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OK, when I first got my CJ ('69 Mach, 80K miles) 2 years ago, it had to be winched out of the trailer and pushed down the driveway because the starter was bad...this should've been my first clue what a POS this thing was/is. So I fixed that with much difficulty. Drove it a few times.

Then it needed rear axle seals, a complete brake job, and carburetor work/tuning--fine, it sat around a lot so I wasn't too upset with that and had most of that done. Did Pony Trails last year, but was embarrassed at how much smoke I was blowing when accelerating during the drive and I burned 1 qt. of oil every 250 miles. Turns out I had some bad valve seals but my heads where pretty fried, so I replaced them with aluminum Edelbrocks, replaced the exhaust system behind the headers, and had more tuning done on the carb. Running hot now so I can't drive it since it's summer...

Removed the radiator and had to have the entire core replaced as the tubes were totally plugged and had about a 25% cooling capacity. Bend the sh*t out of the new fins when I re-installed the fan with the shroud in place (doofus), but who cares--no one can see them anyway, right? Took it to Pony Trails this summer and blew a transmission seal.

Pulled the tranny, had the seals replaced, and reinstalled tranny in record time--feeling pretty groovy now. Surely I've fixed most everything that could go wrong for now, right? Took the car to a local cruise-in and noticed a tiny little antifreeze smell when I got home. Hmmm...seems to have sprung a leak at the water pump. Oh, well, it's not making noise and it's barely leaking. Took another little spin today. Hmmm...something wet on the bottom of the bellhousing, but it's not gear oil (or antifreeze) this time--the rear main seal of the engine appears to have sprung a leak! Is it time to kill myself yet?!

What really bothers me is that I also have this "bomb-looking" (ie, hideous) 64.5 coupe that has a 39-year-old paint job and 140K original miles on the engine (289-4V), which has never been opened or messed with in any way. People driving in other classic Mustangs almost break their necks looking the other way when I pass--anywhere but at me, with their noses high up in the air. But that little car is really the greatest.

Today, I had the CJ out and needed to drive to Portland (about a 3-hour RT), but I went 25 miles out of my way to go home and trade cars because I knew my coupe would get me there and home--and it did. And it'll start to take me to work in the morning and it won't leak or overheat or do anything bad. Rhetorically: Why? Why can't my "cool" CJ be like my coupe?! Why is my CJ such a darned pile? Why is my coupe so ugly and uncool but such a good car?

OK, I feel better now.
 

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Why? That's easy...which on do you think was driven hardest?
Stick with it, Kim. You've got a pretty impressive stable there...besides, eventually you will have replaced EVERYTHING on the CJ and it will be perfect. :: ;) ::
 

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I once owned a 68 Chevelle SS that was much like your CJ. I would walk away from it for weeks and then get back to wrenching. Fix one thing, something else goes. Then it started sitting for months waiting for me to get back into the wrenching mood. Finally I had enough and sold it. Glad I did and I don't miss it. Sometimes it goes like that. Should you ever feel that way about your CJ, LMK. I could be interested.
 
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even with all it's problems, you've gotta keep in mind, that there are plenty of people who're jealous, myself included...i cant hide it...i would [censored] my pants if i actually had myself a 428cj mach 1...i'd gladly take it off your hands if you ever wanna get rid of it :D

But really, I can relate with the first car I ever drove, which was a '76 mercury monarch with a 302 that had 157,000 miles on it when i bought it for 800 bucks. the problems were never ending...and I just gave up on fixing it since it was only a temporary ride until i finished my coupe...which I finished in the nick of time, since just before I did in fact finish my coupe, i noticed it had developed a water leak into the oil (bad news)
 

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My thoughts for what their worth ;) Is you can attack things two ways...as Brian said the abuse in the cars early years probably far out weighted anything the coupe ever saw.
So one....drive the car and fix things as they come up or two....take the plunge and stick her up on jack stands and start from one end and work your way to the other. So it may take a couple years, but in theory when it comes down off the stands....should be a nice dependable car. :)

( by the way, I found the hubcaps...just need ta get a box to ship them in)
 

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I'd be more than happy for that to be MY POS Mustang. hint hint :: ::

Hang in there Kim, you've got a great car, it's just showing some of it's age. :( :(
 
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