Home » How I Knew It Was Time To Give Up On Some Of My Car Projects

How I Knew It Was Time To Give Up On Some Of My Car Projects

Time2go Top
ADVERTISEMENT

I take a lot of pride in completing my projects. From Project Swiss Cheese to Project Postal to Project Redwood to Project Slow Devil to Project Krassler to The Holy Grail Grand Cherokee to my J10 and on and on, if I set out to do something, I do it. Call it stubbornness or whatever, but I don’t like losing. While this stubbornness has gone nowhere, it has taken me a year or so to realize that spending hundreds of hours wrenching on a project may not be the best thing for the people around me. And that means I need to make some tough choices.

What a weird spot I find myself in. Just a couple of years ago, it was me, a half an acre, a low rent, and all the time in the world to just buy whatever junker I want and wrench on it day and night. I basically lived in junkyards, I littered my yard with a fleet of mostly-Jeeps, and my house was filled with car parts. Most folks, upon entering my house, noted that it smelled of gear oil.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It was the dream.

Eight years of that created a mentality in me: Buy whatever cheap cars you want, wrench on them, and have fun. This would be my life. This mentality continued during my first year or so here in Los Angeles. I bought a YJ, I bought an i3, I bought a Nissan Leaf, I bought a World War II Jeep, I bought a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee parts car, and I took ownership of a free 1958 Nash Metropolitan. I was in a new place physically, but I was still a staff writer in Michigan mentally.

But there are some realities that have reared their heads lately. I suppose they’ve been there for a while now, but I’m still only now coming to grips with them: On some level, the old life is over. Wrenching 24/7; going grocery shopping in my coveralls while covered in oil and still wearing my headlamp; daily junkyard visits; off-roading in my backyard; keeping tools and car parts in my driveway for months at a time; cooking using car parts; a giant axle bathing in a bathtub in an electrolysis experiment; dyeing my clothes in oil — those days are gone.

ADVERTISEMENT

I didn’t think it would happen. For the longest time, I said to myself: I’m never going to stop. I see everyone getting older, and they stop doing fun stuff — not me! But I don’t think I fully understood why as people age they stop hoarding 14 cars and trying to clean car parts in their dishwashers. It’s not because they’ve become boring, it’s because, oftentimes, new responsibilities and joys have popped up in their lives, requiring a bit of a reprioritization. And that’s where I find myself.

Back in 2020, I decided — along with Torch — that I wanted to start a new automotive publication. And in so doing, I committed to doing whatever it takes to get that company off the ground so that it can serve readers who, especially at the time, I felt were underserved. We’ve built something here, and as it continues to grow, so do my responsibilities. I’m not upset about that — I’m thrilled. But it means I can’t spend days on end wrenching on cars. Add to this the fact that I’m nearly 18 months into a relationship with the Holy Grail of girls — one who makes even the coveted five-speed Jeep Grand Cherokee seem unimportant — and it becomes clear: I need to adjust my mentality when it comes to cars.

And so I’m culling the heard, and focusing on making sure the few (probably five or so) vehicles I do keep are the very best.

Screen Shot 2024 05 05 At 10.25.37 Am

First on the chopping block is my 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, a vehicle that deserved a better owner than I, as I am the reason why it no longer runs. It ran when I bought it, then I removed a cylinder head to fix an exhaust stud, then rain got into the motor, and it started a shitstorm that has ultimately led to the vehicle not running properly for over six years.

ADVERTISEMENT

I’d love to fix this thing — at least get it running. But I look at my upcoming schedule — all the things I have to do as editor-in-chief, and all the time I’d like to spend with The Holy Grail of girls — and I’m just not seeing it. It’s a tough thing to come to grips with, but the old days are gone. I have to give up on the Golden Eagle; it is now listed on Facebook Marketplace.

I’m sure some of you have found yourselves in similar shoes; when was a time that you had to give up on a project, and what were the circumstances?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
147 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

Our little David is growing up!

Patches O' Houlihan
Patches O' Houlihan
1 month ago

When I signed up for my membership on this site I was not expecting such character development.

10/10 would subscribe again.

Horizontally Opposed
Horizontally Opposed
1 month ago

My last straw came when our daily driver olds delta 88 gave up a fuel line. We’d just walked up to it for a sunday ikea run (some 15 years ago) and found it sitting in a puddle of its own gasoline. Who knows what would’ve happened if I started it and driven off. Despite both of us loving it and being relatively trouble free, my girlfriend (wife now) and myself unanimously decided it was time for another car.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

Honestly… not a lot unless it’s right near something super hot like an exhaust or cat.

My 95 S6 developed a fuel leak from one of the lines, in the middle of the car, kind of dead smack between the wheels. I wound up following a how to on quattroworld, used a tubing cutter to remove the bad section, and ordered some nylon tubing and compression fittings off McMaster. I think it cost maybe $60, total. Tightened it all down, no more leaks, been good since.

So like, yes…. fire bad, fuel scary, but you also just ditched a car for a fix that could have been less than $100.

Horizontally Opposed
Horizontally Opposed
1 month ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

after the leak I looked at the rest of the fuel / break lines and my assessment was that it required a full replacement for peace of mind. As a Chicago car, it had a really crusty underbelly. And I did just the fix you mentioned so I could sell it, but we wanted to take longer trips and not have to worry all the time. We upgraded to a ‘89 Wrangler and enjoyed the heck of that one.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

Fair enough. My old 94 dakota had a great body, everything worked, but underneath it looked like the titanic. I wound up selling it because I knew it’d all be a headache eventually.

Berle
Berle
1 month ago

I guess I’m following you, Mr. Tracy. I still have three P2 chassis Volvos, including a 2004 V70R, as well as my new favorite daily driver, a 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon.

You know what car is parked lately? A frickin’ 2009 Mercedes C63 AMG with that magnificent M156 (naturally aspirated) 6.2 liter V8.

I think every single car I own leaks oil. I’m just tired of it. I took on too many projects, and I need to get out:
I took advantage of that Costco deal and put a deposit down on a Polestar 2 yesterday, within an hour of test driving one. The lease was just too cheap to ignore. That will give me 27 months to figure out if I really want to buy a used Alfa Giulia or maybe Rivian will have a R3 by then.

Time to jettison all five of my cars and rely solely on the leased Polestar 2. I have so many parts of cars to sell too. Xenon headlights for the Saab, a timing belt kit for that horrible Audi C5 Allroad six-speed that cursed me. PCV kits for at least one more P2 Volvo 5-cylinder engine. It is sooo much $$$ built up over the years.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

> C63 AMG

Unjokingly-mostly: we need regional support groups. It makes such a huge difference when you have someone that wants to see your car back on the road, without all the baggage and history you carry to it every time you look at it. Close enough to be within 2 hours? Converge like they did on DT’s house. Fix everything or have a plan for doing so by the end of the day.

Then again, the internet is full of creeps, so, sigh.

That’s a goddamn, completely understandable, shame. I hope you can get it back on the road.

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

I really like this idea, and I have no argument to you message. I wish I had access to a garage lift, but I’m sure the insurance is a factor here in Oregon.

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

I know I’m replying to my own question here:

I’m not a JDM dude, and I don’t want to modify my car much. Like-minded people do not get attention, so I guess we never find like-minded people?

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

I tried to replace the leaky valve cover gaskets, and I made the leaks worse. 🙁

The stupid “roof rails” are delaminating, and still cannot figure out what part number they are. The lumbar buttons for the driver’s seat don’t work – well known issue.

Still a magnificent vehicle – I tracked it twice at a H.O.D. event, and the second event was so much better with new Michelin Super Sports. 🙂

The sound of that engine is why I bought it – such an emotional purchase, but so worth it to experience versus my prior W211 E55, which was a letdown visceral sensations like steering feel and sound.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

Roof rails is bringing up a lot of “roof rack” results, which I’m guessing is not what you’re talking about. What is delaminating doing to you? Or just ugly, with risk of corrosion?

I feel you on the valve cover gasket. I learned in short order why the prior mechanic had used dabs of silicone to hold the gasket in place on my sister’s Sonata. By the time you’d wedged it under a refrigerant line but over the timing chain, you were lucky if it was still in place.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

Oh man, that sucks. That’s one of the hardest things I’ve found as I move from a 3/10 to a 4/10 mechanic personally: wtf is that thing even called? How would I get a new one, even if I wanted to?

That seems so integral (to the bodywork) I’d think I’d be looking up factory color codes and very fine sandpapers.

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

The consensus is you cannot sandpaper it, you have to replace it. The parts are only produced in gloss-black, so no need to paint unless you want to paint the old plastic parts (which is OEM).

I’m trying to find the stupid name of that part, but I’m three beers in right now. I know it, cannot find it.

Thanks!

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Where I live, there is absolutely no admiration of the vehicles I like. It is mostly big trucks. To each, their own, no judgment – hard to find people who like unique stuff appealing or interesting here. That was the case while I grew up in Northern Minnesota as well.

BIR (Brainerd International Raceway) introduced me to the Audi Quattro club in the 1980s before I was old enough to drive. Those “uncorked” turbo-five cylinder turbo engines were WAY more interesting to me versus the Brainerd NHRA Nationals drag races.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

So….much…this!

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

You’ll be back

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
1 month ago

I had a 2004 Miata. The problems started out small: new window regulator, headlight bulb, that kind of stuff. But then they got bigger: the catalytic converter disintegrated, the water pump started leaking, and the CEL was illuminated for a misfire that I just could not seem to fix.

Pretty soon, I had just decided to dump all my money into it until it was the ultimate naturally-aspirated canyon carver Miata. 3 years and around 20K later (some of it money that I didn’t have), the walls were closing in. I had already overextended myself financially fixing every new little problem that seemed to come up, and then it started to run rough. After a compression check, I realized I would have to rebuild the bottom end of the motor.

At first I got ready to spec the ultimate short block for it, but I hesitated. I was dating someone (married now), money was tight, and my priorities were changing. If I dumped 5K into the motor, it would still always be a money pit that would struggle to pass smog in California.

I really had wanted to keep it forever, but I decided to let it go. It had just become too much of a liability to the rest of my life.

I ran the VIN a few months ago, and apparently it lives on somewhere in Montana. I’m glad.

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 month ago

I’ve abandoned projects when they quit making sense for a variety of reasons, rust, expectations not being met and motor sport financially robbing me of basic necessities of life. I was about 40 years old when I came to the realization it was time to turn the page. Now, as they say in obits, in my 70th year, I have two cars that I mostly pay other people to work on, I have a couple of motorcycles that I still wrench. Life is good, my wife still loves me and I still keep appreciating anything with an engine. That weakness is inherited for my father, who was always contemplating another car.

As for your tilting at “Holy Grails”, its time is over, be selective, enjoy life, hire someone to be your proxy wrench.

Keep up the good steering of The Autopian, a “niche” publication that fills a bigger void everyday. (-:

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  CSRoad

I just turned 50 and realized it was time as well. I’m going to jettison my projects and sell the motorcycle.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago
Reply to  CSRoad

Never hire wrenches, keep that flame alive! Plus you always learn new things, and wrenching on things that aren’t rusted to all hell isn’t that bad.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 month ago

I gave up the project car life 10 years ago due mostly to 3 factors. Age, BTDT Syndrome, and traffic. Where I live, driving has become a total chore and nothing more than that. If the end result of a project isn’t any fun, why bother?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

> BTDT Syndrome

Becoming The David Tracy syndrome?

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 month ago

Ran when parked 🙂

The project was my first car that was gifted to me. Blew the motor when the rod decided to fly though the side. Too broke to fix.

MtnCamantalope
MtnCamantalope
1 month ago

Just gave up on my perpetual project Land Rover Discovery. I believe the wiring harness is corroded. Nothing on the steering column working pushed it into “probably shouldn’t drive until I figure this out.” When the transmission stopped shifting correctly that category changed into “probably a parts car now.” Sold to a guy in Maine who is going to use all the off road goodies on it to do up the Disco he just bought for his wife. He is so excited to get his hands on it, really confirmed to me that I’m making the right choice in getting rid of it.

Of course, I fully intend to replace the Rover with another hopeless project…

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

I’m happy for you that your friend has been upgraded to “Holy Grail of girls.”

Well, if that’s Holy Grail as in “one of a kind nothing else like it, ever.”
Hopefully she doesn’t find out that, on this site, Holy Grail means something “a little less common, with a new one every week or so.”

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

“2005, blue over gold”

I’m sorry, I can’t find a way to write that that isn’t dirty.

Those legendary BBS’s though…

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

LOL!! She’s a really nice and cute woman, definitely of the more traditional meaning of “Holy Grail.”

David, don’t compliment her by saying “girl, you’re like a Mercury Tracer LTS!”

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago

Maybe a Tracer LTS Wagon? With a five-speed?

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
1 month ago

She’s a cup jesus drank from?

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago

Oh, OH NO. That didn’t come off as intended!

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
I’m sad but totally understand- maybe somehow keep the rusty projects articles going even if their not yours? I’ve always enjoyed your writing anyway no matter what it is! My favorite was Project Cactus
The most hilarious ever was the oily shirts
My saddest project that I had to give up on, and still regret it to this day, is years and years ago when I got an 83 Rabbit GTI for $300 (Black/5-spd/good shape/looked great/fun to drive) The only thing was the head gasket and just never got around to fixing it, almost had a shop do it but then eventually sold it so I never got the use out of it that I wanted…still drove it a little bit here and there though)

Last edited 1 month ago by Freelivin2713
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

82 Rabbit LS. Parents bought it new, I got it in the 2000s, changed the clutch teenage me had abused, then proceeded to basically build a 4-door GTI. I fettled several peoples’ CIS-K systems in return for aftermarket suspension upgrades, bought a cammed 2.0 aba from a wrenching buddy, later brakes, 5-speed & seats from a Wolfsburg Jetta, snowflakes with Khumos. I got to drive it once—round the block on eggcrates—before I moved, moved again, found a place to park it, which then had a 100 year flood event. 🙁

During the cleanup a retired guy asked about it and I let it go for $500. He had the time & parking for it, so I knew it was for the best.

Berle
Berle
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

You have good taste. That said, the difference between an LS interior vs a GTI was pretty significant. At least it wasn’t a 82 Rabbit LS Diesel with red on red like my parent’s bought.

Picked up a ’81 LS five-speed four-door Rabbit and it was a great high-school driver in the early 90s. I thought my ’82 Audi Coupe that replaced was much more enjoyable though.

Jean Lindamood of Automobile or whatever car mag at the time had nothing but praise for that old Audi Coupe.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Berle

my first barter was for parts-rights to an early GTI. I stripped all the red-piped stuff off it, got all the flares and the grill, etc. Everything except the rear hatch because I was focused on lightness & simplicity (read: it was too much trouble to wire & plumb for the rear wiper). Bought later A-arms so I could install the sway bar, too. I always enjoyed off-throttle rotation. Bunny Injection badge on the rear(2 rabbits humping)

I helped an upcoming medical student bring a low-mileage Audi Coupe back to DD status a decade back, and agree about singing its praises. Still rather wish I had bought it when he realized he wouldn’t have time for it in the near future

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
1 month ago

I’ve been fortunate to have gotten more than my money’s worth out of every vehicle that became mine. When it is years into ownership, and a required component costs more than the fixed value, it is time to let it go.

“I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence”

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

I never know. I was going to throw away my ’02 Focus Wagon because the new rear control arm cost waaayy more than the vehicle was worth – but then my mom wanted to borrow the car to take a road trip to Canada with a friend, so I went ahead and repaired. It has been ten months without a single penny spent aside from oil changes and so on.

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
1 month ago

We just got rid of our 75 Dart. It was a great car only had 12k miles. I I had converted it to fuel injection and put some nice suspension parts it in. It ran and drove great. It’s nemesis was water leaks. I tried resealing the front and rear glass twice but it still leaked. We took it to a glass shop that specialized in old cars and had them put in the best reproduction seals available. It came back leaking worse. We only have a one car garage that I keep my Nova in, so it lived outside. It was an immense pain covering it with a tarp every time it was going to rain and not being able to drive it in the rain, which happens almost every day in the summer in Florida. So we sold it.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
1 month ago

Next DT article will be “These Are the Stupid Offers I Got For My Holy Grail Golden Eagle”.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  DialMforMiata

Is this still available?
Will you take $200? (I don’t know what it is actually listed for, because I don’t have a Facebook account, and I won’t start now.)

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

$8K

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
1 month ago

DT, congrats on making the shift from the “paycheck-to-paycheck” life and on to the things we are all supposed to enjoy!

It by no means…well…means you need to forget your passion, but it does mean that being more well-rounded, means you become a better person, and a better writer.

You are reaching your wiser years, which is fantastic. I mean that!

Hamish48
Hamish48
1 month ago

1969 Fiat 850 Spyder. When everything aligned it was a joyous little car, but the hours spent on the electrics and keeping up with the ever-growing rust spots drowned out those minutes vastly. Every time I see one for sale I get scary yearnings – but I’m luckily timed out with my current love, a1967 Mini Traveler. I think.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago

A ’67 VW bus that had some body damage that I did successfully repair. Then I tackled other seemingly minor things like wiring, flooring, door cards, etc. As I pulled the cover back, every single thing I dug into was bad and needed much more work than expected. I finally decided enough was enough, so I stopped looking and sold it. The only time I ever even drove it was to the bank to get the cash. A few days later the buyer contacted me to complain that the engine was leaking oil badly. I honestly didn’t know. I didn’t look, so I didn’t see. I offered to refund enough $ to get a rebuilt (back when it was affordable), but I never from them again.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

1982 CJ 8. Steady, sturdy ride for 25 years, but the rust was gaining every year. Then a master cylinder fail, fuel pump suicide and persistent oil leak sidelined the Jeep for extended periods where humid, salt air accelerated the rot. Always intended to replace the tub, fenders, hood and windshield frame, but four job changes and an interstate move put everything on hold. No time either to sand, prime and paint all the blight, not to mention cut out the unsalvageable parts. When the frame began to go and I still didn’t have the time or means to make repairs, I knew I had to let it go to someone that did. Fortunately, it went to good home, but I still think about what might have been.

Last edited 1 month ago by Canopysaurus
A. Barth
A. Barth
1 month ago

It’s a tough thing to come to grips with, but the old days are gone.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing: as you indicated above, new joys are coming along to join the ones you had before.

My amazing better half and I have been together for a long time. She doesn’t quite understand why I like to tinker with old motorcycles (or why I would make an 8-hour round trip to pick up parts) but she is supportive and takes the viewpoint of “if you enjoy it, have fun”. Because of her there are more people in my life and I wouldn’t trade them or the situation for anything. No buts, btw. 🙂

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 month ago

Way back in 1990 I had a 16V swapped 81 Scirocco, bought to replace my rusted out 78 Scirocco. While it was rust free it was also someone else’s project and had some half baked engineering like overly powerful headlights that melted the switch, an 81 metering box instead of the 87 etc. and I just got tired of re-engineering stuff. Also I had finally bought a motorcycle and was getting my high performance fix from the bike so I sold it to teenager willing to tinker and bought a bone stock 84 Jetta.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

I mean…. but that’s what made your articles 10000000X better than every other automotive site on the internet, or magazines. I couldn’t care less about someone reviewing some new boring leased mobile, but DT adventures slinging shitboxes is captivating.

I usually sell vehicles to afford other vehicles. I do need to thin it down, I think I have 12 cars right now.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

There’s always Stephen Walter Gossin.

BTW what’s he been up to?

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago

Yeah, I think Notorious SWG is taking up David’s place as the serial wrencher while I’m the hoarder.

I thought about working on my diesel Jetta and the Phaeton this weekend, and instead took a road trip to do a 10-mile hike. I’ve never done any real hiking before and holy crap that was fun!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago

Hiking rules

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

My location. Years ago I had a Miata. I bought it back when I lived in PA and there were twisty, hilly roads no more than 10-15 minutes out of town for me in any direction. I absolutely loved that car and said I’d never get rid of it.

Then I moved to MI and the car had to stay back in PA for two years before I was able to bring it out to me. During that time, age took its toll and the clutch also started slipping under heavy accel in 4th and 5th but was still good enough to drive around town. Once I got it out here, I realized that it just isn’t the right car for the area. I don’t have access to any real curvy roads anymore, it’s all just straight and flat for as far as the eye can see. That alone made me lose motivation to do any of the needed maintenance on it and I eventually ended up just selling it.

Fourmotioneer
Fourmotioneer
1 month ago
Reply to  S13 Sedan

Oh man. York, PA to SE MI has been rough as far as roads go

Dr Buford
Dr Buford
1 month ago
Reply to  Fourmotioneer

Try WV to middle MI…brutal…

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  S13 Sedan

This is a rough one. There are fun roads around, but the ones I need to drive are absolutely terrible. I cracked two of the Z4 wheels since moving into this house/city. I hate it, but I started driving the truck more (pre-latest-motorcycle) as insurance against cracking even more wheels.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

The 2004 Sentra SE-R SpecV. It was a riot for a while, but it was a clapped out riot with 250k miles and a nerve-diagnosed malaise. It gradually went from hobby to yard art to “this has always been here” and I finally sold it to LKQ, valve cover off for years at that point, and who knows what the hell else disassembled off it and callously thrown in the trunk or backseat. It was just too small and too old and the QR25DE was not one of those legendarily tunable motors.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Never*-diagnosed but not bad, autocorrect, not bad

Jeff N
Jeff N
1 month ago

1982 Jeep CJ7. It was my DD for 10 years before the rust started taking it. Too much frame rot caused it to fail safety inspection so it sat in the yard until I moved. Then it sat in a neighbor’s yard until they got tired of looking at it and flat-bedded it to my house 2 states away. I found someone who rebuilt the bad frame parts. Beautiful job. But the body tub was continuing to fall apart around me, it leaked oil like a sieve and needed much more $$ in parts to take care of all the deferred maintenance items like PS hoses, replacement rubber brake lines, new coolant hoses, belts, coolant system flush, etc. The floor mounted dimmer switch went through the floor when I went to dip the high beams, blinding the oncoming cop as I desperately tried to dim the lights. Another piece fell off the body forcing me to tun around on the highway to go back and retrieve it. My body shop guy threw it out, saying there was nothing left to weld onto to put it back. Kid #1 came along with all the attendant costs for diapers, formula, and baby wipes, so any and all remaining $$ just went away. I gave up, sold it to my body shop guy for $300. He promptly rebuilt it and sold it to some kid who rolled it and destroyed it.

KennyB
KennyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff N

2001 Jeep TJ Wrangler Sahara. Bought it new in September of 2000. My wife daily drive it until we had kids, then I daily drove it until it was about 10 or 11 years old. Being that we live in Michigan we had it undercoated regularly but what I didn’t realize was that moisture will get under that undercoating and start eating away. That coupled with the penchant for a TJ frame to rust anyway I was inspecting it one day in 2017 and found significant rot. Not only the frame, but the body mounts were rusting away as well. I went into denial and kept driving it occasionally anyway because it was a manual and lots of fun to drive and I’d still take it off road. The whole time we owned it, I was constantly chasing gremlins in the HVAC system. Blown resistors. Melted plugs. Melted components. The last two years there was no heat or ac or operating vent fan. We had bought a JK four door in 2016 that we started building up, and in 2020 my wife decided she didn’t want to drive it anymore and it became my daily. We still kept the TJ because “we’ve had it 20 years, we can’t possibly sell it now”. David saw the rust on the TJ a couple years ago at a meet up, and he’s ridden in the JK. Daily driving the JK really made the TJ irrelevant.

In May of 2023 my wife decided she wanted a new Wrangler Rubicon 4xe. They gave us $5000 for my old pal and I couldn’t sign on the line fast enough afraid they’d change their mind. I miss the manual trans, as both of our Jeeps are automatics, but that’s about it.

Like your CJ, it aged into being a project. And to me just wasn’t worth the time and money that was required and there’s no way I was letting one of my kids drive it in the condition it was in because it just wasn’t safe anymore. So it had to go.

1 2 3 4
147
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x