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1976 Jeep Cherokee Chop Top Project

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1976 Jeep Cherokee Chop Top Project

Old 05-03-2013, 02:39 AM
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Default 1976 Jeep Cherokee Chop Top Project

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I'm the proud new owner of this project, and I don't know yet if that's a good thing or a bad thing!

It's got an AMC 360 w/ Howell fuel injection and MSD ignition, but the motor needs a rebuild (seized) and the MSD box might be bad. Headman headers into 3 inch exhaust. Tranny was supposedly rebuilt 55k ago, leaks a little. 33x12.50 MT Baja Claws w/ full size spare, 95% tread. "Custom" (homemade) front and rear bumper. Stock hatch was moved forward. 6" lift. The interior is rough, but does have 2011 Wrangler seats up front (no seat in rear). Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. Selectrax 4WD, locking hubs. New gas tank. Rag joint eliminator kit. Can't think of much else.

The scary part? This is my first jeep. I know nothing about Cherokees, I bought it with a day's notice and hope I got some good stuff. The other scary part? The previous owner tried to bedliner the whole thing. It looks terrible. I'm hoping it can be media blasted off, or I'm in for some work. I don't have it home yet, I'm getting a tow from Denver in the morning.

My only relevant experience is from working on my old '88 AMC Eagle, and somewhat my '68 AMC Javelin. Can anyone tell me what kind of trouble I've gotten into?

Last edited by 76 Chopokee; 11-14-2013 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:57 AM
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looks stout. never seen a full size chopped. look over the seams and make sure its braced good enough. i think they have a real frame so worst case senario, you can find a jy body
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ckysodkorn_xj View Post
looks stout. never seen a full size chopped. look over the seams and make sure its braced good enough. i think they have a real frame so worst case senario, you can find a jy body
I'll be adding some reinforcement either way, I'd like the look of some bars in the back.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:51 AM
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why would someone do that to such a nice jeep?

i would start by cutting the rest of the top off and tubing a full cage.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by caged View Post
why would someone do that to such a nice jeep?

i would start by cutting the rest of the top off and tubing a full cage.
Why would I cut the perfectly good top off of it?
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:44 PM
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Awesome. But what the heck is going on with that rear fender? I'd be fixing that. And maybe a full soft top.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketsEmpty View Post
Awesome. But what the heck is going on with that rear fender? I'd be fixing that. And maybe a full soft top.
You mean the crease? I had one on my 88 Eagle too. Dunno what causes those right there. If you mean something else, point it out!

EDIT: I suppose you might also mean how the rear tires are gonna rub the front of the rear fender.

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Old 05-03-2013, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 76 Chopokee View Post
You mean the crease? I had one on my 88 Eagle too. Dunno what causes those right there. If you mean something else, point it out!

EDIT: I suppose you might also mean how the rear tires are gonna rub the front of the rear fender.
That, and it just looks unnatural...lol
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketsEmpty View Post
That, and it just looks unnatural...lol
Any ideas on how to make it look better?
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:04 PM
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Well, maybe if there was a way to make it symmetrical. It seems like the other side isn't like that, or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketsEmpty View Post
Well, maybe if there was a way to make it symmetrical. It seems like the other side isn't like that, or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
I'm thinking it's just the fender flare pushed back. If you look closely, it looks like you can see the line just in front of it where it should be. I could be completely wrong though
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by adamk View Post
I'm thinking it's just the fender flare pushed back. If you look closely, it looks like you can see the line just in front of it where it should be. I could be completely wrong though
I think the angle is playing tricks, but you're partially right. I do think it's odd that the tire is so close to the front of the fender flare, but not the back. However, I just checked in person, and both sides are like that. To me it seems like the rear end is further forward than it should be? That can't be right, though, so I'm stumped.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:39 PM
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Are there lift springs on it? Or extended shackles? Only thing I can think of is the wrong length leaf springs? Its hard to diagnosis from a pic.

But, I think its a sweet start and really wanna see where this thing goes.

Edit** Just google'd some images and there was a few pics that looked similar. I think the flare is loose and fallen back and there are lift shackles. The shackles would push the wheel forward slightly. I also think you're right and the pics you have are playing some tricks and that adds to it.

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by adamk View Post
Are there lift springs on it? Or extended shackles? Only thing I can think of is the wrong length leaf springs? Its hard to diagnosis from a pic.

But, I think its a sweet start and really wanna see where this thing goes.

Edit** Just google'd some images and there was a few pics that looked similar. I think the flare is loose and fallen back and there are lift shackles. The shackles would push the wheel forward slightly. I also think you're right and the pics you have are playing some tricks and that adds to it.
The front has extended shackles, I'm not sure about the leaf springs. I will try to get some underbody pics, maybe someone can spot something. It does seem like the flares have been changed, the way they are mounted doesn't look factory. Some interesting things were done to the wheel wells. I'll snap pics of those too, tomorrow.

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm happy about the purchase, but a little intimidated.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:09 AM
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Been doing a little thinking, it doesn't seem that tough to unbolt the rear end and bolt up slightly further on the leaf springs. Either get a new driveshaft or perhaps the one on there is telescoping? I'll have to crawl under and mess with it.
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