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Unread 09-25-2010, 05:13 PM   #1
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Brown Betty - 1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0L

This is my first post in my first ever build thread!

Repairs / maintenance / mods performed prior to starting my build thread:

DONE BY ME!!
1. Replaced corroded factory radiator with new aluminum one from radiator.com
2. Replaced front passenger power window regulator and motor with JY pull.
3. Replaced both passenger door lock actuators / latches with JY pulls.
4. Tune-up, using cheap Autozone kit with Bosch platinum plugs.
4a. Replaced platinum plugs with Champion copper plugs.
5. Drained, inspected, cleaned, filled front and rear differential.
6. Removed and cleaned throttle body and IAC, Seafoamed upper engine, injectors, and combustion chamber.
7. Replaced all brake pads and rotors, fully bled brakes.
8. Replaced front u-joint style half-axle with CV-joint style. (Temporary while I replace the broken u-joint and ABS reluctor ring on the original.)
9. Rewired some crazy-arsed electrical work the PO had done... had cut off the positive battery cable, then bypassed the alternator and had the starter wired directly to the positive battery terminal with a skinny wire and a clamp that looked like it came off a Yugo or something.
9a. Replaced battery, corroded cable clamps, and sprayed them liberally with the red stuff.
10. Replaced all the burned out corner and turn signal light bulbs, and bulbs for tranny and transfer case shifters.
11. Replaced the Center Console with JY pull that actually had a lid/armrest.
11a. Peeled back carpet from around the shift levers, and removed / vaccumed out 10 years worth of paper clips, Happy Meal toys, ballpoint pens, ATM receipts, Legos, and Corn Nuts(TM) left by PO.
12. Replaced the header panel with a pull from another JF member
13. Fabbed / redneck-rigged a rear hatch latch repair to replace the little spring clip that allows the power actuator to lock and unlock the latch.
14. Replaced destroyed idler pulley and shredded serpentine belt.
15. Drilled out AC evaporator drain hole, repaired leaky seam around it with JB Weld, cured water on floor affliction!
16. Full coolant system backflush and fill, and removed and scrubbed overflow reservoir.
17. Washer fluid pump replaced, rear washer nozzle replaced and tubing cleaned out, and rear wiper fixed!

Done by qualified professional automotive repair technicians:

1. Four new Milestar SU307 235/70 R15 tires mounted.
2. ECM, ECM wiring harness, and wiring from harness to transmission and engine replaced.
3. New catalytic converter welded in.

MODIFICATIONS:
1. Trimmed front bumper, herculined.
2. Herculined Laredo cladding and rear bumper.
3. Removed sagging, peeling, flapping headliner fabric, and trim fabric from overhead console and sun visors- herculined all.
4. KOR Front Radiator Support / Recovery Points
5. JKS Tie rod & tie rod ends.
6. Herculined some interior and exterior trim.
7. Flowmaster series 70 muffler (2.25" inlet/outlet)

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Unread 09-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Pictures of Mods to-date:

(1) Herculined bumper and grille
(2) Herculined cladding
(3) Herculined headliner and console
img00233-20100925-1821.jpg   img00234-20100925-1822.jpg   img00239-20100925-1824.jpg  
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Unread 09-25-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
25SEP2010 - KOR Radiator Support w/ D-ring Shackles

This morning I mounted up my KOR Radiator Support. My front crossmember is all bent in and it tweaked my frame rails a tiny bit, so I had to use a BFH to encourage the last corner to go on. Smashed the crap out of my index finger in the process. I have a bruise under my fingernail.

I had a devil of a time getting the lock nuts into place through the oval cutout in the front crossmember until I figured out how to wedge a 17mm box wrench in there against the top of the frame rail and ratchet away on the bolt.

It looks GREAT though, on tight and feels very solid. I gained a few inches of approach angle out of the deal in addition to strong front recovery points. I didn't realize how far down my previous radiator was riding.. and apprently when I replaced it I didn't put the bottom brackets of the AC Condenser around the plastic guide posts on the bottom of the radiator.

Sorry for the lousy quality on the second pic... it is meant to show the condenser brackets tucked nicely in the KOR support and the complete lack of anything hanging down.

Don't mind the V-style front crossmember...

The whole assembly vibrates less now, and looks much cleaner.
img00235-20100925-1823.jpg   img00221-20100925-1407.jpg  
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Rear Recovery, PT I

Found a nice Class III tow hitch on a 95 ZJ Limited in a local junkyard. I got it for $50.

I went to Home Depot and bought (2) 12mm X 1.75 Grade 8.8 bolts, (4) 12mm Grade 8.8 hex nuts, and (6) each matching size hardened lock washers and thick flat washers.

De-rusted the hitch with a wire wheel, and sanded it down with 80-grit sandpaper.

Washed it with Simple Green degreaser and then when dry wiped it with acetone to get rid of any residual crud. I then primed it with sandable automotive primer and then hit it with two good coats of rattlecan bedliner. It looks nice.

Mounted it up and torqued it to spec according to FSM. Very happy with the results.
hitch_-_front_recovery_hardware_bedlined.jpg   hitch_mounted_dont_mind_the_feets_lol.jpg   more_hitch_love.jpg  
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
More bedlining. Can't get enough.

The rear louvers were looking pretty sad and faded, as well as the little strips separating the rear window run channels from the rear quarter window piece.

That strip was looking downright metallic. I don't want any exterior part of Brown Betty to be any color other than brown or flat black, except for glass and lighting.

Sorry for the night photos.
rear_louvre_bedlined.jpg   img00274-20101004-2121.jpg  
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Unread 10-10-2010, 03:40 AM   #6
fventura03
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Niceee
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Unread 11-30-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Front End work!

Installed a new JKS heavy duty tie rod, some tie rod ends, and a new drag link, along with a Rancho steering stabilizer.

Front end feels tight, and she steers smooth like butta!
img00365-20101121-2208.jpg   img00366-20101121-2209.jpg  
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Unread 11-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Headlights restored!

Used the 3M kit and installed some GE 9004 halogen bulbs.... OMG what a difference, not only in appearance but in light output.

The first pic shows an original yellowed lamp with a sanded but not polished one for comparison, then a polished one in comparison, and finally a close-up of the final product. The one in the close up was the yellowed one in the other two pics.
img00318-20101112-1520.jpg   img00323-20101112-1600.jpg   img00324-20101112-1601.jpg  
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
Replaced the starter with a remanufactured one from Advance Auto. I normally buy my actual parts at NAPA, but the heep was dead in the driveway and Advance Auto was willing to deliver the part to my home, for free. I thought my next battery would be an Optima yellow top, but the one I had in was junk, and I needed something RIGHT THEN, so I had them also being me their top of the line Autocraft Gold, for about $100 less than the Optima would have cost.

I was actually impressed with the part I got, it felt solid and put together tightly. The wiring from the starter from the solenoid was in a braided jacket, and best of all, every seam was sealed with silicone... I wasn't expecting that from a $60.00 part. Can see the sealing if you look close. All the hardware is a corrosion-resistant treated metal, too. (And you can see the Mopar oil filter peeking out the background of the picture, too... lol i didn't mean to put the Jeep logo facing the camera, but it worked out good.)



On the battery pic you can see my nice new battery terminals and negative cables on my new 800CCA battery.
img-20110413-00079.jpg   img-20110413-00095.jpg  
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #10
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
There are a few items I built up into Brown Betty, but didn't document in photos. I am ashamed... but here they are:

1. Replaced Transmission / Rear Engine Mount, replaced. Old mount was junk, it was so soaked in oil from a rear-main seal leak that the rubber was so spongy you could push a screwdriver right through it.

2. Replaced both Engine Mounts, which were in bad shape. The driver's side mount was cracked clean through, and soaked in power steering fluid which had soaked right into the rubber. The passenger side was dry and cracked and had no spring left.


Brothers, I am here to tell you that replacing all the Engine Mounts was like buying a new truck. The reduction in vibration and harshness is night and day. I can barely feel through my butt when I shift from Reverse to Drive and vice-versa. I swear it also helps the braking and take-off at the lights.


3. I replaced all the front and rear swaybar bushings with greasable poly bushings i bought from Kolak. The old ones were so chewed up and disintegrated I can't even imagine the swaybars were doing their job. I can definately feel an improvement when cornering, and even a little when switching lanes at speed.

Here is a pic of one of the front ones mounted: They get greased along with ball joints, TREs, etc. when I change the oil.
img-20110413-00080.jpg  
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
Osboy1
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
STUFF I DID BUT DID NOT DOCUMENT- continued

4. Replaced the parking brake shoes... one on the passenger side was worn down to the metal and all three of the others were cracked and glazed beyond recognition. The springs were nice and sound, and the star nut were in fine shape. The actuating arms, which often freeze up and fuse together with rust, were in fine shape.

I bought the all four shoes for about $20 at Autozone, and got the brake spoon and spring pliers at O'reilly for about $15 for both.

Protip:

When you put the shoes back on and wrestle the clips into place, and the high tension springs, and carefully insert the star nut adjuster in the bottom... do not be afraid to really snug that bastard in there.

See, if you DON'T really snug the star nut adjuster in between the shoes, when you go to adjust it with the brake spoon or screwdriver after you've got the rotor and caliper back on.... you will push it right out of its groove... and into the inside of the rotor.

Ask me how I know!


After adjusting both sides tight, the parking brake works great in forward and reverse. Now I can pas TX state inspection!
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:56 PM   #12
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
LIFT KIT IS IMMINENT


I finally ordered my lift components from Kolak. Behold, in all their beauty and splendor:

2x Old Man Emu Heavy Duty springs, Front
2x Old Man Emu Heavy Duty springs, Rear
4x Procomp MX-6 monotube shocks. Six-way adjustable!

I am going to install the kit this weekend if I don't get called in to work late on Friday night. I hope I don't I am really excited about it. Watch this space for updates!!!
img-20110413-00103.jpg  
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Unread 04-13-2011, 10:07 PM   #13
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
31 x 10.5 x 15 Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2

Test Fit, and Street Performance

I mounted the 31's on the ZJ, on the Vision Warrior 375 wheels. They look FANTASTIC. I can't wait to see them under the 2.5" lift...

Sorry for the night shots. I am going to take better pics in the morning. I hated the way the chrome-ish center caps looks, so I painted the wheel hubs black and left the caps off. Some black lug nuts should complete the look.

As far as how they drive and feel, like buttah! They rub if I go over a bump steeper than my driveway, so I am being very careful. Can't wait to put the lift on and try them out for real.
img-20110413-00100.jpg   img-20110413-00097.jpg   img-20110413-00096.jpg  
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Unread 04-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #14
98jeepzj
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Did you sand the plastic down before you herculined it? I've been looking for a way to paint them for a while.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
Osboy1
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 220
More Trim and Paint

A few items I did here and there but did not previously document:


Also added a D-ring hitch receiver, for recovery purposes.


Also, painted the antenna and antenna mount the same flat black as the rest of my trim.
img-20110413-00107.jpg   img-20110413-00110.jpg  
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