Crabtree's ZJ Build -
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The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!Ruffstuff 3 Link Kit!The Ruffstuff Optima Battery Box!

Unread 10-22-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Sonora, California
Posts: 314
Crabtree's ZJ Build

I guess I'll finally make a build thread.

Little bit about me:
I am 18 and I graduated high school last year. I took ROP Auto Shop in high school and I absolutely loved having a wrench in my hand, taking things apart and putting them back together. I decided to make a career out of it and I am now attending Universal Technical Institute, Sacramento CA in their Diesel and Industrial Mechanics program. I had a job but they decided that they couldn't afford to pay me anymore so money is a bit tight right now. I'm going to finish writing a letter of recommendation that my High School Auto Shop teacher said that he would sign for me and hopefully that will help me get a job in the industry.

Little bit about the ZJ:
I was incredibly blessed to have my father decide to purchase my first car for me, my 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 5.2L V8. We got her with 187,XXX Miles on her for $1,500. Very clean CarFax report. CarFax recommends that she is worth about $800 MORE than retail value.

Things that I've already done to my ZJ:
-Valve Cover Gaskets
-New PCM
-New Coolant Reservoir
-VIC Removal, need to fix it and put it back in or get a cubby
-PlastiDip'd some stuff (Grille and those little things on the C pillars towards the top of the jeep)

What I want to do (eventually):
Eventually I want to turn her into a weekend warrior wheeler. You know, the whole 6in lift, exoskeleton, the whole 9. One of the ones that you can't legally drive on the street and need to tow it wherever you want to 4 wheel. I guess my list (as of now) is this:

-6" (or so) lift kit, done properly and with good quality parts
-Automatic to Manual Conversion
-Switch out the differentials to something stronger, lower gear ratios, and with e-lockers
-A true 4wd Tcase (I have the All-time 4 t-case)

For now I am trying to get her in good condition to be my daily driver. I've had some electrical gremlins. Most of anything you see here will probably be small fixes and DIY mods until I get enough $$ for a Budget Boost. I won't be doing any large lifts for a while (Until I finish school, get my career going, and can afford a big ol' diesel truck to haul her around with). I tend to get bored and try to find something to do so you'll probably see some experimenting.

Current list of things to do:
-Clean and tighten all grounds
-Zip Tie PCM connector to PCM
-Install the parts that I got from Pick-N-Pull today. Those consist of: Battery tray, Battery Hold down strap+Bolts, Vacuum Reservoir, Vacuum line, One Valve Cover Bolt/Stud/thing, One visor clip
-Fix VIC, Put back in
-Figure out a way to connect my aftermarket stereo to the dimmer switch
-Fix the lights behind the A/C Controls (None work)
-Maybe do some aftermarket light strips inside the jeep
-Get my HAM license + Radio. My dad is a HAM operator and has been pushing for me to get my license for years. He has gone to the point of telling me that if I get my license then he buy me a radio for the jeep. Might as well get the license, not sure if I want the hand out though.
-Take the PlastiDip off of the Grille, Paint it with engine enamel as the plastidip is peeling from wind.
-2" Budget boost when and if I find the spare cash. Maybe around christmas time.
-My offroad lights are wired to a switch that is mounted under my dash, I want to mount a switch inside my dash and wire it to there (make it look a little better). Maybe do the VIC to cubby switch and wire it there.
-Pull off my roof racks and paint them (paint is peeling)
-Get the gasket that goes on top of my throttle body (throttle body to intake gasket? IDK what to call it) and put it on as I do not have one
-Paint my offroad lights. About 6+ months ago I sanded the surface rust off and used primer on them but I need to actually do it right (Primer and then real paint)
-Brake Check

I think that's about it

Here is my photobucket album where I am uploading all my ZJ photos:

JohnCrabtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-31-2013, 11:19 PM   #2
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Sonora, California
Posts: 314
I had a coolant leak, my father reccomended that I run her with the radiator cap pressure released so that it doesn't leak as fast. She was running fine at 70 mph and 210 degrees then shot straight to 260 and started smoking. I pulled over, let her cool way down, added coolant to radiator with her running, put the cap back on, and let her cool some more. After she got down to ~185 i started her and ran her at a high idle, shot straight back up to 245 an i shut her off. Let it cool to 185 again, same result. Waiting for a tow truck to tow her to my place right now. Towing her to my dad's on sat where we will try to fix her.

JohnCrabtree is offline   Reply With Quote

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