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Unread 07-05-2014, 10:29 PM   #1
FairbanksZJ
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: fairbanks, ak
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By 96 ZJ build for the Alaskan Experience

So I just recently made the move from South Carolina to Fairbanks Alaska and right before starting the drive I picked up a 96 ZJ (5.2) with 180,000 miles and a very straight body and interior. Not bad considering it ran great and a price tag of 500$. My intentions were to build a Alaska worthy rig for sneaking away on the weekends and exploring this state to the fullest. Im an avid hunter and enjoy fly fishing so I need something to haul my gear and base camp out of during my excursions. As luck would have it I stumbled across a 97 ZJ that was already lifted, and had a proto fab bumper on in less than 2 days after settling in to my new house in Fairbanks and for even less than I bought my first ZJ for it has now become the proud parts donor for my 96. I don't plan on going to extreme on my 96, I just want it to be very trail worthy and reliable. Little issues have a way of becoming life or death situations in Alaska and I want to be ready for anything that can happen. This is going to be an on going thread as i see my ZJ not being fully ready till early summer next year. A recent divorce and a child support payment that is bleeding me dry dictates that I cant go overboard on this build all at once. Let me know what you all think as I post my progress and feel free to ad your 2 cents. If ive learned one thing in my last 15 years in the army its that their is always some one out their that knows more than me and has done what I want to do before.

1891366_647909821962058_8949648220991055942_o.jpg  
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Unread 07-05-2014, 10:30 PM   #2
FairbanksZJ
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Location: fairbanks, ak
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Green ZJ is my 96 and the Black ZJ is my 97, the parts donor.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
FairbanksZJ
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Location: fairbanks, ak
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Build update 1

So far I've put a lot of time into the part donor, its a hull of a jeep sitting in my garage on blocks. All of the suspension is out, all of the interior is out, and most of the body is gone. It is nothing more than a shell with half the motor, tranny, and T-Case left. Next weekend that will be pulled and Ill scrap the shell. Motor is going to get a complete build this winter when the temp drops and I cant do much fishing or hunting. Plan on swapping it in the spring. The proto fab was pulled, hand sanded to bare steel and repainted. I guess the last owner just bolted it on and then painted it. Lots of rust had to be removed, luckily it wasnt much more than surface. A little pitting but noting major. Its on the 96 and waiting for its winch. Shipping to Alaska isnt cheap and its going to run me almost 200 to get the Smittybilt XRC-9.5k sent up. I decided that the interior needs to reflect my life style so its getting a realtree make over. Headliner and console are done. Put some switches for running all my lights in the console and mounted a piece of MDF between the roof and headliner in the rear so I can mount my power station and other gizmos. I read that some people have had issues with floor mounted items getting ruined by water so Ive decided to mount as much as I can up high. I plan on having to make a lot of water crossings.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 11:30 PM   #4
WoodyXJ
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Did you do the headliner yourself? How difficult was it? Looks great. And a nice shiny paint job is nice too, I wish mine looked that good!
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Unread 07-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
FairbanksZJ
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Location: fairbanks, ak
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I did the headliner myself, not very difficult at all. I used jersey cloth and heavy duty 3M spray adhesive. The Jersey cloth is very stretchy so it can be pulled and shaped to fit curves and odd shapes quite nicely. Came in handy when I wrapped the A,B,and C pillar moldings. The Paint is not to bad at all for its age. Not a scratch on it yet that wont buff out. Only issue with the body is a small cancer spot on the roof that I found when I removed the factory rack rails. One of the bolts that held the rails down was missing and looks like it had been gone for quite some time. It does have a little damage to the rear hatch under the license plate from the wife smacking the rear of the 96 with the 97 while we were towing it to the house. Eventually Ill get around to having her fix it. She is and auto body goddess. Thanks for the complements
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Unread 07-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #6
Oldfrog
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Welcome to JF.
( and thank you for your service to this country !)

Looks like you have a nice project going there. I like the realtree headliner.
( I opted to spray mine with truck bed liner...and chit-can the fabric altogether)
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Unread 07-06-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
FairbanksZJ
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: fairbanks, ak
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Im pretty excited about it, its my 3rd jeep. I had a KJ and JK that were nicely built and some may say the ZJ is a step back but I love it. Not to mention I have no car payment.
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Unread 07-06-2014, 02:20 PM   #8
dusterdude
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Welcome,interesting project
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Unread 07-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
Glued2aPost
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Wasilla, AK
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I picked up a ZJ when I got orders to Alaska as well!

Here is what you need:
Block heater
Battery warmer/battery blanket
Snow Tires

Recommend:
Limited slip or locking rear diff
HID or supplemental lighting. Moose are out year round. You need to see them from as far away as possible to be able to stop on snow or ice

Pay attention to ANY leaks you have. Worn or brittle seals just fall apart when it's -60.

Replace your water/coolant mix this September with 100% coolant. Again, -60

Make sure your rear wiper works and is in good condition.

Remote start is okay. Especially if you have working heated seats.

Recovery straps

High lift jack

Winch

More than anything, get all your routine and preventative maintenance out of the way now. I wouldn't even change my oil in winter unless I had a heated garage.
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Unread 07-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #10
Myusername1674
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Holy **** dude! That's Isers old Jeep! That Jeep is what made me want to build mine! I followed his build thread when he was in Alaska, never knew what happened to it. That's the third Jeep that bumpers gone on, hope your's fairs better than Iser's did out in the cold. Here's his old build thread

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/i...hread-1401938/
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Unread 07-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #11
Myusername1674
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Oh and btw I like your Jeep man, look forward to seeing the build up!
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Unread 07-07-2014, 10:04 PM   #12
Uniblurb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myusername1674 View Post
Holy **** dude! That's Isers old Jeep! That Jeep is what made me want to build mine! I followed his build thread when he was in Alaska, never knew what happened to it. That's the third Jeep that bumpers gone on, hope your's fairs better than Iser's did out in the cold. Here's his old build thread

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/i...hread-1401938/
Wow, good eye Myusername and I used to follow Iser's Alaskan adventures all the time! I recognize his black ZJ now that you mentioned it and what an expert in unbending/fixing things with a high-lift jack!

Welcome to the forum and good luck FairbanksZJ!
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Unread 07-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #13
jeeepguy
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Welcome to the forum, good luck with the build and thank you for your service.
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"Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum"

"Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil"
Doug Patton
Quote:
...We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. ...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post...
Quote:
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Quote:
Revelation 13:16-18
16 - He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17 - and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 - Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: (Real ID and RFID chips)
Think about it...
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Unread 07-08-2014, 02:13 AM   #14
kg6mov
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Good to see Isers jeep is still kicking around.
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"Whats wrong with a PT Cruiser?"
"Coulda had a V8!"

96 build thread

Niner build thread

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I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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Unread 07-08-2014, 12:04 PM   #15
HighLonesome
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Originally Posted by jeeepguy View Post
Welcome to the forum, good luck with the build and thank you for your service.
x2
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