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  1. #1
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    Fastest ZJ 5,9 in Sweden

    Well, not yet.

    A buddy and I just got a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum. It got 300 000 km (or about 190 000 miles) on the clock. Battered, bruised, dinged and commonly neglected.. The previous owner was a junk yard owner who used it as his personal transport. When not even he wanted it, got ended up on my yard in exchange of 700$.

    See pics for what is looks like after a good wash. It had been sitting under a tree for 10 months.

    After getting a new battery, it will get a proper service with all new filters and fluids. The only big problem found so far is a broken brake fluid line

    Budget is set to minimal since we race other cars also...

    To be the Fastest ZJ 5,9 in Sweden we plan this:

    - weight reduction (free)
    - lower center of gravity radically and try to make go round corners quick (race grade springs, shocks and double swaybars)
    - remote turbo (use whatever we find on our shelves)

    That should be it, since almost no one races a Jeep in sweden, they are all lifted and roll on big tires.

    Any suggestions in accomplishing our Jeep Racing Mission is welcome!

    /JR
    IMG_1297.jpgIMG_1298.jpgIMG_1300.jpgIMG_1301.jpg
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum (ZG)
    Sold in Germany, driven in Sweden
    300 000 km and still going...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by johanr View Post
    To be the Fastest ZJ 5,9 in Sweden we plan this:

    - weight reduction (free)
    - lower center of gravity radically and try to make go round corners quick (race grade springs, shocks and double swaybars)
    - remote turbo (use whatever we find on our shelves)

    That should be it, since almost no one races a Jeep in sweden, they are all lifted and roll on big tires.

    Any suggestions in accomplishing our Jeep Racing Mission is welcome!
    Somewhere on here is a 'delete' thread for weight reduction. Things like AC, stereo, headliner, sunroof, roof rack, rear wiper, etc. I'll suggest the obvious... delete all that chrome tube steel all around the outside! It must weigh 300 lbs (or 140 kilos for our European friends).

    There are many threads on here about all sorts of performance upgrades, suspension, etc. When I found this group about six months ago, I spent about 4 days and late nights straight reading the whole damn thing. You certainly found the right place for your project.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! The fencing will certainly be removed and sold to get go-quick bits.

    /JR
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum (ZG)
    Sold in Germany, driven in Sweden
    300 000 km and still going...

  4. #4
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Double sway bars? Interesting but might be hard to pull off with the Limited space in ZJs. (or ZGs)

    I think the best you can do might be Adco or Hellwig stuff. There's the 'Military' swaybar but it's been discontinued and hard to find. H&R springs will lower it around 1 1/2 or 1/3/4 inch.

    By racing I assume you mean twisties rather than drag racing? If it's road racing type stuff, one area you'll probably find the ZJ falling short in is the braking. There's regular upgrades out there like drilled or slotted and dimpled rotors with EBC pads etc.
    Then there's the Vanco kits which are probably the best, but pretty pricey.

    I think the WJ brakes and/or swaybar might be considered upgrades too? - maybe?


    I'm sure you're going to want to tune it, so get in touch with flyinryan, our resident SCT tuner. (SCT is the only option unless you go with an aftermarket EFI piggybacked over the Jeep PCM - but that's real pricey too)


    Like carlmon said, several threads on weight reduction, but it depends on how far you want to take it and how much comfort you want to leave in.

    Sunroof assembly alone is around 40+ lbs, IIRC - but then you have to seal up a big hole, lolz

  5. #5
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    I am currently doing a complete service with all fluids , ignition parts and filters. Easy access to everything, that's nice!

    A/C isn't working so I see alot of tubing and compressor to take off. Sunroof is nice, but at 40 lbs (18kg) it simlpy has to go away. The powered leather seats is also look heavy. Speakers, sound insulation, spare wheel... A lot can come of easy.

    I reckon that if I get it to go round twisties reasonably, it should probably also go quick in a straight line? Please correct me if I'm wrong, 1/4 mile racing is new to me. It should also be able to drift if necessary. Take away front drive shaft?

    Also, I am feeling a bit ashamed to "destroy" a perfecly working 5.9, but considering all projects with lift and big tires involved, maybe I shouldn't care :-)

    /JR
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum (ZG)
    Sold in Germany, driven in Sweden
    300 000 km and still going...

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    Ok, some service done: oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, spark leads, cap & rotor.

    First real test drive done and got some impression:

    - Engine is strong & powerful!
    - Did some WOT runs, the first ones produced a big cloud of smoke. Color was had to see since the rear windows are tinted. After some more there was no smoke. Maybe just rust and deposits from sitting for a while? Oil and cooling water looks ok, no sludge.
    - Vibrations at light throttle in low speeds, about 30-50 kmph. Tickover, WOT, and higher speeds no vibrations. What could it be? Tourqe converter? Auto oil and filter not changed yet.
    - Noise under engine breaking. Axles or transfer box?
    - For the hell of it I tried a burnout in 4WD high and it worked! I thought that you needed a 2WD transfer case to do that. Enlighten me, please!
    - Tight circles in 4wd high, no jumping. Tight circles in 4wd low, a lot of jumping. Transfer box shot?
    - Suspension is very soft...
    - Steering is very vague. Very. Worn bushings or servo? Matbe both?

    /JR
    Last edited by johanr; 06-09-2015 at 12:47 PM.
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum (ZG)
    Sold in Germany, driven in Sweden
    300 000 km and still going...

  7. #7
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    Pretty sure you can drift with 4WD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qanlirrRWs
    I'm a big advocate of keeping the 4WD advantage Jeep 5.9 and SRT's have over the other SRT's. Consider Lamborghinis, Porsche 918, La Ferrari, Audi R8 - many of the most remarkable supercars are AWD. It absolutely helps launch and cornering, and it seems kind of silly to pull the front drive shaft to save weight, and leave the transfer case and front diff in place.
    The sure fire cure for an understeering jeep (apart from suspension work) is to give it more power in the turn - I promise you the stock niner can perform a lovely power drift with more speed and more control than in 2WD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z88Z View Post
    By racing I assume you mean twisties rather than drag racing? If it's road racing type stuff, one area you'll probably find the ZJ falling short in is the braking. There's regular upgrades out there like drilled or slotted and dimpled rotors with EBC pads etc.
    Then there's the Vanco kits which are probably the best, but pretty pricey.

    I think the WJ brakes and/or swaybar might be considered upgrades too? - maybe?
    there are early and late wj calipers, the akebonos being the later and more sought after. And you have to match the knuckles to the caliper, I believe the akebonos mount a little differently, maybe a different bracket?

    The wj brakes/knuckle swap are considered a good improvement over stock ZJ brakes. I haven't completed it yet but my 96 on 35s is getting them with black magic brake pads, and centric rotors.

    They take a lil fab work/welding to be perfect though


    Quote Originally Posted by johanr View Post
    - Tight circles in 4wd high, no jumping. Tight circles in 4wd low, a lot of jumping. Transfer box shot?

    - Steering is very vague. Very. Worn bushings or servo? Matbe both?

    /JR
    Sounds like your tcase is working perfectly

    for the loose steering start by checking all front end suspension and steering parts, make sure everything is tight. Anything with play, replace or upgrade. After that, move on to the rear.
    Last edited by MurdaJ; 06-09-2015 at 11:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    - Did some WOT runs, the first ones produced a big cloud of smoke. Color was had to see since the rear windows are tinted. After some more there was no smoke.
    Maybe it was cold when you started, and running rich on open loop, or maybe water from condensation evaporating out of the exhaust.

    - Vibrations at light throttle in low speeds, about 30-50 kmph. Tickover, WOT, and higher speeds no vibrations. What could it be? Tourqe converter? Auto oil and filter not changed yet.
    Could be harmonic balancer - it's a common failure, but not the only possibility. Do you feel it when you run it up to the normal vibration range in park or neutral? If so, the HB is probable... however, mine does this intermittently, and I've changed my HB to no effect. If the vibe is there in neutral and park, you've eliminated everything after the flex plate, so it's either the HB, flex plate, motor mounts, something in the motor, or something feeding the motor (injectors, etc.).

    - Noise under engine breaking. Axles or transfer box?
    I'd check the U-joints (or is it CV-joints?). Always best to start looking at the easiest possibilities.

    - For the hell of it I tried a burnout in 4WD high and it worked! I thought that you needed a 2WD transfer case to do that. Enlighten me, please!
    Crap tires? It's pretty hard to do a straight line burn out on clean dry asphalt with good tires on a stock niner. With left foot braking I can usually get the front tires squealing briefly on launch, but never all four in a straight line. Maybe you were just hearing the fronts?

    - Tight circles in 4wd high, no jumping. Tight circles in 4wd low, a lot of jumping. Transfer box shot?
    Like Murdaj said- that's normal... but now that you mention it, I've never tried a burnout in 4WD low! It's a scary thought, but it might be amazing for 0-30 mph time!

    - Suspension is very soft...
    You know what to do!

    - Steering is very vague. Very. Worn bushings or servo? Matbe both?
    "Steering is very vague" is a vague description... could be those crap tires, or bushings, tie rod, etc. You will want to put poly bushings in anyway. Have a buddy wiggle the steering wheel back and forth (with the motor off) while you're under it with a flashlight, looking, listening and feeling for motion in any joints.

  10. #10
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurdaJ View Post
    ... Sounds like your tcase is working perfectly

    for the loose steering start by checking all front end suspension and steering parts, make sure everything is tight. Anything with play, replace or upgrade. After that, move on to the rear.

    Quote Originally Posted by carlmon View Post
    - Could be harmonic balancer - it's a common failure, but not the only possibility.

    - For the hell of it I tried a burnout in 4WD high and it worked!
    It's pretty hard to do a straight line burn out on clean dry asphalt with good tires on a stock niner.

    - Tight circles in 4wd high, no jumping. Tight circles in 4wd low, a lot of jumping. Transfer box shot?
    Like Murdaj said- that's normal...

    "Steering is very vague" is a vague description... could be those crap tires, or bushings, tie rod, etc. You will want to put poly bushings in anyway. Have a buddy wiggle the steering wheel back and forth (with the motor off) while you're under it with a flashlight, looking, listening and feeling for motion in any joints.


    Good info there ^


    Just to reiterate some stuff.........,

    Sounds like your transfer case is good. Jumping on tight turns in HIGH would indicate it's bad, in LOW it's normal.


    The burnout thing surprises me too. Doesn't really sound right, IMHO. Maybe bad tires and a strong motor as was stated, but......
    I would have suggested making sure none of the 4WD parts were bad, broken CVs on the axle shafts, sheared pinion on front diff, or sheared gears/snapped chain on the Tcase - but if it's jumping in 4WD low I think that means that stuff is good? Not 100% sure on that though.



    "Steering is very vague" is a vague description... LOL @ that, but true


    Steering check info is good too, but I'd add the front track bar as one of the things to check.
    Bad bushings or more likely wear on the ball joint type fitting (just found that on my 93) Also - if the track bar has been bad for a while, or if there's excess play in the front end in general - the track bar's stud can elongate the hole in the bracket off the frame. I don't know how common that is but people have mentioned getting it welded, or welding a strong washer to the bracket. (a washer with the same I. D. as the stud)

    Wheel bearings and ball joints should be checked too. Even the steering box might have play.

    I would add to what carlmon said by saying check it again with the motor running. Might be easier to see the play in various components with the force of power steering behind it.
    I'd also identify any spots in your steering that had clunks or 'notchy' feels, and have the person move the steering back and forth across those areas in particular.




    Quote Originally Posted by carlmon View Post
    ....seems kind of silly to pull the front drive shaft to save weight, and leave the transfer case and front diff in place.....
    I'd kind of lean towards what carlmon said there too.

    I guess the advantage to only removing the front driveshaft is that you could reinstall it any time you wanted to go back to 4WD.

    There's also the 242 or 231 Tcase which would give you 2WD or 4WD depending on which you want at the time.

    Going to dedicated 2WD would save a lot of weight, but it would probably be even harder for you to do over there.

    In the USA (mostly in the southern states) we do have "2WD only" ZJs with a straight tube front axle. Even here they aren't that common - and I doubt you'd find any in Sweden.

    Same with the transmission OD/output housing. Some Dodge trucks came with 2WD 46REs, but it can take some doing to find the right output housing. Various year Dodges did not have the VSS/speedometer worm gear and output hole, but not sure which years did or did not.
    And I doubt you have many Dodge trucks over there anyway, so you'd have to get stuff shipped.



    Speaking of transmissions - not sure how familiar you are with the ZJs/ZGs so I'll just throw some FYI stuff here.

    The 46RE in our Jeeps is a one year/one model transmission, used on the 98 5.9 only.

    Dodge uses 46REs but they have left side starters. We basically can't use them due to exhaust clearances issues, downpipes from ZJ headers and factory manifolds won't clear the starter (and you probably don't have Dodges over there anyway, lol)

    The 46RH used on 93 to 95 ZJs won't work with the 98 PCM (E for electronic shifting, H for hydraulic) plus it's a different length than ours and would require custom driveshafts. There's a possibility the E vs H function can be changed in our PCM via SCT, but I don't think anyone has looked too deeply into that.

    The 44RE from a 96 to 98 5.2 ZJ is a direct swap and would work - but it's a lighter duty transmission, so not really desirable on anything that's going to be driven hard. (44RE uses a different dipstick and tube and torque converter but it would work if swapped with those parts)

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the great responses! American cars has a following in Scandinavia with hot rodders and straight-line performance cars. Trucks there are also even though you may call the "light" :-)

    A 242 or 231 transfer case seems most reasonable. If I under stand it correctly, if I get a 242 from a XJ I can make one working t-case with 4L/4H/2H?

    I just spotted a leak from the power steering. I'll down there and see how severe it is and refill with steering fluid. Fingers crossed it will get better.

    /JR
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5,9 Magnum (ZG)
    Sold in Germany, driven in Sweden
    300 000 km and still going...

  12. #12
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johanr View Post
    ........... If I under stand it correctly, if I get a 242 from a XJ I can make one working t-case with 4L/4H/2H?....../JR
    I'm not by any means an expert on Tcases or swaps but I think the 242 is 4PT/4FT/4L/2WD (all high except the 4LOW)


    I think I have this right, LOL. If not someone will correct me I'm sure

    PT and FT for Part Time and Full Time. Part time locks it in 4WD HIGH and is meant to be used in inclement weather and poor traction conditions. It doesn't give the best ride or MPGs etc, hence you only use it part of the time.

    Full Time works more like our 249s and doesn't power the front unless it senses slip in the rear, so you can use it full time. I guess you'd use that if you had spotty weather, patches of snow and ice mixed with clean pavement, etc.



    The 231 works the same except it doesn't have one of the PT/FT positions. Not sure which - like I said, not a Tcase guru.


    I believe the 242 from an XJ is a direct swap if you get the right year, just not sure which year/s. 98 I think? Also not sure if it requires driveshaft modding - seems like some say it's necessary and some say it isn't - but that may have to do with suspension height and whether it's lifted or not.

    242s from different years/vehicles might have different splines etc


    Hopefully someone will weight in with better info

  13. #13
    Member Mark 318 ita's Avatar
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    hi,
    on my 242 i have, in this order: 2wd, 4wdpt, 4wdft, n, 4lopt
    on the 231 you don't have 4wdft.

    someone says that the 231 is stronger...i red here that some guys are launching with the 242 in full time pretty damn hard, so not sure if the 242 is so weak...

    i had to shorten the rear drive shaft about half inch.

    the guy who sold me the 242 said that it was coming from a zj, i honestly have no idea if that is true.
    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.
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  14. #14
    Member dukefromthecave's Avatar
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    242 full time is open center differential to allow for different wheel speeds, part time high or low is locked center diff. That is why you hop around tight turns in PT/low, front and rear wheels are trying to turn at the same speed. I remember Rob/Comptiger posting something about why the 242 was rated for less torque; i think rated in FT4.

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