1985 AMC Jeep Grand Wagoneer

'85 Grand Wagoneer:
Basic Specifications
FSJ Repairs & Upgrades
- Engine Mounts
- Oil Pan Removal
- Power Steering Pump & Belts
- Body Mounts
- Vapor Recovery System
- Bowl Vent Solenoid
- Wiring Diagrams for Start & Ignition, Charging, Forward Lighting
General SJ Web Links
Universal Info
  • Charging System Power Flow
  • Ignition Wires
  • Forward Lighting (headlights)
  • '67 Plymouth Barracuda pages

    Wood grain removed and dents installed by previous owner. 
    March 2001, Phila. Pa  

    Basic Specifications:

    Engine: AMC 360 cid v-8
    Transmission: Torqueflite 727
    Transfer Case: Selec-trac NP229
    Modifications: None. Goal is Survival!  TFI Ignition upgrade in the future though - a common upgrade for Duraspark systems.
    Exterior: Vinyl Wood grain and trim removed by previous owner (henceforth PO) except on tail gate.
    Interior: Shag carpet now removed from cargo area floor.  It was self removing anyway.
    Tires: 235/70r15 was Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo. Well rated dual purpose tire by Tirerack.com, they served well.
           now Firestone Destination A/T which seemed to be slightly better option (in 2011).
    Shocks: Bilstein B46-0046 & B46-0056
    Springs: Stanley Parts (stock replacement, excellent quality)

    Things to be done: Too long to list.
    Things fixed: Also a long list.

    Repair & Upgrade Information:

    Engine Mounts

        If the insulators break, the engine is free to flop around, which will do mostly under the torque of acceleration.  Replacement insulators often come with a clever fix to this problem  by interlocking the metal plates.  Even if the rubber fails, the engine is somewhat restrained.  But, the aftermarket insulators use a USC (coarse) thread, and the OEM ones use USF (fine) thread with a combined nut-lock washer.  Of course the new ones don't come with a nut and washer, so remember to ask for them. A little blue loctite doesn't hurt either.   It was a bit of a pain to get the old insulators out.  On the passenger side, I removed the bracket as well.   Loosen all three mounts (transmission) right & left, to remove and install either of the engine mounts.  The engine will shift a little when raised from the oil pan.  It may take a couple of efforts to get the insulator studs to drop into the correct slots on the frame brackets.
    Left: Bracket to engine block.

    Center: Replacement Insulator designed so the front and back metal plates interlock.  Unfortunately the studs are coarse thread. 

    Right: OEM Insulator - plate seperated from rubber-studs are fine thread.

    Oil Pan Removal & Gasket Replacement

        The oil pan is not too difficult to remove.  There are a several  points that will help however.
    1. Support the vehicle from the frame, letting the front suspension hang down.
    2. Notice the hole in the top baffle for the pick-up to go through.  The pan needs to be dropped to clear the pickup and pick-up tube.  This can be best seen from the front of the engine if I recall correctly.
    3. Remove the dust shield from the transmission.  That will give the pan enough room to move back.  The Y pipe from the  exhaust should not have to come off.  But, an aftermarket pipe, or variation over the model years might change that.
    4. Turning the pan  90 degrees (as viewed from above or below) will get the pan out from between the suspension links and the transmission.  (as shown below right).

    Gasket and seals interlock.  Install the side seals to the engine block with High Tack, Gaskacinch, or similar adhesive.  Yep, they will hang there. (See right photo directly above the differential and the steering link clamp).  Then, install the front and back seals.
     Oil pan comes in and out by turning it 90 degrees as shown.  The wheels must be hanging free (see jack stands supporting frame), and the dust shield for the automatic transmission must be removed.

    Power Steering Pump & Belts Replacement Help

    This was not fun, but mostly because of the learning curve.  With the following insight, life becomes good again.
    The Pump can be replaced either as a unit with the resevoir, or the pump assembly can be seperated from the resevoir and
    replaced seperately.  In theory, the pump assembly can be repaired, but getting the parts may be a

    Things you will need:
      * To seperate the resevoir from the pump you need a strong 18mm deep socket for the mounting studs and a 1" socket for the inlet fitting. (I broke my 18mm Craftsman deep socket at this stage, and took the unit back to the store to have them do the swap in their shop).  Therefore an alternative here is to have another means to get back to the parts store.  Afterwords I found several other deep sockets from the same set with hairline defects.
      * To remove the pulley, you must have the pulley puller.  It looks like a socket that wraps around the nose of pulley.  Some stores will rent you one, those with shops will remove the pulley for you (if you have a way to get back to the store).  If you do repair work, its a nice tool own, but not everyone stocks one to sell you.  You do not need a pulley installer.  A right size bolt, washer and nut will work. Cardone included this with their replacement pump.
       * To remove the pump from from its bracketry you will need an assortment of metric and American wrenches, including 1/2" open, 9/16", 5/8", 11/16", 3/4", 15mm.  The 11/16 and the 3/4" are used on the power steering hose fittings from Gates.  However, the one I removed from my Wag was of a different brand, and seemed to have metric fittings.  I used a 14" Cresent adjustable wrench to get it off the steering gear.
        * Finally, a nice touch is a couple of plastic plugs to put on the inlet and outlet of the resevoir after the hoses are off.

    Parts: These are the ones I used.
    Rebuilt Replacement Pump: A-1 Cardone 20860, quality seemed good.
    Power Steering Supply Hose: (Gates) Edelman 71144, quality excellent.
    Power Steering Return Hose, 3/8" 3' length & hose clamps: Do not cheap out and use fuel line hose.
        I had to go to another store to get this(Autozone in South Philly if you must know). But, this job is a PIA, so why take the chance of having to return to it in 6 months or a year.  Fuel line is designed for relatively cool gas or gas/alcohol to run inside it, not relatively hot hydraulic fluid.  Hose for transmission coolers would probably work fine as it must meet similar conditions, but even higher pressure.

    Pump Removal Nuts and Bolts:
    1. It is easier to access stuff if the Air Pump diverter valve is removed (1/2" and 15mm?).

    2. Loosen the Air Pump (belt) adjusting bolt. (9/16")

    3. Loosen the Power Steering Pump Adjusting nuts (15mm) and unless you make a  special open or flare wrench to access the power steering hose, back them off all the way, but leave on for now.

    4. Remove PS belt and then air pump belt.  Push air pump down and out of the way.  If it doesn't want to move, gently pry it and/or loosen pivot bolt (1/2") partly hidden under its pulley. (Access is better from below.)

    5. In theory, removing the hoses first at the steering gear would be the better way to go.  Drain as much fluid as you can.  You could also pump as much fluid out of the resevoir as possible using a vacuum pump.

    6.  The fun job here is removing the hoses.  If the return hose has a worm drive clamp, loosen with a a screw driver.  If it has the crimp style, stick a small flathead screw driver or needlenose pliers in the crimp and undo it.  Regardless of step 5, it doesn't hurt to put a catch basin underneath.     To get supply hose off, remove the bracket bolts holding the air pump, and
    back off the nut holding it to the water pump.  Get the air pump out of the way, and access the supply line fitting with an open end wrench (11/16 if its the Gates/Edleman hose) from where the air pump was.  Only room for 1/4 turn at a time here.

    7. Now remove the nuts and bolts that helped stablilize the pump during hose removal.

    1. Put the pulley on last to make it easier to assemble everything.

    2. Install hoses on steering gear first.

    3. To install the Supply hose, first snug the adjusting nuts just more than finger tight to hold the pump. That frees both hands to get the fitting started. Once it is correctly threaded, turn in by hand or very light wrenching with open end wrench. Then loosen adjusting nuts so the pump can be moved forward as far as it will go (hose line will hit bracket) and tighten by sliding wrench in front of bracket as in 6 above.

    4. Bolt Up power steering pump and air pump leaving adjusters finger tight.  Attach return hose. Install pulley, and while installing check to insure you do not press it on too far.  It shouldn't, but if it does, the pulleys may hit the bracket and not line up right with the airpump, crank and water pump pulley.

    5. Tighten everything to spec.  Shop manual sez 35 ft. lbs. for the bracket and adjusting bolts. Don't forget the diverter valve stuff.  Fill resevoir with power steering fluid.  Resevoir cap on mine said to use Dextron ATF, but the shop manual says DO NOT use transmission fluid.  I went with the shop manual.  Then I found obvious differences in the power steering fluid sold by different brands.


           One of the first upgrades was the replacement of the ignition wires with high performance ones.  Unfortunately, this was not much of an upgrade, because the Beldon wires are not what they claim.  Buried somewhere is a test I did earlier and found the Whitcar wires (a replacement brand) to be very good.  One of the problems with race oriented wires is that the really good wires have a lot of insulation, resulting in a 8.5-10mm diameter wire.  This is good, but they don't fit in the stock wire looms.  An exception is the Taylor Sprira Pro line which is very good but only 8mm (compared to stock 7mm).  Summit Racing is a mail order house (with website too) that carries them if your favorite retailer doesn't.  When the opportunity presented itself, all the wires were again replaced. This time with Jacobs because it was available.

        Go here for my comparison TESTS OF IGNITION WIRES


        Perhaps the most important upgrade was to install H4 Cibie e-code headlamps.  Wagner's sealed beam halogen lamps just didn't cut after using Hella's H4 "vision plus" in the Barracuda. Both the Cibie's and Hella's have much better lighting pattern than SAE standard halogen or incadescant sealed beamed headlamps.  Most noticible is the strong horizontal cut-off of light - the lamps are designed to limit light reflecting upward. This results in less glare to other drivers and better performance in the fog.

    Today (2017) there are many headlamps being hawked in the markplace, but the number of good lamps that actually put light where needed is pretty limited.
     The correct  large rectangular sealed beam lamps for the later SJs are: 6052 (Standard) or H6052 (Halogen) both draw 65/55 Watts (Hi/Lo).
     Lens Dimensions: 200mm x 142mm, (7.9" wide x 5.5" high)
    Many aftermarket sealed beams are the same dimensions but 65/35 Watts. Though these may be listed as interchangable with a 6052 or H6052 they are sure to disappoint!
    GE's Nighthawk H6054
    is the exception. It has been verified as 65/55W.

    The H4 headlamps mentioned above are also still available with 200mm x 142mm lens housings. Hella's Vision Plus are easy and cheaper to buy. The H4/HB2 bulb it usually comes with is OK, but there are better bulbs which draw the same wattage in exchange for somewhat shortened life. The Cibies can be obtained from Dan Stern, Aardvark Intl, and Headlight Service.

    To visually aim headlamps made to US specs (SAE), follow the procedure from the Jeep manuals.
    For headlights made to European standards, follow the procedure outlined by Dan Stern.

    More information about lighting upgrades on the Barracuda/Wagoneer lighting page.

        Another change was the replacement of the factory Marchal 750 foglamps with Cibie Tango 40s.  The 40s use an H2 bulb which produces 50% more light than the H3 bulb in the Marchals, but draws the same 55 Watts.    I still have one Marchal that is in fair condition with only one crackline in the lens.  If you want it, e-mail me.  Marchal was bought by Cibie and the 750 is no longer made.  One reason I choose the 40 is that most of the current Cibie line is larger, and will stick out to the edge of the bumper guard.  This is very bad in a city that lives by the "park by feel" method of parallel parking!  Unfortunately, someone got one of  the Tango 40 lenses already in the first year or so. :(  Also, I found that Scot Harvey and other rallyist were right.  Once you have H4 headlights, the foglights are not much additional help in fog.  Been doing fine without them now for over ten years. Maybe, one day..
        One more comparison of the fog lamps is worth mentioning.  The Marchal 750 body is a cast construction and is thoroughly sealed against water.  The Cibie Tango 40 is steel, and does not have water seals.  I greased the housing to minimize water entry, but would question if this is a good choice of lamps if you plan lots of stream crossings.

    Web sources of Lighting Information:
    Daniel Stern Lighting - Great source of factual information on lighting including bulb information.  Site incomplete, especially on the product side.  He will sell to you, but its a side business to his consulting work.
    Aardvark Intl. - A little slow to load, but has the illustrations of the light patterns and ranges for all of the Cibie line of auxilery lights.
    Wayteckwire - A good source of quality relays, wire, sockets, etc.


    Int'l Full Size Jeep Assoc. One of the best sources for information and links.
    IFSJA Forum.  This was one of the best Bulletin Boards in terms of content and people. Now a little dogmatic. Search the older posts and the archive subforums first.
    IFSJA Colorado Chapter  Some of the technical information here is better displayed, and includes pictures.

        If you take advice, or copy something I have done, you are on your own.  I'm just trying to be helpful, but ou need to make your own decisions, and know about or discover the risks before barging ahead on any endevour.

        The information here is provided to be shared. If you take something I have written, or a picture I have taken or drawn for credit or profit, you are a thief.  Plain and simple.  If you wish to quote something, you are free to do so.  All I ask for is proper credit.  If you wish to quote or copy more than a couple of lines, then you must get my permission. e-mail

    rev. March 2017