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 Lou's 1990 XJ Build 
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Post Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Well, figured I'd start a build thread here since all of you have one going on. With as much as I've done on this money pit, I never really documented any of it on camera. I'm kicking myself now because I don't have any pictures of it as the build progressed. Well, guess it's time to change that...starting with the headliner project I did last week.

This is what I started with:

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Well, not quite that bad...the headliner started falling down on my head one day and I pulled over and ripped it out because it was driving me nuts. So, after taking the trim off and pulling out the backing this is what I ended up with:

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I bought three yards of headliner fabric at JoAnne's Fabric and some Permatex fabric glue I bought at NAPA to glue the new fabric onto the backing. I used a stiff nylon brush to clean off all the old foam and then glued the new fabric on. Witht the help of my pops, I ended up with this:

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I let it dry over night and reinstalled the backing with the new fabric.

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Not too shabby for my first attempt. Took me a total of two days, but I think I could have knocked it out in one if I had started earlier. I'm thinking letting the glue dry over night was the right idea though. I also recovered the visors. They turned out ok. Nice having an interior that doesn't look like the inside of a crankters car. :yes:


June 9th, 2013, 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Thats a huge improvement

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June 10th, 2013, 7:57 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
:stupid: Looks great. I never thought of getting headliner fabric from Joannes. How much did that run you?

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June 10th, 2013, 8:36 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Nice work Lou, you have way more patience than I do, my headliner started falling down so I just removed it, though years later the excess noise does bother me.

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June 10th, 2013, 8:42 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
:stupid: When I was younger, I thought about stripping the interior and buying the cheapest seats I could (they were plastic bucket seats). Luckily I didn't do any of that! We have to drive a long ways to got where we wheel around here so have these creature comforts (noise and heat control for you).

Keep up the build thread! :thumb:

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June 10th, 2013, 9:19 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Ptack1 wrote:
:stupid: Looks great. I never thought of getting headliner fabric from Joannes. How much did that run you?


Thanks for the compliment. The fabric cost me $45, it was $15 a yard. A had a little left over after doing the visors, but not much. Three yards worked out just fine. The glue was $15 a can. Not bad for a $75 investment. Rumor has it upholstery shops will charge up to $500 for a headliner!

Dan90FSB wrote:
Nice work Lou, you have way more patience than I do, my headliner started falling down so I just removed it, though years later the excess noise does bother me.


Thanks...yeah, I couldn't take it anymore with the way it was looking. Plus, it smelled kinda bad. I could never get the funk out off the interior that was there when I bought the heep. Now it looks and smells better too.

chexmix wrote:
:stupid: When I was younger, I thought about stripping the interior and buying the cheapest seats I could (they were plastic bucket seats). Luckily I didn't do any of that! We have to drive a long ways to got where we wheel around here so have these creature comforts (noise and heat control for you).
Keep up the build thread! :thumb:


I'm getting old and enjoy the creature comforts more than I used to. My first car was a 1978 Chevy K-10 Scottsdale. Great truck...rubber mats, no headliner but I did have A/C until the compressor blew up. Looking back, that thing was a tank. Don't know if I could roll in that thing now!


June 10th, 2013, 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Well, time for an update. The nice thing about an XJ is that there's plenty of room inside for all your stuff. The bad thing is that the XJ is shaped like a station wagon, giving you some overhang that loves to make contact with rocks:

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Looking closer, you can see where the lower quarters and bumper smacked a rock:

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The passenger side has the same look to it and to top it off, the body buckled a bit a the corner of the window opening, right by the 4x4 emblem. Not good.

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In order to create some extra clearance, and to avoid beating the heck out of the body, I decided it was time to break out the grinder. I followed a couple write ups from NAXJA and Jeep Forum on cutting and folding the rear quarters.

I started by cutting the bottom off the quarters:

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Next, I removed the metal between the inside and and outside panels.

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Next, I folded the inside panel up, follwed by the outside:

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Once everything is folded together, you end up with this:

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I still need to finish riveting the panels together and need to add some seam sealer in there to avoid any leaks. Next step, modifying my bumper with some sliders to protect the quarter panels. Stay tuned...


June 27th, 2013, 4:51 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Looking good.

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June 27th, 2013, 5:09 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
The Cherokee Nip and Tuck :mrgreen: Thats a cool and clean little mod. Interested to see how you tie it into the bumper.

You have plans to reinforce your shackles? They appear to be on the thinner side. I've bent the crap out of a set of shackles that were a lot thicker than those.

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June 28th, 2013, 7:28 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
I like how you cleaned up bottom with that strip. Looks clean.

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June 28th, 2013, 8:57 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Well, I finally found some time this weekend to work on modifying my bumper. After scratching my head for a bit, I came up with a plan. I cut the bottom corners off and used some 2 x 3 x .120 tubing for some sliders to protect the rear quarters. After measuring and mocking them up, I tacked them into place.

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I cut some pieces of 1/8 inch plate to patch up the corners.

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Burned it all home.

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Cleaned it all up with the grinder, what a pain in the ass.

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A little body filler, primer, and paint:

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Gonna let it dry and get it back on the Jeep whenever I get some free time. 8)


July 14th, 2013, 7:12 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Looks bad ass, I like how your formed it and ground everything down. Can't wait to see it in person on the trail.

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July 15th, 2013, 3:12 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Nice work Lou, looks great. I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one using saw horses as a welding table :mrgreen:

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July 15th, 2013, 6:44 am
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Thanks fellas, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Saw horses...not just for wood working anymore!


July 15th, 2013, 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Lou's 1990 XJ Build
Just noticed I haven't updated this thread since July. Man have I been slacking! I was noticing a weird vibration when letting out the clutch in first gear. Turns out one of my motor mounts was worn out, letting the motor move around. Decided to upgrade to some Brown Dog Off-Road motor mounts. For you Jeep guys, these things are freakin' awesome. Well made and great customer service. I highly recommend them to anyone with a Jeep.

Driver side:

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Passenger side:

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Also finished up the cut and fold, painted and installed the bumper and trimmed the rear flares to match:

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Went up to Hermit Valley Campground in August for NAXJA's annual Sierra Fest. Best trip of the year!

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October 8th, 2013, 3:32 pm
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