Chase reached out to us to restore and customize his 1970 first gen wagoneer. It was a driver, decent shape, but a little rough around the edges with satin black paint and a fair amount of bondo and fiberglass. We first stripped the jeep down and began to repair all the body panels, floor boards and rear quarters that were full of fiberglass. Once all the metal work was done, we pointed our attention to the drive train. We decided to ditch the old 5 lug, closed knuckle drum brake axles and swap in a set of later model waggy axles. We choose some 79 wagoneer 44’s front and rear, that gave us disk brakes and a beefier axle. To do this we had to cut all the first gen spring hangers off the frame and custom make hangers. We slung some late model 6″ springs into place and mounted up a set of custom made Detroit Steel 18″x 8″ wheels powder coated white. A set of 285/65/18 BFG AT’s and dog dish caps round out the tire and wheel package. Once the suspension was done, we swapped in a AX-15, 5 speed trans behind the original but detailed Buick 350. Hydraulic clutch conversion and a Centerforce clutch make it a very easy pedal. This was connected to the Dana 20 transfercase that we custom made a twin stick conversion for. The Jeep was painted inside and out with a custom baby blue paint with the roof being painted to match the powder coated wheels. We cleaned LOTS of trim off the tailgate, welded up the factory stereo hole in the dash and removed the factory dash pad. This being a base model waggy, we added all the stainless trim around the windows, a roof rack and more. Chase wanted a custom carpet look with the trans tunnel and more floor being exposed. So the carpet was custom made to be removed with snaps only covering the foot well area and rear floor. The factory seats were custom stitched with a mix of a Pendelton blanket (his families favorite) and black heavy vinyl. The door panels were made to match with custom mesh covering the speakers and the sub woofer in the rear quarter. The stereo is a blue tooth receiver hidden under the front seat with an AMP and all JL audio speakers and a 12″ sub in the rear. The whole jeep was rewired, Modern A/C blows through the vintage under dash unit, and a full spectrum of gauges hide in the glove box with the sub controls and USB port for charging phones. There is SOOOO much custom work in this rig. From the custom drivetrain to hidden stereo…The above paragraph doesnt even come close to describing all the work……It really does drive like a dream. The 5 speed swap really does let it roll at 80mph without the typical Wagoneer screaming…. A/C custom stereo, custom steering box….. wow. My guys really knocked it out of the park. Chase thank you for the business and I think you and the family are gonna enjoy this ride! I know I REALLY enjoyed the test drive miles.
This amazing 1966 Wagoneer was actually one of my waggys. It was a running driving wagg, but pretty rough, painted with white latex house paint! One owner (still alive) and loads of cool documentation as well as Owners ID card… too cool! . Peter reached out to me wanting a first generation Wagoneer. We talked about mine, and discussed buying me out of the restoration that had already begun. He decided to buy a scout and well….after a year of scout ownership, he called me again and was pleased to hear I still had it!. Being a jeep we only worked on here and there (cause it was mine) it honestly had not gotten far. Peter purchased the jeep and we got to finishing it! The 230 Tornado six ran well, so the head was rebuilt, The motor was resealed and painted. The body was removed from the frame and completely sand blasted. The frame was sanded and painted, the axles rebuilt with a disk brake conversion on the front axle. All new brake lines, rebuilt steering box, fully detailed motor, repainted wheels, coker tires, and a 1″ lift round out the under side. The body had very little rust, what was there, was cut out and new metal took its place. The bottom side of the tub was sprayed in color matched President Red bedliner. The body being completely stripped down, got 3 gallons primer, 3 gallons of President red base coat, and 3 gallons of high end clear inside and out. We repainted the dashboard and other items in the correct (custom made) champagne color. The original seats and door panels were stitched in the correct vinyl with NOS 66 wagoneer seat inert material!!! Tons of sound deadener and all new felts and rubbers seal it up tight! This Wagoneer was originally a base model. Peter wanted to “jazz it up” so we installed Stainless trim around the windows, Roof rack, and stitched the interior with the “custom” level trim. We added a NOS dash clock, Retro belt seat belts and re-wired it with a modern wire harness and fuse box. We decided to keep the 70’s added A/C unit, but made it modern with a Sandensen style compressor, dryer and condenser to make it blast cold air! The list goes on and on, I cannot tell you all we did. 18 months, complete nut and bolt resto. BUT man what a beauty! I really gotta give a shout out to my guys, they really did a fantastic job! Restoring a first gen wagoneer isn’t for the faint of heart. Finding parts, getting creative and mustering through areas that there is no info on, is just part of it. I also need to thank Peter and Eric. Peter thanks for financing this build, being so excited about it. I hope you enjoy it tremendously!
Phillip contacted me and asked me if I would restore an XJ. Initially I said no, But when I heard the story of him wanting to build it for his fathers 60th B-day and that he wanted a early low back seat XJ. I said OK. So Phillip found a XJ and sent it to me from Oregon, it was rusty and rusty, so he looked and patience paid off when he found a correct color 1984 Pioneer with a great interior! Once that jeep had arrived at the shop we proceeded to rebuild and customize it. First off we yanked the lethargic 2.8 V6 and 3 speed auto painted the engine compartment and put in a stroked 2.8 with a 3.4 crank, massaged heads, Comp cam, edelbrock 4BBL intake, Holley 390 carb with a custom intake. The jeep did not come with A/C so we robed the system from the first XJ, using chevy blazer v6 parts for the motor we made it an A/C jeep. A Novak built 700r4 backs up to the motor with the stock 231 transfer case. We also installed a teraflex 2″ lift, Eaton E locker in the rear, magnaflow exhaust, rebuilt the axles and brakes while we were there. A custom Lokar shifter and Novak transfer case shifter fit into the original slots actuate all the gears. The 31×10.50×15 BFGs are on restored Jeep wheels and look great. The matching spare is on a Smittybuilt bumper and tire carrier and we modified the dealer installed brush guard to accept a 9500LB bulldog winch and Hella lights. The body was in great shape, only requiring a buff and minor touch ups. On the interior we installed loads of sound deadener and new carpet, new headliner, and just a good scrubbing with all new weather seals round out the Jeep. This was a VERY cool build. it was challenging for being our first XJ and being a very early model. Some parts were hard to find, and some had to be scratch made. Don you are a lucky man! Having a son like Phillip to do this for you must be rewarding! you raised that boy right! I hope you guys enjoy this super cool, retro XJ. and thanks you for the business!