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My daughters 89 MJ...

Andy in Pa.

NAXJA Member #180
Downingtown, Pa.
Pretty much ever since my daughter Amy was old enough to recognize, enjoy, and be along for road trips in cars, she always liked riding in the 87 MJ I built a few years ago, and sold around 2012-2013 (I think). It was a great, very capable driver and offroad truck that I had bought originally for $600 (2wd, aw-4, 4L). I got rid of the MJ because it did not work well as a 3rd vehicle to haul the family around. Needless to say, Amy was mad at me for selling it, and vowed to buy it back from where-ever it ended up, when she was old enough to drive. The Jeep didn't go far, you can still spot it occasionally at Rausch Creek. The new owner has done some very cool mods to it, making it even more capable as an off and on-road truck, and plans to drive the wheels off of it.

In the meantime, at the age of 13, I taught Amy how to drive a manual 5spd XJ at a friends property. This changed her focus slightly, now she wanted a 5 spd MJ as her first car.:doh:

I didn't hold out ANY hope of granting this wish, as finding a clean MJ is hard enough, and finding one with a 4L and 5 spd... next to impossible. A good friend ended up finding a very clean 2wd 4L 5spd MJ in Va for a VERY good deal, and was excited to build it. I went and checked it out, and basically, said if you ever want to sell it, I am interested.

Well... good thing my friend has a short attention span (for those who know, you know who I am sure). He offered it to me after about 8 months of it sitting in his yard, and it took about 4 months to get it to my house. We got it in the garage this Spring, with plans of having it running and functional by the Fall, and we have so far replaced the steering column, the entire interior, new battery cables, new battery, hold down, re-wired, re-did numerous vacuum lines and electronics in the engine bay, new steering shaft, repaired floor on drivers side, got ALL interior/exterior electronics working, new interior lights, custom cold air intake, replaced/rebuilt the door wing windows and numerous other little things. About two weeks ago I turned the key (with fingers crossed) and it started and runs great!!! Still have a list of odds and ends to do, but at this point it is a manageable list that we can scratch off as they are completed. Amy has been able to practice with the 5spd around my yard, as well as start learning more about driving, all before she gets her permit in 5 months.

Perhaps the best part of all... my kids Amy and Jeremy have both been enjoying helping me work on it, and they are learning some great skills in the process too.

Sorry, pics eventually, don't have anywhere to host them right now. Wanted to start this thread to start documenting this build.
Looking forward to seeing the pictures. Is a 4x4 conversion in the long-range plans?
That's awesome Andy! I'm sure you will have a great time building it up with her.

There was something else I wanted to say, but I got distracted and moved onto something else, sorry.
Very cool Andy, when I told Jane I was going to get a new Jeep, she asked if she could help me build it, which of course means she will play with the tools, but hey she’s only 5. Again cool to hear this and yes they are definitely getting some valuable life skills.