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Thread: Street Queen - A Junkyard to Steet Build - 56K NO WAY!

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    Default Street Queen, A Junkyard to Steet Build Updated 27 Sept 08

    I started this build thread over on another forum that I am a member but thought that people always like to see a Jeep come together.

    Say what you will about this build as being a Street Queen but thats the short of what I bought it for.

    For a husband and wife owning only one vehicle, a Rubicon, may be fine but once a little one shows up life gets very difficult with just a Wrangler. My daughter showed up in June and we have been living with the Rubicon, but not for much longer.

    What follows is the story of how I found my newest Jeep and what I am currently doing to it on Saturdays in my garage. Enjoy.
    Last edited by Jagged73; 09-27-2008 at 17:12. Reason: Edited title

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    In early August 2008 I drove by the Ramstein AB Auto Recycling Center and spotted a 1991 Jeep Cherokee. The wife and I had been in the market for on since the TJ is just to small for me, the wife, the child and groceries. I inquired about the Cherokee and was told that it was not for sale but I could place a sealed bid on it since it was in a part of the monthly auction of vehicles that were abandoned/left at the auto recyling yard. I went ahead and placed a bid for the Cherokee for $750 dollars. I couldnt get into the Jeep but was free to look it all over...except under the hood. The underside had a good coating of mud. Beyond that there was a note that the Cherokee would need to have the following things fixed before it could be registered and tagged. It needed a new rear view mirror, the passenger side windshield wiper wasnt working, two of the front tires were completely bald, the spare was flat and both rear tires were almost bald. There was a note that it needed brakes...but it didnt say front or rear. It also said that it needed exhaust work. I went ahead and placed my bid and was told that if I won I would recieve a call in 2 weeks. When the call didnt come I was kind of crushed. About a week later I did get a call that while I didnt win the Cherokee, the winner never showed up to pick it up. It was up to me. I went to the ATM and withdrew $750 dollars cash and went and paid for it. Add to that a $70 fee to have it flat towed on the back of a truck to my house. Thats when the work began and the visits to quadratec began.

    Here is the Cherokee as it sat in the lot. Notice the marker/blinker lights above the wheel wells. Those lights are the only outside indication that this is an import to Germany. Thats right this Cherokee was made in America and then exported to Germany.


    Here is a shot of the gauge cluster. Its nice to have the numbers on the speedo to be primarily in Kmph. You never know how nice this is until you have to drive on the roads at Kmph vs Mph. 211,846 KM is about 127K Miles. Not too bad for a 1991.


    Here is a quick shot of the interior from the rear hatch area. Suprisingly enough the interior while dirty is actually in pretty good shape. The leather is a little worn in places but not torn or squashed out.

  3. #3
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    Here is a look down the passenger side. Nice and straight. Never been in a wreck or even hit for as far as I can see. Those mirrors....their power.


    So the exhaust needs work. I talked to the guys who did the initial inspection to ask them if it needed a new catalytic converter too. I got the universal moron salute.....a couple shoulder shrugs and an I dont know... Heres the cat.


    And a quick look at the muffler.



    And more muffler.....


  4. #4
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    I had noticed at the yard and when I got the Cherokee off the truck that I could never get it restarted. I always had to get the battery jumped. Hoping that it was just a case of a cheap battery gone bad and not a faulty electrical system or bad alternator. In went a new battery before anything else I had to find this out. In went a new battery and it started up no problem. Has every time every since. Musta been the battery.

    Heres a shot of the battery and a little bit of the muddy engine compartment.






    After I got the new battery into the Jeep and pulled it into the garage the first thing I did was to put it up on jack stands and pull the back wheels off to take a look at the brake situation. When I drove it around the lot at the yard I noticed that I could lock up the brakes in the front very easy, but the brakes were really mushy. Here is what I found.

    Passenger side......

    Please note that nothing was done. All I did was to take the wheel off and then take the photo. There wasnt even a drum to remove. Since I found a bunch of new drum brake springs in the rear I am betting the previous owner tried to do the brakes them selves....realized they were way in over their head and then decided to pay the 30 dollars to get rid of it. Drivers side.........

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    After ordering up a whole mess of parts from Quadratec I went ahead and started the tear down. Being that I am lucking enough to have a pit in my garage I decided that I would go ahead and start tearing out the old exhaust. I started shooting all of the hardware with liquid wrench and WD-40 a couple days before I started working on removing the exhaust. I put a wrench on the first bolt and barely moved the wrench and DOINK!



    Almost an hour later I noticed that while I could go ahead and either break the hardware off or even unbolt it all the tail pipe, muffler and catlytic converter were all corroded and rusted together in one piece. Thank god I had the pit to manuver it around in. After a little bit I had the entire system removed....all in one piece. A few days the new exhaust showed up and I decided to take a picture of both of them side by side.


    Heres a good look at the catalytic converter mounting surface before I cleaned it up. Nice and corroded.


    And after I cleaned it up, its all ready for for the new gasket and catalytic converter.


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    Heres a quick shot of the catalytic converter installed. This was so incredibly easy to do with the pit. Granted its only a 3 foot deep pit, but thats a heck of alot deeper than laying on my back to try and do this.

    Shiny isn't it?


    Here I am mid way thru getting the muffler and tail pipe installed. I installed a Dynomax muffler and tail pipe. While the muffler is a bit smaller than the one I removed, the tail pipe its self is much larger in diameter. New muffler just waiting for me to put on the tail pipe and tighten all of the hardware.


    Which one is larger, old or new. I am thinking the new muffler should flow a bit better and thus get me a couple extra ponies.



    And a look down the exhaust system.


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    After working getting the exhaust installed I decided to work on the rear brakes a little more. After about an hour I had dismantled all of the parts I wanted to get rid of and was down to the backing plate on both sides. I still have some cleaning to do to remove corrosion and clean up a little of the rust but I think I have come along way from where I started.

    Passenger side. This is the side that didn't even have shoes or springs. Basically all I did was remove the cylinder and then lots of simple green, wire brushes and drill attachments to scrub it all to this point. The part hanging in the plastic tub is the parking brake part and its soaking in a solution that will dissolve the rust and make it easier for me to clean it up.


    Here is a shot of the drivers side rear brakes as they stand now. I only have just a bit more cleaning to do and then I am ready to start installing parts. Well I should say that once my new wheel cylinders show up I will be ready to start installing shoes and springs.



    Once I got this done I started in on this mess that I didnt have to work to hard to find under the drivers side of the dash. What you are looking at here in this pile of spaghetti is the following things: A stick, wiring for trailer lighting, an ignition relay interrupt for a car alarm and about 20 feet of that trailer lighting that instead of being removed as excess....was just tucked up under the dash along with what I am positive is a long forgotten car alarm for which I recieved no fob or directions about. This was almost a full day project chasing wires. I ended up finding cut wires and splices for no apparent reason. What a hot mess.


    Another shot up under the drivers side of the dash. See the stick. I was shocked when I pulled that out of there. Funny part was that I took the pictures and then it was a few minutes later when I started pulling the wires out that I finally noticed the stick. Turns out the stick was used to hold up the excess wiring that should have been never installed in the Jeep.

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    At the end of the day after chasing wires, fixing things that should have never been tapped or cut I ended up with this. There are still a couple wires coming out of the fuse block that I know don't belong there but for now they can stay. Looks almost back to factory oem.


    Heres another shot. Lookin alot better under there. Also less dangerous.


    After cleaning up that spaghetti nightmare I decided the next easiest thing to do would be to toss in the brand new floor mats. These things are nice. Their from the Quadratec website and made by Lloyd. I made the mistake of not ordering one for the rear hatch. I may do that soon cause its really nice and almost totally remakes the interior of the Cherokee.


    Way back in the day I used to be pretty handy with a pair of dykes and a run of 18 guage. Best I ever hit with a car stereo was a 138db. I was always a sq guy more than SPL. As such I couldn't just let these crappy OEM Jensen speakers spend another day in my Jeep.

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    Out with the old Jensen's and in with the brand new Blaupunkts. Should sound alot better than the old Jensens.
    Quick shot before the install. Just based on looks alone I am guessing they will sound better cause they look way better.


    Not only was I all about the SQ (thats sound quality....not just boom but clarity too) I was also all about the stealth install. Thats why when the new Blaupunkts went in I left the OEM Jensen speaker grills in the doors.


    And here is a long shot of the passenger side foot well all ready to go with the new floor mat installed and the new speaker in the door. Notice the electric seat controls, auto tranny and that the under dash lights still work. You can only see it works on the drivers side because the day light washes out the passenger side...but it does work.


    Im a simple kind of guy. Yeah the power mirrors, power seats and leather is all nice but I would be just as happy with manual everything and vinyl seats as long as I had these.....arm rests. After having driven nothing but the Rubicon for years...these arm rests are just heaven.


  10. #10
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    hould an order from crutchfield.com show up tomorrow I hope to start remedying this situation. When they cut the old stereo from the dash they also broke the bezel that surrounds it too. So sad. I wont reveal much but I have some pretty cool ideas in store for the stereo going into this Jeep.



    Ohh and if you ever happen to find yourself living overseas and in need of tires....I have a solution for you. tirerack.com

    I ordered 5 tires from them last friday afternoon and here today a week later they are here. In my mind....thats fast. Went and picked up three of them from the post office today I will get the other 2 tomorrow. Heres a little comparison to what I took off the Cherokee. The ones that were on it are actually to big....well bigger than OEM. I think they work out to 29's where what I am putting on are stock size 28s. I think they are slightly narrower too, but I will see once they are mounted. The cool thing about being in the military is that if I go to the auto hobby shop on Pulaski Army Barracks then the guys there will show me how to run their tire mounting machine and wheel tire balancer. Their deal is they show you once for free and then you can use the machine for free. If they have to show you again....7 bux per tire. Even if they have to do it 7 bux per tire isnt half bad. 1st picture is the worst tire on the Cherokee vs one of the new ones....2nd and 3rd pictures is the best tire on the Cherokee vs one of the new ones.




    Best tire vs new tire



    One more


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