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  #1  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:43 PM
bogartbond bogartbond is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Dec 29, 2019
Location: PA
Posts: 5
Post Newbie 1990 GW can any patient people tell me how screwed I am &/or where to begin?

Hi! Prefacing all of this with I know NOTHING about cars. son purchased for me for Xmas gift.
copy and paste link to see pics of underneath https://link.shutterfly.com/8oG9uAJXT2
(didn't get under hood ones yet)

Basically wondering if you all think...
A: Not worth putting a dime into it regift it NOW!
B: I'm pretty screwed but should keep it and fix _______ blank(s) in order of importance while taking cost into consideration.

I'm going to # issues/questions so it's easier for you all to answer.

Only things I've done:
New battery (one in it was wrong one)
New air filter.

Good News:5.9 L V8 original engine, seems to be in good condition. It starts and drives. rebuilt Carburetor. Spark plugs seem to be new. I would tag it as an antique in PA and it would never need to pass inspection.

Engine and exhaust system:
He recommends
-new coolant hose/connection (it's leaking at radiator)
-All new vacuum hoses and fuel filter
-replace belts soon

#1 Hoses off of carb bowl

#2 Choke set super high (is that good or bad?) I don't even have to press on gas most of the time to start it. But it will stall if it doesn't warm up long enough & I really don't know what the right amount of time it needs to warm up properly?

#3
oil leak he didn't give recommendation

Brakes
He recommends new Brake hose(s)/lines

Steering & Suspension
He recommends replacing:
-idler/pitman arm
-bushings / link pins
-tie rod ends
-shocks/struts

#4 gear shift thing "has play" (not sure if above recs would address that?)

Underneath

#5 Old owner used plastic zip ties to attach new fuel line to the old rusted one.

#6 Fuel tank: Last owner put on a new or used fuel tank with homemade straps and welds (no harness).

#7 Can't see Fuel Filter without dropping the ridiculous fuel tank contraption.

#8 Leaf Springs & bushings
-basically all of the leaf springs & bushings are in dangerous condition, totally rusted, brackets missing, spring things broken and bent

#9 Rear leaf spring has been welded to the frame of the car poorly. mechanic says a big pot hole the welding could detach.

#10 last owner did a bad job putting on a used catalytic converter and it leaks and is an improper unsafe repair.

Is there anything else underneath that you all see in the following pics that scare you?

I appreciate ALL advice/guidance/help.

Oh and I am located in Haverford, PA so if you know a good honest mechanic and body shop I could work with near me please lmk.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2020, 09:36 PM
FleetFox FleetFox is online now
232 I6
 
Join Date: Apr 04, 2018
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 135
Not sure what to say, So I'll start with asking a couple of questions.

Did your son gift this to you because he was thinking of doing a father/son project?

Is this vehicle that you wanted to have at some point in your life?

Are you interested in delving into a project and learning how to do some of the basic repairs yourself?

The forum offers a lot of resources. Admittedly, it is aimed more at the do it yourselfer.

Lastly, if you keep it, what would the intended use be when it is useable?

Fleet Fox
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:18 AM
joe joe is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 28, 2000
Location: PNWet, USA
Posts: 22,392
Not knowing anything about cars is going to be a serious handicap financially if you gotta pay a shop to do near everything on it .
So...I gotta echo Fleet Foxes concerns. I get your kid bought it for you which is pretty cool but what are "your" goals and intentions for it?
If you were at least somewhat mechanical it'd be a cool father/son project but otherwise, depending on previous maint/care and current mech condition a 90 GW can be a huge time and money pit to just get everything up to reliable daily driver status.
Couple of thoughts:
1. The Grand Wag era of FSJ's even in good condition with previous care are pretty maint intensive. Lotsa elec fluff doodads so expect trouble shooting lotsa elec issues especially out in the rust belt of the USA.
2. Though FSJ'S all generally look pretty much similar, all parts are not direct interchangeable through the years nor are correct parts easy/quick to find. As previously mentioned these are pretty much hobby cars maintained by the owners. Without knowing your intentions, hopes, goals, economics I'm not going to say sure dive in or run like hell. In my case I'm a fair mechanic but gettin old(72) and my body doesn't work or even bend like it used to so I don't even like working on cars anymore plus I'm retired and too poor to pay a shop to maintain a 90 GW. So I'd just hug my kid...and then punt.
Best of luck!
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:53 AM
bogartbond bogartbond is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Dec 29, 2019
Location: PA
Posts: 5
Totally get that it was assumed I am a dad I am actually a 48 yr old mom. I had one of these growing up and have always wanted to get another one.

I DO want to keep it and be able to drive it around town daily 40mps tops(no road trips) and get it nice mechanically & cosmetically, and I'm patient. I'm good at research and learning but dont have the tools to fix myself, thus would need to find a local mechanic & body shop that knows about these to do the work. So I guess that is where I am at.

From you all I am hoping to get some advice on what things(and going price) you all would fix right away if it were your car preventatively speaking?

Things engine wise that are just smart to do to keep it running as it currently is or things that will make it run a bit better and are just smart to do?

Then things underneath that you'd fix now because if I wait and it breaks while I'm driving it I or the car could get really messed up.

Based on the one mechanic that has looked at it he was most concerned with frame & undercarriage stuff cause almost everything is rusted #1 being all leaf springs (a few had brackets totally missing) and one is welded to the frame and all the bushings.

Or are there things on my initial post not mentioned here that you'd fix now?

I don't want to bug you all just hoping to get pointed in the right direction with a top 10 fix now list.

And if anyone knows of anyone near Philly that works on these I'd be eternally grateful for that info.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2020, 05:02 PM
Bob Barry Bob Barry is offline
Jeep Doctor
 
Join Date: Apr 09, 2000
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 8,221
You're certainly not bothering us with these questions! Welcome (back) to the FSJ world!

That undercarriage is one rusty mess. It's hard to tell from the pictures whether the repairs need to be repaired, but the things that stand out are the (typically) rusted driver's-side framerail in front of the rear wheel, where the gas-tank is, and the rear spring-shackle mount in the back. Those would be the first things to fix, as them breaking would be dangerous.

You can see that most of the floors in the passenger-compartment are completely gone. If you don't want to be like Fred Flintstone, those have to be repaired. It also appears the rocker-panels are rusty, so take care of them as well, as they are structural.

The springs look worn or broken; plan on replacing those next. Definitely change out all the fluids, take care of major leaks, and then see how it runs.

This would be a good time to acquire some first-hand knowledge of auto-repair, as the above jobs will run in the $5,000-$10,000, depending on who does the work and to what quality.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2020, 06:28 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Some thoughts:
a) You will never make money on this or get any money back that you put into it so keep that in mind. If you pay someone to fix it, it is not going to raise the value enough to get your money back. That means, basically, any money you put in is for your and your son to enjoy.
b) Nothing will be easy for your mechanic. When he wants to replace the brake hoses, they will be seized to the hard lines. When he wants to replace the shocks, the hardware will be rusted on. So when he quotes you $300 for a shock replacement, expect that cost to go up because when you say yes, he will start working, then have replace rusted/broken hardware.

It can be expensive to keep one of these going. But if you ignore the annoyances, just fix the safety items, it can be very worth it. Keep your expectations real and it can be alot of fun for both of you. Me personally, I would rather have a rig like yours that you can bomb around in and not worry about than to go buy a super spotless one and have to worry about people dinging it or sliding up against a tree.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:07 PM
ShagWagon ShagWagon is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Apr 10, 2016
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 870
Your mechanic is right. I wouldnt drive over 5mph! Its a nightmare.

Id start on brakes and a whole new suspension lift kit. If you can even bolt it on with all the rust. $3k-5k May need re enforcement or something. You can do a nice job yourself for under $2k

I would look for a different candidate for restoration looks like chassis rusted rotted. It will get worse the more you look.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2020, 12:21 AM
FleetFox FleetFox is online now
232 I6
 
Join Date: Apr 04, 2018
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 135
First off, forgive me for my assumption. I'll be blunt, this Wagoneer will eat you out of house and home. It will cost you several thousand just to get the suspension and undercarriage passable. This in and of itself is not a deal killer in my eyes. The extensive rust and rot in the frame, the rockers and lower panels is frankly. I see bondo everywhere, and rust bubbling through. As another member said, once you start looking it will get worse, likely a lot worse. I sincerely understand your son's gesture. But I think you can find a better example out there for far less than it would take to make this one roadworthy. This merely my opinion as a 48 yr old guy who has long been a rescuer of lost causes.

Fleet Fox
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2020, 03:08 PM
bogartbond bogartbond is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Dec 29, 2019
Location: PA
Posts: 5
thank you and who wants to buy it for parts:)??

Thank you all for your detailed and helpful advice. The most recent guy I brought it to who has 45+ years restoring cars (but not specifically Wagoneers) thinks it had been sitting in a shallow stream for the last 20 years. He told me to not put a cent into it and sell it to someone for parts. I'm thinking the severity of the rust and me not being a mechanic that's the smartest decision. I'll hopefully find a non rusted death trap one some day...Live and learn. If anyone is truly interested message me and I'll take pics of exterior body and interior, since you've only seeing the underneath.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2020, 07:55 PM
ShagWagon ShagWagon is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Apr 10, 2016
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 870
I would buy a better one and use that one for parts of you really want one.

Can make a good one out of both of them possibly if it has t been trashed other then rust.
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2020, 09:58 AM
fsj454 fsj454 is offline
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1982 cherokee nt. 454. nv4500 .205. dana 60 f+r. twin stick.hydroboost.hydrolic clutch.rock ram.traction bar.warn 12000 winch.4 wheel disc.flip kit.soa.high steer.cross over steer.4.56 detroit locker.35 spline rear alloy axles. 37s .1990 grand wagoneer aka trusty rusty
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2020, 09:58 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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x3

If you watch Craigslist in SoCal or Arizona, you can find a totally rust free rig for a decent price, add $750 for shipping and it's yours.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2020, 12:09 PM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 02, 2002
Location: Mooseville Northern Idaho
Posts: 2,389
Or buy a late 90's to mid 2000's Toyota 4runner and enjoy the engineering. Oop's, did I say that? It wasn't me I swear....

But if you want a capable rig that drives with authority in snow and is just plain cool, find a better wagoneer. A glance under ANY vehicle will show corrosion and true condition and what you might be dealing with. Even 4runners. First place I looked. I have many jeeps and have for nearly 4 decades. I never have to fix my wifes Toyota. Every jeep here is waiting in line for something. Keeps me sane.

Welcome to the board!!
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Am I done yet?

Holy Moly, I am done.....

Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
I was there! Still waiting for my Tee shirt...

1969 1414X Wag,
1970 and 71 project J trucks
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's and a 7
And soon... Another M715! echo... echo...
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2020, 04:45 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserjeeps
... Every jeep here is waiting in line for something. ..
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!! SOOOoo true!!!! There are not many people that buy a FSJ because they are just "so darn reliable"! LOL!!!
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2020, 09:02 AM
bogartbond bogartbond is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Dec 29, 2019
Location: PA
Posts: 5
Hi again, so I'm going to just do nothing major to it (just drive it until it stops driving) In the interim wondering if you can tell me what is the best oil to use for these? Doubting the dishonest last owner has the right oil in it, thus thinking I can at least try an keep it driving by having the right oil in it Thanks
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2020, 01:04 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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I'm actually super stoked you said that! GREAT idea!!

I run conventional 20-50W in mine because that is the only way I get the oil pressure I need in my motor.

My 2 cents (and there will be lots of contrasting opinions here):
I always run a Baldwin B9 Filter on mine. I have never seen a bad thing said about them. DO NOT USE FRAM. I learned that the hard way. I get Baldwin B9 filters from Grainger. I also always open my oil filters after an oil change and inspect. The quality of the Bladwin B9 is night and day compared to the Frams I have opened. I ran a Wix once and it was OK but the Baldwin is way better.

What is your oil pressure when the engine is at operating temp and idling? I would put 10W-40 in yours and watch your oil pressure. If you have at least 10PSI at idle when you are warm, stay there. If you have more then 10, consider going to 10W-30 next oil change and stay there. If you have less than 10psi, go to 20W-50 next oil change.

Let the fireworks begin....
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2020, 02:12 PM
bogartbond bogartbond is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Dec 29, 2019
Location: PA
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THANKS!
I'll look into the operating temp & idling of the engine...
Any particular oil brand you prefer?
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2020, 02:26 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Again, you will get as many different answers as there are brands of oil.

I personally like Castrol GTX when it comes to my Cherokee. I use Mobile 1 in my Mazda and Pathfinder.
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  #19  
Old 02-29-2020, 09:58 PM
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letank letank is offline
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Location: San Francisco
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for your location 10W40 castrol GTX is good, 20W50 is a bit thick for the cold weather in PA. I use 10W40 year around in Cal.


Edit: at lower temp, such as the 50's you can hear that the starter is cranking a lot slower. I tried the 20W50 years ago and the benefits are not obvious.



This is the usual debate of pressure vs. flow, you need pressure to push the oil, but the flow is what is cooling the metal interface. In the end the operating temperature of you engine dictate the oil to use, cooler engine needs an oil that is flowing better at lower temp, hence the 5W20 in the winter, but with higher summer temp 10W30 or 10W40 is better. On the air cooled motorcycle engine I have 20W50.


regular dinosaur oil is good, synthetic might lead to other issues on a engine with unknown history


If anyone wants to read more about oil, check this excellent topic -you need to download the pdf-


https://www.widman.biz/English/Bulletins/flat.html
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74 wag, 349Kmiles on original ticker/trany, except for the rust. Will it make it to the next get together without a rebuilt? Status: needs a new body.
85 Gwag, 226 Kmiles. $250 FSJ test lab since 02, that refuses to give up but still leaks.

See Ouray 2013, Engine bits and Fuel and brake lines, and Body work

Last edited by letank : 03-01-2020 at 02:22 PM.
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