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  #1  
Old 11-14-2021, 03:58 AM
wimbers's Avatar
wimbers wimbers is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2017
Location: netherlands
Posts: 17
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.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2021, 07:30 AM
Rusty76 Rusty76 is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Jul 15, 2018
Location: Cochrane
Posts: 331
Sounds awesome
Nice rig
Look forward to the build
Lots of pictures I hope
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1976 Jeep Wagoneer
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2021, 10:29 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
Posts: 1,702
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
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1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2021, 11:21 AM
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Be from Be Be from Be is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Jan 28, 2017
Location: Belgium
Posts: 75
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 ?
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2021, 12:07 PM
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wimbers wimbers is offline
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Join Date: Sep 26, 2017
Location: netherlands
Posts: 17
Quote:
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!
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2021, 12:14 PM
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wimbers wimbers is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2017
Location: netherlands
Posts: 17
Quote:
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
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2021, 12:42 PM
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wimbers wimbers is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2017
Location: netherlands
Posts: 17
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.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2021, 11:53 AM
MysticRob MysticRob is offline
327 Rambler
 
Join Date: Nov 26, 2019
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 652
Quote:
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.
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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
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