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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
JasonosaJ
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Shohola, PA
Posts: 14
Bunch of Grand Wagoneer questions

Hey there! My mind brought me back to the idea of buying a wagoneer, and I am currently looking at an 89 and a 90, so I had a few questions about them.

I havent worked much with wagoneers (mostly just XJs and a few yj's and tj's), or at all for that matter. I have heard a few things already about them being fairly work-reliant and to only get one if you want to turn into a full time jeep mechanic. How true do you all find that to be? Compared to XJs and wranglers, about how reliable/maintenance and repair needy are they?

This would be primarily a daily driver, but I would relatively quickly be lifting it a good 4 inches or something around there and putting some 33s under it. Most wheeling in my area (northern pennsylvania) is mudding more than crawling.. except well, crawling out of the mud.. sometimes literally. That being said, the "trails," if you are generous enough to call them that, are relatively compact. However, most of us who drive together run XJs, which are only a bit smaller than GWs. I imagine I could get the wagoneer to about the same places as the XJs.. sound accurate to you guys?

On top of all this, what years are typically "better" than others? I was leaning towards the 89... anything I need to know? What are the main problem areas of them in general, and whats most important to look at/for when buying?

I want a waggy primarilly because I like them a bit and they are rather unique around here (I see so many wranglers it makes me a little sick some times, and most of my buddies have cherokees), but I am not sure just how suitable one would be for wheeling here. Anybody with some input/experience on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

Edit: Also, whats the visibility in the thing like, compared to a cherokee if possible. Have heard (and it makes sense) that you are pretty much blind while off road in the things.

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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
pleontks
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1976 J-Series Truck 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Whetstone, Az
Posts: 1,130
I've got an 87 XJ and a 76 jtruck. My truck has never stranded me. Nor has the XJ. XJ has sensors to diagnose and has good mpg. FSJ has carb and timing to do, and not so good mpg.

The hood on the FSJ is big square and long. Little disconcerting on the trail if you're not paying attention, but as long as you remember that what you're seeing is still 10 ft in front of you, it's not bad. Gets you good at setting and remembering your lines.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
JasonosaJ
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Shohola, PA
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pleontks View Post
I've got an 87 XJ and a 76 jtruck. My truck has never stranded me. Nor has the XJ. XJ has sensors to diagnose and has good mpg. FSJ has carb and timing to do, and not so good mpg.

The hood on the FSJ is big square and long. Little disconcerting on the trail if you're not paying attention, but as long as you remember that what you're seeing is still 10 ft in front of you, it's not bad. Gets you good at setting and remembering your lines.
Thanks for the reply! As long as its at least on par with an older XJ's reliability, I am satisfied aha. That's the main thing.. I want to be able to get from point A to B every time

The visibility was about what I figured judging from what you are saying.. Sounds fine for me though... Decent learning curve!


Any further input is still completely appreciated!
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
ayycharlay92
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elkton, maryand
Posts: 185
i have an 87 grand wagoneer im trying to get rid of if your interested
i live in md so we arent to far from each other
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Unread 05-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #5
jkwheels
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Marblehead, MA
Posts: 88
I'm looking for a wagoneer. Can you send pictures of the 87
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Unread 05-03-2013, 04:28 AM   #6
JasonosaJ
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Shohola, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayycharlay92 View Post
i have an 87 grand wagoneer im trying to get rid of if your interested
i live in md so we arent to far from each other
Neat.. If is in good driving condition (all ready to be a reliable DD as is), then send me some pictures in a message or something! I'd love to take a look.

Thanks
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Unread 05-03-2013, 06:13 AM   #7
muddy93
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1987 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Templeton, Indiana
Posts: 1,908
A lot will depend on the condition that it's in when you purchase it.

I traded a YJ for my 87 grand wag, and drove it 300 miles home without any issues. As I was pulling into my driveway, it died and then didn't leave the garage for quite a while.

However, after a carb rebuild, new radiator, transmission fluid and filter, new vac lines, new battery cables, and a tune up, it's been trouble free for almost two years now.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that they are just like any other older vehicle. If it's in good shape to start with, and you keep it maintained, it will serve you well.


Also, the rear overhand on the wagoneers is rather long, so your departure angle isn't going to be that great. And, you can most likely fit a narrow 33 with only 4" of lift, but if you want to run a wider tire, you might be better off going with either a 6" lift, or doing a SOA/SF (Spring Over Axle conversion on the front/Shackle Flip on the rear).
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Unread 05-03-2013, 06:18 AM   #8
ayycharlay92
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elkton, maryand
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonosaJ

Neat.. If is in good driving condition (all ready to be a reliable DD as is), then send me some pictures in a message or something! I'd love to take a look.

Thanks
I've had it since December, I had to put a trans in it. It's been running till recently last week it won't stay running for long, It's not getting fuel to the engine for some reason. It wi start and run, and about after a mile or 2 it starts to spudder. So I know with a little more TLC it should be good to go. But I wouldn't trust driving it home i would recommend a trailer. In all honesty
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Unread 05-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #9
ayycharlay92
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elkton, maryand
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonosaJ

Neat.. If is in good driving condition (all ready to be a reliable DD as is), then send me some pictures in a message or something! I'd love to take a look.

Thanks
But I also have a brand new 6 inch lift for it that I'm selling with it too. And it's all got a good price.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 06:20 AM   #10
ayycharlay92
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elkton, maryand
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwheels
I'm looking for a wagoneer. Can you send pictures of the 87
PM me with a phone number I'll send you pictures
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Unread 05-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
JasonosaJ
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Shohola, PA
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayycharlay92 View Post
I've had it since December, I had to put a trans in it. It's been running till recently last week it won't stay running for long, It's not getting fuel to the engine for some reason. It wi start and run, and about after a mile or 2 it starts to spudder. So I know with a little more TLC it should be good to go. But I wouldn't trust driving it home i would recommend a trailer. In all honesty
Well, hey thanks for the offer and the honesty. I usually get stuck dealing with those who will go to just about any extent to sell me what they are trying to sell and just "leave out" some details aha. The community is certainly one more reason I love these forums!

Anyway, I still havent made up my mind entirely about what exactly I want to do, so if I have a change in heart I certainly may be interested in your waggy. If I do, ill message you or something about it.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
ayycharlay92
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elkton, maryand
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonosaJ

Well, hey thanks for the offer and the honesty. I usually get stuck dealing with those who will go to just about any extent to sell me what they are trying to sell and just "leave out" some details aha. The community is certainly one more reason I love these forums!

Anyway, I still havent made up my mind entirely about what exactly I want to do, so if I have a change in heart I certainly may be interested in your waggy. If I do, ill message you or something about it.
Sounds good man
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Unread 05-05-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
jamesdart
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1978 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: nj
Posts: 553
i have a 78. i always liked it long before i got it. i like the round headlights and lack of wood tape. it is a quadratrac, and if i was to buy another one, i would try really hard to not get another quadratrac truck again. there is no cheap or easy way to swap it out. i like the older simpler trucks, but i think the best bet would be an 80s model one with a part time transfer case, dana 44 front and rear, the non disconect front axle.
they fit pretty good on the trails. they arent full size truck wide. the wheelbase isnt super long. i think visibility is pretty good. they dont flex like a coil spring rig but it still works, the only bad part about the wagoneer is the huge overhang behind the rear wheels, but if you arent rock crawling it shouldnt be a major problem.
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