Because I like build threads . . . Here's my 1998 ZJ so far. - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > Grand Cherokee General Discussion > Because I like build threads . . . Here's my 1998 ZJ so far.

Safety Thimble FairleadsEngo winches available at www.rockridge4wd.com! Free shippBLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS!! You asked, we deliver!

Reply
Unread 01-13-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
Squashman702: Project Monster Toilet

Complete modification list as of 1/4/2011:
Exterior:
-5.9 Grill/roof rack
-Clear corners
-Hella 500FF's behind grill
-Plymouth Roadrunner horn
Interior:
-5.9 Soundbar
-WJ Leather front seats
-Alpine Headunit
-Alpine Type S 6.5" in doors
-Alpine Type S 5.25" in soundbar
Engine:
-180 degree thermostat
-AEM filter
-Throttle body spacer
-150A 5.9 alternator
-Magnaflow 2.5" High Flow Cat
-Magnaflow 2.5" Muffler
-5.9 Tailpipe/Tip
Transmission:
-B&M Super cooler
Suspension:
-Rubicon Express 4.5" springs
-Rubicon Express Superflex adjustable lowers (front and rear)
-Rubicon Express Superflex adjustable uppers(rear)
-Rubicon Express Super ride fixed uppers (front)
-Rubicon Express Superflex Extreme duty front trackbar and bracket
-JKS rear trackbar
-IRO bar pin eliminators
-Bilstein 5100 shocks
-JKS upper loop conversion for front shocks
-Rubicon Express steering stablizer
-Rubicon Express Gen 2 disconnects
-Rubicon Express extended brakelines
-Energy suspension front sway bar mounts
Wheels/Tires:
-JK Moabs 17x7.5
-Spidertrax 5x4.5 to 5x5 adapters/1.25" spacer
-BFG Mud Terrains 255/75R17
OR
-15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic II's
-35x12.5R15 Goodyear MTR-K's
Axles:
-1998 XJ HP30 front, 4.10 gears, boxed UCA mount, Spicer 760x's with tacked caps
-1998 Explorer 8.8 rear, 4.10 gears, Detroit Locker, IRO brackets, Ruffstuff cover
Steering:
-Durango box
-IRO Heavy duty tie rod
-V8 drag link
-Rubicon Express steering stabilizer
Armor:
-ARB Bumper
-KOR support
-JKS LCA skids
-OEM transfer case and gas tank skid
-OEM hitch with receiver shackle
Recovery:
-Warn XD9000i
-48" Hi Lift with winch kit and offroad base
-18k strap, shackles, tree saver
To Be Installed:
-1998 ZJ 5.9/46RE, 90k miles
-Clayton's F&R longarm upgrade
-Clayton's Belly skid
-Clayton's 8.8 truss
-Ruffstuff D30 cover
-T&T frame stiffeners
-Spidertrax 1.25" spacers
-16x8 TJ Moabs

Jeep Story:
So I decided in Spring of 2007 that I needed a Jeep, and a ZJ specifically. I had friends who had stock XJ's, but I wanted something a little nicer with a little more space. So I started my search, and found a lot of ZJ's, but drove very few. I found the one I ended up buying in Worcester, MA, on a used car lot. In retrospect, I probably should have looked a little more before buying.

I paid $3400 for my 1998 Laredo Special Edition with just under 103,000 miles. Stock features included:
-4.0/42RE/242
-Dana 30/35 3.55's
-Aftermarket Sunroof
-Infinity CD
-Full power . . . all the special edition features

The day I bought it, had to borrow a plate off the S-10 I was driving to get it back:


About a month after I bought it, mudding it with BALD tires near Waterville, NY:


Mods included:
-18k snatch strap
-Hitch pin
-Shovel

Some time went by, and the output seal on my tranny blew on my way back from the Bills/Pats game in Buffalo in November, 2007. At this point, the only thing that I had done to it was added a pair of Silverstar bulbs to help out the weak lighting. The ZJ sat in my garage for almost 2 months while I was at school and deciding whether or not I wanted to fix or sell it. Luckily I decided to keep it, and $250 later, it was back on the road. At this point, I decided to buy it some tires, because driving in Syracuse, NY was a little scary on the slicks I had.

30x9.5x15 Cooper Discoverer STT's, still pretty much stock. Stuffing one of those Coopers, decent stock flex:



I decided it was time for some skids. I found a gas tank skid for $10, mounted it up, and did this shortly thereafter:

I made use of my shovel, a buddies shovel, 2 XJ's, my new receiver shackle, and 50' of tow straps to get the ZJ out. I was up to the hood in a snow drift, and sitting nowhere near the bottom.

I hung out with some other Jeeps from CNY Jeep on May 3rd for "Go Topless Day." I had the sunroof open, so it sort of counted.


About a month later, I was in a pick and pull in Burlington, VT, when I ran into another guy with a ZJ. I explained to him that I was looking for tow hooks, and luckily, he was parting out a 1995 Orvis. I bought the hooks for $40.

Right before I put them on:

After the install, had to make up for breaking all of the bolts removing them:



__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"

Last edited by squashman702; 08-31-2010 at 10:21 AM..
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-13-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
I wheeled it some in VT:


Added an AEM cone filter and TB spacer. I ended up building my own heat shield later. That's now replaced with K&N I found in a junkyard:


All along, I knew it needed a lift. I purchased a pair of 2.25" coil spacers online, traded a gas tank skid for a set of ProComp 3" rear springs, and bought some Black Diamond AT's. I also installed my transfer case skid. Had to wheel it some after I lifted it.


Flexing it out a bit on top of Nobscot Mountain in Sudbury, MA:


Over the course of the summer, I didn't do much in terms of modifications. I did wheel it a couple of times, and test out the tow hooks in Western Mass.




I didn't do much more until the end of the summer. I found a 5.9 sound bar for $55 shipped on ebay, and a set of clear corners in a junkyard. I wired up the soundbar and popped the corners on.

Once I started my new job, I had the cash to afford a bunch more stuff for it. I found a set of Hella 500FF's for $60 shipped on ebay for the front, which I mounted up. I stuck a set of Silverstar Ultras in the headlights (another ebay find), and added a 5.9 roof rack and shift knob.



I played around in the mud some, but didn't wheel it really until a few weeks ago. After I wheeled with a Bronco on 38's, I knew it had to go bigger, and the lift bug bit again, so I started accumulating parts.

Latest install involved Teraflex swaybar disconnects . . . thank you ebay again.


And the latest picture I have:


Mods as of 1/13/09 are:

Engine:
-TB spacer
-AEM cone filter
-K&N heat shield
-1999 WJ intake manifold
-OEM tranny cooler

Armor/Recovery:
-OEM Gas tank skid
-OEM transfer case skid
-OEM tow hooks
-MOPAR hitch with reciever shackle

Suspension:
-2.25" BB in the front
-3" ProComp coil in the rear
-Black Diamond AT's
-Teraflex swaybar disconnects

Exterior:
-Silverstar Ultra's
-Clear corners
-Tinted tails
-5.9 Roof rack
-Hella 500FF's with 100w bulbs

Interior:
-5.9 shift knob
-5.9 sound bar wired into factory Infinity system
-Alpine Type S 6.5" in doors
-5.25" Alpine Type S to go in sound bar

Currently, I'm waiting on:
-2 BDS adjustable LCA's
-Kolak 2.5" tailpipe
-Flowmaster 40 series
-Magnaflow 2.5" cat
-Energy suspension greaseable sway bar bushings front and rear

This is becoming a mini-novel, so put it on your reading list kiddies. I'm deciding what direction I want to take this in . . . I've been looking into 2004 Overland's lately, and may have to ditch the ZJ and build one of those before I sink a bunch more money into lift/tires/locker for the current project.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 12:09 AM   #3
Madmike4790
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Ma
Posts: 240
Nice jeep. I love Burlington, I think it is one of the greatest cities out there. My family has a house in Stowe and a bunch of my buddies go to UVM so i stop by as much as possible.
Madmike4790 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 12:24 AM   #4
BLACKzj52
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ohio
Posts: 5,665
looks good man.
i have always LOVED those tires. how do they do?
__________________
- John - 23 and learning <-- ORIGINAL
- 1996 Black ZJ Limited: 5.9 swap, LA's, axles, absolutely built to hell
- 1998 Platinum 5.9 Limited: DD with some lighter modifications
My Build Thead
Facebook
Senior at The Ohio State University
BLACKzj52 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 12:40 AM   #5
MoonyJohn
Mountain Climber
 
MoonyJohn's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: West Linn, Oregon
Posts: 6,680
How are those teraflex quick disonnects? I need some and that was my first choice..
__________________
"Water covers 3/4 of the earth, Jeep covers the rest"
MoonyJohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 06:57 AM   #6
Texas ZJ1
Jeep Jedi Master
 
Texas ZJ1's Avatar
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 20,134


Are those separate spacers just stacked in there?

Hunter
__________________
00 4.7 Laredo...stock

94 5.9 Laredo 6.5 RE lift with 35 Maxxis Bighorns
and 33 Bridgestone Duelers
Detroit and true trac
Red Jeep Club Member
REDNECK JCM
Texas Jeep Owner #6
USN Jeep Club #4
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/
602.841.3355

For your performance needs:

kolak@kolakperformance.com
480.998.3661
Texas ZJ1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
Linus
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 465
looks like fun man! and i agree, i get tired of seeing lifted wranglers and XJ's so its cool to see people lifting Grands
__________________
04 WJ - 4.0L and Selec-Trac
BDS 2", 3/4" spacers, Bilstein 5100, and 31" General Grabber AT2's
Build Thread
Linus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2009, 05:43 PM   #8
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmike4790 View Post
Nice jeep. I love Burlington, I think it is one of the greatest cities out there. My family has a house in Stowe and a bunch of my buddies go to UVM so i stop by as much as possible.
Yeah, my parents moved up there about a year and a half ago, so I haven't spent too much time up there, but I love it too. Putnam, CT, doesn't even compare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKzj52 View Post
looks good man.
i have always LOVED those tires. how do they do?
I've had these for 20k miles, and the fronts are starting to wear due to the fact that I never aligned it after I lifted it, but the rears look nearly new. I love these tires . . . they go through anything, and I haven't found a condition, either on or off road, where I would want something different. I was nervous about going with an MT at first, but I'm definitely not regretting my choice now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonyJohn View Post
How are those teraflex quick disonnects? I need some and that was my first choice..
They've been great on-road. I haven't had it off road since they were installed, but I'll let you know how well they tuck out of the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post


Are those separate spacers just stacked in there?

Hunter
No, just grooves in a single 2.25" spacer. I know it looks like seperate pieces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linus View Post
looks like fun man! and i agree, i get tired of seeing lifted wranglers and XJ's so its cool to see people lifting Grands
Thanks for the good words
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-27-2009, 10:03 PM   #9
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
So I got my BDS Adjustable LCA's in the mail, as well as my Magnaflow cat and Kolak tailpipe. . . almost time for another update for the thread.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-21-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
Did a few more things to it lately . . .

-Installed my Energy Suspension sway bar mounts front and rear. Big difference, due to the amount of slop that I had in the original bushings.

-Broke both of my Teraflex discos where they mount on the sway bar. They never fit perfectly, and I think they just gave out because of the stress over time.

-Installed my Rubicon Express steering stablizer over the weekend. Didn't really cover up my death wobble, but definitely helped the Jeep track straighter down the road.

-Installed Alpine Type S 5.25" in the soundbar. Nice to have that back in the ZJ after a couple of weeks without it.

Still needs a few things though . . .
-Exhaust. I have the tailpipe and cat, I still need the correct Flowmaster 40 series, and Mopar O2 sensors before I get it installed. I plan on doing a 2.5" pipe from the manifold back.

-Waiting on my spare wheel and I need some spacers before my new wheel/tire combo can go on.

-Still accumulating parts for my lift. The plan looks like 4.5" at this point.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-21-2009, 08:42 PM   #11
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
And because everyone likes pictures . . .


Right around Christmas, out in the woods near Burlington.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-21-2009, 10:55 PM   #12
ZJ_Papa
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hudson, MA
Posts: 105
alright squash which boneyard did you go to was it in the Sudbury/Worcester area, up in VT, or down in CT...and could you just find and pull
__________________
"Any man can be a father it takes a real man to be a dad!!"

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L Stocker: My DD
2002 Toyota Camry: R.I.P It was a great car
ZJ_Papa is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-22-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZJ_Papa View Post
alright squash which boneyard did you go to was it in the Sudbury/Worcester area, up in VT, or down in CT...and could you just find and pull
A couple in VT near Burlington, a bunch in Mass, and there's a good one in Cumberland, RI. I only go to pick and pulls; I enjoy them way more than somewhere that pulls the parts for you.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-24-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
ZJ_Papa
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hudson, MA
Posts: 105
didn't realize that a bunch of the boneyards I have dealt with for years, was in a parts dept. for a dealer, are probably pick and pull. But now that I have a jeep they will be my best friends.
__________________
"Any man can be a father it takes a real man to be a dad!!"

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L Stocker: My DD
2002 Toyota Camry: R.I.P It was a great car
ZJ_Papa is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-24-2009, 04:50 PM   #15
squashman702
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,399
Got in my 5th wheel today, and won an auction on ebay for a pair of RE Superflex adjustable LCA's. Can't beat $157 shipped.
__________________
Think Twice Garage
"I guess I'd just run it?"
squashman702 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.