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Old 02-04-2014, 12:44 AM
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Lord_Ov_The_Deep Lord_Ov_The_Deep is offline
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Rhino grill conversion on a '79 J10?

I'm a new owner of a 1979 J10 golden eagle. I had previously owned a full size Cherokee that i loved. I fell in love with J trucks years ago and finally have been able to snag one. I have always been a big fan of the rhino grill and have played with the idea of doing a conversion. Part of me hates the idea to modify my j10, the '79 grill has grown on me but I always wanted the earlier look of the j trucks.

Anyone have any tips, tricks or walkthroughs to swap the grills?


Any help would be appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2014, 06:36 AM
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You'll need to cut some tabs off that the pignose screws to. Drill some holes in the front lip of the hood to mount the hood bar that was replaced by the center hump on the plastic grill. The pie plates will need some work to get mounted correctly, since they changed the holes at some point after they stopped using the gladiator style grill.

The cleanest way to do it with the least amount of alteration needed is to swap the complete front valence/core support and hood from a gladiator truck. Do some searching and you'll find a lot more detailed info here.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2014, 06:39 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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KEEP THE PIGNOSE!!!
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 4" lift, 33x12.5x15
AMC 360 - 4180, TFI, Headers, Dual Exhaust
TH400 - Shift Kit, Deep Pan, Aux Cooler
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F D44 - 3.54, Open
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1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Wagoneer - Sold
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2014, 10:05 AM
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serehill serehill is offline
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Rhinos don't have a hood bars. None that I've seen have them

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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 02-04-2014 at 10:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2014, 10:28 AM
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Nice catch on the hood bar.

When I put together mine, I got the rad support from the donor and spliced in the center top piece to the 79 rad support I was using to get the 360 rad mounts and used the front panel for the Rhino so I have all the mounts for everything and it all looks stock.

If you use the pignose hood, it might want to touch at the upper corners of the grille, some do some don't. Swapping the entire core support leaves the rad mount problem as the earlier rad mounts don't line up with the later style.
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88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

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  #6  
Old 02-04-2014, 11:09 AM
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yeah no hood bar on the gladiators. I was combining razor and gladiator, must be because they are the two most commonly swapped or considered/talked about anyway.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2014, 02:22 PM
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MikesmythJ20 MikesmythJ20 is offline
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Hey Lord Ov The Deep, do you have any pics of yer 79 J10?(sorry to hijack slightly)

i though about putting the gladiator front end on my 79 J20... HARD, and figured it was much more stylin with the correct year front.

i have even made the decision recently, to go from the 4" lift and 35's , to stock rim/hubcap and ride height. (mainly because i want the original look and my old 360 with the stock gearing and 35's make it one of the slowest vehicles on the road)

plus the 4" superlift is a terrible ride on or offroad... STIFF! even after being what 20 years old?

i agree with Heavy Metal Thunder 81, keep the pig! unless its falling off, if it is get a new one still cheaper than nice gladiator parts or a whole front end and hood
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:44 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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Hmm

The easiest way to do this is to simply grind off the tabs & finish the existing header panel instead of trying to remove the header panel & go through fitment & radiator problems I can remove & finish the tabs before you can remove the header much less work out all the problems & locate the another header. Just be patient & the removal of the tabs is about 2 hours. Lots of Dollars & time wasted. I did mine in one day the complete conversion.
Not the best pic but it came out nice this is an 83 header panel on a 80 Cherokee.
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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2014, 04:17 PM
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Yeah, I had taken mine to work when I was doing the 6 pack back when, and did it in down time there. Work in a body shop so I had all the stuff there anyway to do it and I still missed a ding in the front panel that I found when I primed it. Got to replace a fender on the Chero anyway and was planning to put her in at that time then repaint the whole thing.....

Now thinking about selling her off before I die in the next year or so.
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"Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

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  #10  
Old 02-04-2014, 07:46 PM
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Lord_Ov_The_Deep Lord_Ov_The_Deep is offline
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I am still debating, i do like the original but no truck looks as bad Great Googley MoogleyGreat Googley MoogleyGreat Googley Moogley as a j truck with gladiator grill haha! I am a technician and have full access to my stall and tools. I can use any of the shop equipment after work hours which is really nice. I heard about grinding off some tabs. I wasn't sure exactly where on the grill or body that was. I feel I probably should grab a grill then Id have a better idea on attacking it.

My truck has a 360 t-18 combo, Dana spicer 20? Dana 44s? Im really lovin this truck. I'll upload some pics next time I'm on the pc. It's brown with the golden eagle striping and eagle on the hood, factory gold wheels. I am on the look out for the roll bar.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2014, 02:11 PM
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I've done it twice. I'd recommend using pre 1970 hoods and face panel. The contour and headlight holes are correct on the 1970 and older face-panel. The hood line changed in 1979. It doesn't look right with a 79 and newer hood. I did an article and some pics on how to do it the easy way several years back.

Though Apparently the pics aren't on this site. I did publish them in Jeep Junkie magazine, but that's folded up now, too.

Basically you want the same year (1962- 1970) face panel (not core support), this is the sheetmetal piece that holds the headlights and grill. The pillars beside the radiator opening are wrinkled on 1971-ish to 1992 and its a bit of work to make that area not ugly. The bottom recess where the front of the radiator is supposed to go is too small, you will have to cut the recess wider.

You want a same year hood because the 1971-78 hoods have slightly less steel in the lower corners of the radiator opening. They also have holes for the cross bar. Many have holes along the side to allow stainless steel trim pieces to be mounted. You have to fill all of these. The 1979-1992 hoods have a different radiator opening contour. The corners are 45* angles instead of 90* angles.

The Rhino Grills are about $200 and upwards last I checked. So it depends on how much money you want to spend to look cool.

All of the above stuff is what I used. Others here have made due with their original sheetmetal parts and fabbed insert panels, and mounting tabs, and have ground down and filled the wrinkles and the spot welds on their newer sheet metal. But I hate body work, so I chose to do it the simple way: Bolt-on.

I also run recessed headlights, because I hate bulging chrome headlight rings. My pictorial for that operation is on the site, if you are interested.



Neither of these are 1960s trucks. The J-truck on the left is my 4-door, based on a 1979 J20 chassis with a chopped 1976 Wagoneer cab. It has a 1967 hood and 1966 face-panel. The outer fenders are 1979, the inner front clip is 1976 Wagoneer. The J-truck on the right is a 1979 J20 with shortened frame, bobbed 1976 short-bed with 1977 J10 Dana 44s. The outer front clip is from a mangled 1963 Gladiator, bolted to the original 1979 J20 inner front clip. I've painted it green (its in my avatar) and is down pending mechanical woes and a new exhaust system.

Last edited by Tinkerjeep : 02-05-2014 at 05:36 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:06 PM
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Tinkerjeep Tinkerjeep is offline
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Here's my 1979 J20/10 with the 1963 face panel and a 1976 hood. look closely at the bottom corners of the hood where it curves over the grill. You see a gap in the corners. The peak of the hood also looks lower than the 1963-69/70 hoods.



I've since replaced this hood with the dented 1963 hood that came with the mangled 63 Gladiator front clip. I had to straiten the grill too. Below is the same truck (with J10 axles under it and Wagoneer wheels/tires) Notice how all the sheetmetal looks good together. Its all 1963 on the outside, all 1979 on the inside.


Last edited by Tinkerjeep : 02-05-2014 at 05:37 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:17 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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yah,if you're gonna do it get the right hood at least. and the later fascias' have wrinkles in the metal at the grille opening corners.

love the black'd out lites there Tink.
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Quote:
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:18 PM
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Higher POV: same J20/10, 1963 hood, fenders, and facepanel. The hood was severally dinged and slightly creased, but this truck was never meant to be "pretty". The parts line up fairly well.




Last edited by Tinkerjeep : 02-05-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2014, 12:40 AM
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Lord_Ov_The_Deep Lord_Ov_The_Deep is offline
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Talking

Thanks for all the input! I do want to do the swap but I'd hate to alter much on the golden eagle. Biggest disappointment is replacing the hood, I have the big eagle on my hood that I love. I'd like to do the swap if possible to where I could put everything back to original. I'll look for your article! Your jeeps look wicked with your conversion.
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2014, 05:00 AM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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you can leave the hood. the contour will be a bit off but most people won't notice.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.


→ Where the kids hang out...

fsjbuilder.org come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2014, 10:03 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkerjeep
I am generally against the "Rhino" grille swaps but I am really digging the the clever use of the "Boobie" grille turn signal/marker lights in place of the pie plates
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 4" lift, 33x12.5x15
AMC 360 - 4180, TFI, Headers, Dual Exhaust
TH400 - Shift Kit, Deep Pan, Aux Cooler
D20 - Twin Stick'd
F D44 - 3.54, Open
R D44 - 3.54, Lock'd

1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Wagoneer - Sold
1981 Cherokee Chief - Cubed
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2014, 11:21 AM
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Tinkerjeep---Nice rigs, any side or front 1/4'ing shots of the 4 door??
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"Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

Member: FSJ Prissy Restoration Assoc.
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  #19  
Old 02-06-2014, 04:21 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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yeah

That is true the later models have wrinkles & the top doesn't match perfectly.
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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.
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  #20  
Old 02-06-2014, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldhammer
Tinkerjeep---Nice rigs, any side or front 1/4'ing shots of the 4 door??
I thought I had a short build thread here, but I can't find it. The long build thread I did in 2004-2006 of it was on fsjmagazine.com, but that site is gone now. I'll have to see what pics are in my photobucket account and start another abbreviated build thread. I don't want to hijack this thread.
And here it is in its roughness. Deals more with some of the nitty-gritty points that I had problems with than a typical "look how I welded this to that!"
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=169074

Heavy metal thunder - thanks. I had to put them somewhere. Those stupid pie-plates are screaming to become real trim-rings or mounting points. The other set became trim-rings for the recessed driving lights in the 4-door.

lord ov the deep - You can keep the original 79 hood, but not the latch assembly. You will also need to cut the core-support infront of the radiator where it bridges over the rad-opening to allow the 1962-1969 Gladiator hood-latch release lever to protrude down and forward behind the center of the grill. All that is relatively simple to do. If you can't find a gladiator hood latch, cut your existing latch release lever off the round cross-tube, center it, check the angle and re-weld it. Like I said, the article I did concerning this swap was in a magazine that is no longer published. I checked my photobucket account last night and couldn't find the pics. I'm not sure where my back-up photo CD is that has them - I'll have to hunt. But the article basically outlines everything I already said, just with pics...and more words.

Last edited by Tinkerjeep : 02-07-2014 at 02:10 AM.
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