Go Back  Jeep Cherokee Forum > Technical Discussion > Jeep Builds
Project: Why did I buy this garbage? >

Project: Why did I buy this garbage?

Jeep Builds Make your own jeep build thread here, discuss and view jeeps here. All Jeep models are welcome here.

Project: Why did I buy this garbage?

Old 07-28-2015, 03:27 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default Project: Why did I buy this garbage?

Let me start off by introducing myself.

I have a problem, an addiction. Every night I come home, and check craigslist...

Because of my Craigslist addiction Ive had a ton of different cars and trucks. My first car was a very early Rx-7, Ive owned and built some 4x4 Toyotas. And a few years ago I bought a Miata to daily, and its now becoming a focused track car (Road racing lol It is really slow in a straight line!) But I havent owned a 4x4 in years, and I miss wheeling, really bad!

Prior to owning the Yotas, I had a weird opportunity to get a free car. A buddy was filming a local B-movie, and needed a police vehicle for several scenes. He gave me a budget, and I ended up buying a 1986 Cherokee. I was supposed to have a budget to paint it, but that never materialized. They filmed it for one scene with a crappy lightbar sitting on the roof, and I ended up with a free truck. I dont even think that scene ended up in the movie! It was a 4x4 with the gloriously awful 2.8 V-6. I think we blew it up on the way home from filming while trying to hit 80 on the interstate (Yes, downhill lol) It was full of oil, and just puked its guts all over the highway. It was so slow, I swore I would never buy another early Cherokee.

Fast forward to present time, I wanted a new rig. I look at Toyotas because Ive owned a bunch, and they are all way too rusty. Ive had too many really rusty vehicles (Thats Ohio for you..). Most of the CJ's and YJ's in the area were just as rusty. All of the Cherokees I looked at either had no floors or rockers left. Then I found a Jeep about three blocks from my house. Super solid (Floors and rockers were intact) It was even a stick, and I love banging gears in a rig. Too bad it had one glaring problem. It was a 1986 with 2.8 liters of fail. It is from out west, still had a Washington state title! I figured it had two more gears than the slush box that I used to have. How slow could it be?





To be honest, it isnt that terribly slow. But I have a 63 horsepower 1985 Corolla Diesel at my house (Waiting on unobtainable parts for it, have been for years lol), and I race a Miata... So my sense of speed may be skewed. Did I mention it had a blown head gasket? It was $500 and I didnt have to tow it home. Win-win for me.



In case you were wondering how slow a 2.8 is. In the event of an actual zombie apocalypse the only zombie you will outrun is the one with no legs. And that isnt even for certain!



Oh it has 269,000 miles, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside!



Super clean, and 0.40 over pistons! Its been rebuilt, and judging by how easy it is to clean the pistons Id say its relatively low mileage!



And here is some junk getting a new top end.

















Been together for a few days, and she is running great! Going to run her for awhile longer before I take her wheeling. I want to be certain I have at least most of the bugs worked out. Buuuuut... I did see this sweet rock, and I needed to make sure that the vacuum disconnect on the axle was working. Yeah thats right, this was a test. Mind you sways are still connected, and the bigger rocks nearby may have ripped the air dam and bumper caps up. So until I modify those, Im taking it easy.





All the shocks are blown, going to do a junkyard lift. Dakota or S10 bastard pack, and some Thunderbird coils. So Ill wait until then to replace shocks. Some 31 or 32 M/T's. And maybe an engine swap at some point. It has to stay 5 speed though, that is the only thing I dont want to change.

This will be a slow and boring build, I need to do a tune up, reliability mods, fluid changes/flushes, brakes... But man, I cant wait to hit the trails!

Last edited by lokirx7; 07-28-2015 at 05:41 PM.
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 07-28-2015, 03:35 PM
  #2  
CF Veteran
 
jay_sco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: IE (SoCal)
Posts: 1,080
Year: 1994 SE
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

I too, am a craigslist junky. And if you thought it was a problem before, the XJ just multiplies it. Congrats on the score, have fun with it!
jay_sco is offline  
Old 07-28-2015, 04:29 PM
  #3  
CF Veteran
 
XJlimitedx99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Milford, NH
Posts: 2,410
Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0l
Default

Man I love it! What an interesting combo you got there. What year is it? Those rebuild pics are cool, I like how the cylinders are offset like that. Good luck with her in the future!
XJlimitedx99 is offline  
Old 07-28-2015, 05:56 PM
  #4  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default

It is a 1986, I edited the post to reflect that. The final year AMC owned Jeep, and the final year for this 2.8 liter. Which was a good thing, the 4.0 is worlds better.

V-engines have to have that offset, most any V8 you look at has it. It just isnt as obvious unless you are looking at it from overhead.

Im hoping to daily this thing for awhile, Ive been daily driving a car that I take racing on the weekends. And its kinda sketchy taking a car you depend on and beating the snot out of it. I dont mind wheeling a daily, Im not hardcore, and I am pretty slow. On any other rig Ive owned I over engineer/over build for what my end goals are. And I have had pretty good luck so far.

If money were no object this thing would be on tons, LS swapped, with 37 inch hummer take-off tires. Exo, lockers, and lots of armor. Seeing as I am in Ohio, and I am an occasional wheeler... That might be more than Ill ever utilize. Id also love to go to Moab, been before, not in a rig though. But I dont know how the 2.8 will like I-70 through Colorado.... May engine swap or sell this to get a 4.0 if I decide I want to go.
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 07-29-2015, 05:49 AM
  #5  
CF Veteran
 
Battle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,054
Year: 1997
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Awesome truck man! Welcome to CherokeeForum. It looks so old and so cool. Have you checked out emptypockets' 2.8 of Doom build!?! Should give you some inspiration on what that turd is capable of.

Engine swap wise, have you considered the 3.4 liter 60 degree V6? It should bolt right up and there's a pretty decent backing for it. I know Delta will regrind its cam and there are bolt ons and what not to make it fairly punchy.
Battle is offline  
Old 07-29-2015, 08:56 PM
  #6  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default

Ive looked into all of the 60 degree V-6's Im not ruling them out. But I dont like them from a reliability stand point. They have a flawed design that leads to intake gaskets leaking too often.

I have three setups I am looking at,

Something diesel, like a Mercedes or VW engine. Unknown drive train solution at this point.

A Chevy 305/350 adapted to an AX15 and an NP231

A 5.2 Magnum, Dakota bellhousing on an AX15, and an NP231.
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 08-10-2015, 08:07 PM
  #7  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default

Tune up time! Ever since the rebuild I was still using worn belts and plugs. Plugs/wires distributor cap/rotor, air filter, second oil change since Ive had it (Full synthetic).



Bought a new radiator and converted to an electric fan.



Full emissions delete, only running the axle disconnect, cruise, brake booster, and vacuum advance.



Its a little cleaner in there, at least a lot simpler. Debating on ordering a carb rebuild or just springing for a weber 32/36 setup.

Its hard with as much as I am working, but after the carb its time for some 31-10.50s and a lift. (Ordering new ball joints, tie rods, and an adjustable track bar before lift. Already ordered wheel joints.)

I want to daily this turd, so I might as well make it reliable and drivable before I modify it.
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 08-11-2015, 06:11 AM
  #8  
CF Veteran
 
Battle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,054
Year: 1997
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

That radiator is so narrow compared to the 4.0s. Are those closed cooling systems?
Battle is offline  
Old 08-11-2015, 11:18 AM
  #9  
CF Veteran
 
88whitecomanche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Miami, fl
Posts: 7,374
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

The 2.8s used the same radiators at the 2.5 4cyls....

What's part # is that radiator and what electric fan are you using?
Are you going to use an epal system to give the correct current to cool down the engine bay?
88whitecomanche is offline  
Old 08-11-2015, 08:45 PM
  #10  
CF Admin
 
Outlaw Star's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Lantana, Fl
Posts: 33,646
Year: 1987
Engine: 2.9L Stroker
Default Project: Why did I buy this garbage?

Welcome to CF. My first Xj was an 86 with that same engine. Between the emissions delete, 32/36 DEGV carb and 3100 aluminum heads, it really woke that engine up. If its maintained well, it will be reliable. If abused and neglected, syanara!
Outlaw Star is online now  
Old 08-17-2015, 11:16 PM
  #11  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default

Took her off road for the first time, just drove to the beach and a little ways into the water and on some easy trails. I felt naked without a winch, although there wasnt anything too hardcore on this trail. Still, I didnt want to go into any of the holes on street tires. I promise once I build up some trust in this rig Ill get some real action shots.







I did have a buddy with me, but he just bought his as well. And his wheel joints were popping and clicking like crazy, so he tried to keep it in two wheel drive the entire time. Truth be told, mine didnt sound much better. Good thing I already bought a set, just need to install them!
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 09-11-2015, 12:29 AM
  #12  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 12
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 2.8
Default

Name:  11986326_10204899685595265_40695914916475043_n_zpslzhtfpha.jpg
Views: 90
Size:  102.2 KB

So I wanted to have way more cool stuff done, lift, mud tires, etc... But Ive learned my lesson over the years, so Im still fixing as much as I possibly can. In the meantime I am daily driving the Jeep.

I also work for a company that sets up events for auto manufacturers. Our most recent event was an off road course for Ram at the Michigan State Fair.

Name:  11951905_10204902138936597_9182014126815280235_n_zps1xibgcdg.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  175.0 KB

The course consists of several obstacles, that arent that impressive, unless the furthest off road you have been is in a grass parking lot, at the state fair... (There are LOTS of people that eat this stuff up!) We drive them, no way would we let Joe Blow drive on these obstacles in a brand new truck.

Name:  12003156_10152997824336540_9208772767089545911_n_zpseasc34cy.jpg
Views: 88
Size:  160.8 KB

Im a trained driver, dont try this at home... (lololololololol)

Name:  11919113_10204902173177453_2042833371165466300_n_zpsst9zv0fm.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  135.0 KB

Name:  11954655_10204902174577488_4493937202380624189_n_zpsivr6ytbf.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  127.5 KB

The Jeep did fine on the trip up, but on my way home the float kept overflowing. And I got tired really fast of dealing with it in gas station parking lots. A new float would have fixed it.... Buuut....

A Genuine Weber 38 conversion is way cooler than a replacement float!

Name:  11988305_10204941451999399_817056122678313375_n_zps8oajb5oe.jpg
Views: 81
Size:  99.0 KB

If you have a 2.8, get a Weber, like yesterday! Its worth every penny!

The biggest reason I havent been wheeling my Jeep, is that the front driveshaft cackles like your mother-in-law. Early Cherokees have a true CV joint in the front driveshaft, its also the diameter of a popsicle stick. I went to the pick and pull, bought a driveshaft from a 1991 and pulled the front output yoke off of the NP231. The driveshaft needed shortened, but since Ill be using the 207 for awhile I figured Id go ahead and do this.

Name:  IMG_20150910_225841_zpssqez8eko.jpg
Views: 89
Size:  100.0 KB

I replaced the brake hoses tonight, and my busted drivers side mirror. (It was held on by baling wire lol) She is coming together slowly!

Here are some pics for fun!

Name:  IMG_20150903_141722_zpsdvvqyjrc.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  210.4 KB

Name:  11904672_10204864646719315_6091530027007331926_n_zpsuhkw8uqc.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  66.8 KB

Name:  11933388_10204864647159326_7084234524863423130_n_zpsivsycq0b.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  75.7 KB
lokirx7 is offline  
Old 09-11-2015, 12:47 AM
  #13  
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: tucson
Posts: 17
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Welcome. I have the same interior
93_xjcherokee is offline  
Old 09-11-2015, 07:24 AM
  #14  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bismarck, ND
Posts: 30
Year: 1986
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 3.4l, 5.0 TBI, Megasquirt III ECU
Default Project: Why did I buy this garbage?

If ya find want to upgrade the transmission look for a 4x4 s-10 with a 700r4. If you find the right year they are suppose to have c231 in them.
Venture is offline  
Old 09-11-2015, 08:13 AM
  #15  
Newbie
 
eagle11401's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 12
Year: 1987
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Awesome, I can relate, I too am a CL junkie. I just tell my wife cars and parts like to follow me home.
eagle11401 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Project: Why did I buy this garbage?


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: