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1991 Cherokee new/build thread

Old 05-13-2014, 12:36 AM
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Default 1991 Cherokee new/build thread




I have had a few Comanches when I lived in Texas, they were cool trucks that were a bit rare. I never had a desire to own a Cherokee when I lived down there, mostly due to their higher prices and 95% of them were automatic. I moved to central Pa over a year ago and half the suv's on the road are XJ's. I decided there was a reason for this and started looking for a cheap one. I found this 1991 4.0L 5 speed for $400. It has a lot of rust, being from Pa all of its life (It shows it was titled in 10/11/1990 so it has to be a very early chrysler jeep. Its a base model with no options, except for air conditioning which was converted to r134a at one time and works. Its pretty much what I wanted, base, 4.0L ho, ax15. I want a tuff street machine, maybe a 2'' lift to bring it back to stock height P235-75R15 m/s tires. I want to take it off road but nothing too crazy. I've already taken it on a few trails locally and it didn't have any trouble with its bald P215-75R15's & open diffs. I have plans for it but repair/maintenance is what is needed now.

-Tilt steering column is loose. I'm guessing its bolts deep inside loose, common gm problem (wish I was in Texas, I could borrow my friends steering column tool set)
-rust, driver front and rear rotted through. driver side rocker has a few small holes, driver rear door inside seem has rust through.
-slowly over heats on long drives
-passenger window drops into the door if rolled down all the way
-grease fittings, I can't get my grease gun fitting to them in the U-joints

Pictures next post.

Last edited by Comanche1987; 05-13-2014 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:45 AM
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When I bought the jeep the spare tire and the front left tire were both flat. A trip to a tire shop $5 and the flat was fixed. The spare was re-inflated a few days later as well.

Then about 2 days after I bought it the battery took a dump. Batteries are sooo expensive but I wanted a 3 year warranty so I bought the cheapest walmart 3 year battery 85.00w/core +tax. Not too bad. I use the same battery in my 1995 F150 351 V8 (Its cheap and 700CCA)


Then I flushed the coolant, changed the oil/filter. (castrol 10w-30 high mileage)




Then a week later on a cold icy morning I broke the wiper transmission


I replaced it with a tight used one from a 1993 XJ,
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:50 AM
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New walmart side post fits nicely.

ugly driver rear door rust.


sanded some of the door rust off and sprayed on some rustollium primer on





crappy gauges.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:54 AM
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Heater valve started leaking... I bi-passed it for now.








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Old 05-13-2014, 01:00 AM
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4 jeep alloys I found on craigslist for $40 from a fellow XJ driver




2 Jeep wheels I found at a junkyard locally $60 for both BFG All Long Trail T/A P235-75R15 (they are close to 75% tread)



Transfercase fluid service with Valvaline ATF+4 synthetic.
Transmission fluid service with penzoil syncromesh
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:23 AM
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I was missing a fender decal and a 4.0 HighOutput decal on the hatch, both I found in the junkyard and installed. Now people will be mad that I'm purposely driving slow and instead of thinking I have a 2.5 LOL.



Gauge cluster upgrade
I used a oil pressure sending unit from the jeep I removed the cluster from. The 92+ temperature sensors used a plastic style plug where as the 1991s are unique and use a threaded stud the connected plugs onto, I had to buy that new from autozone $12



Yes it says Kenny's dead. I cleaned it off... kids...

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Old 05-13-2014, 01:54 AM
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Another trip to the junkyard and I got 1998 XJ mirrors with defrost (I will wire them up at a later date, I am loving them compared to the terrible older mirrors)



Notice the wipers parked correctly with the replacement transmission.




Yup, 4.0 HO. My new exhaust too, I ordered the muffler+tailpipe from rock auto. I had a local exhaust shop install it... the cat fell off and I wanted it to stay off but he bandage it all back together...hack job that I had to pay 100 for after waiting 2 hours. I counted 9 exhaust clamps holding it all together.

I replaced the gray driver seat that was broken and being held up by the seat belt mount and bailing wire, with another grey xj seat. The bolts for the rails were heavily rusted to the floor so I left the frame in and just swapped seats. Big improvement but I want more back support, its tilted back somewhat and won't adjust forward enough for me. you can see in the picture below, its adjusted as far forward as it will go, maybe its broken.



I also found a newer center console from a XJ, there was a few but this one was grey and the cover wasn't broken. I even swapped the 4wd selector with a different one in the junkyard so I wouldn't have the all time 4wd selection, I found a shift insert from another xj console that had a np231 shift pattern. The broken seat replacement was great, but I think this is my favorite mod so far, drinks in place and comfort!



My next problem....




I can drive for about 70 miles before it will get to this temperature, cruising at 60mph. The coolant system is full and the waterpump appears to be newer, its silver and shows no signs of age. Parts are not too expensive, so I am planning on replacing the waterpump, thermostat, upper/lower hoses. I have a feeling its the radiator but that is the most expensive part. I am currently running some CRL threw the cooling system which I have done to vehicles in the past to clean the system for a few days. I'll flush it out with some fresh water, then I'll run some powdered cascade dish washer soap (Best to remove the thermostat for this because I am not sure if it will clog the smaller jeep theromstat, it did fine in the dt466). These are all tricks we learned at international to clean out egr coolers, radiators, ect. With any luck I'll clean out my all metal radiator and have fresh coolant to go with all my new parts. If not I'll be looking for a used radiator likely, while I find a cheap shop to clean my radiator or borrow a torch and do it myself.

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Old 05-23-2014, 05:21 PM
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:44 AM
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YOu can eliminate the heater control valve altogether with no issues.

You're doing a nice job!!
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
YOu can eliminate the heater control valve altogether with no issues.

You're doing a nice job!!
Taking the advice, I am eliminating it

I just used the 20% off/pickup from store advance auto parts discount to get a fan clutch (for the hell of it, I know mine is original) and a water pump tube. I might have to take a trip to the JY to replace one of my larger hose clamps that someone put a screw type and I prefer the oem style. I pulled my coolant temperature sensor from the thermostat housing this morning and to test its resistance and it has none. I'll probably grab the value craft 15.99 one from autozone (32.00 at advance) even though I found one on ebay for 9.00 shipped I really want to install it asap to see if it helps my electric fan behave and makes my engine happier.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-HERKO-TEMPERATURE-SENSOR-TXH43-FOR-VARIOUS-VEHICLES-1984-1997-/360904451318?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item540794e4f6&vxp=mtr
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:05 AM
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Bought these today, fan clutch and a water pump tube. $39.00 for both with 20% discount online from advanced.

I also bought a coolant temperature sensor that was 15.99 at autozone. The electric fan now turns on but the gauge shows 230 when it does. The gauge must be off but the sending unit is new.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:20 AM
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Finally got the chance to do everything yesterday...

I could not get the fan shroud out without removing the mechanical fan, and the mechanical fan bolts were seized, real pita to remove.



I use anti seize on all of my gaskets, they tell you to put them on dry but I learned from years of wrenching on fleet vehicles and working with old techs that this makes life easier when it comes time to remove the gasket for the next water pump/thermostat. On water pumps with rubber o rings, dielectric grease works great (on the aluminum housing gasket mating surfaces as well).



I used anaerobic sealer on the water pump outlet tube. It has some sort of sealant on it when I bought it but I cleaned it off and used what I trust.



I also did denso plug wires/ngk plugs. No change in performance vs champions.





Next thing to do is swapping out my tires.. that's after I make another trip to the scrap metal yard (might as well collect some nails in these toasted tires).








I used a gallon of prestone 100% + distilled. It goes to about 212-215 then drops to 205-208 then sits at 210 consistently. It doesn't get hot enough for the electric fan to come on, the old water pump looked good so it must have been the fan clutch. That would have been okay if the electric fan was working correctly. The kink in the heater hose and dirty coolant system likely caused it to over heat on the highway.

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Old 06-03-2014, 10:23 AM
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For the seats, the 97+ have much nicer seats IMO. My 91 had the seats too reclined even at their most upright setting. They were very comfortable but too relaxed for when youre driving.

But it looks very clean for a east coast Jeep.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:29 AM
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Nice job!

Its good to see when someone starts where they really should "the basic's" instead of other areas where so many insist on starting.

Will look forward to your continuing progress as you move along.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:12 PM
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Had trouble starting yesterday in the heat of the day. Took about 10 tries over 15 minutes before it finally fired. I checked and it had no spark, I didn't have my ohm meter to check the coil but since the crank position sensor looks original I feel that's my problem. I ordered this from ebay since locally they are all over 50 bucks and have to be ordered, rock auto wants 40-50 as well.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161205647177


I am going to replace the stock coil with a msd blaster 3 I have laying in the closet, it has maybe 4k miles on it. But its likely the sensor.
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