Cosmetic Fixes - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-15-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Buxnort
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Cosmetic Fixes

Earlier this year my mother-in-law who lived in Nashville passed away, and we now have her '97 Cherokee at our home in San Diego. It's a great car, very clean, low miles, motor/suspension rebuilt by a cousin who knows what he is doing. This car has a lot of sentimental value, especially for my wife. We don't want to go crazy with any modifications...really just want to clean up some cosmetic issues, and hold onto it as an around town/dog park/beach/road trip car.

Two things I'm trying to get some feedback from the forum on are:

1. The plastic piece above the rear license plate needs to be replaced. I've found a couple websites that sell replacement parts but no one seems to sell this piece. Any suggestions on who might sell it, please let me know. I'd be open to a piece off a parts car as long as it is in decent shape...if anyone has one, please get in touch. (See photo below)

2. I want to replace the plastic fender/fender line trim. I think I found one website that may have it (only in black). Any ideas on where I could find these pieces (replica/reproduction are fine) would be welcomed. Ideally in the light grey but I could work with black. I don't think old pieces off a parts car would work but if I'm wrong, please tell me. (See photo below)

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-16-2019, 02:37 AM
Ralph77
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I want to say that the door molding and fender flares were originally black like your bumper caps. Just grayed out cause of age/sun/etc.
So it looks like driver's side front door is fubared. You will need that specific piece off that door.
Chances of it matching are slim.
Thinking 2 options.
Pull them all off. Jeeps look good with them and without them.
Other option is to paint them black again. Most guys use the Krylon Fusion paint to do this. I want to say they use the Satin Black color.
Google search will give you plenty of info on this.
If you do run them and decide to repaint them make sure you get one from a Jeep that is not painted to match. Some are just black plastic looking. Some are painted to match the Jeep. Usually higher end models. Any '97 and up will work. I just think it would be easier to paint the regular one then the painted to match ones. Especially cause it could be white, red, etc.

And if you do paint them I would do your fender flares and maybe bumper caps too.

That rear cover is always showing up on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/97-01-Jeep-...temCondition=4

And new.

https://www.morris4x4center.com/lice...iABEgKIVfD_BwE

Here is the thing about that. I want to say the '97 was the only year that piece was not painted to match the color of the Jeep. That is why when you do find them they will be an actually color like the one at the Ebay link above. Same with your fender flares. I believe that '97 was the only year that they were not painted to match either. And to the best of my knowledge it does not matter which package the Jeep came with. Country, Limited, Sport, etc. On any package '98 and up fender flares and that rear piece would be painted to match. Only on higher end models are door molding and bumper caps painted to match.

My point being while technically what you buy will fit might just not match. And tough to tell how a new one would look cause you can never really see what you want to see in the pictures.

Edit: So it appears I was wrong about about '97 being the only year that does not have painted fender flares and that molding on the rear hatch to match.
Found a '98 that looks like yours.

https://madison.craigslist.org/pts/d...977334753.html
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-16-2019, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

Thank you! Thank you! I didn't know the name of that rear part (License Plate Lamp Cover). I even looked at diagrams, a Haynes manual, and even the Morris 4x4 website. I'll see what I can find on ebay or maybe just spend the extra $40 and get a new one from Morris.

I had also thought the flares could have faded but it's a consistent grey all around, and I'm guessing it was designed to match the light grey interior - plus the "Cherokee" decal on the door is a similar light grey, so it was probably all part of a color package.

I have seen quite a few pics of Jeeps with the pieces removed off the doors. I'm leaning towards doing that, and either painting or replacing the pieces over the wheels so they are black. I just want to make sure I get all the glue residue off, and also hope the paint underneath is generally the same as the rest of the body. The overall paint job of the car is good...needs some compound/buffing to bring it back to life.

Thanks again for your info. You got my week off to a great start. I really appreciate it.

FYI - See the screenshot from Morris 4X4. Looks like I'm not alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
I want to say that the door molding and fender flares were originally black like your bumper caps. Just grayed out cause of age/sun/etc.
So it looks like driver's side front door is fubared. You will need that specific piece off that door.
Chances of it matching are slim.
Thinking 2 options.
Pull them all off. Jeeps look good with them and without them.
Other option is to paint them black again. Most guys use the Krylon Fusion paint to do this. I want to say they use the Satin Black color.
Google search will give you plenty of info on this.
If you do run them and decide to repaint them make sure you get one from a Jeep that is not painted to match. Some are just black plastic looking. Some are painted to match the Jeep. Usually higher end models. Any '97 and up will work. I just think it would be easier to paint the regular one then the painted to match ones. Especially cause it could be white, red, etc.

And if you do paint them I would do your fender flares and maybe bumper caps too.

That rear cover is always showing up on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/97-01-Jeep-...temCondition=4

And new.

https://www.morris4x4center.com/lice...iABEgKIVfD_BwE

Here is the thing about that. I want to say the '97 was the only year that piece was not painted to match the color of the Jeep. That is why when you do find them they will be an actually color like the one at the Ebay link above. Same with your fender flares. I believe that '97 was the only year that they were not painted to match either. And to the best of my knowledge it does not matter which package the Jeep came with. Country, Limited, Sport, etc. On any package '98 and up fender flares and that rear piece would be painted to match. Only on higher end models are door molding and bumper caps painted to match.

My point being while technically what you buy will fit might just not match. And tough to tell how a new one would look cause you can never really see what you want to see in the pictures.

Edit: So it appears I was wrong about about '97 being the only year that does not have painted fender flares and that molding on the rear hatch to match.
Found a '98 that looks like yours.

https://madison.craigslist.org/pts/d...977334753.html
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Last edited by Buxnort; 09-16-2019 at 12:35 PM. Reason: fixing errors/adding pic
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-16-2019, 01:18 PM
Ralph77
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You could be right about the gray.

A lower pound fishing line or dental floss will be good for taking the molding off the doors. Just be careful to keep it flush with the door cause either of those will cut into the molding if you pull at the wrong angle.

For getting the residue off the doors couple options. An eraser wheel. Just have to be careful to not burn the paint. I like the 3M 08984 adhesive remover. It is pricey but I like how it works.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 07:09 AM
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Buy the black trim piece, so it looks like it's supposed to and paint the flares and other trim with Krylon fusion black satin to match. If you pull the door trim, the paint underneath will be much darker than the rest of your Jeep. All Junk yards carry the back piece cheap ($10-15).

p.s. Repaint the front grille black while you're at it. Pic of my old 98' TJ's faded grey flares after a couple coats of Krylon fusion.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 11:27 AM
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[QUOTE=Buxnort;40741445]The overall paint job of the car is good...needs some compound/buffing to bring it back to life.[QUOTE]
Get all the trim off first, then rub it down by hand with some buffing compound. Same as if you were doing a wax job. Wipe down good and then wax. Keep water out of the way when waxing, it complicates removal of the wax.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 03:59 PM
SmashDN
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Flares, trim and bumper end caps are supposed to be black as has been mentioned. You are lucky yours have faded in a consistent color. Mine are all kinds of weird looking.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-17-2019, 05:13 PM
CJ7-Tim
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Find the local junkyard, you will need other stuff that can't be found anymore. >> www.car-part.com.

I would get smooth color matched/painted fender flares and bumper ends from a Classic model and then paint them your desired color. The original for a Sport was textured black plastic. You can find reproduction textured flares and bumper ends. The door trim molding is very difficult to re-install, it wants to curl. Cherokees do look nice with no door trim.


Click here for tons of almost like new condition pictures >> https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1998-jeep-cherokee-4/

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post #9 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 10:22 AM
Ralph77
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Saw this on Ebay. I think it is a little pricey and it is painted to match. Thinking color code PX8.
So it won't match your Jeep and might look funny on her but......

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1997-2001-J...temCondition=4
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Repainting the grill is definitely on the list. I've found a junkyard about 40 min from my house that specializes in Jeeps (and Landcruisers). I'm going to head over there Friday or Saturday this week. Nice TJ!
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in the San Diego area. There are a bunch of junkyards near the border. I've found one that focuses on Jeeps...I'm going to head down there later this week. I have a feeling I'll be a kid in a candy store.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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This could work. Seems a little pricey at $50 though. I've seen a new one for $64 (plus shipping). Whatever I end up doing as far as this piece, I'm going to try get done this weekend so I can move on to the next item.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 11:16 AM
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Also, do a search for Row52. It list a bunch of Pick n Pulls. I think there are a bunch out by you. It does not list every Pnp, though. Sometime fun just to walk the yard.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'm happier each day that I found this forum. Getting lots of great ideas, and getting me fired up to get working on the Jeep. Originally, the plan was for me to put together a budget for all the work, go over it with my wife, and then do the work. I sense it might not exactly happen that way.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-18-2019, 12:14 PM
CJ7-Tim
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I forgot to mention that the Rear Hatch/Liftgate License Plate Light Trim was offered two ways, plain black, and painted to match the body.

I pay a few dollars for each fender flares or license plate light trim at my local U-Pull-It junkyard. No point in paying full price for new one when a used one is in good condition.

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