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Bernice The Big Blue B****

Old 04-23-2014, 10:25 AM
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Default Bernice The Big Blue B****

Before I get into the Jeep, I just want to issue a disclaimer: This thread is just as much for my use as yours. I will be using it as a way to chronicle my progress on the building of my first car. Hopefully I can look back years from now and see how far my Jeep has come.

Bernice is my first car, but I come from a Jeep friendly family: 2 XJs, 3 MJs, 4 or 5 FSJs, 3 YJs, 2 TJs, 1 WJ, and 1 XK. I need to use her for not only a daily driver (mostly local roads and limited highway use) but also to get me where I need to go offroad, as I do a good deal of camping. Here she is:

The Jeep:

1997 Cherokee Country w/ only 105k on the clock, rust free
4.0L, 4x4, Dana 30 front & Chrysler 8.25 rear
"Gunmetal Pearl" with body color trim
A/C, Cloth Seats, Tinted Windows

The Day I bought It:


New tire, other stuff fixed:


The 'Near Future' Wishlist:

Rough Country 3" Add-A-Leaf & Steering Stabilizer
30" Mastercraft Courser AXT (to fit stock 15x7s)
JVC 5.25s all around
Pyle 12" 1200 watt subwoofer & custom fiberglass enclosure

The 'When I Hit The Lottery' Wishlist:

Custom 'ARB Style' front bumper
Rear Tire Carrier
Rock Rails/Side Steps
Larger Fender Flares
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:32 PM
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The best color on a cherokee imo, good choice. Can't wait to see progress
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:56 PM
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save some extra $ and issues down the line and get full leafs not aal
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by G-baby View Post
The best color on a cherokee imo, good choice. Can't wait to see progress
Second best imo, the silver was clean as hell, but I do love my Gunmetal Pearl!
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sideways99 View Post
save some extra $ and issues down the line and get full leafs not aal
Good to know! Thank you!
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:33 PM
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an aal will sag sooner over time than a full leaf pack, even a bastard pack will hold up longer than aal. clean rig btw
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sideways99 View Post
an aal will sag sooner over time than a full leaf pack, even a bastard pack will hold up longer than aal. clean rig btw
What is a bastard pack?
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:19 PM
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Update:

I've spent the last two weeks (last week was school vacation) straightening some things and prepping new (to me) parts for paint.

After driving it to the shop, we noticed it was crabbing down the road, so we tossed it up on the frame machine. The passenger side steering and suspension was about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch further back than the driver's. Also, the hood and fender are being replaced from the "events" at the auction, but I'm repairing the cracked header panel from the same accident that stuffed the suspension.


The 'new' parts (hood, fender, bumper ends, bumper) as well as the repaired header panel got painted and cleared today, and if everything goes as planned, they'll be installed this Saturday, now that the undercarriage is squared away... (Get it? Cherokee, squared, I crack myself up )

After this will be new speakers! Thinking about going with 5.25 JVCs all around...
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:20 PM
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Got all of the repainted parts installed today, as well as did an alignment. The donor car was a black 99, so instead of repainting the grill and bezels body color, I sprayed them flat black, but I'm not sure I like it. I neglected to take a picture of it with the parts installed, and its still at a family member's body shop until I can register it...

Hopefully I can pick up some extra hours over the summer to pay for a lift and tires! Leaning towards 3.5" RE Super-Ride w/ full packs, and some Mastercraft Courser AXTs. Anyone have experience with those particular tires?

Last edited by Gunmetal97; 05-03-2014 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:27 PM
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Brought her home from the body shop this week, and DAMN is it good to see the hard work pay off! Here she is:


Also, I got it registered today, and I figured out why the underside is in such good shape: It isn't a New England car as I originally thought! She was registered in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was brought up here to Methuen some time recently...


Went for the first real drive since the body straightening and alignment, and discovered an issue. I let it idle in the driveway after about 30 minutes of driving (including one of the rougher dirt 'roads' in town) and it began to smell of burnt oil. Popped the hood, and there was oil all around the valve cover, so I think that the bolts just need to be tightened... Hopefully... When she goes for an inspection this weekend I'm going to have the mechanic look at it

Last edited by Gunmetal97; 05-09-2014 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:48 PM
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Nice progress
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BigSquirrly89 View Post
Nice progress
Thank you sir!
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:38 AM
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Got her registered on Friday, and was able to take it for its first real drive since the body work, and she runs great! The only issue is that when it idles, you can smell oil. Popped the hood, and there was oil all around the valve cover!


She is going to the mechanic tonight for an inspection (Mass gives you 7 days after registration to get a new inspection sticker) and I'll have him take a look...
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunmetal97 View Post
What is a bastard pack?
bastard pack is building a leaf pack from other vehicles i.e. s-10 leafs are very often suited for lifting xjs.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sideways99 View Post
bastard pack is building a leaf pack from other vehicles i.e. s-10 leafs are very often suited for lifting xjs.
I was just reading a build thread for someone who was building bastard packs for his 86, and it took him almost 6 months! I think I'm going to go with the RE super ride with full packs
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