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doing it right the third time, 98 grand cherokee

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doing it right the third time, 98 grand cherokee

Old 01-17-2017, 02:02 AM
  #1  
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Default doing it right the third time, 98 grand cherokee

so after getting the jeep I thought I'd drive forever (1992 Cherokee limited) in amazing shape and for an amazing deal ($100) I lost it due to storage issues, I sold it plus the mass amounts of upgrades and lift parts I had collected for $1400 as a rolling shell with motor trans and transfer case sitting next to it. (4.0/aw4/231 with sye and only 100k miles.)

I went 5 months jeepless and mostly depressed about being jeepless until two weeks ago...

Two weeks ago I purchased a 1998 jeep grand cherokee limited
5.2/44re/249 with 3.73s and a 30/44a track lock rear.
its got 242,000 miles on it, and runs amazing.
Black leather interior, power heated seats, power everything, and everything works (except interior lights stay on) a nice new jvc radio and kenwood excellon speakers
I got it for $1000 cash, and the reason I bought it over a few other jeeps I was looking at (stock and clean compared to this moster) are the five mostly new matching 31" bfgs with 5 new matching rims and 1500 receipt for purchase in the last year
Oh and its Deep slate with pearl coat

so before I go on, heres some pictures from the trip home and when we got there

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as you can see the drivers door and rear hatch need paint matched (witch I plan on doing this summer, along with the body work it needs)
the rear passenger door has a dent and right behind it it looks like the body line got hit with a hammer
the rear hatch has some small dents that need fixed, and the rear pillar is crushed in a little bit from something scraping along the top, like they went under a fallen tree or something and just didnt make it, theres no other damage that says its been fully rolled

Drivers side
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Passenger side
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I think I'll be able to repair it, but I wont know till it warms up and I start trying, even if I cant get it out completely I hope to get it to the point where the hatch seals properly.


As far as the lift goes its as cheap and basic as they get, 3" pucks and no name white shocks with blown bushings all around. It came with extended sway bar end links but they are blown out. The only special treat under it is the adjustable front track bar. It sags in the rear slightly and with any weight at all its noticeable

it needs the following

valve cover gaskets
motor mounts
general tune up
shock bushings
Sway bar end links
one upper ball joint, but ill be replacing all of them
Door hinge pins for both front doors
the steering is sloppy and needs maintained, with how much new steering is ill be doing 1 ton otk to replace it.
drivers side interior door panel
interior hatch panel
the sun roof either leaks or got froze open during the last snow storm and then leaked as it thawed, only experienced one time during thaw out from snow, but it hasnt been warm enough since for me to test further and repair.

When I bought it the hatch was stuck shut, I solved that quickly, latch is broken and as soon as I find a good one ill replace it, for now I have a pair of pliers back there to pull the release on it. It needs re aligned as it takes some effort to get it put in place and latched shut.

another problem it had when I got it was the brake pedal didnt release all the way to turn the brake lights off (needed pulled up another 1/8" to hit switch) for now I just ran a spring from the pedal rod to somewhere up under the dash. Works perfectly, someday ill get a new switch and replace it, but for now this keeps my battery from dying.

when i got it it had read that it was averaging 13.4 over the last 1100 miles, i reset it and so far after 500 miles of town driving and having a heavy foor because its still new and cool im getting 11.9 mpg, but more importantly on a 50 mile interstate trip it averaged 15 and hit as high as 22 on flat ground so there is hope for it. I dont care about in town millage so much as I do highway, it is my daily driver but the only time I care about gas is on road trips, the cheaper I can make it to moab the better

This winter I only really plan on addressing the list of problems above and collecting parts as I'm a fair weather mechanic and prefer to do major projects when the sun is shining bright, hot and most importantly DRY

when summer comes along I'll start body work and cutting the fenders, rockers, plating the frame ect...
during that ill knock out the 242 swap

It's debatable what I'll do next, I want to get my lift in order as far as springs and shocks and I'd also like to swap in a 8.8/hp 30 I have
at some point I would like to replace my stock arms with mid arms from core4x4
and then hopefully before its first out of state trip I can re-gear it.

next tire size will be 35's
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:07 AM
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wrapped it up in a ditch on a gravel road to see how it did
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Then off to a few local spots to plat with it and test it out.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:30 PM
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Did not get anything done today on my jeep, instead we did passenger side ball joints on my buddies 93 zj.

My mom plans on using it to get to work tomorrow with the **** weather so I wont get to do anything tomorrow either, but my buddy will be back to get the drivers side done and maybe do tie rods on his.
someone local has a 231 of the correct year to bolt up for 100 that I hope to pick up here soon if I can find the time.
I know I planned on a 242 but I slowly realized it was pointless, since I'm somewhat cheap I just want to run an aussie up front, meaning I need 2wd for driving and really no point in the full time feature that I wanted. plus 231's are more common and this ones cheap.
and if the weather ever figures out what it is doing I'll go pull an 8.8 from the parts yard.
and sometime next week Ill get the ball joints done

Since my mom is going to drive it and I dont want her to have to pop the hood and do the battery in the rain I pulled the fuse for the over head lights to prevent the battery from draining. I didnt want to do this as for me popping the hood and doing the battery each time was the motivation to look into the problem but hey I guess problem solved.

Last edited by wheelerboy12; 01-17-2017 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:39 PM
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If you look close enough to most of the passenger side pictures you can see the PO sprayed a bunch of expanding foam in the door gap to "seal" a leak.
How would I go about cleaning all of it off without damaging my paint?
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:42 PM
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spent three hours with a hair dryer and hot glue gun yesterday getting my drivers door panel in working order.
when I got the jeep it was in the back and was folded in the middle because the spare tire was sat on top of it.
I used heat to straighten it out, worked wonderfully, then used the hot glue gun to fix the peeling carpet (witch the PO tried to glue on with expanding foam, made a mess out of it)
All I need to do now is get some plastic clips and screws from the yard, and maybe a new master switch since all the rockers are broken off of mine.

also fixed the interior lights, just need to get new door switches so the turn on when I open the doors again.

also verified that the drain tubes are clogged on my sun roof

the passenger door leaks and will need a new seal, despite the fact the PO unloaded a can of expanding foam all over it.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:35 PM
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Realigned and tightened the doors up and now the open and close smoothly

The minor issues seem to be slowly falling away and its getting to be a nice rig

ANNNNNNND then POP, rear end locked up, reversing unlocked it and has drove around property fine

so far I've drained and inspected the rear end, all seems well.
tomorrow im going to test the transfer case, was driving fine on the property but havent had it on pavement since the lock up, going to see if the VC went bang.

thought it was originally a transmission issue, but since the front was free to turn and it seems like only one rear tire was locked Im hoping it was not.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:21 AM
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Long post short, I don't know what cause the pop/bang and lock up that caused the jeep to stop, but it hasn't done it yet again on any of the test drives.
went to pavement and drove circles, transfer case is working properly, 4hi and lo are functioning as they should, the falling out of gear and delayed engagement/slamming got worse and after getting ahold of the book I found the fluid level is supposed to be checked in nuetral, not park, and that led me to find the stick dry.
half gallon of atf later and it drives amazing, no more issues and seems to drive even better then before, before it took gas to get it to move in drive or reverse, now it takes brakes to keep it from moving.

found the front of the pan leaking bad, enough to leave a small puddle over a few hours.
tomorrow I'll do a filter and gasket and fill it up with the hopes that no more problems arise.

I plan on getting the trans rebuilt sooner then later but I think it is going to be fine for now once I take care of the leak.


I don't think the motor or trans is factory.
Other then leaky valve covers the motor Is really clean and on the drivers side in white it has "30" written on it there could be more but there's mud on the block that is making it hard to tell, it seems amazingly healthy for having 240k but I haven't had time to do a compression check
the trans is greasy and dirty compared to the motor, but it also has paint markings on it the best I could tell read "76 303" but it could also be 308 or 302
and there could be more but when I started wiping dirt off to read this better it started wiping off too.


I also gave it a bath but I haven't had time to do the interior yet so I'll save pictures till I get the interior detailed up and the door panel back on.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:27 PM
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Been real busy and forgot to update the thread

Put another 1200 miles or so on the jeep (all short trips and town driving) since the trans leak issue, everything seems to be functioning better then ever.
The leak seems to be back, although much much slower, and from the same location, I noticed some damage in that area when I pulled the pan so my next step will be to replace the pan and see if that helps.

Haven't had time to actually go wheeling yet, hopefully in the next month or so I get to make it up
I did however finally climb over a gravel pile that I've wanted to climb over for a long time now, jeep did it without a problem, the back side was steep enough that I hit the front bumper beam before the front tires got off the pile
as soon as I get the video sent to me I'll link it up here.

I finally got the expanding foam off the passenger area (you can see it in a few of the pictures) it may not look like much in the pictures but it makes a huge difference to its appearance in person.

will get some pictures up this evening when i have more time to do it.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:03 AM
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well ive cleaned it and thrashed it and cleaned it and thrashed it, got it up to browns camp last weekend for the first time it did great.

replaced the entire transmission pan and sealed it for a third time, pan leak is gone but it seems it leaks from the front and rear seal, not nearly as bad s the an leak, its been 2000 miles and still reads good on the stick. and my transfer case leaks this summer ill pulll the trans out and seal it up and at the same time ill probably replace the 249 with a 231.

i havent had time to do much other then maintain it and drive it, i bought an XJ last week and most of my time has gone to it, got it for a few hundred and am cleaning it/fixing it so i can flip it for some extra cash
im happy to say this ones been saved from the parts pile/scrap heap.
heater needs wired wipers dont work and signals work sometimes, needs a drivers seat and it couldn't have been any more moldy or nasty inside. she is cleaning up nice, since shes not sticking around there probably wont be a thread for her but i will mention an update here or there.

I really need it to dry out so i can ter the interior down in the grand, it needs cleaned bad and has bad water leaks because the drip rails are clogged.


oh and she rolled over to 245k but already almost to 246, i need to find a commuter so i can keep the danm miles off my poor jeep.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:52 AM
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time to take it up to the Trask!
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:14 PM
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I know the feeling of needing to get work done but the weather is not agreeable! I've got a list of things i need t get done on my XJ but i don't have a garage to do it in so it hasn't gotten done.

I too have a leaking transmission that might be from the pan. Its a good feeling when some fluid fixes the issues but im afraid of how long its been that way and im hoping nothing in there is jacked up!

as for your bumps and dents, besides the things like the hatch not sealing, id personally leave them, they add character and in your wheeling adventures im sure you will create the same amount or more!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:06 PM
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ill have to get photobucket linked back to my phone, i have a bunch of new pictures to post.
I got two sunny days in a row and got right to the interior, fixed the leak (but havent dryed out all the water in it) while i have the headliner down i am going going to re wrap it with something black, have not decided on material yet.

I cut n fold the front fenders and cut the part of the bumper that extends under my headlights off, plus spent two hours with a hammer on each side ending in some major clearance (and having to wrap my wrist in ace bandage for a couple days)
also got a wild hair up my *** the other day since it was actually sunny and i painted my drivers door flat black, its off from the deep slate but at a glance looks 100% better then the silver/tan the door and hatch are.
still need to paint the hatch.

she took her first "trail" rash the other day, on my own driveway, long story short I pulled over without paying much attention to what was in front of me and I hit an irrigation pipe that was in some grass. totaled my steering and crushed my control arm mount moving the axle back almost 2"
using this as an opportunity to force an upgrade, im doing 1.5" .250 wall DOM with 7/8" heims for the steering and some 1/4" plate control arm mounts.
hopefully the new stuff will take a better beating.

i plan on doing my best to armor it and protect the body as i do want to fix the damage it came with and someday repaint it with a fresh coat of deep slate.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:58 PM
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still to lazy to deal with photos, update in facebook groups more regularly just because im lazy and its easy.
figured id pop in here and let everyone know i got the steering and OTA track bar done the angles on the rag link and track bar are almost identical but the drag link is 36" while the track bar is only 30" i dont feel severe bump steer when driving it although it gets death wobble bad, its mostly alignment based i think, i make adjustments and it will get better or worse from there. ive yet to take it in and get it actually aligned because im trying to get control arms first. im pretty sure the caster is the issue.
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