1978 Jeep Cherokee "S"

I originally bought it for the 5-slot rims it came with. It kind of became a bigger project along the way

When the truck arrived, it was rougher than I expected- [ Before Pictures ]

Once I decided to revive the whole truck, I decided to see what kind of wheeler I could make on a budget as close to $0 as possible, yet still be able to do most of the trails around here. I picked up a set of near-new 33" tires for $225, which I fit on the truck with the stock suspension by cutting out the wheelwells. To improve my approach and departure angles, and add some recovery points, I fabricated some custom bumpers out of scrap steel. I swapped out the real-tired original 360 for a better-running one from a '79 Wagoneer, and left the drivetrain stock. In that form, I took it on a lot of the local trails, where it held its own.

I trimmed the wheelwells and rear quarters for clearance (see Body Modifications ) and used some scrap-steel to make some bumpers with more clearance (see Custom Bumpers ). Here's my truck at the 2002 annual Baystate Jeepers Jeep Rally at the Hebert Candy Mansion in Massachusetts, showing how it looked at that stage:

The truck was much more at home in woodsier settings, like the trail below. See Flexing the Suspension and Out on the Trails for some shots of the truck in action.

For more information on the work I did to my Cherokee, follow these links:

* Body Modifications
* Custom Winch Bumper
* Interior
* Original Drivetrain and Suspension
* Flexing the Suspension
* Out on the Trails

I was somewhat dissatisfied with having to bypass some obstacles on the trail, so I came up with a plan for a comprehensive upgrade, and began gathering parts. The new setup was based around a set of 325/85-16" (38"x13") Michelin XML tires. And this is some of the work I had to do to run those tires:

* Upgraded Drivetrain and Suspension




  • Engine: 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado 455ci V-8
    • 10.25:1 compression
    • Quadrajet Carburetor
  • Transmission: TH400 3-spd automatic
  • Transfer Case: 1988 Chevy NP205
    • Twin-Stick
    • 1410 Yokes
  • Front Axle: 1986 Dodge Dana 60
    • 4.56 gears
    • Lock-Right locker
    • 35-spline inner and outer shafts
    • Spicer locking-hubs with drive-gear broached to fit 35-spline outers
    • 1410 yoke
  • Rear Axle: 1976 Chevy full-float14-bolt,
    • 4.56 gears
    • 1410 yoke