Build thread update (the real reason I came to my own build thread).
Since doing a deep charge on my Autozone Gold (and no other repairs or diagnostics) I haven't had any more no-start or slow-starting issues, even parked for a week. So, it seems like some fluke thing that was causing my issues before. I am sure IOD is still too high but its not showing any actual symptoms.
For Christmas, I went and drove over the passes, picked up my 4 brothers-in-law and brought them over for the family dinner. Took them all back the next day in the snow. "Chains Required" on the passes, drove over 150 miles in the snow. There were a few hairy parts - I was running over-inflated on my Silent Armors for better freeway mileage with 1000lbs of humans + gear, so when I was driving back with just myself, there was a definite lack of traction. Nothing that couldn't be handled with cautious driving though. The only really dangerous times were when someone spun out on the freeway 2 cars in front of me, and when I started crabwalking down a hill on a sheet of black ice. Nothing you can do on ice without real winter tires, studs, or chains.
And the WJ got something for Christmas - a 500lb hitch mount cargo carrier. I've been wanting one for a while, so the wife picked one up for me. I had to grind just a little on the main tube, but in doing so I can now fit it either in the rear hitch or the front hitch. Paint it up, and voila! It fits 2 of our large camping totes and 2 of the medium totes easily, so that will open up a HUGE amount of room in the WJ when we want to go camping. Plus I can use it for hauling stuff I don't want to store in the Jeep like bags of dirt, bark, sand, etc. I'm pretty stoked about it.
I've also been researching and shopping for other SUVs.
We have 2 kids and my wife is watching a a few others for in-home daycare. So we are looking for a people hauler. And of course we have situations like the above - where I hauled 5 adults in relative discomfort, packed into a WJ like sardines. But! We don't want a minivan. We are also considering something that has high towing capacity (travel trailer) and something that has a lot of cargo room when seating 4 (again, thinking camping with the kids). There are tons of 1st-gen Ford Expeditions on Craigslist under $4k, but then the 2nd-gen are very appealing with their independent suspension and much nicer interior. But since we're talking about only occasional use, not using as a daily driver, the cheaper option is probably the smarter bet. The 1g Lincoln Navigator is basically the same truck as the Expo with a DOHC 5.4L, an extra 40hp and 8500lbs towing capacity, so that's another thought. In researching, the 5.4L spark plug issues seem to be a total non-issue on the DOHC version of the engine - which is a very close relative of the Ford Lightning engine as well as the Mustang Cobra R/Shelby Mustangs... just not supercharged.
One thought we had was filling the Expo and WJ full of gear, then trailering the WJ up to the mountains. Set up a base camp, and take the now-empty WJ wheeling.
If anyone has any thoughts on a full-size SUV that isn't terribly pricey, I'd love to hear it. What is off the list - GM and Toyota.