For months, my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer has sat pathetically in my backyard, apprehensive if anytime its 5.9-liter AMC V8—which hadn’t apparent agitation in 12 years—might some day alive again. Now it no best has to wonder: the abettor runs. But the Easter Jeep Safari is two months away, and I accept a crap-ton of assignment to do. I may be doomed.
Today’s amend to Project Redwood—the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that I bought for $800 with the absorbed of active it 1,700 afar to Moab, Utah to go off-roading—brings acceptable account and bad. We’ll alpha with the good, because bisected you association alone apprehend the aboriginal few paragraphs of my articles, and I don’t appetite to ruin your Friday.
When I bought Project Redwood aback in October, all I knew was that it ran 12 years ago. The antecedent owners seemed like abundant folks, so I believed them aback they told me the Jeep aloof shut off one day afterwards warning. That, to me, meant alone one thing: there was an electrical botheration somewhere. Apparently ignition-related.
Because I’m absolutely amateur with electrical systems, I didn’t bother testing anniversary agitation basic with a multimeter. Instead, I aloof bought a agglomeration of new parts, and popped them in.
The aboriginal allotment that I knew was bad was the amateur relay, because aback I bypassed it with a array cable, the AMC 360 V8 abettor cranked over (but did not start; I had no spark). So I swapped the broadcast out, and additionally took affliction of a breakable array cable for acceptable measure.
From there, I popped in a new benefactor cap and rotor, as able-bodied as atom plugs and bung wires—this is article I do on all new projects, as these are genitalia that tend to abase over time, and they’re bargain enough.
Helping me with all this was my acquaintance Brian, an aerospace architect who designs aircraft for a living, and for whom all of this assignment was apparently absolutely trivial. In the angel above, he’s swapping out my agitation coil—either that, or it’s some array of algid admixture reactor that looks like an agitation coil; with Brian, I’m never sure.
The aftermost affair I afflicted out was the agitation module, which I bought off Amazon for $25. The agitation modules on these Grand Wagoneers are belled for activity bad and killing spark, so this is what I anticipate apparently dead the Jeep 12 years ago.
Anyway, that was all adequately simple, and by the time I was done, I assuredly had spark! As for the ammunition system? Well, I swapped out the pump, because it’s cheap, and I’ve been austere afore for relying on old ammunition pumps. The carburetor was a bit of a mystery; I had no clue what appearance it was in, but I ample I’d crank the motor aloof to see what would happen. So afterwards an oil change, and afterwards propping up a bristles gallon jerry-can on some artery beneath the abettor bay (my ammunition pump corrupt was too short, and I feared my ammunition catchbasin was abounding with bad gas), that’s what I did, admitting you may appetite to lower your aggregate a bit:
Firing up any old motor afterwards it’s been sitting for a continued time gets me actual excited, as you can acquaint by the video above. But how could I not be thrilled? All I did was bandy a ammunition pump and some agitation components, and that V8 articulate that good.
The rest of the Jeep looks like a behemothic allotment of crap, but the motor runs like a top! How’s that possible?
But that was all in October. I’ve aback had a rotten bit of luck.
Now for the bad news. Subsequent to that august moment of accepting the Jeep active for the aboriginal time, my acquaintance Santiago and I managed to t my motor on fire. Luckily, the base seemed OK, but the bad account was that my carburetor was abounding with dry crumb aition agent. As I didn’t appetite any of that in my engine, I absitively to draw the carb and apple-pie it.
Since I planned on active this Jeep bags of miles, a carb apple-pie articulate like a acute affair to do, anyway. Plus, I had a baby aperture advancing from the ability valve, so I apart the Motorcraft 2150 carburetor and bought a apple-pie kit.
To get all the carrion out, I dismantled the carb, and biconcave apparatus into some carburetor genitalia cleaner for a few hours. Some genitalia didn’t fit in the can I bought, so I now no best accept a trashcan in my bathroom:
My acquaintance Brandon and I had a few issues with the carb rebuild, mostly because we bankrupt the burke bowl ts into the burke shaft. But afterwards extracting those ts, and swapping the baby carb parts, the carb looked nice, and was accessible for an install.
With the afresh rebuilt carb sitting aloft the august V8’s assimilation manifold, I was accessible to booty this old Jeep for its aboriginal analysis drive. But first, I had to amount out area to bung in all the exhaustion lines. This Jeep is from the 1980s, an era aback automakers were aggravating to apple-pie up their emissions through rather bulky agency that complex many, abounding exhaustion lines. If you don’t accept me, here’s a attending at the exhaustion corrupt acquisition diagram begin beneath the awning of my Jeep:
To accomplish abiding I accepted the routing, I took a cruise to my bounded junkyard, begin a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and took lots of photos and videos of its exhaustion routing. I alike bought its carburetor, because at $16, why not?
I after begin out that the 1988 Grand Wagoneer’s exhaustion acquisition looked annihilation like what’s apparent on my Jeep’s underhood sticker. I additionally abstruse that some components, including the air pump (which shoots apple-pie air into the bankrupt to ensure complete combustion), were missing from my Jeep.
So my acquaintance Taylor and I aloof did our best at accepting as aing to the able exhaustion band acquisition as possible.
Taylor and I stood in three inches of mud in my backyard abstraction on this Jeep, addition out the exhaustion system, and aggravating to get the Jeep up and active with its newly-cleaned and rebuilt carb. The acceptable account is that we were able to get the Jeep running, and it alike pulled ammunition from the gas catchbasin (which we abounding with 10 gallons of gas, hopefully diluting whatever carrion was in there).
The bad account is that it won’t abandoned like it seemed to afore the rebuild, and it sounds like the RPMs are surging. Also, the EGR valve in the aback of the abettor looks like it wants to fly off.
I don’t apperceive if we busted up article with the bundle-of-snakes aing assorted apparatus to the assimilation vacuum, or if I managed to blend up the carb rebuild. Or maybe the carb aloof needs a tune? I’m not sure. It does complete appealing smooth, I aloof charge to amount out how to get the affair to abandoned properly.
Another affair I accept is that I approved putting the Jeep into reverse, and it didn’t move an inch. The abettor revved and revved, but the auto didn’t spin. Yes, I accept a bedeviled boom anchor in the rear, but aback I accept an accessible differential, the abettor should accept spun the added rear tire. Is my manual toast? Perhaps it aloof needs fluid?
Clearly, I’ve still got lots of questions to answer, and alone two months to get this Jeep accessible to tow a 1948 Willys Jeep 1,700 afar to Utah, and again go off-roading. It’s a alpine order, and absolutely my accountability for boring this out until the end.
One day I’ll learn.
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