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spidermonkey 03-05-2009 03:25 PM

spidermonkey's 98 ZJ build
A friend of mine had a black ZJ in his yard he was tired of looking at. He was moving and offered to drive it to my house and sell it to me for a measly $1000. It's a 98 Laredo SE, 4.0 242, with 140k.

I had to replace the motor and trans mounts, change the trans fluid and filter, give it a tune up and clean the heck out of it. I drove it around for about a week before I got the bug to lift it. I picked up some 4.0 front coils for the back for $5, and a 3" spacer stack for the front for $20. Then the 235s looked silly so I picked up some 31" Destination AT's.

I decided to rip my XJ to shreds to build this thing into my wheeler a week ago and havn't looked back. From the XJ I am going to use the Destination MT's for when I wheel it, IRO track bar conversion, shocks, and Rusty's tie rod, front coils, and intake. Any $ from the rest of the XJ is getting thrown at it.

CLNinja 03-05-2009 03:28 PM

3" spacer stack is not a good idea

not good to go above 2" maybe 2 1/4 inches on a grand

spidermonkey 03-05-2009 03:32 PM

They are coming out soon, and are only in the front, they were in my XJ for many years that way withought issue. I know the XJ's pretty well but I am entering a new realm. A comfortable quiet one. :2thumbsup:

steve L. 03-05-2009 03:35 PM

For $1,000, you cant beat that...
what is smoking in the backround of the first pic???

spidermonkey 03-06-2009 02:47 AM


Originally Posted by steve L. (Post 6731446)
For $1,000, you cant beat that...
what is smoking in the backround of the first pic???

Small fire pit, not the Jeep.

spidermonkey 03-17-2009 08:31 PM

Well, my XJ is in pieces, and today I installed JKS BPE's and Quicker Disco's, IRO double sheer track bar conversion, Rusty's coils, tie rod, and throttle body spacer and RC shocks. I have to mount front tow points, fire extinguisher and my CB to wheel. The 8.8 is going in soon.

spidermonkey 04-04-2009 07:29 PM

I made a small amount of progress today. I drug the 8.8 carcass out from under the XJ and cleaned the shed out to work on it. 34 and no garage yet. If I only knew all the wrenching I would be up to now. I had to pull my Aussie out of it to inspect it. I hastily threw it in and caused myself to chew up one side of it a little, but enough to make it skip some. I am going to flip the parts around to get a better mesh and cross my fingers or I will buy another one. Read all the dirrections first!

spidermonkey 04-08-2009 09:35 PM

Today I got my Rusty's front diff skid on and some lights.

MoonyJohn 04-08-2009 09:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)


spidermonkey 04-09-2009 10:08 PM

The light install wasn't pic worthy, I used a nice 30 amp switch I had and wired all four int it. I also used a foglight wiring kit harness with a 15 amp fuse. The lights in front are mounted on the front side of the wheel well, the other set are mounted to the iside of the frame rails facing the opposite side right after the trans crossmemeber. I have the 8.8 stripped and ready for new ZJ mounts. 4 hrs of cuttin n grindin to get the XJ perches off. I also ordered Bilstien 5100s, KOR radiator support and steering box brace. I wait for the brown truck and my friend to have time to weld.

spidermonkey 04-11-2009 04:02 PM

Today I relocated the charcoal canister under the hood. It fit great since I have the airbox long gone in favor of the Rusty's intake from my XJ. I trimmed the bumper cover more and made a bracket for the canister from the metal strip I removed from the bottom of the radiator for the bumper. Then I pulled the forglights until I remount them out of harms way.

spidermonkey 04-13-2009 09:00 PM

This morning at 6 I went to a friends shop and tore into the axle swap. We had the 35 out in about 1-2 hrs.
I put it up on three jack stands and set the pinion at zero. We measured placement of everything and wrote it down. Then we spent about 3 more hrs cutting off brackets withought destroying them so they could be reused. We tacked everything in place on the 8.8 and double checked it then fired up the stick welder and went to town. I cleaned it up and gave it a nice shiny coat of hammertone dark grey.
Then we bolted it back up. I have the brake backer plates on and the shafts in, tomorrow its brake lines, the Aussie install, and the driveshaft. One thing to remember, on a ZJ the exhaust will probabaly be in the way. The pinion on the 8.8 is a couple inches closer to the passenger side than the 35. I will check it out and take pics tomorrow.

spidermonkey 04-14-2009 05:48 PM

The 8.8 is done. I reused brake lines I had bent for it on my XJ and modified them a little for now. I will likely replace them soon. I installed the Aussie and put the brakes back on. Then I had to take the pinion flange off the XJ driveshaft and put it on the ZJ shaft and bolted it up. I cut the ABS wires right off and bled the brakes. Then I took it for a drive. The back got about another 1/2" lift just from the bigger axle tubes. It feels very solid. Because I had the axle in my XJ all the swap cost me was some XJ parts for welding and new axle seals and gear oil.

spidermonkey 04-26-2009 01:03 PM

The other day I fnally got the Bilsteins in. Damn nice ride now. She's plush again.

I did some number crunching and it's looking like scrapping the XJ was a good deal.
So far I have sold $995 in parts I won't use with the potential to sell $500-$700 more yet.

The parts I did use off the XJ:

- track bar and mount $185
- tie rod $100
- 8.8 axle $700 (what I spent on building it for the XJ)
- tires $800 (replacement cost of the Firesone MTs)
- diff skids $100
-sub and amp $300
-cb and antenna
-spare tire :have saved me $2185 building the ZJ so far :2thumbsup:

I have spent $570 on new parts so far but it all came out of sold parts.

If I keep on track I will have the ZJ set soon for almost no out of pocket exept the $1000 purchase price. I had about $4k into the XJ in the four years I owned it and I might get most of it back too. :cheers2:

daufuskieraised 04-26-2009 10:05 PM

That 8.8 sure is purty.:D You got any more pics of the whole Jeep. You know, a view of the whole package?:laugh:

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