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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > Grand Cherokee General Discussion > My 97 ZJ Build "The Zippy Johnson"

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineOld Man Emu WK Lift - Black Friday Special!!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 21
My 97 ZJ Build "The Zippy Johnson"

So after reading through tons of ZJ builds the past couple of days I decided today that i should make a build thread for my 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo . . .







Picked up this 1997 ZJ over this past March to replace my previous jeep (2000 Xj Limited) . . It had exactly 160k on the odometer when i picked it up for $1000 . . Needed a few minor things but ran and drove great and was real clean inside and out aside from missing the front bumper cover (PO got into a fender bender)

So to get things moving I started by swapping over basic parts from my blown up XJ to get the ZJ road worthy (Needed a ujoint and new brakes)



Old rotors and pads were pretty much shot and the calipers had seen better days





Swapped over drilled and slotted rotors from my xj along with newer caliper and pads



Then after about of week of owning the ZJ i decided it was time to lift it! Brought both Jeeps to my buddies garage and started swapping over my 3" Rough Country Coils, Spacers, and Shocks!



Then about 3 hours later the ZJ looked like this!





And just for fun some pics of my previous XJ in all its glory before i killed it lol










Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 08-01-2013 at 04:29 PM..
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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 21
Didnt like the look of the beat up and rusty front bumper so i decided to paint it flat black





Of course after i started painting the bumper i decided to do the grill as well since it was pretty chipped up and chrome just wont get ya home! So after about 3 coats of Krylon Flat Black the grill looked like this!



Then while waiting for the paint to dry i decided to clean up the cloudy headlights!



Everything back together! and put on my surco rack with full size spare and hi-lift!



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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
Onew1ckedzj
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Location: midland park, nj
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Then after the paint had dried nicely i decided it was time to hit the woods and test out the lift!




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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Location: midland park, nj
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The jeep looked like that for about 4 months until i decided i couldnt stand the look of the grey plastics so out came the paint again!



And also around that time i decided to take the doors off!



And heres a couple pics of how the jeep looks today




Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 08-01-2013 at 04:29 PM..
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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #5
Onew1ckedzj
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I wrote this whole thread really quick so i still have to add things and edit things but this is what i have for now with pics and such! hope you guys enjoy! I have big plans for this build so as time and money allow i will update as such!
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Unread 08-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
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About 2 weeks ago my fuel pump decided to quit on me so i ended up replacing it with an Airtex pump from advacnced auto . .





After i installed the pump the jeep ran better than ever! or so i thought . . Went out camping with a few friends this past weekend and wouldnt you know it the new fuel pump i just replaced decided to crap out as well . . Luckily there was an advanced auto not to far away from where we were camping so i gave them a call told them the new pump i had just purchased had failed and they agreed to replace it! had my friend drive me there with his wrangler swapped the pump for a new one came back and installed it! was a little uncomfortable tho replacing the fuel pump in the woods considering it decided to rain like crazy when we got back

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Unread 08-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
Onew1ckedzj
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Took all 4 doors off today! decided to get some decent pics of the jeep as it sits now . .





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Unread 08-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #8
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Also swapped out the zj seats for the leather seats out of my xj



And added a maglight



And made a rear tow point

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Unread 08-21-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
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Plans for the build from now till fall are as follows . .

-33" Mtrs
-Front Locker
-1 Ton Steering
-New Shocks
-Boatsides
-Armor
-Skids
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Unread 08-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
JeepNicholson
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Burbank, OH
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Yeah man, those Airtex pumps are no good.
Honestly you might wanna take it back and get a better one before the warranty runs out!

Jeep looks real good though!
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Unread 08-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
Onew1ckedzj
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Thanks man! im hoping this pump lasts awhile im getting kind of sick of dropping the gas tank every other week! lol
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Unread 08-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
JeepNicholson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onew1ckedzj View Post
Thanks man! im hoping this pump lasts awhile im getting kind of sick of dropping the gas tank every other week! lol
Yeah, tank dropping sucks.
Some guys cut an access hole under the carpet in their cargo area!
Lol when I did the pump on my old Ram, I opted to remove the bed with a front loader instead of dropping the tank!
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Unread 09-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #13
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepNicholson View Post
Yeah, tank dropping sucks.
Some guys cut an access hole under the carpet in their cargo area!
Lol when I did the pump on my old Ram, I opted to remove the bed with a front loader instead of dropping the tank!
Haha id rather drop the tank than start cutting access holes!
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Unread 11-10-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 21
Some updates on my jeep . .


Removed the side cladding . .



Added some cheapo harbor freight lights . .







New hub and brake pads . .







Had her out in the woods a lot . .











Picked up some 33s in the MTZ flavor . .







And how she sits now . .





Now next up on the list is a locker for the Dana 30 and new shocks all around . . also going to do the TJ gas bezel mod and paint some things lime green eventually and fix some body damage let me know what ya guys think!
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Unread 12-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #15
Onew1ckedzj
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 21
Looking for a hp30 . . and trying to figure out a crazy misfire issue . . jeep runs fine the first and second start up, after that itll run rough at idle for a few minutes and sometimes stall out completley . . after she gets moving it smooths out and she runs fine . . replaced the spark plugs, distributor cap, coil, recently put in a new battery with all new cables, tps, iac, and map sensor, cleaned the throttle body . . all i can remember off the top of my head, any input would be greatly appreciated!
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