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Jims 03 Safari AWD

14173 Views 153 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  NoQuarter
Took a 6 hour road trip to pick up this 2003 AWD Safari with 123k miles.
This trip I got 16.8MPG and afterwards I checked the tire pressures, and they were about 20PSI!

I filled the tires properly and took another 6 hour trip today and netted 17.6 MPG! Pretty happy with that.

After the drive home without incident, we started the cleaning process and general maintenance.

Passenger side headlight was dim and both corner lights were out. Drained the water out of the light housing, dried out the bulb socket, replaced both corner bulbs now all the lights work and the headlight works properly. The water was causing a current draw (I think) thus dimming the headlight bulb.

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The lower body is all rusted out and the plan is to cut them out and weld in replacement panels
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The engine bay was nice and clean with no evidence of oil stains anywhere
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Had a pleasant surprise when I checked the coolant. The cap is pretty skanky, but the coolant looks fresh
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Same with the brake fluid. The reservoir looks like it has some left over smudge, but the fluid looks fresh.
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I had some drips from the rear diff and finally got a good look under there. The pinion seal is leaking, and the oil is slinging all over. Took it on another road trip today despite the leak and it got.... interesting. I now have oil mist all over the rear doors it got so bad. Didn't smell too good with the oil on the exhaust pipe.
Turns out... someone left a hose attached to the fill hole so they could keep the oil topped off :eek:
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I'm going to get it all cleaned up and replace 7, 18, and 19. Clean out the inside of the diff, inspect it and take it from there.
I will also order new drain and fill plugs once I figure out where to find those.

edit: it seems there are no drain plugs on these, but the fill plug I found at AutoZone thanks to @AstroWill Linky!!

Any tips/advice for this project is appreciated :cool:

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After PB Blaster or Kroil; patience and perseverance, instead of brute force, should be your friend.
As Leeann said keep tapping it occasionally to break the crusty stuff loose.
Body work may not be 'in your skill set', but you obviously are not afraid of new territory.
I am jealous of your ambition and willingness to 'save' another cancer victim.
Anybody who can cut a panel on a straight line like that gets my Kudo's and appreciation for detail.
I hope it comes out well, and I am awaiting more photos, as work progresses.

OH, and the shop work space is to drool over. I can even see the foor ( does not happen very often in my shop)! That is another reason for me to be jealous.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
On top of my van you see the three plastic hole plugs right down the center.

I haven't seen these on other vans when looking at roof rack videos.

Anyone know what those were for?

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Just a guess, but the most common reason is from radio antenna installations, either commercial or ham radio. they are usually done in the center, when permanently mounted.
There might be some clues if you stat looking around the wiring harness, and find some slightly larger than normal dead ended wires or other odd wires around the battery area. Another clue might be unexplained screw holes in rigid mounting surfaces near the driver side of the instrument panel.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
That is looking pretty sharp!
How did you get the slots so perfectly matched?
I can cut and welded, but making those slots so perfectly matched probsbly could not happen here.
Keep up the pictures..Please! :)
CNC! No wonder it looks perfect.
Now I will not feel bad about pointing out flaws....except I do not think I would find any if I tried.
It looks great!
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
That 'spotless shop' is somewhat sickening:eek:
I cannot even dream of such a clean shop!
It would take a lifetime to undo my messy habits, and I do not have a lifetime remaining.
Did I say 'Jealous'? Maybe not, but I am thinking it!
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
Very Nice !!!:love:
And very jealous of your abilities!
1 - 7 of 154 Posts