I own a '97 Cherokee Country that we've decided to fully restore to like new condition. I'm just not sure where to start, and I don't want to do the project myself. I'm in Northern California and just am not sure my mechanic would be able to do a job of this magnitude.
I'd like to replace/rebuild the engine and transmission, there's lots of leaks, and the electrical system (doors, windows, power seats) has begun to show signs of age. We have kept it running, replaced the A/C a couple years ago but are now looking to sink in the money to bring it back to it's former glory.
Is there a good way to go about this? Do we need to ship it to someone who specializes in Jeep restoration? (Despite my Dad insisting it's a classic, I realize it doesn't *quite* qualify.) Or is this a job the dealer could handle? Or should I go to my local mechanic and try to explain the extreme makeover?
Hoping you all can help me get going in the right direction.
If you find a good knowedgeable mechanic you could be find, the dealer is also anouther option. If your looking into reman componets the dealers offer a 3yr 100,000 mile warrenty on remanfactured powertrain componets ie engine/trans.
1994 XJ 4.0L HO: AW4 :( , 6.5 RC Long Arm, SYE
1988 MJ 4.0L, AX15 Swap, 6" RE mutt kit Short arm
2000 TJ 4.0L, AX15, Danna 44, 4" Zone Short arm
Find a "mom and pop" mechanic who knows/likes jeeps. I don't think a dealer would be a good option. Way too expensive and they might not take on a project like that or know what to do.
The Cherokee isn't a classic so much in age as it is an icon. I wouldn't be afraid to ask around and talk to some of the local classic car guys, they are usually a wealth of info and know someone who can help you or specializes in jeeps.
My friend's dad restores classic cars for a living. If there is something he can't do, he usually knows someone who can.
Thanks for the advice, I do have a local mechanic who has been helping to keep her running, but I dont know how to explain to him that we are looking to spend a significant amount of money to bring it back to like new. It's go 175,000 mi on it, and the mechanic often says how it'll run to 200k but we want to not just make the just needed repairs as before but replace as much as possible. I know a place that'll do the seat reupholstering.
I'll call around today, not sure how to get this to be taken seriously by mechanics/dealers.
Just start researching and do it your self. Just because the trans and engine leak dosn't mean they need rebuilt. A few replacment seals and gaskets and some good maintenance and it will be back to good.
98 XJ lifted/Locked/Geared
My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/my-98-build-1253511/