Nick's New 1966 Wagoneer Build
Hello all and welcome to the build thread for this brand-new-to-me 1966 Wagoneer. I have been in the Jeep world for a while now, and recently traded this ’96 Cherokee for my daily drive and until very recently only car: an ’89 2 wheel drive S-10. But that was when I was a poor college student working part time, and now I am a poor part time college student working full time, so I was happy to get the chance to get back into a Jeep!
And what a Jeep:
1966 Kaiser Jeep Corporation Wagoneer
AMC 327 “Viginalte” V8
Automatic (not my favorite feature…)
Dana-20 transfer case
During the 35 mile ride home it never got over 190 degrees and held 50psi of oil pressure at speed (just under 20 at idle). Most of the ride was on the freeway and it tracked perfect at 60mph. The guy I got it from had it shipped from Washington State, nice and solid body and frame!
So there you have it, pretty solid foundation! Now, what is he going to do with it?! Well after reading Dr. Marneaus’ build thread I really like what he’s doing. Keeping things as original as he can, and updating where/when he can. So my initial thoughts are along the lines of:
31” or 33” tires not sure yet, Marneaus says his 33s rub a bit, so that’s to be determined…
I’d like to replace the trans with a manual, but that’s also to be dertermined…
Fix the little rust around the wheel wells
I basically want a hunting/camping/go anywhere vehicle, so reliability, and simplicity are at the top of my list. Beyond that I am open to suggestions, and will be fixing whatever needs fixing as I go along.
Enjoy some pictures!!
My old Cherokee:
What the Old Cherokee turned into:
And the Wagoneer:
Well after an afternoon of driving around I ran into my first hiccup... I was showing the Jeep off to my cousins, went to close the tailgate, and shattered the rear window. :brickwall Whoops! So now that I feel "special" I am in the market for new rear glass.
Other than that it ran like a top, a little hard to start in the 30 degree weather but that was to be expected. I also noticed some slop in the rear gear set, so that will have to be looked into before too long as well.
Adjusted the high-idle this morning, starts much better now! Parked it in it's spot for the week, with my custom new rear window to keep the rain we are supposed to have during the week out.
Where did the window go? (nice headliner too huh?)
Ah, there it is!
Fixed? For the time being...
Resting for the week after being driven the most in one day probably in a few years...
Just crawled out from under the Wagoneer, number 1 rule of thumb for an Ohio vehicle that I buy used, I don't care how old it is, replace the brake lines! Well these arn't rusted at all, so I don't hardly know what to do?! :confused: Actually that's a lie, I will leave them be.
Other things that I noticed, new oil filter, new rubber sections of the trans cooler lines, and after sitting in my driveway for a few days, the only leak is a slow ooze from the t-case. This thing was well maintained!!
Still sourcing new glass for the rear, and a carb kit is on order, it was leaking some gas, so I figured just rebuild it while I am thinking about it.
All I've got for the past few days.
I found rear glass! Found it from a local guy who I should be able to get it from before the end of the weekend. So this weekend's project will be removing my tailgate, and cleaning it up as best I can. Vacuum all of the glass out of it, as well as all of the foliage that has wandered into it in the past 47 years. I have some Rustoleum bed liner I will put on for the inside of the vehicle. And I'll grease the gears for the window winder. I'll need to order some dew wipes and whatnot to protect the glass, but for now it will be nice to get rid of the cardboard, and drive it around without the breeze from the back!
Nice wag. How do your floor boards look?
I haven't taken the carpeting up yet, but I crawled around under it and they are solid, one spot in a corner where there is a rust hole, that has been repaired already.
Picture under the passenger side floor:
Awesome! Looks like a solid rig so far.
Ill keep it short since I'm on my phone haha.
1. 33's are technically too big for a 4" lift. My fenders are cut and I still rub. Don't do it, you'll not like the result. I'm still going to add a 1" body lift to try and help out.
2. Don't worry about the auto tranny, just rock it. It should be a turbo400, they are cheap, easy, and bulletproof. Still being used today in HMMWV's if you believe it or not!
I love Grand Wagoneers, I can't wait to have another build to follow! Check out www.teamgrandwagoneer.com, they might have parts you're looking for!
1. Noted! I am going to get a set of tires for it for now, and see how it will do stock, so I'll still have a while yet to research exactly what I want to do as far as a lift and tire size.
2. I knew HMMVW's were automatic, didn't know that they used a TH400. But the more I read into the TH400, which I do have, the more I like it for what it is. Still wish I could shift gears, but I don't have a problem with easier hill starts with a 4,600lb Jeep, especially when I go hunting in PA!
if the only reason you want a stick shift is because you're used to it, or you grew up with them, it it makes you more bad *** on the trail, try the auto for a while.
I was die hard stick shift advocate. When i was looking to buy a new jeep, my 2 stipulations were that it was a CJ, and stick shift....annnnndddddd I got an automatic wagoneer.
I always thought driving stick offroad was way more impressive, made you a better driver, an auto was too "Easy" Hahaha.
Well the first time i did anything technical in my wagoneer, i was instantly converted. The auto was sooooo much better off road. I guess technically it was easier, but not in a bad way. Driving a stick shift WAS harder, but not in a cool way, in an "this is more difficult in every aspect, and there's no reason for it to be that way" type of way.
Torque multiplication is a fantastic thing. You can spin that engine up to 3000 RPM and you wont burn a single thing up if even if you are moving at .2mph over a rock. You'll never burn a clutch, you can brake and gas at the same time, you simply glide over everything, no more jerking around. You can still stop it into 1st in low range if you are trying to coast down a hill, and can still keep it in 1st when going up a hill at low speed.
Trust me, wheel it a little bit, drive with it a little bit, it's fine. I still love stick, but i love the auto too, and have no issues with it. Its so much nicer offroad, really it is.
I picked up my "new" glass today, it was only a half hour away so not too bad. Took the tailgate off, 3 of the 8 bolts did not snap, so I'll count that as a win. The dew wipes were definitely off of the Jeep for a while, based on the top soil that was forming in the bottom, rusted out the exterior where the hinges are.
So vacuumed out the glass riddled forest on the inside, painted everything up, re-installed the glass, re-installed the tailgate, and it's good to go!
My new glass:
Removed the tailgate to clean it up, paint the interior and replace the glass:
Took a lot of the glass out, then realized I should take a picture, I think this was under a tree for a while...
Have to take the stickers off, but it's better than cardboard!
Just sharing my experience, because i came from the exact same position as you did, and had the exact same mentality.
good job on the glass replacement. looks like the one you got had defrost. wooo fancy!
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