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Unread 09-26-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
Pint
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1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

I'm going to inherit a pretty nice 98 Grand Cherokee Laredo next month. My mom is retiring and my parents have decided to go down to one vehicle. My son is turning 16 in February, so this is a "gift" to him. I will be driving it and working out any kinks it might have until then. It has 130K on the 6 cylinder engine. It has always been well maintained and will have a fresh tune-up, new battery and shocks when we get it. It will need tires soon, so I will be throwing on some 30-31" BFG AT/KO's. I am new to the Jeep world and am ready to learn! I like to do most of my own work, but have been a Landcruiser guy for years. If this "project" goes well, I may get a Jeep for myself to build into an long range expedition travel vehicle. This one will end up my son's daily driver and get he and his buddies to the mountains for winter snowboarding! Are there any major or common problem areas I need to look for?

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Unread 09-26-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
elmer_fud
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1995 ZJ 
 
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you will not be able to fit 31 inch tires without lifting the ZJ 2 inches. The stock tire sizes is 29 inch, and you might be ok with 30's.

The most common problem in ZJ's is the VC (viscous coupleing) dying. It is what that splits the power between the front and the rear axle. To check this drive around for a while then do tight figure 8's in a parking lot. If it takes a lot of gas or you have wheel hop the VC is bad. If it is most people just swap in a 242 TC.

Other than that drive it around and listen for anything that doesn't sound normal.
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I am not one to be changing lanes at 70 mph on a lifted truck on 33's, but since I am in Miami, I have to be prepared for the continuous influx of new drivers whose previous ride was a bicycle with wooden wheels.
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badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, Mushroom!!! :D
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Unread 09-26-2009, 10:11 PM   #3
LordHobbit
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You can fit 30s on stock suspension with minimal rubbing. And its nothing to be concerned about. 4.0s like to leak oil out the rear main and the valve cover. Sometimes it's hard to tell which one it is coming out of. I thought for a long time it was my rear main, now I'm convinced it is the valve cover.
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Unread 09-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #4
Pint
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Thanks for the info so far. Are the engines, trannies, etc pretty reliable? How hard are they to work on? Can I expect 200K plus out of the engine if proper maintenance is done?
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Unread 09-29-2009, 03:07 PM   #5
MurdaJs
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I ran 31" Goodyear Wrangler A/Ts on stock suspension with the only rubbing coming from the right corner of the front bumper when turned and flexed a bit. And only the right side because i rear ended a corolla so it hangs down about 1/2". just my
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Unread 09-29-2009, 03:59 PM   #6
92rslt1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pint View Post
Thanks for the info so far. Are the engines, trannies, etc pretty reliable? How hard are they to work on? Can I expect 200K plus out of the engine if proper maintenance is done?
mine has 220k and the PO didn't maintain it. The old motor ended up making it to 219k with maybe once a year(15-20k) oil changes and the air filter was 6 years old.. I would say they are reliable. IMO the most reliable motor I have ever seen. Like anything If you take care of them they would last even longer.

Mine leaked so I put a rubber Valve cover gasket on it.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
Pint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92rslt1 View Post
mine has 220k and the PO didn't maintain it. The old motor ended up making it to 219k with maybe once a year(15-20k) oil changes and the air filter was 6 years old.. I would say they are reliable. IMO the most reliable motor I have ever seen. Like anything If you take care of them they would last even longer.

Mine leaked so I put a rubber Valve cover gasket on it.
That's good news! This one has been well maintained, oil every 3K, service done by the book. I plan to switch all the fluids to Mobil 1, throw some 30" BFG's on it and roll! Might need an inexpensive stereo upgrade with Ipod integration as well.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
WXman
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There are LOTS of 4.0L engines around here with 300-400 thousand miles on them. They are weak, slow, drink gas, and leak everywhere...but you can't kill them. They last forever. Sounds like you will have a solid Jeep to build up.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
LordHobbit
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If your going to get a new stereo, get new speakers too. May I recommend Infinity 652.9i. Amazon has them right now for less than $70 a pair.

Is that rubber valve cover gasket working well 92??
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93 red ZJ 190k 4.0. Spent more money than I should have ...

Isn't red the only color a vehicle should be?
If at first you don't succeed, use more speed.
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Unread 10-12-2009, 02:00 PM   #10
Pint
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Looks like the truck will be arriving this Friday! Looking forward to digging in a having some fun with this thing. A couple questions:

It has run standard dino oil for the first 130K. I have run Mobil 1 in all my vehicles. Any problem switching at 130K? What weight are people running? Oil filter suggestions?

Also, is there a really cheap lift, maybe a spacer lift for a 98? Would like to pick up an inch or 2 is all. Sounds like maybe a BB kit for $200ish? Anything cheaper?
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