Full size jeep - Cherokee classics 1978 jeep cherokee chief - Restoration
After several years of hesitation and searching many big forums and blog posts, I start the Jeep concept. I finally bought a full-size Jeep model 1978; Jeep Cherokee Chief S with manual gearbox and restored engine, located in the south of France. Initially I had been looking for several types of full-size jeep, like Jeep Wagoneer, 1980 Jeep Cherokee, 1979 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1980 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1978 Cherokee and, in the best case, a 1977 Jeep Cherokee or J10 Jeep, but the 1978 Cherokee Wide Track came at a good time. The 2-door Jeep Cherokee was in a pretty decent condition and more sportive than the Wagoneer with the wide track axles
During the restoration, I tried to return the Jeep to an original, stock vehicle. My search for spare parts was difficult and long. Because my workshop is located at my house, I was able to work for 30 minutes to an hour every few days. This allowed me to take my time and not be rushed with the project. Finding the right products and techniques was also very time-consuming since I did not have much experience with restorations.
The chassis and axles were red with rust. Being unable to separate the chassis from the cabin because of a lack of room, I had to unmount all of it and clean everything with a brush. I covered everything with a rust primer and satin black epoxy paint.
The interior was an optional one ; Levi Blue. This interior (seats and door panels) was covered with a Levi's denim material and also included rivets & buttons similar to those found on their jeans. The whole interior was completely dismantled, disassembled, restored and reassembled. Many chrome parts have been replaced with new parts in better condition. The seats were redone by a saddler.
The paint was done by a professional, since I did not personally have the skills to do it. He added a bit of sheet metal for the holes then applied the two colors separately, starting with the white. The rims were also sandblasted and repainted.
The exterior was the best part. The vehicle that I purchased was not time-correct, and so I had to find 3-part bumpers, a roof rack and the original mirrors. All of the seals are new. All of the chrome elements have been replaced by elements in better conditions. The small triangle window was entirely dismantled and restored.
More images of the restoration?
I have placed, from up to 4 years ago, many pictures on my Facebook page which you can visit to see from the beginning, image by image, the restoration over +1,300 pics. With some, you will find details for your own restoration.
Stay informed about jeep parts production
I am all the time trying to rebuild some hard-to-find parts for Full Size Jeeps like the Gladiator, Wagoneer or Jtruck. This includes design, prototyping,
production and distribution, not to mention the marketing. My goal is to offer you more affordable parts in a small series.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR JEEP
I would like to know more about your own Jeep. As a passionate owner myself, I know exactly how important it is for you.
My contribution to the community FSJ
After this restoration, I have gained great Jeep experience and I wanted to help the Full Size Jeep community, as apparently some of these parts, like Jeep Cherokee, Wagoneer, Gladiator or Jtruck, are no longer manufactured. So I decided to start a project to manufacture and market some of these. I started with the Parking Light Clear Lens Cover. A year later and with much more experience I worked on several projects simultaneously. Find below my current commercialized product and my last project.
My passion for chrome parts
I especially like the chrome parts, but unfortunately those that were in place were either non-existent or in a poor state.
I searched for hours on www.ebay.com for them, and here is my treasure.