Cheap Chief

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ross80truck
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Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:14 am

I just bought this 76 Cherokee Chief. I am going to try to build in moderately and get it back on the road as cheap as possible. I will post all my prices and total money out of pocket and where I bought everything. Here is the low down so far. It is a 1976 Cherokee Chief. I paid $1700 for it from a guy in Austin that I found on Craigslist. It has a 360 with the TH400 and the BW1339. From what the previous owner told me the jeep came from Colorado at one time and was repainted in Mexico sometime in its life as well. That seems to all be true by the poor paint job and the large amount of bondo I am finding. There is some, what I would consider major, rust in the floor pans, but I am from Texas and not used to any rust at all.

Initial driving impressions and things to fix. Brakes feel really good. Has a bad exhaust leak. Idles fine, but stumbles under power. No smoke and has good oil pressure. Has slight coolant leak. Battery tray is rusted and needs fixed and secured. All vacuum lines have been disconnected from transfer case and front drive shaft is off. Tires are bad. Rear window works. AC does not work but appears to be converted to R134 at one time. One engine mount is bad and the other one is new. I found another new one in the Jeep though. The transmission was not even bolted to the rear mount. And finally for now, someone put on 2" lift blocks in the back and did nothing to the front. So, there is a 3.5" rake from front to rear.

Okay, that seems to be it for now. I will keep you updated as we make progress. The goal is to build/fix this as cheap as possible with limited mods and have fun with it while building my other Wagoneer.

Image

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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HowardT64
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:47 am
Location: Athens,Texas

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby HowardT64 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:31 am

When I got mine, I started under the hood and have been working my way out.

I am at the point now where I can focus on the suspension:) Has not been too
bad so far :) I live in Athens if you are every going to be by this way:)

I like how you put God first:)!!!
1990 Grand Wagoneer
Duck Blind 2
360 V8
A/C P/S P/B P/W
Solar Equipped
55 watt Burner Fog Lights

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ross80truck
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Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:37 am

HowardT64 wrote:When I got mine, I started under the hood and have been working my way out.

I am at the point now where I can focus on the suspension:) Has not been too
bad so far :) I live in Athens if you are every going to be by this way:)

I like how you put God first:)!!!


HowardT64, I go through Athens all the time. My wife's family lives in Longview. So, I go through Athens about every other month. I will shoot you a PM next time I am up that way and maybe we can meet up! We were just up there last weekend so it will be a little while before we make the trip again.

As far as the jeep goes. We are doing the same thing. Working from the engine out. If I can get everything running soundly, then I can start on the body later. For now, I just want to have fun with it.
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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ross80truck
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Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:41 am

Took the jeep down to the car wash and washed all the oil and dirt off the motor, transmission, and transfer case. Took it back to the shop and pulled the radiator to have it checked. Also dropped the exhaust off and found that one of the manifolds was cracked really bad. Luckily I have my motor out of my wagoneer and was able to steel a good manifold off of it that I am not using on that build. Pulled all the plugs and wires and am going to need to replace all them. While the exhaust manifolds are off I am taking all the emissions crap off. Also going to get rid of the cat on the exhaust and the charcoal canister. I have a lot of vacuum lines to fix. The only ones hooked up were the distributor and the brakes.

Today's to do list includes fixing the battery tray and installing the new engine mount and transmission mount.

Today I will be ordering plugs, wires, exhaust gaskets, water pump, radiator hoses, thermostat, radiator cap, transmission mount.

I also went and changed the title over yesterday. So now my grand total so far is $1900.
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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jaber
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Location: Chino Valley, Az.

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby jaber » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:26 am

beautiful Chief. Nice score.. :-bd
Jeff

'46 cj3a
'51 Willys p/u
'51 Willys Parkway Conversion
'74 CJ5
'75 J-20 Wrecker
'75 J-20 Cummins service truck
'77 J-10 p/u
'79 Cherokee
'88 Grand Wagoneer
http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh14/jeffaber/

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ross80truck
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:06 am

Just went to the parts store and placed an order for the following:

Water pump
radiator cap
thermostat
Radiator hoses
plugs
plug wires
transmission mount
exhaust gaskets

Total now spent on Jeep = $2069
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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ClovisMan
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 8:10 am
Location: New Braunfels, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ClovisMan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:05 pm

ross80truck wrote:Just went to the parts store and placed an order for the following:

Water pump
radiator cap
thermostat
Radiator hoses
plugs
plug wires
transmission mount
exhaust gaskets

Total now spent on Jeep = $2069

Once all that is fixed, I'll give ya $1200 for it... :evil:
88 Grand Wagoneer - The Money Pit - 360/727/NP208 - SOA/SF - Lots of other stuff SOLD
78 Cherokee Chief - Copper - 360/TH400/Quadratrac - 4 inch BDS lift - 33 inch tires SOLD

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ross80truck
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:51 pm

Really Good news today and a lot of little bad news. So, I will start with the bad news. The previous owner was an idiot! Here is a pic of the first thing I found once I got the jeep up on the lift. This is how he was getting fuel from the filler neck to the tank. A mixture of conduit, PVC, radiator hose and turbo hose. So, does anyone know or have a picture of how this is suppose to look?

Image

Once I got the above mess out of the way, I found this mess. The drivers side rear upper shock mount has no threads on it. So, I am going to have to cut this off and weld on a new one. You can also seen in this picture that at one point and time he must have had a wiring issue and fixed it by running an extension cord from the engine bay back to wherever in the rear. Just one more thing to fix.

Image

This is the mess that I found up on the transfer case. All the vacuum lines are broken and disconnected and what is left of them is held into place with bailing wire. Nice! Also, though you may not be able to see it in this picture, we found that the transfer case was not even bolted to the cross member!

Image

And for the last peace of bad news. When we pulled the wheels off, we found that one of the mag slots was different then the others. All the others are 8.5" wide and the one was 6" wide. Not only was it narrower, but he used the wrong style lug nuts for the wheel and ruined the wheel. Someone might be able to repair it, but all the lug nut seats are ruined. So, if anyone out there has an extra mag slot that looks like this that is 8.5" wide, let me know. I need one or two.

Image

And lastly for the really good news. When looking at the motor mounts and the bottom of the engine I found this. It is a 401! NICE! :evil: I had no idea. I just assumed that it was a 360. This was one time it was nice to assume wrong!

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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j20owner
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:46 pm

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby j20owner » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:22 pm

Cool deal on the 401. I have some 15 inch 6 hole slotted mags that I used to run on my Nissan pickup. I wonder if they're the same bolt pattern as a Fsj.
Tatsadasayago wrote:And here i thought Capitalism was hitting the Shift Key...

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ross80truck
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:55 am

I have been getting work done on the Chief, but have just been to busy to post up progress. I got the rear shock mount fixed. I cut the old one off with a grinder and machined a new one and welded it back on. I also replaced all the engine mounts and the transmission mount and torque bushing. Now the rear of the transmission is supported again and bolted in place. You might remember that when I bought it, the transmission and transfer case were not even bolted to the cross member. I also found that the wire to the Emergency Drive switch on the transfer case was disconnected. Once I wired it back up, the Emergency Drive light on the dash came back on. This is good news since the front drive shaft was off of it when I bought it. So, hopefully I can bolt the front drive shaft back on and fix all the vacuum lines to the transfer case and things will work like they should.

Image

Also, after doing some wire chasing, I found that the extension cord in the below pic was the previous owners repair for the rear window. I have since ordered a wiring harness upgrade kit from Serehill. I should have it soon and will remove the extension cord and fix the rear window motor properly.

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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ross80truck
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Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:42 am

I also got some new toys for the Chief. I will be honest with you all on this, the "Cheap Chief" idea has gone out the window. I will still post prices, but it is just not going to be as cheap as I had hopped. I bought a 4" Skyjacker Soft Ride lift with springs in the rear and new shocks. I also bought these 15" x 10" rims off craigslist. I got the rims for $200, but the suspension lift with all the other stuff I needed to buy like brake lines and drop pitman arm was about $1300.

Image

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

Road Trip
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:46 am
Location: Bryan, Texas

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby Road Trip » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:46 am

I almost bust a stitch when I saw that filler hose and extension cord wiring harness. I guess if it worked for him it was good enough for him. Keep up the good work. That fabbed shock bolt looked pretty darn good.
Robert

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jaber
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby jaber » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:02 am

I have to be honest here, I have used extension cord quite a few times for auto applications. It is usually because I want the double shielding. It lasts longer, is good heavy stranded wire, and really makes wiring trailer lights easy.
Jeff

'46 cj3a
'51 Willys p/u
'51 Willys Parkway Conversion
'74 CJ5
'75 J-20 Wrecker
'75 J-20 Cummins service truck
'77 J-10 p/u
'79 Cherokee
'88 Grand Wagoneer
http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh14/jeffaber/

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ross80truck
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:45 am

This weekend I was able to basically install the whole lift. I need to run to Fastenal this morning and pick up some 7/16 fine nuts that I am missing, but other than that the lift is done. I spend most of the time on the front end degreasing everything. It seems like this thing must have been sitting in a pool of oil for the last few years. I spent hours with the pressure washer and solvent tank cleaning everything up. I did have to buy a new steering stabilizer. the bushings were shot in the old one as was the boot. A new one was not that expensive anyways. Here are some pics of my progress.

Lift installed on rear.
Image

Front end all apart and ready to go back together with lift.
Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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j20owner
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:46 pm

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby j20owner » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:18 pm

Nice lift. I see a pignose on the wall.
Tatsadasayago wrote:And here i thought Capitalism was hitting the Shift Key...

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ross80truck
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Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:00 am

j20owner wrote:Nice lift. I see a pignose on the wall.


The Pignose is for my other build. Check my signature for a link to it. My other build is on hold for a little while. I will admit my impatience to finish it drove me to buy the chief. I wanted a toy to play with and drive while I was working on the wagoneer. So, I bought the Chief. Not the smartest thing I have ever done, but you can never have to many FSJs. Right?
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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HowardT64
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:47 am
Location: Athens,Texas

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby HowardT64 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:31 pm

ross80truck wrote:
HowardT64 wrote:When I got mine, I started under the hood and have been working my way out.

I am at the point now where I can focus on the suspension:) Has not been too
bad so far :) I live in Athens if you are every going to be by this way:)

I like how you put God first:)!!!


HowardT64, I go through Athens all the time. My wife's family lives in Longview. So, I go through Athens about every other month. I will shoot you a PM next time I am up that way and maybe we can meet up! We were just up there last weekend so it will be a little while before we make the trip again.

As far as the jeep goes. We are doing the same thing. Working from the engine out. If I can get everything running soundly, then I can start on the body later. For now, I just want to have fun with it.



I will await your PM :)
1990 Grand Wagoneer
Duck Blind 2
360 V8
A/C P/S P/B P/W
Solar Equipped
55 watt Burner Fog Lights

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ross80truck
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Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:30 am
Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:36 am

There was so much oil leaking from everywhere on the motor and steering gearbox and power steering lines. So, while I had the front end apart I pressure washed the front axle really well. I also cleaned the frame rails and anything I else I could get to while underneath there. While the axle was out and it was easy to work on, I changed out the leaking steering gear box for a new one and replaced all the power steering hoses. I also dropped the oil pan and put in a new rear main seal and replaced the pan gasket. Also found that I had a leak on the oil pressure sending unit. So, I fixed that as well. This thing was leaking so many different fluids it was probably keeping Exxon in business by itself. Here is a pic of the axle all cleaned up.

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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ross80truck
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Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:30 am
Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:47 am

Got the front end all put back together. Once again, as I started putting thing back together I found more things that needed replaced. I had to replace the front brake hoses for longer ones because of the lift, but the calipers seemed to be good. But when we went to bleed them we rounded one of the bleeders off trying to loosen it. So, back to Advance Auto parts for 2 new calipers and new brake pads. I am sure this has never happened to anyone else before! At least now the jeep has new brakes front and rear. That is never a bad thing. Also the old steering stabilizer's bushing were all shot because they were soaked in oil for so long. So, I mounted a new steering stabilizer while I was at it as well. It is only money after all, right?

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301

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ross80truck
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Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:30 am
Location: Temple, TX

Re: Cheap Chief

Postby ross80truck » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:57 am

I finally found some tires that fit into my budget, which is shot to crap at this point. I picked these up new down in Austin from a guy selling new tires out of a storage unit. They are GT Radial Adventuro M/T. They are a Chinese made tire. The reviews I read on these were pretty good, and for the price I was pretty happy. I bought a set of four 33x12.50r15 for $620 before taxes. Not bad, and they look nice.

Image

Here they are mounted on my wheels.

Image
Priorities
1. God
2. Wife ( Sarah )
3. Children ( Lane & Dirk )
4. Work
5. Jeep

Man it is hard to keep them in the right order!

85 Wagoneer, 6bt, NV4500, Black Box, NP205, D60 front, Corp 14 rear http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1446
76 Cherokee Chief - Cheap Build - SOLD http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2605
81 Jeep Scrambler viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8769&p=97301#p97301


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