The ZJ That Almost Became a Donor to my CJ "My Expedition Rig to Be"

Kirk T

New member
The ZJ that almost wasn't! I was on the search for a fuel injected 4.0L to put in my 1977 CJ. A friend told me about having a Grand Cherokee that ran good until he hit a deer with it. He said it could be bought for $200.00. This was last September, I took him up on the offer and went after the ZJ. I thought I had better hear the motor run before I started the transplant. Not willing to spend any money just to hear it run I had to make do with what I had at the shop. My friend Randy and I got in MacGyver mode. The grand Cherokees radiator had been damaged to the point that it would not hold coolant. I found in the back corner of the shop a radiator out of the 78 Oldsmobile 88. With some zip ties and several old radiator hoses clamped together we made it hold coolant. It ended up running so good we decided take it for a drive. It drove so good It had to be fixed!
 

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Kirk T

New member
image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgThe ZJ sat most of last Winter, then in June I got with the program so it could be driven to Red River New Mexico for weeklong outing with family and friends the last week of July. All this took place with my friend Randy's help. I wanted the ZJ to be leak free so out came the motor after all. With the motor out the transmission got a new torque converter seal. The engine got a new rear main seal, timing chain and gears, oil pan gasket, Oil filter adapter O'rings and valve cover gasket.
 

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Kirk T

New member
We managed to get the ZJ back together and roadworthy for the red river trip. Here are a few pictures while on the red river trip. The trip started off well we got an early start and had driven to Boise City, Oklahoma without problems. Between Boise City and Clayton, New Mexico the ZJ started to sputter. The ZJ died and would not start again on Main Street in Clayton, NM. right across the street from the NAPA auto parts store. We identified the problem as the fuel pump, believe it or not they had one in stock. We managed to get ZJ behind the store under a shade tree and went on a scavenger hunt looking for a 5 gallon cans to siphon the fuel into. We remove the fuel tank and the pump/sending unit assembly. All went fairly well and about three hours later we were back on the road.
 

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Kirk T

New member
On the red river trip I found that we had all the leaks stopped with the exception of a leak between the transmission and transfer case. It was easy to determine that it was the transmission leaking instead of the transfer case, we had to continually add transmission fluid. Last weekend I pulled the transfer case and put a new seal in the output of the transmission and a new seal in the input of the transfer case. Now with no leaks whatsoever, I feel good about the ZJ decided to give it a good bath! Here are some pictures all cleaned up. Next week I plan to order the 5 1/2 inch critical path long arm lift kit from Iron Rock Off Road.
 

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Octotat

Observer
Great score! You'll love your ZJ once you get all it's bugs fixed. I love mine, even with a few gremlins still lurking under the hood.
 

Kirk T

New member
Most of my gremlins are power door lock / window related oh and the radio doesn't work.
Great score! You'll love your ZJ once you get all it's bugs fixed. I love mine, even with a few gremlins still lurking under the hood.
 

Kirk T

New member
Installing my lift 9-6-2014 pic 3.JPGThe lift kit came in.It was nice to be able to spend Saturday working on the ZJ, got the front installed.
 

K2ZJ

Explorer
Stock radio? They usually become possessed and need to be changed. For the windows and locks check the wires going from the body to the doors. They get old and crack, check drivers door first as it opens and closes the most.
 

Kirk T

New member
Stock radio? They usually become possessed and need to be changed. For the windows and locks check the wires going from the body to the doors. They get old and crack, check drivers door first as it opens and closes the most.
I have repaired those wires on the drivers side but I have not checked the passenger side. I'll bet your right though, I had all the windows working and now there's nothing on the passenger side, I'll check the passenger side wires. As for the locks I've never had them working. Thy make a noise without movement one direction and nothing the other direction
 

Kirk T

New member
Finally finished the IRO 5.5" Critical Path Long Lift. Thought I would post a few pictures. Debating which wheels to go with, I've narrowed it down to one of these two pictured. The seems like the steel wheels would be a little more rugged but the factory wheels are aluminum and seem to hold up well, anyone care to make suggestions?
 

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Kirk T

New member
An update , picture from Oct 8th 2014, I decided to go with the black steel wheel and BF Goodrich Mud Terrain's
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Kirk T

New member
Here's a picture of the ZJ with the new tires and wheels installed, it also is from October 8, 2014. A few days later I parked the jeep on the drive with the drivers side window down, when I returned, I was startled by flapping wings, there was a falcon sitting on the console. I gently open the back hatch, on his way out he posed for a picture.image.jpg image.jpg
 
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