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96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck

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96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck

Old 06-12-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default 96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck

I recently moved south for a job from Ohio. Once settled in with the job and meeting my new employees they suggested I go to a Mud Bog, I took their advice and decided while I was at the event that I need to have one of my own.

This thread will follow the path from the my first purchase to the last.

I found a 96' Jeep that was being sold as is, upon inspection the only thing I could find on it was a crack in the bell housing. The engine still cranked and ran.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:14 PM
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First thing I did upon getting it to the shop is rip the engine and transmission out . The engine seems to be running and working well no gross and obvious problems. The bell housing was busted but so far has been the only problem that I have been able to find.

Upon research and some persuasion from the guys at work I am going to look for a Chevy Small Block and rebuild it. Also have a plan for a tubular and chopped design for it.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:31 PM
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I found a running 96' Z71 with a Chevy Small Block 350 Vortec for a cheap price so I purchased it and took it to the shop to tear down. Upon tearing down the engine I found minimal wear and looked like it was well taken care of.

I dropped the block, heads, pistons, crank and main bearings off at the local machinist to clean it up and put it back into spec... we also discussed what I am looking for exactly out of the motor and possible packages we can do to give it some more horse. Right now we are shooting for about 450HP

The other pictures attached are the concept for the tubular design. This portion of the build will not be taken more seriously till the Jeep is on four wheels and moving.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:45 AM
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UPDATE:

Heard news from the machinist yesterday, mostly good. The block and crank look well and will need minimal touch up to put back into spec. One of the heads was cracked and will need to be replaced so this set back will push the time of completion back a bit. Other than finding a new head the parts have been ordered for the cam kit, pistion and ring kit and the roller rocker kit. Hoping to have all of the parts within the next week and have it assembled by the 4th of July weekend.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:42 AM
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Should be picking up the 350 from the machine shop this week. Just waiting for the final word from the machinist.

Since I have not been able to work on the car while the engine was out I had some time to do some figuring. Since I am tearing out the old engine and doing the 350 swap I will no longer have control of the ECU in the Jeep. I decided I would like to develop an all in one "display/ control" unit for the car.

I am going to use the PCduino3 microchip with a 7" touch screen in the dash with external device accessibility. The plan is to take all of the sensor that would normally be monitored by an ECU and monitor it with the micro chip so I can have all diagnostics of the car while operating. The micro board will have GPS, Bluetooth, MP3, FM transmitter, external storage capability and external device accessibility.

In a nutshell it will be a all in one compact car control unit all being managed through an app that will run on Android platform.

Goal 1 is to get it running and goal 2 is to start to implement this system.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:46 PM
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Received the 350 back from the machine shop. Went a little bit over budget on it but once it starts I am sure it will all be worth it.

So far I have the
Flat top pistons and rings put together
Cam installed
Crank installed
Main bears installed and torqued

When installing the timing chain I found that it would get caught on the block when I tried to spin it. Once I took it back off and examined the block I found that the machinist forgot to mill off the extra clearance for the double timing chain. About the time I found this issue I had to stop working on it for the night.
Attached Thumbnails 96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2891.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2894.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2896.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2897.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2898.jpg  

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Old 07-20-2014, 06:49 PM
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Continued the engine build this weekend. Made some progress but had a minor set back. I was able to get the pistons installed and started to torque them down. All of them torqued down well except one of the connecting rod bolts was stripped out. Unfortunately none of the local auto shops had a bolt on hand so the build is on hold till I get a new one.

On a side note I was able to see how much of the block was surfaced once the first piston was installed. The top of the piston head peaks it's stork right at the top of the of the block. This should cause more compression and have a nice increase in power.

I will post pictures of it once I obtain them.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:56 AM
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I had a little time last night to continue the engine.

The first picture shows the deck height is pretty close to 0.

I was able to get the stripped out connecting rod bolt replaced, head gasket and head installed, roller lifter, lifter keeper and tensioner installed, push rods, roller rocker and managed to adjust the locking nuts for the valves.

I did notice an oil line in one of the walls so I pulled the piston out just to verify that the compression rings were not lined up.
Attached Thumbnails 96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2941.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2942.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2945.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2950.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_2952.jpg  

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Old 07-25-2014, 12:17 AM
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Subbed.
Looking forward to seeing updates!
What's your plan for axles, unibody reinforcement, tires ect?
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:39 AM
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Looks like it's gunna be too nice to mud when you're done.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 884x4 View Post
Subbed.
Looking forward to seeing updates!
What's your plan for axles, unibody reinforcement, tires ect?
As far as axles go the rear if I remember correctly came with some type of Dana with a locker. I can not verify that till I get under it but hopefully it is the case. In the front thinking of maybe a Dana 40.

The first thing that will go once it is moving is the stock drive shafts or that is my prediction at least. When I have to start to replace them I will look at what all is already on it and come up with a game plan.

Same goes for the unibody reinforcement I am not sure what is already on it and honestly haven't looked into much of it yet. Any suggestion?

When I bought the truck it came with 33" Firestone Destination M/T's on it and a fifth wheel with a Mickey Thompson Baja Crawler. The Firestone's on it have plenty of meat left on them, the seller said he only had about 200 miles of mudding trails on them. I am going to invest in some 33" A/T's so I don't have to tear up my M/T's on the pavement.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by XJ ONLY View Post
Looks like it's gunna be too nice to mud when you're done.
Haha thank you I am going to give it the good ole college try. I am shooting for a nice truck I can drive around but still have some fun in it.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:42 AM
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The engine will fit in the engine bay but it is going to be tight, I have been looking for a compact set of headers for it. Not sure if anyone knows of anyplace good to look on line for a tight compact fit header, but if you do I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:24 AM
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Update on the compact headers.

I spent a lot of time over the weekend researching the compact headers.

There are a couple of options you can do:

1. Novak sells block huger headers meant specifically for a 350 swap into a cherokee for anywhere from $300 - $500.

or the cheaper and more fun way.

2. You can use a set of BBK 79-93 Mustang Fox Body shorty headers and chop of the ford flange and weld the 350 flange to it.

Lastly I looked up the remaining parts I need to get the engine started and am going to start to save up for them.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:19 PM
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I apologize for the lack up posting I have been going through changes in a job and moving, But I am starting to work on the project again.

So far I have purchased the intake manifold, carb, breather and distributor. I am curious to see what the distributor looks like under the hood with the clear housing.

Today I purchased some block hugger headers, bell housing adapter and motor mounts. I am hoping to get these in this week and start to work on it this weekend.

Updates will follow as progress is made.
Attached Thumbnails 96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_3339.jpg   96' Cherokee Mod/Fab Journey To A Mud Truck-img_3359.jpg  
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