1999 Jeep Cherokee – Turbo Diesel XJ

Vehicle Quick Facts

Profile ID: 47415
Year: 1999
Make: Jeep
Model: Cherokee
Markets: Off Road, Performance
Vehicle Type: American
Contact: Jared Daub

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I have always wanted to build a turbo diesel Jeep Cherokee. About two years ago I began the journey of swapping an OM617 from a 1985 300D into my 1999 Jeep Cherokee. Along the way I learned so much. I fabricated brackets, thought outside of the box, solved major problems and created a very unique daily driver that is economical, powerful, and practical.

Most people thing of the OM617 as extremely sluggish. This is true out of the car but with some love they really wake up. One of the first modifications I made was the addition of a 7.5mm injector pump. This radically increases the fueling potential of the 617. The problem with the OM617 is you can't adjust the fuel like you can on a P Pump 4BT or 6BT. The pumps leave a lot to be desired from factory. There are a few great options for increasing fuel reliably. My pump came from Dieselmeken.

The Adapter kit comes from Doomsday Diesel and I retained my factory AX15 transmission. I decided to go with a powermaster starter due to the high compression of the diesel engine. A Holset HX30W was my turbocharger of choice. Boost pressures are just under 30 PSI.

I opted to run a low front mount Mishimoto oil cooler as well as a Mishimoto oversized XJ aluminum radiator. Two 12" cooling fans keep the engine temps in check.

The exhaust is a custom 3" straight, side dump exhaust that I fabricated myself. The tip is a 6" MBRP exhaust tip. You know, for whistling diesel sounds.

My lift kit of choice on this rig is Iron Rock Offroads 6.5" critical path long arm lift kit. This kit is beefy and was a breeze to install.

Body work was done at our shop, rear quarters were chopped and tucked, 2x6x1/4" Thick tube steel replaces the factory rocker panels. We took the entire jeep down to bare metal to remove all factory paint and clear coat cracking. Rust prone areas got a treatment of POR15 before priming. A nice Granite Crystal paint job and high quality clear coat finish off the exterior.

This jeep build has been my dream for the past 10 years. I have a lot planned for this build and you can check out more on my instagram @turbodieselxj.