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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2002, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

My wife and I are thinking about ditching our 2000 Eddie Bauer Explorer in favor of a late model G. Wagoneer. What are the important things to look for? Oil Pressure, Mileage, tranny/tcase, Frame rust, Body rust, etc... I am looking to spend between $5000-$7500 for a late '80s-early'90s model with around 100k. I am willing to spend an additional $1-2k on upgrades/repairs. Anything else I should know?

Thanks,
Tom
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2002, 11:56 PM
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

Tom - Great Choice! I now own two. A '90 (grey with vinyl roof, wood grain and sun roof - DON'T buy one with a vinyl roof, they develop rear pillar rot from the roof gutter drain hoses), and a newly purchased white '91 with NO woodgrain - special order at the time. I have completely restored the '90, and use it all the time. I'll detail some basics I have learned:
1) With the AMC 360 V-8 and stock 2-barrel carb they get @ 8-10 mpg. They have between a 16 and 20.2 gal. tank - stock, so you make a lot of trips to the gas station. Don't let the tank go below 1/3
2) Check for inside floor rot, frame rot around the gas tank and protective skid plate,in rear trunk and rear hitch area,from splash-up. There is a neat skid plate/frame repair piece available from grandwagoneers.com for this problem. Saul is great, and has a lot of buying info and products available on his site. RUST IS THE PRIME ENEMY OF THESE TRUCKS!
3) Check for rust around all fixed windows and windshield. If any, they should comeout and be reseated.
4) They start hard, and idle rough, unless the carb is rebuilt properly, and the timing advanced A LITTLE. Run mid-octane if you do this, or the engine will ping (detonate).
5) Dry out carpets if damp from body leaks caused by faulty door gaskets. Replace door gaskets with fresh ones.
6) Check all motors - front seat, window, rear view mirror
7) Exhaust systems (stock) can be a bitch, if you need new headers. The Jeep replacements need to be rebent, or they will stress the whole system,and the headers might crack, or the tail pipe shake loose (this happened to me twice!)
8) Clean door drains
9) Check tail gate power window. The glass usually needs to be reseated and adjusted, and the hinges oiled-up.
10) '89-'91 had rear wipers. They all get screwed up. The motors are no longer available, but I believe Saul has them new (see above).
11) The AMC v-8 is nice, but prone to valve guide wear and possible collapsed valve lifters (my '90 is going to need a top end job soon).
12) Other people discuss various emission, vacuum and engine quirks/problems - I can't improve on their advice.
13) The windshields are prone to leaks, even when professionally installed - look out for water drips.
14) The aluminum inner threshold covers are prone to corrode, and are no longer available new. Replace those screws with stainless!
15) The leather/corded upholstery is gorgeous, and has a Rolls-Royce feel (my Dad had 3), but the cheesy woodgrained interior door trim pieces are prone to pop out,and tear your clothes.
16) Oil pressure should be @60-70 lbs. @ speed and & 12 lbs. at warm idle (more or less, going by my memory.)
17) Make sure the selec-trac 4 wheel drive works - my '90's didn't, and that was an $800 bill!!
Well, it's late here in Boston. Hope this info helps. They're great trucks,and handle like a dream, turning on a dime, at speed. Good luck finding a nice one (get a '90-'91 if you can) Keep us posted on your results - Chris
post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 05:50 AM
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

WOW great advice on looking for a gas hog,hee hee, you described my grand wag to a T but it's not for sale! mike p.s. what does AMC really stand for?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2002, 09:53 AM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

I'll jump in cause like Tom I'm lookin at a Grand Waggy. I went yesterday and looked at one. Cranked right up, but it hadn't been warmed up or anything. The interior is all original. Oh its an 84 so its 360, TF 727, NP229 and axles are a gimmy. I didn't hear any knockin but the engine is leakin. THe only window that doesn't work is the rear window but the seats and other windows work. Gas gauge doesn't work(probly sending unit). has 127k miles on it. I'm pretty sure i'm gonna get it, but if there is anything else to watch out for please let me know. I may have to pull the engine but i know it will get all new gaskets.

I will be using it as a tow rig to tow either the TJ or CJ but mostly the CJ.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2002, 11:12 AM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

The front axle probably has a vacuum disconect in the differential. '86 and newer GWagons don't have this.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2002, 04:10 PM
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

Watch the NP229. They develop leaks often, and die without warning.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-17-2002, 12:33 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer??

OK, DHD, since you are a Jeep owner , we'll tell you:

AMC/Jeep means "Always Mechanically Competent/Just Expect Excellent Performance". [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-19-2002, 09:47 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer?

OT - a little

how much would you expect to pay for an 83 wagoner as follows:
new carpet, & recovered the seats, after market AC, power windows, new tranny last year, new brakes around - calipers, wheel cylinders, shoes and pads, new carb, ( 258 6-cyl ) new fuel pump, new batt, new raditor, and something about rebuillding the selec-trac 8 years ago

most of the stuff is in the last few years ..... oh and it blows oil all over the motor
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-19-2002, 10:10 PM
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer?

Under $2000 but thats me. Oil leaks are common; most often the sending unit and valve cover gaskets.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-19-2002, 10:47 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying a Grand Wagoneer?

thanks ....... the soon to be PO was asking 1000 when he asked a friend of mine 3-4 weeks ago if he was interested, but now he seems to want 1500
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