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Unread 06-29-2004, 11:27 AM   #1
kairo
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Kind of want to get a GC

I'm selling my CJ7 and originally was going to get a truck but a GC in really good condition has made an appearance. I'm not sure of the year, but it's fairly new and it was driven its entire life by an older couple. From what I understand it's fully loaded, has the v8 and around 80k miles. I've got a few questions for y'all if you don't mind.
1.) Any really bad problems with these trucks? Things that might just pop up and cripple it? (thinking along the lines of the auto trannies in early explorers)

2.) How big is the V8? will it tow a 14 foot boat allright?

3.) how's the suspension for towing? I don't want it sagging all over the road

4.) Are there manual transmissions in any of the GC's? I'd like a manual but i have a feeling they only come in auto's

5.) What's the difference between the laredo and limited packages? Purely cosmetic? or any mechanical differences?

6.) What kind of mileage can i reasonably expect? I don't drive like a bat out of hell.

7.) What's the lift lowdown?

8.) does it have solid axles or IFS? if so, what kind? could it push 33's on stock axles?

9.) what size tires will fit stock? I'd like to at least get 31's under there if I could.

That should about do it, thanks for all your help on any and all answers.



--Nick

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Unread 06-29-2004, 12:08 PM   #2
Dalmask
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1) Bad problems vary. The bad thing about that is you don't know what you'll get sometimes. The good thing is that there's nothing super notorious to go wrong on a GC that you may as well write out a check for now. The most common thing that I know of is the exhaust manifold getting a crack which people wind up using as an excuse to buy an aftermarket one with better flow. Depending on the options in it, it may have another potential problem, but that will depend on the drivetrain. I know people love to replace the Quadra-Trac transfer case for the Selec-Trac (Quadra will only have 4 hi, 4 low, and neutral on the shifter. Selec will have 2wd, 4 all time, 4 hi, 4 low, and neutral I believe) but it's a pretty simple swap if you're at all tool-savy. I'm not exactly sure of what the problems are, as I'm closing on 170k with the Quadra-trac with no problems.

2) The typical V8 is the 5.2 liter engine. There's also a 5.9 out there, but that's pretty rare to find. Either would haul a trailer without much trouble if it's in good mechanical condition (just like any engine).

3) I love how mine tows is the best I can tell you. The suspension on GC's are the best on the road, in my opinion.

4) There are manuals out there, but like the 5.9 liter engine, you're gonna have a time finding one.

5) Mechanically, Laredo and Limited are typically the same. The Laredo could also have the inline 6 engine as opposed to the V8, which makes it almost an entirely different vehicle, but a Laredo with the V8 option is pretty much a Limited mechanically. The Limited also has some standard features like the navigational consol thing and the vehicle information screen that the Laredo has to have added on as an option that makes the Limited worth tracking down to me. The navigational consol is overhead and will show various things like temp and direction or mpg, the information screen is easy to find...when you start the engine, it'll tell you how many more miles until it needs service.

6) Averagely, I'd say about 16 mpg. When I'm maintaining speed, I usually get about 21-22 mpg. But with town driving and highway driving, 16.1 is what my system tells me I'm getting.

7) I'm assuming you're asking if it's ok to lift. I'll just say this: It's a Jeep. Of course it's ok to lift! But more seriously, I'd say you can lift to about a max of 6". Anything more is getting pretty unsafe.

8) It has solids. While that sounds archaic, the GC makes them work amazingly well for some reason. I'm not sure of the size of wheel you can mount on it, so I'll leave that for someone else.

9) Again not my area. I believe 31's will rub under stock suspension, but don't take my word for it.

I could also be wrong about just about anything I just told you, so don't take my word for law. That's just what I know to the best of my knowledge.

-Dal
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Unread 06-29-2004, 02:16 PM   #3
kairo
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excellent, thanks for the reply
as far as the exhaust manifold goes, I would be putting a new exhaust in it anyways, so that's not a problem. I did some checking and it looks like it has dana 35 and 30 axles. That's allright I guess. too bad I can't keep my 44's from my cj7. I was looking at the board and it seems like alot of people do the buget boost on these. That's probably what I'll end up doing until I have the cash for a suspension lift.

Any other info is greatly appreciated!

oh, and what's this "quadra-trac" all wheel drive stuff? can it be disabled? I'd like just to have 4 high and 4 low when I need it
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Unread 06-29-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
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No way to disable it, I'm afraid. It only has the two modes built into it. The only thing you can do is swap out the transfer case with either a Grand Cherokee or a Cherokee from a junkyard (or pay to get a rebuilt one), though the Cherokee route requires finding/buying some parts to make it work. Look for 249 242 swap in Google, you'll find all kinds of writeups on the process. Aside from having a good pair of snap ring pliers, you can do the entire job with basic tools.

OR you could find a Grand Cherokee with this option already on it. It's a regular option on em so they're out there both in new or used.

-Dal
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Unread 06-29-2004, 04:40 PM   #5
PlatinumZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kairo
excellent, thanks for the reply
as far as the exhaust manifold goes, I would be putting a new exhaust in it anyways, so that's not a problem. I did some checking and it looks like it has dana 35 and 30 axles. That's allright I guess. too bad I can't keep my 44's from my cj7. I was looking at the board and it seems like alot of people do the buget boost on these. That's probably what I'll end up doing until I have the cash for a suspension lift.

Any other info is greatly appreciated!

oh, and what's this "quadra-trac" all wheel drive stuff? can it be disabled? I'd like just to have 4 high and 4 low when I need it
There a few rare ZJs that have Dana 44 rear ends. The JZ have coils all around. Check out these site for available mods and lifts:
http://www.nagca.com/nagca.htm, http://www.kevinsjeepparts.com/spacerz.html
Doug
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Unread 06-29-2004, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kairo
excellent, thanks for the reply
as far as the exhaust manifold goes, I would be putting a new exhaust in it anyways, so that's not a problem. I did some checking and it looks like it has dana 35 and 30 axles. That's allright I guess. too bad I can't keep my 44's from my cj7. I was looking at the board and it seems like alot of people do the buget boost on these. That's probably what I'll end up doing until I have the cash for a suspension lift.

Any other info is greatly appreciated!

oh, and what's this "quadra-trac" all wheel drive stuff? can it be disabled? I'd like just to have 4 high and 4 low when I need it

Since you are looking at a V8, the cracking manifold is a non-issue. It only applies to the 4.0 I6 engines.
The 5.2 is actually a 318 Magnum, which is a very strong engine and will handily tow your 14 foot boat. Unless, of course, your trailer weighs 7,000 pounds!
Have you figured out what year GC you are looking at?
As stated, the Limited and Laredo are mechanically identical. However, the Laredo may have up country suspension, while the Limited does not have that option available. Up country provides skid plates, tow hooks front and tow hook rear, as well as slightly taller springs and shocks. The Limited has more creature comforts such as heated front seats, steering wheel mounted stereo controls, electronic climate control, dual seat/mirror/stereo memory controls. In the Laredo, the Visual Information Center is an option, whereas it is standard on the Limited. Limited's have factory fog lights, Laredo's do not. Limited's have the moon roof standard, Laredo's do not, or, at best, it is an option for them. Limited's have the home-link, Laredo's don't. The rear diff on my 96 is a Dana 44A, which is standard on Limited's and Laredo's with the 5.2. Also, the tow package is standard on Limited's and optional on Laredo's. However, all Grands with the 5.2 get the tow prep option at a minimum, which provides the 3.73 rear end and a transmission cooler.
The 5.9 (360 V8) is a Limited that was only available in 98 and (I believe) 2002. The 5.9 has a lot of intimidation factor built in, but is otherwise identical (creature comfort wise) as any other limited.
Quadra Trac is basically considered a full-time 4WD. What it does is transmit something like 98% of the torque to the rear axle until slippage is detected. It then sends torque to the front axle through a viscous coupler (kind of like a clutch pack) in the TC. In 4LO, the front and rear are mechanically linked through the TC and the torque is multiplied (double, I think). The Quadra Trac is no slouch, but heavy acceleration will cause the viscous coupler to overheat and significantly shorten it's life. The swap to Selec Trac is a popular one. What it gains you is the ability to be full time 4WD through an open differential in the TC. Since you don't drive like a bat out of hell, the Quadra Trac will probably prove to be more desireable to you since you don't have to guess whether or not there is enough slip under your wheels to allow (or need) 4WD.
Can't say there's no such thing as a Grand with a manual tranny, but they are probably about as common as hen's teeth. The auto transmission on the Grand is a technoligical marvel. It is also the ZJ's weakest link. A transmission cooler, and strict adherance to the proper type of fluid will go a long ways toward preserving the transmission. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone over the age of 20 would want to shift gears anyway!


HTH
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Unread 06-30-2004, 04:57 AM   #7
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The inline 6 engine blocks cracks. I thought that the Inline 6 was the most customizeable.
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Unread 06-30-2004, 04:26 PM   #8
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2.) How big is the V8? My 4.7 tows 5000lbs of boat on a 30ft trailer and doesn't mind it. I towed it from Texas and now all over NE Carolina. You'll never have a problem towing it however....Make sure the hitch came with the tranny cooler. I understand it should be required equipment on aftermarket hitch add-ons and was included at the factory anyway.

3.) Mine doesn't drag-a$$ much at all but I do have the hitch turned upside down to be as high a possible at the hitch ball already. 14 foot of boat shouldn't even be noticed unless there were problems already.

5.) What's the difference between the laredo and limited packages? Finding a Laredo with the toys of the Limited isn't easy but worth the search. For longevity, I'd rather have the plastic matte body cladding of the Laredo and not have to maintain all that painted plastic from scratches and general abuse but it does look good on the Limited.

6.) The previous post was right on for mileage in my experience

7.) N/A

8.) What they said...

9.) N/A

BTW: if the radio is stock, be ready to rip out the tweeters in the upper dash at the windshield. The stock units are junk and should have already come apart. They're a cinch to get to and replace.

Make sure the unit you get comes with 2 keys and 2 key fobs or be ready to pay the stealership more than you'll want to for a replacement set. Even if only you will ever drive it, you'll want two sets for reasons to long to go into. Make it a condition of the sale if needed but do it. An owner's manual is available on e-bay for cheap too.

Welcome to the family if you do get it...
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Unread 06-30-2004, 05:59 PM   #9
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I dont see what year you're looking for but up to 98 the V8 is a 5.2 or 5.9 (rare). After 98 is either the 4.7 or 4.7 HO (high output). Manual transmissions were only available on early I6's and are hard to find.


The 5.9s are pretty amazing, I dont think I'd buy a different GC unless they come with the 6.1 hemis.
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Unread 06-30-2004, 11:24 PM   #10
kairo
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awesome! thanks everybody. I'm still not sure what size engine it is or what year, i'll probably know tomorrow. Somebody mentioned something about why anyone under 20 would want a manual tranny? Well, I'm under 20. 19 to be exact :P. Normally I woulden't even think about such an "old person" (just kidding) car such as the GC! but it's really growin on me. It'd be great to have all the comfort after driving a CJ7 forever. I like the way they look too. Kind of car-like but its got the balls to go where it wants. and they look plain mean lifted. and i bet those v8's put out some mean sound with a flowmaster or borla. I think my mom will try and steal it from me though

someone mentioned radios too. That's nice to know that the tweets may need replaced. thanks. Car stereo was my number one hobby before 4 wheeling. So if i get this thing, i'll be sure to put up some pics when i get my system in it. I hope the back seats fold down. (plans for xbox with surround sound)
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Unread 07-01-2004, 02:48 AM   #11
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Hehe They definitely fold down. They remind me a lot of the old Cherokee system where the bottom part of the seat folded up to make a sort of "tub" in the back, except with a 60/40 split instead of all one piece. The main difference is you gotta take the headrests off to get the backs of the seat to fold flat. The headrests have a slot to store em though, so no worries.

-Dal
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Unread 07-01-2004, 10:50 AM   #12
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"""Limited's have the moon roof standard, """

Hey mine doesn't

I've got a 96 4.0 Limited and I'm quite a fan of the quadra-trac. I don't really need 2WD and the 4WD system on it is great. I live in NY in one of the highest points in the great city of Yonkers lol, but even with my house being on top of a massive hill and the harsh snows my 4WD Lo handles it all without struggle.

The great thing about Jeeps is that they are very utilitarian, even the Limited is. Jeeps are designed to be well rounded cars on-road and off-road. If your looking for performance, get the V8. I like my limited because everyone (including myself) say the front seats are like couches. As for reliability I'd say it's pretty good. There are soooo many Jeeps out there and the same basic engine was used for a while. I've had my used GC for a full year this June and put 15,000 miles on it. She's been to canada, vermont, virginia and anywhere else I've gone.

I don't like the way the Jeep handles, although I think that may be a problem with my sway bars. Also with my 4.0 I don't like the lack of responiveness with the road (I'm not very comfortable driving it at past 70 or so, but then again it's a Jeep and not a sports car)

All in all I'd say it's well worth it. You get a good looking car, enough cargo room, enough performance (with your V8) and whatever else your heart desires for a really good price.
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Unread 07-01-2004, 12:23 PM   #13
Double E
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Newer jeeps have a cool feature that tucks the rear seat headrest down so that it moves clear and away when the rear seats are folded down and don't need to be removed.

Back to the tranny... reddog makes an excellent point: the Selec trac is a reliable unit, no doubt. Quadra-trac is too as long as it's maintianed (like anything).

Keep in mind though, with Selec trac, you'll have the potential to be off the road and deep in the ditch or woods when you didn't mean to be ....unless you realized the road conditions ahead of time and put it into "Full-time" or another mode that gives power to more than just the rear wheels.

The beauty of Quadra-trac is that you're always ready for some slippage that could prevent an unintentional trip off road.
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