No Snow Please! 1976 Jeep Wagoneer

It’s a testament to the over-engineering of vintage Jeep products that so many Wagoneers and Cherokees are still on the road, looking like they could tackle the nearest rock crawl of snow-covered hill with ease. But on that last note, this Wagoneer should never see snow again, despite the seller’s encouragement that this nicely preserved Wagoneer here on eBay is up to the task. Bidding is over $5K with no reserve.

I find predicting sale prices on these and the later Grand Wagoneers is a bit of a dark art. In other words, I don’t get it. Some folks say the value is in finding one like this that isn’t perfect but at least hasn’t been modified for off-road use. Others say they have to be a spotless time capsule to drive demand given how many were made. And on a related note, it’s still not uncommon to see them junked simply because its life as the family truckster has come to an end.

I suspect many good Wagoneers have met the end of their useful lives that way, but purely in the eyes of the owner. These trucks will keep going with ease, thanks to reliable powerplants that are cheap to fix. Throw in the fact that the interiors still look good all of these years later, and it’s not surprising to see Wagoneers in places like the Pacific Northwest still being pushed into daily-driver duty. This one certainly looks good enough for it, with a handsome set of buckets up front and clean carpets.

While 360s found their way into many engine bays, this Wagoneer is equipped with the desirable 401 V8. The seller says the automatic it’s paired to still shifts well, and there’s really little else to fault. Mileage is just over 100,000, so it’s barely broken in. If you’re looking for a cheaper build, check out this Barn Finds Exclusive for a handful of vintage Jeep projects, including two Wagoneers – one of which is the desirable Limited model.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Ha, 2 of the 3, 4×4’s I had on the same page ( see red and white Bronco) Wha’s next, a ’84 S10 Blazer? ( don’t expect that one, there are none left) If you read the praise of the Bronco, this was one of the 4×4’s that the Bronco took it”s place. As nice as the Bronco was, this was the worst 4×4 I had, even behind the Blazer, if you can believe that.( I actually liked my S10 Blazer) My Cherokee had a 6 also, and that, and the drivetrain were the best part. Otherwise, it was a lousy vehicle. A day didn’t go by where something failed. You name it, it broke or quit working. The “Quadratrac” switch in the glovebox didn’t seem to do anything, every accessory failed,( heater fan, wipers, seat adjustment, drivers window regulator, rear window,,and so on) including gauges. I liked the truck, this is a very nice one, but AMC cheapened these up considerable from the old Kaiser’s,( they had to, the Kaisers lasted too long) and I’d never buy one like this again.

  2. Boatman Member

    Auto transmission with tow bar mounts. Interesting.

    • Steve

      Can’t you shift the transfer case into neutral on these, thereby allowing the drive train to “freewheel”?

    • Howard A Member

      I saw that too. With Quadratrac, which I think this has, there is no neutral and I don’t think it should can be done. The seller clearly has no idea what that is, or they would have mentioned it..

      • Chuck Phillips

        If you watch Wheeler Dealers on Velocity they recently rebuilt a 1976 Grand Wagoneer. Based on what they had to do unless your a great mechanic and able to troubleshoot many areas this may not be a great car to buy. If your pockets are unlimited go for it they are able to climb trees and go up steep hills.

      • Jim W

        I towed my cj7 from Central Florida to Virginia with a turbo 400 and quadratrac.

  3. Gaspumpchas

    A mixture of Kelvinator, AMC and Jeep (Just empty every Pocket) and I think this had that 1/2@ss Motorola ignition system. Hated to see them roll into the garage. 30 years down the road I don’t think they got better. Good luck to the new owner.
    Cheers
    GPC

    • That AMC Guy

      You may be thinking of the Motorola alternators that AMC used prior to 1975, when the company switched to Delco.

      In 1976 AMC vehicles would have been equipped with the craptastic Prestolite electronic ignition system. These had a plastic vacuum advance that frequently would blow out. Another feature was a distributor sensor with such low output that the factory fix for stopping dead in the middle of the road was to cut out the plug in the wiring and solder the wires together.

      Fortunately it’s a pretty simple matter to install a better ignition system. GM High Energy ignition is a favored choice.

  4. Bakyrdhero Member

    I loved my 99 Cherokee. Clearly a much different animal, but I had a lot of problems with electrical accessories on that as well. Wipers, window, blower fan, Rear defroster, ac fan, auto transmission brake override…I’ve heard a lot of Jeeps with the same issues spread out over many models and years. I once heard it was attributed to the stiff ride of Jeeps being harsh on electrical connections. Just my two cents..

    • Howard A Member

      For me, it was living in a salt bath area. The electrics didn’t do well in that situation, which was kind of a conundrum, as these were designed for the snow. In many instances, where Kaiser used a metal piece, AMC used cost saving plastic, and didn’t work well.

  5. Bakyrdhero Member

    I’m also in the salt belt Howard.
    Nothing quite as exciting as pulling over in a rain/snow storm to wiggle the wire harness feeding the wipers so one can see again. At least if I ended up in a ditch due to poor visibility, there is a good chance that Jeep would climb its way out..

  6. Oregon_Guy78 Member

    No salt here in Oregon, I’d definitely be taking it on a ski trip up to Mt Hood, it’s located in Gresham, OR which is close to the mountain.

  7. Woody

    Great looking Wagoneer, I would take one of these over an early expensive Bronco, this is a work horse and can tow more!

  8. KevinLee

    Had a 1977 Chief as a daily driver from ’97 to 2000. I also didn’t think the quadratrac switch worked. Other than having the radiator professionally rotted out, the light started flashing off and on coming home from work one night. Ended up being a corroded ground wire on the tailgate. Easy fix.

  9. Ward William

    This is the perfect vehicle to tow a caravan (trailer for you Americans), solid body, nice simple V8 that you can fix on the side of the road with string and chewing gum, and strong as a mallee bull.
    I rather a vehicle like this for towing a caravan than a modern one filled to the brim with electronics, and at 5k, I wish I were in the US.

  10. Wayne

    Over engineered? Where did that come from? Sorry, comments made by a writer that never had one should never be believed. I worked in an AMC store when these were almost done in production. Some of the older parts that were crap from he original Wagonerrs were still used in the newer ones. And many of the “newer” parts/systems were recycled crap from a different manufacturer. The basic drive train was great. ( if you leave out the Quadratrac system which was very “undersized” for this application) The basic engine, transmission and differentials were robust and rarely had an issue. It had very comfortable seats and was a pleasant ride considering the ’50s-’60s era suspension system. I was driving one in a rain storm that turned into a snow storm as the elevation increased. There was suddenly a big hole in the world with large rocks and small boulders all around. The non- reflective hole was a boulder about the size of a Wagoneer that had stopped in the oncoming lane. After picking my way over the rock/Boulder field past the very large Boulder. I noticed a VW Beetle that had crashed into it. Only 1 second faster and the VW would have been under it.
    I also got a stern warning from the CHP the day before driving the same Grand Wagoneer. ( according to him, way too fast in the rain) I honestly feel that between the warranty claims on the Wagoneer/Cherokee and the Renault debacle AMC could still be around. And yes I read the book so I know the “secrete”.

  11. Johnmloghry

    Pros and cons, my friend who owns a auto parts store says Jeep is real proud of their parts; high price. My son tried his hand at Jeep Cherokee about ten years ago. He had continuous problems with electric windows, blew two v8 engines before finally giving up and selling it. On the other hand my niece and her husband who live in Georgia, love their Jeeps. Both drive wranglers and brag on them all the time.
    God bless America

  12. Mark Holmstrand

    Why the “No Snow Please!” headline? I went to eBay ad to make sure it was 4-wheel drive. It is. I don’t understand the headline.

  13. PETE

    Intake by Home depot (on the eBay photos)
    Yes,Jeep’s are all turds. But lovable in some strange way .If you are not mechanically inclined it not the vehicle for you. (also best to have a gravel drive to prevent oil spots!)

  14. Guggie 13

    I had several of these vehicles , yes they had their quirks , never left me beside the road and always got me to work I drove the snow plow in Upstate NY ,kinda miss the ones I had !!

  15. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Having owned dozens of these Full Size Jeeps in many “flavors” from Chiefs, to J trucks to Wagoneers and Grand Wagoneers I can say that my favorite…the one I “should’a kept” was a 76 401 equipped Wagoneer.

    For the haters…that have probably never owned one (or owned one that was a lemon…’cause they’re all lemons and you just gotta make lemonade (haha)…these have no equal off-road. None. Turning radius better than most cars, gobs of torque even if the hp is down – but that can be brought up – and the QuadraTrac was a marvel of a transfer case. First developed for military use and then put in Jeeps it was the first AWD vehicle from which all others sprang forth. And it did it with a pretty plush ride if you compare it to the offerings of the day. The first SUV

    Were they quirky? Hellzya they would drive you crazy…I used to say I love my Jeep I hate my Jeep twice a day. Air plows that got terrible gas mileage. But in a snow storm or on the trail? Nothing compares.

    Hate if you want, these are great “purpose” vehicles and this one ^ up there is a sweet looker

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