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  #1  
Old 04-12-2022, 12:30 PM
1978Chief's Avatar
1978Chief 1978Chief is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Oct 14, 2020
Location: District of Columbia
Posts: 6
Restoring my first FSJ

Hello, everyone!

I'm restoring my first FSJ: a 1978 Cherokee Chief with frame and engine numbers matching. The FSJ was imported from the US to Guatemala in 1978 has spent all of its life in the tropics without any exposure to salt.

The first owner had it for 4 years and the second owner for 5. The third owner bought it in 1987 and kept it running for 33 years until 2020. The FSJ is now undergoing a frame-off restoration in Guatemala City, before being shipped back to the US.

Engine: AMC 360 CID V-8 4-bbl.
Transmission: Borg-Warner T-18A 4-speed manual
Transfer case: 2 speed Dana 20 standard with 2:1 low range gear reduction
Rear and front axles: Dana 44
Color: Alpine White
Interior: Beige Levi's Cloth

I hope to meet many FSJ enthusiasts along this journey.

Last edited by 1978Chief : 04-13-2022 at 11:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2022, 06:11 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA/Boise, ID
Posts: 4,808
Sounds super awesome! thanks for joining up! What are your plans for it? Keep it stock? some mods?
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79 Cherokee Chief (SOLD, goodbye old buddy)
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
00 Baby Cherokee
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2022, 11:35 PM
1978Chief's Avatar
1978Chief 1978Chief is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Oct 14, 2020
Location: District of Columbia
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Sounds super awesome! thanks for joining up! What are your plans for it? Keep it stock? some mods?
Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm still figuring it out but I've been thinking of installing a lift kit, headers, and possibly a Flowmaster or Magnaflow exhaust.

If I would like to install 31x10.5x15 tires do you think I will need a lift kit? Any recommendations?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2022, 12:02 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA/Boise, ID
Posts: 4,808
If yours is a true 78 Chief (wide track) than you can fit 33x12.50x15s on stock wheels and not rub. the 31x10.50x15's look kinda small on a wide track in my opinion. The tires I have are 285/75R16 (about 32.75") and they fit great. I have about 3" of lift now but had these tires on even before the lift and they fit then.

My ad for my Chief for sale
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79 Cherokee Chief (SOLD, goodbye old buddy)
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
00 Baby Cherokee
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2022, 11:31 AM
1978Chief's Avatar
1978Chief 1978Chief is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Oct 14, 2020
Location: District of Columbia
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
If yours is a true 78 Chief (wide track) than you can fit 33x12.50x15s on stock wheels and not rub. the 31x10.50x15's look kinda small on a wide track in my opinion. The tires I have are 285/75R16 (about 32.75") and they fit great. I have about 3" of lift now but had these tires on even before the lift and they fit then.

My ad for my Chief for sale

Yes, it's a true Cherokee Chief (wide wheel model) with flared fenders and a 3.54 axle ratio.

Thank you so much for the advice -I always thought that installing 33s required a lift kit to avoid rubbing. I agree with you: a set of 33s would look awesome. Did you lose acceleration after installing the 33s? I've heard that after installing 33s some adjustments in the axles are needed to recover acceleration. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2022, 01:09 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA/Boise, ID
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Mine was a dumpster fire when I bought it, and then I swapped tires/rims, it was not running yet so these are the only size I have ever known. Factory tires on a WT were 31" tall so 33"s are not that much bigger.

On a Narrow track 33's DO require a lift but us WTs, no need.
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79 Cherokee Chief (SOLD, goodbye old buddy)
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
00 Baby Cherokee
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  #7  
Old 04-14-2022, 09:31 PM
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sierrablue sierrablue is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Jan 24, 2022
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 164
Welcome! Your rig sounds awesome! If you're going with all terrains either way I'd probably go with the 33s, too, or maybe some 32x9.5s depending on what you're doing. 31s wouldn't be too bad either though.

Was the interior good when you got it, or did you find the cloth somewhere to recover them? I love those cloth Levi's interiors...
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Current Rig:
'71 Wagoneer (DD)
B350/TH400/D20
open knuckle D44 front (disc brakes)
6-lug conversion rear
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...79#post1734879

Previous Rig:
Tan '88 Grand Wagoneer
.030 over 401, TBI, headers
3" exhaust
31x10.5s
2" rear lift blocks
custom headliner
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...77#post1734777

"The engineering side of me says that it's more than strong enough. The redneck side of me says that it's going to fall apart and I need to beef it up."--somebody I know
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2022, 07:11 PM
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backroadin' backroadin' is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Aug 11, 2004
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,101
3.54's aren't bad, but you will lose some acceleration with 33's, however it won't be a dog or anything. The real question is what you want out of the rig: do you want snappy take off and good performance or are you just gonna cruise around and enjoy the ride? Are looks more important than performance? If you want a cruiser and like the looks of a lift and bigger tires, then go for the 33's and my advice would be to lift it even if it doesn't necessarily need it, because a 4" lift and 33's will make that thing look pretty good vs 33's and no lift. I personally don't like the looks of bigger tires with no lift.
Conversly, if you want to be able to mash the gas and go like hell, then stay with 31's or change to 4.11 gears.
My guess is you're not looking to race at the traffic lights, so I'd say keep what you have and make it look like you want it to. If you like the look of it as it sits now, go with 31's. If you like a lifted look, BJ's has a pretty straight foward 4" lift, and 33x12.5 or 32x11.5" tires will look really nice.
Can't wait to see some pics of that ride - white with beige levi interior sounds nice.
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"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads." -- Dr Emmett Brown

"When this baby reaches 88 miles per hour, you're gonna to see some serious sht!"

73 Wagoneer - 4.6L Stroker (yeah baby!!) t176/d300, 3.73's, 33" muds, 4"spring lift, 2" body. Offy dualport w/ Quadrajet, pertronix, flowmaster.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2022, 06:04 PM
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chubbinius chubbinius is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 291
Glad you have joined up! Very cool to know the history of your rig too! Looking forward to seeing your progress as your restoration progresses.
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1970 1414X Wagoneer "The Pig"
-Dauntless 350 V8
-D27 front/D44 rear
2006 XK (65th Ann Edition)-DD
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2022, 06:39 PM
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devildog80 devildog80 is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Apr 13, 2022
Location: Apache Junction AZ
Posts: 337
Looking forward to watching your build thread

Welcome to the IFSJA family
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'81 CJ5 Base, 258 I6, MC2100, T176 4 spd, 300 TC, D30 Front NT, 3.31, 2-Piece AMC 20 rear NT, 3.31, 4" high arc spring lift

'84 Grand Wagoneer, 401 V8 (.030 over), MC2150 HA Comp, 727 auto, Selec-trac NP229, AMC 20 REAR - D44 FRONT - WT 3.31, 4" high arc spring lift

Rather be driving, than waiting to be modified
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