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Thread: ZJ family truckster

  1. #1
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    ZJ family truckster

    Heres my ZJ (my first Jeep)- started out as a replacement for my 4.0L 2wd B-4000 (the DeRanger)- so i could fit a child seat. A transfer case was high on the list of things to get in a replacement vehicle after an 4 cyl YJ saved my DeRanger from a sandtrap at Mosport. even made it look easy...
    -opening up a whole new can of worms

    first to go were the stock tires & rims- i kept the LT235/75-15 BFG-AT's on AR767's from the DeRanger and threw them on the Z.

    went wheelin again at Mosport- and learned the folly of Wheeling Solo. Also the folly of AT's in bog...

    Drove it like that for some time, till i thought i was invincible once and ended up smashing the x-member. turns out there was an exhaust leak...
    enter the 3" Skyjacker s/a lift, magnaflow cat and a ss flowmaster 50. and a Rusty's offroad xmember.

    Should have went with a 4" long arm so i could get a proper drop Pittman- the half-commitment of a 3" shortarm lift has given me years of steering annoyances. some rod collars on the swaybar (thanks CANADIAN ZJ!, Curt's_97 ) and an alignment from Allyn at Steer-right and a Durango steering box (thanks Curt's_97), have helped as much as they can. one day the y-steering linkage may meet curbside pickup.

    my son helped teach my friend Rory how to change the rad...

    i'm nowhere near finished...
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    Last edited by AXMN_ZJ; 03-09-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    the factory battery had started to go dry on it's outside cells. (side angle slosh?) so in went the first Optima. it lasted 17.5 months exactly. 15 days still on warranty

    steering stabilizer replaced with OME one.

    the factory swaybar endlinks were designed upside down so they'd rust out and separate quicker, so i replaced them with jks discos. only marginally more expensive than stock, and way more useful.

    in replacing the front u-joints i forgot a c-clip and ended up also having to replace a lense in my glasses, accompanied by a black eye
    - next time the axle stub will come ALL the way out and so will the clips...

    the Jeep was a better height for me after the lift but the tires started to look a little small...
    (i drove them for another year- the budget was blown)
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    springs 016.jpg   springs 017.jpg   DSC02991a.jpg  
    Last edited by AXMN_ZJ; 01-08-2012 at 05:59 PM.

  3. #3
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    You're right, the tires do look small. All in all it looked good.

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    thanks doctor- here's how it's rolling now- looks much more fitting.

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    31x10.5 MTZ's and a touch of hacksaw and zip tie surgery
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  6. #6
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    has decent capability now- can do things i didnt even think about trying before
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    Cool man. This is how it all starts LOL. Next thing you know you need another car for a DD and driving in snowstorms for Jeep parts to get her ready "Just in time"

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    i wish i left my zj at that height and tire size, so many less complications

  9. #9
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    I'm happy with the tire size. still working out the bugs of the lift.
    put in a steering brace from Kevin's offroad.- (recommended)
    new rad in the winter, with help from a buddy and my 3yr old
    the old steering box had some issues, even before the upgrade, and had finally been replaced with a Durango unit. (thanks Curt's_97)
    some more esssential addins- a full size spare - that fits in the stock location (thanks C.C. - i have had to use it - apparently MTZ's aren't nailproof) and a 5LB ABC extinguisher (thanks to E.L.S. - Emergency Lighting Service, let's hope i dont have to use it)

    JoeL- what were your complications?
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    Nice little right up man....good to see where you started from...ya can look back in a couple years and go...holy crap..thats where all my money went...lol...wish I could remember...lol
    They call me Monkey cause I'm the silver back of the bunch
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    just the same complications as any truck when you get into custom stuff

  12. #12
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    and now for the story of the trailer hitch...
    the uhaul vintage draw-tite had lost about an 1/8th, maybe more in the past 11 years to flaking. no longer felt i could trust it for 2500-lbs, let alone the 5000 it was spec'd for. (not like i'm geared for that with 3.55's...)
    i ordered a new one from the place on dixie. good price. it ended up being another draw-tite...
    at least it looks better built than the last one- let's hope it is more rust-resistant.

    thought it'd be an easy swap... - the one i installed in my old ranger, in a parking lot, in the dark, with a flashlight and a cordless drill and NO jackstands wasnt TOO bad...

    i tried to undo the nuts from underneath the drawbar. i dont have an air compressor, so no impact gun was consulted...
    i got out the breaker bar. the big one. the really big 48" princess auto one. and i broke stuff.
    of the 2 bolts and 4 nuts-on studs i had to remove- only the bolts were recognizeable when i was done. one wasnt pretty, but the first one went fine - (insert impending doom here)
    i broke all the factory double sided stud bolts at least once...
    i had to cut with hacksaw and tigersaw. i had to consult the BFH. i swore, i sweated, and i even bled a little (less than usual actually) and eventually i got the whole shabang off the rig. the plastic bumper shroud and step plate may never get remounted, so CTC sourced Krylon f-black rattler painted up the stamped steel 'bumper'. (there are holes on the bumper that are in about the right spot to bolt on a hi-lift- gotta use locknuts though- probably doubled the strength of the 'bumper'
    putting the new draw bar went ok- ratchet strap to the trunklatch hook, zip, zip, zip, and it's up. the new G8/10.9 bolts, and it's bolted up better now than it ever was. and now i dont need to worry about the plastic shroud getting damaged. whoever's behind me might want to watch their following distance in the rain though...
    lookin more badass all the time

    anyone want an old ZJ hitch receiver that's rusted out for reference to build a bumper or whatever?

    i am definitely going to look at a real steel bumper to replace the factory p.o.s. when i figure out everything i need it to do...

    btw-the tent trailer kinda shown in the pic is for sale- dont know the price yet, it's not mine, i just borrowed it.
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    Loving everything but the bumper/jack arrangement. Lift and tires look great, and you obviously take care of your ride.

    Have a look around for a replacement bumper cover for now, or if it's in the cards, a replacement "real" bumper. And get that jack off the bumper before someone bumps you in a lot and bends it. I particularly liked the one I saw with an internal roll cage and the high-lift was bolted to it, in the back (near the gate hinges, but inside the truck - clean!). Can't find my pictures now, but it'd be very easy to weld in a couple studs to hang it from off the roof.
    ....-Noltz
    '91 Frankenheep Edition. 4.0, 4" BDS, Richmond 8.8, 35" KM2's, Titan 12k, ... gone.
    '95 4Runner SR5. Air-Lift bags, OBA & 8K Winch, DD... gone.

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    Now you just some jacking points so you can use that hilift Phil. JK. Looking good buddy.
    97 TJ - The Build
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  15. #15
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    i took the jack off the bumper after camping- there's room inside for it now. keeps it clean(er) and safe(er). when i remove the jack arm, it will strap vertically inside to the spare, or get strapped to the floor where the old child seat tether is. i picked up some nice cargo mount rails at TSC (half price sale). just have to figure out which way i want to mount them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    Loving everything but the bumper/jack arrangement. Lift and tires look great, and you obviously take care of your ride.

    Have a look around for a replacement bumper cover for now, or if it's in the cards, a replacement "real" bumper. And get that jack off the bumper before someone bumps you in a lot and bends it. I particularly liked the one I saw with an internal roll cage and the high-lift was bolted to it, in the back (near the gate hinges, but inside the truck - clean!). Can't find my pictures now, but it'd be very easy to weld in a couple studs to hang it from off the roof.
    i'd be interested in the pictures when you find them.

  17. #17
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    i had a brilliant thought this morning- a winch and steel bumper on the front should drop the front an inch or so, allowing better alignment- maybe that's what the 3"front/2" rear lift was designed to do...

  18. #18
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    put the bumper shroud back on (with zip ties 'cause i broke most of the factory push-lock plastic bolts)- figured it'd be easier to move that way than load it in the back of the cube (or garbage truck)

  19. #19
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    trail tested the jeep on the weekend- did pretty good. happy with the mtz's , thats for sure. shopping list now includes armour and a wee bit more lift in the rear....
    '02 Ram 1500 quadcab stickshift 4x4
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    Sweet!

    I like the low level of mods in this one. Sure you can lift it, slap 33's on it, and then hate how gutless the Jeep is, or wonder why you have to keep replacing parts; with the 31's, it's just easier on you and your ride. I might have missed it, but what kind of engine does it have? 4.0 or 5.2?

    If I was a Jeep, they'd have parted me out a LONG time ago.

    I'm a proud member of SOXJA ask me why!

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