1986 Jeep Cherokee - noob upgrades, fixes, etc

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Badger's picture

Ryan
Victoria
1986 Jeep Cherokee - noob upgrades, fixes, etc

Hi all,
I recently bought a 1986 Cherokee with 136000 k on it with the 4 cylinder 2.5 litre engine as part learning to mechanic, and as a second vehicle. It was in okay shape and I have been slowly fixing it up. So far i've fixed up some minor parts like the back door struts, the suspension and have had the steering pump fixed. The gas mileage has been pretty rough (it has 235/75 R15 tires on it). I am driving from Victoria to Sidney for work a lot and have been trying to increase my fuel efficiency. What do you think would be the next thing for me to work on? I have a list I am working down and am wondering what my priorities should be? So far I am thinking new plugs and wires, tuneup, alignment, smaller tires, etc.

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Shane
North Cowichan

You should buy a Honda civic for your commute and put some bigger tires on the cherokee!

jas's picture
jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

You might improve the gas milage a bit by doing a tune up. Thats your best bet but that old beast will never be good on gas.

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Ryan
Victoria

Seriously considering the Civic comment :) I may just turn this into a bit of a project log, pictures to come.

I have been working on it a lot in the last month. I changed the rotor/dist cap/wires/plugs and that made a difference. It still really needs a tuneup. I managed to break the head off of one of the bolts for the front driveshaft CV joint, that has driven me a bit crazy, then drilled it out and screwed up tapping it, need a new input yoke, or to put in a bigger bolt. Oh well, a few more bucks down the toilet ;) Fixing lots of funny little problems with electrical, windows, door parts. Next on the list is getting proper sized disconnect-able sway bar end links and some brake work.

If anyone is out junk yarding and sees an older model Cherokee, please let me know!

jas's picture
jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Honestly, I wouldn't bother spending money on quick disconnect sway bar links.

Just take the sway bars off. I have them off in my jeep with 3" lift and 31s and I drive it pretty aggressively.

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Shane
North Cowichan

Yea first thing I do to any new truck is pull the swaybars. Aside from a bit of extra body roll I find it to be a more comfortable ride on the road as well (not to mention the huge improvement off road).

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Ryan
Victoria

Interesting on the sway bars. Ill have to try that. The new sway bars didn't fit quite right, but I managed to get them installed minus the quick release. I think If I use wing nuts, I can get them to pop off quite quickly. Here are a few pics at work up a mountain and post plug/wire change.

Does anyone know what the sensor thing on the second last pic is? It fell off and was smashing against the front crankshaft. I haven't been able to find where it should go. I thought it was the crankshaft position sensor, but there is one installed where that should be.

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Ryan
Victoria

Does anyone have a good/cheaper suggestion for replacing the drivers bucket seat? It is too short for me, and I would like one that has a good head rest.

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Larry
Nanaimo

I replaced mine with seats from a WJ, the seat bracket from yours will bolt directly to the WJ seats making them a direct bolt on. Grand Cherokee (ZJ) seats are also a direct bolt on.
The WJ seats sit about an inch taller which I liked.
If you get WJ seats with power options you'll have to fab up your own brackets if you want to keep the power options. I just used some angle iron welded to original WJ brackets, then its just a matter of adding power/ground.

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Ryan
Victoria

Thanks! That is very helpful and narrows my search considerably.

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