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  1. #1
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    The Dark Slate Niner project - to be named later

    Well, figured I'd start this now and update it as I go along.

    See these related threads also:

    "When wiring attacks" http://www.thespeedfreaks.net/showthread.php?t=1279

    "ZJ dashboard - naked" http://www.thespeedfreaks.net/showthread.php?t=1196

    As I got it December 24, 2008;
    Dark Slate 5.9 122K miles.

    Bought as "not running" - supposedly had been run and moved without oil. Seller bought it like that too and never got it started.

    Worked out a deal with seller where he'd keep some parts he needed for his Niner and I'd get a better price. Seller kept front grill, rear bumper, rear wiper motor, radio and may be getting the trans back.

    Body: Fairly decent.
    Small dent in right fender. I have a spare.
    Small dent right in the middle of the hood Might be going add on scoop or cowl, or may cut vent holes into the hood from my 98 DS parts Jeep.
    Driver's door latch area is completely grenaded and poorly repaired. Have spare door.
    Body has a lot of small scratches from the PO before the seller throwing a lot of crap on it when they did shingles at their house, so it's gonna need paint.

    First day here I looked it over and tried to start it. Wouldn't crank fast enough to fire, barely turned over. Cranked it over by hand and internal resistance wasn't that bad. Threw a used starter on it and it fired immediately.

    Didn't have rod knock or bearing noise - but it apparently has a head gasket that's so blown it's blowing the exhaust pulse out of the inside of the valley at the rear of the head!!

    I threw the grill and bumper and rear wheels from my 98 5.2 parts car to replace the missing parts and flat tires on it so it didn't look like an eyesore.

    Here it is the day it rolled in.



    Last edited by Z88Z; 05-02-2009 at 06:09 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  2. #2
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    1st day

    I had run it a few times and poked around a bit but Friday is the first day I did much of anything to it.

    Started out with some light cleaning. Car was a pig. Interior was crappy and filthy. Smells nasty - MICE!

    A few pics of the messy interior. The dash was partially disassembled plus there's a few parts in there that I took off like the wipers etc.










    Additional Comment:
    Vac'd it out. Washed it. Was going to post some pics but it doesn't look that different than it did before!

    Want to do two things before I really dig into this. I want to sell the Plat Niner so I have some money to play with and I need to go into storage to make room for all the parts that are coming off.

    Still not even 100% sure how I'm going to go about this build yet.

    I'd like to keep it 4WD but I don't think that's going to happen.

    Still trying to decide how far I want to go with suspension mods. Weighing the costs vs the ET savings. It's really gonna spend 99.9% of it's time on the street so I have to balance what really cost effective.

    Still trying to decide SC vs NA.

    I do know it's going to be a stroker. Hope to get some nice P&P work done.

    Still trying to decide between two intakes - both 'spensive

    At least I know what the trans is going to be. Prob will go with 3K stall and shift kit. I don't think I want to go with a full manual VB though.
    Last edited by Z88Z; 03-01-2009 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  3. #3
    Modfag Saleen4971's Avatar
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    boring name.

    infraction.

    luls
    Ross
    1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
    MPP Headers - Thunderbolt Metallic Cat - 3" Mag catback - EBC Brakes w/ drilled Rotors - 4bbl M1 - Vortech 12psi - Built trans & 2900 stall - Ford 8.8 - Addco & Hellwig Sways - Poly Bushings - H&R Springs - Grabber UHP Tires - Alpine/Infinity Stereo - FX-R BiXenon Retrofit

  4. #4
    Administrator Ninergrad's Avatar
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    Project back to the saddle again.
    -Davit.

    98 ZJ 5.9L Slate
    Click here for MODS

    98 Ram 2500 5.9L 24V Cummins, short bed, Blue
    MBPR Turbo back 4" exhaust, Edge Juice, Superchips tuner.


    http://autotruckservice.org/

  5. #5
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saleen4971 View Post
    boring name.

    infraction. luls
    Umm, no Mr. Silly, "To be named later" is not the name of the project.
    Still fine tuning which name to assign to which project.

    You're lucky I let you keep the term "Resurrection" as that is how I've always referred to my 93 DD - BUT - it was never a name for it so you're all good.
    The 93's name is "Khala Ghora", which as we all know is Punjabi for Black Horse, AKA "Khel Awd" for the same in Arabic, AKA "Sweetpea" also when I'm patting the shifter after it pulls off a particularly nice manual shift, and finally "FrankenZee" cuz of all the different parts is has/will have.
    (true story - early 01' I almost had "Khala Ghora" and "Khel Awd" put on the rear hatch in small gold hand lettered Punjabi and Arabic lettering to match the gold trim, but I kept putting it off - come Sept 11 I was REAL F'N glad I procrastinated!)

    So anyway - infraction back at ya - in suppository form

    Quote Originally Posted by NINERGRAD View Post
    Project back to the saddle again.
    This reminds me - shouldn't there be a "shakes head NO" smiley on here.

    We Americans say "Back IN the saddle again". Sheesh - haven't you ever heard of Aerosmith?

    I've got a few project names up my sleeve - although Project Elbow sounds kinda stupid.

  6. #6
    Administrator Ninergrad's Avatar
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    Thats where i got it from, I love Aerosmith. I have all their albums....
    I think it is an awesome name!!! Well for my taste lol.
    -Davit.

    98 ZJ 5.9L Slate
    Click here for MODS

    98 Ram 2500 5.9L 24V Cummins, short bed, Blue
    MBPR Turbo back 4" exhaust, Edge Juice, Superchips tuner.


    http://autotruckservice.org/

  7. #7
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Third day

    Saturday I had some time so I dragged myself to storage and made myself clean it up.

    10 X 30 and two ZJs worth of parts took up most of it. That's with interior and body parts from only one ZJ and no motors.

    Mostly though it was because I just threw the stuff in there and didn't organize it. Really need shelves.

    So, I moved stuff. stacked stuff etc and made myself some room for all the stuff coming off the Niner.

    Can't tell ya how many times I looked at something and said "why the h*ll did I keep that!?!?"
    Last edited by Z88Z; 03-11-2009 at 10:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Fourth day

    Removed the roof rack. Screws came out nice and easy - they don't always.

    Started pulling interior, rear seats, seat belts, trim panels etc
    Last edited by Z88Z; 03-11-2009 at 10:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Fifth day

    Today.

    All interior trim is out. Rear quarter trim. Hatch trim. Four pillars. Lower front trim and kick panels. Visors, headliner and soundbar.

    Removed dead pedal and front rug. Tcase handle and it's tray. Console and ABS module brackets. Rear rug is ready but didn't pull it yet.

    Front belts and seats are back in til I figure out which way I'm going with the seats. I'd could handle cloth seats but I'm not sure if I want to go to manual seats or not.
    Never sat in ZJ manual seats. I know the ones in my ex's WJ are gawdawful. Backache city. Going to look into what else is available.

    Haven't started on the dash yet. In fact I threw setereo HU and heated seat controls from the 5.2 Limited in since I still need to confirm what does and doesn't work on this Jeep.

    The dash was partially apart when I got it but it will still be a days worth of work.

    Haven't started under the hood yet. There isn't all that much I can remove and still leave it driveable. Some stuff will come out though.

    Same with the wiring. Going to do a lot of electrical work but don't want to start that til the Jeep is going to be down longterm.

    Here's what it looked like tonite. Prob get better pics tomorrow daytime.














  10. #10
    Modfag Saleen4971's Avatar
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    wow, very nice!!!


    i cleaned up my garage a little today, threw out a bunch of parts that i kept from our 93ZJ thinkign "yeah i coudl sell that" - today i said "why the hell is this taking up room in MY garage?"
    Ross
    1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
    MPP Headers - Thunderbolt Metallic Cat - 3" Mag catback - EBC Brakes w/ drilled Rotors - 4bbl M1 - Vortech 12psi - Built trans & 2900 stall - Ford 8.8 - Addco & Hellwig Sways - Poly Bushings - H&R Springs - Grabber UHP Tires - Alpine/Infinity Stereo - FX-R BiXenon Retrofit

  11. #11
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Worst part of having all that stuff is that I'm operating on Murphy's Law.

    Obviously whatever parts I throw away, no matter how obscure or unnecessary - will subsequently break on one of my ZJs

    At least now that I have the basics out of the way on this thing - It's time to get started

    Gotta record the weights on all the stuff coming out too but the ole' bathroom scale doesn't cut it for the small stuff. I can throw a bunch of that stuff in a box and weight it but I really wanted to go all anal on recording the exact weight of everything.

    I was walking around the other day at Lowe's (hardware store) asking about scales. Felt like they was gonna think I'm a drug dealer or something
    Last edited by Z88Z; 03-12-2009 at 07:20 AM.

  12. #12
    Administrator Ninergrad's Avatar
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    LOL, hey if you have any interior panels from a nine that you are planning to throw away let me know. I need pretty all of the plastic that is in the tail, including tailgate cover for my nine.
    Sweet project btw!!! can't wait to see the finished product.
    -Davit.

    98 ZJ 5.9L Slate
    Click here for MODS

    98 Ram 2500 5.9L 24V Cummins, short bed, Blue
    MBPR Turbo back 4" exhaust, Edge Juice, Superchips tuner.


    http://autotruckservice.org/

  13. #13
    Modfag Saleen4971's Avatar
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    me too!!

    btw, my sister and i were fishign through our attic a couple years ago (okay like 7 years ago) and we found a tiny gram scale. when we asked my mom about it, she got all embarrased and said "nothing, jsut put it back" LOLOL
    Ross
    1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
    MPP Headers - Thunderbolt Metallic Cat - 3" Mag catback - EBC Brakes w/ drilled Rotors - 4bbl M1 - Vortech 12psi - Built trans & 2900 stall - Ford 8.8 - Addco & Hellwig Sways - Poly Bushings - H&R Springs - Grabber UHP Tires - Alpine/Infinity Stereo - FX-R BiXenon Retrofit

  14. #14
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saleen4971 View Post
    me too!!

    btw, my sister and i were fishign through our attic a couple years ago (okay like 7 years ago) and we found a tiny gram scale. when we asked my mom about it, she got all embarrased and said "nothing, jsut put it back" LOLOL
    That reminds me. My daughter is 15 now.

    I should go through a lot of stuff I have in storage.

  15. #15
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    So, a little more on the basic outline for this project...

    I want to keep the outward appearances stock, with the exception of the hood and the ride height.

    Not going for a sleeper effect, just don't want to take away from the Niner styling. It is supposed to be a light weight project and I know I'd save a few pounds by getting rid of the rocker molding and cladding but I'd prefer it look original.
    That's why I had originally planned on a Base Model ZJ for this build, just couldn't pass up this DS Niner.

    Hood: Either going to be a cowl (add-on or whole hood) or I might go Hemi Dart scoop. I'd love to go Shaker Hood but it looks like hood vs drivetrain angles are all wrong for that.

    Ride height - I think it's gonna be dropped a good bit. Not that concerned about the spring and shock choices as I might be "going a different way with it"

    Interior: That's where a lot of weight savings lie but I want to maintain the interior "experience" and visual aspect of the front seating area - to a certain extent only.

    Was thinking of keeping door panels on the front doors but might go with an aluminum bracket for an armrest instead. Can't live without one
    Same with the console. It's gone but I might rig up an alu frame or something to mount the console armrest on. I had my console out for a few days when I was checking my trans adjustment and I kept going to lean on it - doh!
    Not sure, console and two door panels don't weight much though

    Rug: Might keep just enough rug to cover the floor area in front of the seats.

    Dash: Will look about the same but will have a lot of blockoff plates where some of the components are. I'll use those locations for any other switches and gauges etc.
    Hoping to leave just enough of a shell to attach the dashpad and front trim to. Dash structure has a lot of steel and plastic - weighs a freakin ton!!
    AC vents and almost everything in the center will be gone. Won't have AC but I may rig up some kind of lightened heating system that has positions for defrost and a floor dump for heat.
    There comes a certain point in the fall where you can still drive but it gets REAL uncomfortable when you don't have any heat and your breathing fogs up the windshield.
    Besides, the big cubes LOVE the cold weather. That's when they really come alive

    Gauges: Might try to replace some of the stuff in the pod w/ aftermarket or may just add them to the blanked out locations. Not sure if the pod will like aftermarket stuff.

    Seats - kinda spoiled by the power seats. I find I adjust them differently depending on whether I'm just cruising or driving with a bit more spirit.
    Not that concerned about the actual material though. If I can find lighter cloth or aftermarket that will fit the power base I might go that route.

    Security system/Memory etc. Going to keep that stuff as the BCM is an integral part of the system and those components weigh next to nothing anyway.

    Engine compartment: Major cleanup there. Always hated how cluttered it is

    Electrical: I LOVE electrical work. Going to do a good bit of restructuring there.

    Still trying to decide NA vs SC. Love SC but might be expensive and difficult for reasons that will be more apparent in the future.
    Either way I'm know it's not gonna have any spray involved.

    I think the motor is going in first to see how I like it, then decide about SC later.

  16. #16
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Day 6

    Today:
    Sunroof is out.

    Westin siderails are off.

    Rainguards off rear windows, (none on front windows)

    Tcase and engine skids off.

    Starting to look/feel like it's mine now. Also starting to feel like a real project.

    This is great. Haven't had something like this to work on in a long time - a no holds barred do WETF I want kind of project.

    Next step: Few more things to verify as to what works/doesn't work before it comes apart. It's been a little too cold to check AC so far.

    Then sound system comes out, probably followed by work on the doors.

    After that I tear into the dash.
    I kept everything - everydamnthing - from the 98 5.2 parts car so I'm probably going to modify the spare stuff like the dash parts and have that ready to throw back in.

    Then I can start on the wiring project.

    Not sure when the drivetrain is coming out. I need a better place to do that work. I think the landlords are still shellshocked from the 98 5.2 I took apart here. They just don't see the beauty of it




  17. #17
    illiterate sumamabitch 5.2zjkid's Avatar
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    oh thats were that panal is . . zj manual seats arnt bad if they dont have alot of miles on them there . xj seats seem to be better factory ones in my 2 door really comfortable .i liked the manual zj seats two thoguh and threre really lite.

  18. #18
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    DAY 7

    Got some done today.

    ABS/Airbags: Had to grab the FSM and check a few things, needed to make sure that removing airbags and ABS wasn't going to affect drivablility or cause CELs or anything - in these BCM ZJs everything is tied into everything else, ABS goes to PCM etc.

    That stuff worked out well.

    Doors: Learned a bit about the door systems today. Door modules are a PITA. Alarm won't work, doors won't lock, door lights won't work unless door modules for both front doors are in place. Also, each window has to have it's own switch in place for that window to work.
    Gonna have to learn more about how that stuff works by studying the FSM - hopefully I'll be able to do some bypassing to accomplish what I have in mind.

    Stereo: Checked speakers. All door speaker cones were completely blown out except for the drivers door - and that one didn't work at all!
    Interesting thing - all door speakers were labeled "Front".
    Looked like rear door panels had never been off before, panels were sealed tight as a drum so is that a Niner thing or were they just replaced with the wrong part?

    Today's tally:
    After that testing, I removed door panels, inside dash trim at window, pulled off dash skin and trim around steering column.
    Removed both airbags, airbag module and G switch (the thing on the hump under the rear seat)
    Removed all sound system components - HU, Amp, dash and door speakers and soundbar.
    Disabled ABS too but haven't removed any components yet.









    Compare this to the bare dash frame in this thread: http://www.thespeedfreaks.net/showthread.php?t=1196
    Last edited by Z88Z; 03-18-2009 at 07:06 PM.

  19. #19
    Administratororororor SUPERJEEP's Avatar
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    do you have a good wood bezel that goes around the shifter? also do you have a set of low milage niner gauges?
    1998 grandcherokee5.9.forged bottom,vortech T trim,220 cam,ported eq heads,and all supporting valvetrain,4bbl m1,sct tuned,headers/full exhaust,4.10 gears,and the usual bolt-ons,alcohol injection, martin saine 3800 pro billet stall converter

    2002 954rr kandy red with lots of mods

    2004 f4i. sick inovations cage,kandy red paint,polished frame,si round bar. dirtbike bars, dual caliper handbrake

    "wear a condom,i dont want to be an uncle to a bunch of space cadets on motorcycles lookin like you" -davit-


  20. #20
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    dunno yet. Was hoping to sell complete interior but I'll see if there's enough interest in individual pieces...

    Niner gauges? Same as 98 5.2 gauges aren't they?

    Now that you mention gauges, that reminds me, my Stone White has that oddball mix of metric and 'merican stuff.
    Speedo is MPH but stuff like oil pressure is in gigglewarts or WETF those Euro peons use....

    What I'm really needing to do is get all my parts in one place and go throught them, get a list and pics and post the stuff for sale.

    Got Niner roof racks, skids, Agate 98 leather interior, Niner interior, Westin chrome front lightbar and side steps, Taurus Efan w/ shroud. Ton of 94 LTD stuff too.
    I got so many parts I need Carl Sagan to help count em!

    Anybody want a sweet running 98 5.2 motor?

  21. #21
    illiterate sumamabitch 5.2zjkid's Avatar
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    aluminium door panals you know ya want to .

  22. #22
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.2zjkid View Post
    aluminium door panals you know ya want to .
    Actually I'll probably keep just the plastic/rubber sound deadener with an aluminum piece for a combo door pull and armrest.
    Gotta fab just enough of a frame to hold a center armrest too - I still keep on almost falling over when I get in it! Lolz

    Aluminum front panels would look nice though.... hmmm

  23. #23
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Only some very minor progress the last few days.

    Started pulling some wires.

    Disconnected heater box wiring, rear door light switches and a few other things.

    Now my little red security light doesn't work I loved my little red security light, sniff sniff

    Reconnected door switches etc but only spent a few mins on it. Weird part is it seems like security is still working. Horn still beeps with the RKE.

    Found an "unknown component" under the dash which I'm assuming is a remote starter. Found PNs but don't see a name on it yet. I figure maybe I'll ask Nick Papageorgio if he knows what it is or if he can get a remote for it.

  24. #24
    Administrator Ninergrad's Avatar
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    Hey John do you have a spare keyless remote by chance? My daughter dropped mine in the sink... so no more.
    -Davit.

    98 ZJ 5.9L Slate
    Click here for MODS

    98 Ram 2500 5.9L 24V Cummins, short bed, Blue
    MBPR Turbo back 4" exhaust, Edge Juice, Superchips tuner.


    http://autotruckservice.org/

  25. #25
    Administratororororor SUPERJEEP's Avatar
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    i think i have some davit if you want them. ill mail em out as soon as i find em
    1998 grandcherokee5.9.forged bottom,vortech T trim,220 cam,ported eq heads,and all supporting valvetrain,4bbl m1,sct tuned,headers/full exhaust,4.10 gears,and the usual bolt-ons,alcohol injection, martin saine 3800 pro billet stall converter

    2002 954rr kandy red with lots of mods

    2004 f4i. sick inovations cage,kandy red paint,polished frame,si round bar. dirtbike bars, dual caliper handbrake

    "wear a condom,i dont want to be an uncle to a bunch of space cadets on motorcycles lookin like you" -davit-


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