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My Old XJ

Stock 1985 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer bought used in 1986 with 47k miles. No bells or whistles. My dad loved whitewall tires so that's why they're on.

I saved up some money and in the summer of 1988 I got extruded running boards with lights and a grille guard.

I also got a bug deflector that has "CHEROKEE" and headlight stone guards.

Now this is spring 1995

I got some white letter Dunlop Radial Rovers 235/75/R15 when I worked at an auto parts store in January 1994.

I had rust problems on my rocker panels and tried sanding them and painting them orange. I wish I could've seen the rust problems to come.

My cousin sold me lights off his truck and he mounted them on the roof for me.

I also painted the grille guard blue after some rust problems with it.

Now I've done a better sanding job on the rockers, removed the door moldings and painted them orange again.

My cousin also gave me his old hood bra off his Ford Ranger that fit my Cherokee.

I took off the "CHEROKEE" on the deflector with rubbing alcohol. It was also cracked from hitting a large bug.

I spray painted the wheels black and removed the 'jeep' centers.

Also got a rear window air deflector bolted on.

I got orange oil-based paint from the local Quality Farm & Fleet store and painted the whole jeep with a brush and roller. Seriously.

Two coats out of one half-gallon can with some to spare. Lots of runs could be seen up close. Didn't care.

No one else had an orange Cherokee, no one probably wanted one, but orange is my favorite color.

I believe it was Allis-Chalmers Orange oil-based paint.

After 2 years, I had to repaint it since the paint faded to a mild orange.

A also removed the driver's side light on the roof because of water leakage onto my left leg. LOL.

It was an unseasonably warm November day during buck season in 1997.

On a whim, I decided to paint it John Deere Green. I wanted olive drab, but they didn't have it in oilbased! Oh well.

So in the summer of 1999 I painted over the green with Case Orange oil-based paint and this is what it looked like that winter 1-20-00.

I also had to rivet sheet metal over my rocker panels because of rust and underneath the floor boards.

It was a beater. The one I have now is much better even before the lift and new tires!

In April 2000, I had just driven west past the Snow Shoe exit on I-80 and my jeep shut off and smoke was billowing out the hood after I popped the hood release.

I could see paint bubbling in the middle of the hood and knew this wasn't good.

I pulled over, opened the hood and it was on fire underneath the carb area. I put it out with some drinking water.

A nice older couple gave me a ride to my home some 30 miles away.

AAA towed it to my house and a mechanic told me that there was a short in the wiring harness.

The insurance company totaled it and it was towed to a junk yard where it still sits.

I got to keep the grille guard as a souvenir.

Because of all the dents and sheetmetal work on the rockers & the un-profeesional paint job, I didn't get as much money as I could have.

The insurance adjuster didn't see the sheet metal underneath!

I got $1577 out of a possible $2484. I had 104k miles on it.