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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2002, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Should I buy 87 G-wag??

I'm considering buying an 87 Grand Wagoneer with 110K on it for $4,000.00. I haven't driven it yet but other than a rust hole in the frame on the drivers side it looks well cared for. The owner describes an electrically shifted transfer case and I can see the shifter for low-range on the floor. What sort of T-case is this? Engine, trans, and transfer case were all supposedly re-built within the last 10K miles ( but I see oil leaking at the front). Would this have a Turbo 400 or a 727? If it does have a 727 I'm wondering about swapping in a Mopar 360/727 combo to replace the AMC stuff. Has anyone done this swap? I have the Mopar stuff already as I had planned to put it in my CJ when the 258 dies. What about the AMC 360? Is 10 mpg really all I can expect? Would a cam, carb, intake,MSD help? I donít mind lousy mileage if the tradeoff is good power I'm just afraid of getting a 10 mpg slug. How about suspension for these things? I'm expecting a cushy ride which is OK but I'm looking at my old 31X10.50's and wondering if they'll fit? Mostly - I just want a reliable, roomy, safe family-hauler that I can use to tow up to 7000 pounds that I'll be able to count on to start and function 98% of the time. I have enough project vehicles and just want one that works. (Wait a minute, I already asked about swapping in another engine and trans, and I'm wondering about fitting on bigger tires aaaaaarrgh!!!, will this bizarre compulsion to modify everything ever end??)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2002, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2002, 11:29 PM
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

The price seems pretty high; 80s FSJs are usually cheaper than that. I believe it should have a 727 trans and the transfer case is probably a New Process aluminum cased chain drive unit (actually an ok unit for light wheeling) The oil leak at the front is most likely from around the sending unit they seem to do this and are easy to fix. The 360 can be built pretty good but an 87 is gonna have low compression so dont expect too much for just an intake and carb etc... You can fit 31s and they look pretty good with some AALs which also stiffen up the ride but not too bad being that they are already soft. They are great haulers and ride nice but you will get about 12-15MPG highway tops. I pulled about 4000 lbs with my 83 and it did okay but was pushing it a little on the brakes etc.. I'd put in a tranny cooler if you are gonna tow that much. Good luck with it if you get it and check the frame around the gas tank; that seems to be a bad spot for rust.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-13-2002, 01:40 PM
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

not that one, i have a 88 that has a good body, other then dents and it needs a paint job but compared to a rust hole its a dream, it has a V8 5.9 liter engine...it really is a beast, everywhere i go people look at it cuz it just sounds so beefy, and i would even think of asking any higher then $4,500 for it. e-mail me for the rest of the specs. just to name a few it has power windows, locks, seats, ect. e-mail me at [email protected]
post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2002, 01:31 AM
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

The price seems a little high, but if engine/tranny/tc are rebuilt in the last 10k it might be alright. It should have an NP229 Trans case that is vacuum shifted. It has a viscosious coupling that acts like a limited slip between front and rear, so you can drive full time 4wd. They're expensive to have rebuilt (800 to 1100 range) so that is something to consider inthe price. It does not lock in 4wd high, but does lock in low. It should have a 2wd mode also, but it doesn't do much for milage. I like the setup because it's simple to operate and my significant other can just get in and go without worrying about hubs and levers, especially in winter driving. The AMC 360 is a decent engine, and if it is in good shape the mopar swap would prob be a lot of work/expense for little gain. Also, the mopar small block has the dist in the back, makes some clearance issues on FSJ's. The tfi upgrade and a decent cam/intake/4bbl can make the setup pull pretty well. The engine does have some quirks, among them oil leaks. If you are seeing oil up front, on the right side it could be the oil sending unit(s) or the oil pump cover, that is a little touchy with the gasket and the surface smoothness of the pump cover. If it has the tow package it should have 3.31 gears, but this will prob be marginal at best for 7000 lbs. I tow about 4000lbs with 31" tires, and it struggles a little on hills. Jump orber to ifsja.org and you will learn more about these beasts then you will ever want to know.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2002, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

I appreciate all the advice. I have done some research at IFSJA and am impressed at the passion those folks have for these things. It is still for sale and I still haven't had the time to check it out further. I feel certain that because it sat this long that the price will be quite negotiable when I get there. It seems to be loaded with power windows, (all rumored to work 1 a little sluggish) A/C, leather, at least 4 Jenson speakers that looked to be part of a factory set-up Heck, it even has a sunroof. It was dusk when I looked at it the first time and I remember a big-ol skidplate along the frame where it's rusted. Will I have to pull this thing off to see if the rust has progressed further up the frame? Also, What about headers? That same skidplate looked to be in the way of a traditional dual exhaust set-up. My towing needs will be only ocasional and 7000# would be the absolute max, mostly should be closer to 5000#
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2002, 04:36 AM
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

You should really consider my 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoner. It's loaded with power seats, windows, locks, and A/C. 5.9L V8. It's a great car. It's in good shape. I just changed everything so you don't have to worry about that stuff. Trany shifts a little hard some times in 1st but other then that I can push it up to 100 mPh with ease. I'm selling as is and if you e-mail me back I'll send you pics. It has all Jensenn speakers, with a panisonic cd player (with remote). So before you buy this other one compare the two. I'll send you any specs you need, and if you live to far then we can talk about splitting shipping. So e-mail me at [email protected]
post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2002, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

Cates,
Your in Nevada I'm in Maryland I appreciate your offer but logistically it just doesn't seem like it would work.

Thanks
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2002, 12:55 AM
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Re: Should I buy 87 G-wag??

Headers are available, that gas tank on side inside the fram rail does interfere with exhaust possibilities. Some guys run a big single exhaust. I'ves seen a dual set up that ran both pipes together down the right side, then split to go out the back left/right. The frame by the skid plate is a prime rust location, but I think by later years some provision had been made for better drainage to help avoid this a little. Also I think in later years the skid plate actually holds the tank up in place. Might be worth a look though.
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