What Does It Cost To Restore A Jeep Grand Wagoneer?
When I restored my first Jeep Grand Wagoneer, I did not set a clear budget. It was a bucket list vehicle for me, and I never intended to sell. I found I really enjoyed the process of restoration and bringing these Jeeps back to showroom condition.
Some restorations may be more or less depending on the condition of the vehicle. Remember, the $25,000 to $35,000 I mentioned to perform a restoration does not include the price of the vehicle.
If you want to keep the cost of your restoration down, start with a vehicle in good condition. In my experience, it is better to start with a quality vehicle and build from there.
What Is The Most Expensive Cost Related To Restoring A Jeep Grand Wagoneer?
Hands down, the most expensive cost related to restoring a classic Jeep is related to painting and bodywork. You should budget between $5,000 and $15,000 for a paint job. I know this is a very wide range, but there are so many variables that go into a proper paint job.
Yes, you can get a budget paint job for $399, but those are not the quality of paint jobs that will get you top dollar when you go to sell. If you want to know more about the pricing of Jeep Grand Wagoneers you can check out the blog post, What is a Jeep Grand Wagoneer Worth?
While a quality paint job can range from $5,000 to $15,000, paying more does not always equal a better paint job. I have seen lower cost paint jobs look excellent and expensive paintwork look horrible. It is really about finding a quality shop to do the work.
Here’s what I suggest to find a quality automotive painter…
Contact people in local car groups. By talking to people in local classic car clubs they will know who has the best reputation, who can offer a quality paint job at a fair price and more. Then you still want to interview two or three shops to understand what they offer, how they will prepare the vehicle, and the quality of the paint they use.
You also should understand what if any warranty comes with their work. If a shop offers a two-year warranty vs another shop with a five-year warranty, that may be an important differentiator when you make your final decision on who you want to paint your Jeep.
How Far Do You Want To Go With Your Restoration?
Are you looking for a concourse level restoration or a driver quality restoration? As you can imagine, a restoration project will take as much as your wallet will allow. There are so many parts on these classic Jeep Grand Wagoneers that you can only buy used. Things like bumpers are no longer available.
If you want to take things to the next level you can search for New Old Stock (NOS) items.
What are NOS Jeep Parts?
What are NOS Jeep Parts? NOS stands for New Old Stock. These are Jeep parts that are new, still in the box, but never installed on a vehicle. When a dealership no longer offers parts for a vehicle like the Grand Wagoneer, they can sell off their old inventory. These NOS Jeep parts are the holy grail of Jeep parts for the restoration community.
I am so passionate about finding NOS Jeep Parts, I created a special link that quickly searches eBay for any NOS Jeep Parts.
There are other items that you may want for your Jeep. One item that really makes a difference in the enjoyment of your Jeep is to have the metal window lifters from a 1990 or 1991 Grand Wagoneer. If you have a pre-1990 your Jeep should have the plastic flex track window lifters. These routinely break. The hard part is that finding a 1990 or 1991 parts Jeep is very difficult. These are two of the most desired model years for restoration so to find one being parted out is hard to do. If you do find these parts they are expensive. You could pay $600 to $1,000 for four metal window lifters! Yes, you read that correctly.
If I were to restore Another Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Here is What I Would Do:
First I would decide what kind of Jeep I want to have as a finished product. Do I want a trail rig (not a true restoration) or do I want a car that I can drive but still enjoy taking it to Cars and Coffee or other local car show events…
For me, I would want one of each, but for the purposes of this article, I will share my thoughts towards the restoration and local car show scene.
For this type of project, I suggest you make a budget before buying the Jeep you want to restore. Then I would double that budget. It still might not be enough. This is because restoration costs can quickly mushroom out of control. You replace one shiny part and you then see two more that do not look as good so you replace them too. If I have not scared you off, and you still want to move forward, this is my best tip…
Search for as long as it takes to find an excellent quality Jeep Grand Wagoneer to start your restoration. Spending money upfront on a high-quality Jeep will save you a ton of money on the back end. It really will!
Another thing I would do it take my time. Since I would buy a quality Jeep, I would drive it as-is for a few months to get to know the quirks of the Jeep. Every Jeep has its own personality and temperament. After a 30 plus year life, they all have their quirks. I would hate to spend a bunch of money on cosmetic items only to feel the transmission failing or an engine knock that requires more extensive restoration work.
We all want to rush into the fun stuff of working on our Jeeps. I rushed right into my 1987 restoration project with full gusto and ordered a ton of parts including NOS fog lights, NOS woodgrain and more. Thankfully, I never ran into serious mechanical trouble except for my AC but if I had, I might have already spent a good portion of my budget on making the Jeep look good when I needed to spend that money making sure it ran properly and would not leave me stranded on the side of the road.
If you are thinking about doing a restoration, talk to others that have already done it. I know I could be much more efficient with my money the second time around, but for now, I keep hunting trying to find the next Jeep to restore.