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Project Cherokeer

Old 06-21-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default Project Cherokeer

As the title suggests, I hav dubbed my project Jeep "Cherokeer". This is because when done it'll be a hybrid Cherokee/Wagoneer.

The basics (for those of you who missed my intro): It's a '96 2-door SE, 4.0 5-speed NP231 with no options except the full size spare. Here it is the day I bought it:


When I bought it it needed plenty of work, including all new floors and rockers. I cut the old floors out and welded new ones in. The steel I used was thicker than the original was. The following pics only show the left rear side, but I did the whole thing rocker to rocker and firewall to tailgate except the tranny tunnel:


out with the old:


I actually used a hammer and chisel and chipped away all the rusted bits off the subframe and seat support, then ground it down to clean metal for welding (no pics of that step). I cut up pieces of new metal and welded 'em in:


...Then I sealed it with roofing tar:


For the rear cargo area I used a single piece of galvanized sheet metal:
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:40 PM
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patch work looks good. but why the roofing tar?
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:45 PM
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With the floor done it was time to move onto the rockers. Apparently you can't buy two-door rockers aftermarket, so I had to buy four door ones and modify 'em. Again, the old ones were cut out and the new ones welded in.


After doing this work I slapped together a quick roof rack and trailer hitch. I also removed the Centerline wheels because their offset was causing the rears to rub on my saggy-arsed Cherokee. I cleaned up and painted a set of stockers for the winter.




This one shows the deer-damaged front bumper and right headlight bezel (was like that when I bought it):
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by xjoffroad View Post
patch work looks good. but why the roofing tar?
Nova Scotia safety inspection requires patches to be sealed, and tar is cheap More pics coming still...
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Just4Kixx View Post
Nova Scotia safety inspection requires patches to be sealed, and tar is cheap More pics coming still...
i would just think when the floor boards heat up it would melt and start to stick. looks good though!
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:57 PM
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So I drove it like this from September to April, when I got my T-Bird back on the road for the summer. My plans had always been to do a cheap lift and install some 31's, but it was one of those "later" things. Just not high priority. That is, until I was moving it around in the yard two weeks ago and the steering felt funny. I got under to look and discovered the right front spring perch and track bar mount had completely disintegrated. The track bar and shimmy shock were on the ground! I live in Nova Scotia and am no stranger to rust, but I'd never seen an axle housing rust out like this before:


I'm holding the part up because it was completely rotted off:


So I needed an axle housing. This was the excuse to do the upgrades I was planning on. Obviously if I'm swapping axles I'm not going with another crappy 3.07, and since I'm changing gears I needed both front & rear housing assemblies, and if I'm going to have the axles out I'm not putting them on stock, saggy springs. Lift time!

It's also time to address some of the other issues the rig has, such as the stiff steering (seized joints in the steering shaft), bent bumper, and broken headlight bezel. Junkyards want far too much for individual parts, so a parts rig was my best bet.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:14 PM
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I live in washington state and rust is very normal. that on the other hand is amazing!
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:15 PM
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Enter the parts rig, picked up Saturday for $200:



Frickin' thing's in better shape underneath than my '96, but unfortunately everything above the rocker panels (including the interior) is trashed. The underside is MINT (not even any surface rust) but the fake woodgrain and severe cear coat peeling have wreaked havoc up above...


So my plan is to take the axles, steering mechanism (all brand new stuff!), grille, headlight buckets, bumpers, header panel and tail lights and install 'em into my Cherokee. The lift will come by way of S10 rear spring bastard packs and V8 ZJ springs up front with spacers. Once lifted I'll mount some 31's on the Centerlines (after polishing them) and reinstall 'em.

But I'm not stopping there. My Cherokee is very basic, but I want to option it up using parts from the Wagoneer. I will be installing the Wagoneer's air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control, fog lights, and every other feature I can into the Cherokee. I mean everything, right down to the wag's full cluster (which is a cable speedo type, which means I'm even installing the cable speedo which is also necessary for the cruise anyway). I'm even installing the GM steering column because it's got tilt and a leather wrapped wheel (and my Cherokee's airbag was removed by a previous owner anyway). The only feature I'm leaving behind are the power seats, and only because the wag's seats are trashed and the power mechanisms won't bolt onto my frames. I'm even installing the chrome door handles and opening vent windows (if possible to mount them in my two-door. The ones in my '96 don't open). I will also be swapping the wag's 242 in place of my 231 so I can have the full time option (I'm aware of the input gear issues I'll run into swapping an old 242 off an AW4 onto my newer AX15 but I think I'll figure it out).

I've already started stripping the Wag. I removed the dash and wiring and the heater box for use with the AC swap:
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:19 PM
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So there you have it. What started out as a required repair has turned into an ambitious upgrade. I've got no hurry, as I have no need to get it on the road until winter approaches...

Prepare yourselves, everyone, for some stupid questions as I go though this thing...
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by xjoffroad View Post
i would just think when the floor boards heat up it would melt and start to stick. looks good though!
Roofing pitch actually dries out with time and is fairly heat tolerant (imagine how hot a roof gets). I don't think it'll be an issue...
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:42 PM
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nice job with the new floors, and i like the wood dash trim thing. maybe bezel is the correct term? lol
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:54 PM
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So the Wagoneer stripping has continued (warning: XJ Carnage ahead):

First, I stripped off everything I could get at from above that I wanted:



Then it was time to get at the underside. Easiest way to do so was to roll 'er over.



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Old 07-01-2010, 03:01 PM
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haha..nice looks like you will have an easy and cheap way to get a lot of parts and replacement parts too!!
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:01 PM
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Then I started stripping the parts I REALLY wanted (axles) off:





That was last week. Today I went back for more (you'll have to forgive these next few, they were taken with my phone):




So the Wag is pretty much stripped. I've only got to get the transfer case and front shocks out of it and it's ready to be recycled into Geelys or Mahindras.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:09 PM
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So having gotten the axles & stuff out and back to my house I got a move on and swapped the front axle into the Cherokee. I also installed the Wag's complete steering system (including the box and shaft) and brakes. I used the Wag's front springs, too, which actually gave me about 2" of lift:

Before:



...Almost looks like the engine's out, doesn't it? And it really draws attention to the sag-****. Hopefully that will be adressed tomorrow, if I can get some U-bolts, center bolts, spring clips, etc. The Wag's rear will be going in as well so I'll have my 3.55 gears!
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