1978 Cherokee- Before Pictures

When I bought it in October of 1999, the truck had been parked outside unused for a long time, and was rusty from the salty-roads here in New England. It had mis-matched tires, a missing tailgate window and motor, a shredded interior, and the motor smoked badly when started up.

The body was a dull-black spray paint job with a lot of runs, and the taillight and side-marker lenses on the left-rear were melted from a truck that had caught fire right next to this one. The exhaust was completely rotted away, and the motor was a rats-nest of wiring. All of the tires were dry-rotted and mis-matched, and the rims were caked with brake-dust grime. As for the brakes, they were barely functional.

Nevertheless, we were able to drive it up into my driveway where I could start working on it. The body was straight and never wrecked, and the transmission and transfer-case worked fine. It was also a 1978, which was the last year for the old-style "electric-razor" metal grille and the last year that 49-state trucks didn't require a catalytic converter. It also was the last year of the 4-bbl carbureted 360, but the first year that Jeep used the newer-style Delco alternator and the Ford Duraspark electronic ignition on its V-8 engines. It would be a good strong foundation for what would turn out to be quite a project.
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