1977 Cherokee build.

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csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:33 pm

Moving this over from the Mothership. It is a little disjointed since I am not copying other people's comments, since I don't know how to do it.
Last edited by csuengr on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:34 pm

So, finally came here from the old list serve and now can post pics. I have been on the list for most of the century. Bought two Cherokees about 1.5 years ago. One to built (1977) and one for parts (1980). Started working late last year (2010). Here is my partial list of requirements:

1. Be able to open tailgate when twisted up. (The tailgate still binds up, even with the frame stiffening)
2. Be able to remove oil pan without removing engine.
3. Coil springs front and rear. (EDIT: Just front)
4. Get close to 18mpg cruising.
5. 25+ gallon gas tank.
6. Four wheel disc brakes.
7. Extra inside storage/stowage.
8. Be able to do 95% of Colorado trails
9. Be able to run Black Bear Pass.
10. 5 speed manual tranny.

My starting point:
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Was originally a 401, TH400, Q-trac. Purchased without engine for $400.
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It has a very nice interior.
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Unfortunately, having problems with pests. This is one of the two pack rat middens the Jeep has. I cleaned this one, but there is still one on top of the gas tank. The interior now has mouse droppings all in it.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:41 pm

Now that I have figured out how to post pics, I'll get started.

Stiffening the frame.

This is how much the frame flexes before. I have less than 200lbs on the corner.
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Templates for boxing frame.
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Steel cut and tack welded in. I'm using 3/16" plate because I can't easily get a hold of 10 gauge. Yes, I did put welded nuts on the inside for the rear springs.
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Turning the trans cross member into a structural member.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:56 pm

Here are my current specs.

Ford 5.0, truck roller short block, Explorer top end and cam with 1.7 roller rockers and ported heads, headers.

M5OD trans and BW 1356 (fixed yoke) transfer case from a 1990 full size Bronco.

Dana 44 front, Ford 8.8 rear, eventually will be full floating.

Coil sprung front. Here is a pic of what I have so far.

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I'll stick with the rear leaves, but will be lifted about 4" using original springs by flipping the shackle and moving the front mounts down.

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I now need to start purchasing parts for the front suspension.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:57 pm

(After a few comments)

The BW 1356 has a higher torque rating than the NP208 and Ford used it in 1 ton trucks. It has an Achilles heel, the oil pump which can wear through its retainer and start spinning, but the fix is easy. It's also, unfortunately, physically larger than an NP case so I had to move the drive train an inch to the passenger side, which is no biggie since Jeep put in down the middle from the factory.
As for a another x-member, I need to put the engine in the frame and see how I could do it and still be able to drop the oil pan if needed, plus have a trac bar.
Where another x-member needs to go is between the trans x-member and the one that goes above the gas tank. This is the weak spot of the frame. This area also has the most stuff in it. Gas tank, drive shaft, muffler/exhaust.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:00 pm

Okay, gratuitous engine pics. The upper intake is off, in case anybody is wondering.
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This is how I modified the v-belt York pulley to work with a serpentine belt. The York is for OBA.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:03 pm

So, now that I have the week off, it's back to work. doing the front suspension this week. I had to get the frame back off the ground and level, so I gave it legs.

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Right side
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Left side
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Flexing, no trac bar yet. I have to put the engine in first for clearance issues.
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Coil buckets tacked on.
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Everything is just tacked in place for now. I have to make some small braces on the frame mounts for the lower arms.

I'm using four inch Early Bronco springs from Deaver since I couldn't find any Jeep springs with the right spring rate. Plus I already had the lower spring retainers.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:06 pm

Got the engine and tranny set into check clearances, again. Hopefully this is the next to last time I get to set the drive train in. I had to modify the transmission cross member to get the driveshaft to clear.
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I will have to do something about the sway bar. I [img]will probably move it an inch forward.
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This thingy is another Exploder goody. Oil to water oil cooler.
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Modified cross member
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:07 pm

The oil cooler is off a 5.0L Explorer. Some have them, some didn't as there are two oil filters listed for an 5.0 Explorer. The old tall one with English threads, and a short one with metric threads, the later being used with the oil cooler.

The engine mounts (on frame) are modified FSJ 6cyl pieces. I had to increase the angle to fit the Ford stuff. The Ford rubber mounts use a single bolt like the AMC 6cyls used. The mounts are in their original location on the frame as well. I did have to move the engine an inch to the passenger side to make clearance for the transfer case. That BW 1356 is huge.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:11 pm

Big step today. The front suspension is now suspending.
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It's sitting high, but there still is a good amount of weight missing. My upper shock mounts (on top of the spring buckets) are goofy, but they are there until I maybe come up with a better idea.

I am going to use a Bronco 33 gal tank for four reasons.

1. I already have it.
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2. It already has the fuel pump I need.
3. I have all the fuel lines.
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4. I can make the Ford sender work with the Chero gauge by putting a 120-130 ohm resistor is parallel with the sender. (EDIT: No longer a viable solution)
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I will have to rebend these lines. Truck/Bronco fuel lines with an Exploder fuel rail.

Just more pics of the Bronco tank. It's just sitting in there now. I will make mounts later.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:13 pm

Okay, after a long time of being busy, with other stuff, I finally painted the frame and redid my test.

For a reminder, before:
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And after:
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Before, I had six inches of deflection. I now have .75" of deflection. Tomorrow, I get to put the engine in, FOR THE LAST TIME!!!!!!

(RIP Caprice station wagon. It did donate it's engine and some other parts to my CJ)
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:15 pm

Guess I should have updated a little more. The Ford 8.8 idea is toast. Not that it isn't a strong axle (3850lb GAWR and 31 spline axle shafts, vs. 3200lb and 30 spline for a Dana 44) or the lug pattern (One can easily convert the front axle to match 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern). The 8.8 I wanted to use was from under a full size Bronco. The deal breaker was the 8.8's 65" width. My wide track AMC20 is 60.75" wide. I wanted to keep the narrower width for maneuverability reasons. Cutting down the 8.8 would be a pain. I also considered a 6 lug SF 14 bolt. Hoverever, it uses 14mm lugs vs the 7/16" for a FSJ. Cutting it down would have been easier since using two short side axle shafts would come out to the dimensions I wanted. So I am sticking with my AMC20, if nothing else so I can thumb my nose at people on Pirate4x4 who thing the AMC20 is junk. And Ian at Extreme Money Pit.

And yeah, most of the strength come from boxing the frame. I also (see an earlier post) added to the tranny cross member to make it more of a structural piece. The worst part of the frame is from where the factory boxing ends to the cross member over the gas tank. There is not much that can be done here since this space if filled with useless junk like the gas tank, transmission and transfer case. I moved my tank, so I tried several different designs for another cross member in this area, but nothing worked well enough to actually make. I did my designing in the virtual world of FEA, in case someone is wondering.

I also added some cross bracing between the gas tank cross member and the one behind it. This also helps quit a bit. One will also notice that this bracing isn't symmetrical. The area to the left is where my battery(s) is/are going to reside. I'm copying GM here. The space under the hood is where the airbox is going to reside.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:25 pm

Back to business. I put the body on the frame, temporarily anyway, to check clearances. Some issues, starting with the transfer case coming through the floor.
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And the shifter comes out under the dash.
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And my new shock mount[img]s will need some fudging of the inner fenders.
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The engine fits well. Looks right at home.
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The Bronco gas tank.
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Side view. It is sitting higher than I wanted. Hopefully it will settle when the interior and the rest of the parts are put on. The tires are 33's.
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Here is the cart I built so I can move the body around without the frame.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:26 pm

Well, I was thinking about a half in body lift. It's not much, but I have the materials to make it. That would be aluminum round with a hole drilled through the center and cut into half in pucks. Easy to make.

I am still thinking about a remote shifter so the gear shift would be just in front of the seats. That way it only needs to be about six-eight inches long. I already know how to make it. I remember the Ferd gear shifts. Had a 78' F150 with a NP435. Really long gear shift that almost touched the top of the dash when in low.

Want to figure out how to make the QT low range shifter into my T-case shifter.

I might be lucky today and get the body back off, put on the cart and rolled into the garage so I can hose out the interior with ammonia. Rat and mouse droppings and pee. Yippy! Then it's on the the rear fender flairs.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:27 pm

I'm not at home at the moment, so no pics, but here is what I did. The rear springs are the original pieces. The rear mount was cut off, flipped, and re-welded. On the front mounts, (the box like structures) there was a hole from the factory below where the bolt originally went through. I drilled that one through the frame rail and welded a nut on the other side. I did have to cut the bottom of the mount off and extend it to fit the spring eye.

The shackles should move back, as they were the same way when I pulled them off prior to flipping the mount. If not, I will be building new ones. Flipping the shackles does change the suspension dynamic. The springs act as if they are stiffer. I guess that is why trucks have the shackles pointing up.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:30 pm

Back at it. After a brief pause for Thanksgiving, exams, Christmas, and doing an engine swap on the CJ7 (AMC 360 to LT1), I dove into the rear fender flares. Spent some quality time with a cut off wheel in the angle grinder and drilling out spot welds, I removed the last shreds of the rusted flare on the drivers side.
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I just love the roofing nails poking through. (on the right) Nice big mouse nest I have to vacuum out in the void.
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I can't explain this. Crappy patch job by PO. I will have to get a patch panel from BJ's to repair the bottom of the quarter panel. The other side is much better.
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Another view of the lovely patch job.

New (old) flare being test fit. The gap on the upper right is due to some interference that will be remedied. Fits pretty good.
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Where did I get the flare? well, those with weak stomachs might want to look away.
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It's a J truck flare. Don't worry, the truck was headed to the crusher.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:32 pm

Some more work. Went to the pull and pay and got some parts.

Here is the new to me hydroboost and my Ferd clutch master cylinder.
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The XJ steering column. I wanted to get rid of the column shifter from the automatic tranny. Now I have to decide if I want to keep the dimmer switch on the floor, or move it to the column.
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For most of you this is boring, but for Ford guys, this bracket lets me put a Saginaw pump on a Ford small block.
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I got the cowl cover off, vacuumed. Removed the wipers and wiper mounts and pulled the heater duct work out. Now I just have to order patch panels and I can start on the rusted rears.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:33 pm

Well, the XJ colomn ain't a bolt in. The XJ firewall flange has to be cut off and I had to swap ignition switches, which was a bolt on. The column surround is shorter than the Chero's, as you can see above. And I have to figure out what the cable running from the steering column to the floor shifter is all about. Column is from an automatic XJ. I didn't want to have that stupid little lever to get the keys out of the ignition.

But the length is good. I am also using the XJ steering shaft.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:36 pm

The joys of body work.

Rusty stuff removed.
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Some new metal.
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Patch panel in (sorta).
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Front of replacement fender fits well.
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The rear doesn't fit so well.
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Much better.
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1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.

csuengr
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Sterling, CO

Re: 1977 Cherokee build.

Postby csuengr » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:38 pm

So I am now about 95% done with the fender flare install. That means I'm 96% done with body work. This weekend I am having a paint stripping party, gonna turn the driveway smurfy. here is the drivers side done.
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The patch panel.
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The inside of the wheel well. Looks like hell, but I haven't ground it yet and covered it in undercoating. Just turn the monitor sideways.
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All this was replaced as well.
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Sorry the pic sucks. Had light issues.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. My DD and only vehicle.


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