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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > Grand Cherokee General Discussion > Mikedc3's 5.9 build thread.

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Unread 10-28-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NJ
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Mikedc3's 5.9 build thread.

I've had a bunch of 4X4's over the years from a 75 F250, to 73, 78,79,87 Bronco's and a 89 S10 Blazer. I've always wanted a luxury 4 wheeling truck. Leather, heated seats, auto climate control, power everything, with a powerful motor and built to go nearly anywhere. I had a 5.9 Limited before but it had 300K and was worn out, so I never did anything with it. I blew the trans in that this past winter and bought another one that is pretty nice. I decided this was going to be the 4 wheeling truck I've always wanted. I started the build a few weeks ago.

Here's what I've done so far:

The factory seat heaters were broken. I diagnosed them and found the driver side switch was letting too much voltage through and fried the wire heater element. The passenger side worked. I decided to replace the entire system with a aftermarket one. It uses heat pads rather than wires and is much more durable. I put the pads in the seat bottoms and backs, and installed the switches in the console. I wired them in all nice and hidden.

My factory fog lamps were missing so I installed a set of Hella's and ran new wires, switch and relay so they work all the time regardless of weather the high beams are on or not. I also installed the tow hooks off my old 5.9 at the same time.

I put in a 6 switch, switch panel from an old Police car to run my fogs and future stuff.

I didn't want a huge lift and didn't want to regear, so I kept the lift small. I installed 2 1/2 inch Old Man Emu coil springs, Bilstein shocks, an Iron Rock Off Road adjustable track bar, new steering shock, new sway bar end links and bushings, new upper control arm bushings, and new lower control arms from a later model Grand Cherokee. I went with 245/75/16 Goodyear Duratracks.



Here's some before pics:













Seat work, I forgot to get pics of the new heater pads going in:





Switches in console:



New fog lamps and switch panel:



















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Unread 10-28-2013, 10:46 PM   #2
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 70
The lift going in. We did this in about 8 hours:

Parts:



Adjustable track bar going together:











New/old track bar bracket:



My lower control arm bushings were shot, clunking and worn out. I decided to use new lower control arms from a newer (99-04) WJ grand Cherokee. These are fully boxed and are bent for tire clearance. They also have better bushings:

New/old control arms. Note how mush stronger the new ones look:





You have to grind down the bushings to use these with my older ZJ truck. Here's you can see the difference:



I had to grind down one end for clearance:





Took the front axle out to work on the control arms:






New track bar mount:




New/old springs:



New lower control arms:





Springs, shocks, sway bar links and bushings, control arms:





Installing upper control arm bushings:





Rear springs and shocks. Rear end was easy. Unbolt shocks, pull down on axle, remove\/replace springs, install shock done!!





Tires:

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Unread 10-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 70
Done:







Needs alignment. Front axle is way off to the right, needs track bar adjustment:













Got it aligned today and took it home. Went 4 wheeling!! Very happy. Drives smooth as stock on pavement. Handels great off road. Only have 1 pic taken inside an old train tunnel:



Next mods will be:
100 watt reverse lamps inside rear bumper.
Lock rite rear locker.
Winch.
2 flood, 1 large pencil beam LED off road lights.
Front E locker.
Rock sliders on the rocker boxes.
On board air compressor.
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Unread 10-31-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
overland_HO
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Looks real good man..5.9's are beast's! Maybe also consider an Magnaflow or Borla exhaust and an CAI boxed type filter system to open that motor up!
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Unread 10-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
Jeepforthewin
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Jeep looks great! The 5.9 is awesome! Keep up the work will be following this
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Unread 11-01-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
Timo_90xj
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Looking at the underside of your niner makes me wonder if it's never been driven anywhere
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1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/d...s-etc-1222317/


1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread 11-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overland_HO View Post
Looks real good man..5.9's are beast's! Maybe also consider an Magnaflow or Borla exhaust and an CAI boxed type filter system to open that motor up!
Someone put a new cat on in the recent past. There is not much left of the pipe between the cat and muffler. I might be looking into an exhaust system soon. Thanks!
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Unread 11-09-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NJ
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Installed some LED replacement reverse bulbs from http://retro-solutions.net/cmspage.php?page_id=13 today. What a difference!! The stock reverse lights were terrible. I'm planning to add some 100W reverse lamps in the rear bumper as my next mod. I can't wait to see how these will all work together.


Stock 3156 bulb:


Replacement LED:


Bulb on Left, LED on Right:


Done:


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Unread 01-13-2014, 09:26 PM   #9
Mikedc3
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 70
Installed a home made heated washer fluid system tonight. Details and lots of pictures here:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/h...ation-1994889/

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