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Kettles 04-15-2010 08:26 PM

Project planning! My dream project to hopefully start this year.
Im bored so I thought I could make a planning thread, to dream in and get ideas for when I when I get enough money to go buy another Cherokee. Since I finally have a job and am making money, it ought to happen this year, lol.

Before I get into my ideas and ask for your thoughts I figure I should let you know what kind of a project I want. I am not only unafraid of major fab and body work, I welcome the challenge. I am one of those people that just likes to make ****. I can weld, I love to weld, and I like to get creative. so...
I also wouldn't mind engine work too much, its all a learning experience.

OK So I want to get another jeep, preferaby an old 2door one, definitely pre airbags. I plan on stripping it down removing darn near everything that isn't required. It will still have a radio (I like my tunes) but it will probably end up with a custom dash (or not much of one at all) Some type of manual shifter (custom or otherwise) if its an auto. It will be a bad *** weekend driver, and a beater vehicle I can wheel too. It will be street friendly for sure though, and used as a pickup when needed.

I then make the doors removable, put mirrors on the a pillars/quarter panel, or make attachable mirrors for the door jamb; cut off the roof from the b pillar back, and from the bottom of the rear window up. Also remove the roof over the driver and passenger. Plate the frame rails, build a super-structure of box steel integrated into the remaining door frame, whindsheild and so on, as the basis of the cage. This would include rienforcing the A and B pillars, the top of the door frame (inbetween the A and B pillars) and the top of the windsheild. Add a cross between the top of the B pillars, and then use round tubing from the corners of that down to the back of the "bed sides". Those will be plated on the inside where the trim was. I would either build my own, or find a MJ tailgate. Any place the cage or super structure makes it back to the floor it will be tied into the plated frame. [Another possibility is 2X4 box frame rails either replacing the stock "frame" in the back half, or having them above the floor, but integrated into the sides of the bed?, retaining the stock rails]
And rocker replacement sliders, tied into the "cage".

wise I would only have a driver and passenger seat. Maybe making the bed floor flat, and turning the old foot space into lockable storage. And as I have seen done on wranglers, use ammo boxes attached in the back for both lockable storage, and house the rear speakers. The front speakers will be in the custom dash, which will house guages (stock cluster?) the headunit, switches, and maybe a glove box if I feel like it. I also may make a removable rear seat so I can have 2 passengers (or 3 depending on the rear seat).
And at least 1 cupholder. :D

Full width axles, long arms (3 link with pan-hard? not radius arms if I can help it), leaves out back. Probably not more than 3" of lift. Trimmed fenders. 33" tires? or more, I dont know what full width axles will bring to the party tire size wise. I havn't really seen many/any cherokee's with full widths.

Stock. 4.0 is fine, would kinda like a 2.5 if I could find one, for the hell of it. Wouldn't mind a carb setup. Clean up the engine bay, junk accessories (wont have a/c obviously), move the alt up and more.

Bimini top for rain or elements protection. I may retain the heater core, probably in a custom setup with a few dash vents for the winter (doors on with soft top).

Backup plans..
If I can't get a 2 door, I was thinking I could take the rear doors and cut em up and weld the outer panel in making a small door, 2 door. That would make it really unique!

Stage 2:
Engine swap, probably diesel. rear coils, double triangulated 4 link? Engine Exo, maybe more exo. Custom bumpers... Racing seats with 4 or 5 point harness, and anything else I decide it needs...

So Its a big *** project, but its all super low budget. Ill make damn near everything for it. Only need to buy steel and the axles and tires and such. Looking in the $500-$800 range for the jeep to start.

I tend to be the kind of guy who just does things. I dont sit on my *** for a long time figuring out what I am going to do and exactly how I am going to do it, what exact parts I need and such. I just start doing it and get stuff as I need it. As such I enjoy the project much more because its the doing that I like, but its not always as well thought out so it may take a little longer with some things. I am really really picky and like things to work and look good. Ill spend alot of energy just to make something look good, even if there are faster ways to do it. So I figure I will do a good job with this, and I dont half *** things. If I know I can't do it right, ill get someone else to do it (or buy a part like long arms if I feel I can't get it right)

SO I thought I should write all this down. I am 100% sure I forgot things so if it looks like something is missing let me know. I wouldn't mind suggestions or comments either! Things like axles and stuff I haven't done a whole lot of reasarch on. I was thinking d44's or d60's (or both). I don't know what vehicles and years to look to get them off and such either.

Its my dream project! It will be no where close to a daily driver, but it will see plenty of action as it comes together.

Nick 04-15-2010 08:45 PM

Sounds like you've got a **** ton of work ahead of you. :thumbsup:
I'll just be happy when my XJ isn't my DD.

Why are you planning to do it in two stages, though?
It seems like if you're going to be upgrading the suspension, you'd might as well just skip stage one and go to stage two.

Just curious.

Good luck! :cheers2:

Kettles 04-15-2010 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by Nick (Post 9292645)
Sounds like you've got a **** ton of work ahead of you. :thumbsup:
I'll just be happy when my XJ isn't my DD.

Why are you planning to do it in two stages, though?
It seems like if you're going to be upgrading the suspension, you'd might as well just skip stage one and go to stage two.

Just curious.

Good luck! :cheers2:

Well, i figure the rear suspension is a late addition because there is alot of work in a double triangulated 4 link. For not a whole lot of money and work I could bastard pack the back and weld on spring perches on the new axles. That would get it rolling fast and easy. I figured later I could truss the axle and figure out all the geometry and stuff.

We'll see what happens.

The rest of stage two involves larger money investments (engine) and tool investments (tube bender) so It would be longer before I could accomplish those.

Thanks though, it is alot of work! I am going to be looking really hard for a place with an adequate garage to work in.. I'll move back in with my dad at the end of the lease here (hate this apartment) and look hard for something I can afford with shop space, lol. Otherwise its all pretty much driveway work at my dads place, lol, gonna need a tarp :D. His garage is about 6'4" tall, and only 15' deep or so. My dad is awesome though, hell let me do it in his drive way. Advantage being the longer I stay there the more money I would have for the jeep, or save for a better place.

Kinda random, but now that we have carpet down in his basement its pretty nice. Plus I put up a [camping] hammock down there in between the support beams.. its nice to watch tv from a hammock! I would move back now if I didn't have to pay rent here!

Nick 04-15-2010 09:14 PM

Ah, that makes sense. So, stage two isn't like a six months down the road. We're talking years there, gotcha.

Luckily for me, I've got access to a fully stocked Chrysler Jeep garage, complete with air tools and a lift. That's where most of my work gets done. Except for when I have to change out my front shocks in the snow. :rolleyes:

Part of me would really like to get an old beater XJ, but I think I'm going to get something else to DD and use my current 00' as my trail rig.

Sounds like how my friend's basement is set up.

That was always my theory, the longer I live at home the more money I can spend on this piece of **** Jeep. Here in the next few months she'll be getting a whole new figure.

gist901 04-15-2010 09:41 PM

can't wait to see all this in your build thread :2thumbsup:

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