Saving 74 Jeep from the Jeepers

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backstory: I went about 2-3 months ago up to Chico to check out a rig from an adricultural auction place where it had been advertised for months at $10k. Pulling into the auction yard- i noticed 2-3 very built jeeps sitting near the maintenance house on the side of the lot. uh-oh! The price was down to $8k and i inspected the "jeep" which was actually a very neglected 74 FST unbeknownst to sellers. The kayline top was baked dry and ripped to shreds and the footwells and rear were 1.5" under brown rust water. p.o. stacked 2 floormats over the oem mat to clearance the water. $8k- pool of water rust- missing bows and soft doors and recent price drop - and no negotiating room via the middleman. I will pass.

Fast forward a few months- i email the ag. joint to see what it ended up selling for and she tells me its still there and price is down to $7k but the seller wants it gone. (its now been 5 months there.) I ask how low she would go on price and she states a jeep shop guy will pay $xxxx as he wants to chop it up and throw on some big flares and a 350. the footwelll pools of water and piles of crap- rags - empty vatozone bottles and general litter in the back coupled with funky nissan cloth seats still didnt have me interested in taking a crapshoot. pass again......but i couldnt get it out of my head that some Jeeper is gonna chop this up - throw some no fear stickers on and quad shocks etc.

Fast forward a few more weeks and worrying more and more that a 74 FST is gonna get trashed ---i fire off a lowball offer just above the jeepers and they accept. Roll the dice on a new basketcase thats underwater- undercleaned and overneglected.
 
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Luckily i was only 170mi away so AAA came out and grabbed the rig on a flatbed. On the way back i got a phone call from the driver who sounded apologetic........uh oh! He informs me that he heard a noise and looked back to see the softtop flapping in the wind. He pulled into a weigh station to inspect and buzz me with the news. thankfully it was a baked out kayline top and bars that was green with mold and fungus from sitting so long. I told him - dont sweat it- that he probably just saved me 30-45min of top removal time! :) The bars all bent down and it took a whopping 5 min to remove the rest.

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cleanout fun begins: tool roll was completely underwater, lots of zip ties , napa belts , brake fluid leftovers fuses, old alternator, and junk! filled one garbage bag....and one table of keepers including some lights, Lassen Map, original owner reg. (calif orig). and a pile of records showing orig. 12/74 manuf. and 2/75 purchase. Bonus was glovebox light buried but not bent or broken in a milkcrate. and some old walnuts.(?)

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Shark56

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Liking it so far ....but......lets see it!
 

rrv333

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Cruiser pics
 
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lol- sorry for delay

this was it in the yard with ripped kayline and the crazy hecho in mexico deep offset rims. the front of the top was ripped and ended up acting like a big air scoup when it was on the flatbed getting towed home.

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pulled the floormats out of the footwell puddles. and pulled pulled the seats out from under the garbage... seats were dirty and the hinges needed some serious wd40 workout......but i was psyched to open em and have no rips! :)

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front seats are fugly nissan pulsar nx retrofits- So i am on the hunt for some stock seats pronto. If anyone is hoarding a few spares and is planning to sell......im a buyin'

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interior needed a few days to dry out. luckily the week i bought it the calif. weather went from monsoon to nice n sunny......so i sat it out in the sun for a few days straight to let the pools inside evaporate.

heres the dried out passenger footwell post dry-out: yuck - some submerged goodies that appeared amongst the mud n rust.

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-
 

RustyNailJustin

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I love stuff like this.
 

cruiserdan

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No soft doors? Bummer.
 
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this is the drivers side post dryout. it turns out im having a wasp nest theme going on here. so far ive uncovered 6 wasp-hotels. 3 hanging along the cargo inside rail. I think the p.o. may have had this parked and was using it as a wasp-air b n b.

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No soft doors? Bummer.

I actually have a set of soft doors that were too cheap to pass up ages ago. This is probably why i couldnt let the jeepers have their way with this one. :)
 
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Once dried i got out the handy vaccuum and got 4 bags full of dirt, sand, pebbles and everything that could possibly be sucked outof the cab. Each bag was about 3 lbs........so 12lbs of dirt. And a bunch more Walnuts located in more gas tank crevices !!!

I was able to get most of the stickers off the rear ( smittybuilt, etc) but left this one which was in pretty good shape:

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