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Unread 08-11-2015, 05:51 PM   #1
Frane
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: La Terrisse, France
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French High Grounds WJ

So let's get started
I found this WJ on a German website, 4,7 V8, green, and cheap, around 200K Kms. It's a 2000 model, sold in Germany in December 1999.
After contacting the vendor, I finally have the info: it's a quadradrive, exactly what I'm looking for, it's done: I'll soon have a Jeep!

2 weeks later, I'm in Germany, ready to get my new toy, I came by plane, then train, and the garage is in front of the station, sweet!

The outside paint is ok for a 15yo car, tires are ok, General Grabber UHP, that's for street use, and will be swapped fro 50/50 Street/OffRoad tires.
Leather inside is old, and the car smells smoke, yeurk, I'll leave windows open...

Anyway, engine started, it growls, looking ready to go, wich is good as we are 1200km from home.

Paperwork done, here I am, on the Autobahn, in my Jeep, with my own German transit license plates.

First impressions, it's powerfull and fun to drive, brakes, as expected, shake, they need to be changed (ATE ****), climate control doesn't work, actually, the blower doesn't, I can feel some fresh air..

Due to poor braking, I don't feel safe enpough to drive past 180 kmh, remember, it's Germany, some parts of the Autobahn are free, you can drive as fast as you like, and I used to cruise around 220-230 kmh with my previous Audi.

As I have a big empty trunk, I stop to shop some German beer before I leave Germany to Belgium, then Paris, France..

This was my first day with my Jeep, and I like it.

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Unread 08-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #2
Frane
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First pic taken

And the inside, this yellow-ish light doesn't look good, will be swapped for LEDs
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Unread 08-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #3
Frane
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Unread 08-11-2015, 06:04 PM   #4
thecause17
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That's quite a long drive, especially in a vehicle that you're not sure of what issues it may have. It looks nice, hope you enjoy it.
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Unread 08-11-2015, 07:45 PM   #5
mr312712
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Makes me want to move to Germany. Lol no speed limits and I have my speed limiter removed, now that's the life.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
Frane
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Day 2, I have a meeting in Paris center, so I can test the WJ in a crowdy city, it won't happen that often, WJ is meant to be used at the farm.

Front brakes don't only shake when decelerating from German high speed, they overheat and seize in traffic jam... with a nice smell of burmt brakes, and the marvellous handling that a blocked right front brake can give. The whole thing will be swapped for Akebono stuff ASAP.

Also, I don't have the code for the radio, I love the sound of my V8, but I'm gone for more 600 Km, and would stay awake, finally, I chose to sing as loud as I can during the trip to the mountains, let's head to the farm.

Gone after my work day, I'm home around 1 AM, wifey heard the sound of the engine and got up to welcome her man, lucky me!

Next day, I'm out on a track around home, it's great to drive the Jeep off the highways, and even with street tires, it goes pretty well.

Next will come a MOT check (Controle Technique in French, TüV for Germans, MOT for English, DOT for US, you get the idea), compulsory before you get it registered.

Before that, I order some parts for the Jeep:

Akebono calipers
EBC slotted discs
EBC Yellow stuff pads
PrecisionLED kit for WJ
Tailgate, hatch and hood supports (all are dead, can't leave anything open)

[IMG][/IMG]
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Unread 08-12-2015, 07:50 PM   #7
KayCeeJeep
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Nice! Welcome to Jeep ownership. This is a great place for support, you will probably need quite a bit at first.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
Frane
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Parts are here

Swapping all the supports is quite easy, now the tailgate and hood remain open without falling on my head, yay!

About LED lights, the forum and it's explanations on how to remove the different parts where really usefull, thanks guys.
I chose 'cool white' lights, all in LED, but the foot lights, so I don't need to plug a resistor in line.
It's really bright, I can find anything in the car now.

Brakes are the longest part, but in a few hours, it was done, new discs, calipers and pads.

Calipers are Akebono rebuilts, the caliper itself came bare metal, with golden anodized supports. I painted the calipers black to avoid rust.


EBC discs are black, this of course won't stay were the pads are in contact, and will protect the discs everywhere else.
I chose slotted discs to keep the pads clean.


Some of you guys mentionned the yellow stuff pads from EBC being good, so I followed your advice and got a kit of those.


Mounting is easy, nothing was too rusted, no fight against any bolt, I must admit I was expecting worse.

Now time for the local MOT check
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Unread 08-14-2015, 09:43 AM   #9
SteeleJay
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Very nifty work - it's always cool to see people doing the work themselves. You going to keep it mostly stock or go wild?
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Unread 08-14-2015, 10:08 AM   #10
Frane
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Thank you SteeleJay, it's a daily driver, so I'll keep it close to stock. I spend my free time in a farm, 3000 ft high, so I need this kind of vehicle in winter, plus some of our land is only accessible by trails.
I actually own other cars, one is gone really wild (1/4 mile drag), I like working on my cars... and tractors.
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Unread 08-15-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
Frane
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MOT report:
The car brakes ok, but front brake lines show some wear, stupid me, I changed the brakes and didn't check them...
Lights are ok, suspension ok, pollution ok, but the muffler is dead, so CO is at max value admitted.
There is a little surface rust, nothing bad for a German car, they use lots of salt in winter there... as we do in my mountains.
Front tires are still good, but will have to be changed soon.

By the way, for now, I have General Grabber UHP, thinking of General grabber AT to replace them, any advice on how they behave on snow?

So globally, the check went ok, but I will have to replace the brake lines and come back to get the go.

Next parts to order:
Brake lines
Kolak exhaust
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Unread 08-16-2015, 09:52 AM   #12
JohnnyV
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My brother has the General grabber AT tires on his 2000 WJ 4.7L. He loves them! We live on top of a hill, street is paved and we had tons of snow this past winter and he had no problem driving up the hill in snow and this is in two wheel drive as his front drive isn't working.

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on being a Jeep owner!
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Unread 08-16-2015, 04:32 PM   #13
Frane
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Thanks JohnnyV for the info on GT Grabber AT's, I'll go this way.

Brake lines were changed the week after the MOT check, and I went to the second check last week, now everyting is ok.

Rims went black in the process:



I used plastidip cans, we'll see how it looks like after some time

I received my Kolak exhaust:



I must say that Nick at Kolak is really as nice as everyone said here on the forum, so thanks Nick for your service, and thanks forum members for giving the link.

I also found a tow hitch at the local junkyard, for 100€, that's a German Brink one, just the same as Thomas (Thomashawk), another great inspiration before I chose to get a WJ, mange tak, Thomas.
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Unread 08-20-2015, 02:59 AM   #14
Frane
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Kolak exhaust and tow hitch are in

The exhaust was pretty easy to set up, if you can weld, you just have to follow the posts about it, the parts are just fitting right. I used the old tip as a reduction cone to go from 2.5' to 3', once reworked a bit, it does the trick just right.
I'm not into shiny show-off stuff so much, so I didn't use the kit tip, the exhaust pipe fits just right in my opinion.
The sound of all this is realy better, growls deeper, and barks when downshifting, even if I can't really compare with an oem exhaust, mine was dead for good, with holes in the muffler, so it was kinda noisy already. About performance, I honestly don't know, looks like it revs faster, tiny mountain roads aren't the best place for performance tests.
The hitch was as well an easy thing to do, besides the rusted bolts on exhaust side, these were baked by the heat, but with some WD40 and a good pull, they finally came loose.
About the rear bumper, I readed on the forum threads that it was real hard to remove, actually, if you manage to access the 2 bolts from the wheel well, things get more simple, no need to remove the impact absorbing foam.
I used a jack to hold the tow hitch in place before I get all the bolts in place. I cut the bumper with a hand saw, electric might be faster, but I am prone to be a bit enthusiastic with electric cutting tools, ending in cutting more than needed...

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Unread 08-20-2015, 05:50 AM   #15
Frane
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Location: La Terrisse, France
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Last monday, the WJ showed it's ability to go anywhere.
The day started with bringing salt to the cows, up the mountain, where they stay for summer.
The place is a circus, 1600 m high, (5250 ft), the access is a trail done with a bulldozer in the 70's, no one drives there but us, occasionally, with the Toyota Land Cruiser, only trekkers and cows use this trail actually. It's rolling rocks, few springs, plain rock and dirt, then grass.
As I didn't swapped the street tires yet, I was expecting some difficulties to access there, I selected 4Lo, 1st gear and go.
The Jeep showed... nothing, just went there with some shaking due to climbing the stones one after another, it's even easier than with the Toyota.

I did a video:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nm-AS2cgFqg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Then, after giving the said salt (candy for cows), fixing the fence (Mr Bull thought it was looking better the other side, so he broke off), inspecting the whole edge for any escape route Mr Bull could have planned, I got a call from wifey, 9 month pregnant: Time to drive to the hospital, baby on the way!

Here's were I was parked when I got the call:

*



This is 70 Km from the farm, trail then mountain narrow paved roads, and home is 80 kms high road from hospital!

I drove down the rough trail (slowly), then down the dirt trail, faster, then down the moutain road (even faster) to reach a wide road, where I catched up with a brand new Mercedes CLS 350 and showed how the V8 ( and new brakes) can speed between curves.
Then I get wifey and drove her (slower) comfortably to the hospital.

There are not so many cars that can show such a range of driving possibilities, the Toyota sure can drive offroad, but isn't comfy at all on pavement, and not so fast, not to say about 'normal' cars (like my old Audi quattro), that can drive good on pavement but show no off-road ability.

Baby is born now, and her first ride back home will be in a Jeep, as it's a family car too.
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