There are many reasons to own an SUV. While some SUV owners cherish their vehicles for their unrivaled practicality, some value their SUV’s high fuel economy, and some owners love their big boys for the enhanced safety.
One SUV that has made a name for itself in the industry and on the road is the Grand Wagoneer. Grand Wagoneer is as old as the brand producing it, Jeep, with the first model released in 1962 for the 1963 model year.
Hence, over the years, Jeep has released several models, many of which are now too old to run.
Regardless, the truth is, many of us still cherish and prefer our old classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer to new models. Hence, we want to consider restoring our old Wagoneer or buying a restored one.
One company to think of when it comes to restoring a Jeep Grand Wagoneer is Vigilante. Vigilante is a renowned SUV restoration company with years of experience doing what they know how to do best: restoring Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
This article looks into what to know about Vigilante, if they’re a good fit to take up your Grand Wagoneer restoration job, and more importantly, what to know about restoring your old Jeep Grand Wagoneer or buying an already restored model.
What Do They Do And Where Are They Based?
Vigilante is a US-based company specializing in restoring SUVs, such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and other Jeep products. The company has over 20 years of experience through its parent popular restoration company, JeepHeritage.
Those who have had their Jeep restored by JeepHeritage or who have shopped for a restored SUV from them can attest to the company’s professionalism. Hence, you can expect nothing less from Vigilante, which has joined forces with its parent company for years to earn an excellent reputation in SUV restoration.
What Does Vigilante Do on Old Jeeps?
Vigilante is a reputable go-to restoration company for Jeep Grand Wagoneer restoration, especially Grand Wagoneers manufactured between 1964 and 1991. The Jeep Wagoneer is one of the three models that Jeep released during this period.
Vigilante doesn’t only work on the exterior and interior of this Jeep but also on its chassis. This is necessary since the old chassis cannot withstand the forces of modern powertrains that the new engine delivers.
Much work and research go into fitting a new engine into a restored vehicle. Since Vigilante has been in the business for decades, the company is regarded as one of the expert companies for restoring Jeep Grand Wagoneer in the United States. Vigilante is also credited with using modern software to get its job done.
Another reason Vigilante stands aloof from its contemporaries is its expertise at keeping the shape and feel of the restored Jeep unaltered while equipping it with modern features. The company does this, knowing that retaining the shapes and feel helps keep the initial design alive, which is often why owners want to have their old Grand Wagoneer restored.
Vigilante: The Restoration Processes
Vigilante is a group of designers and engineers who work hands-in-hands to achieve a common goal: restoring old Grand Wagoneers.
Vigilante has different departments, with each department assigned to a specific task necessary for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer restoration.
Here’re the most significant processes an old Grand Wagoneer goes through at Vigilante:
Vigilante always starts their restoration process with proper planning. This enables them to give an ideal image of what the vehicle will look like at the end of the restoration process. With this, there is a preset model to following through the process.
Strip the Interior
As mentioned earlier, Vigilante restores both the interior and exterior parts of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. This starts with removing the interior parts of the vehicle. Since the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is old, it’s not surprising that many parts are covered in dirt or dust or perhaps broken.
While some of this damage can be fixed and treated, others are beyond repair. Hence, Vigilante shops for replacement parts when necessary.
Remove all wiring
Restoring a Jeep Grand Wagoneer, just like any other vehicle, requires more than fixing the metal parts; much work also goes into the wiring. Hence, Vigilante removes the wiring as part of the preparation process.
Remove the Gearbox and transmission
Replacing the engine is one of the most important focuses of restoring a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Since one aim of restoring the vehicle is to meet the standard of a modern Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Vigilante ensures the new engine can meet those in modern Grand Wagoneer, in terms of powertrain and torque.
Hence, a lot of calculations and research go into knowing which engine is best for the specific Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
Having worked on the internal parts, Vigilante then works on the external parts of the old Jeep Grand Wagoneer. This involves removing the wings, trims, bumpers, and clips.
Remove Window Glass
Another important part of the SUV that receives restoration is the windscreens, which are usually held to the frame with a rubber seal. In old vehicles, the seals are usually weak. Hence, it’s important to change them and retain the windscreens if they’re still in good condition.
The Headlights and Tail Lights
Vigilante also pays attention to the headlights and taillights. Usually, these lights don’t function at all or are malfunction, such that they look dull. This requires replacement, and Vigilante is aware of it.
Remove the Paint
Since the SUV is to be repainted, the old paint is stripped off the vehicle.
The final phase of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer restoration job is to reassemble the parts. The old parts are replaced with new parts to give the new vehicle the look and feel of a modern Grand Wagoneer.
This process is followed by repainting the new vehicle. At the end of the restoration processes, Vigilante delivers a new Grand Wagoneer that looks like an old Wagoneer but has the features of a modern SUV.
These and more are the processes Vigilante follows in restoring an old SUV.
Why the Grand Wagoneer?
Vigilante generally restores all Jeep models, but the Grand Wagoneer is the most popular of the three vehicles Jeep has released so far.
Vigilante ensures it puts its best at restoring this vehicle, and that the exterior and interior parts receive extensive upgrades. This gives the vehicle more power to beat its old self and compete with modern models.
A lot of effort is put into restoring the engine and suspension of the Grand Wagoneer. Since clients have different performance needs, their choice of engine is different. Hence, Vigilante offers them the option of choosing between three HEMI engines, with powertrain ranging from 485 hp to 1000 hp.
The old Jeep Grand Wagoneer comes with the standard leaf spring, which is outdated and not ideal for a modern Grand Wagoneer. This is why Vigilante replaces the old one with EIBACH coil springs mated with Fox 2.0 dampers, excellent at absorbing impacts.
The job doesn’t stop there, with the brake requesting a replacement. The Grand Wagoneer is a giant SUV that needs a highly responsive brake to stop, a function that the old brake is inferior to perform. This prompts Vigilante to equip the Grand Wagoneer with the modern BAER 6- piston calipers, enhancing the braking performance.
Since the new engine is more powerful with more horsepower and torque, it’s important to work on the chassis to withstand the new force. Hence, the chassis is reinforced.
How much Vigilante charges for their restored Jeep Grand Wagoneer depends on the choice of engine. Basically, Vigilante Grand Wagoneer costs $265,000 and the price goes up with a more powerful engine.
While a Vigilante Grand Wagoneer equipped with the 707 hp supercharged V8 powertrain is an extra $15,000, the 426 cubic inch V8 Grand Wagoneer costs $25,000 more.
Though the prices might seem to be about what a brand-new Grand Wagoneer costs, these are reasonable prices since old vehicles are revived with their old form untouched but with modern tastes and feel.
Benefits of restoring an old Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Before restoring your old Jeep Grand Wagoneer, you want to know the benefits of owning a restored Grand Wagoneer over buying a brand-new model.
Restoring a vehicle usually comes to mind for those who are in love with their old vehicles. While your old Jeep Grand Wagoneer is old and has lost much of its value, restoring it brings back the old glory.
Here’re a few reasons you want to have your old Grand Wagoneer restored by Vigilante:
-Customize your Wagoneer: one major reason for restoring your vehicle is to customize it. It’s often likely that your old Grand Wagoneer doesn’t meet your taste and style any longer. One way to adapt your old Wagoneer to your taste and needs is to take it for restoration.
-Improve safety: restoring your old Grand Wagoneer doesn’t only give it a new look and feel; it also helps enhance safety. For example, most old vehicles have sustained dents at different parts. If any of these parts are affected again in an accident, more issues can escalate from there. Taking the old vehicle for restoration helps prevent these issues.
-Increase the car’s value: restoring your old Grand Wagoneer is no doubt an excellent way to add value to it. This is more important if you’re considering selling your vehicle. Taking your old Grand Wagoneer to Vigilante for restoration will help attract buyers and give you the confidence to price it higher.
–Improve the finish: your vehicle’s finish plays an important role in its exterior protection. A vehicle with a compromised finish is prone to rust and pain problems. Going for a restoration helps give your Grand Wagoneer a new finish that doesn’t only help protect the paint job but also the steel frame.
-Repair engines: one critical area of restoring a vehicle is the engine and the suspension. Vigilante takes this aspect seriously and does research to know which engine is best for the particular SUV. With this, the old engine is replaced by a more powerful engine to compete with modern SUVs.
A New 2022 Grand Wagoneer or a Restored Model
The legendary SUV brand, Jeep, recently announced the release of the much anticipated 2022 Grand Wagoneer soon. With this, lovers of Grand Wagoneer are anticipating what the new model is going to offer.
This has prompted reviewers to peep into the SUV and extract some information. The truth is, the new model is coming to beat previous models with its out-of-the-world features.
With this, owners of old models want to know which the best decision is: buy the new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer or restore their old SUV?
While you can choose to buy the new model, it’s a great decision to restore your old SUV with Vigilante, considering that the company is excellent at restoring every aspect of your old Grand Wagoneer with new parts (where necessary) to meet the features of the new model.
Jeep said in a release that the 2022 model would wear the image of old models, making it a choice for those yearning for a classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer but with modern features. The question is, why should you invest your money on a new model that is renewed from the factory while you can opt for Vigilante to do the job for you?
Take, for example, the new 2022 model that is expected to come with a 471 hp V-8 engine, which is an option you can choose from when restoring your SUV at Vigilante.
Also, if what you’re eyeing are the safety features that the new model promises to offer, you can get those by shopping for a restored Jeep Grand Wagoneer at Vigilante.
Vigilante is a reputable Grand Wagoneer restoration company based in the U.S. The company has been in the business for many years and can, therefore, be trusted for the job of SUV restoration.
The brand offers its clients several options to suit their needs and tastes. An example is the option to choose between three different engines.