Shirley has been a faithful companion for the short time we've had her. The bumps and bruises of the last trip accompanied with her age make for a battle weary old girl. Her back end has been sagging and is in desperate need a nip/tuck. A set of stock ride height heavy duty leaf springs replace the worn out set that carried the weight. Good thing to, as one side had some broken leaves in the pack.
Next on the agenda is to fix the check engine light that has plagued the dashboard for almost 8 months now. The factory exhaust manifold has decided to give up the good fight and fail. This weakling cracked open like a coconut and is messing with the O2 sensors like a big brother tormenting his siblings.
What person in their right mind would go through the work of replacing a busted exhaust manifold and not upgrade for a little more power? I know what you're thinking. You wouldn't do that... and I wouldn't either. Might as well replace a couple more things while we are at it.
Magnflow High Flow Catalytic Converter
BANKS 2.5" Cat back exhaust
New NTK O2 sensors
Was it all worth it? Probably not. The horsepower gain was almost non-existent and the BANKS exhaust has a drone to it. Not what I expected from a big name aftermarket company. I will say the throttle response is a little snappier and it definitely runs better. The real test will come shorlty when we tackle some serious off road. After all, Shirley remains the ultimate exploration vehicle.
No more voice. No more dumb personality for the Jeep. It's a jeep. Time to give her the page she deserves. This will now be dedicated to showing what we do to keep the ol' wagon alive.
WHHOOOO DOGGY! It's hot up here in the upper dakota's! I finally get a chance to introduce myself. I'm Shirley! So excited to meet y'all. Nuff jibber jabber bout me. Today was freaking sweet. Got to troll up the little hills of Teddy Park. Why they call him teddy? He a bear or somethin? Anyways we got to go for a drive today. Katie drove me and she's always real nice. Easy on the gas, soft on the brakes. Kenny convinced her to take a gravel road just so I could have me some fun.
It was alright I guess. Just a little dirty, nuthin worth fussin over. Then we packed up and headed through the park real slow like. Rolled over to the campsite. Roo was there just being lazy. She gets on my nerves sometimes...
People who know me know that I'm a gearhead. Cars, trucks, planes, trains, tractors, lawnmowers, steam engines, mopeds, doesn't matter. Show me something with a motor and I've got interest. Icelandic hill climbing? Need to see it in person some day. Snowmobile over open water? Done it. With that mentality comes an attachment. I've had dozens of cars and each one of them held a place in my heart. I bought the white jeep and fell in love with it. Then some A-hole hit me and I bought Shirley. I wasn't attached, didn't even care if we kept her. Then the work started and with that came the bond. She had become part of our family in my eyes and with that comes personality. She's about as simple as a hammer, groans and mumbles, but always ready for adventure. From this point on Shirley will write for herself. Time to let Shirley speak for herself.....
This is the jeep with the Dana 35 limited slip diff pulled out. Some guys out there are saying " why did you want a D35? They're crap." Well they'd be right. It's not a good diff if you are going to actually wheel this thing. I'm a realist. This will be 90% on the road as a daily driver. The 10% off road will be on sand and mud slinging stock size tires. The D35 will be fine. The next problem I ran into with Shirley was her terrible brake lines. They were all rusted out so I bent new lines to replace them. Here's the kicker... I've never bent brake lines before. Gotta learn someday.
So this is the first jeep we had. It was identical. A 98 cherokee with a police package. This is the one we really wanted to take with us. It had heavy duty suspension, upgraded cooling, limited slip rear diff, vinyl floors and white. Why white? It's fricking hot out in the southwest that's why. We received a check from the insurance company that covered that jackass for $3200 bucks to pay for the totaled jeep and we got to keep it. I paid $2500 for it 6 months prior... so not too shabby. This one already had a bunch of work done to it, now I'd have to start all over again on another rusty jeep. Before this was sold for parts I stripped off all the stuff I wanted. Good parts came out, and shirley got the best I could give her.
In preparation for our journey I bought a jeep. As you can see it's white and fairly rust free. What's that? You don't see it? That's because some jackass pulled out in front of me last November and I T-boned him at 40 mph. I'd tell you more but it still pisses me off. So I had to go jeep shopping again. This rusty piece of crap is a 98 cherokee. Follow along as I update the metamorphosis into what we need to survive our trip