I'm not proud of this but I bought another '98 ZJ. I now own twin Niners. The new one has 120k miles and my old one has 256k miles. Was a no brainer to buy the new one. It's not perfect but it's in pretty good condition for an old Jeep. My old one will eventually be for sale. I'll post it here before I post it locally.
Wish I could keep both but that seems pointless. The new one is the one without the lift and nerf bars. I put alot of blood, sweat and tears into my original Niner and it has some of the usual ZJ problems but i've fixed many others.
Nice! Be proud! I'm wishin' I could find me a 5.9 in good condition with lower mileage.
I feel like I'm hogging a limited supply of Niners. lol I may have to keep a few things off of my old one for the new one but i have another ZJ with nice parts for the new owner of the Niner.
The rear diff in the new one is leaking like a sieve and making noise so not sure its worth keeping, one of the rims is missing the outside lip(not safe) and it was a kid I bought it from so the factory stereo is in the back seat. Hopefully the wiring wasn't hacked up too bad for the new fangled stereo. I like my stock stereo that plays CD's and cassettes. lol
And I just noticed that Niners didn't come with the auxiliary trans cooler like other ZJ's with the tow package did. Gonna have to change that.
As for towing, you can't dolly a ZJ without removing the rear driveshaft, but all Jeep transfer cases are designed to allow flat towing, which that new Niner shows provisions for. Put the t-case in neutral, the transmission in park, and you can flat tow the Jeep for unlimited miles. It's a popular option for RVers, especially those with large RVs that don't need supplementary braking to stop a flat-towed vehicle. Though it is fairly rare to see a niner set up that way. Most ZJs purchased for RVing were Laredos.
Anyway count me jealous. This is almost as good as that time I got a free niner. (And almost as painful as that time I sold my free niner)
1997 Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition
It seems that not all Niners were created equal. I got the build sheets for both of my 5.9's and my old one has a couple options that the new one does not have.
The older Jeep had a factory installed "tow group" package and the new one had a "tow prep group". Meaning it could be set up to tow at a later date, which it was. It has an after market hitch and lighting set up.
My old one also has the "tow hook/skid plate group". Not sure where the tow hooks went but it does have skid plates. The new one does not have any skid plates.
Luckily I have a '96 parts ZJ with skid plates and factory installed hitch to pirate parts from so my new one should be just as nice as my old one. I'll also be keeping the nerf bars which were installed at some point after the Jeep was purchased.
i just wish it would cool down a bit so I could get to work on these.
The only 5.9 options were the Trailer Tow Group IV, Trailer Tow Prep Group, Tow Hook/Skid Plate Group, and Sunroof package. Most niners had the Trailer Tow Prep Group and Sunroof package. The full Trailer Tow Group IV wasn't exceedingly common (as the 98 model wasn't equipped with an auxiliary transmission cooler), and the Tow Hook/Skid Plate Group was rarely optioned without being part of the UpCountry package, which wasn't available on the niner.
Given that this niner is equipped with flat-towing provisions, it seems likely that it was purchased with those particular omissions on purpose. You can't run tow hooks and a flat towing setup simultaneously, and if it was meant to be towed, it wouldn't have much use for towing capacity. I would also posit that the owners ceased flat towing it at some point and had a hitch installed, probably for towing a small travel trailer; perhaps they could no longer afford an RV.
Notably the Trailer Tow Prep Group includes provisions to add in the Mopar trailer wiring harness. If that Jeep has a generic aftermarket setup, there isn't any point in the TTP Group, though I don't know if the niner could be optioned without at least one tow group.
1997 Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition
red, black, white, gray, blue, green, gold we just pick the closest one. Silver is a little more sophisticated but platinum, champagne, charcoal, burgundy, etc.. is just too far over most of our heads.