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Unread 09-02-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
FastSUV
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: , oklahoma
Posts: 729
Tough choice - Building H.O. WJ, sell 5.9 ZJ?

I bought an H.O. Freedom a few months ago with the intent to sell my 5.9 Limited and let the Freedom become the new project platform. Only trouble is, I'm having second thoughts about parting with the 5.9...The Freedom WJ already came with UC springs, 2.25" spacers, Bilsteins, SS, front adj TB, rear Addco, and I just put on some nice 31's (255/70r17). It is the perfect mild all-purpose second vehicle; it needs some TLC and more mods, but "feels" so much newer and nicer riding than the ZJ.

This thread IS NOT a ZJ vs WJ thread...the H.O. WJ is here to stay and I'm not asking if I should keep it. I am asking if it was YOU and you had a limited budget, time and energy, would you bother to keep around a beloved ZJ you'd owned for almost 14yrs, replaced about every part on, etc..? Both are desirable Grands, but from a collectable stand point, I think the ZJ is more desirable since it has the big motor and all the options. I'd have to add posi to the WJ for example.

Little bit about myself; kids, job, busy, building new house, lack of energy & time compared to my 20's. I got this 5.9 in 2001 and daily drove it until 2008. It needed lots of fixes so I retired it as a daily driver and made it a project in 2008 and began to fix and mod it. HOWEVER, due to some medical issues, getting married, etc, etc, I just have not been able to do nearly as much as I wanted to so far.

The 5.9 project was just beginning to turn the corner when I came across an H.O. Freedom for sale. I snagged it and considering my wife and I both daily drive WJ's already, I figured this newest WJ would put my project Jeep on the same platform and I could enjoy the refinements and modernization of the WJ vs. continuing to invest in my ZJ. I know people say that for a serious off-roader, the ZJ is a better platform. But I will probably never go that hard-core and for a hunting/camping vehicle that could take a 200 mile road trip comfortably, the WJ is nearly unbeatable.

So I really need you guys to help me work through things here...I do not HAVE to sell the ZJ but I'm getting older and will not likely get the time and money to build it with 35's and log arms anytime soon...see, that was my thought...if I keep it, I could "eventually" build it up more extreme for fun, or sell it later but keep it as a spare 4wd while I'm working on the H.O. WJ project in the mean time? It does seem silly though to keep all these Jeeps around and pay insurance just to have a spare though.

So taking into consideration all I have said, if it was you, would you keep the ZJ and sell/build it later, or sell it soon and use the money towards the new WJ? Keep in mind I already have 4 Jeeps so neither the H.O. WJ nor the ZJ are daily drivers. Sorry for such a long, ranting post, but I need to hear from others on this...I think for me, it just comes down to if I want to warehouse the ZJ as a dormant vehicle until I "someday" got the time and money to build it further. But at least it is drivable now as a spare and if I kept it, I wouldn't feel like I was getting rid of a pet I loved or something LOL; the attachment makes me not want to look at reality. If something ever goes wrong with the H.O. WJ, (it is still new and unknown to me as far as reliability and mechanical state of being), then I'd kick myself for getting rid of the old ZJ. But otherwise, REALITY is slapping me in the face and saying that I can't keep them both and it will hurt less once I have the cash in hand from the sale. (that's another thing, how much is it worth to someone else in it's current state).

Build Thread is HERE (what little there is of it) and lists 5.9's mods and stuff; scroll down to bottom for current pics:

Thanks!

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ZJ - 5.9 Limited
WJ - 4.0 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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Unread 09-02-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
fast540
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I've been in the same boat and chose to let the old toy go
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Unread 09-02-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
Hytek
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I'm in the same position. Purchased my 04 HO last summer with the intent of selling my niner and well a year later I still have both. Just bought a new house and planning a wedding so I'm contemplating selling it again. Before now I had space for it and didn't need the money but seeing how much this wedding is costing so far it may be time for it to go. The future wife says I can always get another later on but we all know that's not really the case with these. Sorry I'm really no help but at least you're not alone lol.
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Unread 09-02-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
FastSUV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast540 View Post
I've been in the same boat and chose to let the old toy go
A very direct and logical response...thanks. I too have had a similar situation before on JetSkis and Camaros...I ALWAYS sold the other toy in the past and regretted it later but only in spirit and not out of necessity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hytek View Post
I'm in the same position. Purchased my 04 HO last summer with the intent of selling my niner and well a year later I still have both. Just bought a new house and planning a wedding so I'm contemplating selling it again. Before now I had space for it and didn't need the money but seeing how much this wedding is costing so far it may be time for it to go. The future wife says I can always get another later on but we all know that's not really the case with these. Sorry I'm really no help but at least you're not alone lol.
Yeah, once it is gone, your pride would not let you find another one later that has been abused by some punk. When I got out of f-body cars, I let it ALL go...sold all my hard to find parts and such too that took me years to accumulate...no way I could ever get back into it unless I won the lottery.

That is something I should add to this case...I have a buncha parts for the ZJ I got new in the box like a month before I bought the new WJ...they will all be worth money later to sell by themselves, but in the meantime, it is frustrating to just let them sit while I decide...it was lift improvements and stuff but installing that isn't going to increase the value so I'm not going to do it unless I decide to keep it.
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ZJ - 5.9 Limited
WJ - 4.0 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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Unread 09-02-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
007_SuperCoupe
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As to keeping the ZJ, I can't give you a recommendation. But I will tell you what I have done, different vehicle and story, but applicable to your position.

I have a project car, a '92 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe. Factory supercharged and with the right know-how can be turned into a serious sleeper. I bought it with 70k on the odometer 10 years ago, maybe more. It now has 103k on it. I have a growing family (not more kids, but they are growing up). I do have 4 kids though. I had the money 10 years ago to put into it, and boy did I... I built a fairly fast car (for a 4,000 lbs V6) being able to turn high 13s in the 1/4. My next performance step was/is a new built engine to go with the heads I have finished. Long story short, life happened. I was diagnosed with cancer and the next year, I believe I dropped a valve in the motor. I have kept the car but it hasn't moved in 7 years.

I'm always faced with what I want to do to the car, but the reality of what I can do to it. With my kids growing up, they are involved in more and more activities that cost more and more money (my daughter's summer softball league, for example ended up costing about $1500) and that has limited my hobby money. My priorities have always been to my family and after my cancer (plus two recurrences since then) I have neither the time, energy or money to work on the car. So it has sat, outside exposed to the elements for 7 years now.

Since I parked it, I got myself a WJ (now own 2, but one is with my son at college), and the Jeep bug has bit me. Repairs are nothing more that opportunities to "improve" on the stock design...since I have to fix it anyway...right? Well, that has led me to lose interest in my Super Coupe. I still love it and would like to "someday" finish it, but for now it sits. And because of that, I have lost some interest in it and have considered parting with it.

This car has been featured in a couple different Thunderbird calendars; pictures of it help sell the custom hood I had made for it (and is now an available aftermarket hood). In the Super Coupe community it is one of the most recognizable SCs out there. It has been put on to shirts by some punk in CA who did so without permission even. But it sits and continues to deteriorate over time. I have thousands into the car and have thousands more in parts that sit unused in my garage.

Just a couple days ago, someone I have no idea who they are, posted a picture of it to Facebook to a group I belong to. So it continues to be a car that is recognizable and a look that other SC owners want to emulate. Yet, I am seriously considering selling it. I look to the future for my decision. How soon can I put that $10k engine in it? When will I be able to back it up with the $3500-$5000 transmission to handle the power? When will I be able to replace the ruined interior from the 7 years of sitting? When will I be able to get the $10k paint job to make it look like it did in it's prime? Truth is I have no idea when I will be able to tackle any of that. My spare $$ has been spent outfitting my family for hunting and my Jeep. Now I have a new-to-me Overland that needs a lot of TLC, so the sale of the SC would go a long way to upgrading the WJ.

I can't tell you what my recommendation is, but as my example shows, even if you decide to keep it (like I did my SC) it could be there for years to come with nothing more done than what is now.

If someone offered me enough today, I would sell it in a heart beat. Not because I no longer want it, but I do want some one who will be able to get it back on the road to enjoy it.

Probably no help to you, but might help direct your decision making process.
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Unread 09-02-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
nickfast
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Side question: which SC are we talking about here?
Used to be moderately active on SCCOA when I had my '89.
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Unread 09-02-2014, 05:15 PM   #7
FastSUV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007_SuperCoupe View Post
As to keeping the ZJ, I can't give you a recommendation. But I will tell you what I have done, different vehicle and story, but applicable to your position.

I have a project car, a '92 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe. Factory supercharged and with the right know-how can be turned into a serious sleeper. I bought it with 70k on the odometer 10 years ago, maybe more. It now has 103k on it. I have a growing family (not more kids, but they are growing up). I do have 4 kids though. I had the money 10 years ago to put into it, and boy did I... I built a fairly fast car (for a 4,000 lbs V6) being able to turn high 13s in the 1/4. My next performance step was/is a new built engine to go with the heads I have finished. Long story short, life happened. I was diagnosed with cancer and the next year, I believe I dropped a valve in the motor. I have kept the car but it hasn't moved in 7 years.

I'm always faced with what I want to do to the car, but the reality of what I can do to it. With my kids growing up, they are involved in more and more activities that cost more and more money (my daughter's summer softball league, for example ended up costing about $1500) and that has limited my hobby money. My priorities have always been to my family and after my cancer (plus two recurrences since then) I have neither the time, energy or money to work on the car. So it has sat, outside exposed to the elements for 7 years now.

Since I parked it, I got myself a WJ (now own 2, but one is with my son at college), and the Jeep bug has bit me. Repairs are nothing more that opportunities to "improve" on the stock design...since I have to fix it anyway...right? Well, that has led me to lose interest in my Super Coupe. I still love it and would like to "someday" finish it, but for now it sits. And because of that, I have lost some interest in it and have considered parting with it.

This car has been featured in a couple different Thunderbird calendars; pictures of it help sell the custom hood I had made for it (and is now an available aftermarket hood). In the Super Coupe community it is one of the most recognizable SCs out there. It has been put on to shirts by some punk in CA who did so without permission even. But it sits and continues to deteriorate over time. I have thousands into the car and have thousands more in parts that sit unused in my garage.

Just a couple days ago, someone I have no idea who they are, posted a picture of it to Facebook to a group I belong to. So it continues to be a car that is recognizable and a look that other SC owners want to emulate. Yet, I am seriously considering selling it. I look to the future for my decision. How soon can I put that $10k engine in it? When will I be able to back it up with the $3500-$5000 transmission to handle the power? When will I be able to replace the ruined interior from the 7 years of sitting? When will I be able to get the $10k paint job to make it look like it did in it's prime? Truth is I have no idea when I will be able to tackle any of that. My spare $$ has been spent outfitting my family for hunting and my Jeep. Now I have a new-to-me Overland that needs a lot of TLC, so the sale of the SC would go a long way to upgrading the WJ.

I can't tell you what my recommendation is, but as my example shows, even if you decide to keep it (like I did my SC) it could be there for years to come with nothing more done than what is now.

If someone offered me enough today, I would sell it in a heart beat. Not because I no longer want it, but I do want some one who will be able to get it back on the road to enjoy it.

Probably no help to you, but might help direct your decision making process.
awesome story and I wish you the best on the health issues...I did not have cancer but I still know generally where you are coming from. (side note, I know a TON about natural health and supplements hormones, and such now if you ever need a resource).

So yeah your situation isn't the exact same, but is still comparable. The ZJ is still a functioning vehicle that could be used immediately by me or someone else for camping, hunting or wheeling...It has barely been offroad though up to now. I had visions of grandeur of joining some local Jeep club and making it a family event to go off-raod and the ZJ was the Jeep I had designated for that. If I built it "someday" with 35's and 4.56 gears, etc, then it would be a hit I'm sure with the local guys. I wanted the comradery of the Jeep community and all that stuff..."someday"...just so darn busy and tired that buying this 4.7 H.O. really derailed my plans LOL...I want to fix and upgrade the WJ (and my other daily driver WJ too) before I put another dime into the ZJ.

But then I have expensive parts new in the box that I bought for the ZJ that I could have bought for the WJ if only I had known...whoa as me...LOL But no sense selling them yet until I decide.

The ZJ cost me hardly anything to own since I don't drive it much. it is just the space it takes up and the money I could get for it that makes me think hard about unloading it...I suppose if it went to someone who'd pay me what I wanted and KNEW what it was they were getting...I put a feeler out awhile back over on the ZJ forum but it was all hypothetical at the time so nobody jumped on it...

The tangible and intangible benefits to keeping the ZJ I can figure are:

- 5.9 V8 coolness factor (power, look, options)
- not many people have one
- something special to pass on to my infant daughter someday and to potentially share with her when she is older
- factory limited slip
- most parts are replaced already and under warranty
- spare Jeep (for whatever purpose needed)
- potential comradery with ZJ guys if I join a club
- insurance and tag are dirt cheap
- has ARB bumper installed in case I want to add a winch
- reminds me of being young since I got it in my mid 20's

I could list the negatives too, but they are not really affecting me; it is just obstacles to fix it up better and things that it needs...but even if I won the lotto tomorrow and modded it, it would still be a spare jeep and taking up space.

One of these days, ZJ's and even WJ's will rise in popularity like XJ's and even the older Jeeps like the Cherokee Chiefs and such...those were awesome and 20yrs from now, it will be special to have either a ZJ or WJ in 4wd w/ the solid axles.
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WJ - 4.0 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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Unread 09-02-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
007_SuperCoupe
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickfast
Side question: which SC are we talking about here? Used to be moderately active on SCCOA when I had my '89.
I have the same forum name over there.... 007_SuperCoupe. I had an '89 then got a '92 which is the car I'm talking about. Pictures are on forum threads as opposed to the owner section. I'm not too active on any forum boards any more, probably most active here... (Forums are filled with too many punk kids who know everything there is to know, even though the just got 'X' vehicle 3 months ago...)

If you look on supercoupeperformance.com, my SC is the silver one pictured advertising the '89-'93 cobra r hood with ram air.
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Unread 09-02-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
hahn406
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Nice to see SCCOA brothers on here! My name is ridecontrol on there. Still building my 94 SC when the Jeep's not in the garage.
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Unread 09-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #10
FastSUV
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Location: , oklahoma
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I worked at a Ford Dealership in the early 90's for awhile and got the pleasure of driving a few myself
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ZJ - 5.9 Limited
WJ - 4.0 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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Unread 09-04-2014, 09:14 PM   #11
BSweet
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If you have the space and don't need to sell then I say keep it. I agree the wj rides and drives better. I had an 04 Overland I sold to get my 05 Ram. I bought my son a 5.9 Limited. I always wanted one when new, and the opportunity came up about 2 years ago so I got it. It has high miles but I got a good deal and know what they are. So does he. It will probably stay stock for the most part. If he decides to get something else after college then I will keep it because of what it is.
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Unread 09-04-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
BSweet
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I worked in the parts department at a Jeep dealer when the 5.9 where new and got to drive a few when new. They kicked butt back in the day.
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Unread 09-05-2014, 06:40 AM   #13
leadsled jeep
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I can relate to much of your auto modding experience guys. My passion has been a '93 Mustang well modded over 20 yrs. I raced against a few modded SC's early on as well. Life does happen and passions do change. I feel the pain and tugging myself. My WJ and throwing lead down range these days pulls me from what my Stang final plans were/ may be one day. Tough choice indeed. The right answer I think only you can determine.....
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Chris
'02 Overland 130k+ miles. 245-70-17 GG AT2's. BDS 2" lift, Bilstein 5100's, JKS QDs. Addco Swaybars F/R. Stillen Front Rotors/ Pads. TRE's, BJ's, wheel bearings. 100% Amsoil. I like my rifles like my coffee, hot, black and continually refilled.
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Unread 09-05-2014, 07:59 AM   #14
FastSUV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled jeep View Post
I can relate to much of your auto modding experience guys. My passion has been a '93 Mustang well modded over 20 yrs. I raced against a few modded SC's early on as well. Life does happen and passions do change. I feel the pain and tugging myself. My WJ and throwing lead down range these days pulls me from what my Stang final plans were/ may be one day. Tough choice indeed. The right answer I think only you can determine.....
YES! exactly...but for now, I suppose I will keep it until I at least get the WJ the way I want it...there will be times the WJ is taken apart I'm sure and it might be nice to have the 5.9 in its place to use...of course I have a spare V8 4x4 WJ too, but no lift...my life is a mess! I will probably eventually sell it but I'm building a new house and do not want to mess with selling it until I'm moved anyway.
__________________
ZJ - 5.9 Limited
WJ - 4.0 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 Laredo
WJ - 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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Unread 09-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #15
Cleaner13
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I think the easiest way to decide about selling it is, what can you get for it and picture how you would feel without it... I sold a 99 XJ in 2001 or so and I still regret getting rid of it. The logical part of you will say, this is money that can be invested elsewhere or help with my house/future. The sentimental side of you will say to keep it. What you really need to do is decide, if I sell this, with what I get from selling it, will that make up for the lost sentiment? Now I do not know about your area, but 5.9s here sell for about 2K... In my opinion thats too little money to be worth selling if you are that attached and have 14 years together. Unless I could get a huge amount of money for the sale, in most cases youd feel more comfortable keeping it. Remember if you are not in desperate need of money then it is only money, you have a lifetime to work...
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