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Jeep Wrangler Bushwacker Flat Fender Flare Sale at BaselinGear Installs at CCOR SpecialSavvy FOX IFP 4" Lift Shocks in Stock

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Unread 07-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
mercmenace
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 33
Niner Expedition build.

I picked up my Niner in 2007 with 100k miles for $1500. I have had it 6 years and other than routine maintenance and a tune up, I haven't spent an extra dime on it. Just turned over 240k miles this summer on the OEM motor, tranny and transfer case.

I lived in Minneapolis, MN so having a good city wagon was sufficient, I did wheel it in the backwoods trails and WOW I can't believe how capable the ZJ is bone stock.

I have since moved to Cheyenne, Wy and want a rig suitable for mountain trails. I plan on having a setup that will get me into some remote places for fishing, camping and of course sight seeing. I am not looking to break the bank or have a super aggressive rock crawlin monster, SOOOO time to start playing with her.

This build will be slow and long. I only have weekends and occasional weekdays to really play with her so bear with me and hopefully check back often to see my progress.

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Never scoff at help when it is offered, It's usually a long walk home.

'98 ZJ 5.9l stock
View my build here. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/niner-expedition-build-1551037/
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Unread 07-19-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
mercmenace
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 33
At 240k pretty much EVERYTHING needs to be cleaned/fixed/replaced.

So what does the future hold?
My build sheet reads pretty much like a factory parts list.

I think I mentioned this wagon hauled me 900 miles from Minneapolis, MN to Cheyenne, WY. I was impressed! She never balked once on the trip and adapted to the 6000ft change in elevation without so much as a sputter.

However being from MN she is in need of ALOT of TLC especially from the salt that MN seems to never run out of. I am surprised they don't use it instead of gravel on country roads.

Needless to say rust repair is first on my list. It in pretty minor all things considered and should be no problem with my skills with a welder, a little patience, and a deft hand with a hammer.

2nd I am going to tackle Bumpers and Armor.

3rd Engine and Drivetrain.

Long term plans include Lift and complete rebuild of all suspension parts, tires/wheels, winch, rack and finally paint and interior.

After reading all the stickies and MANY MANY posts on here. This plan is only effective until the first part gives out.
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Never scoff at help when it is offered, It's usually a long walk home.

'98 ZJ 5.9l stock
View my build here. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/niner-expedition-build-1551037/
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Unread 07-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #3
mercmenace
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 33
Here she is.

5.9l 46RE NP249
D30/3.73 front
D44a/3.73 Rear
Sits 19" front/rear from center of hub.
P245/70r16 Falken Ziex S/TZ










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Never scoff at help when it is offered, It's usually a long walk home.

'98 ZJ 5.9l stock
View my build here. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/niner-expedition-build-1551037/
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Unread 07-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
mercmenace
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 33
Cladding Removal

I really believe the cornerstone of any restoration project is good documentation. one never knows if they will need references in the reassembly process. Plus it's also a little therapeutic.


I am removing the cladding from the ZJ today. I need to assess the rust situation and get a JY list together of any panels i need and sheetmetal.




These are the tools I used to remove the cladding. I wrapped a Standard and a Phillips head screwdriver in duct tape to avoid any unnecessary scratches.



Starting at the rear wheel well. The back piece is held on by 3 screws located in the rear well. There are no clips holding this on just some glue. Once the screws are removed the piece will pop right off.



The back door trim is held on with 4 clips and a bolt located on the inside back edge of the back door. It is a (not sure what it is called) weird flowerbud looking nut. I forgot about it on the drivers door and ended up busting the bolt off. That was the only casualty in my removal. The passenger side nut must have been banged by something as it was deformed.



Once the bolt was removed I used my duct tape wrapped Standard screwdriver to pry behind the top edge of the trim and gently walk the screwdriver behind the cladding to pop it off each clip.



Once the top is freed from the clips, the bottom is just a matter of popping the tabs out of the compression slots on the bottom. Here is a look behind the cladding at the bottom of the clips.



Here is a shot of the rear door clips with the cladding off. Notice how dirty it gets under there. A little windex wiped it all right off. I was surprised that salt didn't get back there and start some rust.



The front door is held on by 6 clips and that is all. Repeat process used for the rear door minus the bolt.

The front piece is held on by 3 screws located in the front wheel well and one clip attaches it to the body.



Here is a shot of the clips on the wagon (and the dirt of course).



To remove the clips i used my standard screwdriver again. Place the screwdriver against the left side of the clip and give it a little tap to the right to pop the clip off the stud that holds it on. then with that loose just slide the clip upwards to free it from the top stud.



When done you have a pile of 22 clips. Hopefully all intact. I got all mine off with no damage.



And finally here is a shot after getting it all cleaned up. I think it looks alot better without the plastic so I think I am going to keep it off. I also debadged to drivers side. I like the clean uncluttered look.



I was awfully glad to see the clips held on with the studs instead of screws or plastic press in grommets. I will need to grind off the studs but it is much better than filling holes.
__________________
Never scoff at help when it is offered, It's usually a long walk home.

'98 ZJ 5.9l stock
View my build here. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/niner-expedition-build-1551037/
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Unread 07-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
mercmenace
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 33
Rust!!!

Rust assessment was better than I hoped. I am going to have to replace both fenders, hood, liftgate and rear drivers door. There will need to be some repair to the A pillar/front cab corners as to be expected but all in all not quite so bad. The unibody/undercarriage on this rig is almost immaculate. I am not pulling the carpets yet but judging from the underside I don't expect too many surprises there. The rockers are pretty much toast but as I am planning to cut them out and weld in slides I am not worried there at all. I am sure there will be more surprises in the future as i start cutting away, but that will be for a later post to go into.

Hood.











These two dents have always baffled me. I made the assumption that a 500 lbs. stripper named Hilda did a two step on my hood.




Drivers Fender/A Pillar.





Driver Rear door



Rear Hatch



Passengers fender/A pillar/rocker








Most people would not bother with this and ALOT of them would probably consider this junk. I look at it this way. I have had 6 years to learn the quirks from this jeep. I could buy another rust free jeep for a couple thousand and then hope it is as good a runner as mine. I look at all this work as an experience to get to know my limitations and build on my skills and knowledge, plus I am starting a couple grand ahead to buy parts with.

This will actually be a relatively easy task as far a rust repair goes. Prep is of course the key. It will take me some time to gather all the parts to get this stage completed. I will post an update as soon as I get started.
__________________
Never scoff at help when it is offered, It's usually a long walk home.

'98 ZJ 5.9l stock
View my build here. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/niner-expedition-build-1551037/
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Unread 07-21-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
squashman702
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1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 4,418
Unless someone did some extensive parts swapping, that's a 5.2, not a 5.9. If it does not have Z88Z in the VIN, it's a dead giveaway.
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Unread 08-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
RedTj01
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Florence, Arizona
Posts: 216
Any updates?
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1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4X4 Laredo 5.2
2013 Honda Civic Si
2010 Nissan Cube (Wife's Car)
[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/red-tj-build-1127470/[/url]
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Unread 08-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
jforse
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Duluth, Minnesota
Posts: 2,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by squashman702 View Post
Unless someone did some extensive parts swapping, that's a 5.2, not a 5.9. If it does not have Z88Z in the VIN, it's a dead giveaway.
Yep. a 5.2 unless a swap was performed.
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