Repairs after the Stolen Vehicle was Recovered

I don't understand the mindset of a thief.  I had parked my Cherokee in the driveway of one of my rental properties (so it would look like someone was there) and it was taken.  Apparently, they cut off the antenna and used it to pop the lock to get in.  They pulled out the dome light (I guess so they wouldn't be seen) and threw out the cover.  They ripped out the radio and the battery and since they didn't have the tools to remove them, they broke the mounts for both.  They tore out the passenger side kick panel for some reason and threw it out, too.  Other than that, they got my XM radio, a tow bar, and a hitch ball.  I doubt if they got more than $50 for what they stole, but it's going to cost me a lot more than that to get it back into shape.  I had to pay the city $180 to get my jeep out of storage, then another $80 to have it towed to a jeep dealer to get a new ignition switch and battery put in.  I probably should have done the battery myself, but at the time I had a vehicle that wouldn't run and I had nowhere to do the work.

I started my repairs by making a trip to Pick-n-Pull.  It's a junk yard where you can get used items for really cheap, but you have to take them out yourself.  I had bought a new radio, but the thieves had taken the radio mount, so my primary goal was to find a new mount.  I hit the jackpot, though.  Not only did I find the mount, but I found a working, original equipment radio.  I also found a new dome light lens, a kick panel, and the mounting hardware for the antenna.  All of that cost me $22.00.

The radio was ripped out.

I managed to find an original radio to put in.

Replacing the Radio

I already discussed earlier how to replace the radio, but I want to add one thing.  I found a great web site that provides the wiring diagrams for car radios.  Check out http://www.modifiedlife.com/1995-jeep-cherokee-car-radio-stereo-audio-wiring-diagram/.  The truth is, you can buy adapter kits for less than $10 if you want to hook up a new radio, but if your wiring has already been changed, or you'd just want to save the ten bucks, you should check out this site.

While the link takes you to the 95 Jeep Cherokee page, they seem to have a complete list of wiring diagrams for whatever vehicle you want.

Replacing the Kick Panel

I was really lucky to find a kick panel that matched my tan interior.

The kick panel is really simple to install, and I was lucky to find one that matched my interior.  It seems that most Cherokees have a black interior.  You have to remove at least the first two screws on the door threshold (it's the two screws you can see in the picture).  This should give you enough room to pull that piece under the door out far enough to fit the kick plate under it.  Then you just have to replace those two screws and there's one more in the center of the kick panel.  The panel cost me less than $3.00 at Pick-n-Pull and really makes the interior look nicer.

Antenna and Dome Light Lens

Finally, I had two small things left to repair.  A new antenna is fairly simple to put on, but make sure you keep the original mounting pieces.  The hole for the antenna is on a corner of the car and you'll need the original mounting hardware to make it fit.  I put some black spray paint on the pieces just to make them look a little better.  Actually, I'd had the original antenna on the vehicle, I could have just bought a new antenna mast and screwed it on.  If you're going to run a new antenna into the car, you'll need to remove the kick panel to get to the connection.
The dome light lens just pops right into place.