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Unread 01-24-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
ToiletDuck
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Waggy first timer questions

I'm thinking of buying a waggy because I love their style, I love jeeps, and frankly I only drive about 200-300 miles a month. I have a few questions and hope i don't step on any toes here asking them

First off I'm not looking for anything fantastic. I'm basically looking around, autotrader/cars.com, for a waggy that runs good. But what are the biggest issues with them? Are they relatively solid vehicles or like Land Rovers where you can expect to be in the shop a half dozen times a year? Mechanically are they well built?

How hard is it to get replacement parts for things like the woodgrain exterior? I've found one for very cheap that runs decent and I was thinking about taking it to a shop to have it painted but I'd also want to replace the wooden panels. What about the interior for seats etc? Any good place to shop for those items?

Thanks for any help and words of wisdom I look forward to hearing from you guys.

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Unread 01-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
WagoneerCraig
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Well like all older rigs , Rust , get rid of the rust . Next its the wiring and vacuume lines. But i totally love mine . Just keep BJ's off road , Team Wagoneer on speed dial. Grab a few basic tools and a Haynes service manual and enjoy . You have this forum support and info to.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
ToiletDuck
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I'm brand new so you're going to have to help me on this. Team Wagoneer?

Do you have a website that's good for getting replacement parts?

Basically I only drive about 300-400 miles a month. I currently have a Silverado I'm looking to sell and was thinking of getting one of these. I've seen several for cheap, ie under $4,000, that I was thinking of paying cash for then just fixing up over time. I really do love their style and ability.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
WagoneerCraig
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There both web sites . .com the names and you'll go directly to them . www.blsoffroad.com , www.teamgrandwagoneer.com
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Unread 01-24-2011, 03:24 PM   #5
ToiletDuck
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Awesome thanks! Let me ask you, what changes would you make to an 83 standard woody? What upgrades should be made to the engine? Is it worth going to the four barrel? Is it true that going pure synthetic on all your fluids increases your mpg?
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Unread 01-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
WagoneerCraig
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Me ? I'm taking my woody in the direction of expedition type vehicle . Keeping the engine basically stockish with a mild cam . 4"-5"lift ,33"x10.5or 9.5 wheels , Full body armor , winch , Bed liner paint job , New gearing and locker in the back , limited slip in the front , Built in storage in the back . towing camper .
But really what direction do you want to go ? Basic stock ? then clean her up like new and build a good motor .
The first thing i did was start replacing the engine wire harness and vacuume stuff. Making it reliable .
4 barrel ? Sure with a good cam and exhaust would seriously wake her up . but with more power more gas .Period !!! I'm running full synthetic [ 5/40 weight ]and yes the engine starts and runs better , but i really have to watch out for low oil pressure when the engine is warm . thinking thicker oil .
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Unread 01-24-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
WagoneerCraig
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1989 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
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Me ? I'm taking my woody in the direction of expedition type vehicle . Keeping the engine basically stockish with a mild cam . 4"-5"lift ,33"x10.5or 9.5 wheels , Full body armor , winch , Bed liner paint job , New gearing and locker in the back , limited slip in the front , Built in storage in the back . towing camper .
But really what direction do you want to go ? Basic stock ? then clean her up like new and build a good motor .
The first thing i did was start replacing the engine wire harness and vacuume stuff. Making it reliable .
4 barrel ? Sure with a good cam and exhaust would seriously wake her up . but with more power more gas .Period !!! I'm running full synthetic [ 5/40 weight ]and yes the engine starts and runs better , but i really have to watch out for low oil pressure when the engine is warm . thinking thicker oil .
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Unread 01-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
ToiletDuck
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Yea im not wanting anything crazy just a reliable daily driver. I dont offroad much. I might go with a small lift and bigger tires but for 95% of the driving she'll be in or around the city. The other times towing a 23 foot boat about a 35 mile trip.

My goal is to make her run smooth and reliable. I don't need 500hp!
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Unread 01-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
Karvin
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There are several things you can do to improve the driveability and keep what gas mileage you can. HEI dizzy would be a start.

Cosmetically, for the wood grain, a cheap solution would be to find a shelf liner in imitation wood grain. Several owners of Wagoneers have gone that direction, just don't admit to anybody that you have done it.

True dual exhaust, and perhaps a four barrel carb and you should be good to go... at least for the usage that you have stated in this thread.

I would stay away from mud terrain tires and perhaps run BFG AT's. 31" tires is the largest you can fit stock, 4" lift will get 33" tires under you.

As I sit now... 77 Cherokee Chief Sport Chevy 350, 4bbl Demon Jr 625CFM, TH400, D20, HEI, Edelbrock Performer Intake, Mild Cam, Stage II Shift Kit, D44's F&R, 36x12.5" TSL Swampers. I think I have a hole in my fuel tank.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 11:34 PM   #10
GCX2450
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As long as you can handle minor vehicular gremlins, you can't beat a full-size jeep. I've seen people put these things through all different kinds hell, off-road or otherwise then drive em to work the next day like nothing happened.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 02:41 PM   #11
ToiletDuck
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That's great to hear. I've narrowed it down to two I've found. They look great in the pictures so I think I'll fly out and take a look. I'm a pilot so no tickets

One that I found was a 1989 Waggy with just around 100k miles on the original AMC 360 v8. Now I'm a little confused about these engines. What's their performance like? Does the thing actually move very well? I did a search and cargurus.com says it has a 5.9L v8 that pumps out 144hp. They don't list the torque but that almost seems embarrassing. How an engine of that size could only do 144hp is beyond me. What do you guys have to say about this engine and it's performance in the waggy?

Secondly what about the tranny? Anyone have any real mile limitations on these or are they good for a long good time? A second wagoneer I found has about 134k miles on it. Looks good so just wondering.

Lastly are there any other engines that people usually swap out with the AMC 360? Maybe one of the reasons they only get 11-13mpg is due to lack of power. Having to pour the coals to it non-stop just to get it moving. Seems like an engine with a little more power, and a little less weight, would make worlds of difference.

Your thoughts?
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Unread 01-25-2011, 03:53 PM   #12
Karvin
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The 360's and 401's are all about low-mid range torque, not about high HP. So that would mean good on the trails, bad for the freeway.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #13
ToiletDuck
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Thanks for all the responses. Might not seem like it but we're making some headway!!!

Just shooting from the hip here I managed to find a guy in my home area, Houston Tx, that has one for sale. No real rust and has good interior but needs paint and probably an engine. Any idea what a mechanic would charge to throw an engine in it? I've seen some rebuilt on craigslist for $500-$100. I don't really have my own shop to do a swap with.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
Karvin
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http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/ Pretty sure this site has been thrown about. It is dedicated to full size jeeps and has more members with a lot more knowledge than I do. It also has step by step what to look for when purchasing a FSJ, and known trouble areas.

I highly suggest checking out the rigs for sale there as well, some members have too many rigs and wives that tell them to get rid of one.

You will find me on that site under the same username.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 08:26 PM   #15
ToiletDuck
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Thanks for the site. I just signed up and looking around I found a jeep and made an offer we'll see what happens but hopefully I can join the club again! I miss my old wrangler from deercamp.

Let me ask you though how long is the AMC usually good for? I'm not a car guy, I'm a pilot. I love machines but my knowledge of them right now revolves around tractors/heaving machinery and jets lol. I'm trying to get my middle balance. I found a beautifully kept Wagoneer for sale that has some serious miles on the engine but the owner says it runs great. Considering how little I drive, maybe 500 miles a month, I figured it will still last me a while until I either get a 360 rebuild, I see them around for $500 or so, or get crazy and do a 4bt cummins lol. Just a thought.
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