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Newby NAXJA Door Rebuild


NAXJA Forum User
Hey Kids,

New member here. Howdy!

I've got a 1988 Cherokee Limited that's been in the fam since new. It's been sitting for awhile and kids tried to steal it. They broke through the drivers side door lock and busted up the steering column and ignition switch in a very poor attempt to get it started. Not only did they not know what they were doing, there was no battery in the vehicle at the time.

Soooo... I recently had a locksmith work on the locks and ignition switch with mixed success. As you guys know, digging around in the workings of 35-plus-year-old cars causes brittle plastic bits to break. For instance, when the ignition switch is in a certain position, the lock cylinder slides out of the steering column without resistance. And every time I turn to the left, the horn goes off. Yeah. Fun stuff. I know.

Then I had it towed to a 4x4 shop and dropped a boatload of cash into getting it mechanically safe and without leaks; master cylinder replaced, new brake pads, new main seal, new valve cover gaskets, new power steering seals and gears, filters, fluids, alignment, yada, yada, yada.

Now I'm faced with rebuilding the innards and outtards of the doors; window seals, regulators, automatic door lock actuators, etc.

Ive done a lot of work on other cars and I know the first and best thing to do when attempting such things is to find and join the appropriate auto forum and start reading/ interacting. You guys are what makes such repair endeavors possible. Plus I get to leave a bread trail for the next shade-tree mechanic enough foolish enough to undertake the exercise. I'm going to start with the basics and document the process.

Right now, I'm attempting to find an online OEM parts catalog with blowups and part numbers. With my other project car(s), I've been able to find this info online, provided by the brand manufacturer. However, I've yet to find a clear URL for a vehicle appropriate parts list. Does such an animal exist for Jeep Xjs?

Thank you ahead of time for reading this and for any responses that may add to the thread.
Also https://cruiser54.com/. Start looking through and implementing his tips.

If the column is that messed up, it might be easier to replace the entirecolumn with a junkyard column. It's a very common GM style column. I think the two issues with the lock and horn are probably easy to solve once you pull the steering wheel and have a look. I've betting the locksmith screwed up the cylinder replacement. A new lock cylinder with 2 keys is about $15.

On the door lock, the plastic rod clips tend to break. You can get those from Amazon or pay extra and get them locally at NAPA.
Hey Lawsoncl,

Thanks for the response. I will go through the link you've provided!

Ultimately, my plan is to give the old threads a thorough searching and to repost related threads and links that I find.

Yes, on the steering column. I do think it will be easier to replace the steering column. The kids chewed up the existing column at the cylinder housing pretty badly. So there is aesthetic damage... but heck, the entire car needs aesthetic love at this point. Before I focus on body and trim, I will get the XJ safe to run and secure.

I need to redo the door and window seals to keep weather out so that any rebuilt door mechanisms (window motors/ regulators, door actuators, etc) aren't fouled up. Ill probably place sound deadening membrane in them too. I try to improve anything I touch as I work through repairs and parts replacements; not my first rodeo with rebuilding/ repairing/ updating old cars.

Anyway, I'm traveling for the holidays and I'm not laser-focused on parts lists and suppliers right now, or tips and tricks for wrenching on these issues for that matter. Ill dink and dunk through compiling information Ill need for those phases.

Thanks again!