Finally getting started with some Jeep Projects, BB, BPEs, Shocks, Durango box, etc.. - JeepForum.com
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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Finally getting started with some Jeep Projects, BB, BPEs, Shocks, Durango box, etc..

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Unread 09-12-2008, 03:47 PM   #1
Upside
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 817
Finally getting started with some Jeep Projects, BB, BPEs, Shocks, Durango box, etc..

I finally am able to fix some issues on my Jeep and do some minor upgrades. So far I have a few projects lined up.

#1 Fix the adjuster on my driver's side rear drum. When I pulled off the drum the little spring on the adjuster cable fell out, not a good sign.

#2 Install new shocks with BPEs. Right now I have some Monroe Whatchamacallits on there and they just don't have enough damping. They didn't use washers in the rear so the shocks rattle. I bought shocks long enough for my new 2" BB, they are the Black Diamonds. I thought long and hard about going for Bilsteins but in the end I don't drive this Jeep enough to justify the cost. With the reviews on here I thought they'd be a good compromise.

#3 Replace my toasted stock steering gearbox with a new Durango box. I'm particularly excited to have decent steering feel again. Right now I look like I'm on an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard when driving straight.

#4 Finally remove my AM/FM Cassette stock radio. I have a craptastic Dual CD player in the garage with a dead display backlight. It's better than my stock radio which only picks up one radio station and doesn't have a seek button.

Just a couple of questions. I am going to put on some of those Energy Suspension tie rod protective boots. What size do I need for ZJ tie rods?

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Unread 09-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
zaq123
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1941 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: here
Posts: 3,999
very nice...........
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Unread 10-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
Upside
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2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 817
Bumping my old thread with an update.

I did all of the front suspension bushings, the rear sway bar bushings, installed a budget boost on top of Up Country springs, new shocks, new front track bar, new steering linkage, new steering stabilizer, new front ball joints, and new Durango steering box.

Even after all of that work I still had a problem with wandering. Actually it felt like there was a huge dead spot in the steering when I'd drive straight down the road but when I was under the Jeep and had someone move the steering wheel I couldn't see any play. In fact when I stood next to the Jeep and cranked the wheel side to side I could see the front wheels responded to small steering inputs. Stumped by this I pulled the rear track bar thinking the bushings must be toasted. I was so convinced that I bought the Energy Suspension bushings. When I pulled the bar the rear bushings were in great condition, no play or cracking.

My ZJ had regular bolts in the holes where the caster adjustment is located on a ZJ. I went to the junkyard and pulled some eccentric bolts from a newer ZJ and after reading some threads on this forum set my caster to the maximum possible amount.


At that time I set the toe to 1/16 toe in. This alignment gave me the huge dead spot in the steering and led to a lot of wandering on the road.

Going back to square one I decided to do an alignment according to this Jeep Alignment web page. I set the caster to 7.0 according to the chart on the web page using my angle finder and set my toe in to 1/32. Reducing the camber and just a little toe out has finally fixed my steering! I originally had quite a few worn out components and replacing them helped but without a good alignment it wasn't any fun to drive. The best part is I did the alignment with a tape measure and angle finder in the garage.

I also adjusted the rear brakes and installed some new tires. Adjusting the rear drums made a big difference in the braking performance, they were just set too loose before.

Of course now I'm getting a WJ and selling the ZJ so the next owner will have a Jeep with a lot of new parts on it.
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