'97 ZJ - Need Advice! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
NWDC
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'97 ZJ - Need Advice!

Hey guys, I'm new to ZJ's and have been looking locally (Portland, Oregon area) for a clean one to work with for an off-road/overland project. I'm interested in eventually installing a 4" lift and running 33s (nothing too wild), and doing the maintenance on my own. I found a really clean looking '97 limited with a 5.2 V8, 121,000 miles, 1 owner, old guy who can't drive anymore. Seems like the ideal seller but it has likely sat for a while, and hasn't had much but oil changes. They are asking $2300, which seems real reasonable in the area because these seem rare.

I'm going to inspect/test-drive it tomorrow morning and probably make a deal if it is clean. Is there anything in particular that I should look for on a '97? I used to have a 97 Ram with the 5.2 magnum and I know about the plenum gasket issue on them.

I'm pretty familiar with what to look for on used vehicles in general but figured i'd ask for some insight on specific '97 issues.

Any insight would be appreciated!

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture:
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 12:45 AM
kg6mov
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It's basically a really nice ram with a lighter duty transmission. Be wary of crappy front end components, expect to throw new arms/bushings at it if they can't prove it's been done.

Being a V8 it's got the 249 t-case, that means AWD and 4lo. If the VC in the case is burned up it will be noticeable on tight turns when the jeep is warmed up.

I don't know that I'd pay 2300 for one, but the market here is a little better I think. They are a solid platform and certainly worth around that for a good clean one in daily condition.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 01:01 AM
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Here's a picture:
I just sold a '98 that could be twins with the one in your photo.



It was a good runner/driver with terminal cancer and almost 330,000 miles. The first guy to look at it gave $1000.

$2300 sounds ok if there are no big issues.123,000 miles is just broke in.

GW
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
It's basically a really nice ram with a lighter duty transmission. Be wary of crappy front end components, expect to throw new arms/bushings at it if they can't prove it's been done.

Being a V8 it's got the 249 t-case, that means AWD and 4lo. If the VC in the case is burned up it will be noticeable on tight turns when the jeep is warmed up.

I don't know that I'd pay 2300 for one, but the market here is a little better I think. They are a solid platform and certainly worth around that for a good clean one in daily condition.
Thanks for the info guys, unfortunately there wasn't enough cabin head room for me since i'm fairly tall (6'7"). It would possibly work with a sun-roof delete but that would be hard to find and might not even fit. So back to WJ I guess...
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-25-2020, 11:34 AM
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Most, if not all Laredos don't have sunroofs, FWIW. They can accommodate 6'2" folks pretty well, but 6'7" might be pushing the headliner envelope a bit.

BTW, looking at the image of that ZJ you were looking at, I don't see the 4x4 markings on the back fender. If it's not there, it's highly unlikely that it's 4x4. Maybe it's there, or maybe you didn't need a 4x4? If it is a 4x4, and doesn't have rust from salted roads, the interior is clean, no major accidents, etc., I don't see $2,300 as a bad deal for one that clean with low miles. Good luck.

1998 Laredo 4.0L 4x4, 242 TC. Turned over 200K miles in 06/18. Original owner.
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