My name is Bryan and I own a 2001 Jeep Cherokee (XJ). This was my first vehicle that I purchased for myself for a cool $1300 at 17 years old. It was my daily driver for 3 years until I purchased a second daily driver for myself, which put my jeep in the “project” position. I’ve done extensive work on my Jeep, ranging from preventative maintenance, installing a lift, and swapping out my automatic transmission for a manual one. Take a look!
Here is a list of everything I have done to my XJ:
- 4WD & Manual Swap to AX-15 and NP231J, with Dana 30 HP Front Axle and Dana 35C Rear Axle
- 33″ KO2 Tires
- 4.10 Gears
- 16″ Ecco 60th Anniversary Wheels
- 4.5″ Lift and Suspension
- RE 4.5″ Front Coils
- ARB Rear Leaf Springs
- Rough Country Leaf Spring Shackles and Relocation Bracket
- Rough Country Adjustable Lower Control Arms
- Rough Country Control Arm Drop Bracket
- Bilstein 5100 Shocks
- JKS Quick Disconnect Sway Bar Links
- Slip Yoke Eliminator Kit
- Front and Rear Braided Extended Brake Lines
- Brown Dog Engine Mounts and Brackets
- Bushwacker Fender Flares
- Upgraded Speakers and Small Subwoofer
I did 99% of the work myself in my parents garage. I ultimately decided to swap to a manual transmission after I let my automatic transmission run dry and blow up. Later, I swapped in a junkyard front axle and new transmission and transfer case in order to obtain 4WD.
In December of 2020, my Jeep suffered a head gasket failure. I parked my Jeep in my driveway and purchased a 2019 Mini Cooper Clubman S. I decided that at the moment in my life that I needed a reliable daily. In 2021, I got married, and having a reliable newer car definitely helped my stress levels.
But this wasn’t the end for my Jeep. A few months later, I purchased a new Clearwater 0331 Cylinder Head and the gaskets required to repair my Jeep. I spent around 12 hours removing the old head & installing the new one. After reinstalling the new head and bleeding my cooling system, I realized there was an external coolant leak coming from my engine block. Somehow, in some way, my block had developed a crack at the water pump!
As you can see, that is a fairly large crack. To fix this for now, I have slapped a bunch of JB Weld over the crack and called it a day. It still leaks sometimes, but very slowly.
For now, my Jeep is still unregistered and sitting in my driveway. I plan within the next few weeks to get the steering fixed and my clutch fixed, so that it may be drivable again! I do not know how far out I will adventure, due to my cracked engine, but I am just dying to get it back on the road again!
And that – is why I created this website. I’ve always wanted to help other and share my knowledge, and when my buddy got his own 2001 XJ, I realized that all of the work we are doing on our jeeps could be shared with the world to help them with their own issues on their Jeeps.