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  #221  
Old 09-22-2020, 09:06 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Hitch Day .. UGH

So, I was originally never going to tow anything with the 401.. but that has all changed with the RT 66 trip and new engine.

So, I recovered my original factory hitch and wiring from my buddy who "stored" it for me for 5 years! lol [ Thanks Dan ! ]

I figured this would be a no brainer, easy .. NOPE.

I forgot this thing is made from 1/4 thick steel.. It is heavy !! Dang.
I had a ton [ pun intended ] of trouble holding this thing up and trying to install it.
Almost smashed my face when I lost control of it.. uh oh.

[IMG]http://[/IMG]

Then, after fighting it "almost" into position.. I saw that the new tailpipe was going to interfere with the hitch. Dammit!!

So out comes the cutoff wheel.. and much cutting later, removed the small section that would hit... THEN had to fight it back into position and bolt it up.

I was so beat after this, I didn't even bother with the wires yet.. Anybody have details on this? Specifically, the large wire with the black connector on it?
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It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #222  
Old 09-22-2020, 10:36 PM
78 WIDETRAC's Avatar
78 WIDETRAC 78 WIDETRAC is offline
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Join Date: Aug 19, 2003
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 633
I just unplugged my towing box from the 79 chief. It plugs into the factory harness. at least mine did. I don't remember a plug that looked like that though. If it wasn't dark out I go crawl under it and get a pic.
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  #223  
Old 09-24-2020, 01:31 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78 WIDETRAC
I just unplugged my towing box from the 79 chief. It plugs into the factory harness. at least mine did. I don't remember a plug that looked like that though. If it wasn't dark out I go crawl under it and get a pic.

Please do! I "think" this may be a feed for a brake controller? idk really...

Also, note the in line single plugs .. are they really just connected together like this?

Maybe a pic of all the connections please ??

TIA ..
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It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #224  
Old 09-24-2020, 03:23 PM
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78 WIDETRAC 78 WIDETRAC is offline
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Join Date: Aug 19, 2003
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 633
I hope these help.



This is a pic of the box plugged back in line using the factory harness.





This is The tow harness removed and the harness reconnected.





My wiring is a mess under there but here is a pic of it and the connectors some factory some not.






We seem to have the same hitch. My jeep had the 2nd fuel tank. I had to remove it because it was full of rusty gas.






This is from the 79 Chief.
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  #225  
Old 09-25-2020, 01:09 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Mine looks exactly the same as 78 WIDETRACs. Same hitch, same electronic box, same connectors. I also had to trim my hitch to fit my exhaust. I have a spare tire hanging in my mine, though. The relays in that box are REALLLLLY loud. I can hear them clicking more than the clicker under my dash! HAHAHA!

My understanding is all that box does is separate the trailer light power from the Cherk harness so when you plug a trailer in, the blinkers blink at the same frequency and you don't blow fuses when you turn the lights on.

I also have a thick blue wire under my dash that is not connected to anything and a 2 pin connector under my cargo area that has that blue wire and another one (maybe ground?). So all the wiring is there for a 7 pin RV style connector/brake controller but I am 90% sure the electronic brake feed does not go through the box.
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(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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  #226  
Old 09-25-2020, 01:49 PM
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bigwalton bigwalton is offline
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Join Date: May 25, 2006
Location: MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cu4whln
I am never going to tow anything...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cu4whln
I do know I will not be towing anything.

Just going back through this entire thread and had to quote this

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'77 Cherokee S 4-door - 401/EZ-EFI - patina driver
'84 Alaskan Postal CJ-8 - RHD fun driver/trail rig
'98 TJ - DD
'05 Rubicon LJ - DD
'18 Renegade - DD
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  #227  
Old 09-25-2020, 02:43 PM
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bigwalton bigwalton is offline
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Just a thought, for what you want to do, why not wire in a new plug socket and brake controller? I know it's $$$, but I would feel a lot better with new stuff from the battery/brake pedal to the trailer and take all that old stuff out of the loop.

I did a Redarc controller and one of the sockets that has both the 4 and 7-wire options when I redid my camping trailer on the Postal. The socket alone was worth it to make hooking up ANY trailer a breeze and you don't need to ever worry about adapters. Of course you don't need to redo ALL of the wiring to add that kind of socket, but I like your do-it-right-once thinking here FWIW
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'77 Cherokee S 4-door - 401/EZ-EFI - patina driver
'84 Alaskan Postal CJ-8 - RHD fun driver/trail rig
'98 TJ - DD
'05 Rubicon LJ - DD
'18 Renegade - DD
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  #228  
Old 09-28-2020, 08:35 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwalton
Just going back through this entire thread and had to quote this


Yea, yea .. lol

So, a modern trailer wiring upgrade might be the way to go... The original factory one has relays for all the trailer lights. Seems to be overkill with modern led lights with little load.

I do need a brake controller anyway.. and not sure the 77 design supports electric trailer brakes.

Did you tap directly into each feed for the lights then?
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #229  
Old 09-28-2020, 08:39 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Mine looks exactly the same as 78 WIDETRACs. Same hitch, same electronic box, same connectors. I also had to trim my hitch to fit my exhaust. I have a spare tire hanging in my mine, though. The relays in that box are REALLLLLY loud. I can hear them clicking more than the clicker under my dash! HAHAHA!

My understanding is all that box does is separate the trailer light power from the Cherk harness so when you plug a trailer in, the blinkers blink at the same frequency and you don't blow fuses when you turn the lights on.

I also have a thick blue wire under my dash that is not connected to anything and a 2 pin connector under my cargo area that has that blue wire and another one (maybe ground?). So all the wiring is there for a 7 pin RV style connector/brake controller but I am 90% sure the electronic brake feed does not go through the box.

Whoa! Hmm, NOW I read this... Hmmm

The blue wire should not go through the box.. it sends the signal from the brake controller I believe. Now I need to rethink this situation.

Time to look for that under dash blue wire and get out the multi meter !!
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #230  
Old 09-28-2020, 09:04 PM
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bigwalton bigwalton is offline
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Join Date: May 25, 2006
Location: MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cu4whln
Did you tap directly into each feed for the lights then?

I did, I'm running LED taillights/turns on the Postal so I already have a digital flasher unit and the trailer is LED as well.

I simply go overboard with anything to do with towing/trailers, that's why my little camp trailer has brakes and all the wiring related to it is brand new.
__________________
'77 Cherokee S 4-door - 401/EZ-EFI - patina driver
'84 Alaskan Postal CJ-8 - RHD fun driver/trail rig
'98 TJ - DD
'05 Rubicon LJ - DD
'18 Renegade - DD
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  #231  
Old 10-21-2020, 03:05 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Ohh, Ahh - Shiny !

Grill time ? We-e-e-l-l

So I took the Cherokee to the Jeep Club meet-n-greet.. and it went over well.

As I am about to leave, a young guy walks up to me and says:
" My grandpa has a grill just like that. He ordered it many years ago and the guy never picked it up" Hmm - Interesting . . .

I of course, ask him if he wants to sell it. He says, I'll ask. OK, cool. He texts me the next day, and says yes, he will sell it as he is closing down his old auto parts/paint store. Price? $50 bucks. Hmm. Too good to be true?

Figure if I don't use it, I can rescue it anyway... My current grill - that I paid DEARLY for years ago and was told it was NOS... or very close at least, so I don't really NEED another grill.. but, 'Ya know....

I go down there and sure enough, it's dented.. dang it.
BUT - it has some goopy protective stuff on it, and it is VERY shiny underneath. Did replacement grills come with a protective coating?
It has no headlight buckets and has never been on a vehicle.
I look at the dents, and decide I'll try and fix it up.

Here's what it looked like after some basic straightening ...

[IMG][/IMG]

OK - that's a start!

Look how good of shape the anodizing is in - very shiny! It has some minor wear and tear scratches, but man is it nice after clean up.

[IMG][/IMG]

OK - I continue to tweak it, and decide to try and install it on my Chero - I needed to pull the headlight buckets anyway to adjust the new headlights a bit anyway. Only a few more bolts to remove the complete grill .. so -

[IMG][/IMG]

Now my headlight buckets look dull compared to this new grill... Oh well.

[IMG][/IMG]

Old is now off - compared to new.. maybe it isn't clear, but the new one is nicer. I'll call this a WIN !!

[IMG][/IMG]
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #232  
Old 10-21-2020, 03:09 PM
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bigwalton bigwalton is offline
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Join Date: May 25, 2006
Location: MI
Posts: 138
Nice find!!!
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'77 Cherokee S 4-door - 401/EZ-EFI - patina driver
'84 Alaskan Postal CJ-8 - RHD fun driver/trail rig
'98 TJ - DD
'05 Rubicon LJ - DD
'18 Renegade - DD
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  #233  
Old 10-22-2020, 07:47 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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Location: Benson. NC
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wow, what a story !!!

super nice razor....

dave in NC
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1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
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  #234  
Old 10-22-2020, 10:12 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Wowzers! That looks sharp!!! I don't see any dents... either you pulled them all out well enough where only you know where they are or the pictures are strategically taken to hide them. Either way it looks fantastic!
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79 Cherokee Chief (passed CA smog check Sept 2020)
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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  #235  
Old 10-25-2020, 07:06 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Milestone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Wowzers! That looks sharp!!! I don't see any dents... either you pulled them all out well enough where only you know where they are or the pictures are strategically taken to hide them. Either way it looks fantastic!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLSAKS
wow, what a story !!!

super nice razor....

dave in NC

Thanks guys.. it is indeed very nice.
______________________________________________


Now onto the body ... This is my targeted color


[IMG][/IMG]

Now that the Jeep is running around, it's time to take on the big money part of the job.



Rust repair, body work, then paint work.

This will shut the Chero down for the better part of the next year... ugh. Hate that!

BUT: Need to strip it down, blast the bad spots, body work and rust repair... then paint. After that, it's reassembly time.

I have a lot of planning and logistics to work out to accomplish this in a timely and cost effective manner ...

I will be hiring out paint stripping, body work and paint. I will do as much as I can, but that is not my strong point.

My goal is a nice "Driver" paint job as the plan is to drive Rt 66 when I retire - Which is soon. I will update this thread, but progress will be slow I suspect. Time, money, and logistics will all be tight!

This is the start of the serious stuff.

__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280

Last edited by rang-a-stang : 10-26-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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  #236  
Old 10-25-2020, 07:35 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
Sawzall Surgery

So rust repair.. preparing for repair panels on the rear flairs. I picked up a set of truck wheel wells from Frank S - he was cutting up a bed to repair his truck...

But first: Story Time !

I know some of the original guys from AMC who engineered these when new. I have been told on pretty good authority that the Cherokee flairs were the truck stamped parts that were trimmed again to make the extra metal flair to cover the wider truck axles. AMC would not have tooled a full new tool - a secondary tool was fairly easy apparently.

In fact, Mike Smith was Jeeps chief engineer, he told me the FULL story of how the FIRST wide track Cherokee came into existence.
Strangely, it did NOT come from AMC !

There was a very active dealer out west, Brian Chalula - who built up a 2 door with the truck axles. Due to the extra width, he took an extra pickup bed they had laying around and cut / spliced the flairs onto the Cherokee body.

Well, Mike and a product planner were out visiting him, and they saw his build up. They really liked it - and went back to Toledo and built 2 themselves.

Mike took the first one on a trip to his hometown in Virginia, and was so overwhelmed with the response from people wanting to look at the Jeep, he started to campaign the idea with the bean counters. They bit . . .

It took just 2 weeks, and got approval to proceed. Fastest new product approval ever he says. I have asked him to write all this down so the story doesn't get lost .. Then I have to find the best place to publish the info. Stories like this get lost with the people as they move on.

OK - back to the build ....

So, took the truck flairs, looked them over, and cut the outer portion off to make patch panels for the rear flairs... No repair parts are available other than fiberglass ones - NOPE.
Probably woke my neighbors up on a Sat morning.

ACTION !! CUT !!


[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG]http://[/IMG]

This is WHY I need the patch panels.. zoom in on the bottom of the flairs.. you can see that somebody did work and used a LOT of bondo years ago. It is cracking and falling out as the metal underneath is rotten. this wasn't done properly, obviously.

Front of pass flair:

[IMG]http://[/IMG]

Rear of pass flair:

[IMG]http://[/IMG]
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #237  
Old 10-25-2020, 08:06 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
Body / Paint Guy ...

So, last Sat I had made arrangements to go see a buddy I trust to do proper repair.
I drove the Jeep a 186 miles round trip, but I want someone I know and trust to do the work.
He has reluctantly agreed to take on my Jeep. He's always swamped....

He runs his own body shop out in the country at his home, and does SEMA builds regularly - He can fabricate from scratch if need be. He gets that I don't want a show car, but a driver.
We discussed at length the goal of this project. We agreed on a plan - So It Begins . . . Again.

Steps:

1
Take the Jeep apart - Bag and tag everything.
Getting one of those Costco stainless rack that roll to store all the parts on ...

2
Make a body cart out of 4x4s with large casters.
Then take the doors and tailgate off.
Then the body shell off the frame and put it on the cart.

3
Clean and prep the floors myself.
They aren't too bad and don't need new panels. POR / metal prep.

4
Take the body to get it blasted and primed with DP 90
Have to hire this out - I don't have the equipment do this

5
Take the primed body to body shop for:
Rust repair - rear flairs and tailgate spots.
Dent repair - all over 40 year old body
Paint prep - Then paint.
Hang doors and tailgate

6
Pick up body
Mount shell to frame.
Install front clip

Picked up the paint this weekend.
Gallon of paint, 2 quarts of black, basecoat mixer.
Roughly based on Hugger Orange / Carousal Red from 1969
Test color sample on can.


[IMG]http://[/IMG]

Let the spending begin !

As I get the body torn down, I will be planning and figuring out the interior situation as well. I hope to detail the frame a bit, but NOT do a full disassembly of it.
Again, NOT a show car, but a driver.
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280

Last edited by cu4whln : 10-26-2020 at 09:39 AM.
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  #238  
Old 10-26-2020, 09:53 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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[Grabs a large box of popcorn and sits in a comfy chair]
This is gonna be good!

So, I did purchase the fiberglass flares and hope to start installing them around Christmas. Will your buddy send you lots of pictures as he does the flare swap? I assume he is going to do the whole flare on each side, not just the bottom rusty parts, right? I have only seen one build where someone documented their flare swap and it was a long time ago and I can't find it anymore.
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79 Cherokee Chief (passed CA smog check Sept 2020)
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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  #239  
Old 10-26-2020, 05:53 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
[Grabs a large box of popcorn and sits in a comfy chair]
This is gonna be good!

So, I did purchase the fiberglass flares and hope to start installing them around Christmas. Will your buddy send you lots of pictures as he does the flare swap? I assume he is going to do the whole flare on each side, not just the bottom rusty parts, right? I have only seen one build where someone documented their flare swap and it was a long time ago and I can't find it anymore.

Uh Oh ! Sorry !



Unfortunately, I think the plan is to fix JUST the rusty areas. The flairs are really good everywhere except the bottoms ...

Concerned it would be risky and a lot more work to remove the complete flair and risk creating "other" issues.

We will do what it takes to make the outers look good.. i am not worried if the inners are changed to prevent the trapping of dirt at the closed section at the bottom of the flairs. This will develop as he goes.. I do trust him to do a great job as he cuts and repairs.

I am sure the fiberglass ones will work. Your popcorn may get stale as this is going to take months.
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #240  
Old Yesterday, 12:04 AM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,279
In Today's News . . .

Drivetrain update:

Getting "roughly" 16 mph with 3.54s and 33" tires with the LT and 6L80 trans. Pretty happy with that overall.
I was getting maybe 8mph with the original 401 turbo 400.

I have now put over 1000 trouble free miles on it. Its great, turn the key, let the pump prime, crank and go.
Literally, it sat for a week, fired it up and immediately put it in gear and backed out of the garage and go!
No muss, no fuss!
__________________________________________________ ______

Well, onto doing small stuff - like tracking down a small battery drain. found it!
Turns out my after market amp was drawing a bit. I had hooked that and the radio directly to the battery.
So, will be moving those to an ign switched power feed.

Next, having issues during this Covid time finding a blaster to clean up the body where required [ ie rust ].
Not sure I want to strip the complete body as this will be very involved.
I am enjoying the driving for now... but snow/salt season is almost here.

Kind of want the rust repaired and dents addressed - then spot primed. At that point, figure out the interior.

I want to find some modern comfortable seats with power, recliners, lumbar support. Some fabrication will be in order.
I plan to make a console with a junkyard donor part. I plan to have the upholsterer cover it when I do the interior panels and dash pad.

Slow time.. it's getting cold here in Mich and my motivation is lethargic at best!
__________________
It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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