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87 Turd never ending build

Old 05-11-2010, 03:25 AM
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Default 87 Turd never ending build

Ive had the jeep now for the past 7 years and have been building it since the day i brought it home. I bought the jeep in pretty rough condition with 199,000 miles already on it. The interior was basically destroyed and extremely filthy, I swear the PO used it as a toilet/trash can. I just wanted another XJ and this one was cheap and came with a few goodies.

Specs when purchased :

-1987 AMC Jeep Cherokee Pioneer with tow package
-199,000 miles on original engine, tranny, axles.
-4.0 I6, AW4 tranny, rebuilt NP231, dana 30 front, dana 44 rear
-3 inch pro-comp short arm lift on pro-comp street lock rims with 31' bfg ATs
-rusted through floor boards and destroyed camel interior
-original white on white paint with gold drivers side fender
-mechanically rough but it ran

Ive always used the forums as a great source of information when fixing/building/modifying this jeep so i have finally decided to contribute what i have learned over the years in this build thread. I will be checking this thread regularly, so please feel free to ask any questions or comments and i will try to respond as quickly as i can.

Thanks
-Mike
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:43 AM
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Now onto the build. Since the jeep has already been built and is continually being built, i will be starting with pics from around 2004 and moving to present. I never had a goal in mind while building, I just enjoyed running local trails and built the jeep to suit my needs over the years.

2004



The jeep as it looked when i bought it. I had done all the mechanical work to make it run properly. I also added a Gibson cat back exhaust to pass smog. I repaired the rusted floor pans and cleaned up the interior the best i could. I had to buy new seals and weather stripping for the entire car to stop the rust from happening again. I then purchased new carpet and seat covers to make it livable. This car was not my DD, mostly used to go snowboarding and some light off-roading.






Front bumper is just a home made prerunner style light bar. Bent tube bolted to the stock bumper. Rear bumper is home made, just a large diameter pipe with integrated hitch.

This was my first "trail" when i moved to Tucson. The road up the back side of Mt. Lemmon. Sooooper hard but i somehow made it to the top

Then i started to drive some real trails and realized i needed more than a lift and some all terrains. This is when i really got into cherokees and started to refer to my jeep as a hobby ( wasn't quite a job yet ).
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:53 AM
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I got a good deal on a Tereflex 2" BB from work so i threw that on and trimmed the fenders. I had just gotten some free used 33x12.50x15 BFG MT with some tread left and i was determined to make them fit.




Changed to some BAJA lights on the front


Also Herculined the sides and installed the 33's





I added sway bar disco's, a homemade track bar, and Desert Rattler shocks to
make my total lift of 5.5" work.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:06 AM
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I soon blew the used BFG's and swapped over to some general tire MT's. I got them used for my old 31" BFG's. They worked surprisingly well, just a little soft and the 12.50 width rubbed against my lower ca's at full lock. I was destroying my motor and tranny mounts with the TC drop so i installed Daystar poly motor and tranny mounts. They work awesome, not too many vibes and i still havn't had to even change a bushing to this day. I also started adding some Bushwhacker fender flares at this point.





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Old 05-11-2010, 04:21 AM
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I had the axles regeared to 4.10 and added some ARB lockers to the front and rear. I permanently locked the vacuum disc axle thinger. I had the shop change my T-case to 4 to 1 and add a bling bling chicken wing rear diff cover. This was before i did all my own work and stuff with gears in it made me nervous.

Then this happened




So i swapped over to an open cooling system from a 96 XJ, I've never looked back. Swap was really easy and it still holding up well. I wired the electric fan to a switch by the shifter so i can keep it on when needed.

Was really enjoying the jeep at this point. Lots of weekend runs and mudding when it rained.

Then this happened when i let the water get a little too high



Re-wired the whole car and learned the true meaning of RENIX. Got all my parts from painless wiring and XJ's at the junkyard. Another one of the best things i have ever done to this vehicle. New wiring fixed so many little problems, some i didn't even know i had. This process took almost an entire year, I was going to college and the jeep caught fire 4 times during repairs. I had no clue what i was doing at first but learned everything along the way. I also rebuilt the t-case again and kept up regular maintenance.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:40 AM
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This brings me to last October. After a camping trip the fuel pump went out and a lot of leaks had developed. The interior was trashed again and overall the jeep just needed a lot of work. The jeep sat in the garage from Oct until a few days ago. I went from the front to the back adding/redoing/rebuilding ect. until i was satisfied enough to drive it again. The latest build took so long because i had re-injured a previously broken back which put me on disability. I was limited to a few hours a day if i was even able to work. Luckily my best friend got laid off so i moved him into the casa and put him to work on the jeep. Couldn't have finished without him.

We tackled the fuel pump first. I purchased an Airtex full assembly and pump from checkers. I got the full assembly because my gas gauge no longer worked correctly and the pump was louder than my stereo, it also was cutting out randomly so i thought this would be the easiest way to fix everything.

After installing the new pump ran for a total of 30 min and 5 start cycles before it ate ****. I returned the thing and got another of the exact same assembly. Through it in tonight and it works. Well see how long this one lasts.

My hatch rattled so i picked up a new hatch pin from the junkyard that looked pretty new. Still had alot of metal on it.

The mounting holes for mine were huge and wallowed out so i took some sheet metal and covered the entire area. I bent it to shape with a body hammer and welded in. I then drilled new, tight holes for the hatch pin after carefully measuring its location when the hatch was closed. Herculined the metal work and the entire trunk area. The interior hatch cover was shaking like crazy too so i snagged a new one from the JY and bolted it up



The hatch is finally quiet, even when going over large bumps. It finally is quiet enough for me to hear the rest of the rattles and shakes that i didnt know where there.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:54 AM
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When cash for clunkers hit i was constantly at the junkyards.

Came home with a Mastercraft seat.


Got a rear soundbar


With some Kenwood speakers

Picked up an overhead console for a pre-97

Crappy pic but got a new dash and steering wheel. The old dash was cracking and falling to pieces and the steering wheel looked like something out of the oregon trail so replaced em with a momo wheel and a stock dash out of a 94.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:20 AM
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Nice steering wheel, don't think I've ever seen a gas gauge that was that big!
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by davida View Post
Nice steering wheel, don't think I've ever seen a gas gauge that was that big!
i have the same thing on my 88. i hate the stupid thing and i wish i had the tach. i think im going to change the gauges and get one with the tach and the smaller gas gauge
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:10 PM
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im digging the momo steerin wheel, and i put a sound bar in mine outta a 96
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:25 PM
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I then recovered the sound bar with headliner material from Joanne's Fabrics. I used a 3m glue that was compatible with foam and just glued and stretched the material over. The sound is great but i had to splice into the speaker wires for my rear hatch speakers. I need to get a 4 channel amp to really make it sound properly but they look sweet and it was a fun project to do.



I then installed the Mastercraft seat. I got the seat out of a newer XJ that had different seat mounts so in had to fab up a seat mount for it to fit properly. I used the stock base, flat bar steel, and some dom tube to make the mount. I used phone books and scrap wood i had laying around to test the height and then i threw it all together. The mount turned out great and is fully removable for when i order the Mastercraft seat cover to match the interior. Its grey for now and it doesnt look too bad. The seat is really comphy and it has built in adjustable lumbar support which is great for my back.



From the back


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Old 05-11-2010, 02:31 PM
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I also covered the overhead console and installed it. I really wanted a compass and temperature display inside the vehicle and this install was worth it. Installing the console was a pita because none of the stock wiring was a direct fit. Also getting the brackets installed on the roof properly took a lot of trial and error.

End result





I did a writeup on the install when completed it.
https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/ins...e-model-37848/
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:40 PM
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Gratuitous shot of the Momo wheel.


And yes my gas gauge is huge. I don't think i am going to swap to the tach cluster because i like the look of this one. I am probably just going to install an after market tach on top of the steering column, lots of companies make them as older XJ's use the old generic Chevy steering column. I definately dont run out of gas! aha. I also really like the AMC logo in the corner. It lights up when im low on fuel.

The switches to the left of the steering wheel are for my push button starter. I had intermittent starting issues with my ignition switch so i just installed one one of these. I just hooked it up to the different poles on the starter switch by the battery. It works great and looks pretty cool. You have to turn the first switch on for the button to work and the key needs to be in the ignition for the car to start.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 PM
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Under the switch is one of my favorite mods. I snagged a sun visor out of a 96 ZJ at the junkyard so i could get the home link garage door opener. It is hard wired under the dash and can be programmed for 3 different devices. The range on this thing is sweeet. It can open my garage from the start of my street which is 80 ish yards away.



I took the sun visor apart and removed the opener. I then painted the outside cover to match the dash and cut a whole through the lower dash to mount it. I had to shave the inside of the lower dash to get the unit to clip together and then i wired it up. Just a 12v power and a ground then you are good to go. To program the unit, just hold the 2 outside buttons down at the same time until the light starts blinking. Then grab another opener for your garage and hold it close to the opener. Pick the button you want to program and hold that button and the button on your opener at the same time. When the light starts blinking fast you are good to go. I have even disconnected the battery and the unit still remembers my garage door.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:12 PM
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I love cupholders. I live in Tucson with no AC in this turd so cupholders are a must. I got both mine from other cherokees at the junkyard.

The cupholders that insert over the ebrake lever on the center console have been modified with 12v outlets so i can plug in my phone and still use the cigarette lighter. I was really nice this time and even gave the passenger one. I think it turned out pretty well.



My other set just sits under the center console cover and hangs off the passenger side.



The plugs are out of chrysler mini vans. I just grabbed a bunch at the junkyard for a buck a piece. I also added some to the cargo area for using my inverter and camping ect.




You can see one here in the back next to my maglight mount. I used maglight automotive clips that i ordered off Ebay for a few bucks. They work really well.

I also added a few to the other side so people in the backseat can use them as well.


I also added a fire extinguisher in my cubby hole.


I also tried to make a subwoofer grill to protect it when i have stuff in the back. I used some BBQ grill sheets that i got at Lowes because i thought they looked cool. It doesnt feel too strong so im sure i will be replacing it soon. Live and learn.

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