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The ULTIMATE "Selectable" Locker System! BroughRockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits WJ Modular Recovery & Bull Bar Relocation Packages

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Unread 03-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
01raptor
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New here with buying questions (ZJ/WJ)

First off, hello all my name is Eric, My wife and I have been looking for an XJ to be our new toy/project. We haven't had much luck finding one that isn't rotted to hell, here in Michigan. How ever we noticed that there are piles of GCs that are in nice shape here. I have been doing lots of reading on here to educate my self but I could still use some advise from the experts. What ever I will get will see a fair amount of time on the street as well as on trails, mud and sand dunes, probably 60/40 split street to off road. I don't want the 4.7 v8 but I haven't found much info comparing the 4.0 to the 5.2, performance, reliability, ease to maintain. I know the 5.2 models come with Dana 44s which seems like a bonus to me. I always liked the way the WJ look but I get the feeling that there not as good of a choice for a project vehicle as the ZJ, no 44, seems to be less aftermarket support etc, am I wrong with this assumption. Are there any years to stay away of? I would like to do a 3 to 4 inch lift with what ever tire I can fit with out trimmings he fenders, is there anything I should know about lifting these jeeps? We would like to spend around $4500 to purchase the jeep, I can handle mechanical issues but don't want to have to deal with rust, and would like to keep the miles at 150k or under. Any tips or advise would be great thanks fellas.


Last edited by 01raptor; 03-02-2013 at 01:05 PM.. Reason: Typo in the title.
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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Ttt.
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Both of mine have the 4.0, XJ 185k, ZJ 70k, but they both feel the same cuz the ZJ is heavier. I'd love the 5.2 and the 44's, but more boost & more weight? I don't think you'd see a lot of difference unless you found a 5.9 ZJ, which iconically has the vented hood

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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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There's a pretty big difference in power with the 4.0 and 5.2L ZJ. I've put mine against my sisters 4.0 and left it. Both completely stock, and she has less miles than me.
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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scopez
There's a pretty big difference in power with the 4.0 and 5.2L ZJ. I've put mine against my sisters 4.0 and left it. Both completely stock, and she has less miles than me.
That's the answer I've been waiting to hear! Thank you, see, the plan is to find a 5.2 and tranny for the ZJ, and have a spare 70k 4.0 for my XJ
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Unread 03-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01raptor View Post
First off, hello all my name is Eric, My wife and I have been looking for an XJ to be our new toy/project. We haven't had much luck finding one that isn't rotted to hell, here in Michigan. How ever we noticed that there are piles of GCs that are in nice shape here. I have been doing lots of reading on here to educate my self but I could still use some advise from the experts. What ever I will get will see a fair amount of time on the street as well as on trails, mud and sand dunes, probably 60/40 split street to off road.
Cool beans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01raptor View Post
I don't want the 4.7 v8 but I haven't found much info comparing the 4.0 to the 5.2, performance, reliability, ease to maintain. I know the 5.2 models come with Dana 44s which seems like a bonus to me. I always liked the way the WJ look but I get the feeling that there not as good of a choice for a project vehicle as the ZJ, no 44, seems to be less aftermarket support etc, am I wrong with this assumption.
There's been a slew of people attacking the 4.7 the past couple of days. I'm not really sure why. If you can find one that's been maintained, you're in good shape. WJs AND Zjs came with the 44a. Not as much aftermarket support, but it's not a bad axle at all, in and of itself. How extreme you make your project is totally up to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01raptor View Post
Are there any years to stay away of? I would like to do a 3 to 4 inch lift with what ever tire I can fit with out trimmings he fenders, is there anything I should know about lifting these jeeps?
There's a lot you should know...
Check out the ZJ FAQ
The WJ FAQ
The WJ Buyers Guide
This is a nifty little chart:


The early runs of both the WJ and the ZJ had their issues. Drum brakes on the early ZJs were a pain and Teves brake calipers on the older WJs were a because they liked to seize.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 01raptor View Post
We would like to spend around $4500 to purchase the jeep, I can handle mechanical issues but don't want to have to deal with rust, and would like to keep the miles at 150k or under. Any tips or advise would be great thanks fellas.
I've owned a WJ with the 4.7 and a ZJ with the 5.9. The WJ was a more comfortable ride, the interior was leaps and bounds better, the brakes were better. The ZJ is a... monster. The 5.9 is just a different animal all together.

Whichever model you decide you like better, make sure you have money set aside for maintenance stuff to do as soon as you get it. ALL new fluids (including differentials, tranny, TC, coolant, etc).
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Unread 03-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
01raptor
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thanks for all the help guys. We put a down payment on a 97 ZJ this morning should be picking it up tomorrow. It has a small rust spot on the front drives side fender and a dent on the back bumper and rear hatch, other than that its very clean and drives great. For a 16 year old jeep its very comfortable my wife said she thinks shell drive it more than her liberty. I plan on doing Mccloud said and go through the fluids and change them out, take care of the body issues and start modding.
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