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  1. #1
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Cool Project: Old Man ZJ

    i figured i should start my own thread to highlight some of the work already done, and the future mods for my new 97 ZJ.

    my jeep history started with a lifted 95 XJ a few years ago, which i converted back to stock (and sold) when i swapped all my lift goodies into an 00 XJ. I even built a very nice 4.6L stroker for it! the 00 XJ was fun but i found that i wasnt nearly going wheeling as much as i did with my 95, a few friends sold their jeeps, and driving on the streets with the 00 XJ was not enjoyable. one day i got a offer on my stroker engine and decided at that point to sell it. then i posted the 00 XJ and a number of parts, which all sold over a short time. Now im Jeep-less.

    after a few months of driving my other car, i decided to look for another XJ/ZJ to go camping/shooting with and use in the winter. this vehicle WOULD NOT get any lift, but would get the typical handful of performance parts (air filter, exh, tires, ect). this vehical HAD to stay relatively stock for the most part to keep it enjoyable on the streets and gravel roads.

    near Xmas 2013 i got a lead on a low milage 97 ZJ Limited and ended up closing the deal on DEC 24 7pm!

    I dub'd this my "Old Mans" ZJ

    i gave it this nickname purely on the fact that it was super cushy to drive, and that no matter what mods it would ever get, it was still going to be a slow cruiser. my actual age has no impact on this name either.

    seeing as no used car is perfect, i started the task of repairs and mods along the way as i had a few months before id have it on the street full time. as always the list snowballed.

    repairs/mods done to date:
    - kegger alum plenum plate fix, plugs, tstat, serp belt, rear main seal, oil pan gasket, 1.7 sbf rr's, valve cover gaskets, ebrake pads, custom 4" air intake, taurus efan, header back 3" exhaust, rear spartan locker, SOLID front diff armor, diff fluids, oil filter relocation kit with remote oil cooler, oil catch can, and 52mm tb.
    - sold the stock running steps
    - found the factory tow hooks, steering, tcase, and gas tank armor at the pnp

    im also chasing down a water leak which is coming in my front passenger door seal. i have the carpet removed so its easy to see where the water is entering but my attemps at fixing it havent worked.


    future repairs/mods:
    - picked up a 242 and rear drive shaft from a 00 XJ. just waiting for a good time to install
    - msd 8228 coil and ngk wires sitting on the shelf
    - cubby and rubber cup holder install
    - 5.9 hood vents maybe ?
    - cut polish and paint touch ups
    - brakes

    THATS IT!


    4.6L stroker (sold)






    my ZJ the day i purchased it, and the next weekend i took it shooting




    goodies!

    1999blkdakrt 52mm tb






    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-19-2014 at 08:15 AM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  2. #2
    Member Mark 318 ita's Avatar
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    damn, you did some serius jobs...keep workin on it
    98 ZG 318 limited: np 242 swap, aussie locker, shift kit, optima red, 170lbs reduction, 5.9 vents, tcase skid, kn air filter, air ram, 1.7 HS RRs, SCT 93 oct tune, magnaflow muffler 12255, magnaflow hi-flo cat, spectre air hat, 2x52mm tb, 5.9 efan swap, ngk fr5-1 plugs, mopar perf wires, new cap 'n rot, maxxperf coil, iat relocation, roof lights, pirelli scorpions on masitaly 16x7 rims ET=0, ome HD coils +2",rubic exp +2"shocks, skyjacker ss, rubic exp adjustable front arms, jks rear+procomp front trackbar, prothane engine n tranny mounts, prothane sway bars bushings, drilled n slotted rotors, aeronautical front brake lines, purple led into front grill, hella h4s 100/55w, osarm h3s 55w.
    my channel
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  3. #3
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    NICE!

    You've put some serious work into this thing. Keep it up!



    When it comes to the name all I can think of it the scene from RED - "old man my ass!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYDedFwBHzs

  4. #4
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    I did the repairs/mods over 4 months while it was parked, so it's not that impressive

    I just put plates on the zj 2 days ago and have a couple things to refine. My efan doesn't want to kick on the Hi speed and need to grease the ball joints

    I really need to do the 242 swap ASAP. Maybe the rear locker doesn't help but my front tires bark alot doing real slow speed turns in parks lots
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-19-2014 at 02:02 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  5. #5
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Do you know if the high speed is the Efan motor itself?

    Might want to confirm the motor first by running pos and neg jumpers right into the connector of the motor.

    If that works, jump the bottom sensor. If that doesn't work, swap the high and low relays. It could possibly be the Ignition Relay too.


    If everything else in the system works and the high speed on the motor is shot, that gets bad. The ignition relay takes out the low speed completely and you won't get that back til the motor cools enough that the bottom hose sensor opens again - which basically means it's going to overheat.

  6. #6
    Member JGC403's Avatar
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    What heat shield did you use with your custom cold air kit and what angle is that elbow? My Spectre air hat just came in and I'm trying to finish my intake now.
    No replacement for displacement!

    1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo ZJ
    360 Stroker, 403 c.i.
    3" Skyjacker lift
    31" tires
    K&N Intake
    Edelbrock TES

  7. #7
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    The intake heat shield was from a k&n kit, and the coupler is 45degree (purchased on ebay for $17 shipped)

    I'll have check my efan wiring but I'm not running hot (yet). I did bench test the taurus fan prior to install and both Hi/low did work
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  8. #8
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    I never ran hot but I decided to swap back in the stock clutch fan for a bit as its a quick swap. Going to see how it differs temp wise vs the efan. If there's no difference, ill prob reinstall the efan.

    Also I resealed my front drivers door weather stripping as I've been chasing down a nasty water leak (details in my other thread)

    http://thespeedfreaks.net/showthread...atherstripping
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-23-2014 at 09:11 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  9. #9
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Started to remove some of the small stuff in prep for my 242 swap, planning to do the swap tomorrow.

    I have an xj 242 rear ds which is approx 4" shorter than my stock zj ds. We'll see how things go

    Also noticed my motor is still leaking oil near the rear main seal. I may have my shop use an additive to track it down with a uv light.
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-23-2014 at 09:06 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  10. #10
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    finished the 242 swap ... well for the most part.

    as i had anticipated, my stock zj rear ds was too long by a couple inches. the couple other xj ds's i had grabbed for this swap just in case turned out to be too short!

    solutions:
    a) take stock zj ds to a shop and have it shortened/balanced. i called and it was going to be $160 and 1-2 business days
    (would only do this option as a last resort)
    b) find another ZJ/XJ ds that could work

    exploring option b) first, i took my tape measure in hand with an idea of what i needed for a rough length, and headed to my nearest pnp that i know has 5-6 zj's. out of them all i found 1 ds that seem to be pretty close to what i was after. the donor was an early ZJ, 4L, 242 tcase (external slip).

    got the newest ds home and mock installed it. seems to work out pretty decent. with the zj sitting on the ground, the spline engagement was approx 50-60% (or about 1.5-1.75") which i feel is ideal. To be perfect I like to see another 1/2 - 1". planning to install some better ujoints into the new ds tomorrow, and install my 2wd cubby to delete the vic. filled the 242 up with mobil 1 atf +4 as i had some left over from last time.



    ill post the info below in the 231/242 swap thread i started last week, but to recap:

    donor tcase: 242 out of an 00 XJ
    ds: front stock, rear stock from an early 4L 242 ZJ (end to end length = 38 1/4". end of ujoint openings = 33 1/8". stock zj is 40 3/4" and 35 3/4")
    lift: none, im all stock suspension
    linkage: stock zj for the moment but still have to make some adjustments

    http://thespeedfreaks.net/showthread...nfo-(compiled)
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-25-2014 at 02:50 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  11. #11
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    2wd is dreamy on the street

    Didn't get to play around with the shift linkage yet

    Edit:
    After looking and thinking about the early zj ds I used yesterday for my 242 swap, I decided to see if there was a slightly longer candidate off another jeep. I went back to the pnp and found a 4.7L Wj rear ds to be spot on. Swapped it in and took it out for a spin... She works perfect! There's about an inch travel in, and 2-2.5" of spline contact

    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-25-2014 at 04:58 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  12. #12
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    If you end up with a slight vibration it might be that clamp.

    Not sure if that's big enough to feel but I'm guessing it could be. If there is a vibe you might want to go with a tie wrap instead or find the thinnest hose clamps you can and use two with the heads 180 apart.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z88Z View Post
    If you end up with a slight vibration it might be that clamp.

    Not sure if that's big enough to feel but I'm guessing it could be. If there is a vibe you might want to go with a tie wrap instead or find the thinnest hose clamps you can and use two with the heads 180 apart.

    IIRC That clamp on the rear (DS end) of the boot is not needed. The shaft will spin inside the boot so there is no need to clamp it on that end. The t-case end will hold the boot in place.

  14. #14
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    No vibes with the clamp but if it's not needed I'll take it off. The donor jeep had a clamp but it was the 1 time use
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  15. #15
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Some goodies I ordered arrived ...

    - VIC delete cubby from Robert (installed)
    - a rubber cup holder (I apparently already had one! My interior is removed due to tracking down water leaks and I guess I neglected to realize my zj came with one)
    - weathertech cargo liner
    - misc detailing pads, polishes, and protectants from Autogeek.net

    On a side note, in the upper rad hose I made a coolant temp sensor adapter for the efan conversion, we'll it slipped out and puked coolant everywhere. Installing a new stock upper rad hose as I went back to the clutch fan the other day
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 06-27-2014 at 04:05 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  16. #16
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    So my shocks are dead

    Been scratching my head this last week trying to think of where some noises are originating from. Confirmed it tonight the fronts are completely done, rears are debatable.

    When I purchased the zj back I Dec it drove fine, even had it out shooting once which is a car accessable gravel road. The shocks must have not liked that simple short trip and sitting for a few months.

    I want some GOOD stock shocks that can take a few gravel roads and be great on the street. Ended up ordering a full set of Bilstein 4600's as they were highly favored on the forums


    Garbage shocks currently installed (blown)




    Weathertech cargo liner in!
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 07-03-2014 at 12:05 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  17. #17
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Billies are installed

    Handles great, rides great, the odd clunk is still there (crap!) . Still have to add an exhaust hanger in the rear as I can hear it slightly hitting the track bar on big bumps.

    Starting to think the last bit of sounds are coming from a bad ball joint(s) or resignating from the locker up the drive train. Maybe I have a lose spring!? driving on the street doesn't feel 100% just yet, but almost there

    Last edited by 604rail_king; 07-07-2014 at 10:30 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  18. #18
    Member csouers's Avatar
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    I've been chasing down clunks for the past year. DO NOT over look swaybar bushings! Those little buggers were the cause of my noise. Measure the diameter of your swaybars and order the bushings accordingly.

  19. #19
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Good call. Ill take a look at them

    I had the rear sway off for the exhaust install. The bushings look fine but maybe the nut isn't fully tq down or something
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  20. #20
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    So apparently my front track bar was somehow hitting the SOLID diff cover as I found some heavy contact marks. I took a grinder to it and made some room, see if that helps. I bet it was hitting under an hard bump as I couldn't lift the axle high enough with my jack to make contact

    Before my taking my grinder to it


    Also my tie rods seem to be puking ALOT of grease when I attempted to service them. More grease came out after these pics too. Perhaps it's time for new moogs. Thoughts?



    Last edited by 604rail_king; 07-24-2014 at 04:04 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  21. #21
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    Replaced some of the grease nipples and that seemed help eliminate most of my front end noises. Still haven't hit a good bump to confirm if I've removed enough material from the diff cover to prevent the track bar from hitting

    The new nipples are a short term fix. Just trying to decide if i should replace the worn steering with stock stuff or something like a Rustys offroad pkg
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 07-25-2014 at 08:09 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  22. #22
    Member foo.c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 604rail_king View Post
    Replaced some of the grease nipples and that seemed help eliminate most of my front end noises. Still haven't hit a good bump to confirm if I've removed enough material from the diff cover to prevent the track bar from hitting

    The new nipples are a short term fix. Just trying to decide if i should replace the worn steering with stock stuff or something like a Rustys offroad pkg
    Were the old zerks clogged or something? I can't figure out how zerks could cause front end noise.

  23. #23
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    The old tie rod nipples would just puke out all the grease I pumped in. The new nipples held the grease in and pretty much eliminated the noises. I guess the steering tie rods were pretty dry
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 07-26-2014 at 10:57 AM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

  24. #24
    Member foo.c's Avatar
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    Ah, that makes sense.

  25. #25
    Member 604rail_king's Avatar
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    been on vacation for a bit, and im leaving again in a day.

    i havent even drove the zj in the last 2 weeks and the new tie rod nipples seem to be leaking oil... ya oil. or it looks like oil as its black and liquid. it has been 30-35C lately though.

    also the track bar still hits my SOLID diff cover even after some trimming, so im going back to the stock diff cover.


    going to order all new stock replacement Moog tie rods + track bar + dampener. i decided theres no need for HD aftermarket steering as i dont need it, it costs more, and it may not solve clearing my SOLID cover.

    2 - ES3096L
    1 - DS1310
    1 - DS1312
    1 - ES2079S (sleeve)
    1 - DS1235 (track bar)
    1 - SSD56 (steering dampener)


    while away, im going to arrange to drop the ZJ off at my mechanic to setup the rear diff. i slapped in the Spartan without resetting the clearances, which wasnt wasnt ideal and it worked OK, but i want to eliminate things before i do any damage. thankfully ive only drove like a 1-2 tanks of gas on it. it sounds ok but i feel some slop at times.
    Last edited by 604rail_king; 08-10-2014 at 01:52 PM.
    97 5.2L Limited - sorta stock

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