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post #1 of 8 Old 10-20-2008, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
HeepToJeep
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Wagoneer questions, something for everyone!

I have some Cherokee/Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer questions for you folks.....

Converting to GM drivetrain
Any particular engine size you suggest?
Any particular model/year you suggest as a donor vehicle?
Should I go with a carburated system or fuel injected?
What kind of fuel milage does a GM powered Wagon get?
Is there a way to add fuel injection to one of the older, more powerful GM V8s?
What kind of towing capacity can be expected after such an upgrade?


Performance
How off-road capable are they?
Is the four-corner leaf spring setup flexy?
What are they best suited for? ie trail, swamping, rock crawling ect
Anyone ever seen one with front and rear COA conversion? How did it perform?

General
Are there any considerable advantages to one FSJ over the others?
Anyone happen to know how many cubic feet of interior space they have?
Are there any boneyard build/junkyard upgrade threads/lists anywhere?
Anyone seen or have photos of one that's had the top chopped?


I've currently got a couple of XJ Cherokees and am closing a deal on a Wrangler, while I really like the XJs I've never been a fan of unibody vehicles because they're disposable after a collision and I view them as pop cans. If you guys have any comments on the transition from XJ to FSJ please feel free to chime in.......

Wm


Last edited by HeepToJeep; 10-20-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-20-2008, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Any particular engine size you suggest?
I wouldn't go any smaller than a 350 if an old engine but the newer 5.3, 6.0 engines are really nice

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Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Any particular model/year you suggest as a donor vehicle?
Depends if you want fuel injection. I personally have a 350 TPI out of a Camaro which works well but I had to source the tranny and xfer case. Your best swap might be from a 2000-ish to 2008 Tahoe, Yukon, truck, Suburban, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Should I go with a carburated system or fuel injected?
If money is no object, Fuel Injection

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
What kind of fuel milage does a GM powered Wagon get?
Depends on the engine, lift, tires, etc, etc. Originally when I did mine, it was a 305 TPI with the stock TH400 and Quadratrac (all wheel drive) and I was getting 18 MPG. When I went to the 350, I built it and lifted it and put 35's on it, etc, etc and I get about 10-15.

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Is there a way to add fuel injection to one of the older, more powerful GM V8s?
Older, more powerful? Like what? If you are looking at the pre-71 GM's, the numbers are mistaken as they changed the way they rate engines in 1971.

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Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
What kind of towing capacity can be expected after such an upgrade?
Before and after this conversion, you will still have a 1/2 ton truck so 6000 lbs maybe 8000 lbs would be max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
How off-road capable are they?
With a rear locker or posi, they are VERY capable. Size is the only restriction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Is the four-corner leaf spring setup flexy?
It can be, especially with a spring over in the front and a shackle reversal in the rear

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
What are they best suited for? ie trail, swamping, rock crawling ect
Whatever you want them to do, you can build these to do whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Anyone ever seen one with front and rear COA conversion? How did it perform?
What is a COA? Do you mean SOA? If you do, the rear is already SOA'ed so you have to do a shackle flip, there is a nice kit to do the front and rear here:
http://www.bjsoffroad.com/CartGenie/prod-844.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Are there any considerable advantages to one FSJ over the others?
Most have Dana 44's front and rear, V8 engine, strong automatic transmissions, A/C, power steering, room for the family, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeepToJeep View Post
Anyone happen to know how many cubic feet of interior space they have?
Good question, I don't know.
Quote:
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Are there any boneyard build/junkyard upgrade threads/lists anywhere?
Do a google search for Trucks Bargain Beater and see if you can find a video that someone pirated on youtube or something

www.bjsoffroad.com
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-20-2008, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
HeepToJeep
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BJ,

To further upgrade the vehicle from a 1/2 ton all it would require is changing the axles to D60s or D70s but also based on vehicle weight and length would it tow similarly to a 3/4 or 1 ton?

COA is coil over axle, XJs have a COA front end and Wranglers are COA front and rear........it improves on-road comfort and off-road ability TREMENDOUSLY.

Price isn't an issue on which axles. engine, transmission or transfer case I use......my boneyard is flat rate so I pay the exact same price for an aluminum V8 from a Corvette as I do for a four-banger from a Hugo. As such, maybe I should go diesel? Duramax

Ever seen one with the top chopped and made to be removable like the old K5 Blazers?

My goal for the vehicle is daily driver, off-roading and towing project/parts vehicles home......obviously, good fuel efficiency and power are key.


Wm

Last edited by HeepToJeep; 10-20-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-20-2008, 01:02 PM
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Yes, you could put larger axles in it, that would help but you are still running a relatively short rig (109" wheelbase) and the longer a vehicle is, the better they tow.

You could COA it but that requires a lot of modifications and probably a lot of trial and error to get it working correctly.

Hope this helps.

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-26-2008, 12:49 AM
carnuck
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Coils on an FSJ would lower it's weight capability. I have a '76 J10 shortbed which will be hauling my 5th wheel (27' long) with a 304 and J20 axles. No other major upgrades.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-04-2008, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
HeepToJeep
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Come on folks, no one else has opinions on the questions I posted? Here's a few more....

Anyone ever weld metal over the rear windows to turn it into a panel truck?
Are there any photos/links floating around that show how the rear interior is setup in factory panel trucks?
Are there any companies making barn doors for the rears these days?
What years were the panel trucks made?

I'm picking up a few Wagons to build one nice one from but am on the fence about setting it up as a panel truck or a removable hardtop with rollcage.....maybe a panel truck with a removable hardtop...hmmm

Wm
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-16-2008, 01:08 AM
carnuck
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Check out the build up of John Meister's panel truck with barn doors on http://wagoneers.com

Frankly, the flex of the Wag frame keeps it from being a 5th wheel hauler, unlike the Jtrucks which are built for more weight. My bone stock (except the rear axle from a J20) '73 J4000 hauled 6500lb loads regularly with just a 304.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-16-2008, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
HeepToJeep
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Quote:
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Check out the build up of John Meister's panel truck with barn doors on http://wagoneers.com

Frankly, the flex of the Wag frame keeps it from being a 5th wheel hauler, unlike the Jtrucks which are built for more weight. My bone stock (except the rear axle from a J20) '73 J4000 hauled 6500lb loads regularly with just a 304.
I've never been able to find anything on that website, man...talk about a navigation nightmare!

See any reason the Wagon frame couldn't be tied together better or the body dropped on a J-truck frame? I'd really like to have an older Jeep SUV with a higher towing capacity, preferribly a stock panel truck or a conversion. I've also been looking at Willys in the sales ads and find myself strongly tempted to get one and put the body on a chassis from something stronger and more modern to use as a daily driver....if the restoration buffs didn't gang up and beat me to death first lol.

Wm
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