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The Distinguished Gentleman: Project Another AMC - 1987 Wagoneer

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The Distinguished Gentleman: Project Another AMC - 1987 Wagoneer

Old 04-25-2014, 12:17 AM
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Default The Distinguished Gentleman: Project Another AMC - 1987 Wagoneer

The beginning of this build actually starts with another member, bobbylx. Here's his build thread: https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f46/bo...-build-165856/

He eventually put it up for sale on here and I decided to pick it up. My friend and I loaded up the truck and trailer to make the journey from Illinois to North Carolina and back in a weekend.

I know this isn't the usual start to a build thread, but I wanted to show the journey to bring it home.

We left on Friday night and headed out.


As we hit the foothills of West Virgina the fog started rolling in.


Early in the AM on Saturday. I think the look on my buddies face says it all.


Stopped at a scenic pull off and snapped a pic of the rig.


Sun coming up over the mountains



Heading into Big Walker Mountain Tunnel


Random pic


We picked the Waggy up mid afternoon and stopped for lunch.


We stopped in Virgina and called it a day. Started back on the road on Sunday and got to see all the stuff we missed in the night.











And finally home. At this point I had already removed the rack and factory bows.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:32 AM
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It's beautiful! What's your plan?
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:24 AM
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After I registered it, I blasted down to the river to snap a pic.


Now, it had some engine issues, mainly the broken piston skirt, but I kept driving it with all the knocking... well, until this day. It was sort of a glorious death and my friends were happy to come and drag it back home for me.


After that the Waggy sat from November of last year until this month. I had finally found a worthy engine donor out of a '97 with 114k on it. So out came the old engine...


Now my engine became a mish mash of parts from various years of XJ. I'm a firm believer in using what you have available, so step inside my swap.

I plugged the EGR port on the Renix manifold with a fill plug off of a np231 case. Yeah, I'm a crafty bastard.


New engine in place. I used the exhaust manifold off of the '97 engine and a head pipe from a '92.


Dirty, but spiffy. The injector harness is tucked away nicely in the harness retainer doodad from a '92.


I relocated the overflow from where Bobby originally had it on the passenger firewall to next to the airbox.


I was able to use preformed heater hose for a '97 for the hose that goes to the thermostat housing. However, since I used the Renix water pump, I had to use regular old 5/8" hose for that one.


Since the coolant system was swapped to the open style, I couldn't use the Renix style heater valve I already had laying around, so I grabbed one off of my '86 parts XJ.



It lives!

Back on the road. I swapped the original wheels and tires back on it a few days later.


So that's where the Waggy sits right now... ok it doesn't sit, I drive the **** out of it now.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by fappinxj View Post
It's beautiful! What's your plan?
Thanks! Upcoming plans are replacing the stock track bar and lower control arms with some aftermarket stuff I have laying around. I'm also thinking about doing the Volvo injector swap. I had a buddy who's a body man/painter check it out and I'm considering doing a resto on it. Who knows. For right now I'm going to drive it and enjoy the hell out of it.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:20 AM
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Glad to see a wagoneer build looks like its in good shape!
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:32 AM
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Awesome! Looks super clean. I dig the clear coolant lines too lol, nice touch. Question, why not just axe the heater control valve altogether?
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:39 PM
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Keeps the heat down in the cab during the summer!
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:01 PM
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Looks great!! Glad to see you got the new engine in her. I'm seriously craving another XJ now.... my wife is going to kill me.

On a side note, if you feel like making another road trip, I've got a 4.0 bare block and the original 87 head from the waggie in my garage. I've also spotted an 87-88 Wagoneer sitting in the woods near my house that I may have to go ask about.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbylx View Post
Looks great!! Glad to see you got the new engine in her. I'm seriously craving another XJ now.... my wife is going to kill me.

On a side note, if you feel like making another road trip, I've got a 4.0 bare block and the original 87 head from the waggie in my garage. I've also spotted an 87-88 Wagoneer sitting in the woods near my house that I may have to go ask about.
Rescue it man! I might be out on your side of the country in the fall. If I am, I'll shoot you a text. I'm really enjoying the waggy, so thanks again for trusting me in coming out to get it.

This was last weekends project:

I picked up a spare header panel.


Used the headlight bezels and marker lamps. The bezels needed a little work, so I taped them up and gave them two coats of paint.


Finished project


Tonight's project was getting the temp gauge functional since the new engine didn't have the port In the head.

I started with a new thermostat housing.


Drilled and tapped a port into the housing.


Extended the wire and installed.


That's about it for now.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:36 PM
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Welp, the Waggy has been sitting around for a while now since I found that the unibody was cracked out around the gear box. My friend James at Ares offered to help me fix it up so I could use it again.

The damage:




It cracked along the top as well, but I didn't grab a pic.

James welding it up:


All welded up:


We decided to cut down one of his bumper brackets on the inside rail:


Spaced out for the gear box:


Also decided to go ahead and install one of his front bumpers:




Painted it up body color:


Dang close for being an off the shelf color:




More coming up in a few days.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:39 PM
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It's looking great!! I really like how well that bumper looks on it. It helps that you color matched it!
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