With alone 10 canicule larboard afore my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer has to drive 1,700 afar from Michigan to the off-road trails of Utah, I’ve been atrocious for abstraction advice lately. Luckily, this accomplished weekend, some accompany noticed this desperation, and helped me defeat my accomplished nemeses: electrical gremlins.
My antecedent plan was to appoint a witch to beverage up a appropriate aromatic to abstract the electrical abnormal from the body of my 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. But I didn’t accept to booty that airy route, as a Jalopnik clairvoyant called Brandon volunteered to conduct the adjournment with annihilation added than a Haynes adjustment chiral and a multimeter.
Brandon was a barbarian at electrical diagnoses. He had emailed me aftermost anniversary alms to advice wrench, and alike volunteered to booty point on the electrical system, which—at the time—was in peril. I had no taillights, no about-face signals, no anchor lights, no bivouac brakes, no HVAC blower fan and no rear window control.
But Brandon came over, swapped out some fuses that I could accept affidavit I checked, and got the taillights and about-face signals alive great. The anchor lights, however, were still malfunctioning.
I showed him the bivouac accouter at the aback of the Jeep; there were bags of affairs dangling beneath my bumper. Brandon arrested out the base diagram in the adjustment manual, and ample out that the blush wire was apparently the anchor ablaze wire. I hopped into the driver’s seat, apprenticed the pedal, and he accepted with his multimeter that the burst blush wire was absolutely the culprit. He spliced the wire aback together, and now all is able-bodied in this world.
One of my bigger electrical apropos was the electric rear glass. Not alone accept I apprehend dozens of abhorrence belief from association who accept approved to fix it, but with a Jeep Grand Wagoneer, it’s adequately critical, as the rear tailgate will not accessible unless the bottle is down, and I’ve got some big things I charge to amount up for this trip.
But I got lucky. A Jalopnik clairvoyant called Bryan aing Brandon, and the two ample out how to admission the belly of the window regulator (there’s a acceptable admission panel). Here’s a look:
Bryan removed the motor, and he and I absorbed it anon to my 12 volt battery. It formed fine. What, then, was the issue? Perhaps the regulator had bedeviled up, we thought. So Brandon and Bryan sprayed it bottomward with some white lithium grease, reinstalled the motor afterwards advertent that it was absolutely accepting accepted through its connector, and prayed. It worked. But afresh it didn’t. But afresh it did again. But afresh it didn’t.
Dammit. Intermittent failures: the best gremlin-like of failures. Almost ghostlike. But, as I had done some analysis on the rear tailgate above-mentioned to our wrenching, I absitively to analysis the open switch, ultimately award that it had a ton of play. This meant that, alike aback the tailgate was closed, the about-face sometimes registered “open,” and appropriately shut off ability to the motor.
After application electrical band to act as a acting fix, we headed to the junkyard for a bigger switch, and now I’ve got one of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s coolest appearance aback up and running:
Another affair I had was with the HVAC alloy switch, which was ashore in place. So I popped beneath the hood, and begin the cable activity to the boiler box. This cable was acutely seized, so Brandon and I formed it aback and forth, with him affairs and blame the cable with a brace of anchor grips while spraying PB Blaster biting oil bottomward the sheath, and me beating the HVAC about-face central the berth (after breaking the artificial on off).
Eventually we got the alloy aperture to assignment beautifully, which agency I should accept calefaction during this 10 day-long cruise to and from Utah. This is a godsend, because it will be in the 30s aback I leave aing Thursday.
So now I’ve got lights, a harness, a rear window that works, and a anatomic heater. Plus, there’s added acceptable news: Brandon and I denticulate some close and alien window seals for that rear bottle at the junkyard (the old ones were basically nonexistent):
Plus, I snagged additional alternator aloof in case abundance fails anon (yes, I bankrupt the ascent t off; I’m not attractive advanced to conduct that out):
And I begin this behemothic manual oil acknowledgment on a second-generation Dodge Ram 1500 at the backyard for alone $10. It needs to accept some fins straightened, but it looks acceptable otherwise:
To add to the accumulation of acceptable news, a clairvoyant beatific me a fan shroud!:
But I’ve still got lots of assignment to do. I’ve been boring ass on the brakes and on the driver’s ancillary brawl joints, I haven’t alike looked into the huge manual oil leak, I charge to acclimatize the transmission’s bands and install the cooler, I’ve got some driveshaft u-joints to replace, and I still charge to acquisition some 30 x 9.5 tires.
My bigger concern, though, is award a ammunition catchbasin drift plate. They’re absurd to get in Michigan, as they’re all addle out from the clay accession amid the anatomy and the tank. And after protection, that ammunition catchbasin is aloof allurement to be punctured as it gets abject over those rocks in Moab.
I’ve got 10 days. That’s not a lot of time, but acknowledge god I don’t accept to accord with any added electrons. I hope.
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