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  #1  
Old December 5th, 2018, 21:25
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Hi all,


First post of any substance. I'm happy to have found this place. I've already managed to find Cruiser's site and am making a long, long to do list.


We took a risk and picked up a very cheap 1990 Wagoneer Limited with 225k miles. It has the 4.0, appears to have the AW4, and I need to get it back in the driveway to see the rear end. It looks suspiciously like the rear in my 1990 YJ from years ago, so I'm assuming it's a D35.



Once it was delivered it became clear why it was cheap. It was listed as a running, driving vehicle, but it appears that is a fluid term.


It definitely has some issues. First stop - mechanic, second stop, body shop to find out the professional opinion on what we're in for.


The plan is a full resto to hang onto and maybe give to the kiddo one day. A very small/light lift is possible in the future along with some potential QoL upgrades, but those will try to be kept discreet. At least that's what we say now.



Here's a picture of the newest family member the night it was delivered:
https://imgur.com/ifUDtRK
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  #2  
Old December 8th, 2018, 11:21
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

We took it to a mechanic for a quick run through since though it was listed as runs and drives it did not want to run and drive off the truck. So I pushed it into the driveway, then had it towed to our local mechanic the next day.



The main issues are the harmonic balancer, alternator, valve cover gasket (leak - shocker), transmission cooler lines (leak), and a new battery. Since it's there and saves me the trouble of disposing of a whole bunch of fluids, we had them flush and change everything. So for now it's running pretty good. It just seemed worth it to get it "at baseline."



There's a slight burning smell - almost like burning rubber coming from the front somewhere. I'll try to track that down when it's back in the driveway. Speaking of driving, overall it drives pretty good. The front end feels pretty loose, but no obvious issues with drive ability. Ball joints probably, or could be the pump itself.



Other todo lists are the A/C compressor (no rush), power steering pump, and a full tuneup. I'm going to try the Champion plug, etc. route I've read here since it's a Renix. Been trying to educate myself a lot before I get too far into it.


While at the mechanic they noticed a big rusty hole in the floor, so off to the body shop with it for now to get a full idea of the problem.
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  #3  
Old December 8th, 2018, 16:59
BALTANAKT BALTANAKT is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Nice!!!

I have been working on my own resto project for the last year. Glad to hear you won't be jacking it up and hacking it to pieces.
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  #4  
Old December 8th, 2018, 17:54
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Ecomike Ecomike is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

If you decide to give up on it and junk it I call dibs on it, for $500.


Following, LOL.
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  #5  
Old December 9th, 2018, 19:48
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecomike View Post
If you decide to give up on it and junk it I call dibs on it, for $500.


Following, LOL.

LOL. Anything is possible. I have a lot of angst already.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BALTANAKT View Post
Nice!!!

I have been working on my own resto project for the last year. Glad to hear you won't be jacking it up and hacking it to pieces.

Awesome, I will check out your threads!
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  #6  
Old December 9th, 2018, 20:03
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

For a runs and drives, clean title, no accident vehicle is does have some interesting issues.


Before having it towed I managed to take a few pictures of the "finer" points. This thing is nasty though. It's been sitting a long time. Probably picked about 100 roaches (the 6 legged kind) out of it so far.



















Has a layer of grime on it like I've not seen before. Almost oil or grease-like. Obvious outside issues:
Rear wood decal is faded/needs to be replaced. Missing half the moulding.
Side wood decals are scratched up down to the paint and need to be replaced.
Dented in driver's side front fender/broken moulding.
Dented in driver's side front bumper.
Rear bumper appears to be chrome but painted over with black paint.
Rust on the back sections of the rockers.
Missing rear wiper.
Chrome mirrors and trim are pitted.


The interior needs a lot too.
Driver's side seat is trashed and has a weird cover over it. Looks like the previous owner cut up some other seat and just sort of pulled it over.
The carpet is ripped up and pretty gross. Prefer not to think about it - it's coming out.
Rear seats seem to be in ok condition, but there's paint or something spilled on it.
Fuel gauge may not work.
Clock doesn't work.
Power door locks don't work on any door.
Missing hazard switch/knob.
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  #7  
Old December 9th, 2018, 20:12
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Oh my gosh - can a mod delete this and I'll repost or edit the pics down? Sorry about that!
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  #8  
Old December 13th, 2018, 19:40
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

So the next order of business is this:





It's the underside of the passenger side, in between the front and rear doors. They saw it at the mechanic's shop. We took it to a local body shop with the same rationale as the mechanic - assessment. What are we in for, etc.


That particular body shop turned it away saying it was basically rusted from the floorpans all the way up to the front right shock tower and was maybe trying to get into the frame. They referred us to a "resto guy."


Now...I have to admit here I thought I was going to be the resto guy. I will be for some things, but all this talk about serious rust has us nervous.


Drove the WeeWaggy over to the resto guy's shop. It's still driving good. Surprisingly good for a vehicle with 225k that was left to rot in a junkyard basically. A little rough with no power on anything that resembles a hill. Pretty sure that's normal...and it needs a tuneup.


So - resto guy promptly and easily worked his hand up through the floor behind the front passenger side seat inside. Oops. Big hole.



He's had it for the last few days and is putting together a complete list of what he needs.


There is discussion of painting it that classic, dark blue. Baltic blue maybe? Not sure who will do the work. Depends on the cost, really.
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  #9  
Old December 14th, 2018, 07:11
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Replacing floor pans is becoming a common procedure on the XJs. Wayne Sihler did his just a few months ago in order to have his Jeep ready for Moab.

A Waggy is probably worth it, especially given one that is as complete as yours and does not appear to have been wrecked.
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  #10  
Old December 16th, 2018, 11:46
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anak View Post
Replacing floor pans is becoming a common procedure on the XJs. Wayne Sihler did his just a few months ago in order to have his Jeep ready for Moab.

A Waggy is probably worth it, especially given one that is as complete as yours and does not appear to have been wrecked.
I've been seeing that. On the one hand it doesn't look too bad, but on the other hand when it comes to body work I am a complete freaking novice. Haven't done anything that would qualify as body work in my life, outside of trying to extract a dent with some pushing, pulling, and praying.

Oh and touch-up paint. Definitely add that to the resume.

The guy we ultimately took it to does full classic car restos. Old Mustangs and Camaros in particular. He appears to do amazing work, but his estimate on the WeeWaggy here came to an amazing number, too. For "everything" start to finish with the body about 9k. But that's everything - wood trim, rust vehicle wide, new chrome, new paint, the whole shebang. The only thing that won't be painted are the inner fenderwells and firewall, but since the motor will inevitably come out with 225k being on it, he agreed to paint those once it's out somewhere down the road.

I'm with you (and thank you for saying it's probably worth it) on the Waggy. We all know it's an XJ, but it's an uncommon XJ, so I'm inclined to go with it. Especially since the goal here is "mostly stock" restoration.

I did some hemming and hawing and convinced him to reduce the bill by letting me help on some things. Grunt work mostly. Maybe I'll learn something. The problem is that I work full time and he'll be working on it full time so........we'll see. I'll be happy with a couple of those k's knocked off.

If I want to practice bodywork there are better choices around here. I need to learn how to weld first, I guess.
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  #11  
Old December 16th, 2018, 14:31
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

I'm not sure I'd spent 9k on restoring a 1990 Wagoneer even if it included rebuilding the engine. I'd start by ripping out all the seats and carpet and see just how bad the rot is. If it's just the floorboards, that's not too hard to do yourself and it doesn't matter how pretty it looks afterwards.



Depending on how bad the harmonic balancer is, that burning smell might be it slowly chewing up the belt.
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  #12  
Old December 16th, 2018, 15:01
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Personally, I'm finding this tempting as the engine's already rebuild and claims to be rust free (i.e. the hard parts are already done):


"1949 Willy Jeep truck" $5485

https://spokane.craigslist.org/cto/d...745472431.html
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  #13  
Old December 17th, 2018, 02:07
Ralph77 Ralph77 is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
Personally, I'm finding this tempting as the engine's already rebuild and claims to be rust free (i.e. the hard parts are already done):


"1949 Willy Jeep truck" $5485

https://spokane.craigslist.org/cto/d...745472431.html
Thinking that cab is not a '49. Pretty sure to at least 1960 it would have a split windshield. I used to own a '46 CJ2A a thousand years ago. Had a buddy with a 1963 truck at that time. We dropped a 350 Chevy engine in there. That was one bad ass truck.
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  #14  
Old December 17th, 2018, 13:21
TheWeeWaggy TheWeeWaggy is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawsoncl View Post
Personally, I'm finding this tempting as the engine's already rebuild and claims to be rust free (i.e. the hard parts are already done):


"1949 Willy Jeep truck" $5485

https://spokane.craigslist.org/cto/d...745472431.html
That would be hardddddd to pass up.

As for spending 9k on the Waggy - eh. We are negotiating. The more grunt work I do, the more the price goes down. I'm lucky that he's willing to let me do it. Pretty cool deal if you ask me. The question is how often I'll get over there.

Mostly I just want to get that rust taken care of. Rust doesn't stop. I'm super paranoid about it.

I've got a year or more, probably, of work to do on the interior and mechanicals - which I'll be doing myself of course - after the rust is handled.

Thank goodness for @CristClapper's thread, lol. He is my new hero.
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  #15  
Old December 17th, 2018, 16:24
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: BUILD - 1990 XJ Wagoneer Limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
Thinking that cab is not a '49. Pretty sure to at least 1960 it would have a split windshield. I used to own a '46 CJ2A a thousand years ago. Had a buddy with a 1963 truck at that time. We dropped a 350 Chevy engine in there. That was one bad ass truck.

I think the split in the windshield is just a trim piece and two pieces of glass. If you zoom in, you can see the notches for it.
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