Jeep 2001 Jeep XJ Build - I Guess. What’s a build anyway

Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
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Front Range Colorado
Just wanted to start tracking all the great stuff I’ve been doing to my Jeep. I tried to sell it because I have too many cars but it didn’t go very well since I was asking more than anyone wanted to pay for a 18 year old Jeep with almost 190,000 on it. So I started working on it again and plan to drive it for a while. I love how easy it is to work on!

A few years back I put all new old man emu suspension, steering stabilizer, jks quick disconnects and Currie upper and lower control arms. A throaty Gibson exhaust. A front and rear bumper with space for a winch and swingout tail gate that holds my spare. And Cibie lights with Osram bulbs fed on their own wiring loom and relays. Much much better lighting.

Last year I installed a sweet pioneer head unit that has outputs for highs, mids, and lows. I put in Alpine speakers with a Fosgate amp to feed the speakers and an alpine sub woofer. This setup took a lot of time and money but is well worth it! Albeit I don’t think I’ll undertake something like that again.

Also last year I performed a bunch of maintenance like new alternator, valve cover gasket, water pump, all new radiator hoses, flushed coolant, and I replaced the spark plugs which looked better than my rebuilt FJ60 plugs. I also replaced all the brake pads and turned the drums and rotors. Along with that the brake booster finally got replaced. It didn’t really show bad, but the brakes have never been very good and I’ve been trying to figure it out. Turns out even though the booster tested fine, after replacing it the brakes are better.

I keep up with changing the fluids regularly. Recently I changed the oil with synthetic, flushed the power steering, flushed the brakes, drained and refilled the transmission and I plan to do the diffs and transfer case again soon.

This week I’ve pulled and replaced my wheel bearing hubs (timkin), axle u-joints (spicer), upper and lower ball joints (spicer). The ujoints seemed fine as did the ball joints but the driver’s wheel bearing had play so I’m glad I’m doing all this. It was a huge battle though. 9 hours today and 5 yesterday just to get everything off and apart and cleaned up. Will put new parts in tomorrow. I could bang the passenger side joint down when I had it off and in a vice, the driver’s side wasn’t like that so I think it’s good I’m replacing them even though there was no movement when I used a crowbar to check them and they didn’t make noise on the road. Same for the U-joints, not a lot of play if any at all, but really loosey goosey. Everything is just old and welded in place so now it’ll be ready for another 190,000 miles. I plan on putting some SS extended brake lines on it tomorrow as well. That has helped stiffen up the brakes when I put them on the 60. Last but not least my tone ring was cracked on the driver’s side, I had intermittent ABS light but it never stayed on long enough for me to get it checked. I’ve gotta figure out how to get the tone ring off, ordered a Spicer replacement

Lastly, this week I put a new Napa Legend Battery and 31x10.5” BFG KO2s replaced some lousy Duratracs
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
the Ball joints where tiring to get out but everything went together pretty smoothly. The u-joints are easiest to just hammer in once everything is lined up.

Old ball joints:
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New joints:
7DF3D3AC-48F9-4ABE-A550-B63C0EDE4545.jpeg
06D4D706-C092-4709-9013-DD0530CB58FD.jpeg
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
I pulled the front driveshaft off because I could hear a little noise and I wasn’t sure where it was coming from so I started there. One of the ujoints and the center ball were dry so they got replaced with spicer and the shaft was balanced by my driveline guy. Less noise with the DS off, so hopefully when I put it back on the noise won’t return and I can confidently say it was that. If the noise comes back, I’ll drop the transfer case and rebuild it with an updated post.

I didn’t put the SS brake lines on yet, the front end work took all my weekend time and energy so I decided to hold off until another day.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
Driveshaft or Axle shaft u-joint remove and replace:
I learned some new tech from my driveline guy. When replacing the u-joints a lot of the time they don’t come with enough grease. You want to add some to the hole in the spider where there is already a little bit. Fill the hole up with some moly based grease and then be absolutely sure to wipe it clean from the end. If you don’t, the caps will not go on because grease doesn’t compress. You don’t need to add any to the needle bearings themselves like you see some guys do in you tube. Also, he doesn’t worry about mixing the grease, he adds it and finishes putting it back together. I also watched him clean up any burrs using a burr grinder and he uses a flat file to make sure the inside of the ears are clean of burrs otherwise the clip can have a hard time sitting correctly in its place.

The ears on one side were pinched a hair so I couldn’t get the spider in. It was so frustrating. The trick is the whack one ear hard with a hammer! The steel has memory and pops back out to its original opening. No more problem getting the spider in!
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
ABS tone ring removal:
Don’t try to hammer or press it off or on. The trick to removal is to simply put the driveshaft in a vice and then heat the tone ring up with a torch. It will just fall off! Then to put it back on do the same thing in reverse. Super easy and fun and you won’t break anything!
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
189,400 miles:
Diffs:
Drained and refilled front and rear diff oil. I Added 80-90 gear oil from my Napa 5 gallon tub I use for all my vehicles. The old fluid was ready to be changed for sure but didn’t have any metal in it. The gears looked great. I used grey permatext to seal last time and it worked well, it came off easy too. I used a little die grinder with brown scotch bright abrasive pad for any remainder. This time I used JB weld high temp Red RTV. I’ll see how it holds up over time.

UPDATE: jbweld red rtv is leaking on the front diff but holding fluid on the back diff. I did them identically. Pulled the covers, let the oil drain, spray the covers and inside of diffs with brake cleaner. Let it air dry after wiping most of it out. Rotate the gears and spray and clean again. Let it dry completely. Then I took a scotch bright pad on a die grinder to clean all the old gasket material off. Then clean that area only, with a rag and brake cleaner. Then apply the rtv. I always have had success putting it on and smearing it so it’s not a bead but a decent thickness of flat rtv that will compress and ooze out slightly. It called for applying it, hand tightening bolts and waiting a period of time before tightening the bolts all the way. Then I waited a full 24 hours before adding oil. It started leaking almost immediately.

TCase:
Drained and refilled my TCase with Valvoline Dex/merc III. No metal in the oil.
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
SYE Hack n Tap:
Bought a spicer yoke from my driveline guy and popped the center piece out. Then got a hefty washer with a 3/8” hole in the middle and welded the washer to the yoke. Fastened it to my output shaft on the TCase with a 3/8” by 1” long grade 8 bolt and a lock washer to 30 ft lbs and red loctite. I also put shims that I had available under my leaf spring perch but the diff doesn’t quite point towards the TCase. It’s a couple degrees shy I’d say. I used a junk yard front driveshaft from another Jeep xj. Everything is quiet and no vibes.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
189,690
Noise is a lot better after all the work I’ve done. But there is still a little noise and the bearing in the front output shaft moves laterally when I grab it and shake it up and down, so I’m pretty sure this is where the noise is coming from.

I started the transfer case removal today. It took some time because I didn’t want to break anything and I have never done it before on a Jeep. About 6 hours with breaks and researching info on getting linkage off.

After draining the oil out of the tcase, I removed the rear DS completely but only detached the front from the tcase leaving it attached to the diff. Then I put a jack with a board underneath to support the transmission via the pan. I thought I could get away with just removing bolts but the first one holding the transmission mount twisted right off so I started soaking everything in PB blaster. No problems after that. Removed the mount bolts and then the crossmember bolts. The linkage between the tranny and tcase popped off but it takes more force than expected to get them out of the bushings that hold them in place. Next I removed the electrical connectors. I always struggle with the red locking clips so I actually just removed the bracket that holds the top connector in place. Then I had more room to get a screwdriver on the clip and remove the connector without breaking it. Last thing was removing the vent tube, don’t bother with needle nose pliers, just grab some channel locks and use them to remove the clamp and push off the hose.

One more thing I did that I haven’t seen is I loosened the exhaust bolts that hold the muffler to the rear cat. This allows the exhaust to flex a little bit at the rear when I lowered the transmission. The font part of the exhaust just moves with the engine when the transmission is lowered. Worked for me. After lowering the transmission I noticed some part of the linkage that I hadn’t removed was getting tweaked so I raised the transmission up again and removed the two little bolts holding the linkage to the bracket that is bolted from the inside of the car. I didn’t remove that bracket, just the little one that attaches to it and holds the linkage in place. Then I was able to drop the tranny and the linkage didn’t bind up, and I was able to wrestle it out.

After that I started removing the 6 bolts holding the tcase to the transmission. I had to use a variety of wrenches to complete the job. The top one that is slightly on the passenger side is really hard to get off. I had to use a very short 1/4” drive and a 14mm socket, but I didn’t have the finger strength to remove it. It’s a very tight squeeze to get a hand up in there. And anything bigger where you can get leverage just doesn’t have room to move between the body and the exhaust pipe. I finally got a 13” long tiny pipe that could barely fit between the body and exhaust and I was able to break it free 1/4” turns at a time. What a pain! It started getting dark so I stopped there.
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
Here’s a few pics:
Tools for draining oil and removing driveshafts:
37152A2A-A9DD-43FB-9A8C-14D772382332.jpeg


13mm for tranny mounts (terrible pic sorry):
DEE78F28-AF54-44AE-AE8A-32F293F03551.jpeg


15mm for crossmember nut and bolts:
E5D432D1-0543-4E57-8019-632EEA30F9E6.jpeg


First connector (speedo) off:
8424B148-EF0C-4F3D-A432-6AEB4DD7E724.jpeg
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
848
Location
Front Range Colorado
Got it pulled and on the bench. I bought a pair of Stanley proto lock ring pliers just for this job but can’t seem to find them when I need them. I worked on trying to get the internal snap rings and external lock ring off for a while yesterday and there’s just no way even with the decent Napa pliers I have so I’m waiting for my delivery of another set of lock ring pliers and knipex 4411j3 snap ring pliers to start pulling this thing apart. Meanwhile, I took off what I could. A puller used on the dust shield sucked, didn’t work and just bent it so I got a slide hammer from Advance Auto and it popped right off. Also I had to use a tiny crowbar to pop the seal off that’s underneath the dust shield (found these ideas from a youvideo, very helpful!). Careful not to damage the sealing edge. My new to me compressor couldn’t get the from output shaft but off using 100lbs so I had to go up to 120lbs.
Tail cone dust shield and seal removal:
Internet picture using slide hammer with one finger to get under dust shield
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Dust shield bent by puller prior to using slide hammer. Slide hammer got it right off
F6178370-2E19-4B8A-8000-C6AD624494F9.jpeg

Seal located behind dust shield: it’s hard to see the seal seam
C2A7192D-6E72-4441-BCB4-DEF4853D2C47.jpeg
256E7D37-DBCB-40F3-B44C-0172A48D87E0.jpeg
tube
 
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