Buying a ZJ, what to look out for? - JeepForum.com
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
Arcktik
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 3
Buying a ZJ, what to look out for?

I知 thinking about purchasing a ZJ. I知 not mechanicallyinclined but I知 willing to learn and fix it up so that it will become my dailydriver (or pay someone to do it). Is there anything I should look out forbesides leaks and rust? Is there a year I should avoid? I知 interested infinding one that has under 200K miles, is a 4x4 with a decent interior/paint.Mainly looking at years 95-98. Also, I致e owned a 93 V8 ZJ about 12 years ago, I知thinking about getting a V6 this time since my last one was a bit of a gas guzzler.Thanks for your help.

Arcktik is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 03:18 PM
wildbill23c
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 410
If you find a 95-98 ZJ with a V6 there's a problem...they had a 4.0L I6, a 5.2L (318) V8, or only offered in 98 was the 5.9L (360) V8. All are great engines, but as a daily driver you may want to look at the 4.0L I6, a bit more fuel friendly and it'll move along just fine.

I spent more than a year looking for my current 98 ZJ, and paid a bit more for it than I originally wanted, but I got what I wanted, and other than a couple of extremely minor paint chips and the 154k on the odometer it looks brand new inside and out. It has the 4.0L I6 which is what my previous 96 ZJ had as well that had 232k on it when I sold it, so I knew I'd be fine with another 4.0L engine, next thing was I wanted the Selec-Trac 4WD my previous model had the Quadra-Trac, it went wherever I pointed it, but the viscous coupler was failing so it was locked up most of the time when it shouldn't have been so it made turning a bit of an issue.

Any year and configuration will be fine, its all a matter of personal choice and what options you want, and finding one that doesn't look like they drove it through a destruction derby...seems to be a common issue here in Idaho HAHA!!
wildbill23c is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
Arcktik
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill23c View Post
If you find a 95-98 ZJ with a V6 there's a problem...they had a 4.0L I6, a 5.2L (318) V8, or only offered in 98 was the 5.9L (360) V8. All are great engines, but as a daily driver you may want to look at the 4.0L I6, a bit more fuel friendly and it'll move along just fine.

I spent more than a year looking for my current 98 ZJ, and paid a bit more for it than I originally wanted, but I got what I wanted, and other than a couple of extremely minor paint chips and the 154k on the odometer it looks brand new inside and out. It has the 4.0L I6 which is what my previous 96 ZJ had as well that had 232k on it when I sold it, so I knew I'd be fine with another 4.0L engine, next thing was I wanted the Selec-Trac 4WD my previous model had the Quadra-Trac, it went wherever I pointed it, but the viscous coupler was failing so it was locked up most of the time when it shouldn't have been so it made turning a bit of an issue.

Any year and configuration will be fine, its all a matter of personal choice and what options you want, and finding one that doesn't look like they drove it through a destruction derby...seems to be a common issue here in Idaho HAHA!!

Good to know, I'm learning already! I'm prepared to wait and find sometime I really like just like you. As far as mileage how much is to much for a 4.0L I6? I was looking at one online that had close to 250k, decent shape but would I properly need to swap that transmission on it soon?
Arcktik is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 04:30 PM
ZJChukar
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Reno
Posts: 39
ZJChukar is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 04:57 PM
kg6mov
Hears the voices
 
kg6mov's Avatar
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cupertino
Posts: 15,986
The 4.0 really doesn’t get better MPG than the V8.
GOLDWING and 4xphate like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
kg6mov is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 06:27 PM
4xphate
Registered User
 
4xphate's Avatar
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 161
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
The 4.0 really doesn稚 get better MPG than the V8.



And its slow as hell.
4xphate is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 07:12 PM
RWC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 449
Agree that the 4.0L is slow and doesn't get much better mileage. You find yourself driving around with the pedal down on the floor all the time to make up for the lack of power. As for mileage, the 4.0L is known for running strong into 500K miles if well maintained. I had one that I sold with 285K miles and it still ran like new. After I put all new seals on it, it didn't even leak any oil either. The 4.0L ZJs also usually came with lower maintenance transfer cases (NP231 and NP242 which didn't have the failure-prone viscous coupler that the 249 has, although the 249 certainly has merits), and for some reason that I still don't understand, in my experience, the 42RE transmissions don't have the same failure rate as the 44RE, 46RE, and 46RH that came in the other ZJs.
RWC is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 07:46 PM
wildbill23c
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 410
The 4.0L is slow? Seems to get up and go just fine to me...its not a race car people. I get mid 20's for highway fuel economy, neither of the V8's did. Doesn't matter what is asked people will always put down what they don't have. If you want slow, come drive my 1988 Ford Bronco 2, now that thing is slow....or go drive an early 80's Ford Ranger with the 4 cylinder in it, or the rare Perkins Diesel...now those are slow. The 4.0L gets up and moves pretty well for being 20+ years old. Either of the 2 V8's seemed to be more prone to transmission failures, but then again its really based on how you drive and take care of it.

My 98 ZJ is the 2nd one I've had. First one is still on the road, I sold it with 232k on it, current owner has 497k on it, he has only had to rebuild the t-case in it which is due to the viscous coupler locking up and it kept popping out of 4 low under load. Yep they'll run a long time when properly maintained...the trouble is how was it maintained? Lucky for me the PO of both my Jeeps kept meticulous records. Neither of my Jeeps leak fluids...my current one has a coolant leak which is getting taken care of this week, but other than that it doesn't leak. Most of the ZJ's I've ran across have had either quadra-trac or quadra-drive in them, very rare here in Idaho to find a Selec-Trac equipped ZJ it seems...even more rare is finding an XJ with Selec-Trac...wonder if its due to regional OE orders?

With the ZJ's though I'd take one with any engine & t-case configuration if its known mechanical background is known to have been well cared for. My 96ZJ had 146k on it when I bought it, and most of its miles were being towed behind a motorhome by its PO. My current one was owned by a cleaning company as their sales & recruiting vehicle, and aside from the mileage you'd think it was brand new.
wildbill23c is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 07:49 PM
wildbill23c
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWC View Post
Agree that the 4.0L is slow and doesn't get much better mileage. You find yourself driving around with the pedal down on the floor all the time to make up for the lack of power. As for mileage, the 4.0L is known for running strong into 500K miles if well maintained. I had one that I sold with 285K miles and it still ran like new. After I put all new seals on it, it didn't even leak any oil either. The 4.0L ZJs also usually came with lower maintenance transfer cases (NP231 and NP242 which didn't have the failure-prone viscous coupler that the 249 has, although the 249 certainly has merits), and for some reason that I still don't understand, in my experience, the 42RE transmissions don't have the same failure rate as the 44RE, 46RE, and 46RH that came in the other ZJs.
Sounds like you drove one around with a plugged catalytic converter. They've got far more power than you are trying to give them credit for. Find one without a clogged cat LOL. No they don't have the power the 318 or 360 had but they'll move when you hit the throttle.
wildbill23c is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 10:25 AM
MrRoundel
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,432
I have to admit that my 4.0 is pretty darn slow. It does fine once it's up to speed...and doesn't have to climb any hills, but it doesn't get to speed very quickly. OK, so they're not slow, but they certain aren't quick.

Of course I have the 3.55 gears in mine. I know that some 4.0's, perhaps special ordered or with tow package, had 3.73's from the factory. I think that this is the best pairing, as it may bet you closer to the best torque production sooner, making it closer to being quick.

I just know that mine is pretty sluggish, and not getting better with age. Dang thing is near human, I tell you. If it could talk, we might have a competitive ache-and-pain comparison contest. But, like yours truly, she keeps chugging, and also like me, she has to use a bit more finesse with each passing year. And she looks and drives pretty darn good for being in her golden years. I should spoil her more though.

While it's probably been mentioned, if you're looking at a ZJ with a 249 transfer case, make sure you look to see if the front drive shaft is present. If not, you can be 99.97346% sure that the viscous coupling is gone. I'm sure this is a minimum of $500 to fix if you pay a mechanic. DIY and it's probably still multiple hundreds. Good luck. Cheers.

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

Last edited by MrRoundel; 08-12-2018 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Added front DS paragraph.
MrRoundel is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 01:56 PM
BeardyHat
Registered User
 
BeardyHat's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Denver
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRoundel View Post
While it's probably been mentioned, if you're looking at a ZJ with a 249 transfer case, make sure you look to see if the front drive shaft is present. If not, you can be 99.97346% sure that the viscous coupling is gone. I'm sure this is a minimum of $500 to fix if you pay a mechanic. DIY and it's probably still multiple hundreds. Good luck. Cheers.
This, right here.

I really want to keep my 249, but I simply can't justify the cost to rebuild it right now. Even with the cost of the 242 and associated parts from the junkyard, it's still a couple of hundred bucks cheaper to rebuild the 242.

One day I'll rebuild the 249, but that'll be down the road.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
BeardyHat is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 04:00 PM
kg6mov
Hears the voices
 
kg6mov's Avatar
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cupertino
Posts: 15,986
You're a 98, just take the VC out.

New VC's are only $300, labor will be expensive if somebody else does it, but it's not horrible on your own.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
kg6mov is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 04:07 PM
BeardyHat
Registered User
 
BeardyHat's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Denver
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
You're a 98, just take the VC out.

New VC's are only $300, labor will be expensive if somebody else does it, but it's not horrible on your own.
What about rebuilding the case? That seemed to be where I couldn't justify the expense, since I'd also need a VC.

That's my intent with the 242, though I'm pretty intimidated by the prospect. But, I suppose taking out the VC on the 249 can be my recourse if I screw up the rebuild.



Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
BeardyHat is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 04:16 PM
kg6mov
Hears the voices
 
kg6mov's Avatar
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cupertino
Posts: 15,986
The cases are really easy to rebuild, most of the time it's just bearings and seals, chain if it's stretched (uncommon on the 249). There's a bunch of vendors on ebay that sell kits with quality bearings, seals, and shift pads.

242 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/NP242-242D-...LH_TitleDesc=0

249 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeep-Transf...itleDesc=0%7C0


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
kg6mov is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 08-12-2018, 05:04 PM
BeardyHat
Registered User
 
BeardyHat's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Denver
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
The cases are really easy to rebuild, most of the time it's just bearings and seals, chain if it's stretched (uncommon on the 249). There's a bunch of vendors on ebay that sell kits with quality bearings, seals, and shift pads.

242 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/NP242-242D-...LH_TitleDesc=0

249 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeep-Transf...itleDesc=0%7C0
Thanks for the links. I'll definitely look into getting the 249 rebuild at some point, but I've already got the kit for the 242, with chain.


Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
BeardyHat is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome