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1999 XJ Build

#1
I was finally able to find an XJ like I wanted, so I'll post up the progress here. It's a '99 Sport with 200K miles, bought for $1500 with a known bad head gasket. The interior is in good shape aside from the headliner. It has the typical XJ rust on the rockers and rear bumper, but the meaty bits look to be good. I was able to knock a hole in the drivers' side floor with a hammer, so that will be getting replaced as well. The nice thing is the guy I bought it from had already purchased a complete top end kit including gaskets, pushrods, rockers and a new water pump. That will save me some cash to start with.

Plans are:
Fix head gasket to get it driveable.
New injectors.
Replace springs with factory Up Country equivalents, plus a 1" BB on top of that to make room for 31" tires.
Complete front steering rebuild.
Pull the carpet and burn it, replace it and fix the headliner. Need to put in a heater core too.
Either stock rockers or 3/16" rectangular tube replacements welded in. Not sure about this step yet.
Lunchbox locker for the front D30.

I plan to use this as a part time DD as well, so it won't be anything crazy.









 
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#2
I was able to get most of the miscellaneous items pulled off the top of the motor tonight. The fuel rail looks like it's seem better days though. Considering how rusty this thing is, is it worth replacing it?

 
#7
Not a bad price and the rust doesn't look that bad... What's the underneath look like?
I'd say it looks alright for what it is. No signs of abuse or anything like that. Both rockers are rusted and the drivers' side floorpan was weak enough to punch through with some force. No signs of rust where I pulled the carpet up in the back though, so that's nice. U-channels look good. No rust on the doors or b-pillars. I'm hoping to get away with replacing only the rockers and floorpan so my feet don't fall out.

I know that rust free XJs are out there, but I've not found one for a price I'm willing to pay. This one is fairly consistent for a coastal vehicle that has occasional run-ins with salt water. My truck isn't any different from growing up on the coast. It's going to be a project, but I couldn't pass it up with a brand new top end kit plus new water pump and radiator in a box. The body doesn't have a single dent anywhere.

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LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#8
The body doesn't have a single dent anywhere.

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Yet....

The body and paint is so pretty to have cancer hiding underneath. Kinda like Art's Ole Rusty.

My '94 XJ lived at the beach and basically didn't have any paint left, but the only rust was over the cat. I wouldn't be very concerned with the rocker and floorpans, but the crustyness under the hood would worry me. Lots of pb blaster or I see broken bolts in your future.

I sold mine for $1200, you're just 3 years too late.
 
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#9
Yet....

The body and paint is so pretty to have cancer hiding underneath. Kinda like Art's Ole Rusty.

My '94 XJ lived at the beach and basically didn't have any paint left, but the only rust was over the cat. I wouldn't be very concerned with the rocker and floorpans, but the crustyness under the hood would worry me. Lots of pb blaster or I see broken bolts in your future.

I sold mine for $1200, you're just 3 years too late.
I've already dumped a can on every bolt I can reach. My budget is $2750 including buying it, so you can imagine the "creativity" ahead.

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#10
Small update:

I pulled the head tonight, and it seems like a lot of what I thought was rust is actually clay. Head gasket was OEM graphite type leaking right around #5. Some signs of coolant in the oil, but nothing too serious. I'll get it cleaned up this weekend and replace the valve seals. The motor mounts should probably be replaced too.

The blocks looks alright for the mileage. There is a minor lip on the cylinders, but I don't believe it's any worse than the SBC I overhauled and stuck in my truck. I'm tempted to go ahead and pop the pistons out to replace the rings and rod bearings and hone it out a bit. I assume the oil pan will come out around the axle.



 
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#11
You going to get the head worked on while it is out? I am not sure of your mileage on the motor. Any motor i work on and if the heads are off especially from a head gasket leak, i will have a machine shop check flatness and clean up the valves. just because it is off. Doesnt look like that bad of a project. Good luck!!!
 
#12
You going to get the head worked on while it is out? I am not sure of your mileage on the motor. Any motor i work on and if the heads are off especially from a head gasket leak, i will have a machine shop check flatness and clean up the valves. just because it is off. Doesnt look like that bad of a project. Good luck!!!
I have access to the tools to do that at home. It's an 0630 head which I don't believe had issues with cracking like later ones, but we'll see.
 
#15
Looks fairly clean. I wondered if that "rust" might be mud on the engine. Generally the XJ's I find have rusty floor boards above the cat and muffler. The further north you get the more rust you find. Rusty rockers is usually in my experience an NE or Widwest vehicle. Does this one have any history of being from up there? The other most common rusty area is the drivers floor board in the manual xj's. GL looking forward to seeing where you go with this.
 
#16
Looks fairly clean. I wondered if that "rust" might be mud on the engine. Generally the XJ's I find have rusty floor boards above the cat and muffler. The further north you get the more rust you find. Rusty rockers is usually in my experience an NE or Widwest vehicle. Does this one have any history of being from up there? The other most common rusty area is the drivers floor board in the manual xj's. GL looking forward to seeing where you go with this.
There are a few mystery years from before 2005. It was purchased in New Bern, NC so that's a possibility it was up north. The guy said they'd take it to the outer banks, and between ferry trips and salty sand I can see it rusting out here and there. The cab corners on my truck are toast due to that.

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#17
Small update:

I had time this weekend to work on the head a little. The valves didn't need much of a cut and there are no signs of a crack in the head when I put new valve seals in. I pulled the oil pan off tonight and the bottom end looks good.

The rust is really what my mind is on with this thing. I haven't found any rust-free XJs around junkyards that have suitable floor pans to cut out, so I'm going to have to buy replacements and weld them in. It's not the end of the world, but it is more money. This thing has factory shocks on it still, and I can already tell the rear upper bolts are going to snap like a twig when I go to pull them off.
 
#18
Small update:

I had time this weekend to work on the head a little. The valves didn't need much of a cut and there are no signs of a crack in the head when I put new valve seals in. I pulled the oil pan off tonight and the bottom end looks good.

The rust is really what my mind is on with this thing. I haven't found any rust-free XJs around junkyards that have suitable floor pans to cut out, so I'm going to have to buy replacements and weld them in. It's not the end of the world, but it is more money. This thing has factory shocks on it still, and I can already tell the rear upper bolts are going to snap like a twig when I go to pull them off.
I feel certain Andy in Abbeville will have some floors he would sell you. He gets on here some, maybe he will chime in.
 
#19
Small update:

The rust is really what my mind is on with this thing. I haven't found any rust-free XJs around junkyards that have suitable floor pans to cut out, so I'm going to have to buy replacements and weld them in. It's not the end of the world, but it is more money.
Por-15 makes a kit that looks like some sort of fiberglass and epoxy to fix floorpans.
http://www.por15.com/POR-15-Floor-Pan-Trunk-Kit_p_61.html
 
#20
I feel certain Andy in Abbeville will have some floors he would sell you. He gets on here some, maybe he will chime in.
Lowrange on here and most boards. It depends on what area is rusted. Most xj's rust out over the cat/muffler. As for the upper shock bolts I make eliminators out of angle and weld them in. Easy and never have to bother with those damn tinny *** bolts again. Any pictures of the rusted area? I actually have 3 xj's around back right now but one has bad floor pan rust. IDK about the other two. Andy is your best bet though. He has about 7 I think!
 
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