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1984 grand wagoneer hemi swap

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  • 1984 grand wagoneer hemi swap

    Hi guys and thanks for landing on my build thread.

    Back in 2017, after 2 years of searching and even more years of wanting one, I finally purchased a grand wagoneer. Mind that I limited my search to Europe, or, when I happened to be in the USA I went on craigslist, eBay, bringatrailer and whatnot to find a good one that was worth shipping home.

    Home is The Netherlands, possibly the most car-unfriendly country due to its environment taxes. This date, a new car with half an engine is taxed to the extreme, for example, a new Jeep Wrangler JL with a 2.0T engine will set you back 90K euro (a good 100K$)
    So back to cool cars - the old ones:

    I wanted to have a blue one, but could not find a decent one with no rust. So in the end I settled for quality over color preference, with the idea that I would restore it at some point anyway.
    so in September 2017 I found it, a topaz gold grand wagoneer with a nutmeg brown interior, about as late 70's as color schemes can get..








    It is basically an honest, never spoiled, original 1984 grand wagoneer with about 70K miles only!. Engine original, all the electrical is there but not everything working, the underside was covered in oil grease and sand (keeping out the rust) etc. I got it at an honest price, the gentleman who sold it to me was honest about everything that was and was not working, but most importantly he wanted it to go to someone who enjoyed it.

    He imported it from Reno Nevada, and had the paperwork to go with it that shows it was originally purchased in Huntington Beach California. So this had to be the rust free, mostly original base for my future restoration.

    I decided to just drive it for fun, did the occasional good weather commute & we made some shorter trips (some weekends to our holiday home hauling surf boards the back or on the roof)

    Our dutch climate is not really forgiving on cars; very wet for extended periods of time, 6 months a year temperatures that will not let anything get dry, and I live right at the beach so the old sunbaked paint has had a hard time since 2017.

    I knew something had to be done so the restoration had to be planned.
    I do have a garage at my house but in our country garages are not like USA based garages. I live in an old house (1930) and garages did not have priority back then, so at 11 by 30 feet it is not a place to restore a car in.

    Time to search for a location!

    I'll post several messages with the progress over the next days. as I started in January 2021 with it.
    if it's meant to be, it will be..

  • #2
    Sounds awesome
    Nice rig
    Look forward to the build
    Lots of pictures I hope
    1976 Jeep Wagoneer
    Rebuilt, 360, TH400, QT.
    Still not running. Soon!

    Comment


    • #3
      your wait was worth it.

      you have one of the best color combos ever,....

      I never see this combo.

      and looks like nutmeg interior,.....real nice.

      good luck on the restoration, looks great as it is !!!

      dave in NC,....USA
      SOLSAKS - dave
      1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
      1982 J-10 Fleetside
      1988 grand wagoneer
      2004 RUBICON jeep
      Benson, NC

      Comment


      • #4
        Good to see someone from The Netherlands here. I live in Belgium and visit this place once in a while. Looking forward to see progress on your build.
        Do you plan to replace the engine with a Hemi ?
        1978 Cherokee Chief
        360 V8 Automatic
        Quadra Trac w/ Mile Marker conversion
        4" Skyjacker

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Be from Be
          Good to see someone from The Netherlands here. I live in Belgium and visit this place once in a while. Looking forward to see progress on your build.
          Do you plan to replace the engine with a Hemi ?
          Yes, the engine will be replaced with a 5.7 hemi and an 8hp70 8-speed.
          exciting times ahead!
          if it's meant to be, it will be..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SOLSAKS
            your wait was worth it.

            you have one of the best color combos ever,....

            I never see this combo.

            and looks like nutmeg interior,.....real nice.

            good luck on the restoration, looks great as it is !!!

            dave in NC,....USA
            Thanks, tastes differ
            I actually love the nutmeg but I really could not live with the topaz cold. I tried to like it for 3 years but it just does not grow on me

            every time I saw a picture of a blue one I kept longing for blue, so it had to be painted
            if it's meant to be, it will be..

            Comment


            • #7
              My restoration journey could not start without a good shop place.
              A friend turned around his cooperate life and started to make his hobby professional, he imports and restores old mustangs and he just found a good shop space:

              https://www.mister-mustang.com

              He expected to have a bit of space left so I could use a corner in his new shop.

              I brought the car there last December, but had no time yet due to finishing a contract.

              So I started in February, let the teardown begin:








              Tearing the carpet out is always scary with an old vehicle because you don't know what you are going to see. I was very happy to see this:


              The only repaired patch on the whole car, pretty solid work we found out later, hardly any bondo on the outside and a proper weld.


              I decided to go about this slowly: I tagged and bagged everything so I could actually put it all back together when it is build it back up time.
              if it's meant to be, it will be..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wimbers
                ...A friend turned around his corporate life and started to make his hobby professional, he imports and restores old mustangs and he just found a good shop space...
                A man after my own heart. I worked for a Mustang resto shop in my late teens, would love to restore cars professionally. Good luck on the build, and yes please, include many pics.
                An excellent idea tagging and bagging everything. I have multiple size bags and black sharpies everywhere to label things.
                --Rob--
                1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer / Baltic Blue & Tan
                2008 BMW 535xi Wagon / Deep Sea Blue & Tan

                My build thread:
                https://ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=189245
                My Howell TBI Install How-To:
                https://ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=189877

                Comment


                • #9
                  Teardown update from last spring:
                  The driver side door had the connection between inner and outer broken, so that needed welding:


                  The rear window bar is completely rusted through.


                  The woodgrain needed to come off prior to going to the body shop, so a couple of eraser wheels later the body is clean again, and no rust underneath, but I did find that someone just stuck another layer on top of the worn out original so that was more work for me.


                  Next step was taking the front clip off, and pulling the engine out. I sold it to a guy building a CJ as an offroad vehicle and he wanted the entire driveline, engine, trans, and transfer case.


                  Now with the engine out, It was time to get to the infamous body mounts.
                  I chose to drill holes above them so I could heat them from below, hold the nuts as the cages are too weak or rusted, and once the bolts were out, remove the cages and nuts. once it has to go back, I'll have some decent hardened bolts, nuts and rings so it is easy to mount and access.
                  Body before removing, I made a dolly cart to roll it out to the bodyshop (next-door to our shop)


                  The holes made for accessing the nuts from above (saw this on wheeler dealers done on a CJ)
                  As i did not get all the bolts loose with heating I actually welded the nuts on these to the retainer cages and heated the bolts again, this was just enough to get the last ones out

                  And the body on the dolly, where it will sit a couple of months until they get the time to get to it.
                  if it's meant to be, it will be..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since the body is away for a bit I have time to get this situation back in order:


                    2 Body Mount holes were rusted out, looking like this:


                    Took a bit of fabrication, and made them look like this again:


                    Besides that, nothing out of the ordinary: just a ton of taking apart, blasting, powder coating, ordering replacement stuff (bolts and rubbers, bearings) and putting it back together.
                    I underestimated this a bit, it is just a ton more work, and everything is stuck after 36 years in the sand..

                    I'll spare you the boring plain maintenance work, but after 2 months I got it al back together. New joints, rubbers, bolts, everything powder coated.
                    The original tank skid plate came out great after powder coat. I installed n in-tank EFI pump for the hemi.



                    I'll create a seperate response for the wheels as I had them refurbished and they came out like new.
                    if it's meant to be, it will be..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wheels

                      So the wheels:
                      They were straight, but pitted. I spend half a day trying to properly deanodize and polish one and the pits on many places were too deep to get a good surface flat enough to get a glossy look.



                      I went to a local wheel refurbishment shop.
                      they blasted the wheels, then powder coated, then machined them, and then a final transparent gloss powder coat.

                      These are the wheels after the grey powder coating


                      and this is after machining and final coat:


                      Real happy with how this came out. It was not cheap. but well worth the investment to keep the original look.
                      if it's meant to be, it will be..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow, those wheels look great. Nice job!
                        1974 Cherokee S. It's driving but needs more work. As usual!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My drivers side door has the same problem! I have been wondering if it's supposed to be attached somewhere. I just ran a self tapper to hold it in place for the time being. Where is that connection point at? I'll need to weld mine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by inkedmonkey
                            My drivers side door has the same problem! I have been wondering if it's supposed to be attached somewhere. I just ran a self tapper to hold it in place for the time being. Where is that connection point at? I'll need to weld mine.
                            this area is weak, basically it is one tab from the outside shell and one tab from the inside spot welded on top of eachother, the bend breaks on the outside shell.

                            I welded it back together, I think this will save me a lot of rattling in the door.
                            if it's meant to be, it will be..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My door had the EXACT same failure.

                              As its in paint now, they welded it up.

                              must be a weak spot I suspect.
                              It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

                              1977 "401" 'Da Chief
                              1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
                              1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
                              2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
                              2001 XJ : Driver - 2016 JK 2 door

                              'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

                              Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
                              http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

                              "Madness" build here:
                              http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280

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