International Full Size Jeep Association
Home Forums Reader's Rigs Tech Library Trail Stories FSJ-List
International Full Size Jeep Association  

Go Back   International Full Size Jeep Association > Tire Kickin' > General FSJ Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-10-2019, 12:15 PM
waggin_around's Avatar
waggin_around waggin_around is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Jun 27, 2019
Location: NE USA
Posts: 15
Suggestions for wife's Daily Driver build

Finally have a good base to build up for my wife. Has been her dream vehicle since childhood. Found a 1980 with low miles in very good mechanical shape, but the paint is shot. No Frame rust, texas truck, 38000 original miles.

Looking for suggestions to make sensible upgrades to it.

Went to Maaco to paint it, but they wanted >2k to sand it, then 2k to paint it, so decided to do the prep work ourselves. TBD who paints it.

Bought newer seats without rips, plan to install floor mats.

Would like to install 2-4 inch lift and new tires/wheels.

Also may do injection upgrade if the engine is finicky, but running OK now.

The coolant temp sending unit was just replaced, but while driving it home, stopped working and something let the magic smoke out of the dash gauge. Need suggestions for gauges to keep the engine healthy.

Thinking to go to black paint. Any suggestions how to execute?

Other thoughts we should consider? Brake lines? Fluid film underside for winter use?

We want to get it on the road soon!

Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 01:15 PM
babywag's Avatar
babywag babywag is offline
out of order
Join Date: Jun 08, 2005
Location: Land of froot loops and cukcoo-nuts, CA
Posts: 9,725
I'll strongly suggest EFI for the wife.
While carbs work fine if dialed in wife sometimes had trouble remembering the steps required for cold starts/drives with a carburetor.
No matter how many times I went over it, sometimes she would forget it wasn't a modern EFI engine you could just turn the key and go.

Fart as a lift, it was a HUGE PITA with young kids and shorter folks being a DD.
Year after year is just got more and more annoying.
Both my current ones were lifted in the past, both are now stock-ish height.
YMMV on this though.

There are many posts about gauge clusters/wiring using google or whatever you can have lots of reading brought up.
just specify the site to search and keywords.
The forum search on this site doesn't work great. has manuals '73-'85 gauge clusters and wiring are very similar.
In the manuals are very detailed diagnostics/information on the gauge clusters.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 11:36 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,532
fix whats broken first, then drive and fix what bugs you. If you just tear into it, it will become a huge burden that is never finished.

I am not a huge fan of a lift either. This trucks have an amazing ride from the factory and the lift opens a lot of worms. they look cool but really a stock suspension with 31x10.50/15s is a nice stance, too. plus it is much more comfortable for a wife.

Lots of info on here for gauges; whether that is fixing the stock crappy ones or installing aftermarket. All depends on your skill level and the thickness of your wallet.
79 Cherokee Chief
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 03:22 AM
FSJunkie's Avatar
FSJunkie FSJunkie is offline
The Nigel Tufnel of the FSJ world.
Join Date: Jan 09, 2011
Location: Not The Hot Part, Arizona
Posts: 4,004
Wives daily drove these Jeeps when they were new, so what changed? These were the go-to vehicle of rural soccer moms for decades. Wagoneers were arguably the first four wheel drive utility vehicle marketed towards women. Many ads from back in the day proudly proclaimed that Wagoneers were so car-like and easy to drive that even "she" could drive it.

What changed since then? The Jeeps haven't. Have the wives changed? Certainly they have! That can be fixed too, though admittedly through much higher difficulty.

Heck, my little old grandma daily drove my Wagoneer until she was well into her seventies.
'72 Jeep Wagoneer Custom, 360 V8

I love how arguements end as soon as Ristow comments. Ristow is right...again.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 07:03 AM
babywag's Avatar
babywag babywag is offline
out of order
Join Date: Jun 08, 2005
Location: Land of froot loops and cukcoo-nuts, CA
Posts: 9,725
Many people these days have never owned a carbureted vehicle.
That is what changed.
Having to go through the steps of setting the choke is completely foreign to them.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 09:12 AM
SOLSAKS's Avatar
350 Buick
Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
Posts: 1,098
good posts on this subject
I got some laughs

true, someone who has never driven an older carb'd vehicle
is like a person in a foreign country


I enjoy them
much more fun to drive old than new to me

a lot more pride of ownership, in any condition, in my opinion.

thought of another bumper sticker:

dave in NC
SOLSAKS - dave
1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 10:07 AM
joe joe is offline
Join Date: Apr 28, 2000
Location: PNWet, USA
Posts: 22,392
Wifes DD car and she wants it lifted? Unless you/she "needs" a lift for ground clearance, I strongly suggest forget it. Quality lifts are expensive and can be never ending grief...just to look cool
I'm staying out of the EFI-vs-carb thing. I'm an old fart and not afraid of 'good' carbs.
These rigs when new were pretty decently equipped from the day they left the factory. I'd concentrate on keeping it up to factory spec/tune unless otherwise needed for her use. Your weak link will likely be all the electrical doodads.
Being a low miles TX rig stuff like brakes lines shouldn't need replacing but depends on often the brake fluid has been flushed over the years. I "WOULD" flush the brakes on a 40 year old rig that's been sitting for extended periods. Prolly hasn't been done for years. Same for the engine coolant. Do a complete full service on the entire rig to get all the bits lubed that have been ignored for the last few decades.
Otherwise do your cosmetic work as planned till your lady is happy and then drive it as intended and then repair/upgrade whats needed as issues arise.
Even starting with a good condition old FSJ, these are maint intensive rigs to keep them in good working order. Bone up on your 12vdc auto-electrical diagnostic skills. For rust-proofing out in the rust belt, best you can do is keep if washed/flushed often especially underneath in all the nooks and crannies salt gets into. Salt still wins in the end though... When I lived in the rust belt (MI) it was SOP for me in the spring to take it to a truck shop (semis) and put it on the lift/wash rack and have the car steam cleaned underneath.
Don't go Gonzo on the mods, just keep up on the maint and a 38,000 mile 80 should serve you well just don't expect 20mpg maint free driving.
Have fun.
"Don't mind me. I'm just here for the alibi"
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2019, 12:36 PM
waggin_around's Avatar
waggin_around waggin_around is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Jun 27, 2019
Location: NE USA
Posts: 15
Thanks for info. Good suggestions to reflect on.

Yea just trying to get it running and painted first.. then maybe lift if we still want to.

For now it won't start unless I put a hot wire to the blue wire lug on the starter relay. Is that a bad wire from the key switch? Relay works when I put 12 volts to the blue wire lug, and it starts.. There is no/low voltage at the blue wire when turning the key to START position..

But also found the glue all melted out of the ignition module(AMC3230451). Could that have something to do with why it won't start? Ordered new one, so back to work on the paint prep until next week.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2019, 09:36 PM
letank's Avatar
letank letank is offline
AMC 4 OH! 1
Join Date: Jun 03, 2002
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 3,918
the usual puff of smoke being the cluster can be solved by an upgrade of the CVR as described below, as usual disconnect battery before doing any electrical work...

and do the ammeter bypass while you are there:
74 wag, 349Kmiles on original ticker/trany, except for the rust. Will it make it to the next get together without a rebuilt? Status: needs a new body.
85 Gwag, 226 Kmiles. $250 FSJ test lab since 02, that refuses to give up but still leaks.

See Ouray 2013, Engine bits and Fuel and brake lines, and Body work
Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2019, 07:16 PM
kansasboy001's Avatar
kansasboy001 kansasboy001 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Nov 06, 2016
Location: Kansas
Posts: 163
It's alot of work but worth it for a daily driver is to swap the dash and wiring with one from a 86-91. You solve the voltage regulator problem, get better gages with better lighting, integrated heat and ac controls, and better intermittent wipers. I did it and I don't miss the old 73-85 dash.

EFI is also a great thing to do. The drivability and reliability will be better than a carb.
1983 Cherokee Laredo. 360/ 727/ np228/ Junkyard 7427 TBI/ Msd ignition
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Want to build a good hauler/daily driver out of a 2-door Pete M General FSJ Tech 5 03-20-2004 02:39 PM
Best tire size for BJ's 4" lift - Daily Driver asahilover General FSJ Tech 4 02-21-2004 04:24 PM
Max Tire Size for Daily Driver? SamoyedSled General FSJ Tech 19 01-16-2004 02:57 AM
Waggy build up...your suggestions! Cobound General FSJ Tech 10 10-01-2003 03:08 PM
water build up in driver side foot well numuup General FSJ Tech 8 07-25-2002 10:52 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
corner corner