View Full Version : Wooders Family Truckster

07-02-15, 05:26 PM
A few might already now the latest addition to my stable.
Its a 1981 FSJ Cherokee, prefviously owned by Hunno and prior to that Alexander (from AJOR), with the following specs:
AMC 360 V8 (that's 5.9L for you whipper-snappers ;)) run on dual fuel. Big issue there is the engine is dead - fortunately I just happen to have a spare :glee:
TorqueFlite 727 3speed auto transmission in front of a NP208 transfer case.
Front diff is a Dana44 and rear is an AMC20 - haven't checked the ration and probably won't ;)
It's running 31x10.5 on 15x8 steelies.
Currently a 2" lift that seems to achieved via custom shackles in the front & lift blocks in the rear.

Anyhow my plan is to build a rig specifically for heavy hauling and doing it comfortably over long distances (with family onboard)..
Pretty excited about the project, and got a lot already kicking about in my thick skull, but will put it up over time to try and keep the interest ;)
But don't expect fancy paint jobs or high budget parts - this must be build on a shoe-string.

Pics coming soon

07-02-15, 06:12 PM
As much for my own reference I have pulled up on AJOR a lot of what maintenance type things the previous owner of 8 years had done:
So straight from the previous owners keyboard:

* soldered up a crack in the radiator header tank
* fitted polyurethane spring bushes to front springs
* again tried, and failed, to locate and stop PS pump leak. i think it is the o-ring seal in that odd plunger part in the high pressure outlet. if i could only think of how to find a replacement...

the problem: my 1981 cherokee foot brake often wont stay on.
the solution: the problem, at its simplest, was that the pawl would not always jamb on the rachet. then sometimes it would. this is what i did..
*removed the item from the car
*the pivot pins for the pedal and the pawl are both rivetted in, so i ground the tops off.
*pulled all the inner bits off. found that the pedal had badly worn grooves in its pivot pin. apparently that was causing such movement in the pedal sometimes, that the pawl just wouldnt catch.
*cut a short piece of metal tube i had (16mmx1.2mm wall thickness) and tapped it into the hole in the pedal
*cut a slightly longer piece of 1/2" copper water pipe to slide inside the tube. it was quite a close fit. the extra tube sits between the two parts of the whole foot pedal case; the ends of the copper pipe are flush with the outer edges of the case. it would make sense if you ever have it out.
used a 10mm bolt to hold it all together when reassembled.
*drilled a 6mm hole through the middle of the pawl pivot pin.
*greased it all
*much better! how long it lasts is another matter, but it is better than having no park brake.

rego time...
*new rear shocks
*new lpg tank ($930! ouch)(hadnt been checked since install in 1996, and twas rather rusty)
*cut rusty metal from nsf floor. welded in patch
*removed petrol tank. plated over rust in the steel cradle it sits in. repaired hairline crack in tank with epoxy and fibreglass
*replaced the stop light bulb. why is it that every single time you take any car for a rego check, there is a stop or tail light bulb out?

this week on my FSJ cherokee...
*removed steering column and steering intermediate shaft
*repaired partially broken universal joint therein (see my thread on that)
*tried to adjust the steering box but only succeeded in putting a pin hole in the radiator, with the end of screwdriver
*removed radiator and put epoxy putty over said pin hole
*replaced transmission fluid radiator hoses

boy does that steering feel a lot better!

*put a polyurethane transmission mount in mine, and if there is any more noise due to that, i certainly cannot hear it above all the other noises!

last year, the roof rack pulled out of the roof while driving with a large mattress on the roof. i replaced those silly rubber grommet/bolt combos with 3/8" bolts through the roof rack brackets and the roof. twas a bit awkward accommodating the bolt heads, but they are now firmly affixed to the roof, with a lot of sealant to save my redone headling from further water damage. over the weekend i cut square to replace to two cross pieces, welded nuts in the end, painted, drilled holes in the existing side runners, and put em in
we now have a roof rack that can take real loads without them ending up on the road behind the car.

removed cover plate from rear diff for second time, threw away cork gasket (as advised ), sealed with copious black rtv, and it now has stopped dripping oil. first time to the shops after that, the brake warning light came on! a look under the car indicated a fluid leak from the o/s brake line just underneath the clamp which holds it to the rear axle. went home and removed it - funnily enough, over time the clamp has pressed on the coil spring wrapping, which is supposed to protect the line, and the coils have pressed so hard into the brake line that it had fractured. cut it, put a small sleeve of tube over the two ends, brazed it, bled the brakes, back on the road.

monday: removed nsf brakes, hub, steering knuckle, and tried to figure out from a combination of Jeep Bible, Chilton's manual, and AJOR, how to put it back together properly with the new ball joints i have. had to grind down a long reach socket to remove the top ball joint adjuster sleeve.
tuesday: the missing information about the top ball joint adjuster sleeve came from AJOR (murray), so pressed old ball joints out, new ones in, refitted knuckle. took some trial and error to convince myself i was doing it correctly, but worked out perfectly. reassembled the rest, which was amazingly, the reverse of the disassembly http://www.ausjeepoffroad.com/forum/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
tomorrow: the other side, which will no doubt take half the time it took to do the OS..

*for the third or fourth time, opened up rear gate to replace one of the clips which holds the lifter arm, to the window. keeps popping off grrr
*cut aluminium checker plate side panels for the cargo area and chucked the old upholstered ones.
*removed headling boards, drilled out holes in roof rack brackets and bolted the racks to the roof with 10mm bolts. that was after one of the rails pulled out the roof recently. naturally, it wasnt so simple, as the top surface of the holes in the brackets is not flat, so sealant was required to stop water getting in. also, the rear bolts are not accessible from underneath, so drilled a hole through from under, and used socket head machine screws instead.
funny thing i realised... despite the significant wind noise around the windscreen, and the aerodynamics of a house brick, the lateral bars on the roof rack have a flattened oval cross section. like that is going to make any difference to anything.
*installed a CB antenna. this thing is really cool. brand name of Laser. the antenna is metallic tracking set into a contact plastic - like the tracks of window demister. it mounts vertically in the middle of the front windscreen on the inside. you can hardly see it; no issues at the car wash; nothing to vandalise. very impressed.

changing front wheel bearings

i have just put a s/h windscreen in my 1981 cherokee, using a new rubber from teamgrandwagoneer.
But 19-05-2008 fitted a new windscreen today.

07-02-15, 06:36 PM
And other modification type stuff noted as previously done straight from the previous owners keyboard:
Part 2/3

i found cracks in the body support brackets which are basically under your feet in the front seats. they were cracking where attached to the frame.
i just welded the brackets on (i think they were just rivetted).

i found significant movement in the spring hanger at the rear of the front spring.
again, that was because they are only rivetted in place. i welde them on.

also, i put extended front shackles on, and the extra stress caused cracks in the front cross part of the frame, near the top of the shackle.
for these, i welded strengthening gussets on either side.

when i have my arm resting in the open window, and the tips of my fingers just rest between the top of the door and the body, i cant help noticing that every time i accelerate or brake, or corner, i can feel the gap change a little! so if you can strengthen it, it wouldnt go astray...

i put a Megajolt ignition in my jeep, which only does ignition, and does have dual maps. problem solved! one option would be to run 2 megasquirts, and one megajolt. the overall cost increase wouldnt be much, given that the Megasquirt I, which only does fuel, is somewhat cheaper than the II version.
i have changed jets on a pair of DCOE webers. if the IDA is anything like it, the most important thing to start with is the Idle Jet. despite its name, it is responsible for the business up to several thousand rpm, and light throttle traffic speed running.

hi, i repaired exactly that sort of rust on my jeep. first, i cut a profile of the rusted metal out with a small hand grinder, and took it to a sheet metal worker. i asked him to replicate it, which was done with two pieces of bent sheet metal, spot welded together. i had him include an extra flange to allow me to attach the new piece to the remains of the car. i then cut the rest out with the hand grinder. i tacked welded the repair piece in with a mig and added some small stainless screws and rivets where appropriate. ran seam sealer along the joints. sprayed tons of Killrust epoxy paint in from inside. as for the roofrack, i got rid of those stupid rubber grommets, drilled real mansize holes through the roof rack brackets, and bolted the whole thing firmly to the roof. with loads of sealer. i also took the metal strips off the roof, and reattached them with sealer on each screw hole.

i put an ebay after market passenger seat in mine. to do that, i built a new from from the floor up, bolted a flat piece of plate to the top of that, and bolted the new seat to the plate. that allowed the seat to use its own rails and i could decide its final position after the base was bolted into the car. even that way, the wide transmission tunnel made most seats impossible to fit, as most available ones have the rails way too far apart. that is an even bigger problem on the drivers side.

re the air con...
i probably shouldnt even say this, but the air con on my car was non functioning when i bought it.
almost every component, and $3500 later......

hi all, i have just converted my 81 cherokee to a distributorless, programmable ignition called Megajolt.

basic parts are the Megajolt box, which may be programmed with a custom ignition map, based on engine speed, and either manifold pressure, or throttle postion, as the two variables; an EDIS unit from a ford, which fires the coils, and provides a fixed 10deg BTDC timing for limp-home if the logic box fails; and a coil pack. shown is one coil pack, which contains two coils each servicing a pair of cylinders. there are two such coil packs for the V8.
the EDIS is triggered by a Variable Reluctance sensor, which i have here mounted on a bracket:
the VR usually triggers off a toothed wheel, with 35 teeth and a space where the 36th would have been. i achieved the same by drilling holes in the harmonic balancer:
... and mounting the VR very close to it:
i mounted the EDIS on the firewall, shown here with the wiring harness unplugged:
.. made a wiring harness.... put new wires and plugs onto the coil packs and glued up the existing connector hole.....mounted the coil packs on brackets on top of the motor
i also got a set of numbered plug leads with the coil packs (second hand) so cut the plug leads to the right length and put new metal tips and boots on them
put an additional fuse box and a couple of relays under the bonnet:
in a nutshell, the VR sensor counts teeth going by - 1 every 10deg of rotation. the gap comes along at 50deg BTDC. the EDIS wait another 40deg then fires cylinders 1&6. one of these is on compression, and the other on exhaust strokes. it then waits 90deg, and fires 8&5, then 4&7 after 180deg, then 3&2 after 270deg. then round again. if you plug in the control box, it overrides the fixed 10deg timing, and fires the plugs based on the timing map you have created, and by measuring engine speed and load. i used a MAP sensor, which reads manifold pressure via a small tube connected to the manifold. the MJ unit is mounted at my feet, behind the plastic air con ducting.

of course the electronic ignition inthe jeep is pretty good anyway, but this setup allows for optimised ignition timing on both petrol and lpg. those who have dual fuel will know that one of them has to be compromised for the car to run well on the other. the MJ also drives a tachometer, allows for special advance setting at cranking speed, has 4 outputs which switch on or off based on engine speed or load, can modify timing based on a analogue input which could be anything at all eg water temp, air temp etc, has software and hard rev limiters if you want. lastly, it is open source for programming brain boxes, and has software which allows you to programme it, and view running parameters.

07-02-15, 06:37 PM
And other modification type stuff noted as previously done straight from the previous owners keyboard:
Part 3/3

this isnt exactly high end engineering, but i noticed there to be a handy space under the floor in my FSJ jeep, under the rear seat. so i had a sheet metal working bend and weld a box to fill the space, then cut a hole in the floor underneath the rear seat, and screwed and sealed it in place. it holds a handy amount of stuff, and is at almost zero risk of having someone steal my tools, jumper leads, multimeter etc, a second time.
i have 2" liftblocks in the rear, but i will say that when i fitted it, i did have cause to ponder if a really hard landing or pothole might cause the diff to hit the box. i think there is enough clearance, but if it comes to that, i will remove it, and cut the end above the diff a bit shallower, and weld plate back in.
(DWEdit - there wasn't enough clearance ;))

now, my sj doesnt lock, and if it did, a child could open those T topped door locks. anyhow, we know that people who want to get into your car simply smash the window, and that is that. then they reach in, take what they want, and leave. so i bought a small key lock safe from bunnings (sandleford barricade model), and bolted it between the front seats of the car. i had the brackets, which previously mounted the rather pointless middle arm rest, remade so there was a little more space between them, and bolted the safe in. so two bolts each side of the safe, two bolts on each bracket into the floor, and on through the bottom of the safe through the floor. it fits perfectly, and i am completely comfortable leaving phone, wallet etc in the car if needs be. i havent got around to the drink holders on the front yet

i have been putting in suspension lift hardware in my 81 cherokee.
the front part of it consisted of shackles 3" longer than standard. that is ok, but had two consequences: the front was only lifted about 1.5", as the rear of the spring was, of course, still mounted at the original height. as i put 3" blocks on the rear axle, it left the car pointing down a bit at the front. secondly, it alters the castor angle of the steering. while no doubt easier on the universal joint on the front shaft, it seemed desirable and prudent to raise the front a bit more.

so, my solution was to cut the mounting brackets off the rear of the front spring, and make new ones with holes at original height, 1.5" and 3". i used 10mm plate, cut with an angle grinder. one major issue with to ensure that the axle went back in properly aligned, i first cut a piece of flat steel so it went over the spring eye bolt, with the original bracket in place, and screwed its other end to the chassis. i then measured from the backside of the top ball joint nut, to the middle of the head of the bolt on the front shackle mount. with one side fixed in place by the flat bar, i then shifted the other side back and forth to the same measurement.
the 3" lift at the rear increased the angle on the rear uni, so i would expect that to shorten its life. i have, however, just put new unis in the tailshaft so they will likely outlast my ownership of this car. i notice that one can buy slightly angled wedges, which fit between the rear liftblocks and the axle, to tile the front of the rear diff up a little. i would reckon that to be a really good idea, but of course they are in the US and i had already done the rear axle bit by then.

i also put in new spring eye bushes, having previously put in polyurethane shackle bushes. the PU bushes are a good idea, i think, but it is important that they are lubricated between the sleeve and the PU. someone had put PU spring eye bushes at the rear of the front spring, but they were evidently not greased at all. further, the bolt had fused with the inside of the sleeve so strongly, that i ultimately couldn't dislodge it with a 20t press! as can be seen, i opted for the cheaper metalastik bushes. note: my understanding of these is that the bolt needs to be torqued up sufficiently such the inner tube cannot rotate on the bolt, or with respect to the mounting bracket. all movement is therefor taken up by flex in the rubber in the bush. surprisingly hard to find a definitive statement to that effect!

i am now working on some panel repair so have not yet driven the car. in theory, the front has a bit less castor, so perhaps will have a little less self correction, but that remains to be seen. i can set the rear of the front spring a bit 'higher' anyhow, to restore original castor. i have been advised that 3" lift does not require a drop pitman arm, but the proof of that will be in the driving as well. see how we go!

plates cut out, with angle grinder, from 10mm plate. gosh, dont drill bits get expensive once they go beyond 1/2"!!
a 1/2" bit may be bought for $20, but the 9/16 bit was almost $60. to preserve the life of this precious item, i worked up to 9/16 with two smaller bits, and plenty of cutting fluid.

in retrospect, 1/4" plate was an overkill, and i think 3/16" would be more than enough. once the brackets were welded up, it took significant force to expand the two sides by even 1mm or so, to slide the spring eye in between. that was achieved by some threaded rod through the lower holes, and nuts on the inside of the side plates, but even then, i had to apply real torque to the spanners to do it!

Wooders ....PHEW - OK so that's what I have on the history of this Jeep. From here hopefully most of the mods will be my undertakings, but I love seeing how much care has previously gone into this old girl......Now onto the Next chapter

Edit another link with more info on the awesome work Alexander did installing the MegoJolt system:

07-02-15, 07:29 PM
My first pichttp://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/02/07/f72503676881f454271a17378df8d06c.jpg

28-01-16, 07:57 AM
Sadly not much to report in progress for the past year.
But with Huntys assistance we got the old engine to turn over and run.
The waterpump is stuffed and just got a replacement so once its in we'll do somemore tests on the engine as apparently it was well down on power.

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19-06-17, 12:39 PM
Seats are out.
Sagging roof liner removed.
Most of the soggy disgusting carpet binnedhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170619/2665bb97ba50da5a4e4d7147587685c4.jpg

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10-11-17, 10:01 PM
Slow progress due to time constraints.
But have started fitting the WJ seats.

The front i am bring over the WJ powered bases as well as the seats. So far ive cut and rewelded most of the mounting tabs need some angle adaptors but need to finish cutting the interior (that safe console) sdo i can test cit the seats and ensure the new console fits etc.

In the rear it was going to be a mission to adapt th e mounts so I've decided to utilise the FSJ base and fit just the WJ seat to it.
Yes it means i won't have the WJ split fold but hey the FSJ didnt so no real loss.
Thev horizonal section was eazy unscrew and looks like the WJ is a very close fit.
The verticle bit more work- even getting the original off was a mission using vice grips, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers grinder and hack saw. Next step is figuring out how to attach theose verticals now.....https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171110/c0401bbebae87b9f0cb84c4ac030185d.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171110/de699c68fa69af6f5e1b7c19c00fe0eb.jpg

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10-11-17, 11:00 PM
And this is the WJ seats resting on the frame. Still svrayching my head as to the best way to attach the vertical prices. Need to ensure they'll pass engineering.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171110/203f7858a334156edaa23700b45d8cb7.jpg

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10-11-17, 11:23 PM
Front seats roughly in position.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171110/a58e45c2ef7aa999f34843fb1624d7e6.jpg

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Steve F
11-11-17, 07:28 AM
Looking good, had the WJ (front) seats in my XJ, very comfy :)