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Cheap Jeep, Part 2

Posted in Project Vehicles on September 23, 2005
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With the worn-out street tires in the garbage pile, it is time to take care of some things that may become problems on the trails. The oil leak is creating puddles everywhere I park the FSJ, but adding another quart of oil and one more bottle of Stop Leak is keeping the pressure steady - at least that's what the gauge says. Just in case, I stocked up on some cheap 10W-30 at the Pep Boys in Reseda.

My trip to the parts store left my wallet about $50 lighter, but I gained two bags full of fun, so I felt like a winner - plus every time I play that ATM game outside Bank of America, cash comes out. Man, I should go to Vegas! I bought an air horn because it cost a dollar less than one for under the hood (plus, the package says I can take it to hockey games). I also bought some carb cleaner to help the G. Wagon keep chugging, reverse light bulbs, two lugnuts, interior cleaning wipes and a cupholder (because in 1986 trucks came with ashtrays built into the back door panels, but no drink holders). To keep costs down, I snagged the fire extinguisher from my daily driver.

Before "fixing" the rear window, I had to take care of the sloppy seatbelt for the driver seat. First, I popped off the housing (by breaking it off the B-pillar). That revealed a spring that had busted through the casing. I tried to feed it back in, but that didn't work, so I grabbed some clippers I found in the trunk and snipped the band. I was able to push the end back into the mechanism, and started turning the gears with a screwdriver to tighten the belt. After jumping into the seat a few times, I got it tight enough to keep me in place - which works a lot better than the Velcro wrist band that had been used to take up the slack.

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Now that I felt safer, I moved on to the back glass. The tailgate would not open with the window up, and the glass was real loose, so I wanted to put it down for the Cheap Truck festivities. I removed the interior panel, and then took off a metal plate to access the window motor. It actually works, but the bar that is supposed to attach to the glass is rusted and badly bent. So what is holding the window up? Turns out some rope and a hand-made hook was all that kept the glass in place. With those removed, I was able to slide the glass down and drop the tailgate for the first time since I got the keys.

With that done, I moved on to some comfort features. I found a 6 1/2 inch 3-way speaker in the trunk and put it into the hole in the driver door panel using wood screws I found on the floor. Luckily, the wiring worked, so the tunes are now in stereo - except when the passenger speaker cuts out (which is often). I installed the cupholder, and I also put about 25 orange-powered auto wipes to work on the interior. As you can see, the center armrest and door panels are grimy, and the steering wheel was worse.

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There's still plenty of work to be done, but the Cheap Truck Challenge deadline is here, so the Jeep will have to run as-is. Check back for updates on this "non-event" - or come up to Gorman, CA and see for yourselves.

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Stop Leak
Maxxis Tires
More Oil
Air Horn
Carb Spray
More Stop Leak
Orange Cleaning Wipes
Cup Holder
Reverse Light Bulbs
Lug Nuts

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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