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We went up the Big Lost River Valley to visit family the other day in Mackay, Idaho.  While out at the corral, looking over the niece's 4-H 'critters', I spied a full-size Cherokee.  I didn't manage to get more than a casual look at it, and know no specifics at this time.  I understand that it was the wife's cousin's first vehicle when she started teaching school 'up there'.  

 

I'm intrigued by this vehicle for some reason.  I remember a couple or three of them hanging around the 4 wheeler club while stationed in Great Falls,  Mt., and they did very well, compared to most of the other full or 'mid size' 4x4 vehicles that attended our drives.

 

About the only specifics I know at this time are that it is yellow, with what looks like a native American-produced beaded hat band, if you understand what I'm talking about, the body color is a faded yellow.  

 

IF I can talk her out of it, the first biggest obstacle will be moving several antique I-H Farmall and John Deere tractors and implements out of the way!  Better, I suppose than digging it out of a mud hole!

 

Will post more later as things develop.

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These were great vehicles, on par with the Grand Wagoneer yet a bit slimmer and utility bent.  A versatile wheelbase, the 2-door models have a large following.  Using AMC's 258 inline six or the range of 304/360 and even 401 V-8s, these vehicles present a nice balance with strong components.  Full-time and part-time 4x4 systems and several other differences distinguish these models.

 

Note the axle types, transfer case, engine and option package.  I'd like to know the year and equipment.  This could be a real find.  I've considered a project around the FSJ Cherokee 2-door for many years.  (A briefly available 4-door has less popularity, I'd opt for a Grand Wagoneer over that model.)  Swapping a Cummins 5.9L ISB 24-valve engine with the right transmission and Dana 60 or AAM 9.25"/11.5" axles would be a possible approach.  33"-35" tires and a heavy spring chassis lift would accompany that swap...My imagination runs wide around the FSJ Cherokee—even a stock restoration would be exciting!

 

Moses

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