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1989 LJ73 - Getting it Back to Safe and Reliable Condition


New Member
Oct 23, 2023
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Purchased on eBay from dealer in Orlando who sources these in Spain and surrounding area. Took delivery on 31 Oct (last week).

Overall, this is in good condition with no rust. 118k miles.

Was purchased with hard top and dealer assumed top was secured properly but top blew off during transport to TN. Now he's looking for a replacement to send me since I can't drive in cold or wet conditions. A good soft top is crazy money - $4200 from Columbian outfit and $5000 from Pakistani outfit, both selling on eBay. A new hard top is $7000 from megazip (from Japan).

Took down to top off fuel yesterday and experienced the 'death wobble' at 55mph. Looks like most bushings up front are all dried and cracked and will need replacing. Will set front tire pressure to 29psi (stated in user manual) and maybe have rebalanced. Need to change oil (black as coal) and filter (going to use a Fram PH6357) then take to local garage to get all fluids changed (tranny, diffs, xfer case) since I have no maintenance history. I did grease the U-Joints on both shafts as I didn't see any evidence of being done recently. Came with 10.5 x 15 tires on chrome rims.

Removed rear door windows for now, frames bent a bit from hard top coming off but easily fixable.

4WD light on dash not coming on when button pushed to 'on', checked bulb and good so must be switch on xfer case. It does go into 4WD though, just an inop light.

Left rear of engine behind oil filter wet from possible oil leak (coming from top). Will spray degreaser and wipe clean so I can find exact source of leak. Rest of engine is super clean and no rust.

Preheat light comes on for only 2 seconds and initial start on cold (32F) morning with a bit of 'choke' starts off really smoky but goes away quickly.

Radio and Inclinometers inop but won't really use anyway.

No headrests or seat belts for rear seat but don't plan on having any passengers back there.

My main concerns are to get it mechanically safe and reliable for occasional drives on country back roads and into the mountains here in NE Tennessee. Will need front end work to eliminate death wobble.

If anyone has experience with this model (has 2L-T engine) I'm looking for any and all resources like manuals, maintenance parts, repair parts (like bushings), etc. so please chime in. Thanks.
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Wanted: a good used FRP Hard Top to replace the one that blew off in transit.