-   Grand Cherokee General Discussion (
-   -   McCloud's Niner Build/Rebuild Thread (

McCloudsZJ 11-26-2012 08:20 PM

McCloud's Niner Build/Rebuild Thread
Picked up my 1998 Grand Cherokee LTD 5.9 the other day. Time to start a "build" thread :D The more time I spend with the Jeep, the more convinced that this is going to turn into a rebuild thread. It is in desperate need of some TLC. It was listed for $2000. I talked the guy down to $1700 over the phone. Then, when it wouldn't start when I went to pick it up, I offered him $1400. He said OK... I jiggled the battery terminals, it started right up, and I drove off into the sunset.

First impression: damn. The 5.9 is addicting. The 4.7 in the WJ with some bolt ons and exhaust had some oomph but... Damn. I thought the transmission was slipping between 1st and 2nd at WOT. It wasn't. The tires were.

The good:
  • The interior is 99% there
  • 5.9 is in tip top shape... Oil is clean, but not brand new; no ticks, knocks, whines, or hesitation
  • No major body damage
  • No rust on the rockers
  • Checked it out at the alignment shop--nothing out of whack. Good news
  • The 249 works :eek: No binding, chirping, hopping, or complaining of any kind. We'll see how long that lasts

The bad: EVERY SINGLE common ZJ problem in the history of Jeep kind
  • Tires are bald and only getting worse. Something to do with the skinny pedal?
  • Bad coolant sensor on VIC (of course)
  • Head liner is falling down
  • Dumb *** that owned the Jeep before me used spray paint on the tail lights and the corner lights up front
  • Tires are bald
  • Shocks are probably original--they ride like it
  • Dash tweeters shot? Nope. every single speaker shot
  • No head unit
  • Battery is shot
  • Terminals look like they've been mauled by a tiger
  • No AC compressor :brickwall:
  • No muffler
  • Lots and lots of little tiny chips in the paint--it looks like somebody was weed whacking in a gravel parking lot next to the Jeep
  • Filthy inside and out; disgustingly dirty
  • Dash dimmer... well, you know....
  • Drivers mirror EL fluid... Again... you know...

McCloudsZJ 11-26-2012 08:35 PM

Day One consisted of assessing the pile of stuff and putting together a list of things to do/shopping list. You can see the chips and the headlights here a little better.

I don't even like using my drivers mirror.

Too cheap for VHT? Try Krylon Black!

I feel like... Something is missing...

Something is missing here, too. The muffler. That's what's missing. There's nothing between the cat and the pipe.

It's ok. I like to use my Jeep as a trashcan, too.

I'll give you one guess what that broom stick is for.

McCloudsZJ 11-26-2012 08:40 PM

Found a new junkyard in town :eek: It's not advertised on the internet. AND they have 9 ZJs sitting there! Two haven't even been touched!!! I made it out of there $50 lighter and with an armful of parts. New tail lights (great condition), a new mirror, and seat belts (because there weren't any before)

This poor battery really does look like some sort of animal has been chewing on it.

So one $150 trip to Advance later... New spark plugs and wires, marine terminals and isolators, an Autocraft 800 CCA battery (with three year no-questions-asked replacement), and some Turtlewax Ice that everybody keeps raving about.

Did I mention that all of the seats are out of a 2001? Because they are. And they work (surprisingly). Even the heated seat elements still work.

McCloudsZJ 11-26-2012 08:44 PM

Spent some quality time at the Muffler Haus in Roanoke, VA today. Great experience there. It's a small one man show with a guy who knows what he's talking about. He let me come back and watch. He even let me use the pipe expander to get the outlet on the muffler to the proper diameter. He wouldn't let me weld it, though :(

Muffler and install came to a grand total of $84. I went with a glasspack-style muffler, but one that was aluminized instead of painted.

Judging by the scorched heat shield, they've run this Jeep without a muffler for quite some time.

Pretty welds:

Expanded to fit :D

McCloudsZJ 11-26-2012 08:51 PM

I got to crawl around under the Jeep some more at the exhaust shop. Tie rod ends move and clunk like a... Control arm bushings are all gross looking. More things to add to the shopping list, I guess.

Oh and the spring isolators are all but non-existent...

bananaslug 11-27-2012 12:58 AM

Are you planning in lifting it? Or just fixing her up?

McCloudsZJ 11-27-2012 06:46 AM


Originally Posted by bananaslug (Post 14514218)
Are you planning in lifting it? Or just fixing her up?

Fixing it up is the priority. I do a lot of camping and mountain biking, but that's about the extent of my offroading. The stock WJ handled all of that pretty easily, so the ZJ probably should, too. If I start doing any serious wheeling I'll get another Jeep. One that isn't quite so fancy...

adavis39 11-27-2012 09:24 AM

pretty friggin' good deal man. congrats. And you got the best color IMO..... Im just entering the 5.9 market as a DD so I can retire the WJ. Its slim pickins' for 5.9's around here though :(

McCloudsZJ 11-27-2012 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by adavis39 (Post 14515248)
pretty friggin' good deal man. congrats. And you got the best color IMO..... Im just entering the 5.9 market as a DD so I can retire the WJ. Its slim pickins' for 5.9's around here though :(

I really like the color, too. It's so much better than the Champagne WJ. I understand how hard they are to find. I waited for two months before I found one that I liked (because the price was right). It's really hard to find one with
<200,000 miles. Good luck :cheers:

McCloudsZJ 11-27-2012 03:16 PM

Spent a couple hours washing her outside and underneath today. It was 40* outside--perfect for washing :D I used some of that nifty new Turtle Wax Ice. I just have to throw this out there: believe all the hype. It's every bit as good as everybody says it is. I also did my first official "mod."

Poser shots. Infinitely better than what it looked like before.

Check out the new tails. No more spray paint! Whoo!

Thomahawk 11-27-2012 03:25 PM

Nice Jeep you got there, the niner is a great machine, keep up the good work, Thumbsup! ;)

adavis39 11-27-2012 04:56 PM

lookin im going to be so impatient to find one :D

Spike300 11-27-2012 06:32 PM

Good start, when u replace stuff upgrade right away

McCloudsZJ 11-27-2012 07:12 PM

Got the build sheet from Jeep. It took less than 10 minutes from the time I emailed them. :eek:


Thank you for contacting the Jeep Customer Assistance Center in regards
to your 1998 Grand Cherokee.

Please note that our owner information database has been updated to
reflect the name and mailing address in your email. This will allow the
post office to deliver mail from us regarding this vehicle to the new
address you provided. If your vehicle is involved in a future factory
recall campaign, you will be notified at that address promptly by US
postal mail.

If the address provided was not your permanent address where you would
like this mail delivered, please advise.

We are pleased to provide vehicle build information per your request.

According to our records, your vehicle was equipped from the factory
with the following:
  • *ML Leather Trimmed Bucket Seats
  • -AZ Agate
  • ADLP Skid Plate Group
  • AFFP Luxury Group
  • AHX Trailer Tow Group IV
  • APAS Monotone Paint
  • ARPP Limited Decor Group
  • ARVP Plus Decor Group
  • AWN Skid Plate/Tow Hook Group
  • A07P 5.9L Engine(EML)/4Sp Auto Trans(DGT)
  • BA6P 150 Amp Alternator
  • BCES 600 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
  • BRGS Anti-Lock 4-Wheel-Disc Brakes
  • CACS Low Back Bucket Seats
  • CFNS Rear 60/40 Folding Seat
  • CGWS Next Generation Front Air Bags**
  • CKDS Floor Carpet
  • CKNS Cargo Compartment Carpet
  • CKRS Cargo Net
  • CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops
  • CLES Front & Rear Floor Mats
  • CSAS Spare Tire Cover
  • CSCS Cargo Compartment Cover
  • CSRS Passenger Assist Handles
  • CUDP Mini Overhead Console
  • CUFS Full Length Floor Console
  • DGB All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
  • DGTS 4-Spd. Automatic 46RE Transmission
  • DHAS Lock-Up Torque Converter
  • DHRP Single Speed On Demand Transfer Case
  • DJJS Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
  • DMEP 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio
  • DRKP Dana 44/226MM Rear Axle
  • DSAP Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle
  • EAAC All Engines
  • EML 5.9L V8 MPI Engine
  • GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
  • GCBS Front Door Tinted Glass
  • GEGP Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
  • GEPS Flipper Liftgate Glass
  • GFAS Rear Window Defroster
  • GNCS Sun Visors w/Illum Vanity Mirrors
  • GNKP Rear View Auto Dim Mirror
  • GR3P Left Power Fold-Away Mirror
  • GS3P Right Power Fold-Away Mirror
  • GT3P Power Mirrors, Fold-Away
  • GVBC All Vehicles W/Power Mirrors
  • GWAP Power Sunroof
  • GXMS Remote Keyless Entry
  • HABP Air Conditioning w/Auto Temp Control
  • HGAS Hood Insulation
  • HGDS Deluxe Insulation Group
  • JAYS Instrument Cluster w/Tach
  • JCBS 120 MPH Primary Speedometer
  • JHAS Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • JHBS Rear Window Wiper/Washer
  • JJAS Cigar Lighter
  • JJBS Dual Note Electric Horns
  • JKAS Locking Glove Box
  • JPAS Power Windows
  • JPBS Power Locks
  • JPMP Heated Front Seats
  • LACS Illuminated Entry
  • LAGS Warning Chime
  • LAZP Vehicle Information Center
  • LBBS Courtesy Lamps
  • LBCS Glove Box Lamp
  • LBDS Ash Tray Lamp
  • LCBP Door Courtesy Lamps
  • LDAS Underhood Lamp
  • LDBS Cargo Compartment Lamp
  • LETP Traveler/Mini Trip Computer
  • LEWP Radio/Driver Seat/Mirrors Memory
  • LMGP Automatic Headlamps
  • LNJP Fog Lamps
  • LSAP Security Alarm
  • MFNP Body Color Grille
  • MHAS Black Windshield Moldings
  • MVAP Limited Badge
  • MVBP Grand Cherokee Badge
  • MVCP Jeep Badge
  • MVDP 4X4 Badge
  • MVEP V-8 Badge
  • MWAP Roof Rack
  • NAA Federal Emissions
  • NF5S 23 Gallon Fuel Tank
  • NHMS Speed Control
  • NMCP Heavy Duty Engine Cooling
  • NMXP Maximum Duty Engine Cooling
  • PAW Deep Slate Pearl Coat
  • QAWS Dark Slate Pearl Coat
  • RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
  • RAZP AM/FM Cassette Compact Disc Radio
  • RCMP 18 SPKRS SRT High Perf Audio
  • RDDS Fixed Long Mast Antenna
  • SBAS Power Rack and Pinion Steering
  • SCLP Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • SDAS Normal Duty Suspension
  • SUAS Tilt Steering Column
  • TBBP Full Size Spare Tire
  • TBLS Inside Mounted Spare Tire
  • TRPP 225/70R19.5G All Pos Traction Tires
  • TZAS Goodyear Brand Tires
  • WDUP 16X7.0 Aluminum Wheels
  • WKBP Matching Spare Wheel
  • WLZC All Aluminum Wheels
  • XEAP Tow Hooks
  • XEEP Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
  • XEFP Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield
  • XEUP Front Suspension Skid Plate
  • XGDP Universal Garage Door Opener
  • YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications

I hope this information proves to be of assistance.

Thanks again for your email, Logan.



McCloudsZJ 11-27-2012 09:20 PM

Ran it through some photo editing software to compare some options. This was the coolest picture I got out of it. Debadged, door lock and antenna delete, as well as fixing all of the chips in the paint. Oh and one of those stupid color filters kids seem to like these days. Seeing it like this makes me more excited to go work on it.

The time now is 01:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.