Looking at a project '98 ZJ - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 3 Old 11-30-2007, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Somers, CT
Posts: 478
Looking at a project '98 ZJ

I know nothing about ZJ's but I'm going to look at one next weekend.

I saw it today and here's what I know about it:

1998 Limited. D35 rear from what I could see (rubber plug). 150k miles. Bright red with no dings or dents, seemed to be rust free, although I didn't crawl under it. Didn't pop the hood to see if it was the 4.0L or the 5.2L. It didn't say "V8" on the back so I'm assuming 4.0L. Leather interior/heated seats and a sunroof. I basically just talked with the woman that owned it.

So here's the bad: It hasn't run/moved/started in a year. The owner said it had something go wrong with the transmission. Her husband had to drive home in 2nd gear. After that he parked it. They didn't have the money to fix it at the time, and she has a newish car now and her husband had 2 other cars anyway. And I do believe her about not having the money to fix it at the time. I found the car because my grandparents live across the street and my grandfather knows I like jeeps so he went over knowing that it just sits in the driveway.

She's looking to get $1000 for it. I don't think I'd pay that much considering it hasn't run in a year and it may need a new tranny.

So here's the tech part: I'm going to give it a once-over, charge the battery and try to get it to run. What are the big things to look for? I can change the transmission myself at home with a buddy, but is it worth it? I'd prolly pay no more than $800 for it, and I'll offer $600. I'm looking for advice here. Most likely I'd buy it to turn it after driving it for a few months.

2000 XJ 2-door (current)
2006 65th Anniversary TJ (sold)
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-30-2007, 09:01 PM
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,388
If you are willing to do the tranny, and everything else checks out fine, I would say go for it. How many miles are on the engine? If its the 4.0L it should last for 300,000...I havent ever heard a single thing bad about them.

Just take it slow, inspect everything, let it idle for a while, make sure it all tests out fine. Dont expect something perfect either. I paid $3,800 for mine, and needed a serp belt, fuel pump, rear brakes, and that was it for the major things. I didnt do that work myself, so I ended up paying about $5,000 for a great vehicle minus upgrades.

Good luck, post pics!


I am now a dealer for Iron Rock Off Road
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Those tires look freakin awesome Redhat... took the ZJ up a notch in my book. Now you're at notch 2.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-30-2007, 09:14 PM
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1993 ZJ 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Powder Springs, Georgia/University of Tennessee
Posts: 2,355
Check what transfer case it has. If it is the Full-Time case, try test driving it in figure 8's to check the condition of the Viscous Coupling.


1993 Jeep Grand Wagoneer ZJ V8: Rear Aussie, 3.5" Lift, 31" M/Ts

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