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Old 04-13-2021, 08:01 AM
srob3's Avatar
srob3 srob3 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Dec 30, 2004
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 53
Beginning: 77 Wagoneer

I would like advice on how to begin organized reclamation for a dependable vehicle. My mechanical knowledge is ok, and I can take instruction/criticism. I don't have an innate "feel" for engineering.

I think all stock, "ran when parked" at least 7 years ago. I would like to go efi and small lift, no other wish list.

Where do I start? Replace all fluids and see if starts? Or drop oil pain, replace all seals/gaskets/hoses. Then move to axles/brakes...

78 J10<br />75 Chief
Knoxville, TN
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:10 AM
MysticRob MysticRob is offline
258 I6
Join Date: Nov 26, 2019
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 498
Focus on mechanical and safety items first unless you're not in a hurry to drive it. I spent most of my time restoring the interior restored on mine since it was in far worse shape, but now I'm thinking I should've done all the mechanicals and left some of the interior things for later. This is mostly because I may not be living in Boise much longer depending on some work things getting worked out (NOT the case when I started working on it), and there's still a few things I need to do before it's a reliable interstate driver.
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Old 04-13-2021, 12:31 PM
oregonphil oregonphil is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Oct 17, 2020
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 47
Kinda reverse the order: brakes, tires and steering, make sure they are all in at least good working condition. All the safety stuff first. It wont do you any good if you can't keep it on the road and stop it. Then all the GO stuff.

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Old 04-20-2021, 06:57 AM
srob3's Avatar
srob3 srob3 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Dec 30, 2004
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 53
I will go with that then. Starting at rear axle, plan on replacing outer bearings and seals. BJ's disc conversion. Drain rear diff and clean. How do I know if pinion seal needs replacing? if the front of case looks dry do I leave it alone for now?

4 in lift springs, shocks from BJ's.

Please chime in with any advice.


78 J10<br />75 Chief
Knoxville, TN

Last edited by srob3 : 04-20-2021 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:21 PM
threepiece threepiece is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Sep 17, 2005
Location: Farmington Hills Mi.
Posts: 1,318
Along with the safety issues I would do a thorough cleaning first. I am referring to areas that are not obvious such as the cowl drains, rocker panels, inside all five doors, front and rear shock towers, boxed portion of the frame, rearmost body mount structure and front (header) panel near the parking lamps. All of these area are notorious for collecting debris and rusting.
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:29 PM
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bufurd bufurd is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Apr 13, 2008
Location: ashland wi.
Posts: 581
If the pinion area is dry I’d leave it alone, that said it could start leaking... As for the disc brakes, why? These things are reliable, like any older vehicle it must be given attention. The beauty of these rigs are there simplicity, I hate looking under the hood of any new vehicle. Good advice given in this thread, cleaning, looking, shaking and getting dirty goes along way towards driving without worrying.
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