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Unread 10-14-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Black Betty 97 ZJ Build Weekend Wheeler

Some details on the Jeep to start off.
It is a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with a L6 (straight 6) motor also known as the 4.slow, it has a 242 transfer case, D30 in the front with a D35 in the rear, tan leather interior, heated seats, auto adjustment for driver and passenger seats.

Background:
This Jeep was my grandpas, owned it for about 2 years, until it was passed down to me. He was auto mechanic in his prime but as far as I know didn't do much to this Jeep because of his age. I know he did get anything that broke fixed right away at his sons, my uncles, auto body shop. To sum it up he never did much driving but did most of the maintance it required. Before his passing the Jeep was loaned to my uncle who in my eyes torn it to sh*t and then complained it was a piece of junk. After my grandpas passing my uncles decided it would be best to give it to me because of my interest in cars. Upon picking the Jeep up from my uncles it had more lights on and more leaves and dirt on the inside then I could ever image. My brother and I put some where around 12 hours trying to get it cleaned up, refilling the fluids, etc. The Jeep was then driven by my brother since i was only 14 when it was given to me. He changed the tires to larger all/terrain tires before taking it on a road trip from Illinois to California and then to somewhere on the east coast. That winter he took it to Canada where he spent the winter skiing. When i turned 15 it was all mine to learn to drive and I was never so excited. Since my 15th birthday to now about 6 months away from my 18th birthday the Jeep that I call mine has come a long way.

Upgrades:
This is a daily driver but I do like to wheel it as much I can. I don't have any per-say plans for this Jeep but know what I want. So any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Current:

img_2152_zpsc32bf58b.jpg  

Last edited by 949702jeeps; 04-10-2014 at 05:51 PM..
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Unread 11-08-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Ok so I can seem to find any of the pictures I took of I stock but this how it looked for about two years until I started working on it at my work.
image.jpg

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Unread 03-31-2014, 09:15 PM   #3
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
So I was never able to update this thread due to lack of a laptop so here goes. First thing I did was a 2 inch budget boost from Rubicon Express (definitely worth the money for new shocks). After the lift my brother and I took it wheeling at The Cliffs Insane Terrain where we spent most of the day with a stock Nissan Pathfinder. On our way back to the entrance to have lunch, i was following the Pathfinder through a rocky creek when the front up of the Pathfinder when way up then slammed down. We both got out to look at the damage and noticed the rock he had gone over smashed into his oil pan and started leaking oil like crazy. So of course he had to race back to the entrance before he run out of oil. My brother and I kept wheeling by ourselves for awhile when we tried a hole that wasn't every long but looked pretty deep. I told him to go for it which he did but we couldn't make it over the lip at the end and then couldn't back out because the hitch dug in so the only way we could think to get out was for one of us to drive and the other to push. I got back behind the wheel and my brother pushed while I slammed it in reverse and made it out of the whole but with one casualty... my front bumper. My whole bumper was laying in the hole with the grill half ripped off. Pictures of the lift and damage soon. Time to start looking for a new bumper.
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Unread 04-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
First some stock pictures I was able to find as well as the first thing I did which was paint the wheels. Next I painted the slid cladding, bumpers, and grill to match the paint. Last but not least the after 2 inch bb pictures. I almost forgot I always took the doors off for a day.
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Unread 04-10-2014, 04:30 PM   #5
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Let the pictures begin
2012-02-24070913_zpse90fd0a8.jpg   2012-04-30213032_zps4918e9a8.jpg   2012-05-08153337_zpscfce8142.jpg   2012-06-26182407_zps00c20b39.jpg   2012-08-16172155_zps405be5d9.jpg  

2012-08-25144911_zps4d7dd178.jpg   2012-06-04135649_zps1e29b354.jpg  

Last edited by 949702jeeps; 04-10-2014 at 05:04 PM..
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Unread 04-10-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Here are some photos from The Cliffs Insane Terrain in Marseilles Illinois with my brother. Jeep only had a 2 inch Budget boost and some semi bald all terrains. Last photos is what i had to fix.
2012-10-06105320_zps75d1472d.jpg   2012-10-06115801_zpsc108c7e6.jpg   2012-10-06115820_zps4c4a0882.jpg   2012-10-06120138_zps85895631.jpg   2012-10-06120153copy_zps19de9845.jpg  

2012-10-06131238_zpsd01c7829.jpg   2012-10-06131248_zps54ecdb16.jpg   2012-10-07132707_zps637141f4.jpg  

Last edited by 949702jeeps; 04-10-2014 at 05:07 PM..
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Unread 04-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #7
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Next came Halloween where I had to put a coffin on my roof and drive around time and to school, I wish I could have taken pictures of peoples faces they were priceless. Changed the front and rear diff fluid and repainted the covers. Hit 135,000 miles!! Anyways I ended up getting steel bumper build by a local guy instead of putting my stock bumper back on. Only requirement the new bumper was drilling holes in the unibody for support and move the charcoal canister so it wouldn't be hanging down. After I had painted and installed the bumper I decided it was time for a new exhaust that would make the Jeep sound like it was running so shoot Kolak an email then next thing you know I had a whole new exhaust from the down pipe back. Finally I tinted the tail lights with some VHT Nightshades. Last two photos are of my friend and fellow Jeep forum member Andrew (jeep01ah) working on our Jeeps in my garage.
2012-10-31070945_zpsa1c462f2.jpg   2012-11-25160703_zps1a22b22f.jpg   2012-12-26172732_zps1f8b3a9c.jpg   2013-01-03160558_zps23b04cf5.jpg   2013-01-05115812_zps19544d3c.jpg  

2013-01-08162236_zps11e0d977.jpg   2013-01-08162300_zps75542524.jpg   2013-01-09170256_zpsef9a915a.jpg   2013-01-12145214_zps3ac89d02.jpg   2013-01-15184233_zps3725070e.jpg  


Last edited by 949702jeeps; 04-10-2014 at 05:40 PM..
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Unread 04-10-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Photos continues also added a lithe damage my bumper took the first winter I had it not sure how it happened.
2013-02-11112422_zps410f41f1.jpg   2013-02-23163600_zps7035a747.jpg   2013-02-24183253_zps1401284d.jpg   2013-03-09180408_zps3d86a65b.jpg   2013-03-16103955_zps280e817c.jpg  

1364218051398_zpsffaa33b5.jpg

1364221752530_zps916b6846.jpg

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Unread 04-10-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
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Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Put in two Kicker CVR 12 inch subs with a Kicker 1000 watt amp. Rattled the Jeep and cars next to me, only problem lost almost all my trunk space. And changed the dome lights to blue.
2012-06-14084225_zps5a80b3b0.jpg   2012-06-11200042_zps1cee5fe0.jpg   2012-06-11200019_zps68c34928.jpg  
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Unread 04-10-2014, 07:42 PM   #10
949702jeeps
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Location: Mundelein, Il
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Then decided to take it wheeling with my friends completely stock WJ 4.7 at The Badlands in Indiana.
img_1904_zpsb2fb1400.jpg   img_1905_zps945658dd.jpg   img_1913_zpsef51ee3d.jpg   img_1916_zpsc5ce5b94.jpg   img_1921_zps72642770.jpg  

img_1925_zps6be70894.jpg   img_1930_zps80175fb2.jpg   img_1937_zpsa108ff13.jpg   img_1940_zps8d58879d.jpg   img_1942_zpsea2db82e.jpg  

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Unread 04-10-2014, 07:44 PM   #11
949702jeeps
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Location: Mundelein, Il
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Continued
img_1943_zps31ac0d34.jpg   img_1945_zps77da2208.jpg   img_1947_zps3708a7c2.jpg   img_1949_zpsb7c61640.jpg   img_1952_zpsd0c8495e.jpg  

img_1956_zpsa0a6c5e7.jpg   img_1971_zps9b54df2a.jpg   img_1985_zps3a49ff3b.jpg   img_1988_zpscc518976.jpg   img_1991_zps66a94125.jpg  

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Unread 04-10-2014, 08:45 PM   #12
Jeep01AH
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Lake Zurich, IL
Posts: 211
You finally got this updated! Any pictures of the M/Ts? It makes your ZJ look way meaner.
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2001 WJ - 4" Lift | FRESHMAN AT LORAS COLLEGE, DUBUQUE , IOWA | My Build Thread: Jeep01AH's Black 4.7 Build Thread | ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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Unread 04-10-2014, 09:19 PM   #13
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
Next came so used 32's, all 8 new adjustable control arms from Ironrock Offroad, and finally a Skyjackers steering stabilizer. Last picture is of the new control arms and tires flexing a little at a car show.
img_1459_zpsdd001c48.jpg   img_1430_zps9665fa2e.jpg   img_1425_zpsff4091e9.jpg   img_1401_zps68802683.jpg   img_1342_zps420a3c56.jpg  

img_1429_zpsb480ddc0.jpg  
img_1779_zps6706be4a.jpg


Last edited by 949702jeeps; 04-10-2014 at 09:58 PM..
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Unread 04-10-2014, 09:55 PM   #14
949702jeeps
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mundelein, Il
Posts: 19
My ZJ and my brother girlfriends TJ. Then took a trip to The Cliffs again with a offroad club my friend is a part of. Spent the whole night till 2 the night before the trip putting the control arms on. First 5 minutes in and a 2013 JKU Rubicon was rolled on the flex ramp. Last picture is of the height of the mud line that we got stuck in... had to climb out the window to attach the strap.
img_1640_zpsfa4af4bb.jpg   img_2437_zpsc3ba9321.jpg   img_1645_zps8e7beba0.jpg   img_1650_zpsb546119b.jpg   img_1651_zps1b7f563e.jpg  

img_2441_zps6df25216.jpg   img_1657_zps6b9a6dba.jpg   img_1659_zpsd3251b93.jpg   img_2447_zpsd5059ac7.jpg   img_2450_zps3f3b18cc.jpg  

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