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1998 5.9 Limited
UPDATED 7/3/14

This is a great running driving Jeep I spent a lot of time getting it back in Daily Driver shape, but I have another car now and don't need it.

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

Purchased in September 2013 with 130k miles on the odometer.

It needed a lot of work. It was at the end of its life and it could only be brought back with some time and money. When I bought it, the brakes had just been replaced, so they are good. The tires have roughly 50% tread left. It is currently inspected/insured and I have been driving it regularly.

Here is a list of the things I have done to make her reliable:

The first thing it needed was an electric cooling fan. The one that came with the Jeep was not the correct 5.9 fan and it did not work. It was butchered into the wiring. It was clear to me the person doing so had no idea what to do. I got a working fan from a donor 5.9 and new wiring harness for it. It works fantastically now.

There was a lone cable left over from an audio install that was drilled through the floor of the vehicle in the passenger foot well. Upon further inspection it was rusted through in a small area through the floor board. I also found standing water under the carpet. This was clearly caused by the drilled/rusted hole. I removed the carpet so it could dry, and did some touch up work on the floor while I had the carpet out (vacuum, POR-15 parts of it) Because of the water on the passenger floorboard, I launched an all out assault on finding and repairing water leaks just in case the floor was not the culprit. I removed the roof racks completely and made sure they were sealed. Checked each and every sunroof drain and they all work perfectly. Resealed the cowl where the windshield meets the top edge of the fenders. There was a sizeable gap and crack there. Removed the cowl trim and windshield wipers to clean out leaves, etc. as well and lubed up the wiper arms while I was in there.

The biggest issue I came across was rust. The rocker panels directly behind each front wheel were completely rusted out. But the rest of the rocker was good. The fenders were also rotted at the bottom. The rockers and fenders were repaired and other areas of rust were touched up. (Hood lip, tailgate lip, bottom of doors, floorboard) It is solid once again.

The engine runs well. I did a complete tune up (plugs, wires, cap, rotor, pcv, air filter) and also did some other stuff such as clean the IAC. It had a leak at the timing cover gasket and the water pump was bad. I replaced the water pump, all hoses, thermostat housing and thermostat. I replaced the timing chain with a double roller set & tensioner. During the process I took the intake off, cleaned it, installed NEW injectors, and fixed the plenum pan issue with an aluminum piece. It also has a brand new Crankshaft Position sensor, and a new oil pressure sensor. At that time I also did the valve cover gaskets. I also replaced the Harmonic Balancer and front crankshaft oil seal. The PCM connector for the engine wiring harness was missing BOTH clips that hold it into the PCM. They were broken. I got a PCM connector out of a Junkyard ZJ and soldered in the new connector with heat shrink tubing. The oil pan was replaced because of a dent in it, at that time the rear main seal, oil pump, pickup, and oil pan gasket was replaced. Zero Leaks now!

The transmission works fine now. When I got it, the transmission kick-down return spring was missing and it would not shift correctly. I put a spring on it and adjusted the kick-down cable. It shifts just fine with no issues now. I have replaced the Transmission pan because of a dent, and at that time I did a new filter and gasket. It shifts so smooth.

The right front axle shaft had a torn CV boot and it clicked on corners. I replaced the whole shaft assembly along with a brand new SKF wheel bearing. I changed the differential fluid in the front and rear diff. The viscous coupler in the Transfer case is definitely on its way out. I have removed the front driveshaft since it is now summer. 242 Swap is highly recommended. I do not have a transfer case lined up.

The gas tank had to be replaced. The one that was in it had a crack and leaked only when full. I would have replaced the fuel pump at the same time just for preventative maintenance, but my budget was tight, so I did not do the pump at the same time. I did put a new fuel pick-up strainer on the bottom of the pump, along with a new pump/tank seal. I also took the opportunity to POR-15 where the Gas Tank sits up under the car. I do regret not putting a new pump since I am a stickler for preventative maintenance. But it seems to work just fine.

Here are the problem areas for the Jeep:

Suspension wise it needs a couple things. The front had an awful clunk to it for a while. I put brand new heavy duty sway bar bushings in and replaced a missing jounce bumper. There is no more clunk from the front. It does need shocks all around. I would recommend Bilstein's 4600 Series shocks. Best you can buy for a decent price. $260 or so for all the shocks. At that time the rear sway bar bushings and end link bushings should be replaced. The Jeep handles pretty well, but I think control arms (CA) will need to be replaced at some point. The CA bushings look weather cracked but not terrible.

UPDATE I have replaced the Heater core with a Mopar unit, and no more leaking.

UPDATE I also replaced the evaporator core and compeltely redid the A/C system. New condenser, compressor, receiver/drier, liquid line. Blows ice cold.

There are many miscellaneous things I have done to this Jeep:

The radio head unit that came with the Jeep was not correct for the Infinity Gold package. I got a used radio from a salvage yard and everything works great.

The steering wheel was in disrepair, and I got a slightly used one from a donor 5.9

It did not have a matching full size spare tire/rim. I got one from a donor 5.9 along with the correct spare tire cover.
When the carpet was removed I had it professionally cleaned and stain treated.

I replaced the lift supports on the rear hatch. While I was there I fixed the rear defroster lines that had been damaged.

The drivers heated seat was inoperable so I removed the seat cover and fixed a broken wire. It heats like brand new now.

The header panel was broken in three pieces and I replaced that as well while putting brand new Silver Stars in for the headlight bulbs.

It had previously gotten hit LIGHTLY on the RF corner and the metal bumper behind the cover was bent in slightly. The right front fog light was not in the proper direction because of this. I pulled the bumper with a come-along and it is almost back to factory. It also had a dent in the rear lift gate from somebody hitting it or someone trying to open the hatch the hard way. I pulled it out and it looks better but not perfect. I lubed all the latch mechanisms while I was getting the dent out.

I have tried to leave nothing out while describing this Jeep. The shocks/suspension is really the big ticket items.

There is no substitute for a Jeep
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Brendan4862 Brendan4862 is offline
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Tags: 5.9, NH, Limited, Grand
Listed on: 05-16-2014, 12:19 PM
Listing #22962505
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State: NH
City: Hanover/Dartmouth College
Zip Code: 03755
Model: Grand Cherokee

Payment: Cash Only
Shipping: Local Pick-up
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Unread 05-19-2014, 06:40 AM   #2
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 Nashonater's Profile
This is exactly what I want to look into getting for a tinkering 4WD vehicle here in a couple of months once Ive saved up the cash... Good luck with the sale!
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
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Unread 05-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
1998 ZJ 
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Thanks. And you never know, it may still be available in a few months.
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Unread 05-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
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What is your asking price?? I didn't see it listed.
My ZJ Build Thread:
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Unread 07-03-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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The asking price is $4800. Sorry for such a late reply, I have been super busy and driving the Jeep everyday. I forgot I had it for sale!
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