After trying out 2 extreme versions of the Jeep community, I think I've finally found a happy medium. My first Jeep was a 04 Wrangler Rubicon with 12,000 original miles. While I loved it, I couldn't justify relegating it to a beater, nor could it join my Mercedes SL among the show queens. So I sold it. The second purchase was by accident a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I wanted a cheap Jeep, but I could never get the Edelbrock carb dialed in quite right, and it left me stranded way too many times. Even though it was cheap, I still it was too nice for me to beat around in. I put it on ebay and about hit the floor when it sold for more than double what I paid for it.
Since then I've been casually shopping, but there was no hurry in the Summer months. Finally this little Gem popped up for cheap. A 1988 Jeep Wagoneer Limited. 2 owner, and the first 12 years of its life were spent in Texas. Only 133,000 miles, and everything works, right down the the power windows and seats, windows, Ice Cold AC, and original stereo. It runs and drives very tight, just as good if not better than the '98-2001 models I had casually looked at. The air filter was not oil soaked and cap test showed no blow by.
My list of repairs are as follows:
Valve cover gasket (doing a good job of rust proofing the engine right now)
Muffler and tail pipe (Not loud, but the long tail pipe is about to go through the back exhaust hanger, and I might as well change the muffler while I'm at it) What kind of muffler bearings do you all use?
Bleed Brakes (Ever so slightly mushy, vehicle sat indoors rarely driven for the last few years)
New Windshield (can't stand cracks)
Detail, Detail, Detail. I might as well make it as clean as I can. I'm going to get some touch up paint and take care of the little chips. There is also one rust bubble on the RR rocker panel that I'm going to attack with some sand paper and POR 15 before it gets serious. The interior is just filthy as well.
I'm also going to try my hand at some feaux finishing on the vinyl wood. While the main large strips down the sides are in good shape, the moldings around them are peeling off badly. I plan to completely remove what remains of the original vinyl wood on the trim, do a subtle wood grain like finish on it, then protect it with some clear coat. I'd use a roller similar to the link below. This should be the most fun.
Tru Texture roller sleeve for Vertical - Wood Grain - eBay (item 300294054503 end time Nov-07-10 05:29:49 PST)
Here are some before shots. Since I'm new to the chassis, I'd also appreciate if you'd point me to some known trouble ares I need to inspect. The U joints are new, and both differentials and the transfer case look nice and clean.