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Old 08-06-2018, 11:42 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,431
What's your FSJ story?

I love hearing how folks ended up in the FSJ community. Maybe you had a family member had one you love it/always wanted one? Saw the one in Twister and wanted one? Saw one for sale it and it was a total steal/couldn't pass it up?

Why are you a FSJer?
What's the best thing about FSJs?
How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?
Describe the perfect FSJ...
What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?
79 Cherokee Chief
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:16 PM
FSJunkie's Avatar
FSJunkie FSJunkie is offline
The Nigel Tufnel of the FSJ world.
Join Date: Jan 09, 2011
Location: Not The Hot Part, Arizona
Posts: 4,004
Why am I an FSJer?
-I wanted a Jeep and this one was given to me for free. Can't complain.

What is the best thing about FSJs?
-They don't do any one thing extremely well but they do everything reasonably well. Whatever you need a vehicle to do, they will do it.

How long have you been an FSJer?
-Eight years.

Describe the perfect FSJ.
-I think the styling of the 1963-1969 models is darn near perfect. I love the clean lines without all the tinsel and clutter they added on later. Just good, honest trucks.

What's he best song/music to drive your FSJ to?
-Early 1970's folk rock and country. John Denver, Carole King, Waylon Jennings, Glen Campbell.
'72 Jeep Wagoneer Custom, 360 V8

I love how arguements end as soon as Ristow comments. Ristow is right...again.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:04 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
Cherokee Outlaw
Join Date: Jan 10, 2006
Location: Haze Gray
Posts: 7,267
Been an FSJer for a little over 12 years now. Ever since the Bargain Beater episode of Trucks! with Stacy David I had to have one. My first being a rot bucket '81 Chief. I eventually came to my senses, realized it wasn't savable, and parted it out/junked it. My second was my infamous '79 Wagoneer that I drove through college. Some of the folks from back then may remember all the trouble that rig put me though back then (most of it self inflicted). Then I got my '79 Cherokee Golden Eagle that I still have today. Bought this one from Ristow in 2007, so just over 10 years ago. It was my daily driver up until 2011. I've had a couple parts Cherokees since then as well.

Best thing about FSJs? I can put Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or tractor parts on it and nobody gives a crap because that's what Jeep did back in the day anyway. Customizable to my liking without too much judgement.

The perfect FSJ is a rust free one. I can deal with mechanicals all day. The way they put the bodies together on these (especially the Widetracks) is terrible. They rot from the inside out and panel replacement is not easy. I'd rather have a mechanical basket case with a clean body than a rust bucket that runs great.

As for music, I'm a metalhead and classic rock fan so that's usually that plays on my speakers.
-Jonny B.
1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
7" Alcan springs, BJ's HD shackles - 35x12.5x15 BFG Mud Terrains
AMC 401 - Pro-FLo 4 FI
NV4500/NWF BB/NP205 - Triple Stick'd
F D44 - 4.10, Eaton E-Locker
R M23 - 4.10, Detroit Locker

1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
1979 Wagoneer - Sold
1981 Cherokee Chief - Cubed
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:43 AM
Kali's Avatar
Kali Kali is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: Mar 29, 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,391
Why are you a FSJer?
Twister. Not going to lie, I had no idea that Jeep made a pickup truck prior to that movie.

What's the best thing about FSJs?
Uniqueness of design, and ease of working on them. I had no mechanical experience prior to purchasing my '82, so I got a TSM and learned as I went.

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?
Fairly sure I started looking sometime in 2004, bought my '82 in 2005.

Describe the perfect FSJ...
One that runs and drives. If I had to pick something 'perfect' then I'd go with the Wagoneer that was built by Icon. Though I would not have done all of the same modifications, I like the idea of a modern touch while maintaining the spirit of the SJ line.

What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?
I have very fond memories of driving my '82 to work the first summer that I owned it. Had my old walkman hooked up to the tape deck and only played a single burnt CD; track 1 was "Play Something Country" by Brooks and Dunn... good times.
1982 J-10 Pioneer

Check out my YouTube Channel !!
Check out my Instagram !!

2018 Grand Cherokee Upland

"The J-series Jeep pickups are simultaneously the ugliest and the most beautiful trucks ever made."
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:17 PM
kingdolan kingdolan is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Oct 21, 2016
Location: huntsville alabama
Posts: 3

Not sure what I am doing wrong, but do not seem to be able to start a thread. Can someone put this in the proper area on this forum
What I am looking for is Question; What parts are most likely or usually need to be replaced to do a front end wheel alignment or or wheel alignment what ever you call it.
It is a 1990 jeep grand wagoneer i got around 2002 and as far as I know it has all original factory parts except for motor replaced after oil pump went out before i noticed, then too late, and replaced normal parts that wear out such as hoses, belts, water pump, fuel pump, alternator, ect... also replaced radiator with all aluminum radiator.
It pulls to the right so you have to steer to the left slightly to compensate. Left front tire shows wear on outside edge of tread. It is now time for new tires and will most likely buy the cheapest street tires for now till I can afford the parts needed and time to replace them.
I just replaced left exhaust manifold as it had a hole the size of a baseball in it, Two broke bolts closest to firewall had to be drilled out. I used high speed steel reverse drill bits in 64th increments, none spun the remainder of bolts out but drilling was a breeze after removing the heater core. Will post a picture of exhaust manifold hole when I get it on pc.
Any ideas on what to look for and how to check them???? I dont want to fix it if it is not broke but figure the age of my jeep it just might need a total front end rebuilt, hope not though as I am financially challenged carpenter not a mechanic but dont mind turning wrenches on my own cars now and then.
Please forgive me for being quite winded in my first post
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:32 PM
mwood65's Avatar
mwood65 mwood65 is offline
258 I6
Join Date: Jul 17, 2017
Location: Arizona
Posts: 347

I have an Uncle in Michigan who visits here for 2 months every spring, he wanted me to find a vehicle for him cheap to drive while he was here because it was a pain for him to have no transportation.

Saw the 1974 Cherokee for sale on local site and checked it out.

Brakes didn't work, body rusted badly, interior bad, headliner shot, tires dry rotted & numerous other issues.

Perfect I thought...not sure why.

Paid him $600 for it and drove it home, almost missed my road because only 1 wheel had brakes and 1 drum don't stop you!!!! (at least not quickly)

Over the last 3 years or so have replaced ALL steel in the body that was rusted, new brakes all corners, went through everything and now it's an EXTREMELY reliable DD...soon to be primed & painted.

Someone in town here was going to scrap a Jeep to a scrapper who advertised on a local Facebook page.

I messaged them and said WHOA....SLOW DOWN.... Before you scrap it let me check it out.
Turned out to be a 1986 Grand Wagoneer.......

SO, I got the Wagoneer for $150 and was going to use the 360 in it for the Cherokee but it drove too damn nice so I left it alone......

Now I have two full size Jeeps...........
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:59 AM
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Brynjminjones Brynjminjones is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Jun 11, 2017
Location: Derby, England
Posts: 239
Why are you a FSJer?
-I've always loved Jeeps, then my Dad bought an XJ when I was 11 which really turned it into an obsession. When I got to the age to get my driver's license I wouldn't spend my money on anything but a Jeep.
Around the same age (~16) I realised I really like American things in general and I really love New England. Through that I discovered FSJs and realised that I had to have one as soon as I could afford to.

What's the best thing about FSJs?
-Everybody can find a reason to love one. I can polish it up and be the nicest car at a restaurant, I can take it surfing and all the surf guys love the woody wagon, I can go to the country and farmers love it because it's a proper old Jeep, women love it because it's a real family wagon, off-roaders love it because it's a cool Jeep.
Everybody can relate to it somehow which isn't the case with most other SUVs in the UK (i.e. Range Rovers) which only serve to prove to everyone that you're better than they are/have more money than they do. A Wagoneer is down-to-Earth by comparison and I love that.

I'm also continually impressed with just how good they are as vehicles. I wanted one for so long that I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. In reality it's been everything I ever dreamt of and a whole lot more, plus it's been much more reliable than I expected!

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?
-I'd say since age 16, so about 8 years.
I've owned one for just over a year, but that was far from the start of me considering myself an "FSJer".

Describe the perfect FSJ...
-My Grand Wagoneer is the exact Jeep that I always dreamt of.
A stock 1991 Final Edition in Hunter Green with a sand interior. I wasn't so bothered by the exterior color, but my two favorites are between this and a Spinnaker Blue.

I'd also love some kind of J-truck someday, not too fussy about which one!

What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to?
-This varies for me. I listen to just about anything but often lean towards rock/country in the Waggy.
1991 Grand Wagoneer - Hunter Green

1998 Cherokee (XJ) 4.0
1997 Grand Cherokee (ZJ) 4.0
1974 Ford F100 390
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:57 AM
fulsizjeep's Avatar
fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
Señor Jackhead
Join Date: Aug 21, 2002
Location: Jubilee Jeeps.SWCO
Posts: 22,379
Why are you a FSJer?
Because I want to be. In 1960, I was 5 and my dad bought a fishing truck when we lived in Corpus Christi. It was a 51 Willys Wagon. I loved riding in it on Padre Island several years before it was a National Seashore. It was great for camping and fishing on the beach. That Jeep was lost in a flood tide from Hurricane Carla in 61.

In 72 my dad and I looked at a 65 Waggy on a used car lot. I wanted it bad so we went home and put a set of older tires on my Rambler Classic and took it back the next day to trade in. The Waggy was sold and gone. Major Bummer. After I was in the Coast Guard a couple years and settled into the FL panhandle, I was able to get a Jtruck. Bought it at the Jeep dealer in Ft. Walton Beach.

What's the best thing about FSJs?
Everything, especially the QuadraTracs. My 2nd FSJ was a 76 Waggy, 401 with QuadraTrac that I picked up in 80 after I got out of the Coast Guard. I drove it 6 years and only got it stuck once and that is because I had a flat on the beach.

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?
Since 1976. Fell in love with my first one, a 72 J4600. It got me to and from the Florida beaches where I shark fished.

Describe the perfect FSJ...
I have it, an 88 GW. I like the 4 doors best. This one has been an evolution since 95. I have wheeled it in N. Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. I have even had it out on the outer banks beaches.



What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?
All kinds of stuff in between The Beach Boys, Led Zepplin and Tom Waits. One of my favorites is Radar Love by Golden Earring.
Ran when parked.
88 GW, 401/727/208, 5" lift, D44s/4.10s/locked up, 35s with a few Evil Twin & TT's Fabworks mods
76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20

Last edited by fulsizjeep : 08-08-2018 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:21 AM
jpcoutts's Avatar
jpcoutts jpcoutts is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: Jun 28, 2002
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Posts: 1,985
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Why are you a FSJer?
My wife's dad had one that I got to drive when we were dating and it seemed the perfect vehicle for a guy about to get married as opposed to a CJ.

What's the best thing about FSJs?
I just like'em.

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")? I knew I wanted one after the first time I drove one - in 1985.

Describe the perfect FSJ...
Anyone FSJ I get to drive!, but I love a late model GW is great.

What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?
Gotta be The Eagles!

My story.
Jim C
'67 J3000 Dually
'86 J20
'79 CJ5(in pieces)
'86 CJ7 Doesn't need anything(so why do I have it?)
Correction- it just needed a water pump!
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:57 AM
Crankyolman's Avatar
Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Sep 27, 2017
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 514
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Why are you a FSJer?

This story may be too long but it's the only way I can explain how I got where I am.

Some time in the early 90's I was living in northern Minnesota. My car didn't really appreciate Minnesota winters and I couldn't actually get it into my driveway in the winter which left it parked in a public lot where it couldn't be plugged in so on sub zero days it flat out would not start. I had been thinking about buying a truck for some time but money was tight and I'm a cheap bastard. Up to that time I had never paid more than $600 for a vehicle, including my Harley. One day my brother told me he found a truck for me, someone he knew had taken it in trade on some work and he wanted $600 for it. We went and looked at it and it looked pretty much like what you would expect a $600 truck to look like in northern Minnesota. It was a 1966 Jeep pickup with a short bed with a tool box that was actually a 50 gallon fuel tank, which I really liked, although the only way to fit my Harley in it was angled from corner to corner and then just barely. It had a home made tailgate made out out 2 x 12s. The bed seams were a bit rusty but not rusted out, the floorboards were pretty bad with big holes and 2 rubber mats to cover them. Someone had put bucket seats in it and changed the shifter from 3 on the tree to a badly installed floor shifter that worked upside down and backwards but it had a 283 Chevy engine that ran incredibly well and didn't use any oil and had 4 wheel drive so it could handle Minnesota winters. I drove that truck all over Minnesota. At some point I wound up stuck in a snow bank at an extreme angle and the rear bumper got pulled off getting it out. That was the only time it ever got stuck. Another time I was driving in 4wd and hit a patch of dry pavement, which sent the front drive shaft through the passengers floor and broke the shifter right off the transfer case. It was so low geared at highway speed the engine was near red line and it ate a set of points every week and eventually the poorly installed shifter stripped out 2nd gear but I absolutely loved everything about that truck.

When I decided to leave Minnesota and move to a warmer climate (Alaska) I took the truck with me. To prepare for the trip I first went to Oklahoma where my family owned a salvage yard. This gave me somewhat unlimited access to anything I needed to get it ready for the trip. I salvaged a 350 transmission and transfer case out of a full size Blazer, the front drive shaft came out of an S-10 and the rear out of a Monza. I found 2 sets of wheels and tires that would fit off of something and since my plan was to sleep in the truck on the drive up I swapped in a set of nice cushy Cadillac seats for the buckets.

I that all sorted out I loaded up and headed for Alaska. It was a good trip, although there were a few problems but nothing I wasn't prepared for. It was a long trip at 50-55 MPH since any faster resulted in the engine spinning so fast it overheated. It would go 50 all day long but didn't like faster. I did push it to it's limit one day and going down a mountain with my foot on the floor with a stiff tail wind and the engine screaming got clocked at 68 MPH! It got me there tough and I drove it all over Alaska, salmon fishing and gold panning and just having a good time. I even found a girlfriend who I eventually married even though she would even get in it.

Then one day I was driving down the widest road in Anchorage when someone in the oncoming lanes, hit the curb, lost control somehow managed to cross 6 lanes of traffic and hit me square in the left rear wheel breaking the transmission mount and door latch and worst of all damaging the brakes.

His insurance company took my truck in and called me a week later and told me they valued my beloved truck at $800 which they would pay me for it provided I take it back. I was happy to take my truck back but didn't have time to fix it, I needed a vehicle so $600 of the $800 they gave me went to buy a '76 Lincoln Town Coupe which got me to work and back but was not the same as the jeep.

Life moved on, I got married, the Jeep sat and eventually we had to move to the lower 48 and my truck was abandoned. I've always regretted having to do that.

Life continued to get in the way for the next 20+ years. Then my 16 year old Taurus that I had owned for 15 of those years began having problems that were increasingly expensive and difficult to repair and one day I just pulled the plug on it because for the cost of 2 repairs I could could buy a truck which is what I really needed,

So I began looking for a truck. My wife actually wanted me to buy a new one but I hated everything that was available at that time. I made a list of what I wanted. I wanted something made before 1970 so it was emissions exempt and easy to work on. It also needed to have an automatic transmission because my area is far too hilly for me to be willing to use a stick. That was pretty much my only requirements, although I preferred a short bed. I looked through craigslist and was trying to buy a 1958 Chevy truck but the guy never got back to me. I tried some mid 60s Chevys, GMCs and Fords and basically just had problems with sellers. Then I expanded my search to include 1974 and an add for a '72 J4000 popped up. I took one look at it and it just spoke to me, this was the truck I had been looking for and would be the replacement for my old '66. I bought the truck, did a some fixing and modifying and here I am.

Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
What's the best thing about FSJs?

Easy to work on

Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?

I guess thats all explained above

Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Describe the perfect FSJ...

The one I have with nice shiny paint and no rust

Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?

I don't really have an answer for that one right now.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:02 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,431
These are FANTASTIC!!! I LOOOOOVVVVEE The pictures and details. its amazing how many of our answers are common. Here's mine:

Why are you a FSJer?
I am a tinkerer. I want a vehicle that needs work. My dream car is/was a 70 Olds Vista Cruiser (with 442 Front sheet metal) but the wife LOATHES big cars. I was going nuts without a car to tinker on and the wife started pointing out G-Wags so I started looking at them on Craigslist. The more I looked, the more I liked. When an ad for a "rust free" 79 Cherokee for $1000 popped up, I mistakenly thought "Well if 4 door G-Wags are going for big bucks, a 2 door much go for much more!" so I rented a trailer and brought it home. I was blinded by it's beauty and missed all the issues with it. Mine should have been a parts rig but I am committed. The more I tinker, the more I like it. I love the people I have met in this community. I love that even though I live in an area where cars don't rust and I see tons of vintage vehicles driving around every day I almost never see another FSJ. Also, as others have mentioned:
"-They don't do any one thing extremely well but they do everything reasonably well. Whatever you need a vehicle to do, they will do it."
"Because I want to be. "

What's the best thing about FSJs?
Uniqueness. Hands down. I love the challenge when I need a part and it is "no longer available" for my rig, then I do more research and find its a Big 3 part and dirt cheap. As others have said:
"I can put Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or tractor parts on it and nobody gives a crap because that's what Jeep did back in the day anyway. Customizable to my liking without too much judgement."
"-Everybody can find a reason to love one. ...because it's a proper old Jeep, ... because it's a cool Jeep. Everybody can relate to it somehow which isn't the case with most other SUVs ...A Wagoneer is down-to-Earth by comparison and I love that."

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?
Since about 6 months after I bought mine (in 2016). I loved my Cherokee when I bought it but I really didn't "get it" until I started meeting some of the folks in the FSJ Community. I am amazed at how few DBs I have come across in this ( and other FSJ) group.

Describe the perfect FSJ...
I have a few (in order, recognizing some items were never built together):
A) Muscle grilled Honcho, sport/step sided, browed, 5 speed manual, built 401 with TPI and lumpy cam (has to have at least 500HP), stock suspension, driver quality.
B) Pignosed, 4 speed auto, 6.4L Hemi, Golden Eagle, slightly lifted, 4 link front, tube front/rear bumpers with a front winch, rock sliders, D60 rear with limited slip, D44 front with E-locker, nice enough to cruise but can have some offroading damage.
C) Early Wago, bone stock appearance (inside and outside). Bone stock suspension. Front discs, stock 5.7L hemi and late model automatic/Xcase out of a ~2010'ish Ram.

What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?
I love me some 80's/90's punk when driving around town. Something about an American V8 and that driving geetar just go well together. Road tripping is classic rock/metal for sure. Luckily my son has about the exact same taste in music as me so I usually let him pick the music.
79 Cherokee Chief
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:40 AM
Serious Johnson's Avatar
Serious Johnson Serious Johnson is offline
AMC 4 OH! 1
Join Date: May 19, 2002
Location: Pumpkintown, South Carolina
Posts: 3,831
I bought my '83 Wagoneer in 1999 for $800 -- one owner, 98k miles, nice original condition and everything worked. That was in South Carolina; as soon as I took it home to my place at 12,000' in Colorado it broke something every damn time I tried to drive it. I once calculated that it cost on average about $270 every time I twisted the key. So, back in SC I took it apart like a race car and put it back together as I wanted it (see my sig for a summary) at a cost of around $10 grand. That done it worked very well for several years and many Carolina/Colorado "commutes".

The original idea was to build it to tow my 27' Airstream trailer up way hell-and-gone into the Rockies, but that never happened. In fact, as I sit here in the Blue Ridge foothills and type I look out the window of that trailer at the old Jeep that hasn't fired-off in almost 7 years. The main reason for failure is that I married a crazy woman who ended up owning everything, but I also got a little overly ambitious on the engine build. I hadn't messed with a 'Murcan V8 since my drag racing days in the early '70s and consequently built an engine that, while far more powerful than the original, had to spin 7 grand for that power (a couple of data logs showed 7,600 RPM). This is not conducive to AMC V8 longevity or for doing Jeepish things in general.

Last time that I drove it there was a distressing amount of blow-by (ring lands probably pounded-out from those high revs) and scant idle oil pressure. Still, it did what was needed in the wilds of Colorado almost without fail once it was screwed together properly. My sister-in-law just bought a 2002 Land Cruiser 100 series and I'm struck by how similar it is to what my old Waggin' Ear was originally. I could see forsaking the Jeep for such a rig, though it might be harder to convert to manual transmission.

"Carpe Mañana".

'83 Wagoneer
360, .030-over, K8600 cam, Crane springs, ported heads, Edelbrock Performer, G.M. TBI, TFI, 3" exhaust,
T-18a/208, D44/AMC 20 w/ limited slip in both, 3.73s, 33s, BDS 4" springs, Rancho 9000 shocks, etc., etc.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:48 PM
Tanker Tanker is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Jan 04, 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 848
Started 13 years ago drove a 82 wag. Picked up a 84 wag for parts,but the body was better so on to a swap.
Best thing about SJ, the parts interchangeability and easy to work on.
How long? About 13 years
The perfect thing about a SJs building sleepers to a degree.
Wifes J20 with utility bed. 360 with flow bench heads intake,shorty headers,blue printed carb,custom ground cam. Not a fast truck but man can it pull. Started a yard full about 13 ago as well since wife needed a job to do. Now I have a J 10 leafspring chandler. Plus a few other items here.
Owner of Jakes FSJ Junkyard 91 Jeep Cherokee /2006 3500 Dodge AKA Babe the big blue puller
Hire the handicapped, they are fun watch!
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:58 AM
goldhammer's Avatar
goldhammer goldhammer is offline
Join Date: Aug 08, 2004
Location: Willamette Valley, OR
Posts: 4,960
Saw a Cherokee on a lot here in town about 20 years ago. Wife said "if you want the old beast, I don't care", so it became "The Beast". Went back after hours to look it over and low and behold it had a 4 speed in it, only the third one I had ever seen with a stick. Went in the next day and made a deal on it. Couldn't believe the wheeler it turned out to be, neither could the CJ's we ran trails with. She said one day, I've never felt safer in any other vehicle.

First one I ran across was 50 years ago, a 63 J truck a friend of Mom's had. Wish I had it now. The owner was so tight with a buck, he didn't get locking hubs for it. Bought another pair of drive flanges for it and ground out the splines. Come spring he would swap out the splined ones for the ground out ones, come first snow the splined ones would go back on for winter.

Neatest song was heard on a trail run from another rig. When we hit a tough section, on would come "Highway to Hell" at max volume.
ASE Master Collision Tech
"Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

Member: FSJ Prissy Restoration Assoc.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:20 PM
79 Wolfpack 79 Wolfpack is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Jan 30, 2015
Location: Montana
Posts: 52
Why ? I have a 1977 jet boat with a amc 401 . I use it for fishing up river and ocean . I had built a few amc engines for it and had a lot of parts laying around. I wanted a amc powered Jeep to go with it . I needed a vehicle that could launch the boat off a sandy beach or rocky shore. I had to be able to bush wack it bad , drive over trees ,shrubs , rocks . Had to be a stick 4 speed t18 with granny low first. After a long search I found it on Craig’s 1979 wide track Cherokee 4speed V8.

The best thing about fsj . I feel the wide track Cherokee is one of the best size 4x4 wheelbase and width and v8 powered.

I have been in to jeeps since I was a kid my uncle had a hot cj with a sweet 401.
I had a 86 xj Cherokee . It was fun and I had it all set up for desert. I even built its GM 2.8 v6 . It just wasn’t powerful enough and the drive train was not the best . Sold it in 91
About 4 years ago I wanted to get another Jeep and bought my Cherokee.

The perfect sj for me needs to be powerful and robust. Capable of high speed both on and off-road. Soft springs and off-road shocks dual in front .
I like the TSL bias swampers the best for tires . 31”
I don’t like two much lift mine is almost stock hight. To much lift and it kills the handling .
It’s got to have a built motor with headers and a lumpy cam .

I can’t hear the radio with the swampers and built 401 with headers . Once I get there I like a little Lynyrd Skynyrd
79 Cherokee wt
AMC high compression 401
t18 4speed
74 Cherokee nt plow
360 th400
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:39 PM
xabn82 xabn82 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Jan 01, 2016
Location: Chattanooga,TN
Posts: 155
1973 J4000

My Dad bought this truck used in 1981, I drove it home from the used car lot. We kept the truck in the family until my Dad bought a nicer 1982 J20. He sold the 1973 to his best friend around 1988. The last time I saw the truck was 1991. The transmission went out in the 73 so Mike, my Dads best friend bought a 1976 J20 just for the 4speed. The donor truck was beat up pretty bad. Mike eventually bought a new Ford truck and gave the Jeep to his son in law. The son in law, Travis was gonna make a mud truck out of it. He started tearing stuff off of the truck, but lost interest. I out of the blue call up to see if the truck was still at Mikes daughters house and she said it was. The last time I saw the truck was 1991. I bought the J4000 and J20 donor truck a couple years ago. I’ve got both torn down to the frame. I’m wanting to make a nice driver out of it with modern drivetrain, 4 wheel disc brakes, A/C. Wish I could figure out how to post pictures. I’ve tried from my phone, pictures are too big or something.
1973 J4000
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:09 PM
Rod2's Avatar
Rod2 Rod2 is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Apr 11, 2004
Location: Claremont NC
Posts: 645
I started driving a GP in the late '40s/early '50s on the 100 acre plot my family lived on in my early teens. A brother-in-law brought this WWII refugee to the farm and turned me loose on it. I wasn't a legal driver yet, but I put a bunch o' miles on that thing off-road. I could drive it to the highway where I caught the school bus, then drive it back home to chores and such. There was a creek with a swimming hole on the back boundary of the land that would welcome me, and I used the Jeep to get me to it when opportunity arose. But the GP went away, the farm was abandoned, and I got older.
Fast forward 30 years and I find myself the owner of a new home with a heat pump and a fireplace. Immediately, I want firewood. By then, GM, Ford, and Chrysler had gone wimpy, I thought, so I looked for and found a '68 J10, 327 3-speed that I drove 'til '88 when I sold it for $500 and traded a '66 Malibu for the current '73. I've been a Jeep fan and user a long time.
Rod Skaggs
'73 J4000 'WOOD GO' 360, 2100 MC, T-18, D-20, 60-2 rear, D-44 closed knuckle front, Eaton E-lockers both, Pertronix module, AC, PS, '77 Firebird tilt column, Hydro-boost, AirLift bags front and rear, 33x15 Goodyear MTR's, Pacer 15x8 aluminum Bullet Holes, Summit line lock, 3rd brake light, MileMarker 12,000 cradle mounted winch
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:48 PM
Gladiator4x4 Gladiator4x4 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Apr 20, 2018
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 26

I have really enjoyed reading these, mine will be kinda long as well.

I am an FSJ'er because my dad had a qt wagonner that just wouldn't quit. We did a lot of hiking trips when I was younger and one stands out. We had two vehicles heading in and the other rig couldn't handle the old two track. So we wadded up in the wagon, three in front, three in back, us kids in the cargo area and two more guys standing on the folded down tailgate holding on to the roof rack. Made it all the way in and back RIP muffler. After that I was in love with Jeeps.

When I turned 16 I found a 66 J3000 that needed a lot of work and paid too much to get it simply because it was a Jeep and a Truck, I couldn't think of a better combo than that. I learned everything in that truck, how to drive stick, how to offroad and how to fix your own machine.

Best thing about FSJ's

Simple design and real steel in all the parts. I had a 13 Tundra for a while and when I hit an antelope with it I could not believe how much of that "truck" was plastic. I went on a quest for an old jeep shortly after that.

How long have I been an FSJ'er

Off and on for 20 years now. My first rig had the old Kaiser 327, scarcity of parts and not enough knowledge on my part led me to sell it. I wished for years I hadn't and looked for that truck long after I sold it. After my Tundra debaucle I found a 78 J20 that has become my new project. Not 2 weeks after I bought that truck I found my old 66 a few blocks from house in some guys yard waitin for attention. I bought it again and my son and I are going to go through it over the next few years before he turns 16. My first jeep will be his first and that hits me right in the feels.

Perfect FSJ?
Manual transmission and a clunky V8 you can feel runnin through the floorboards. Don't forget low gears and posi front and back.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:32 AM
JohnnyJ's Avatar
JohnnyJ JohnnyJ is offline
258 I6
Join Date: Jan 21, 2001
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 418
Why are you a FSJer?
My Grandfather worked for Willys, and then Kaiser before he passed in the late 60s; so lots of family stories. That set the foundation.

After college, my friends and I would go camping and we all had small cars. The Wagoneer was awesome to load up friends and camping gear and head out. Those memories made me keep my 75 Wagoneer.

What's the best thing about FSJs?

How little they changed from start of production until it ended. They induce a nostalgia.

How long have you been a FSJer (can be before you got one but it's the moment you decided, "FSJs are where it's at")?

I remember them from an early age, but I remember really thinking they were cool when I was about 16 and pulled up next to one that was fresh off the lot, with the window sticker still on it. It was cream colored Grand Wag and looked so nice. This was around 1989.

In 1997 I was looking for a weekend warrior, and found my 75 Wagoneer. That was in the early days of the FSJ-List and I was amazed at how many people had them, the amount of info, and the free sharing of info. The community was great and helped me learn tons about my rig.

Describe the perfect FSJ...

I'd likely have a fleet of them given enough time, money, and space.

Current dream: Wagoneer with wide track flares, 37" tires, heavier running gear, modern drivetrain. I'm not Mopar fan, so I'd rather an LS than a Hemi.

Something of a mix of the Team Trail Tested 69 Wagoneer, ICON's Grand Wagoneer, and handful of other clean restomods.

I love the Prerunner J-trucks, like the Save Bud truck and others like it.

What's the best song/music to drive your FSJ to (driving can be commuting, road tripping, rock crawling, overlanding, wrenching, etc.)?

When I first got my 75 Wag, we used to play a CD full of Rockabilly/Old Country music. Seemed to fit.
Past Project: Stock Class TREC Racer Build Thread
Current project: bringing back my 75 Wagoneer
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:50 PM
cma's Avatar
cma cma is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Austria
Posts: 1,458
Here is my Story

Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

Note: Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. - Mike Tyson

Cherokee Chief Laredo, 360 cui, selec trac, black, 12/1982

Picture story:
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