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So as some of you already know, on Friday night I took a 500-mile round trip to pick up a one-family factory Grand Cherokee base model 4x4. Manual locks, manual windows, no a/c, and of course, 4.0 with the the 5-speed. 

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Its overall in good shape, just a little rough around the edges. The biggest thing is there's a bit of rust in the rockers and it's starting in the fenders. For the most part it's been mitigated somewhat, cut out and/or painted over with what I hope is a rust converter paint, but that will need addressed eventually. 

The other bigger concern I had was that the seller said it had "some wobble", initially at 80km/h, then he stuck some procomp 33's on it and it happened at 60km/h. (50 and 40 mph). He told me he thought he left a bushing sleeve out of one end of the Kevin's Off-road adjustable track bar he had on it. (Two inch lift, terra flex coil spacers and skyjacker shocks, shocks will probably go away because they ride fairly harsh, don't know if I'll be keeping the lift on it yet). After a test drive around the block after getting it registered last night, I decided there was way too much of a clunk coming from the front end, so I pulled off the frame end of the track bar, and everything looked okay, but there was quite a bit of play at the other end. I don't know if this is a feature of the Kevin's OR track bar or what, but the axle end had a distorted-thread nut that may have hit torque spec, but wasn't close to tight. There was almost a 1/4" of thread showing below the nut. It was not at all easy to get a wrench on the nut, but I managed it, then busted out the grinder and booger-stacker and made myself a crude flag nut with a regular 1/2" nut and a chunk of scrap 1/4" plate

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The clunk from the front-end is gone now. There's still a bit of shimmy in the wheel, but it's pretty good overall. It cruises at 100 km/h pretty well. Although even with 3.55's it doesn't take much of a hill for it to start scrubbing speed in 5th.

I took it for a cruise down to Athabaska falls last night after swapping the MJ's wheels and tires onto it. Mostly just cause the ones on it were winters. I kinda like the look of the steel wheels better, but the 235/75/15's fill the wheel wells a touch more than the 215/75's do, which looks better with the lift. 

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It did backfire the one time I stomped on the gas, and the check engine light went on and off a couple times. Idle is even but random, sometimes 500rpm, sometimes 1500, or somewhere between. Code 24 if the same as MJ/XJ codes is the TPS, so I might swap one off the MJ/XJ horde tonight to see what happens, pretty sure I have a newer one somewhere. And RockAuto says they'll interchange at least.

 

But I like the Jeep. Definitely happy about it

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Well the MJ TPS did the trick, no cel, no codes. So that's great. I've really been enjoying this as a daily. I get a bit of a kick out of driving a unicorn that most people won't realize is unusual. 

I got the oil changed in the trans, tcase, and diffs. Oil looked like it had last come out of the trans a looooong time ago (fill plug still has paint lines on it from factory) and the diffs puked watery milkshake, so pretty glad I did that.  I'm also pretty sure that I drained gl5 out of the trans, and I'm not super excited about what I found on the drain plug magnet, but it's all just fine particles so if it's been it there a while it's hopefully okay. But shifting has been a bit unwilling. Having 10w30 in there has improved things a bit but it still resists going into gear. I'm almost thinking the clutch isn't fully disengaging, since the 1/2" at the bottom of travel seems to make a bit of difference. I glanced around for adjustment or a bleeder while I was under there and didn't see anything, reservoir level seems okay, so I'm not 100% on what's going on. Might have to stop in at the "local" FCA dealer and get their reaction when I order a master/slave combo for a Grand Cherokee.

The diffs still looked good inside, although there were scars from shrapnel on the inside of the d35 which have me slightly concerned, but I'm guessing 3:55 rears aren't hard to find on a ZJ if things do go south? Both axles still had the tags on them which is cool. 

I also noticed while I was under there that my Tcase says it's a 231, despite having the full-time shift bezel inside. I stuck it in 4x for loading and unloading, also while swapping wheels, and thought it seemed to shift kinda funky... Now I know why I guess.

I got a folder full of service records with it. I suppose I should look through it at some point, might lean some stuff about tcase or interior swaps.

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In a bit of a wtf moment today I got into the ZJ just to move it closer to where I was going to be putting the stack of GM parts in it onto the Saint, and noticed that the handbrake button seems to have exploded on me. 

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And now the handle is sorta stuck in the middle. It doesn't go down quite all the way, so the brake light's still on, but it's not staying engaged if I pull it up either. 

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I'm assuming I need to pull the threaded rod bit out, somehow, stick the spring over it, and glue(?) the button back onto it? I haven't been able to find much info on the Googles, although I didn't look super hard. It just kinda seems no one with a ZJ uses their handbrake often enough to have any failures other than the drum hardware being seized from lack of use when they move between states and need an inspection. :nuts:

 

Also sorta answered my question about the Tcase I think. Using the vin lookup I posted in the pub a while back I found out the 231J dated February of '92 is probably the original, at least it was originally a command-trac Jeep. I guess it's pretty common for weird shifter bezels to be present as they're easily damaged if they got pulled to replace the light bulbs under them. 

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Pulled the console today after work, looks like the whole handbrake lever shouldn't be too much to replace if I have to. But I figured I'd attempt a fix as the nearest wrecking yard is two hours' drive from here. Between buying the jeep, paying tuition to go to school in the fall, and ~$700 in parts just to make the Jimmy comfortable to sell to someone else (not worth it I know) May has me not wanting to spend any money in June. 

So I grabbed some Poxipol I had kicking around (from Ukraine, supposedly the best stuff for gluing a Lada's vent window latches back onto the glass, seems to work okay for that... but also looks, smells, and behaves exactly like JB Weld), put some threads into the button's hole with a screw just slightly bigger (from the Lada's door mirrors) so it would adhere better, put a healthy glob of ЖБ Велд into the hole, put the spring back in place, and shoved the thing back on. Having the console off gave me access to the ratchet, so I could engage it with the lever up, which pushed the button's rod up far enough I could do stuff with it. How do you maintain clamping force on a button with a spring under it that you can't push in or it releases all tension? Like so:

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The ratchet strap is a perfect tool for this because it's infinitely adjustable and not elastic, so the perfect balance is achieved of putting pressure against the spring without risking pushing the button too far down and releasing the handbrake. I'm letting it cure overnight before releasing even though I'm pretty sure this stuff is good after an hour. 

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Really like the wheels and 235/75 x 15 tire combination.  Have exactly the same combination on both of my Comanches.

 

Nice to see this truck in the hands of someone who appreciates it!

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Yeah, they're the wheels and tires I had on my MJ, which is currently just parked waiting for rust repairs before an out-of-province inspection. At first I wasn't excited about the aluminum wheels on the ZJ, was debating putting just the 235/75 AT's onto the ZJ's steelies or maybe the 30's that are on my Jimmy. Now I'm not positive I want to go back to the steel wheels, simply from an aesthetics standpoint. But for the sake of originality I might still. They definitely don't look as good on the MJ though. 

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But the tires on them are way too small for the ZJ right now with the 2" lift. Plus they're winters.

I'm kinda digging the way it looks with the lift and how it is to get in and out at this height, so I'm thinking I'll leave that, maybe add a stiffer sway bar. But it needs less harsh shocks than the skyjackers for sure. Could also probably do with new rear springs, they seem a bit saggy. 

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There was a manual tranny ZJ that came up for sale near me a while ago. This one was too far gone for the price they were asking. I always wanted one though!

 

Good find! :L:

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