98 ZJ Help Needed! - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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98 ZJ Help Needed!

Hey guys, I'm working on a '98 Grand Cherokee 4WD with a 318 for a family member. I'm not familiar with switchable 4WD systems (I come from the import sports car scene) and I need some help. I'll try to explain as well as I can here, with what I was told.

When they were going down the road, the rear tires suddenly locked up and would drag. If they let it cool down for 20 minutes, they could drive it another 1/4 mile or so before it happened again. It was eventually put on a car dolly and towed (I believe in 4 LO) to my aunt's house where it sits now. These are things I noticed while inspecting it:
1. There is fluid all over the bottom of the trans pan, but there is plenty of fluid in the trans.
2. When you start it up, it runs great, but sounds like perhaps it has a collapsed lifter.
3. There is a loud ticking sound behind the glove box when you connect the battery.
4. When you put it in 4 LO, it runs fine, but you have to give it some gas to get it to move. Forward, reverse, whatever. I'm used to automatic cars just kind of... going. Although I've driven manuals for so long I might just be out of touch. It almost feels like the calipers are locked up, but that isn't the case.
5. When you put it in 4 HIGH, nothing happens. It's like it's in neutral. I sat there and just revved.
6. Don't know if this is supposed to happen, but when the 4wd selector is in neutral, and I put the trans in drive, nothing happens.

I couldn't take it on the road for fear of the wheels locking up, but from what I gathered, it seems to me like the transfer case is done. Kind of like it isn't putting power to the rear wheels. Someone else suggested wheel bearings, but I don't think that would effect 4 HI. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Because frankly, I'm lost...

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post #2 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:06 PM
merc07
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first I would check the t case fluid, it might have been ran dry... that's where I would start
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:18 PM
WhiteOut
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Transmission, transfer case and rear axle probably all have damage to them. Pretty much not really worth fixing it, unless you can get dirt cheap parts and are actually able to do the work yourself.
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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Well, the gig here is that in the event that the whole line is damaged, I could probably get it dirt cheap. $300ish. It's in pretty great shape minus the stated problems.
I think I'm going to go check the t-case fluids tomorrow. If it has the 242j, how hard are they to find? I know 46REs are decently common around here in junkyards, but the rear end is what has me worried. Do you think it would be anything in particular that I could inspect to define the exact problem?
Like I said, I'll check out the fluid tomorrow. I would just like to be able to at least give a definitive answer, more than "everything's screwed, I'll buy it for scrap price."
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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And I could do most of it by myself, but with heavier things (such as removing the trans) I'd need a hand. Bad shoulder at 23, sucks but what can you do?
I work at O'Reilly Auto Parts, so I can get gaskets/seals/etc for cheap, and I've been working on different kinds of vehicles for a while now. Every car I currently own has been brought back from the dead after 4+ years of sitting, so I'm not completely inept. I'm just very new to the large 4WD stuff. I've worked on RWD Dodges before (mostly pre-1990 V8s) and they're pretty straight-forward, but that's also a massive difference from what I have here. There is ZERO room in that engine bay around the 318.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:44 PM
merc07
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correct me if im wrong but I think all the v8s have the 249 all wheel drive t case if that's what you have it could be the coupler inside the t case that went bad, its a real common problem. if everything else checks out you could always swap to a 231 or 242 so it will have 2wd.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:45 PM
merc07
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oh I forgot all t cases have a tag on them by the fill plugs that will tell you what t case you have.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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I read the FAQs, too. But the problem is that it being a '98, it could have either the 249 or the 231.
I'll climb under it tomorrow and see if I can't spot a plate.
Really hoping to be able to at least do something and make it run.

EDIT: Also just noticed that the 96-98 318 had the 44RE in it. Not sure how many of those are around here. Checking the list of Craig now.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 11:10 PM
merc07
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I pulled this from the faqs section "NP249 used on ALL V8 ZJs and was optional on 6 cylinder models - This is known as QuadraTrac" " 93-94 V8 ZJ's had option of the NP242 Selec-Trac t-case" that should help you but I would check that tag to be sure.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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Yeah, but if you look under that, it also says heavy duty Jeeps could have the 231. Which is pretty vague. I mean, it probably is the 249, but I can't rule anything out.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 11:19 PM
merc07
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ya you never know what options people ordered from the factory, that description is definitely vague lol
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Blue91SL
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Found a 249 on CL for $100, but it was posted in late feb... probably gone by now.
Still hoping, though. If I can't fix it for her quickly, I'll probably pick it up and turn it into a firewood/scrap hauler/car parts getter.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 11:31 PM
merc07
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thats a good deal, ya never know they might still have it. I know a while back on cl a guy around here wanted like $400 for a 249
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-01-2014, 10:48 AM
PolkaPower
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1. All v8's came with a 249.
2. A 231 is easy to spot because it's small and does not hang down past the transmission cross member
3. Never buy a used 249. There is no way to tell if the viscous coupler in it is good or not or if it is, how long it's got left in it's life. Either replace the viscous coupler with a new one or swap in a different Tcase that does not use a VC. I.E. a 242 or 231.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-01-2014, 12:37 PM
takethisride
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc07 View Post
thats a good deal, ya never know they might still have it. I know a while back on cl a guy around here wanted like $400 for a 249
I will give you a np249 for free.... However it is in parts. Front case, back case, the internal shaft is still complete.The only thing I removed was the input shaft which I took out for when I swapped to my 231... You have to figure out how to put it back together. It's all just sitting on a table in my garage. Worked great when I took it out of my ZJ. I removed it about a month ago

96 ZJ 5.2L 4x4, 4.5" Lift, NP231 swap, Beefed Custom Cline front DS, 33" Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, 15x10 RCX wheels, JKS front and Rear track-bars, Flowmaster 40series, Cobra CB radio, Optima Yellow Top, Snorkel, Rough Country winch mount, Super Winch TS9500, cut fenders, Red Jeep Club #572, Built Not Bought #279
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