lip of the wheelarch up into the inner arch (forgot to take photos, though).

Now for some spacers for the wheels so that they can fill those arches.

Thankfully the new radiator was a whole different kettle of fish. Beautifully made and it slotted straight in with no troubles. I flushed the cooling system, changed a few hoses and fitted a new expansion tank and everything was fine - for one whole day until the water pump munched its seals! So it all had to come out again for a new water pump to go in. on the plus side, I also took the opportunity to fit a heavy duty viscous clutch to the fan so it should help cooling, too. So far so good.............

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by rovercoup » Mon May 20, 2013 8:32 pm

Not long and you will soon be hitting those dunes then
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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Mon May 20, 2013 8:56 pm

rovercoup wrote:Not long and you will soon be hitting those dunes then
Friday - and the current 37-40 degree temperatures will give the cooling system a good workout!
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:34 pm

Well the cooling system is coping (just) with the heat we have here right now. Just to give you an idea, it's 11pm and still 38 Celcius! On road the engine stays perfectly but off road due to the high revs and low forward speed it is OK unless I use the AC all the time - so I sweat a bit sometimes!

This is one of the front anti-roll bar bushes that came out now replaced with decent new ones (on the right). The other was just as bad. The rear leaf spring bushes are next to be replaced, with the nice poly bushes I bought from the USA. Then there's the sloppy steering box, propshaft UJs, some wheel spacers, seat recovering............................
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:37 pm

These Jeeps are not very good all round when it comes to cooling - and the engine ECU is prone to overheating and causing loss of power, uncommanded shutdowns and poor starting. Jeep didn't make life any easier by placing it right next to the radiator. Here is the offending article
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and this is where it lives:
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I remembered that my Chrysler used to feed the intake air through the EC U to keep it cool and thought I would see if I could borrow a bit from that idea. So I cut a hole in the filter box to draw air from the area around the ECU....
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....and put a shroud (old food container!) around the ECU to connect it to the filter box....
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.... then opened up the bottom of the "shroud" and ECU case to draw air past the computer on its way to the filter box....
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....and put it all back together using a tube to connect the filter box and shroud.
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I've only been out once since but despite outside air temperatures of 45C+ the jeep stayed running (when required) and only once did it take me a couple of attempts to restart after a shutdown (better than normal). I might look at ducting air to the shroud from a cooler part of the car (perhaps the heater intake area) to see if that helps more. When the weather cools a bit and working on the car is easier, I may try relocating the ECU to the interior of the car - after all, it works for the Honda engined Rovers.

Another thing that annoyed me is the lack of cup holders - it has NONE which is unforgivable in a Yank car and a serious omission for this part of the world. Just by chance, I found an aftermarket one at www.rockauto.com for $6.16 (how do they get those prices?) so bought one.
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It mounts on the front of the centre armrest, over the handbrake lever, where it slightly restricts handbrake movement. My handbrake is in need of adjustment so will need to be adjusted before I fit the cupholder but otherwise it should do the job. I don't imagine that it's deep enough to keep a can in place off-road but will do the job on-road OK.
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: 1996 Cherokee (XJ) 4L manual

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:40 pm

PS: My Cherokee's seats are filthy!
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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