The American Restoration

September 13, 2023

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That's another failure story, After spending two years to a car that left from 1996, I said to myself: Okay. What's next?

Fiat Coupe was a relatively cheap, good-looking, unique sports car but even if you able to hit 200 km/h with it you can't drive it on rocky mountains. The reasons are obvious, it's not very comfortable and a minor bump can kill your aluminum rims. btw, entire build story available in my instagram and youtube channel also mentioned in this entry

With confidence of building an engine from scratch, decided to build also an 4x4 for weekends. Initially i was set the bar so low and intended to buy a Lada Niva and implement a custom ECU to it. Used car market in middle east is so crazy, while looking for a cheap niva, i found Chevrolet Blazer with very similar price and went to see it.

I assumed it's a giant truck as far i see from photos but seemed like just a lifted sedan car. It have an 4000cc v6 engine with continuous four wheel drivetrain but interior was so small. Retailer said if you're looking something big, i can offer something else if you make a little bit extra payment we went to see it and it was love in first sight, i was standing next to a green 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 5.2 liter v8 engine.

The paint was worn out, door locks was constantly turning on off itself and crucial wires were cracked. ready to caught on fire anytime. those were solvable problems by myself, took a loan from bank and purchased it.

The First Days
I replaced the stock air filter with a custom one and rewired everything from scratch. Then i painted the worn out sides without any extra polishing. It given a look like a military vehicle. Meanwhile already forgot about the fiat coupe and just given to someone with so low price instead of just rusting it around. It was fully functional and wasn't touch it since 3 months.

Overheating problems
I replaced almost every sensor and did a maintenance on major parts but it was still overheating on 40c mediterranean summer. There was no rev limit to maintain engine temperature which is a standard stuff in modern cars. I replaced the entire coolant system including radiator but no luck. it's still overheating after one hour of drive. Even sometimes it was stalling when i stopped on red light.

Upgrades & Enhancements
I installed the same digital temp monitoring system from the coupe, plus installed an automatic steam release valve. In that case at least i can drain all those hot vapor and bubbles remotely, refill cold water and continue to road. That didn't helped either.

The final issue was it's ECU, previous owner installed a 5.9 pcm on a 5.2 engine and it's flooding the cylinders while cranking. It works on winter cold but leaving you on middle of nowhere at summer heat.

Long story short, I said okay, it's time to stop loss and given it to another retailer with half price. You can't fix everything.

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