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orvisss 07-19-2013 12:22 AM

New ZJ Orvis owner, new to jeeps
Hey guys,
I'm new here, you have awesome forum, helpful and tons of info! I'm new to jeeps and don't know much about cars...
so, my story.
I came from charger forums, I'm huge charger fan, just huge. Charger was my all season vehicle, even though it was breaking my heart to drive it in the winter, although for RWD it handles pretty well (but I do get stuck occasionally or not drive at all in heavy snowy days) this last winter, they started using salt and some other chemical crap... Instantly I noticed rust spots on springs and a-arms. That depressed me, but I kept driving until... On one of black ice days (it warms up, highways are wet and then freezes and you have black ice) one guy almost slammed his pickup into me, I was going slow, cars in my lane were going slow... He thought since he had 4WD, he can go fast:rofl: Well, he ended up in the ditch (he was going opposite direction) and almost smashed front of my car. That was the last straw. I am a good driver, never had accidents in the worst weather... but I can't talk for other drivers. So I decided to get a winter vehicle. I've always loved jeeps, loved how they looked and their charismatic character. We have tons, I would say mega tons of ZJs and WJ. Little less of XJs, but still plenty of them too. Every time I see one I get excited. However, I never thought having one, I wasn't an SUV type of person. I love fast speed, I love hemi and love my charger. This winter was extra snowy, extra long and I decided to get an SUV. Jeep of course, other SUVs I don't really care for. Didn't really care which I'd get XJ, ZJ, WJ (or any wrangler including 2013 one) would do. Do like really WK and really don't like WK2. So, when it came to money, wranglers were out of the question, even broken one from early 90s still expensive as heck. So my choice was XJ, ZJ, WJ. I didn't know much about transfer case options and other things... So I was aiming for cheapest and running one. WJs are also still expensive in my are. 1500 for WJ with broken engine. XJs are arouind 2k for 200k miles. ZJs around that as well. Suddenly, I found an ad guy was selling running/driving 1995 orvis for CHEAP. 480 dollars for 148k mi, runs and drives, needs some work. I went and looked at it. At that point, not knowing much about cars, my major thing was rust. Many jeeps I've looked at were getting rusty or bulging paint in quite the same spots and that depressed me. This one was rust free! I mean absolutely no rust anywhere! Wash it, wax it, remove scratches and it will look quite new. So, it runs as promised (I already put 230mi on it) no rust. But for that price it comes with few problems that need to be fixed.
So... the good: no rust, runs and drives, NO DEATH WOBBLE
the bad: aside of trashed interior (ripped seats, depressing filthy with cigarette holes, dog hair carpet)
it has few mechanical problems. belt is squeaking. Also guy was kind enough to leave the sheet he got from the shop. he sold it so cheaply, he didn't want to fix it anymore.
So, things that need to be fixed asap are L/R C-V Axles, ball bearing, wheel hubs, brakes are 80% worn, according to that shop, track bar needs to be replaced too (although what would be the symptoms? My jeep doesn't have death wobble and overall stable, however loose steering wheel and vehicle wants to drift to left).
Makes huge grinding noise when driving from the left wheel, so all that stuff needs to be replaced. Pinion seals, CV joints, even drive shaft. According to that shop. After seeing the price, guy took the jeep home and put it up for sale:D So, getting this ZJ Orvis a month ago made me want to fix it myself. I know very little about cars, but I'm determined to fix it with my own hands. I'll buy/borrow tools (big thing is breaker bar to take that nut off when changing c-v axle). I've been reading this forum for a month now, watching tons of videos, reading other forums as well. I now know (in theory) how t-case works, and that I really want 242 and thank god there is a way to swap them:D I have 249 and 148k miles... so VC (yes, i now know what that thing does too!) is near end of its life. I did those famous VC test, it seems it still good, but I'm thinking about swapping transfer case myself. See what Jeep does to me?:rofl: But I needed a hobby anyway to get away from damn computers. I've got most of my questions answered just by reading the forum (no, search didn't really work for me, as I didn't know what to ask) but I've read and read... for a month. Now I know how to fix sagging door, fixed my lift gate. Have idea how to replace c-v axles and such.
However I do have questions I couldn't find answers anywhere...
Is it possible to fit seats from WK? or Charger? My seats are trashed anyway, and I would like something with upper back support. these seats are great for lower back, but I'm tall and driving in such seat will cause my upper back and neck just feel burning and really sore after long driving. so even though I do like these 2 tone seats, I would swap them for WK or charger seats... (front seats). Second question is will front bumper from 1996-97 JZ fit my 1995 ZJ? The bumber I have is painted and it was red in its previous life. I do not like fog lights in 1995 style and would much rather have 1996 style. And the last question. A stupid one. Will I be able to swap dashboard from 1996 to my 1995? I really don't like mechanical odometer. While I like everything about my jeep, mechanical odometer looks depressing next to really modern VIC... So, is it possible without swapping PCM?
Sorry for long post and thanks everyone for tons of info, if that goes at this rate, I'll become a car person or something:rofl:

4x4andmetal 07-19-2013 12:57 AM

Now that's a hell of a post! Anyway... to help you out some idk about WK but if you can find WJ seats you like, some people have swapped those inot their ZJs. I do not believe the dash swap is possible because Jeep changed the interior layout between 95 and 96. As far as the bumper, they are a little bit different because they changed the number of grill slats in 96 and I think the grill sets down into the bumper somewhat. Hope that helps.

4x4andmetal 07-19-2013 01:02 AM

Off topic: I love Chargers too but as a student can't afford one. Just thought I'd share. Now back to you Jeep.

mig1289 07-19-2013 01:41 PM

Get some pictures up of it, your charger, and I've always liked the orvis edition zj. You might be able to find some clean leather zj seats in a salvage yard, I almost swapped my cloth for leather but couldn't justify it since my seats are rip free. I wouldn't swap the dash, leave it as is. The bumper and grill can be swapped over, see-the post below

dnuccio 07-19-2013 01:48 PM

dash will not swap. 96+ ZJs had ALOT more electronics. bumper cover will not swap without swapping a 96+ header panel, grill and everything else.

orvisss 07-20-2013 04:58 PM

Didn't think you'd want to see pics of charger... after all this is jeep forum:D
anyway, here is my charger and jeep

and here is my ZJ
here is the driver seat all ripped and depressed:


bumper cover will not swap without swapping a 96+ header panel, grill and everything else.
Swapping gill and header panel isn't the problem because they are busted anyway

Two extra questions: after driving for a while, I can smell exhaust in the cabin... Catalytic converter needs to be replaced? or? and second question how much I can tow with 242 or 249 transfer case?

mig1289 07-20-2013 05:10 PM

You should check the exhaust header and the piping all the way back. You should be able to tow up to 5000lbs? I think, just make sure your brakes are good and take your time.

4x4andmetal 07-20-2013 10:15 PM

Too bad those Orvis seats are beat up. I always thought the green interior was cool.

dnuccio 07-20-2013 10:19 PM

you can tow 6500. thats with a trailer with electric brakes and a weight distributing hitch. if you dont have either of those things dont go above 2000 pounds.

orvisss 07-21-2013 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by 4x4andmetal (Post 15700222)
Too bad those Orvis seats are beat up. I always thought the green interior was cool.

I like these two tone seats too. But if I can fit charger seats in this jeep, I'll be happy too (even though it won't look as good)

Originally Posted by dnuccio (Post 15700231)
you can tow 6500. thats with a trailer with electric brakes and a weight distributing hitch. if you dont have either of those things dont go above 2000 pounds.

I guess can't really tow my charger on a trailer... Charger weights about 4000lbs or so. Also will have to install the hitch (I'm guessing it is going to be free deal because of that fancy recall. Yes, I've bought ZJ after all these mega scary stories from NHTSA which didn't impress me at all) I already have that skid plate on gas tank, but no hitch and I was going to install it anyway. Also my ZJ comes with transfer case protection. Is this factory or someone installed it aftermarket?

4x4andmetal 07-21-2013 07:31 PM

I believe the skid plate was factory because the Orvis Jeeps came with the upcountry package but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

dnuccio 07-21-2013 08:28 PM

yes skids and upcountry were factory installed on all orvis models

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