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1999 XJ 4 door lifted on 35s with Dana 44s & extras – under 76K miles


NAXJA Forum User
Tucson, AZ
The notes below are partly from memory – I may have a few little things wrong here and there – if errors exist, they're not intentional.

I bought this XJ in April 2006 with 69,917 miles on it – totally stock. Only thing wrong with it that I found later was a cracked edge on a stock wheel. Drove it on a few Arizona dirt roads that summer and almost immediately started planning to lift it. I knew I wanted to go big – I was on a family trip in Colorado and saw a XJ that had a pretty crazy lift on 33s (I think), and I wanted a vehicle like it. Did the research and came up with this.

Started lifting it in fall of 2007 – got hurt pretty bad – vehicle fell off stands onto my foot and hand. Got the flu that winter, then got fired from work for not showing up (this is before health insurance and sick days at work was more standard). Had plenty of time to work on the Jeep while drawing unemployment (I figured I might need to sell it). Got Jeep mostly finished in the spring, then kept tweaking. At one point, I was drilling something out, and the drill bit snagged, and the drill handle broke my hand. After 4 weeks healing, returned to the working on it, and got it to the state it's in.

Really started hunting for a job hard in summer 2008 – I left electrical upgrades, air lines, and some other stuff on a to do list, that never got done. I then sold off most of the original parts that I no longer needed (like the original axles, wheels, etc.) that summer, on NAXJA.

Got a job finally in September 2008 – 120 miles away. Went to work for the mines in Eastern Arizona – ended up renting an apartment for 6 years. Had no real good space to work on it at an apartment or place to store all the tools, so Jeep stayed with my parents in Tucson, 120 miles away. Took it out a few times to Safford, but didn't like having it as my daily driver there (had a Toyota MR2 – who would want to drive a Jeep on a 20 mile twisty back road commute when you had a sports car?)

Moved back to Tucson area (Vail) in Sept 2013 (same company, transferred sites), and got a house with 3 car garage. Found I use the Jeep even less even when it's sitting in the garage waiting for me (spend all my time on the house, not out wheeling). Been thinking about it for a while, and decided I don't really want this lifted Jeep anymore - I barely wheel at all, and would prefer something lower.

So yes, the miles are legitimate – I've put less than 6000 miles on this Jeep in 12 years.

Jeep passes Tucson, AZ emissions testing just fine – I did replace the fuel cap at one point, but I've since gone through a couple tests and have had no problems. Given that's it's a 1999, the emissions people just plug in an OBD2 reader in and get the all clear signal, then check the gas cap.

So what is it?

1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4 door
Includes power windows, power mirrors, & power locks, but see known issues.
Never had ABS or cruise control.
Tan interior, gold/desert sand(?) exterior, with flat black aftermarket parts
Catch-All floor mats, including rear cargo.
IPF headlight housings
4.0L – engine and engine bay (unless otherwise noted) is totally stock
AW4 – 4 speed auto. Includes a Montana Fab AW4 Override switch (where ashtray would be) with wood cover (not standard aftermarket plate). This lets you force 1st gear or force 2nd gear, without check engine light codes.
NP231 transfer case with SYE (slip yoke eliminator) installed in transfer case – not a hack-n-tap, this included a replacement shaft.

Rust: a portion of the aftermarket parts (like scrapes on the bumper, portion of roof rack, etc.) show surface rust. The Jeep body itself looks quite clean – I don't see any obvious rust on it.

Axles and brakes:
Front is a high-pinion Dana 44 that was built with TJ brackets by an axle fabricator and shipped to me. Includes 4.55 gears. This is not a Rubicon TJ axle – it's beefier. 2.75" axle tube diameter, truss over the diff housing, stock-style cover but have a Purple Cranium Half Spider diff guard. ARB Air Locker that was never hooked up. Warn disconnects. Brakes and hub are 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern – uses 1980's Ford F150 parts, or full-size Jeep parts. Discs and calipers seem to be a pretty beefy upgrade compared to stock XJ parts.

Parts to connect the ARB air locker are included – air line, fittings, air switch/solenoid, electric switch for the solenoid.

Rear is a 1987-era Dana 44 that came on some XJs (low pinion). All the guts were removed and replaced with Superior Super 44 (33 spline) axles (this also got me the option for 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern to match the front), 4.55 gears, new bearings, Detroit Locker for 33 spline shafts, and TeraFlex Rear Disc Conversion kit (which I think is basically Ford Crown Vic parts, but rotor drilled out to accept either 5 on 4.5" or 5 on 5.5"). Diff cover is a Riddler Manufacturing nodular iron thick cover and raised fill hole.

Brake system is the stock system, other than replaced lines (including the hardline to the rear). The braking seemed to be pretty good stock – the larger calipers of the front seemed to balance out well with the little Crown Vic style discs for the rear on the stock proportioning setup.

This jeep never had ABS, so there's no sensor issues.

Stock front driveshaft (it fit with the added length of axle housing)
Tom Woods drive shaft for rear – lots of travel in that one.

I don't really know the height compared to stock anymore – I think it supposedly has RE 5.5" lift coil springs, but plus the JKS ACOS, and the coil brackets on the front axle are not quite stock – so probably around a 7" lift?
Rear I tried several things – I think originally RE 4.5" lift leaf and extended shackles, but that wasn't enough and added lift blocks, and that still wasn't enough, So I think I had 6.5" lift leaf packs built somewhere. It's running just leafs + a angle shim (no blocks) to fix the pinion angle now.

Multiple little JKS parts installed – ACOS, BPEs, Eye shock adaptors (stem converters), & swaybar disconnects. I had the JKS stackable aluminum bump stops, but ended up removing them as the springs were rubbing against.

The rear leafs are mounted with the JKS 1150 Spring plates to the axle, so JKS Adjustable bump stops could be easily added (part of available parts).

Sway bars – I have a setup using the stock front swaybar, relocated a few inches forward of the stock mounting spot, and using JKS swaybar disconnects (adjustable JKS quicker disconnects), however, the swaybar mounts on the front axle proved to be too weak to handle (3/16" plate) and the mounting tabs cracked/one tore off completely. I still have the parts, and I was going to re-make mounts using 1/4" angle, but I tried putting the stock rear swaybar back on, and that seemed adequate for me, so that's the way I've been running it. Will be included with the Jeep is a partially fabbed set of ¼" angle, and 2x sets of the lower pins that mount to the axle brackets (part of the JKS adjustable quick disconnects).

Front lift system is a TnT Customs XJ Long Arm Y-link system, bolted on. Rear uses stock leaf spring hangers.

Rubicon Express (?) Drop track bar bracket/extended track bar

Steering gear is a replacement – PSC(?) Larger than stock, Ithink it's Dodge Dakota size? All the lines were replaced when replacement gear box was installed.
Steering link setup is WFO concepts High-Steer Inverted T. The angles seems to be about perfect – track bar and steering angles seems to match perfect. Does include a Rancho Steering Stabilizer. The outer knuckles are not a true high-steer (top of knuckle), but uses the cast-in arms, with the steering links installed on top (holes were machined by company that built the axle for this setup).
I find the Jeep steers very well – plenty of power, no bump steer, no dead center – I've had no desire to mess with it any further.

In the crossmember below the radiator, a stack of 3 oil coolers was installed – two for the transmission, and one for the power steering. Magnefine filters were also installed in-line with the coolers. A pair of 120mm fans were installed, but never connected. In the lines for the transmission, a temperature switch for the fans and a sending unit for an Autometer transmission temp gauge was installed. The Autometer gauge was never installed in the cabin and is still in the box. Additionally, the fans/temperature switch were never connected to power – the wires currently end next to the battery.

Doetsch Tech. The front uses the JKS eye shock adaptors for upper mount. Doetsch Tech shocks for the front have integrated small rubber bump stops. Rear shocks are standard style, using JKS BPEs for upper mount, and stock mounts for lower.

35" (35x12.50R15) BFG All Terrain on steel wheels (15x10) with 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern. I have 6 (2 spares). One spare is mounted to roof rack with a cover. The 2nd spare is on tire carrier on bumper. Please note that these are vintage ~2007 tires (personally, I would run them until they are not repairable or they are worn down).

TnT Customs XJ Rock Runner Bumper with winch mount (no winch). Includes two recovery hooks with retention tabs to keep the strap secure.
JCR Offroad Sliders (square inner tube, round outer tube that serves as step)
JCR Offroad Stage 3 rear bumper with swing out tire carrier – JCR built this with 5 on 5.5" mount and slightly taller mount for 35s. Includes built-in 2" receiver and 2x recovery tabs designed to accept a shackle.
Skid Row Off Road Gas Tank Skid Plate
TJ "rear" fender flares cut down to fit the front. Front wheel well openings were cut quite a bit. Horns were flipped up to be inside the engine bay, rather than exposed/in the way of exposed wheel wells.
Black rubber/plastic wheel well moldings around rear wheel wells (similar to type used on some buses). Rear wheel wells were "folded" (hammered) to give more clearance. The molding installed with self-tapping screws.

Roof Rack and spares/tools:
Roof Rack – this is something I bought locally in Tucson and seems to be a home-built creation, but it's a strong rack. 4' x 8' size (front corners are angled in slightly). 8x Yakima rain gutter mounts (4 per side). Includes Yakima lock cores in 4x of the mounts (and I will include 4 keys). Previous owner used to setup a tent in it and camp up on the roof rack (not a folding rooftop tent style). I have 2 large tool boxes mounted to it that will be included with the Jeep. Spare tire is also mounted on roof rack (a red neck engineering solution using used U-bolts from one of the rear spring swaps). Includes full-size shovel mount (with shovel) on passenger side and 60" H-Lift X-Treme Jack mount (and jack) on driver's size.

Accessories included with Hi-Lift Jack:
X-Treme Top Clamp
Lift-Mate (for lifting a wheel off the ground)
Daystar isolator/handle keeper/anti-rattle
Hi-Lift Neoprene Jack Cover (but this is pretty much dead – needs replacing)
Off-Road Base
1x Jack Stand with piece of wood to use for tire changes
A note about tire changes – best way for a trail/parking lot tire change seems to be to lift bad wheel by the rim with the Hi Lift jack and Lift-Mate attachment, then put the conventional jack stand under the axle, lower the Hi Lift so the axle is on the jack stand, then change the tire. Repeat lifting process to get tire back on the ground.

Both the driver's and passenger's front windows had the issue where the plastic tab broke off from the window regulator. The driver's window was replaced with a dealer parts dept. replacement. The passenger window was repaired with a Steiger Performance power window regular repair kit.

Known issues:
Suspected Leaks: Rear Main Seal, Front and Rear Diffs
Steering Wheel isn't perfectly centered – maybe off 10 degrees. Steering is otherwise fine, so I've not messed with it.
Power locks started unlocking themselves while in a Home Depot parking lot – kept clicking and clicking open. I took out the power lock fuse. The actuators do all work, and I suspect issue may be the passenger door switch.
Driver's door weatherstripping whistles. Replacement Crown Performance weatherstripping is included (not installed).
Includes a Kenwood aftermarket head unit (I did not install). Head unit seems to work, but the speakers in the front doors do not – only the speakers by the back hatch work.
Probably needs a fluid change – it's been several years (but not many miles). Did an engine oil analysis in 2012 and it said go for 2000 more miles (which I don't think has happened).

Freebies with the Jeep:
2x 1gal jugs Shell Rotella T6 full synthetic 5W-40 oil. I was going to use this for the next motor oil change. Probably 5+ years old.
M1-301 Extended Performance Oil Filter
Set of partial bottles of existing fluid – transmission fluid, gear oil, engine oil, power steering fluid
Replacement cap, rotor, wires, spark plugs
Replacement transmission filter and gasket
A set of the oddball sockets that I had to get for the Jeep: 18mm, 1 1/8", 33mm, and the 4 prong socket for the front axle nut (behind the Warn disconnects)
Angle brackets (5) to mount 5x lights to the roof rack
Set of new brake pads for the front axle
5 shocks: 4 stem mount type (serviceable) & 1 rear one (metal case is worn/rubbed – consider this one bad), and a bunch of attachment hardware (bolts, bar pins, insulators, etc.).
Box of various spare bolts and other hardware/metal bits. Some of this is from the old suspension, or other items. Also includes some new suspension bushings. Spare window motor from driver's window. Original Mopar driver's window switches (replaced with Switch Doctor switches due to issues with the window lock switch).
Haynes Repair Manual Jeep Cherokee 1984 – 2001
Many of the original receipts and installation instructions for the parts are included. However, these are often in poor condition.


$5000 for the Jeep and the freebies.

Parts for Jeeps:

1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ Chrysler Service Manual set (print) – Service Manual and Body, Chassis, Powertrain, Transmission Diagnostic Procedures books (5 total). $80

Hidden Hitch T-Connector for 1997-2001 XJ to provide a flat 4 pin trailer connector. Model # 16354. $15

Extended Idle Switch – still sealed in Mopar bag # 56008728 $15

3rd brakelight for an earlier year of XJ. I had thought I might need to relocate it when I bought tire carrier bumper, but stock is still visible. $5

Original Slip-yoke style NP231 shaft and rear output housing. Shaft has not been well stored, and there's a few spots of rust. Also includes a 34 toothed speedo gear. $10

Rebuilt steering gear # 7538. I got this from AutoZone as the first replacement gearbox, and it works, but there's a bit of a dead spot in the middle. I replaced it with the PSC gearbox. $40

Rubicon Express Pitman Arm – RE2500 (still sealed) $40

Curt Hitch - # 13160 for XJs (all years). New, no box, has hardware, never installed. Acquired in last year. $75

Pair of what I think are RE 4.5" lift leaf springs. $50

Pair of new/sealed Rubicon Express Replacement Center leafspring pins 3/8" part # RE1483 $5
Pair of new/sealed Rubicon Express Replacement Center leafspring pins 5/16" part # RE1482 $5

Pair of 1 inch lift blocks. (1" Zero Rate Add a Leaf – 2.5" wide – Offroad Designs). These have some extra holes so you can move the axle back or forward by an inch or two. Unfortunately, these have some extensive rust, but I think they are useable once cleaned up (will be a bit thinner once clean). $15

Recovery Equipment:
ARB Orange Snatch Strap ARB705 – 8000kg rated. Never used. $45
ARB Green Tree Protector 16ft ARB735 – 12000kg rated. Never used. $40
ARB Purple Winch Extension Strap ARB720 – 4500kg rated. Never used. $55
OKOffroad 2in strap (yellow) – 10ft – 6200lb vertical working (this seems a lot stronger than that – it's thicker than any other strap I have). Never used. $30

Hi-Lift Off-Road Kit (includes 2x attachments to Hi-Lift, some 3/8" chain, 2" nylon tree strap, bag, gloves, hardware, 2x 3/8" chain grab hooks, and a 5/8" D-ring) $50
3/8" Grade 70 transport chain, with grab hooks on both ends – one 20ft, one 25ft $40

1x 1/2" (WLL=3T)
1x 5/8" (WLL=4.5T)
3x 3/4" (2x are WLL=6.5T, 1x WLL=4.75T)
1x 7/8" (WLL=8.5T)
All are USA made, most are orange, but paint is peeling. $6/each

Pair of large 9" x 8" x 6" high wheel chocks with hooks $15/pair

Pair Hella 500FF driving lights (halogen)
Pair Hella 500FF Fog lights (halogen)
Single Hella narrow-beam (pencil-beam?) Rallye 4000 driving light (halogen)
Pair rubber "tractor" lights (halogen). I think these are also made by Hella
I had intended to mount these as 5 forward facing lights on front of roof rack/bumper, plus use the "tractor" lights as rock/side illumination lights The 500FF lights are kits that include wiring harness, switch, and relay. The other 3 lights are the light only.
H7 HID upgrade kit (pair) 35W. This was originally for a different vehicle which I no longer have.
All the lights for $120.

Fab parts:

Pair of Dana 44 high-steer capable outer knuckles – Chevy/Full-Size Jeep style. Right knuckle is un-machined (no mounting holes). Left knuckle already has some type of behind-the-axle steer arm and the 3 studs installed. I never messed with these as the steering setup worked so well once I put on the PSC gearbox. $100

Weld-On – RE2025 Weld-On Drop Shock Mounts pair $20
Weld-On – Offset Panhard/Trackbar Mount (not sure who made – see picture) $10

Monroe SC-2911 Steering Damper (new, no box, no hardware) $10
Old Man Emu OMESD40 Steering Damper (new, no box, no hardware) $40

JKS #1100 Adjustable bump stops (used). 2 pairs available. One pair meant to be used with rear #1150 spring plates that are mounted to Jeep. These are stackable aluminum 3" round spacers in .75", 1.25" and 2" heights (4" total per side per set) that bolt on with a standard 1/2-13 bolt through the center. $100 for both pairs.

Random Parts:

Pair of tripod jack stands with screw jack adjustment. Minimum height is about 30", max is about 54". These are an absolute must if you plan to work on the suspension of this Jeep and you don't already have something like them or a hydraulic lift – no conventional jack stand will be tall enough to work, as the rear bumper (and unibody) is about 30" off the ground when the Jeep is sitting on its tires. $80 for pair


5x Wavian 10L (2.6 gal) green Jerry Cans, new, never used with any liquid & 1 flexible spout. $150 for set.

Clifford Matrix+1 One-Way Security System with 2 remotes (never installed – intended to use for keyless entry) $40

Staun Tyre Deflators – adjustable - preset to 18 psi. New/sealed, but never opened. $50

SolarTech Power Inc 20W solar panel 22"x14.2"x3/4" (Vmp 17.2V, Imp 1.17A) and EPHC10-EC PWM Solar Charge Controller - I intended to use this as a solar version of a battery maintainer. $20

Steel air tank – 33" long, 7" diameter, 8" high including brackets, 5 gallon. 9 bungs total - 2 on one end, 3 on other, and 4 down one side. Was going to use for onboard air, but it's fairly heavy, and only spot would be on the roof rack. See picture of leaf springs. $10

ARB Air Compressor (RDCKA) with pressure switch, power switch, wiring harness with relay. Never installed – wiring harness/switch still sealed. Note that the air switch and air line for the front axle is included with the Jeep – this is just the compressor. $80

HitchMate TireStep. Yes, this fits on the 35s. Useful for easier access to the roof rack and toolboxes , or back of engine bay. $15

Blackstone-Labs.com Vacuum Pump for Oil Samples (includes a short sample of tubing, but more will need to purchased), and 9x free sample containers. Pump is regularly $35. $15.

Jeep and parts is in Vail, AZ (near intersection of Camino Loma Alta and Old Spanish Trail) east of Tucson, AZ. I will consider shipping the vehicle if buyer covers all costs.

Parts I will consider shipping at buyers expense if they will fit in smallish boxes (I'm not shipping Jerry cans or Jack stands). However, I would prefer to make a deal for the Jeep and many of these parts and have 1 buyer take most of this away.

PM me, or text my cell phone 520-909-4135