New to me 96 ZJ limited - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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New to me 96 ZJ limited

Hey All,
Here is my new to me 1996 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2v8. Sole purpose is to be a project trail rig to build with my 13yr old son. I got it fairly cheap and with as little rust as I could find for my area here in south east Ohio. So far only thing I did after the 45 minute drive home with it is replace all the rotors and pads. Had a sound which I thought to be parking brake issue. Now I believe it to be a wheel bearing. 197k miles on the clock, will need a remain seal replace which I will do a melling oil pump at that time and it will need a transmission output seal and it is leaking between the trans and transfer case, i will tackle that when I swap the transfer case from the 249 to the 231. Plan is to get all maintenance and items caught up, then I have decided to go with a Rusty's 5.5 short arm lift, and it will Stuck in traffic. on 33's. Gear it to 4.56 and add lockers front and rear. Eventually it will get front, rear bumpers and I will cut the rust out of the rocker to weld in rock sliders.

Little bit about me as I am a first timer here in the Jeep Forum. I am a retiring Coast Guardsman who is finally settling back home here in Ohio. I have turned wrenches for the Coast Guard and pretty much since I was old enough to figure out how to take things apart. I am not new to forums as I have been on several Ford Truck forums as I have a Super Duty, but I have also used Mercedes Diesel forums, Saturn forums, and numerous others. Love the outdoors, love riding my motorcycle when I can, and now i want to get into trail riding.

P.S. Wife's JK behind the ZJ, bought it with what I think is a 2-3" lift and 33's already on it, she is going to get it built as well to ride with me and the son.

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post #2 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 06:41 AM
brossovitch
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5.5in on short arms is crazy. You might want to consider long arms but your choice.

I just ordered an IRO 3.5in kit for my ZJ.

Whatever you do enjoy your ZJ and its stupid electrical system.



Good luck.

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post #3 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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Yeah, i am noticing the electrical already, radio is intermittent, VIC does not work at all even after i found cracked solder joints and repaired it. Driver and passenger door locks are iffy, and the sunroof needs to be looked at. All in time.

I seen a video on Youtube of a guy who built a ZJ he fit 35's not sure how much lift he had but he didn't do fender trimming that I seen, it was a short arm pieced together lift. He took that thing everywhere and it wheeled great. But on that note, I was looking at long arm, and if anything, i can always upgrade to the long arm.
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post #4 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 07:53 AM
brossovitch
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Yea i regularly have to find some stupid electrical issue. My cluster sometimes doesn't work.

Last week the overhead console had a loose plug so my cluster and windows wouldn't work with the ignition on.
WTF
Its always something.

And now my hazard lights only work if my headlights are off. Very useful. WTF honestly think its because all my lights are LED now. Whatever.

Still love it. Its only her 3rd year in Ohio so she's still rust free making the small issues worth dealing with.

BTW I hate the VIC its dumb it only tells me my tail lights are out but they aren't they're just LED and it says coolant sensor bad but it only looks at the level sensor. The only good function of the VIC is letting you know when the washer fluid it low so you don't kill the motor.


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post #5 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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LOL, maybe a good mod for the VIC is pulling it and fab up a gauge mount? Would prolly be more useful.
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post #6 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 01:08 PM
watertrucker
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Nice ZJ. My 1st GC was a ‘96 Loved it. Now have a ‘98. Enjoy off-roading with your son.
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post #7 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly-Roger View Post
Hey All,
Here is my new to me 1996 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2v8. Sole purpose is to be a project trail rig to build with my 13yr old son. I got it fairly cheap and with as little rust as I could find for my area here in south east Ohio. So far only thing I did after the 45 minute drive home with it is replace all the rotors and pads. Had a sound which I thought to be parking brake issue. Now I believe it to be a wheel bearing. 197k miles on the clock, will need a remain seal replace which I will do a melling oil pump at that time and it will need a transmission output seal and it is leaking between the trans and transfer case, i will tackle that when I swap the transfer case from the 249 to the 231. Plan is to get all maintenance and items caught up, then I have decided to go with a Rusty's 5.5 short arm lift, and it will Stuck in traffic. on 33's. Gear it to 4.56 and add lockers front and rear. Eventually it will get front, rear bumpers and I will cut the rust out of the rocker to weld in rock sliders.

Little bit about me as I am a first timer here in the Jeep Forum. I am a retiring Coast Guardsman who is finally settling back home here in Ohio. I have turned wrenches for the Coast Guard and pretty much since I was old enough to figure out how to take things apart. I am not new to forums as I have been on several Ford Truck forums as I have a Super Duty, but I have also used Mercedes Diesel forums, Saturn forums, and numerous others. Love the outdoors, love riding my motorcycle when I can, and now i want to get into trail riding.

P.S. Wife's JK behind the ZJ, bought it with what I think is a 2-3" lift and 33's already on it, she is going to get it built as well to ride with me and the son.


Welcome! Seems we have something in common.
I drove this one home for $200 last fall. This one is my fourth ZJ, fifth if you count my wifes '98. The one in the pic is a '96 and aside from buying o2 sensors and a harmonic balancer for it I haven't done much yet.

"The Dude Abides"

"Your axles are going to turn into spaghetti noodles."
Polka Power 1/3/2021
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post #8 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 06:06 PM
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New to me 96 ZJ limited

Don't waste money on a short arm lift for 35s. Long arms are so much better in every aspect.
You'd have to do some serious cutting and welding to fit 35s at factory height and not rub but at the same time articulate well.
I'm at 5.5 and I think that's a bit too tall but once I get all the armor and bumpers done plus gear and equipment loaded, I expect it to sag about an inch.
I'd you want to see some top notch and innovative fabrication to fit 37s+ on 3.5 inch of lift and still have the suspension system be effective then look here. His trim and weld job to create more room is excellent.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/threads/fa...build.1895410/

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post #9 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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Well, if your name means you have a Goldwing parked in the garage it would be two things we have in common, I have a '02 GL1800.

As for the '96, wish i got mine for $200, and wish it only needed o2 sensors and a harmonic balancer. My list grows everyday. I am thinking wheel bearings are my next project. Has a nice growl going down the road.
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post #10 of 45 Old 03-24-2021, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Don't waste money on a short arm lift for 35s. Long arms are so much better in every aspect.
You'd have to do some serious cutting and welding to fit 35s at factory height and not rub but at the same time articulate well.
I'm at 5.5 and I think that's a bit too tall but once I get all the armor and bumpers done plus gear and equipment loaded, I expect it to sag about an inch.
I'd you want to see some top notch and innovative fabrication to fit 37s+ on 3.5 inch of lift and still have the suspension system be effective then look here. His trim and weld job to create more room is excellent.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/threads/fa...build.1895410/

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Yeah, after looking again I may do the long arm. Not looking for 35's to start out, and not looking at doing any serious crawler, YET, so i am sticking with 33's. I would like to do the more venture off the beaten path type trail riding and camp in places, so having gear will be a must.
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post #11 of 45 Old 03-25-2021, 12:04 AM
GOLDWING
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly-Roger View Post
Well, if your name means you have a Goldwing parked in the garage it would be two things we have in common, I have a '02 GL1800.

As for the '96, wish i got mine for $200, and wish it only needed o2 sensors and a harmonic balancer. My list grows everyday. I am thinking wheel bearings are my next project. Has a nice growl going down the road.
I owned and rode 2 different GL1000 1978 Goldwings for a few years but sold the pair to the same kid who was going to MC repair school. My wife was getting edgy about me smoking Harley Davidsons at traffic lights.
ZJs are much safer.

"The Dude Abides"

"Your axles are going to turn into spaghetti noodles."
Polka Power 1/3/2021
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post #12 of 45 Old 03-25-2021, 12:14 AM
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Has a nice growl going down the road.

Yup D44A bearings are the same as the D35 and seals too if I am not mistaken. If the frequency reflects eight feet of travel then I think axle.
Higher frequency is usually upstream of the ring and pinion.

"The Dude Abides"

"Your axles are going to turn into spaghetti noodles."
Polka Power 1/3/2021
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post #13 of 45 Old 03-25-2021, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLDWING View Post
I owned and rode 2 different GL1000 1978 Goldwings for a few years but sold the pair to the same kid who was going to MC repair school. My wife was getting edgy about me smoking Harley Davidsons at traffic lights.
ZJs are much safer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLDWING View Post
Has a nice growl going down the road.

Yup D44A bearings are the same as the D35 and seals too if I am not mistaken. If the frequency reflects eight feet of travel then I think axle.
Higher frequency is usually upstream of the ring and pinion.
Yeah the '02 GL is my first, had several other Honda's over the years, My arms started going numb hunched over the tank, so I said goodbye to the sport bikes. I still have the '96 GSF600s Bandit, its the wife bike and I been getting it ready this season for her.

As for the D44a, I have dealt with both axle bearings and u-joints sounds so with this growl it is either axle or differential. But being it seems to be coming from the passenger side I figure it to be axle bearing. Generally u-joint tend to chirp in the beginning and by the growl stage you have a little clunk, but I did manage to get it up in the air and spin the driveshafts, pretty tight as of now, but I will most likely be putting in new u-joints so i can grease them in the future. Front I am not worried about as it has the CV front and will need to be swapped once I do the lift.
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post #14 of 45 Old 03-25-2021, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
Jolly-Roger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Don't waste money on a short arm lift for 35s. Long arms are so much better in every aspect.
You'd have to do some serious cutting and welding to fit 35s at factory height and not rub but at the same time articulate well.
I'm at 5.5 and I think that's a bit too tall but once I get all the armor and bumpers done plus gear and equipment loaded, I expect it to sag about an inch.
I'd you want to see some top notch and innovative fabrication to fit 37s+ on 3.5 inch of lift and still have the suspension system be effective then look here. His trim and weld job to create more room is excellent.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/threads/fa...build.1895410/

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Man, I am on like page 8 of this guys build, that guy has some insane talent. I wish I had that kind of capability and knowledge of CNC and water jet to fab some of that kind of stuff. I will keep it simple though, just 33's from now and looking at the Rusty's long arm 5.5" now.
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post #15 of 45 Old 03-27-2021, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Did some maintenance work on the ZJ yesterday, plugs where replaced, wires, cap, rotor, crankcase breather and PCV valve. I also removed throttle buddy and cleaner it and the build up off the IAC valve.

But look at these plugs, biggest gap was .072 more than double stock gap. After 197k on the clock, I am willing to bet this are original. Wires were Mopar stock style, but I believe the cap and rotor were replaced before. Still lots of build up.

After removing throttle body, I noticed my intake manifold has the divider in it, so i will be looking to get second one from junk yard to do the kegler mod on it. But just after yesterdays work, it is a different beast all together. I took it on the trails in my woods and it did great. even with the little pizza cutter street tires.
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