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Thread: Overland & Underpaid a WJ story...

  1. #1
    Nothing but a Thing AZ Explorer's Avatar
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    Overland & Underpaid a WJ story...

    As some of you know, the CJ had been sold due to an unforeseen financial crisis. After working through that, I did have some cash left over from the sale and decided to get a smaller budget minded project that I could drive now and build as I go. I only had about $2500 to work with, so options were limited. But I figured there had to be a few things out there worth buying so the hunt began.

    I came up with a small list of potential projects and ran them by the wife and she picked a 1999 Grand Cherokee that I found on Craigslist. Of all those on the list, this one was only 10 minutes from my house.
    After checking it out thoroughly and taking a test drive, we decided this was in fact, the one. It has pretty high miles but is in great shape. Every light , knob, bell and whistle works properly.
    The only major issue was a valve cover leak which the guy even had the gasket for. It's the 4.7 V8 so the passenger side is buried and just awful to do since you have to disassemble so much just to get to it.
    Still, it wasn't anything I couldn't handle, so I knocked it out the first weekend I had it. Now the leaking and burning oil smell is gone and I have a nice vehicle to putter around with. While I had the covers off, I inspected the internals and everything looks great. No sludge or buildup at all.

    The body has only a couple very minor dings and scratches with nice shiney paint. The underside almost looks like it just came off the assembly line. The sunroof works well and the dash and headliner are in nearly perfect shape. There is a small split on the drivers door armrest but that's it. The steering wheel leather is shot, so that was an issue. I have a rebuilt one on order and should be here in a few weeks. It has a new Kenwood stereo that was professionally installed that has bluetooth and hands free phone functions, as well as Sirius XM and a few other things. Nice that it works with all the steering wheel controls. Other than that, it will be just deciding which direction I want to go with it.

    I feel like I got a good deal and I guess that's what matters. I think the only thing it doesn't have that I wish it did is the 231 transfer case. I believe I can make the 247 work though. And it does at least have the weird Dana 44A rearend. I'm feeling the overland/camping look would work best for me right now and it's what I want to use it for anyway. It's too hard/expensive to go big with these things, or so my research says. I think a 32-33 inch tire should be plenty on this rig anyhow. We'll see what happens.

    At least it's a Jeep and, knowing me, I'll have another more intense toy sometime down the road.

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  2. #2
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Awesome find. Looks clean. Mine has the 247 tcase and rear 44a and has taken me tons of cool places just fine even with larger tires. There's a guy on eBay that sells color matching armrest covers that work great. Both of mine were cracked as well.
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  3. #3
    Addict Ddays's Avatar
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    Wow, that thing is amazingly clean. Looks like a great find. I'm sure you'll have a blast with it.

  4. #4
    Addict wjtstudios's Avatar
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    That is so clean! Congrats! We can’t find anything that unsalted in 500 miles of me!

    That’s going to be a great project! Can’t wait to see where you take it.


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    1985 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler

  5. #5
    Fresh Catch littlebeas's Avatar
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    Nice find!! You can’t find one that clean more than year old around here.


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  6. #6
    Nothing but a Thing Snboarder113's Avatar
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    Wow. Look at that virgin undercarriage without a spec of rust or dirt. Like I get your in Arizona but I’m still trying to understand how it is still factory clean underneath it.


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  7. #7
    Nothing but a Thing AZ Explorer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WJCO View Post
    Awesome find. Looks clean. Mine has the 247 tcase and rear 44a and has taken me tons of cool places just fine even with larger tires. There's a guy on eBay that sells color matching armrest covers that work great. Both of mine were cracked as well.
    Good info! I'll definitely check into the armrest covers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ddays View Post
    Wow, that thing is amazingly clean. Looks like a great find. I'm sure you'll have a blast with it.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by wjtstudios View Post
    That is so clean! Congrats! We can’t find anything that unsalted in 500 miles of me!

    That’s going to be a great project! Can’t wait to see where you take it.


    2015 JKUR AEV JK350
    1985 CJ8 Scrambler
    I do have a few ideas. Nothing too crazy... at least by my standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlebeas View Post
    Nice find!! You can’t find one that clean more than year old around here.


    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE
    I was a little shocked myself when I crawled under it for the first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snboarder113 View Post
    Wow. Look at that virgin undercarriage without a spec of rust or dirt. Like I get your in Arizona but I’m still trying to understand how it is still factory clean underneath it.


    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE
    The lady who owned it kept it washed and in a garage all the time. It was really meticulously maintained and has never been off road. The off road part is going to change, LOL.

  8. #8
    Been Around the Block Jaybird 11's Avatar
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    What a clean start for a build. Cant wait to see what you do with it!

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  9. #9
    Nothing but a Thing AZ Explorer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybird 11 View Post
    What a clean start for a build. Cant wait to see what you do with it!

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    I'm late with a response but, Thanks! I can't wait to see what I do with it either, because I don't know yet.

  10. #10
    Addict catahoula's Avatar
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    Nice WJ look forward t the build!
    “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”

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