New build: Tealie

GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Well, this is my 4th trail rig and something like my 10th Jeep overall, and I've never done a build thread. So it's long overdue! :D I ramble on a lot so I will try and use lots of pictures to break things up.

So I had this black 99 XJ, which was already lifted when I got it with stock axles. Over the course of a year I finally had it set up about like I wanted. Bumpers, sliders, locked and geared axles, 33" KM2s, generally a point and shoot rig for what I typically run and finally letting me try some harder stuff.



In the mean time I picked up a stock 97 XJ to daily drive, with a slight "misfire":



So then I located the misfire. Jeep, your piston! Woof.



I tried to replace the piston and put the engine back together with new gaskets, but compression was still crap on three of the cylinders. I was bummed and hoped I could find an engine cheap.



BRIANHO was in the process of parting out his buggy, so I ran down to his house to buy it, and got it swapped in. Now I had a running and driving stock XJ! Turns out these things are pretty fun to hoon about in when they are stock height, have sway bars, and don't generally drive like crap.

Moved on to the usual upgrades. MWC swag:



Replaced the leafs with new OE springs to fix the saggy butt:



Even picked up a set of snowflake wheels and some Destination A/Ts:



The two XJs even got to hang out a lot and be buddies:



Things were going great, I had a reliable DD and a trail rig that was serving me well. Then I went to Harlan this July, and after several tries made it up Rail Bed. I was so excited that I cut a nasty donut to show off, and this happened:



Oops.

Everyone survived the rollover with minimal damage, and I had to make a choice about what to do with the Jeep. Since it sits outside nearly all the time and I like to be warm in the winter and cold in the summer, cutting off the roof and making a buggy wasn't in my plans (or my abilities). It still ran and drove, so I contemplated finding another XJ to swap my parts on to. Then it finally occurred to me that I already own another XJ that would be perfect for this.

I got a lot of feedback but the decision has been made: wheel tealie!
 
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GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I mentioned before that my black Jeep was "set up about like I wanted," but there are a few changes I am going to make this time around.

First off: my primary passenger has requested that I consider getting a roll cage. I told her it would be easier and cheaper if I just didn't roll it again, and she pointed out that's what I said last time.

So the plan is to have Brian fit it with one of his hybrid cages. I am concerned with losing use of the backseat, but since I typically have 3 people in the rig and not 4, I may compromise and build a seat frame for an XJ bucket seat in the middle. This would free up space on the sides as well and let me store my spare tire on end, whereas with the stock bench seat in the back there is not enough distance between the back of the seat and the hatch to pull that off with a 33" tire.

Secondly: The ride quality kind of sucked. I don't mean in the go-fast stuff necessarily, but just going up the access trail at Harlan or the main road at the Badlands. Decent shocks will be a requirement, I am leaning towards Bilstein 5125s but I am open to suggestions. My rear axle has relocated shock mounts which will limit my travel quite a bit. I'm not quite willing to run them through the floor yet though.

I previously was running a TnT long arm kit in the front. One of my first complaints was that I needed to reseal my transfer case when I got my Jeep, but having to remove the front axle to remove the belly skid to pull the T-case made me put it off forever. Another is the annoying front-end unloading when climbing a hill. And another is that my front axle has the LCA brackets relocated a bit to keep them out of the way, which doesn't want to cooperate with the fixed orientation of the "Y" links in the TnT kit. As a compromise I am only able to run one upper link (though it has been drilled out to accept a 1/2" bolt).

Instead, I am shelving the long arms for now and planning to run drop brackets with adjustable arms with flex joints on the frame side. I've ran other variations of short arms and drop brackets before and never had any complaints about flex or ride quality. I would love a 3-link down the road, but the goal now is to get it on the trails.

So overall the build is looking like this:
- about 4.5-5" of lift, SYE-equipped T-case
- 33" KM2s
- Rough Country flex-joint arms with drop brackets
- HD offroad mid frame stiffeners, HD offroad shackle relocation brackets
- no-name springs that may be swapped out if the ride quality still sucks
- Bilstein 5125 shocks or suitable substitute
- trussed Dana 30, 4.56s, Aussie, chromo shafts, hi-steer
- Dana 44 rear, Aussie, hopefully swapped to Explorer discs
- Bumpers, rear quarter guards, sliders, nothing special. Sliders will be tied in to cage.

That's about it. Now I just have to spend more time actually working on it and less time talking about it!
 

GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Step one: get all that plastic out of the way, because it's easy and it feels like I'm making a lot of progress. I am already happy with the look without the flares:



Well, that didn't take long to find a roadblock. It's barely visible in some of the other pictures, but Tealie had some very minor front end damage when I got it. The center of the bumper was pushed in a little and it was a little loose, but didn't look awful so I ignored it. Turns out the impact pushed the bumper brackets back and into the frame rails. Driver side:



Passenger side:



I'm not sure what to do at this point. The "flaps" up front with the two forward-most holes can easily be hammered back into place. However the third hole, located a couple inches behind the front crossmember, is pushed into the frame rail pretty far. Any chance that threading a bolt in and using a slide hammer will do it? For a few hundred bucks I know of a body shop that would do a rough pull on it (come on Cheeseman I'm setting you up here!)

Of course I just need it close enough that I can get my bumper bolts threading in, once I tighten them down I'm sure it will be fine (6-7 bolts on each side). Aside from the discovering the crossmember damage, I started prepping the frame for stiffeners. Despite what everyone says I didn't think this was too bad of a job, a chisel scraped the undercoating loose without even needing to hammer it:



And a flap disc did the rest in no time:



Now the welding may be a different story. I am not much of a welder at all, but I am going to get them tacked into place and maybe try burning a few in to see how it goes. Of course when I finally got the confidence to fire up the welder, I looked at the gauge and saw "0 PSI"... guess I'll have to put it off for another day! :)
 

XJ&CHZ4ME

New member
subscribed!

how did the Cheeseman roof sliders fair during the roll over...I see they are not installed :D
 

BRIANHO13

<- Yum Chocolate
NAXJA Member
Awesome.

I just fixed jr's front frame with a donor front frame piece (cut out the cancer and mangled carnage) and hdoffroadengineering (shameless plug) front frame stiffeners.

He says when he turns the wheel now the jeep turns too.
 

FlexdXJ

Gone but not forgotten...
Following.....having driven tealie and hooning about in her I fell in love with it and want another stocker. Looking forward to seeing it finished........and if course more wheeling with Molly so I can haz sammiches! :D
 

GoSlowGetStuck

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subscribed!

how did the Cheeseman roof sliders fair during the roll over...I see they are not installed :D
Chzdude... they fared incredibly well! It detached right when the roof hit the ground and sat right where it came off. It was a crucial part of the reconstruction effort:



I still have them out by my shed, Byron is going to buy them to put on his rig I believe :D The nutserts from the XJ are still attached to it, it just ripped them right out of the roof. But it still looks straight!



Awesome.

I just fixed jr's front frame with a donor front frame piece (cut out the cancer and mangled carnage) and hdoffroadengineering (shameless plug) front frame stiffeners.

He says when he turns the wheel now the jeep turns too.
Well hell. My black Jeep was good from the frame rails down, that would have been perfect to cut out and splice. I had no idea Tealie was this bad until I pulled the bumper. I will try taking the bumper mounts off and using the slide hammer on it, worst case if I screw it up I will go hack apart an XJ at the pick n pull and bring it down with me.
 

GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Were there backer plates on that thing? If not, I would highly recommend them.
On the roof sliders you mean? As a replacement for the nutserts?

There were none but I agree it is a good idea. With the factory nutserts it held up fine during normal wheeling; I didn't expect much from a bunch of wimpy M8 bolts. On the new build I will have a hybrid cage which definitely won't be coming loose :)

thats my favorite xj color :)
I am glad you like it! Gabe from the SEC (StumpXJ) is making a buggy out of his "teal bitch" and cutting away all the teal... so someone had to rise to the occasion!
 

XJ&CHZ4ME

New member
When I had that on Goldie I had drilled out the nutserts and used those holes to bolt it down though to a tie in plate that was tied into the cage. I too had ran trails with just the nutsert mounting, and honestly never had a problem, but once it was put on it side, I decided to reinforce to the cage. Glad it held up as it did for you two, it could have been much worse. That was a "hey, I think we can make that from this stuff over here" project that ended up turning out decent. :D

Cheese "dosen't build Jeep stuff anymore" Man
 

XJ&CHZ4ME

New member
Chzdude... they fared incredibly well! It detached right when the roof hit the ground and sat right where it came off. It was a crucial part of the reconstruction effort:



I still have them out by my shed, Byron is going to buy them to put on his rig I believe :D The nutserts from the XJ are still attached to it, it just ripped them right out of the roof. But it still looks straight!





Well hell. My black Jeep was good from the frame rails down, that would have been perfect to cut out and splice. I had no idea Tealie was this bad until I pulled the bumper. I will try taking the bumper mounts off and using the slide hammer on it, worst case if I screw it up I will go hack apart an XJ at the pick n pull and bring it down with me.
Man, that drawing about made me piss my pants! Good stuff there homie.

Cheese "maybe a few drops got away from me" Man
 

GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
When I had that on Goldie I had drilled out the nutserts and used those holes to bolt it down though to a tie in plate that was tied into the cage. I too had ran trails with just the nutsert mounting, and honestly never had a problem, but once it was put on it side, I decided to reinforce to the cage. Glad it held up as it did for you two, it could have been much worse. That was a "hey, I think we can make that from this stuff over here" project that ended up turning out decent. :D

Cheese "dosen't build Jeep stuff anymore" Man
The two factors that contributed to us all walking away (in my opinion) are those roof sliders, and it being a late model XJ. I have no data but I would guess that 97+ bodies hold up a lot better in crashes, particularly the A pillars. Again just pure speculation on my part! I am glad the sliders will live again on someone else's Jeep, I loved them while I had them!

Also I think we'd all love to see a build thread for the stuff you *are* building!

GoSlow 'Slow Low And Bangin' GetStuck
 

IllianaXJ

Support Your Local Trails
NAXJA Member
Glad to see some Jeep progress! There will no missing this one on the trail, that's for sure.

Tyler - the Sliders w/ Cheese will be going on my MallCrawler build, coming soon :D
 

kmanxj5050

New member
I love jeeps this color.

You need a big MWC sticker that has rainbow background instead of yellow for the back window.
 

GoSlowGetStuck

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I love jeeps this color.

You need a big MWC sticker that has rainbow background instead of yellow for the back window.
It's pretty obnoxious. Ask Molly, it was a pretty big selling point when I bought it. I'm not really sure why I like it so much... the color, the dark tint, the weird options (SE trim, manual windows/locks, but ABS and Infinity speakers?)

So basically what you are asking for is the Awesome Face:



Plus the MWC logo:



Plus a rainbow? lastara

Fair enough:



I apologize if this is a misuse of the chapter logo, no harm intended. If anyone objects I'll pull it down :)
 

XJ&CHZ4ME

New member
that is hilarious! just drop a tooth out of the front and it could be the new banner for Flex's Neon Club :D

Cheese "If they cant take a foke, juck them" Man
 
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