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My new Touring

122278 Views 876 Replies 71 Participants Last post by  Geo31
So last weekend a buddy and I flew out to St Louis to pick up my latest Touring. After having 2 pre-facelift titanium silver cars taken away from me by other drivers, I searched for weeks to find my next one and tried to stack the deck as much in my favor as possible. I located it through the Tourings for sale thread here on Fanatics, and couldn't be happier! Grey Green metallic over sand leatherette, 2003, rwd, 5 speed with sport, preium, and cold weather packages. It has 114,000 miles after the 1100 mile trip back home, and came with a binder full of maintenance history including the original window sticker, customer order sheet, and European delivery paperwork. It also came equipped with an H&R touring cup kit, 18" ASA wheels, and a Racing Dynamics rear muffler section. It needs a few little things addressed, but gave us an uneventful trip home. I'll update as I add a few things to make it mine, but here's a pic of it as I recieved it.

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What kind of Jeep is it?
It's my winter "beater," a 1994 Grand Cherokee I bought for $375 around 4.5 years ago. This transmission has about 10k miles on it since a rebuild that I invested around $750 into, so I'm a bit upset, but it could be worse. I've been looking into a 5 speed swap since I got it, so this may be the opportunity. It all comes down to availability of the right donor. 5 speed ZJ Grands were only offered in 1993 in very limited numbers, but XJ Cherokee parts can be adapted without too much work. I'm not in a rush, the Touring got inspected today, so it's back into its roll as fair weather DD.

I have a thread on here for the Jeep, but I haven't updated it in awhile. It has e46 heated sport seats in the front, though I'm still working on the CAN BUS signal to wake up the heat controls. It also has a mild 1.75" spacer lift and 2016 Rubicon wheels and 265/70r17 A/Ts. Also working on replacing the rusty rockers with some box tubing and swapping up to some tow package axles with better gearing.

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We had a WJ that we loved. Got it dirt cheap and drove it for a long time with zero issues and got half our money back. Probably the lowest total cost of ownership car I ever owned. I think I replaced only front window regulators and the fan and resistor relay in 5 or 6 years of heavy use.

Also have/ had several Jeeps since. Just sold my LJ that I loved and replaced it with a new JL 2 door.
I still cant find a way to install those armest screw hole covers without breaking them occassionally, let alone removing them. I think the parts BMW has in the US warehouse are so old they just snap as soon as you flex the shorter of the two flex tabs.

I have had all 4 doors open recently for speaker replacement and sound deadening install, and now I have 5 of 8 covers missing...

I think I will try heating them with a heat gun before install next time.
Those things are on my list of tidbits I look to grab extras of off of any car I see in the U-pull wrecking yards. Those and the valve cover/fuel rail cover screw covers.
The engine cover screw covers I seem to have down pretty well. Long thin screwdriver and push deep to get/flex the tab nearest it's farthest end. I haven't broken one of those in awhile although I think once they get very old and cooked and the plastic is super brittle there isn't much you can do.

The armrest covers are crap even when brand new for me and there seems no technique to get the required flex for install or removal without routine damage - at least I haven't found it yet. I would love ideas though, as I have 5 to install this weekend and hope not to break most of them at $3 each.
So I installed my lower armrest clips over the weekend and had success - 5 for 5 without damage.

2 things I learned. First, the heat gun helped - made the tabs softer/more flexible. I will always do this in the future. Second, the place where the short tab clips into the armrest is narrower than I realized. Its on the least visible part, so it is very important to make sure the tab is aligned properly before you make the final push for install. If it isn't, it will interfere and flex it way too much and crack it.

I learn something new all the time. :)
It's the little things...

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Thank you! As a new touring owner I had no idea - sedans are different. I will certainly sort this right away. That hook flopping around has annoyed me since I bought it.
The rusty license plate screws were really starting to bug me. Unfortunately they were even rustier on the back side and would not come out. So in addition to new screws I needed a new mounting bracket, as well. I happened to find one on a Mini at the junkyard and grabbed it for what ended up being free. I also grabbed some new, higher quality screws from work.

Drilling the rusted old POS screws out. The paper towels are to catch the metal shavings so I don't wind up with rust spots on the bumper.

Old plate bracket and it's grubbiness before it came off. I forgot to take pics of the cleanup process, but I thoroughly cleaned the area behind it and hit it with some cleaner wax. There are still some marks from original one being on there for 17 years.

The replacement bracket and screws. The bracket I got looks like the newer ones I've been installing at work. There are felt pads on the back side behind the plate holes, which is nice.

I got it on, but it was not a direct fit. I'd already drilled out the screws on the old one, so I had to make it work. I popped the metal inserts out and slotted the holes, and it sits down on the lower body line of the plate recess. It still hangs down past that line, but it isn't rubbing on the body as badly as the original one.

All finished up. I think the bracket is about 1/16" off center, but that I could fudge with the screws that hold the plate on. Also nice to have 4 screws instead of 2.

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Over the years I have replaced so many of these. I am trying copper grease this time to see how well that slows down the corrosion...
No rust to really worry about for me here anyway, but my car had stainless screws on the plate when I got it. I only replaced them because I needed longer ones when I added a plate frame.
I have tried the stainless and chrome plated screws and both will fuse to the brass insert somehow with enough winters in the Midwest. I don't know why this application is so bad...
So something major is in the works. The deal has been struck, but I'm not quite sure when it will be coming home. There will be more parts to acquire before it goes in, but it will make for a nice upgrade. Have I piqued everyones' curiosity enough? Should I string you along a bit longer? Nah...that wouldn't be nice. So without further teasing I give you this:

A friend has been sitting on it for a while and just isn't getting around to installing it and could use the money. It came from a very reputable local BMW specialist who set it up with some nice pulleys, powder coated brackets, the headers, etc. It's from an 04 ZHP with about 140k on it. It will pair nicely with the ZHP 6 speed I have been sitting on.

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Good for you. I keep looking for a decent ZHP donor, but no good luck yet. I can live vicariously through you until then :)

I can't wait to see more.
Same. I owned an e60 550 msport. I enjoyed all angles.

Sold it because I could no longer live with the throttle response being so inconsistent (6mt).

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I had one also. I liked that car. Loved the look of it, but ultimately it was too much of a pig and the engine caused me some major grief, so I dumped it after 4 or 5 years at 99k miles. I have always come back to my E46s.
So last night I was sitting in traffic with the radio off (at my 5 year oldest request) and I wiggled the steering wheel and heard a noise in the column. I've been chasing a looseness in the steering at center for close to 3 years, now, replaced tie rods, triple and quadruple checked the front end, etc, and think I finally found it in the column. It doesn't seem to be between the wheel and the column, but between the two parts of the column. I have another column in my basement, but I want to dig in and diagnose a bit more before I dive into that swap. Maybe I do that with the ZHP swap.

Which, one side note or two, I got the Jeep's starting issue sorted. After a bit of parts swapping, and some proper diag I replaced the ECU with a remanned unit I scored at the junkyard. All seems good and it fires off like clockwork every time I've turned the key since I replaced the ECU. I also got a bit of progress made on starting to clean up the garage to be ready to for the swap.

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Have you verified that the steering guibo is 100%. Mine was toast on my touring and it was the first part I replaced when I got it. I had never had to replace one before.
It's on the list to be replaced when I do the ZHP swap.

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I'd bet that's your issue. It's cheap and not too hard, so unless you are starting that swap very soon, I would toss a new one in there and enjoy in the mean time. plus than you can confirm there is not an issue with the rack before you start the swap. Plus I have been told that they can get worse and bind up, although mine did not do that before I replaced it.
Score! Those parts have jumped in price recently.
I was actually pricing some of the other pieces and I was rather pleasantly surprised. However I also get employee pricing which helps. I need a new cupholder, anyways, and the price of new is very reasonable, especially since the ones I finds in the 'yard seem to be broken in the same place as mine.

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I just bought that piece in grey this summer and it was $217 retail and I paid $173. The center carrier - the frame that holds the row of buttons and cubbies below the radio is 170.36 retail and $136.29 dealer wholesale. Ouch.

The part with the ashtray?
The part with the ashtray is called the carrier. Number 1 below - although it looks more like # 12 when you get it - this diagram isn't the best. My exact part number was 51168230900 Yep $170.36 dealer retail. That's why everyone just rubs the soft coating off with a scotchbrite pad...
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I looked at the armrest because mine has an elbow spot on it (cracking) and it's like $164 dealer cost! Cupholder lists in the mid $40 range.

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They have vinyl and leather armrest covers you can buy on ebay cheap and refit yourself. If you take your time with them, they can turn out pretty well. I have a second one for my ZHP I am going to try soon, or I will swap out the dirty, but not cracked one I found at the junkyard that will need a ton of cleaning and conditioning. We will see which looks better.
Big progress towards finishing other projects this weekend. My wife's office is almost ready for her to move in.

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That is really looking good. Nice work! Hope you get to that swap soon now :)
I now keep a long 1" diameter bar so I can knock the starter out of the bell housing from behind the trans.

Good luck knocking this out quick.
Bummer, sorry to hear it.
Well the appraiser came out and has confirmed it will be considered a total loss. He's going to get his estimate together for the insurance company by tomorrow and then the battle begins. If anyone comes across a RWD Touring listing, especially manual trans, please send it my way. I haven't seen a single manual trans listed on any of the more mainstream sites and many of the cars I've found are lower mileage, but also lower spec.

I shouldn't have a problem repairing the car for less than the settlement, unless they really screw me. I have some parts, already, and will be doing the labor myself. My hope is to get the basics repaired, suspension and airbag system, get the title straightened out, and then finish up the interior cosmetics. I'm going to contact the enhanced inspection station awhile and inquire about how viable my plan is.

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Fortunately, the Tourings For Sale thread here is active, maybe you can use it to gather value data.
I will keep my eyes open. Unfortunately, my RWD, manual will not help you, as I bought it before the recent rise.

On a more upbeat note, I had a manual sedan get totaled spring of 2020 and I was successful arguing that the manual and recent mechanical improvements - with receipts - added significant value. Just be stubborn. Honestly, I don't think they want to fight too much about a car that has so little value compared to most modern cars they insure... At least Geico didn't seem to fight me very hard. Much less than I expected for sure. And I think you are right, $500 was about what I paid to keep it. I think being decent with my case manager and presenting a logical, fact based argument worked with my adjuster. They probably get people often who are emotionally attached to the vehicle, but that doesn't help. If they can show data to support their number then they can justify, if they feel like it, of course.

Good luck!
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