Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/18/22 9:27 a.m.

This is Violet.  She's a Good Dog.

 

You may remember her from the thread on her 1998 Volvo V70R.

Violet's V70R

 

 

Every day, rain or shine (though never when the roads or crosswalks are salty), we go to the dog park. It's about a 20 mile round trip. We take the highway there, and then the scenic route along the river to get home. It's a nice ride and we get to spend a good bit of quality time together.

The Volvo has served us well for the past three years, and it's still a fantastic car, but a while back Violet decided that she wanted to be one of those dogs who rides around in a Jeep. It's a Doodle thing.

I've owned two TJ Wranglers, and while I do love them, they really are a bit tractor-like for highway use, and most of the ones that I could find around here either had a ton of miles on them, or suffered from near-terminal rust. 

We turned our attention to JK Wranglers, for a variety of reasons, and with a few qualifiers.

Newer means more modern, with a stronger frame that's less likely to suffer from rust, and lower mileage. A JK would be tolerable on a road trip to Maine. The same trip in a TJ would be torture.

Early JK Wranglers came with the 3.8 liter minivan engine, which has been referred to as "kind of a turd". In 2012, they got the much more powerful 3.6 with a five speed automatic. It needed to be a two door, so Violet could see out the windshield better. Plus, a two door would take up a lot less garage space than a goofy looking four door Unlimited would. Automatic transmission would be a major bonus, as it would allow other members of the household to take her places too.  And finally, it absolutely had to be a hardtop because swing up rear glass would make it easier for her to get in and out quickly. Soft tops are nice, but the zippered plastic windows would be a deal breaker.

I didn't really care if it was a Sport, Sahara, or Willys. The selectable lockers of a Rubicon would be nice, but I didn't want the 4.1 transfer case, plus they sell for substantially more.

We searched fairly regularly for more than a year. I had a couple of close calls, and actually had my trailer hooked up to the truck and I was pointed toward New Jersey with cash in my pocket when a seller dropped a few extra details at the last minute that he had failed to mention during several previous phone calls (a cracked windshield and, "oh yeah, I dropped the hardtop at one point and one of the corners is kinda messed up..."). In the mean time, we continued to enjoy the Volvo day in and day out.

Finally one morning, I found a nice, one owner, unmodified Jeep on CarGurus. It was a little more than I was hoping to spend, but mileage was about 40,000 south of everything else I was looking at. As a bonus, it was a great color, True Blue Pearl (not red or black) and at a dealer that was only a few towns away, which would really simplify the whole process.

 

It's a 2013 Wrangler Sport S, so it has the 3.6, five speed automatic, 2.72 transfer case,  power windows, alloys and hard top. I went over on a Sunday when they were closed and took a good long look at it. The paint and body are perfect with no signs of damage or repair at any point. It has a few old-man options like the running boards, WeatherTech rain visors and the bug deflector, but was otherwise completely stock. Not only was the interior clean, it looked like it had never, ever been dirty.

I went back for a test drive the next morning, and it was exactly what I expected: much better than a TJ, but still a Jeep. There was a long list of service records, and everything (including new tires and wiper blades) was done at the dealership. The brakes were were new front and rear, and the cooling system was already upgraded, which was a common issue on these things. The radio presets included the Sinatra channel and 40's Junction.
 

Old Man Jeep --> Confirmed.

So, Violet has a Jeep now. She has to hop up and extra seven inches on the way in, and I help her down as a courtesy to save wear and tear on her joints, but with the back seat removed, she gets to hang out right next to me as we drive. She really seems to like it.

We still have the Volvo V70R and haven't decided what to do with it yet.

The Jeep doesn't need much, but what will follow here will be general ownership observations, a few minor upgrades and routine maintenance.

johndej
johndej SuperDork
6/18/22 10:14 a.m.

Violet has good taste in vehicles.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/18/22 10:33 a.m.

Sounds like Vi earned the upgrade for being the very best girl. nice :)

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) MegaDork
6/18/22 3:17 p.m.

The real question is if the "old man" options were a selling point or not...

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/22 6:50 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:

The real question is if the "old man" options were a selling point or not...

I certainly wouldn't change the radio presets. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
6/18/22 7:01 p.m.

Sweet!

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/18/22 8:54 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:

The real question is if the "old man" options were a selling point or not...

The original plan was to remove them immediately, but... I kind of like them. 
 

I don't mind leaving the windows open a few inches, even if it's raining, and every Jeep I've owned (including this one, paid for by the dealer before I picked up) has needed a replacement windshield, so I think that the hood mounted stone deflector will stay. 

Radio preset #1 remains 40s Junction because it reminds me of the songs that my father used to sing. 
 

The possibility exists that I may actually be an old man now. 

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
6/18/22 10:15 p.m.

If you want to get Violet a really nice Christmas present for being such a good dog, you could buy a Gorilla Glass replacement windshield from Mopar. I get that you have to pay to play [$700?!], but I think Violet would kind of like the idea of watching a rock bounce away, dejected and defeated, while you both sneer at it from behind your unharmed G. G. windshield.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/19/22 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Stealthtercel :

I had not heard of such a thing, but I will keep it in mind for next time... and I'm sure that there will be a next time. The Safelite replacements are about $500 each, so that's not a huge bump. This one was installed by the Jeep dealer, so I'm not sure exactly what it is, although I'm also fairly certain that it was their cheapest option.

When I was negotiating on the price of the Jeep, they said that they would either come down $500 or replace the windshield. I had already investigated replacement costs for the other Jeep, so I just had them do it.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/19/22 12:21 p.m.

Show the Doodle that Sarah McLachlan commercial if she starts suggesting LED lightbars.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/19/22 1:51 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

There will be no LED light bars. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/19/22 2:07 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Good dog.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/22/22 10:19 a.m.

While no major modifications are planned, we did add a few accessories. 

Violet's not much of a shedder, but hey, sometimes...Shed Happens.

Since the inside of this Jeep looked brand new when we found it, we ordered a Rugged Ridge Cargo Cover. It was a little fiddly to get installed, and it took a few days to settle into place, but once it did, it stayed right there and covered absolutely everything.


 

Since we are occasionally wet and sandy after our walks, we also picked up a cargo mat on the premise that we could remove it quickly and shake it out: Essentially, a cargo cover for our cargo cover.

This time, we went with a Bestop, because we weren't really happy with the way that the edges of the Weathertech mat in the Volvo curled up over time.

 

While this mat fit really well, even with our cargo cover, it sounded like Violet was tap dancing back there, which drove us crazy on the road. This would be a great mat for camping gear or a dirty mountain bike, but we ended up just throwing and old rug back there, and the Bestop mat is now leaning up against the wall in the garage, awaiting some future solo adventure.

We think the rug really ties the room together.

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
6/22/22 10:46 a.m.

That cover looks great!

What about leaving the Bestop matt and then putting the rag on top of it? That way its out of the way.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/22/22 10:50 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

The Bestop mat also adds an extra two inches of jump-in height. She likes to clear the hurdle, and we're already seven inches higher than the floor of the Volvo.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/27/22 6:07 p.m.

Even though the rest of the Jeep was in fantastic condition, the factory headlights were horribly oxidized. 
 

 

I've had pretty good luck in the past with both headlight restoration kits, as well as just sanding, polishing and buffing, but the pitting was really deep on these, and to be honest, I was feeling pretty lazy. 
 

I really dislike most of the aftermarket headlights for Jeeps, especially the projector beam ones with LED rings around them. They just look wrong. 
 

I couldn't see any good reason to mess around with another pair of factory lights, so I ordered a pair of KC replacement headlights. They weren't terribly expensive, the look doesn't offend my sense of good taste, and the KC brand brings me happy memories of the  KC Daylighter smiley face covers that I loved so much as a little kid.  
 

Installation was fairly simple, but you need to remove the grill, which is really easy and takes less than a minute. There's a plug and play adapter for the H4 bulbs, but everything was really straightforward. 
 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
7/2/22 7:42 p.m.

While you're in there...

There was another little issue that has been bugging us since before we bought this Jeep.
 

A Jeep's grill is unquestionably the face of the vehicle, and it's the first part to draw your eye. Daimler Chrysler made some questionable  choices when it came to corrosion protection, and there is a steel cross brace directly behind the grill that was left largely unprotected. It looked terrible. 
 

 

I took that photo on the dealer's lot. Shameful...

So with the grill removed to swap in the new headlights, I decided to address the problem. But I didn't want it to look like I had gone in there and done anything. New paint would stick out like a sore thumb, so instead, I scuffed it down with red Scotchbrite, and then hit it with two coats of Loctite Extend Rust Converter, which of course, I still refer to as Duro Extend, because that's what it was called when I started buying it 100 years ago when I was 15. 
 

I think it looks much better, but not "repaired"; almost natural. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
7/2/22 7:43 p.m.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
7/3/22 3:08 a.m.

Every time I see a JEEP with  those goofy halo eyes headlights, I  can't help seeing the weirded out dog pic.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
7/3/22 8:07 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Yeah... not a fan.

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