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Old 09-26-2003, 06:38 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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Location: Rain City and it sucks
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Okay, please bear with me, I'm sure this will be full of extraneous info. I had a Saab 9000 Turbo 1991 (long story, it was mine, but I didn't choose it) and it was amazingly expensive. Waaaaaaay more than normal earthlings should ever pay for a car--the fuel pump (just the part) was $660 (specially made in sweden)(oh, yeah, and it was replaced only after computer diagnosis at $125 an hour). The car kicked hiney when driving but I just wasn't into it and the maintenance!...Anyway, I'd been trying to decide on a car for a really (I'm talking several years)long time with a lot of helpful (OR NOT!!) input from 3rd parties, and the choices didn't rock my boat: volvo wagon, volvo sedan, old mercedes, vw cabriolet (yeah, right) yadayadayada. Wasn't into it. Then one morning, in late June, I woke up and in my mind, I KNEW, I saw "THE ONE"--the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, 1984-1989 (don't ask me why, and later I narrowed it down to 1987 because of the Chrysler thing and even though I heard Chrysler didn't touch the Wagoneer, who could really know, right??)

Anyway, my friends, except for a few, thought I'd lost my everlovin mind. I'm a little female, and what did I need with a car that had a tire I couldn't lift (and I bet I CAN lift it...). But off I went on a search, and I got the most beautiful, silver metallic exterior, dark red leather interior, no rust I can find, mint inside, runs great except for the drinking problem (see earlier post). Checked out by 2 different mechanics (one was a loser, didn't even notice it needed new tires, but did suggest rear wheel bearings needed repacking uh-huh). Of course they didn't spot the drinking problem (and I can live with that fix) but here's the thing: I want to take me and my two big dogs on a roadtrip to find a new home. Montana, No Cal, So Cal. And well, stuck on the side of the road when night's coming, me and the dogs, doesn't sound good, and Montana, we're talking Lookout Pass, and after reading the stuff here (and I understand a fraction of it--little numerator/big denominator), I am wondering if I've lost my mind :gas blowing out of the tank, vacuum hoses, toyota owners who don't know what they're in for...well, it's enough to make me feel a little puny, and that's not easy...I bought a Wagoneer thinking I'd have a great truck with years ahead of it, dependable, loyal, strong, safe...but after reading lots of the posts, I'm wondering if I'm right, and if I'm not, I sure need to know before I pack up and leave.

SO FINALLY, here are all the questions:
--What should I have checked on Woody to make sure I'm relatively safe on the road
--is he the kind of Jeep that can do Lookout Pass? (4725 feet)
--he has 149,000 miles. first owner, great, meticulous records, second owner didn't keep them (yes, I know, I know, what was I thinking...)
Here's what's been done:
new rear brakes
new plugs (the best ones I could find)
new distributor cap
new rotor
oil change, new filter
new thermostat
new belts
new fuel filter
new fluids

What else do I need to do to hike around in him for a few thousand miles? He's going in to have his drinking problem fixed (sensor/pickup lines) and I'm going to have a new gas line put in at the same time (what's money, huh?) and new tires (michelins, I'm thinking at this point, but I'm open to suggestion)

Also, I bought the FSR for Woody, but it's a little much for a newbie...anybody got any suggestions for beginners? I want to understand what's going on with my jeep.

And last, thanks for not laughing or kicking me out of here (yet, at least). I know I'm just starting to learn about Woody Hank, but he's a great Wagoneer, and I love him and I've never given a flip about a car before, but he's not really a car (and he's sure not an SUV!) THANK YOU!! Oh, and the guys at the parts store think he's a kick-hiney ride and that I got a great deal if that helps any

[ September 27, 2003, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: WoodyHank ]
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2003, 06:40 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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oh, Woody is a 1985 GW, I just wanted pre-87 because of the fall/chrysler thing, but he is an 85 and hasn't been driven terribly hard and only 1500 miles last year, but the woman who owned him was a DITZ
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Old 09-26-2003, 06:54 PM
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PlasticBoob PlasticBoob is offline
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Welcome to the board! You've made a very wise decision, these things drive better than Cadillacs and are very comfy. I don't want to scare you, but do you have an ammeter? If so, you need to remove the instrument cluster, and put the two wires on the back of the ammeter on one post. This isn't very hard. Our Jeeps always have a habit of catching on fire when the ammeter breaks, I have experienced this serveral times. If you have a voltmeter, you're okay. I don't remember if the '85s had ammeters or not. Also, for good measure, you should replace your ignition module and starter relay switch, I have seen them always die at the most inopportune times. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:00 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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Okay, I had to sound like a total idiot, but sometimes it's just gonna happen (and this is one of them) is the ignition module and starter relay that little metal box up under the hood near the driver's side? (this cop who stopped to tell me about his jeep said he always replaced his every year, in the spring, because that's when it went out). So other than the ammeter and these two things, I am not headed for disaster? I'm not kidding, I love this damned jeep. And just try to get my dogs out of it. My golden retriever wants to live in it (and at the price of repairs, we may have to
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:07 PM
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PlasticBoob PlasticBoob is offline
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I don't know the newer Jeeps too well, but my friend has a '78. On his, the ignition module is under the hood on the fender on the driver's side. The starter relay is a little funny looking box on the passenger's side... here's a pic of the starter relay:


Both are easy to do yourself - the ignition module just plugs in, and all you have to do is reconnect the wires in the same order on the starter relay. I think the module is pretty cheap, too. All these things could be done easily by you. I wouldn't say you're headed for disaster - does the engine sound good? They're pretty tough, and have plenty of power not to give you the jitters going up steep grades.
Do you have any pics? We love to see new members' rigs. [img]smile.gif[/img] Enjoy!
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2003, 07:18 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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Oh, yeah, and then you guys will all be slippin up to Seattle to steal Woody Hank away because he is the best looking rig of them all [img]smile.gif[/img] I'll be getting some pictures soon and of course I'll be putting them on to show everyone!
The ignition module is the 'box' I'm thinking of. the officer said it just plugs right in and they're cheap so he just replaces it every year, because WHY NOT? and I'll check for the starter relay. Can I just go to a Schucks and get these or is it more complicated? BTW, am I supposed to just reply like this? I've never done a post before (see how much I love my jeep...I used to be a normal female [img]smile.gif[/img]
And his engine does sound great. he just starts right up, runs smooth, I love driving him, no problems, stutters, nothing. And the guys at the auto shop have all come out to see him and they said he sounds great.
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:28 PM
mtn goat mtn goat is offline
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A big hello to woody hank! The grand is a fine vehicle and very luxurious. as far as reliability goes, it wont be any different then any other 20yr old vehicle on the road...If it has been well maintained, it will be very reliable...and any exceptions are already figured out by many of us here. replacing the module is a good idea, it is the square metal box with plugs comming out of it on the drivers side. also, throw the old one under the seat just incase. before you go, have the battery and alternater checked (auto parts stores do this for free, make them check the acid inside too. they have a guage to do this) try to find any weekness before your on the top of the mountain. Look around the engine bay and make sure no wires are laying across hot areas like the exhaust pipes.dont want them melting on you. try to have the cooling system pressure tested (I think autozone will do this too, but I'm not sure) this will reveal any weekness in the cooling system. another good idea is to throw some blankets and food/water in the back before heading out....just in case. Thats all I can think of off hand, the others are sure to chime in with more

Welcome, and we are picture freaks here so ...please help our addiction.
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:36 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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Whew!!! I'm not a total idiot! I already did the whole battery/alternator thing, we've checked all the wires and such, he's been looked over but the mechanic who's going to do the gas line/fuel sender is a friend of my old saab mechanic who's a great guy, works on his own, and takes his golden retriever to work everyday, gotta love that, and I've got the Emergency kit packed (yeah, beer opener included..might as well have the temporary solution handy [img]smile.gif[/img] and pictures coming soon! Do I just post them here? I'll also be doing my own home page with road trip pics so if I'm trapped on top of Lookout Pass someone come and get me!
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:37 PM
mtn goat mtn goat is offline
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Yah, you can pick up most everything you will need from shucks....and your posting habits are just fine. (you will fit right in)
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:37 PM
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FSJ Thing FSJ Thing is offline
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LOL! In my humble opinion, so long as you do your regularly scheduled maintenance you should have a very reliable vehicle that will have no problem with lookout pass or vail pass or any other paved pass. When you read the posts on this forum, and we talk about gas tanks puking, or carbs crapping out or all the other nasty things that we bring to the board, please remember that most of us have a very hard time keeping our hands out of something even if there's nothing wrong with it. Of course, non of us would willingly admit to any degree of mechanical ineptitude or suggest it as a possible cause for the massive mechanical failure that became the topic of the post, so we all just play along that it "just happened". And in some cases it really does just happen, but for the most part, a well maintained stock FSJ will run fine for many years to come!
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2003, 07:47 PM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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I'm feeling better now, but keep the info coming you guys! I am keeping Woody even if he doesn't run, just sitting in him I feel like I'm going somewhere. And I see those plasticoated SUV owners look at Woody with envy, coveting his real and perfect metal bod! but I'm going to do all of this stuff before heading out to the pass (of course, last time I went over it, I was driving a bloody rental minivan, what was I thinking? and I drove Billings to Casper in a snowstorm in a rental yugo-ish thing, but was I worried then!?)
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Old 09-26-2003, 11:19 PM
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Tad Tad is offline
 
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Well the 85 is a very nice year indeed and yours sounds quite up to the task you described above.
You mentioned the fuel line, are you replacing all the line?
There is one very common area for rust, being the gas tank skid plate area, above it and on the frame in that area. Even though it may look rust free this is an important area to check. The skid plate holds the gas tank up there, traps all sorts of crud on top, then rots from the inside out.
Check it out and good luck, sounds like a fun trip.
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Old 09-27-2003, 01:57 AM
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gsmikie gsmikie is offline
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when you said 149,000 miles the first thing that came to mind was timing chain look in your records and see if it has been changed other than that go...drive...explore....we will be here
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:17 AM
WoodyHank WoodyHank is offline
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Yep, replacing the line, and probably the sender because of Woody's drinking problem (can't access all of his gas). Is that skid plate replacement really expensive? I figure while the gas tank is dropped (I read the sender replacement instructions, so tank has to be dropped right?) might as well do it all. But this being Seattle, it all costs more. Will his fuel filter tell much about the rust build-up? I wish I had the second owner records (long story)
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:48 AM
Ed Jack Ed Jack is offline
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the gas tank skid plate can be very expensive, when it can be found at all, if yours is salvageable it's probably best to stick with it.

Keep in mind while reading all these scary problems: Noone posts; "Hi, my jeep drove fine today, just wanted to let everyone know."
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Old 09-27-2003, 04:27 AM
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710 Burner 710 Burner is offline
 
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Welcome to a very exclusive club of some of the proudest, and deservedly snobby 4-wheelers on the earth. With the purchase of your wagon, your membership is guaranteed.
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Old 09-27-2003, 05:06 AM
NomadJack NomadJack is offline
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Hi, my Jeep drove fine today, just wanted to let everyone know.
Actually, not really, but I love her.
You may be able to find a skid plate through Olympic 4x4 up in Snohomish, about an hour drive north from Seattle. Here's the link to their site.

Olympic 4x4

They've got about 15-20 GW's on their lot, and will be able to tell you if they've got the parts you need.
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Old 09-27-2003, 06:27 AM
AM Woody AM Woody is offline
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I second checking on the timing chain. Sounds like something the second owner wouldn't have bothered with, so maybe it's in the records. Other than that, you most likely will not experience a catastrophic failure in the engine. Most on the road problems will be accessory related, as mentioned by others above. Water pump would be another one to check. Should be (or could have been) part of a timing chain job if not replaced otherwise. Make sure you don't have any significant leaks that could run your axles, engine, radiator, transmission, etc. out of their fluids over the duration of a long trip. Check belts and hoses, of course. Day to day city driving is a lot harder on a vehicle than highway driving, so if you can drive it around in traffic all day, it'll be fine on the road. It's just that having a problem on the road can be more dramatic than when close to home.

Andy
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:00 AM
Joe Guilbeau Joe Guilbeau is offline
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Put her in 4-Wheel drive and see how it goes.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:55 AM
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Bobbo Bobbo is offline
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Don't worry about your jeep. They are great vehicles as long as you take fair care of them. I have had a fsj ever since I got out of school.(9 years ago) I am also a 3rd gen. fsj lover. You will get many years of good service from your rig. I know, I am in the auto service business.
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