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malibubts 12-14-2011 07:48 PM

Malibubt's WJ Build Thread
Starting up a build thread for my '02 Grand Cherokee. No lift as of yet, but I've definitely put some work into it and have some initial plans for a lift.

The WJ was bought in '02 by my father and used for about 5 years before I got my license in '07 and he upgraded to an Expedition. I started driving the Jeep with about 125K on the clock. I drove it all throughout high school and was out of it last year since I didn't have a parking spot on campus.

Table of Contents:
Current Setup
Akebono Caliper Upgrade
Valve Cover Gasket
Tow Hooks
CB Install
Haspin Acres - December 2011
Jeep Christmas 2011
Maglite and Fire Extinguisher Mount
Roof Rack Cross Rails
Haspin Acres - March 23, 2012

Current Mods:

Sony CDX-GT610UI
Seat Removal Mod
Akebono Calipers, Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors and Metal Matrix Pads
Cobra 29 LX, 4' Firestik
Front Tow Hooks
SuperChips Flaspaq 3875
H3R MaxOut 2.5lb Fire Extinguisher
Bluetooth OBD Dongle
3D Cell LED Maglite with mount
Quadratec Front Floor Liners

In Progress:

Wish List:
Zone or RC 4'' Lift Kit
265/75/16 Guard Dog MT/R
ZJ Front Drive Shaft
MIG Welder (Skids, Bumpers, etc)

Build Sheet:

Cloth Low-Back Bucket Seats
Dark Slate Gray
Convenience Group
Monotone Paint
4.0L Engine(ERH)/4Spd Auto Trans(DGK
136 Amp Alternator
625 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Low Back Bucket Seats
Highline Door Trim Panel
Rear 60/40 Folding Seat
Child Seat Anchor System-LATCH Ready
Next Gen Multistage Front Air Bags**
Floor Carpet
Cargo Compartment Carpet
Cargo Tie Down Loops
Front & Rear Floor Mats
Cargo Trim Panel w/Storage Net
Door Sill Scuff Pads
Cargo Compartment Cover
Passenger Assist Handles
Mini Overhead Console
Full Length Floor Console
All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
4-Spd. Automatic 42RE Transmission
Lock-Up Torque Converter
Selec-Trac Full Time 4WD System
Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
3.55 Axle Ratio
Dana 35C/194MM Rear Axle
4.0L Power Tech I-6 Engine
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
Flipper Liftgate Glass
Rear Window Defroster
Rear View Day/Night Mirror
Sun Visors w/Vanity Mirror
Power Mirrors, Fold-Away
Remote Keyless Entry
Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System
Air Conditioning
Hood Insulation
Deluxe Insulation Group
Instrument Cluster w/Tach
120 MPH Primary Speedometer
Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Rear Window Wiper/Washer
Dual Note Electric Horns
Locking Glove Box
12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
Power Accessory Delay
Power Locks
Power Windows, Driver One-Touch
Power 6-Way Driver Seat
Illuminated Entry
Warning Chime
Vehicle Information Center
Courtesy Lamps
Glove Box Lamp
Ash Tray Lamp
Rear Courtesy/Reading Lamps
Cargo Compartment Lamp
Traveler/Mini Trip Computer
Halogen Headlamps
Front License Plate Bracket
Bright Grille
Black Windshield Moldings
Grand Cherokee Badge
Jeep Badge
Roof Rack
4X4 Badge
50 State Emissions
Federal Tier 2, Bin 9A Emissions
20.5 Gallon Fuel Tank
Speed Control
Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat
Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
AM/FM Cass/CD Radio w/Changer Ctrl
6 Speakers
Fixed Long Mast Antenna
Power Rack and Pinion Steering
Steering Wheel
Normal Duty Suspension
Tilt Steering Column
Full Size Spare Tire
Inside Mounted Spare Tire
P225/75R16 OWL All Season Tires
Goodyear Brand Tires
16" Steel Spare Wheel
16X7.0 Lux Alum Silver Wheels
All Steel Wheels
All Aluminum Wheels
Protective Coating and Remover
7 Additional Gallons of Gas
Spring - Left Front
Spring - Left Rear
Spring - Right Front

Stock Photos:

malibubts 12-14-2011 07:51 PM

Current Setup


Running down a creek bed

Stock Flex

Steaming after a run through the mud

malibubts 12-14-2011 07:52 PM

Akebono Upgrade
Last spring the front left caliper seized on my brother while I was at school. My dad called and said they were trashing the Jeep, someone told them the transmission needed to be rebuilt... Within 15 minutes of being home I figured out that it was the caliper being seized. By then they had gotten him into a used 4Runner and the Jeep was officially mine. I figured I might as well swap in the Akebono's while I was already working on the brakes. I sent Kolak an email and had a pair of Akebono Calipers, Stillen Cross Drilled and Slotted Rotors, and Metal Matrix pads. Install went smoothly and the brakes are still running strong.

New Caliper

New Rotor

Metal Matrix Pads

Broke a couple screw drivers trying to get the seized caliper off of the rotor

malibubts 12-14-2011 08:38 PM

Valve Cover Gasket
The I6 was starting to leak quite a bit and after a little work tracking down the leak it looked to be coming from the valve cover. Replaced the gasket on my next oil change and it seemed to do the trick. I also replaced the CCV elbows and grommets while I had the valve cover off. The rubber was pretty brittle and it looked like most people ended up having to take the valve cover off after breaking the elbows anyway.

Cleaning the cover

Lifters, Rockers, Springs

Lifters, Rockers, Springs

Lifters, Rockers, Springs

malibubts 12-14-2011 08:40 PM

Tow Hooks
Added on some front tow hooks.

malibubts 12-14-2011 08:45 PM

CB Install
Bought and Cobra 29 LX and a 4' Firestik for the Jeep. Mounted the antenna with the FireRing plate above the tail light and ran the wire up the drivers side like a lot of people done. Then I have the radio mounted to the left of the steering wheel on the bottom kick plate. I'm still trying to figure out where to hang the mic from.

clgielin 12-14-2011 08:52 PM

A 4" lift and 33's will make it look a lot more aggressive than stock. Sounds like you already have the brakes to bring the bigger tires to a stop.

Gotta love Sears tools...

malibubts 12-14-2011 08:54 PM

Haspin Acres
Headed out to Haspin Acres in Indiana with a couple friends. One has an XJ lifted 3'' on 31s and the other had an ATV.

Video a friend made:

hotrodjeeper 12-14-2011 10:25 PM

Nice start! That caliper seemed like a PITA!! how do you like the cobra 29?

malibubts 12-14-2011 11:09 PM

Random Photos
Just a collection of some random photos taken throughout the years.

Cold morning

Towing the Malibu

The Grand doesn't do too hot on the gas when towing



malibubts 12-14-2011 11:14 PM


Originally Posted by clgielin (Post 12679536)
A 4" lift and 33's will make it look a lot more aggressive than stock. Sounds like you already have the brakes to bring the bigger tires to a stop.

Gotta love Sears tools...

That's the goal. I'm sure it will help off road also, Jeeps are quite capable stock but I definitely would not complain about the extra ground clearance.


Originally Posted by hotrodjeeper (Post 12680127)
Nice start! That caliper seemed like a PITA!! how do you like the cobra 29?

Thanks! It was. I broke two screw drivers trying to unseize the slides on the caliper to be able to get the piston back in. That was probably the toughest part of the whole thing.

And I'm loving it so far. I've had it all setup for about 2 months, but my Jeep is parked quite a bit now. Really the only down side is the size. The digital display is awesome though!

mtnmarc 12-16-2011 01:38 PM

I want your malibu :drool:

I'll trade you my 4 inch lift and 35s for it!

malibubts 12-16-2011 03:38 PM

Haha that one is gone now. It was an 05 Wakesetter, but we ski more now and I ski for Ohio State so we bought a Response.

malibubts 12-25-2011 10:20 AM

The Jeep got some Christmas gifts this year.

Quadratec Front Floor Mats
3D Cell LED Maglite with mount
2.5lb MaxOut Fire Extinguisher
Bluetooth OBDII Dongle and Torque

malibubts 03-13-2012 05:27 PM

Ordered some door clips to help finally mount the maglite and fire extinguisher. I should have enough time to replace all the broken clips at the same time when I'm home for break. Also picked up a set of roof rack cross rails from a part out in the classifieds.

Also had someone break into my Jeep a little while ago in the parking lot behind my house. Faceplate was off the radio and the CB in my house. Not sure what they thought there was to take.

The time now is 06:21 AM.

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