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Car stuff from the weekend

Relatively busy weekend with car stuff.

Started by helping my brother in law with his 2000 Wrangler Sport. He bought it from a close friend of his about three weeks ago, and it looked like this.

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Illustration for article titled Car stuff from the weekend
Photo: FLF

It looks closer to this today.

Illustration for article titled Car stuff from the weekend
Photo: FLF
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Yes, he did all the work himself.

I started helping him Friday night put a 4" lift on it from Rough Country. We also swapped the rear axle to a Ford one from a first gen Explorer to get rear discs and a new ratio (can’t recall exactly, but I think it was something like 3.06 and went to 3.6?). Anyway, Jeep near the coast means lots of rust from beach runs.

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Then on Saturday went looking at Suburbans. I’ve irrationally decided I want 4WD. Not without logic though, follow me here:

  • Took the first real road trips with the family this summer (we normally fly)
  • Suburban is a great road trip vehicle for us
  • Assuming this COVID thing sticks around for a while, we will probably go on more road trips
  • If we go somewhere cold in the winter I’d feel a lot more safe in 4WD (or at least AWD), so I would probably rent a 4WD Suburban or Yukon XL
  • If I do that 2-3 times, that would be at least $2-3k in expense (generally at last $900 to rent 4WD Suburban for a week)
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Still with me? I said there was some logic, I didn’t say it was great.

So, I started looking at ones that are basically mine but with 4WD - 2015/2016 LTZ or Premier trim, second row buckets, around 100k miles. Also Yukon XL Denali, but those are another $2-5k normally.

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What I quickly found after two test drives was that mine is in really good shape for 100k miles. I’m going to have to search a lot harder to find one that drives as solid and is as clean on the inside.

That is the good thing - I’m in no hurry, I don’t NEED to do anything, so I can just keep looking. I think I can trade up to one with 4WD and only pay about a $2-4k difference, and if I find one that is in good shape I think it will be worth that to me. And if it isn’t worth it to me, I can just walk away.

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After that I also compression tested the E28. I was very happy - cylinders 1-5 were 122-130psi, and 6 was 142. I did crank on 6 longer than the others, so I may be a bit low on 1-5. Either way, good compression across the board. I didn’t have any concerns going in, but nice to know.

Finished up the weekend yesterday back on the Jeep, trying to get the gears out of the front diff - since the rear was changed he needs to change the gears in front to match. That is where the specter of David Tracy loomed over us - too much rust to get the bolts off. We tried lots of PB Blaster, impact wrench, and heat to no avail. I think he is going to start cutting off bolt heads today.

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Now, I didn’t get as much done as Long Voyager does in one evening, but productive overall.

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