97 ZJ 'Ugly Betty' Build - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Builds > 97 ZJ 'Ugly Betty' Build

Tactical Recovery Equipment Soft Shackles!!!50% Off Sale at KrawlOff-Road.com50" LED CREE Light Bar Pair With Wiring Kit

Reply
Unread 01-12-2015, 11:09 PM   #1
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
97 ZJ 'Ugly Betty' Build

I guess i'll start with the basics, she's a '97 ZJ Laredo with the 5.2, 42RE, and np249 combo. Back when I first bought it:


I Drove it and worked out a few bugs in the mechanical side of things, did a full tune-up fluid exchange etc.
The first 'Mod' was a 2" lift.

Before:


After:


Then I went and wheeled it.... Plenty.





McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-12-2015, 11:24 PM   #2
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
After a while I decided to pull the front plastic bumper cover, and while I was at it, I painted the rest of the trim black.


I took it wheeling more after that, and on this trip, popped a bead...



I ended up sliding about 40 feel down a steep mountainside and had to recover myself with a little 2klb come-along winch.


Open diffs with almost bald tires don't fare well with steep, icy conditions.

Later, I mounted some rack lights and a Hi-Lift Jack on my front bumper.


Then finally got some new shoes for the old girl. 31X10.50 Goodyear Wrangler Authorities


Did some early-winter wheeling




Broke my front driveshaft that trip trying to pull out that F-250...

Made Myself a PVC flagpole for ****s-n-grins.


I got a little cocky with my now rear wheel drive ZJ, and got her stuck in some mud...

McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-12-2015, 11:35 PM   #3
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Here we are, spring of 2014, I went on a trip to Moab with my good friend, and went doorless just to try it out.



I Got myself a front driveshaft for this trip in Grand junction, and got to use it for a good hour or so before the CV blew up....


Ended up running it for a while in 2X4 as funds were short, but it still preformed very well for being a rear wheel drive rig.


Now here is where the story takes a bit of a turn. Late summer 2014, I decided to take a solo trip up in the mountains in rear-wheel drive of course.


I got caught on a patch of ice and before i knew it... BAM! Right into a tree. :


Now, at this point I was debating weather or not to try to recover the beast as I only had liability so I couldn't collect any insurance compensation. I decided it has been so reliable and still has such solid mechanics, I decided to keep it. The damage was not too bad, only about 3 or so inches of the frame on the passenger side got bent.


Got the broken fascia off - for the most part.
McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-12-2015, 11:48 PM   #4
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
I then began to fab a 'stubby' bumper/winch plate. Progress was slow as this is my DD and I need a way to get to work, but this is the beginnings of revival.




And now, here it sits, up to date.





Future plans:
Finish up the stubby bumper, possibly do some tube work to 'finish' it off more.
attempt to hunt down a header panel and maybe a 5.9 grille.
3.5" lift
Custom rock rails
Custom roof rack
Custom rear bumper/tire carrier

I've got a parts Jeep coming to my house around March with a np242 in it so when that comes i'll be pulling that apart and rebuilding it then replacing my blown 249 with it.
McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-25-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
Onew1ckedzj
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 29
I like that stubby bumper idea! . . got any pics of how you mounted it? Im assuming youll add some protection to the front of it to protect the radiator? Sucks about the tree, they always seem to come out of no where lol . . nice build keep up the good work!
Onew1ckedzj is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-26-2015, 11:03 PM   #6
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
TThanks! Its just mounted with some basic grade 8 hardware with nuts welded to the brackets. Nothing spectacular. I was going for max approach angle with a winch, so this is what i went with. Id also not seen many zjs with a stubby setup so i figured I'd give it a go. Hopefully I'll be getting a tuhe bender soon and finish it off more.

Quick update: I'll be getting the parts jeep in the next couple of weeks instead of march, so I'll have some fun with that... half doors, tcase, ujoints in the front end... some fun to be had.
__________________
Project Ugly Betty
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-ugly-betty-build-2948561/
McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #7
Onew1ckedzj
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 29
Nice! ill be watching for updates, interested to see how it all comes together!
Onew1ckedzj is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-15-2015, 10:21 PM   #8
McColorado
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Got some work done on the Jeep over the weekend. First off, I found a Header panel with a grille in great condition, so I went and picked it up for a great price. Went to put it on and was a little disappointed with my miss-measurements on my bumper, and ended up having to cut off my light tabs. But overall, the jeep looks way cleaner now- The lights were going to be relocated anyway. Here's how it looks:





Then I did the marker lights mod with simple JY parts. Tail light pigtails out of a 94 zj and some markers off of a pre-96 ZJ. I ended up using a 2357NA bulb, and the voltage is perfect! No more fast blinker with the headlight on!



And a quick teaser of my next fab project.....



Found a brush guard for an absolute steal, so I've began cutting into it, and I will soon fit it to the bumper. I'll be doing a U-Joint front end swap when I get the time, and The next step will be a higher lift. (3.5-4.5") not 100% sure yet. That's all for now!
__________________
Project Ugly Betty
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/97-zj-ugly-betty-build-2948561/
McColorado is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.