'81 Cherokee resto mod

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Topic author
dkerr79
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:34 pm

'81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by dkerr79 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:09 pm

This is my '81 Cherokee. I picked it up in January and have been patching it up since. One of the previous owners pulled the I6 and dropped in a sbc 350 and a TF727. It's had plenty of issues and I've done a lot to stop the bleeding (new 4 inch springs, tires, diff breathers, tranny adjustments, tranny cooler, new ignition, air intake,reverse lights, interior carpet, door panels and hardware, body work and paint among other things). For some reason it tends to overheat on the highway. I'm in the process of replacing the entire cooling system.
It seems that the AC/heat works but doesn't blow through the vents. I'm afraid the duct work is clogged. If anyone has any advice on how to fix it without gutting the system please let me know.
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twisted frame
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:41 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by twisted frame » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm

Those door panels look really good. I like the aftermarket gauge cluster too.

As for overheating, does it have a fan shroud? That will help cooling.

If the blower motor works for the heat and A/C, there could be junk clogging the vents up near the windshield, or, as in my case, one of my heater duct hoses under the dash had a big tear in it which allowed most of the warm air to escape before helping my defogger/defroster do its work. Look behind the glove box and see if that tubular flexi-hose to the vents is intact.
73 J4000. 360, MC 2100, T18A, D20, stock closed knuckle Dana 44 front, 60-2 rear. Warn Lock-O-Matics, Warn/Belleview electric winch, true duals with glasspacks, old-school front diff skid plate, used 265 Toyos on 16" AR wheels.


Topic author
dkerr79
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:34 pm

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by dkerr79 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:07 pm

Thanks for the tips. I'm glad you like the door panels. I've been getting most of my interior parts from fullsizejeepparts.com and BJ's Offroad. They both have a lot of good stuff at decent prices.
Turns out when one of the previous owners swapped out the I6 with the sbc, they didn't upgrade the radiator. After some cutting and welding, and dropping in the proper radiator--along with an automatic electric fan--it's running cool.
I'm still trying to figure out the AC/heat. I cleaned the blower motor housing and the heater core box as best I could with no luck.
I may just end up taking it to a shop and have the whole system replaced.
I'm hoping to drop in a 700R4 and a new transfer case that's not full time four wheel drive.
As always, any advice or resources are appreciated.

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pyro
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Location: Tampa, FL

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by pyro » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:57 pm

Did you swap out the muscle grille for the razor?
'81 J10 Laredo 258/T176
'82 Cherokee 258/TF904
'84 CJ-8 258/T176

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Topic author
dkerr79
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:34 pm

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by dkerr79 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:52 pm

I did. I had a '78 years ago and the razor has to be my favorite grill.
Sorry for the late reply. I had the Vid for a few weeks.


will e
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:21 am

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by will e » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:27 pm

I missed this when you posted originally. I really like that truck!

I would be surprised if it is a TF727. Probably a th350.
81 Waggy 'WILL E' Retired
82 Cherokee WT - SOA/SF/high steer/Alcan springs/agr box/Borgeson steering shaft/AMC 401/performer/holley TA/HEI/BeCool/727/ALTAS (2.0/2.72/5.44)/D60 Snofighter(Yukon Zip,hubs,stubs,4.56)/14 Bolt (FF,BF shave, Discs, ARB,Artec Truss)/MTR 37X12.5/Corbeau XRS Baja & 5 point retractable harness/Hella Aux lights/tuffy console/killer32 sliders/Evil Twin bumpers, rack and roll cage/WARN 8000/TT Fabworks steering brace/dual batts/custom TC skid plate/ARB fridge


Topic author
dkerr79
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:34 pm

Re: '81 Cherokee resto mod

Post by dkerr79 » Fri May 22, 2020 3:05 pm

Turns out the cooling issue had to do with the previous owner's swaps and mods. They took out the original 6 cylinder and dropped in a 350, but didn't change the radiator. After replacing every part in the system I finally swapped out the radiator and I have to drive it hard to get 200*.
The tranny is definitely a 727. I'm planning to swap it out with a 700r4. I gotta have an overdrive.
If anybody is interested in a trade let me know.

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