I go through Jeeps more than most people here go through underwear. With that said, I picked up this Gem of a 98 ZJ. It is from the original owner, who kept all receipts from 98-now. The ZJ overall is clean, rust free, and well maintained! It has the 5.2L v8! Everything functions flawlessly, no leaks or any serious dings or dents on the Jeep! Overall the Jeep is perfect for my family, Which happens to be the contributing factor in returning to a Cherokee style Jeep. I have had and built everything from a Crawler XJ on 60s to a YJ with a 4.6L stroker everything in between and to include a 550HP rock bouncer! All this said, leads me to the build name "mistake" I have built so many Jeeps over the years and made tons of mistakes I know now exactly what to and not to do! Now for the goodies...
I have not bought a single vehicle in a few years. I have always traded stuff around to get what I want, I hate American Money and I prefer to barter everything! However the wife doesn't agree and says I am never happy with what I have.
I started off with this YJ, with a 4.6L stroker and other doodads
I had the YJ listed for $7500 on Craigslist but I requested Trade as primary method. I saw this ZJ about 20 min after I posted the Craigslist ad, contacted seller and made a deal. Long story short we traded and he made his end of the deal right. (snap on tools, lift, tires, wheels, wheel spacers, and other random goodies) I feel like we made a rather even trade, enjoy some pictures of the ZJ the day I brought it home "sept. 5th"
These are some of the goodies, I traded this stuff for a brand new set of Goodyear wrangler MTR Kevlar 31x10.50r15 and a fairly new set of ION Alloy simulated bead locks!
I put the tires on the ZJ to test clearance, and to my amazement they fit! Slight rubbing on the front when turning the wheels, but nothing I can't handle with a Torch, hammer, and cutting wheels!
After getting everything trimmed up and pulverized into place I mounted the rest of the wheels and tires! Everything fits and looks great! I honestly was not expecting to fit 31s on a stock ZJ!
After that small mod was completed decided it was time to detail the Jeep, and fix the headlights! Thanks Toby for making my lights look amazing again!
This is currently where the project sits, more updates to follow as always! Follow me on Instagram @texsun7
Little man and myself spent about 30 min cleaning the interior some, we took the wood grain off wiped behind the mounting areas, shifters, vents etc. Needless to say he loves all the extra room but I know he will miss the top off freedom!
I also noticed the rear tail lights have been blacked out, I am not a fan of the look personally but it's whatever...
Overall today was a success, took the ZJ on a 285 mile fishing trip! Caught some massive trout, once we got done fishing returned to my buddies house and lifted his XJ and mocked up some stuff for my ZJ. Started putting stuff together for my overland setup to include, brand new spare, highlift, cb & antenna, LED Spot light, and went ahead and did the LED interior swap!
I had some people stating that they would never run this size tires without a lift, and it would rub non stop. Which pretty much made it seem like I have no clue what I am doing, with that said I am posting a few more pictures of the 31" tire fitment on stock suspension with slight trimming and hammering! There is no rubbing when driving, full lock turning, or any normal driving conditions. However they do rub with the sway bar disconnected when attempting to flex, this will be fixed once I decide to cut and bend some more metal.
last thing completed for the weekend, Rear hatch LEDs installed! 4 Shine into the cargo area when hatch is closed, 3 shine into cargo area when hatch is open and one shines out into the abyss when hatch is open!
We have had these wheels sitting around for years, if I rememebr correctly it's 3.5" but I may be wrong. I will get exact tomorrow for you. Any other questions? This photo below is the outline that I taped off for the trimming, however would have been perfectly fine with only 1/4 of this trimmed.
Who said you can't flex stock suspension and 31s? This isn't much flex, but the tire is actually off the ground!