Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

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richard moss
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Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by richard moss » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:23 pm

Early October:

I got this at the start of October, intending to use it to take over from my ZJ Grand Cherokee as my primary off-roader. First job was to get a new taillight unit for the left hand side as the old one had faded badly.

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October 23rd:

I took this out on a local run in the dunes today and have to say that the results are very impressive - even better than I'd hoped. It certainly gets more power down to the wheels than my ZJ and has me wondering if the ZJ's engine is giving all that it should (in addition to it being an auto). It was able to climb dunes that the ZJ wouldn't even get close to getting on top of and I had to change gear a lot less often than I expected. You can really feel how much lighter it is than the WJ and ZJ and reminds me of a quote from Colin Chapman which went something like: "to increase performance, first add lightness". It's certainly true.

It does need more ground clearance at both ends and so a 2-3" lift is essential. It also has a very squeaky heater blower so that will need to be looked at (it looks like a major job to get at, though).

November 4th:

I forgot to take a proper photo of it to show the "after" but I think that you can see a bit from the shot from saturday's trip.

The fact that the front coils are taller and more stiff means that it doesn't hit the bump stops like it used to. On-road handling and ride are better, too, which is an unexpected bonus - a product of it having the taller front coils and rear helper springs, rather than just spacers.

Anyway, now it's even better!

I have also replaced a few other bits, including the rear tailgate gas struts. Now instead of the tailgate falling down on your head, you are in danger of being hit under the chin as it springs up!


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November 9th:

Steering balljoints (tie rod ends) all replaced now - I have no idea how old they were - but the Jeep has 335,000 km on the clock! Most of them are fitted with grease nipples which means that they could/should have a good chance of lasting for a long while.

We had a trip out today and the Jeep performed well until almost the end of the trip when two connected failures left it immobile. The bearings in the electric cooling fan collapsed, throwing the motor badly out of balance and in danger of failing completely, and wrecking the radiator - so I had to disconnect it. Then, whilst parked and idling, the lack of airflow from the mechanical fan caused it to overheat and the radiator blew up in spectacular fashion. The plastic end tank split, blowing all the water out.

I guess that these components were getting old and tired and offroading tends to highlight any weaknesses. The red ZJ had a lot failures in the first few months that I had it but settled down as I got on top of them and I expect that this one will go the same way.

As a result, I had to be towed to a suitable spot to abandon it and I will be heading back tomorrow with a new rad and hopefully a new fan motor. Still, it was fun while it lasted! Thanks to Wallie, Blaze and John for the recovery.

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November 10th:

One of the nice things about having a popular vehicle is that parts are generally readily available and sensibly priced. For example, on saturday morning I was able to buy a brand new Valeo radiator, new electric fan, new hoses, rad cap and thermostat and had change from AED1000. The local parts store had it all in stock (I doubt that all makes would be so well catered for) and repairs took exactly 1 hour to complete- and that was taking it easy.

Whoops
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Think I found the problem
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Old and new
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New fan
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Almost done
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December 30the 2012
New Dunlop At22 tyres fitted and they are good offroad and on it, too.

Other progress:

The very noisy heater blower has been replaced with a new on from http://www.rockauto.com in the USA = $35 + shipping costs (as part of a larger package, so not too steep). no-one local seemed able to find a new one.

All the trackrod ends (tie rods for the Americans) have been replaced and the steering certainly feels less vague than it was. I think that the axle knuckle balljoints will need to be done as a precautionary measure before long. I'm going to fit a new track bar as well, just in case.........and the steering box needs adjusting, so that might get done at the same time.

A new steering damper was fitted today, to reduce kickback through the steering (successful). New anti-roll bar bushes will be going on soon, too.

Today I also fitted new oil rings to the oil filter mounting adaptor to cure one of those "they all do that sir" oil leaks. So it got an oil and filter change at the same time and the leak seems to have stopped. The old rubber oil seals had gone so brittle that they snapped like Bakelite when removed.

I also had to fix the wipers because they were always very slow but stopped working altogether last week. I suspected a seized motor but checked out the wiring too, finding that the circuit breaker in the fuse box had failed (it's a self resetting circuit breaker rather than a conventional fuse) but after fixing this I found that the motor was seized. the Jeep workshop manual says "no serviceable parts inside the motor" but I took it apart anyway and found that it had just seized up and with a de-rust, followed by a good WD40-ing, all is well again.

Coming soon: two additional cooling fans - I have bought 2 8" fans to go in front of the radiator and I plan to fit these on tuesday (day off work) along with some bonnet vents like on my red ZJ.

May 9th 2013
This is what the original flares look like:
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This is the kit of wider flares. Single-piece front flares, two-piece rears (part for the door part for the wing) and two funny looking bits that have yet to be identified! :
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I used fibreglass matting and resin to beef up the areas where the bolts go through (sorry no "after" pic just yet):
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There were no instructions or bolts but it's not rocket science. Whip off the original flares, offer up the new ones and get an idea where the slightly mis-shapen fibreglas needs to be trimmed. Then get brave with the angle grinder and attack the wing!
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This is what came off:
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After drilling a load of holes in the flares and the wing (all rust treated and painted), I used some small bore irrigation tube (split down the middle) to edge the lip that presses up against the wing. Then I bolted it into place with some nice M8 hex headed bolts. The area under the front end of the flare has been left untrimmed for now - once I've get everything in place I'll trim/fold/paint it to tidy it up.
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Then it's time to tackle the other side. Here you can see the mounting holes. No going back now! You can also see here the lift springs and uprated shocks that I had fitted some time back (about 1.75" of lift). Needless to say, this side took a lot less time than the first!
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You'll probably have noticed that the new flares cover the area of the side repeaters. i have fitted some LED indicator repeaters to the mirrors (you can see them in the last three shots) and will see if there is somewhere convenient to refit the side repeaters - probably above the crease line.

Now the rears are going to be a bit more tricky because there are some double skinned, areas that I really don't want to trim because it would weaken the shell (where the inner arches meet the rear wings) so I will have to fold, weld and paint those bits and spend more time trimming the flares.

I'm reasonably pleased with them although the rear end of the front left flare is a rather poor fit at the bottom of the wing and could do with building up - but that's a job for another time. Rears first!

Also, the wheels look a little lost now (as expected) so I may swap them for the ones on my red Grand Cherokee which have a wider offset or fit spacers. Hopefully I'll get one or both rear arches done this weekend.

May 21st
Driver's side arch on:
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The plastic "beading":
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Never mind the quality, feel the width :) :
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A gap that even a Range Rover would be ashamed of!
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Rear arch:
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All 4 arches on:
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Relocated side repeater and Cherokee badge
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I'm reasonably pleased with the results but it's not a job I fancy repeating any time soon. I'll be charitable and say that "the fit could have been better" - in fact, I think that the arch flares were made by someone who had once seen a Cherokee from a distance but never actually got close enough to measure up :) . A LOT of fettling was required - perhaps made worse by the fact that I did not want to trim the rear wings/inner wheelarches because of the risk of weakening the structure, so I just folded the lip of the wheelarch up into the inner arch (forgot to take photos, though).

Now for some spacers for the wheels so that they can fill those arches.

Thankfully the new radiator was a whole different kettle of fish. Beautifully made and it slotted straight in with no troubles. I flushed the cooling system, changed a few hoses and fitted a new expansion tank and everything was fine - for one whole day until the water pump munched its seals! So it all had to come out again for a new water pump to go in. on the plus side, I also took the opportunity to fit a heavy duty viscous clutch to the fan so it should help cooling, too. So far so good.............

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August 31st
Another job done on the Jeep - wheel spacers. After fitting the flared arches with the aim of giving more clearance for suspension travel, the bodywork is a bit wider and the wheels looked a touch lost. So, Ebay.com came to the rescue with a set of 1.25" aluminium wheel spacers at an attractive price (certainly better value than wider wheels and new tyres!)
Before and after pictures (taken in the dark because that's when the temperature drops to sensible levels - i.e. below 40C):
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In daylight:
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I also fitted the cupholder after adjusting the handbrake so that the lever doesn't foul on it:
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Now for a few more mods to the cooling system......coming soon.

Sept 1st

The radiator fan shroud disintegrated a few weeks ago on an offroad trip. The problem is that with no shroud there is a lower volume of air drawn through the radiator. My local parts shop had one on stock, so that's now back to standard spec.
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The electric cooling fan is used to supplement the mechanical fan when the engine warms up and when the aircon is on. The original type of fan used up to 1997 had six, straight blades and was very noisy - mine especially so as the bearings in the motor were wearing out.
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The 1998-onwards fan has 10 curved blades and is supposed to move more air whilst being cooler. My local parts shop had them in stock at an attractive price (AED220) so the old fan has been replaced by this:
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It's certainly quieter and smoother (less vibration) and does seem to move lots of air - I've no idea if it's more effective but it's worth a try. I was going to fit one to replace the mechanical fan because that is supposed to be the best setup but unfortunately my uprated radiator is thicker than the original and there is not enough space between the rad and the belt pulley on the engine. Bum (although I may be able to create more space using the drive pulleys from a Grand Cherokee).

Lastly for now, the chrome plated moldings around the headlights were cracked and broken so I bought some cheap, black ones and sprayed the grille black to match. I've never liked the chrome look so I'm much happier with this, especially now that it matches the flared arches.
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by SSS » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Nice, another XJ in the club! WELCOME!

I bet DesertDawg will feel more comfortable with "Frankenstein" now :lol:

cu out there ... (don't miss the season opening party to come soon ;) )
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by richard moss » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:48 pm

It was DesertDawg's appearance on Al Ain-based www.oasis-offroad.com that brought me here

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by latief » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:43 pm

inspiring....but i envy you for having a garage where you can use a floor jack and stands. i will kill for a space like this :evil:
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by DesertDawg » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:40 pm

Hi Richard,

Viva les XJs !!! :D

Great write up.

My life with Frankenstein is documented here: (34 pages now) http://www.ad4x4.com/club/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=12061

The stroker build up is here: http://www.ad4x4.com/club/viewtopic.php ... it=stroker

Have you put the two pusher fans in front of the radiator yet, and if so, what are the results?

I am embarking on this mod with two Sabaru fans (RHS RADIATOR FAN - SUBARU LIBERTY RX & OUTBACK)
Fan.jpg
Comes with shroud, two fit exactly, two speed.


Dave
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by DinoStroker » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:50 pm

DesertDawg wrote:Viva les XJs !!! :D
Yup. I've owned my XJ for 18 years and it just celebrated its 21st birthday at the beginning of this month with 397k km on the odometer (117k of those with the 4.6L stroker). It's now eligible to vote and enter night clubs. :lol:

My main Jeep Performance website is at http://www.jeep4.0performance.4mg.com
My stroker site is at http://www.angelfire.com/my/fan/stroker.html
All my other stuff is at http://www.angelfire.com/my/fan

I have a lot of tools to do stuff on my cars but only limited space, and usually end up sweating my nuts off in 40+ degree heat even in the shade. :!:
1992 Jeep Cherokee - 4.6L Stroker - 5MT
202rwhp 258rwtq (248hp 311lbft at crank)
Jeep Performance, Jeep Tech, Junker to Stroker

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by richard moss » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:11 pm

hello Dino - your performance mods have given me a few ideas, that's for sure.

Here's an overdue update on my XJ:

Sept 2013:
Next stage in the attempt to keep it cool:

On the last three or four trips out the XJ has cutout due to an overheated Powertrain Control Module (the engine management computer). Once it had cooled down it started and ran alright - but spending 15-20 minutes in the hot sun, melting icecubes on a scorching PCM is not really what it's all about.

One problem that causes this can be faulty electrical capacitors in the PCM (3 capacitors in total). One solutions is to spend about $500 buying and shipping in a new PCM but a search on the internet threw up guidance about replacing these capacitors at a total cost of under $10 including shipping. So guess which option I went for! Last night I replaced the capacitors with new, upgraded ones, a job which took about 2 hours whilst working at a "relaxed" pace. The Jeep runs OK and after I thrashed it up Jebel Hafeet to get it nice and hot it still started on the first turn of the key. However, I need a proper desert run to see if can break it again :)

It's a really easy fix to do: remove PCM from Jeep, open it up, scrape waterproof sealant away from around the capacitors, desolder the old ones, solder in the new ones (make sure they're round the right way), seal wih silicon sealant and refit PCM. These photos come from jeepforum .com http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/cras ... cu-492597/

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NOTE: This didn't fix the cutting out - it turned out to be a problem with the crankshaft position sensor shorting out when warm. A new CPS has done the job. :)

I have done a couple of other jobs - no pictures yet.

One was to (finally) fit the polyurethane spring bushes to the rear leaf springs. This involves drilling ou the old rubber bushes as well as removing the metal sleeves in which they sit. Lots of drilling, lots of noise, lots of chiseling out the sleeves but job now done. It was just as well really because the old rubber bushes were crumbling away and this was giving the rear end a wayward feel. It feels more taut now, but also more bouncy.

I had to have the steering box rebuilt last week because it had a lot of play in it and was leaking quite badly - as was the pump, it transpired. I had the job done by Mehran's garage and asked them to investigate a back end noise which turned out to be a knackered rear wheel bearing, so I had that replaced at the same time. These are some of the few jobs that I don't feel comfortable doing so I am happy to farm them out.

Something that I DID do for myself was fix the faulty electrically powered seat base on the front passenger seat. Actually, I didn't fix it, I just replaced it with a manual one :) - I bought a pair of wrong coloured seats from a scrapyard (beige instead of my grey) and swapped the base over. Whilst at it, I took a look at the driver's seat and was glad I did because I found no fewer than 4 significant cracks in the frame, a common problem on Jeeps of this era. A few minutes with my "stick" welder and all is well.

October 213:

Today's little moment of joy - a really nasty vibration when under power. I think it's the universal joint(s) in the rear driveshaft/propshaft. There's always something.......but at least I had replacement joints on the shelf ready to be fitted.
I looked at the rear propshaft (driveshaft) and the forward universal joint was completely shot. Repairs had to wait until this evening but were pretty straightforward. The photos below show the extent of the wear - the bearings were dry and completely trashed. What is annoying is that when it was in the workshop of "a certain well known local garage", I asked them to check out the vibration which I said was probably coming from the propshaft. I was assured that it was fine - yet 2 weeks later, here we are!

How it should be:
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How it was:
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It's interesting to note that I have always experienced what I thought was clutch judder when pulling away from a standstill and just put that down to the usual XJ lack of refinement (Chrysler/Jeep please note: you can find "refinement" in the dictionary between "rattle" and "rubbish"). The judder is now gone and so it must have been caused by the prop UJ binding.

december 2013:
I got round to replacing all the front suspension bushes last week - and it's made quite an improvement to the handling and steering (the old ones were well and truly shot). Each side of the axle has an upper arm and a lower one and with each having two bushes, that makes 8 to change. I also fitted new anti-roll bar drop links at the same time - it was not worth leaving them for another day (they were knackered, too). Removal and refitting involved undoing the bolts and beating the crap out of the old bushes with a big hammer and a chisel and then beating the crap back in using the hammer and some BIG sockets :)

Here are some of the old ones:
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These are the shiny new ones in place.
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I also fitted some camber adjusting wedges to the rear axle (to straighten out the angle of the propshaft universal joints and reduce judder). I forgot to take photos but the modification has made it smoother to drive.

I've also welded up the cracked exhaust manifold (still leaks a bit) and a hole in the downpipe and replaced the blown downpipe gasket. It's a bit quieter, but still sounds like the manifold is blowing so it may need to come off for more welding.

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by DesertDawg » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:47 pm

Rich, where did you get the front bush set from and how much?

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by BlackBird » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:18 pm

I want some too, and I think they are the same for the TJ. I need to do front and back. Can get them from the US, but its a simple item that should be avaialble here, I would hope.
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by richard moss » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:16 pm

Dave/Nigel the bushes are just original spec rubber bought from my local American parts shop. I'm not sure how much they were but they were cheap - but I'm sure that they were about the same price as you would pay on Rockauto.com (typically $5-$8 each - or about AED25-30 each).

I've also had to have a leaky crankshaft rear seal replaced. There was oil dripping from the bellhousing and so the sump had to come off for the bearing to be replaced. The clutch isn't contaminated, I'm told, but I also got an oil change out of it.

I'm thinking about fitting polyurethane engine and transmission mounts on this. There is some sacrifice on refinement (not that there's much to begin with!) but there should be a benefit in terms of stopping the engine/transmission moving around and reducing the risk of an engine mount tearing and the fan damaging the radiator.

http://www.daystarweb.com/productdetail ... ductID=273
http://www.daystarweb.com/productdetail ... ductID=279

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by richard moss » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:37 pm

As an aside, have you noticed that manufacturers ALWAYS make the filler point on transmissions, transfer boxes and (sometimes) axles hard to get at? Here's what I do (a tip learned years ago from the Scimitar and Sabre Owners Club magazine - specifically referring to filling differentials):

A garden sprayer, with the atomiser nozzle removed, gives a nice, easy way to do it. Fill with fluid, pressurise the sprayer and then lie down and spray
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The second picture shows it in action on my S-type Jaguar:
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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by DesertDawg » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:17 pm

Great idea!!
Travelling in my truck...

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by heinz » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:46 am

DesertDawg wrote:Hi Richard,

Viva les XJs !!! :D

Great write up.

My life with Frankenstein is documented here: (34 pages now) http://www.ad4x4.com/club/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=12061

The stroker build up is here: http://www.ad4x4.com/club/viewtopic.php ... it=stroker

Have you put the two pusher fans in front of the radiator yet, and if so, what are the results?

I am embarking on this mod with two Sabaru fans (RHS RADIATOR FAN - SUBARU LIBERTY RX & OUTBACK)
Fan.jpg


Comes with shroud, two fit exactly, two speed.


Dave

Viva les XJs ideed :twisted:

Did you or Desertdawg install the dual electric fan setup? Would be interested to read the feedback if you did!
Did you wire the install yourself?
Was thinking about this conversion, but would need some pointers on where to buy a good fan...


Nice to follow your write up Richard!

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by DinoStroker » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:33 pm

I've been running a dual electric fan set-up for the last 14 years:

http://www.angelfire.com/my/fan/electric.html

It works pretty well though it did just keep the coolant temp. at 105*F in slow traffic when it was 48*C last week. The rest of the cooling system is stock apart from the JET 180* t'stat.
I was so glad the AC was working again or else I would have been a roasted duck. ;)

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Re: Richard Moss 1995 XJ Cherokee

Post by heinz » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Thanks Dino!

Currently my Jeep is handling quite well with the heat. I installed some hood louvers that help getting rid of some of the heat under the bonnet. I have a Flowmaster high-flow waterpump with the stock clutch and electric fan setup. I doesn't run hot, even stuck in traffic the other day.

But was thinking about upgrading to dual electric fans because most people seem happy with the conversion.

Where can i source a suitable fan in the UAE?
Did you have the guys at Western Motors wire the setup?

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