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Xj Upgrades


NAXJA Forum User
Bought my Xj a week ago for $4200 it is 1997, 90k , auto, pwr mirrors, a/c nothing else.
Please let me know if you can find the following somewhere or if you can help answer some questions that would be great. most of this has been covered on the board but still a few things i am not clear on

Roof rack ( not sure if I want a factory or aftermarket one.) there are no used ones in colorado I can find. I want a cargo basket. what is a good one to get? Will need to carry ladders sometimes for work

2-3"lift-after reading all the post still not sure what to get. OME seems to be the best. But it is also really expensive for the amount of lift you get. Are there any other kits that compare to it at all?
I plan to add new shocks soon. I want a good ride. not a bone jarring one.

Wheels and tires_after the lift what size tires can I get on the truck?

Pwr locks with keyless entry system, are they easy to install?

All I can really speak to is the shocks but I have a similar role for mine - true on and off-road median. I tried very hard to be able to find a true halfway point for the cherokee (I'm going to try and find a scrambler for the off-road). I just went with RS9000 shocks for there adjustablity. Thought it might be marketing crap when I got them but they were cheap and I actually really like them.
2" lift - you can get 30x9.50 on there with no problems, 31" with a 3" lift.

There are occasionally some used baskets/racks around here, what part of CO are you in? If you get a basket, keep in mind that the front and back edges will have to carry those loads. Factory bars aren't the strongest out there, so you'll probably want to upgrade. Gutter-rail mounts are stronger, and some baskets will have those directly attached.

If you plan to do any recreational attachment for the rack, consider a Thule or Yakima gutter-mount and attach the rack to that. You have the flexibility of adding different carriers up top, and with the square Thule load bars you can put a ladder up there pretty easily. Here's some info on mine: http://www.frii.com/~yuccaman/jeep/thule.html
If you wanted power locks and keyless entery, you probably should have held out for that on you purchace. They are not very easy to install aftermarket and not very reliable once installed.
The door locks should not be too hard. There is about 4.7 million plugs not being used on my jeep. I figure that the wire harness is like the body. Make one body that can handle the auto or manual. With the auto, you can look under dash and find peddle bracket. A whole in the center hump were the auto shifter is, is covered with a plastic (IIRC) peice that can be removed for manual. Why make a ton of different wire harnesses for different options?

(IMHO) The plug for the door locks shoud be in there somewere. If you take off the door panels, and look at the handle, there is a stock location for power door lock and pwr window switchs, that are coverd with a metal stick on. The dash board is the same way with the rear defoger, rear wiper, power or confert switches for tranny, I could go on...........but I think you get the idea. Just because the switch aint there, don't mean that the hole and plug are gone. It just wasn't a factory option. I would say that the keyless entry would be a plug and play kind of thing. But you would be paying out the gazoo from dealer, or having a hell of a time getting one (that worked, and had remotes) from junk yard.
How in the world did you get an XJ with power mirrors but no power locks? I don't think I ever heard of a combination like that.

What model is it? (SE, Sport, Laredo, ...)
M. Lake is correct about the wireing, with a few exceptions, my 98 had the harness wiring in for the factory fog lights right up to the power distrbution center where the two sockets for the factory fog relays went, no sockets though. Had to put the add on kit from jeep in which bypassed all the factory wiring. Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you :D
A while back, two years or so, someone posted here the parts needed from JC Whitney no less, the kit with 4 or 5 soldenoids and two fobs was like $80 or so. I have it written down somwhere as it was one of those things that I planned on doing when I had some extra cash but never got around to. Crutchfield carried pretty much the same kit for $150. The mounting points are already there as are the plugs. Power windows are another story, better off putting new doors on it.

Roof rack, I have a surco on mine, got it from summitt racing, it's the medium sized one, get the largest one. I have mine mounted on the factory rails, carry ladders, 8', 10, 12' fiberglass ladders up there for cableing jobs as well as a few cases of cable. It has held up well so far, been on there for 3 years now. They also have gutter mounts for it.
The OME is really not a lift, it's more of a suspension system, the shocks are matched to the springs, super cushy ride, you can also get the HD model that yields a bit more lift, someone here should have those spring numbers.
Replace you headlights with Hella E code H4's, big improvement in nite driving with the H4 Xenon bulbs.
Well i was over board a little. I have th rear window wiper, rear def, a/c am/fm stereo, auto tranny, 4.0l, air bags :) tan interior, i consider that a plus. It is a se. I found the pwr lock kit at jc whitney for $99 it seems easy enough. i will have a friend help me. roof rack from JC is $89.00, think I will just do the 2" lift from Rocky Road and get the Doch shocks they sell (or whatever they are called) at some point later on I will add the OME springs these seem to get the best reviews.
Should I just add 30x9.5 on the steel stock rims I have or get some other rims?
thanks for the help
A 2" BB (budget boost) is the best for your buck on the year of jeep you have. They cost what, around 2 bills. When you go to a 3" lift, with a '97, you need to do a t-case drop of 1". It is spacers that go in between the cross member and sub frame rail. A 3" kit can run in the $400+ range, plus the t-case drop kit. you raise the rig up 1" more and then loose that 1" clearence with the t-case drop kit.
My SE came like that too, no power locks. I also have power mirrors but have been scrounging around looking for the other ones with the heaters in them, no luck so far. Leaving it parkted outside the heated mirrors would be nice in the winter instead of the two windshield washer bottles I stick on there at nite :D
My 97 postal cherokee came with power mirrors and manual everything else.