A Thoroughly Modernized Vintage Family Fun Machine
The Jeep Wagoneer has earned a place in four-wheeling and general automotive history. Even today, nearly 20 years after it was cut from the Jeep lineup for good, it's popular and very collectible hardware. Not to mention, it's still practical! After all, when big loads are carried, a big rig does it best.
When the Greening family goes camping, they do it in style. Tom, Keiko, Misa, Saya, and Bahzu-the-dog ride stylishly and comfortably in their customized '88 Grand Wagoneer. With its rooftop tent and generous cargo area, it's a wheeling motel for four-er, five, including Bahzu. When extra storage space is needed, Tom tows a specially outfitted M-416 military trailer
Tom started the Jeep refresh in 2008 with an ATK-rebuilt AMC 360ci V8. He added a Howell two-barrel throttle-body EFI atop an Edelbrock Performer intake. A Ford E-Coil ignition conversion lights the fires. Between those two things, the big AMC V8 is docile, reliable and (relatively) economical. It will crank out mid-teens fuel economy. The AMC torquer is backed up by the stock TorqueFlite 727 transmission and Selec-Trac NP229 transfer case. The factory Dana 44s remain, along with the standard 3.31:1 gears, but a rear limited-slip is installed.
To fit the 33x10.50-15 BFG Mud-Terrains on 15x8 ProComp Streetlocks, a 6-inch BJ's Offroad spring lift was installed, with a dropped pitman arm, Rancho RS9000 shocks and a Rancho steering damper.
The Burgundy and Gold clearcoated paint was applied by Bob Murdock, of Canton, Ohio. Inside, with plush carpeting and leather, there wasn't much to do but add a more modern stereo-namely, a Pioneer with iPod connectivity and six speakers. A Cobra CB keeps him in touch with nearby trail buddies. The center console, from a late-'80s GMC truck, was added for looks, large capacity, and utility.
The end result was a vehicle capable of carrying the family and all their assorted gear on mild-to-moderate wheeling and camping trips anywhere in the country. So what that it ran a "little" over budget and Tom was cursed in Japanese by his thrifty wife? For hardcore trails, Tom is building a '66 Unimog 404, and has several other vintage Jeeps in his stable.
Owner/Hometown: Tom Greening, Canton, Ohio
Vehicle/Model: 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Estimated Value: $15,000
Type: 360ci AMC V8
Aspiration: Howell throttle body EFI
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 200 hp/300 lb-ft
Transmission: TorqueFlite 727 3-spd
Transfer Case: Selec-Trac NP229
Front: 6-inch BJ's Offroad Lift, Rancho RS9000 shocks
Rear: 6-inch BJ's Offroad Lift, Rancho RS9000 shocks
Front: Dana 44/open
Rear: Dana 44/limited-slip
Ring and Pinion: 3.31:1
Wheels: 15x8 ProComp Streetlock
Tires: 33x10.50R-16LT, BFG Mud-Terrain