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Unread 01-23-2015, 11:19 PM   #1
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
My 96 Zj Build!

Ok so i decided to start a build thread for my Grand Cherokee . . I picked it up last January for $1000! It was in real good shape! and by far the best thousand dollars ive ever spent! Its a 1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo, 5.2L v8 and at the time i bought it had 140k miles . . The PO before me took good care of it and it was clean inside and out! The only thing that really needed to be fixed was a small vacuum leak which had caused the heat to only blow through the defrosters vents which i fixed shortly after at my friends shop.

Some pics of the day i got it!







Parked behind my old zj!





At my friends shop fixing the vacuum leak!



The 5.2 in all its glory accompanied by a nice Optima yellow top!



The leak all fixed!




Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 01-24-2015 at 01:18 AM..
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Unread 01-23-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
I drove it stock for about 2 weeks and then i decided it needed some lift! so i gathered up some parts i had laying around and gave it a little lift!





I used some 2" spacers for the front and threw in some stock xj coils in the rear i had laying around . . I also decided to switch over my D window rims from my other zj onto this one.
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Unread 01-23-2015, 11:43 PM   #3
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
A short time after that i decided to paint the front grill satin black and give the jeep a little photo shoot.











After i decided it would look good with some tint on the tail lights, so i decided to pick up some VHT and black them out.



The finished product i think they came out good!





Also painted over the ugly wood grain with satin black paint.



And the jeeps first off road adventure





And how that first off road adventure ended, took on just a little water lol


Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 01-24-2015 at 01:16 AM..
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Unread 01-24-2015, 12:24 AM   #4
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Fast forward to about May of last year i decided to do the TJ gas bezel mod. It turned out to be a little bit of work getting it on. After taking the gas door off and trying to get the bezel to sit flush i realized it was going to take a little more than just shaving some plastic, in fact i ended up having to cut out the sheet metal around the filler neck, unbolting the filer neck and attaching it to the gas bezel, and then drilling out 4 holes and bolting the bezel to the jeep. Despite the work it took getting it on it sure gave the jeep a nice look!



Around that same time i added my Surco roof basket and took the jeep on a couple adventures.

A day trip out to Long Island NY with my lovely girl friend!



















One of the jeeps random off road trips! Also took the doors off







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Unread 01-24-2015, 12:46 AM   #5
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Then one day in the summer i came home from work to a pile of boxes!





It was a Rough Country 3.5" lift that i had ordered! And after owning and building 2 previous jeeps it was the first ACTUAL kit I ever bought lol . . all of my previous builds were scavenged parts off other jeeps and craigslist

My other builds . .

97 ZJ


2000 XJ


And some examples of parts being transfered and scavenged from jeep to jeep






Installing the new kit on the zj i didnt get a chance to grab some pictures but here is the end result after everything was put on and buttoned up! I also threw my 33" MTZs under it and surprisingly it cleared them nicely for on road use but i knew i was going to have to trim some to wheel it comfortably







Some random pics after the lift and 33s and also you can notice i trimmed the front bumper







Next to my co workers stock zj


Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 01-24-2015 at 01:14 AM..
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Unread 01-24-2015, 12:49 AM   #6
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
After some trimming to the fenders and front bumper i took it offroad to test everything out!







Theres a jeep in this pic somewhere



My girlfriend always loves to come wheeling and wants me to get us muddy any chance i get



The after math of the day and the doors back on


Last edited by Onew1ckedzj; 01-24-2015 at 01:05 AM..
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Unread 01-24-2015, 01:09 AM   #7
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
This is pretty much the most current set up of the jeep . . I added some 2" spacers to the rear of the jeep, and replaced the front track bar with an adjustable double sheer track bar. It currently sits at about 4" up front and 5.5" in the rear, my next addition will be some adjustable coil spacers for the front and some offroad lights or LED light bars.



Ill try to get some up to date pics of the jeep tomorrow, its also sitting on 33" TSLs now and i have swapped out the CV axle shafts for U joint ones, and also converted the front drive shaft to a U joint one. Im also searching now for a 231 or a 242 to swap out the 249
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Unread 01-24-2015, 10:33 PM   #8
McColorado
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 14
nice build so far! Removing the cladding definitely cleaned up the look tons. Did the 33s rub on a 3.5" lift? what trimming was involved?
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Unread 01-25-2015, 01:45 PM   #9
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
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Location: midland park, nj
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The only rubbing that i had was the front corners of the bumper cover and the inside lip of the fenders, i also cut and folded the inside fender well seem to avoid chopping the tires up
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Unread 01-25-2015, 01:55 PM   #10
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Here are the most recent up to date pics of the jeep, took them today.









Currently have the roof rack off of it since they are forecasting up to a foot of snow in my area tomorrow, its a pain cleaning it off and out of the rack lol


A pic of the front shafts swapped over to U joint ones . .



After i trimmed the front fenders i went over them with some rubber edging to clean up the look and protect the paint from chipping.



Some recent body damage from the last time i was out wheeling



When the weather finally warms up i plan to make some quarter armor to cover the dents and add some strength for the next time i slide into a tree



And lastly a couple pics of the interior, added a maglight and mounted it to the center counsel



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Unread 01-25-2015, 01:59 PM   #11
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Two pics from the snow storm that hit us yesterday, dropped about 7 inches . . i also currently dont have the front driveshaft in, after i swapped the u joint yoke on the front pinion every driveshaft that i have come across is either to short or to long -_- so next week im having an xj driveshaft shortend 1 inch and the jeep should be 4wd again, to bad its going to snow tomorrow



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Unread 01-25-2015, 05:39 PM   #12
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Had a reverse light out so i decided today to replace them both with LEDs . . i think they look awesome! and the light out put is really nice as well!

A quick pic, not the best but you get the idea of how they look. Thinking of swapping the license plate lights out with LEDs too.

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Unread 01-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Dropped off my front drive shaft to get shortened today, should have it back tomorrow! Cant wait to have 4wd once again!

Also have been looking for a transfer case to swap out the 249, Im assuming if i get a np242 out of a 1996-1998 zj it should be a direct swap? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 01-30-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Got my drive shaft back today! threw it in and tested it out, rides real smooth with no vibes! And got my 4wd back just in time for another snow storm their forecasting for Monday!





Now next things on the list are

-Swap out the 249
-Renew upper Control arm busings on front axle
-Renew the plenum gasket (MPGs are way down right now, also a fair ammount of pinging)
-Fix a small power steering leak
-Swap interior lights out to LEDs
-And hopefully a locker for the front

Ill keep updating as things move along
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Unread 02-21-2015, 08:25 PM   #15
Onew1ckedzj
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: midland park, nj
Posts: 27
Nothing new to update . . buttttt it is snowing once again here in the north east!

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