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A few weeks ago, I took a decayed Jeep called Activity Redwood on a 3,500 mile alley cruise to and from the off-road Mecca of Moab, Utah. While the aim of the cruise was to appearance that admirable off-road adventures don’t accept to be pricey, I did end up spending absolutely a bit added than the $800 I initially put bottomward for the junker.

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Part of my anniversary Moab cheap-Jeep body involves communicating with readers aloof how abundant the accomplished activity costs. Last year’s 1948 Willys CJ-2A, which I had initially bought for $1,400, concluded up sucking about $4,200 out of my wallet, and that didn’t alike accommodate fuel. The antecedent year’s 1995 Jeep Cherokee, which I’d purchased for alone $600, concluded up advantageous about $2,000 all-in, additionally not including gas.

This year’s total, which I paid for out of my own pocket, comes about amid the bargain XJ and the acutely beggared CJ-2A. Let’s activate by attractive at the antecedent cost.

When I aboriginal saw my 1986 Jeep Admirable Wagoneer, it was sitting in a family’s backyard in Holland, Michigan, with its advanced tires alveolate abysmal into the dirt. The seller, whom I had met over Craigslist, was allurement $1,200 or “reasonable offer,” so I proposed $800. He agreed, and alike helped me with the backbreaking assignment of accepting the 4,500 batter paperweight into a trailer.

That bivouac was one I’d adopted from my friend, who was affectionate abundant to tow my new activity with his cast new Ram 2500 Cummins. For that kindness, and the scrapes the come-alongs we acclimated to draw up the Jeep put on his new trailer, I threw my associate $120. Amid that analeptic price, the antecedent acquirement price, and the $113 allotment fee, I had spent $1,033 afore anytime axis a wrench.

The abundant affair about this year’s activity was that, clashing the Go-Devil agent in my 1948 Willys CJ-2A, the AMC 360 V8 in my Admirable Wagoneer didn’t crave any above automated repairs.

I artlessly rebuilt the Motorcraft 2150 carburetor, anchored on a new ammunition pump, blocked off the EGR aperture (the EGR valve had broken), and that was appealing abundant the admeasurement of the automated $.25 the agent bare to run.

The spacer amid the carb and the assimilation assorted had to be replaced as well, as did the convolute belts. Plus, I added an assimilation aqueduct amid the air cleaner (whose clarify I had sitting about the house) and the aperture abaft the headlight to facilitate air-conditioned airflow into the engine.

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Between all that, some accepted joints in the advanced axles, a u-joint in the advanced driveshaft and some cogwheel gaskets, I spent about $173 on the engine, auto and driveline. Which ain’t bad.

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While I was advantageous I didn’t accept to absorb lots of money rebuilding my motor, what I did accept to do was absorb a lot of time on my agitation system, for it is what had kept the Jeep’s motor from active for the accomplished 12 years.

The aboriginal affair was the amateur relay, which was toast, and prevented the agent from alike axis over. Alike with that fixed, the agent wouldn’t fire, so I aloof went in and replaced best of the agitation genitalia including the plugs, wires, benefactor cap, benefactor rotor, agitation braid and battery.

The best important affair I swapped out, and the affair I anticipate acquired the motor to cut out over 12 years ago as the antecedent buyer was driving, was the agitation module. Luckily, that was alone $24, and the blow of the genitalia were cheap, too.

All in, I spent about $133 on agitation bits.

Steering and abeyance were areas area I alone some austere coin. As I had planned to tow a Willys Jeep with the Wagoneer, it was abnormally important that the Jeep handled predictably abreast its max bivouac limit.

So I got some good, acclimated Michelin tires from the junkyard, replaced the rotten amplitude bar bushings, swapped out the shocks, installed all new brawl joints and tie rods, and alike swapped out the council damper.

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It wasn’t bargain at $806, but the modifications I fabricated in this area—especially the new tires and council parts—made the Jeep feel safe at artery speeds.

Other than that little boiler amount corrupt abortion during the trip, my cooling arrangement was stout acknowledgment to some solid bactericide maintenance.

My accompany and I threw in a new baptize pump, thermostat, radiator cap and fan clutch, additional a new fan shroud, which a clairvoyant gave me for free. This kept the agent ice algid throughout the cruise (again, bare that one time with the boiler hose).

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The manual additionally got some adulation in the anatomy of a behemothic acknowledgment from the junkyard as able-bodied as a glossy temperature barometer army in my glovebox.

I snagged all of this cooling arrangement advantage for the low, low amount of aloof $99.

The brakes were an astronomic affliction in my ass, about putting the absolute cruise on authority back the rear boom accouterments I bought from the genitalia abundance aloof wasn’t applicable properly.

But in time, I got it all dialed in. And with a new adept cylinder, anchor calipers, caster cylinders, pads, shoes, hoses, rear lines, drums and alike hardware, I was 100 percent assured in my braking arrangement alike on the steepest declines of Moab. That accord of apperception was account every penny of those $270.

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It’s adamantine for me to quantify absolutely how abundant oil and coolant I acclimated alive on this Jeep, but I’ve got a appropriate guess, and it’s a shit-ton.

Between the oil in the engine, auto and differential; the coolant; the biting lubricant; the anchor fluid; the cleaners; and all the filters for assorted oils and for the fuel, these “little things” absolutely do add up.

And by “they add up,” I beggarly that literally. To $288.

Admittedly, I didn’t accumulate accurate receipts of every little allotment I bought, so to accomplish abiding I’ve added some little things that ability contrarily blooper through the cracks—things like bolts, hoses and fuses—to the assorted section.

Between those estimates and things like a new ammunition cap, which I bought afterwards abrogation abundance on the roof at a ammunition stop, wiper blades, a sensor for the rear tailgate and added baby expenses, I alone about $190, here.

Total Cost

Adding up the antecedent amount of buying, alteration and registering the Jeep to the absolute genitalia costs as able-bodied as to the casework like annoy acclimation and caster alignment, I spent about $2,963 all in.

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That doesn’t accommodate the $30 in additional u-joints, the $35 radiator or the $20 alternator I purchased as spares in case article went wrong. Nor does it accommodate the $800 in ammunition costs or the $120 my copilot Andrew and I spent on the two nights we spent in hotels. It additionally doesn’t accommodate the beer and pizza I bribed my acutely acceptable abstraction buddies with. So if you appetite to apperceive the abounding amount of the adventure, it’s apparently afterpiece to $4,000.

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My bang-up Patrick was affectionate abundant to awning the gas and lodging, so I’ll alone be basement the $3,000 it took to buy and fix the Jeep. And to be honest, that absolutely isn’t bad. Not alone was the acquaintance account every penny, but now I’ve got a reliable and beautiful daily-driver. Which is good, because the blow of my agile isn’t attractive so hot.

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