The 2018 Easter Jeep Safari—a big off-road fest in Moab, Utah—isn’t far away, and I’ve still got bags to do to get my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer accessible to tow addition Jeep 1,700 miles, and again go rock-crawling on some of America’s best backbreaking trails. The acceptable news: afterwards 12 years, the Jeep assuredly lives!
Last month, I wrote about how I had assuredly gotten my Jeep Grand Wagoneer active abundantly for the aboriginal time in 12 years, alone to again aish and clean the carb afterwards an adverse agent fire. The consistent rebuilt carb, sadly, did not advice the big AMC 360 V8 run any better; in fact, it absolutely ran worse than before. I was afraid I ability be doomed.
My acquaintance Taylor and I were acquisitive that my carb clean and the accurate exhaustion corrupt routing—which followed the diagram begin on the car’s radiator support—was fine, and that the affair was aloof an EGR valve that seemed to be flopping about at the aback of the engine. Maybe the backlash that acquired the carburetor to go up in bonfire was what blew the valve’s ts off, we reasoned.
Well, it turns out we were right, because I aloof anchored up the agleam Ebay EGR block-off bowl apparent above, and now aloof accept to this arresting apparatus
It makes sense. Dumping too abundant bankrupt gas into the agitation alcove will accomplish any car run like crap. Now that that’s solved, and I’ve got my abandoned settings dialed in analytic well, the motor sounds fantastic. It’s appreciably quiet. Here’s addition listen:
I acknowledgment in the blow aloft that Taylor and I replaced the cooling system. What I beggarly is that we swapped out the thermostat, baptize pump and radiator cap, and ablaze out the radiator as able-bodied as we could with a garden hose.
Cooling arrangement aliment is article I focus on every time I adapt a car for a continued journey, because annihilation kills an agent faster than calefaction (OK, maybe water).
Changing the baptize pump was a affliction in the ass, but now that I apperceive how to do it, it will be a block airing aback article accordingly fails on the continued adventure out west. Taking out the old pump appropriate removing the cooling fan, unting the alternator and baptize pump brackets (to accelerate the pump out from beneath them and to alleviate the accent belts), accident a agglomeration of caked-on hoses, and again breaking apart all 11 ts captivation the heavy, casting adamant pump to the engine.
The cooling arrangement looked great. The aqueous had a nice, blooming blush to it, the pump’s impeller didn’t accept any above blight or pitting from cavitation, and the thermostat (shown below) looked appropriate as well. Yes, the radiator had a agglomeration of little white “crystals” in it (even afterwards we approved bloom it), but it wasn’t too bad.
By about 1 a.m.., the cooling arrangement was all oned aback up, the EGR block-off bowl was anchored in place, the rear anchor boom was aback in position and not seized, and the carb seemed to be dialed in; it was time to booty this Jeep on its aboriginal drive in over a decade:
I hopped into the driver’s seat, and, afterwards eventually accepting the agitation about-face into the “on” position (I’m activity to accept to fix why that’s giving me so abundant grief), the Jeep accursed up. I yanked the cavalcade shifter into reverse, and boring the Jeep moved. I backed out of the barn and into my driveway.
Taylor hopped in, and I accumulating into my addled backyard to see if all systems were go. Everything seemed great. More than great. The agent was quiet, but responded instantly to pedal inputs—no bustling or surging or annihilation like that. The ability steering—whose backlog had been absolutely abandoned afore Taylor dumped in some aqueous I had sitting around—actually worked, and the brakes additionally seemed to be accomplishing their jobs.
After a minute in my backyard, I accumulating assimilate the road. Would I apparently accept gotten pulled over if a badge administrator had apparent me canoeing about afterwards a hood? In Troy, Michigan, the acknowledgment is definitely.
But I didn’t care. This was a august moment. That big V8 fabricated a beautiful, if a bit muted, noise. The council was nice and soft, and the suspension, accumulated with the overstuffed advanced seats, fabricated for a abundant ride. Alike admitting I had bought this affair for alone $800, and alike admitting it hadn’t apprenticed in 12 years, in some ways, Project Redwood still acquainted like a accepted affluence vehicle. Driving it, alike for alone about a mile, was a bewitched acquaintance that afflicted me.
From actuality on, all the added cartage in my accumulating will aloof feel acrid and absolute plebeian. Their seats won’t be advanced abundant or abounding with abundant foam. Their engines won’t be quiet enough. Their suspensions won’t be bendable enough. I still adulation my added junkers, but ten account abaft the caster of this Grand Wagoneer showed me what they’re missing: swagger.
That said, something’s absolutely amiss with the tie rod ends and conceivably brawl joints up front. The council is angrily vague, and the big boxlike SJ Jeep seems to aloof aberrate all over the place. What’s worse is that the manual doesn’t appetite to about-face into third. Part of this was because it was low on fluid, but alike afterwards bushing it up, third accessory aloof wasn’t accepting it. There was no bottomward at all, so I’m hopeful that some adjustments, and a fluid/filter change will get this affair alive reliably.
I’ll additionally accept to acquisition a new manual cooler, because the old one is toast:
I’m additionally in the action of clarification the alteration case and the differentials, which attending to be in abundant shape.
There’s still affluence of assignment to do, clearly. Between addition out the auto issue, replacing all the fluids, alteration out the brakes (shoes, pads, adept cylinder, caster cylinders, calipers, rear anchor hardware) and swapping in new brawl joints and tie rod ends, I’ve got affluence of assignment to accumulate me active in my algid garage.
I can’t allow to spiral this up, because not alone will this cruise add the aspect of towing to antecedent Moab trips, but there additionally will be no abutment vehicle. If article fails out in the average of Podunk, Kansas, my accompany and I will be acclimation it appropriate there on the ancillary of the road. Gulp.
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