Tales from the Trail

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The Happiest Day of My Life!

Hi, My name is Gabriel, I am fourteen years old, and absolutely LOVEJeep Grand Wagoneers! Well, My "Wagon Tale" Goes like this:Back in late 1984' my grand parents bought a brand new 85' GrandWagoneer, It was Black and nutmeg. That car was beautiful! Well fiveyears later I was born and by the time I was four or five my granddad drove me around in it, I would sit in the front middle seat on a pillow,and I loved it! So by about 1999 the Jeep had about 80k miles on it and it was in perfect condition inside and out! But my older brother was 18 and needed something to drive, well the Jeep was just sitting in the garage so they sold the Wagoneer to him. He drove it for about a year, and in that time he blew the engine (well you and I know running an enginewithout oil will do that) so $2,500 and the engine rebuilt later the Jeep was back on the road.

Than about three months later, He was on a four lane high way with amedian, and this van he was passing changed lanes and didn't see him.Well he went airborne (which is a big thing for a 3-ton car!) across the median and hit a semi head on! Well thanks to the safety of Grand wags he was not hurt at all! but unfortunately the Wagoneer was totaled. A very sad day!So I just didn't think all that much about Grand Wagoneers until early in 2003. I saw one for sale and me and my grand parents stopped to look at it. It was an 88' Burgundy with the Burgundy interior. But the ac didn'twork and it had an after market radio and it wasn't in the best of shape,So I kept looking. I really wanted a 85 that was black and nutmeg because I like the dashbetter and I like the grille better, but I never found one. Then last December, I found this 1991 Final edition and it was Baltic blue and sand, it had 95k miles on it, all original. The interior was almost perfect except for one small hole in the back of the drivers seat. BUT the clear coat was faded really bad, and the Jeep dealer wanted 3 grand to strip it and paint it. Well we ended up buying the Wagoneer anyway. Now been stripped to bare metal primed and painted and it is the original color.

April, 1 2004 was the happiest day of my life! Well every thing on my Jeep works except the cruise control, and for some reason my carb floods the engine out, so when you go to start it you have to hold the gas pedal all the on the floor and it takes a minute to finally turn over but once it's running it purrs like a kitten! Thats the big 360c.i. V8! In the time I have had it I have only put about 200 miles on it! It's great!I absolutely love Jeep Grand Wagoneers! And thats my Wagon Tale!

Thanks for keeping the Grand Wagoneer alive!

Contributed by Wagon enthusiast Gabe R. from east of Atlanta, GA

Jeep or a Ford? No question!

I was jobless for a long time and was forced to move up north to get work. An old friend of mine by the name of "Pineapple John" introduced me to a mechanic named "Cowboy Mark". They both owned 4x4 Ford Rangers. He told me I needed a 4x4 to get around in the North Woods, so as soon as I found a job, I started looking for one. Long story short, I saw an ad for a '85 Grand Wagoneer, about a 1/2 hour up the road for $950. I never owned a Jeep, but I knew I wanted one. I pulled up to a new house that was almost complete, and it had 3 buses, a brand new Cadillac, and an old Jeep Wagoneer Woody. I told the guy who I was, and he pointed at the old Jeep and said "there it is". I walked around it, and I knew it wasn't an '85, but it was as clean as they come here in Arizona. So politely I said "Are you sure this is a 1985?" He said "Thats what the title says". So we took it out on the back 40, and I put it through Hi and Lo 4x4 to make sure it all worked. I told him I'd think about it and call him back.

After talking with Cowboy and Pineapple, who wanted me to buy a Ford, I called the guy back. He said I was right and I obviously knew more about the Jeeps than he did and the title said it was an 1980 Grand Wagoneer. I found out later that they didn't make GWs untill '84. So I went back and took it on the highway this time. It ran as straight as an arrow! No vibration, and no gas! He said the rear window just stopped working, and the radio was broken. I offered him $800 and we settled on $850. I had to make 3 payments to him before I could take it, but it was worth it. I soon found out that the radio had a detachable face that was not pushed in hard enough, so that worked fine, and the rear tailgate window just had a loose wire.

Now it has a bigger camshaft, performer manifold, true roller timing set, a 4 barrel carb, Jacobs Electronic Off Road Ignition, and soon to have an SOA (Spring Over Axle) in front and the rear springs moved over to the frame rails to give it about a 6" lift. I've had a promotion at the job I found almost two years ago, and I now also own a '01 Wrangler with a lift and 33x12.5" tires. I belong to 3 Jeep clubs and another club where everyone is welcome to rock crawl with us. The Wagoneer still has the original paint, but it will get a new paint job when I get the lift complete. When its done, you can have my Wrangler. I think it is a lucky vehicle, and I'm glad she is mine!

Contributed by Wagon enthusiast Bob M. of Prescott, Arizona