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Brought home another one- 'Junior' - Now with Pics and Video

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Well, I finally went and picked up the 87 MJ that I purchased awhile back. I just got it home, so pics will be coming tomorrow. It was in a front end collsion and had some fender wrinkling on each side but the inner fenders and frame look OK. It was a Georgia truck for almost all its life, and was sold at auction after its accident (so it has a salvage title).


1987 MJ Sport truck, Renix 4.0 with 2WD, Creme color (soon to have blue fenders).


Best thing? almost no rust in the frame or body, and the floors (or at least as far as I could pull the mats up) are NOT RUSTED OUT!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I realize this is difficult without pictures, and although my camera is not working right now I had some from way back that show the front end damage it had sustained. I'll try and find them again later. Basically, both fenders were wrinkled, the bumper and header panel were trashed, and the rediator and condensor were holed. By my rough measurements the driver's side frame horn needs to come out about 1/2 of an inch (strangely, the bolt holes for the fenders and radiator supports all line up fine)


This 87 has 260K on the clock and had sat unrunning for approximately 2.5 years. My first order of business was to determine if it was doing to run at all or become a parts truck. After changing all the fluids, installing a new (used) radiator, draining the gas tank and installing a new filter I finally got it to start. It kinda sounded like a trashcan being consumed in a blender so I did not let it run for long. I suspected the oil was not making its way to the top of the engine. Besides that, the breather had evidently been disconnected for some time and it had been spraying oil all over creation in the engine bay (which makes a great fire hazard).


Today I pulled the valve cover and although it was somewhat covered with varnish on the inside I saw no immediate problems with it. The rocker arms, however, were mostly dry and I believe the oil holes are blocked closed in some way but I cannot find them on the head.


Does someone have a picture of a Renix head showing the oil passages on the rocker arm side? I would greatly appreciate it.



Pictures to come as soon as I can get the camera's head out of it's butt. :yes:

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Still waiting on the pictures.


Took a chance and sprayed a small amount of carb cleaner into the oil passages around the lifter rods while I was cleaning the valve cover. When done replacing the cover I started the engine and let it run for about 10 minutes. As it ran the passages must have cleared as the lifter noise abated to nothing. Shut the engine off and check the oil filler cap and found fresh oil on it! jamminz.gif


The only problem now is that as the engine runs (in park) the idle gradually increases. At first I waited to see if it would stop, but it seemed to go on and on. I was thinking that it could be the TPS or the idle stepper motor but after cleaning both there was no improvement.


I finally started to check the various vaccum hoses and noted the MAP sensor line was loose and repaired it. Didn't fix the problem, but just for grins and giggles I disconnected it while the engine was running and the idle immediately fell back to normal. When plugged back in it immediately began climbing again. If I plugged it back in and then disconnected the harness plug from it the engine immediately died.


To the best of my knowledge the MAP sensor is used by the ECM for computing the barometric pressure in setting the air/fuel mixture and at worst the engine would run rough when it's disconnected.


Can anyone shed one light on this? Thanks in advance.

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Got a good bit done this weekend, but still have to add the driveshaft and have the front right frame horn pulled out about 1.5 inches.


Pics -



Interior (almost rust free!)


The two videos are my attempt to show the idle problem and a whine that I cannot find the source for. In the first (2 minute) video from a cold start, I have the MAP sensor disconnected and the idle begins at about 800 then gradually climbs in steps to about 1500 before I shut it down. at 49 secs I re-connect the MAP, you can hear the dramatic change in the idles at that point. At 1/56 it starts the whining sound.



The second video is quite short and is a better example of the whine.



My question is: Can anyone suggest a solution for the idle problem and, can anyone suggest what the whine is caused by?



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Had a productive weekend and repaired several areas on the 89 to prepare it for the paint.


Also cleaned the IAC, MAP and TPS on the 87 and ran it for awhile. The whine has all but disappeared (?), and after about 3-5 minutes of running the oil pressure is steady around 30 PSI (at idle). The engine idles at 900 RPM but every 16 seconds (exactly - I timed it!) the idle will climb to 1300 RPM then after 3-5 seconds it falls back down to about 900 RPM. This is with the MAP sensor disconnected (when connected the idle gradually climbs and does not return to normal). Directly after the idle returns to normal the exhaust appears black and smells very rich.


Based upon the information, something is causing the ECM to believe the engine needs to throttle up and then go rich (in the mixture). Other then the sensors I have addressed can anyone advise other senosrs that could cause this effect? Or, does anyone else think it might be the ECM (like I am suspecting)?


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  • 5 years later...

Been a long time on this one....


Took a break from MJ after RyanL's  in the 88-99 conversion (http://comancheclub.com/topic/38725-89-resto-to-99-conversion/page-1).


Now, I finally found a donor jeep for Junior. Pictures below of a 2000 XJ 2WD 2 door with 110K on the body and 12K on the engine rebuild. It was sold with a "blown" AW4 transmission (which upon initial inspection made me shake my head :doh: ) for $450.00. After flushing the AT+4 / motor oil mix out of the transmission I changed the filter and refilled with AT+4 - transmission is fine. Still filthy inside, but that will change soon....


This will be a similar conversion to Ryan's but without the floor pan replacement. At this time Junior will stay 2WD until I get rid of many of the extra parts I have for the Pre-92 model MJ.



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I'd clean up that 2 door and send it off for a big profit! Then find a 4 door as a donor.


Thought about this. However, the XJ has more then just missing fender flares and a disgusting interior. At some point in its life it struck a curb or other low item that was harder then the body and sprung the passenger door frame. Essentially it rains into the vehicle on that side, and you can only see the damage if you get up under the unibody. I tried to re-set the door in it's frame, but ultimately it would require a stretching session on a frame machine to make it right.


The floor pan on the passenger side is well rusted through as well. Mechanically and electrically its good...but unibody-wise its not worth the repair.

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  • 2 months later...

OK - Been awhile so I figured I would post up where the project is.


Got the engine and all other items stripped out, pressure washed the truck (ugly I tell you...) and have removed most of the brackets and such to prepare for welding. Body has proven to be in good shape, the frame has been relatively rust free!


Anyway, to the pictures:


Frame and rear of truck. Needs to be sealed and painted, but otherwise in great shape.




Engine bay. Not perfect, but took about 2 inches of crap off with pressure washer.


I inverted the bed to pressure wash the bottom. Will undercoat it then set it back on the frame for painting.


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  • 2 weeks later...



Have cleaned and painted frame rails. Also sprayed inside of frame rails with the Eastwood brand inner frame rail spray. Worked well (as long as you tape over all the holes you are not sticking the wand into).


Welded all the seat brackets and kick panel/firewall panels in the cab, set dash in place to get the top brackets welded.



Meanwhile, in other news:



Daughter got rear-ended at approx. 45 MPH by a Volvo station wagon. She is fine (with a sore neck). WJ did its job - 2,600.00 in damage - rear deck pan was crumpled in the spare tire well and the gas tank was holed (by a piece of protruding metal from the Volvo).  Volvo was totaled.

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Made some progress over the weekend.


Got the B pillars welded up after removing the old strikes.


Hung the doors and the fenders.


Obviously need is the mother of invention. As I have been doing this one alone I had to create a jig to hold the doors while aligning them. Little did I know it would work as well as it did!



Finally, put the hood and nose on. Next is the sanding down (the truck had almost no body repair needed).




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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Update: Been working on the gas tank and sender issues. Basically going with a brand new short bed tank without the slosh pan and using the 01XJ sending unit and a split ring mount from Genright.


Tank with Genright ring


Old Sending unit to seal side hole


Cut sending unit


More to follow as soon as I find some Nitrile rubber sheeting in 1.5MM for gaskets...


And - Color:


2K epoxy sealer


Masked up


Base coat



Clear coat (through the booth window)






Engine bay


Door Frame


The cab and flares/nose will get shot tonight.


More to follow!

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