97 ZJ, My Rubicon Replacement Build. - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 45 Old 09-06-2011, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
97 ZJ, My Rubicon Replacement Build.

The "Rig"
97 ZJ Laredo, Bone stock.
Paid $2300.00
179,000 miles
4.0L inline 6
I guess I will first start off by saying that my 2004 Rubicon that I bought brand spanking new in 2003 can never be replaced. I fell asleep and put her into a concrete barrier. She saved my life, the cops couldn't believe I was standing there talking to them like nothing happened. I got away with a broken rib and busted nose. I will post a pic of her for reference, but this thread is about my new project and not the one sitting my driveway waiting for someone to buy her and turn her into a trail rig. This ZJ does not have a name yet, when I figure it out I will post about it. I am one of those people that treats their jeep like a family member. I loved my Rubi as much as a person can love something that isn't living and breathing. I bought this ZJ off of a lady in her mid-50's. She bought it new, her husband did the maintenance & upkeep after the warranty expired. It has never been "off-roading", living in West Virginia we have county roads that require 4x4 at times. Cosmetically this jeep is amazing. The engine is sound, no ticks or weird noises. The A/C does not work, she did not have it charged because she got a new jeep in the spring. The valve cover does have a minor oil leak, nothing major at all. The radiator was just replaced, her husband did this & judging by how well he did this I am confident he knew how to work on and maintain a jeep. The jeep also needs new tires and rims. According to KBB I got a really good deal on this jeep. The Select-trac works perfectly. I am sad that I will not have lockers(for the time being). This will be a slow build because I only had liability on my Rubicon when I wrecked it. I bought what I could afford, and pretty much wiped out my bank account to get this. I wont finance a vehicle ever again. So till I can sell the Rubi money will be tight. So this is what I have and this is what I will pour my heart, my soul, my blood, and of course my paychecks into.






Last edited by Gaara123; 09-06-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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post #2 of 45 Old 09-06-2011, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
This is a picture of my 04 Rubicon that I wrecked. If anyone is interested 5grand gets you the title. Like I said though this thread is not about selling my Rubi, its about my new ZJ. If I dont get her sold as a whole I am going to rob everything I can use on the ZJ before I part her out.
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post #3 of 45 Old 09-06-2011, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
The night I got my ZJ I stopped at wally world and got some Rotella 5W40 Full syn, oil filter, and 2 cans of sea foam. I put on bottle in the tank when I filled up and put half a bottle in the crank case, and half a bottle in the Vacuum system. I swear by seafoam. The next day I changed the oil, shampooed the carpets, washed, waxed pretty much detailed most of her till a storm rolled in. I also swapped the rims off of my wrecked Rubicon, got rid of the doughnut put my full size spare in it. The 265 75 16 do rub just a little when I turn the wheel just a little, but it stops when I turn more or less. It will do until I lift and get the 285 75 16's along with new rims with less backspacing.

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post #4 of 45 Old 09-06-2011, 04:50 PM
Pre5tig3
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1991 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Coon Rapids
Posts: 824
Sorry to here about the tj but the zj looks sweet im looking for one for myself hopefully within the next couple months so what lift do you plan on running?

91 XJ 5" 35s c4x4 winch bumper IRO long arms (The wheeler)
96 Volvo 850 t5 wagon
1969 c20
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post #5 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
Honestly, I'm thinking rough country 3.5 right now. Im really only concerned about getting it high enough for the 285 65 16. I'm also gonna go with black rock "8's" or there "D" with 4.25 back spacing. I just have to get better tires on her before winter or I'll be walking up my mountain of a driveway when the white stuff comes. I don't really plan on going much higher or bigger tires, but I will want more flex and articulation once I start really building this rig. Still not sure about what I'm gonna do with my rear axle. It's a shame I have perfect Dana 44 with a locker sitting in my driveway that won't fit on this without more fab work than I can handle. I'm also dead set on treadwright retreads with the kedge grip. I may be asking for trouble, but im one of those stubborn gotta learn it the hard way guys.

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #6 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
285 75 16. I put 65 in my last reply. Also I installed a throttle body spacer and restored the headlight today. I'll take pics when the sun comes up.

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #7 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 03:26 AM
Sgt.Fuzz
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,481
I'll follow along.

My build:
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
Since I put on the throttle body spacer the engine revs between 1st and second... I put some Lucas transmission conditioner in it. Let's hope that fixes the problem. If not, spacer will be coming off tonight.

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #9 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141

This is after the headlight restore. I didn't get a before picture but if you look at the pictures above you can tell it is a drastic improvement. 20$ well spent. Now I need to look into some offroad lighting. Or fabing a light bar.

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #10 of 45 Old 09-07-2011, 07:18 PM
Irongrave
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Flroence
Posts: 1,666
take the axles motor trans and t-case out of the TJ and put them in the ZJ

Current
2002 WJ 2wd DD
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post #11 of 45 Old 09-08-2011, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
T-case is lunched, and I haven't been able to find any info on swapping the others. If it didn't require welding beyond my abilities I would do it in a heartbeat. I'm sure its possible, i'm just not sure its feasible. If you have links to threads, or info? I am more than willing to read up on it. It would be nice to get back my lockers and engine I know has been taken care of. If someone doesnt buy her in the next week or two I may get under them both and start really taking a look at it. It would make for one mean ZJ.
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post #12 of 45 Old 09-08-2011, 06:23 AM
Irongrave
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Flroence
Posts: 1,666
the front axle will bolt in place of the dana 30 up front. I'm not 100% on the rear but I think the mounts are the same one a ZJ and TJ for the rear axle

Current
2002 WJ 2wd DD
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post #13 of 45 Old 09-09-2011, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
Cleaned the throttle body and sensors last night. Idles and runs a lot smoother. Overdrive is working again. Still stutters or misses when I push the throttle down at highway speeds. May need new wires, plugs, & a cap. Or just some octane booster. Any ideas or comments would be appreciated. Fuel filter maybe?

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #14 of 45 Old 09-10-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
I'm going to be ordering new rims and tires Monday. I'm getting 16 x 8 4.25 BS. Black rock steel "8's" or D holes. I'm also dead set on treadwright 285 75 16 guard dogs with kedge grip.
My question is this. Should I get 4 or 5? I'm weighing the pros vs the cons? If i don't get it I'm saving about $225. I will also have more room in the trunk. I carry a small air compressor and plug kit. My fear is if it's a gash in the sidewall and can't be plugged. If I do get it I can work it into tire rotations and extend the set of tires a little. Opinions and suggestions would be appreciated. Also, do any of you have first hand experience about putting airsoft bb's in your tired when you mount them? I haven't seen this discussed in a long time. Thanks.

My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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post #15 of 45 Old 09-15-2011, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
Gaara123
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alum Creek
Posts: 141
I dropped the Transmission pan, changed the filter replaced it, cleaned the O2 sensors, refilled. Also came home from work and it looked like santa had been here!


My ZJ build, check it out follow along. Advice, tips, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are always welcome.

My Build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-my-rubicon-replacement-build-1261698/
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