Projects, fun stuff, etc.

How to: Jeep Wranger TJ mirrors on a Jeep Cherokee XJ

I've always hated the mirrors on my 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ. They're too small and they look dumb! A rugged, manly vehicle deserves rugged, manly mirror. Right? I got these mirrors from Amazon for less than $40 for the pair and I'm really happy with them. They're for a TJ Jeep Wranger but they also look like YJ mirrors. 

installing wranger tj mirrors on a jeep cherokee xj

Booger welds galore! I made a homemade skid plate for Project Cherokeeper

Project Cherokeeper -- my 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ -- needed a little protection for its soft belly. The aluminum transfer case is totally exposed and if it hangs up on a large rock, it can crack. And if that happens, neither axle is moving and I'm going nowhere. Here's how I built my own.

Project CheroKeeper: fender trimming & hood vents

The technique for cutting the sheet metal is an old, tried-and-tested process in the Jeep XJ community. Just search youtube or any jeep forum and you'll see the same method each and every time. Trim the sheet metal up front, and "cut and fold" the sheet metal for the rear fenders. What I did was I tried to trim off just a enough so that there would still be a little tiny metal fender flare left. This meant cutting right along a bend in the sheet metal - which also meant the shape/profile of the fender arches would remain mostly stock - or, in the case of the rear, cutting up to that bend and folding the sheet metal over at that point. This also allowed me to keep the windshield wiper fluid reservoir hidden between the outer fender and the inner fender. After trimming the sheet metal, I cleaned them up with some truck bed liner paint, and the end result looks great and functions beautifully. 

Project CheroKeeper: cooling system overhaul

This story, chronically my attempt to overhaul the jeep XJ's cooling system and overcome a mysterious overheating problem, was orignally posted to the website cherokeeforum.com. I ended up replacing the entire cooling system except for the heater core, and in the end it's vastely improved yet the motor still runs a little hot in the summer. 

Update: The $50 paint job, 18 months later

A year and a half after I painted my truck with Rustoleum and a paint roller, how has it held up?? (Hint: I won trophy in a car show!)

Project CheroKeeper: suspension and tire upgrades

Before my trip to colorado, I decided to get the Jeep in tip-top shape and install a lift kit I bought a while ago and put new off-road tires on it. I also had some goodies to beef up the steering box, and I performed a little body modification to clear the bigger tires. Yay!

working on a jeep charokee xj lift kit install

Project CheroKeeper

The Jeep -- which I'm now calling the CheroKeeper because it's a keeper ;) -- is finally in my hands! Just as suspected, it has the venerable Christler 8.25" rear end w/ 29 spline axles and np231 transfer case. The mechanicals are in virtually perfect working order. I took it on it's first ever off-road excursion and I was actually surprised at how smooth the jeep conquered those rather large ditches and mud holes. The 4wd worked flawlessly and there was even a little mud to play in.

jeep cherokee xj stock flex offroad 4x4

New project! A '97 Jeep Cherokee XJ with 244,000 on the clock

I'm buying a site-unseen '97 Jeep Cherokee XJ for $1,500! This thing was owned and garage kept for the last 19 years by a nice, older lady who never abused it and maintained it religiously via the dealership, and the Jeep comes with a stack of service receipts as thick as pea soup. That's the only way I would buy any vehicle with 244,000 miles on the odometer...

Chevy GMC Squarebody Trucks Service Manual Free Download

Download it here, for free. I found a copy of the 1984 GMC Light Duty Truck Service Manual. It will of course work for Chevrolet trucks, not just GMC, and for years 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. It will also mostly work for years 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980, though a few things will be differest such as windshield wippers, front sheet metal, interior, etc.

Chevy K10 truck restoration: Conclusion

One last task on Project Hank before it's totally complete: take some glamor shots of course!

super clean 1974 1975 chevy k10 squarebody c10 4x4 chevrolet restoration restomod muscle truck