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New Here, and I have a Few Questions

Old 12-15-2015, 03:36 PM
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Smile New Here, and I have a Few Questions

I just helped my daughter get a '99 Laredo, and it needs a little work. I posted the following in my Introduction post, but here they are again:

1 - Bad lifter, pushrod, or loose rocker. That doesn't worry me much. Soon as I pop the valve cover I'll know what I need to do. With luck, it's something I can fix with Sea Foam or Dexron.

2 - Driver's seat has a list to the starboard (Okay, it leans to the right!). Nothing much, but enough to notice. What can cause that?

3 - It has manual seats, and for some reason the previous owner has fastened the driver's seat in place with a hose clamp. Either he didn't want somebody readjusting the seat, or there is something wrong with the track. Has anyone had issues with the manual adjust seats? What might be going on here?

If any of you have some ideas for me, I'd appreciate it,
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:44 PM
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common for the drivers seat to lean. the track/seat bracket is likely broken. i've seen many in the past leaning to the side.
you can simply replace the seat bracket and keep your seat. it's an easy job and seat brackets are cheap at the wreckers.

and you likely have a bent push rod. i've seen a few of them in the past also. sounds like a sticky lifter.

as a matter of fact, i have to pull the valve cover off my tj as it's making that same sound. i'm thinkin it's a push rod.
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:00 PM
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Believe it or not, the engine problem is less worrying to me than the seat, if for no other reason than I've rebuilt a few engines over the years. It's good to know the seat lean is a common problem. Now I just need to go check out a couple of junkyards I know that might have one. What's the interchangeability of the seat track/bracket? Is it going to be specific to that generation Grand Cherokee, or did other Jeeps use the same thing?

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:26 PM
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i'm pretty sure the 97-01 xj cherokee uses the same seat brackets.
many have swapped their stock xj seats for wj seats with little to no modifications. i'm pretty sure they just bolt right in.

so as for using an xj seat bracket, you might have to make slight work to put the wj seat on the xj bracket. but i've never done that yet, so i'm not sure if it bolts onto the xj bracket or you might have to drill a hole or two.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:26 AM
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Welcome to CF! I am quite familiar with the seats in the WJ.

The seat cushion assemblies just bolt to the base tracks on 4 studs with nuts. the stud pattern is the same wither they are power or not. I have an XJ driver's seat in my 2000 WJ with manual seats. The floor pan in the WJ is different than the XJ so you'll need WJ tracks. The bucket shape of the WJ seat was pinching a nerve in my hip, so I wanted the flat seat from an older XJ. Actually, I wanted a seat from a pre-98 ZJ, but the XJ seat was only $15. The door side bolster of my WJ seat was collapsing anyway. Some day I'll find a pair of nice ZJ seats that match my fabric color.

Last edited by dave1123; 12-16-2015 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:35 AM
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Dave, I like the Ernie Pyle quote. I'm a big fan of his books, and I give my dad full credit for turning me on to him when I was about eleven years old. I believe that quote comes from Here is Your War.

Now you're going to have to help me out with one more thing: What rides on the WJ and XJ platforms? My daily driver is a BMW E30, so I figure I can handle the jargon.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:23 PM
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Okay, here's the jeep family in a nutshell. If I'm wrong on any of this stuff, I'm SURE the other guys will correct me. This does not include the Comanche or Wrangler series.

From 93 to 98, the Cherokee (XJ) and the Grand Cherokee (ZJ) shared the same platform EXCEPT the XJ used rear leaf springs whereas the ZJ used 4 coils. Most of the body panels and frame components were the same, the front clip of the ZJ being changed at one point. The XJ was made in both 2dr and 4dr models. The 4.0 I6 was universal throughout the line with the Chrysler 5.2 (318) and the 5.9 (360) being options on the ZJ. The WJ saw the introduction of the 4.7 OHC V8. In 04 they discontinued the 4.0 and replaced it with the 3.7 V6 for 05. Transfer cases are another whole story.

In 99, Jeep built the WJ body style for the Grand Cherokee and produced it until 04. In 05, it became the WK with independent front suspension. The WJ body had a different floor pan so the XJ and ZJ seat bases won't bolt in, but the 4 cushion studs are the same pattern.

I'm not too familiar with the Cherokee (XJ) but AFAIK, it remained unchanged until 01. When I was looking for my seats, I found a 99 XJ in the yard with seats that looked like it had WJ style seats. There are also tall-back seats and ones with separate headrests. The XJs I looked at had fawn colored fabric seats with vinyl sides and the ZJs were dark grey fabric. The major problem was getting the seats out of the XJ because of rusted bolts. I had to break the bolt heads off with a breaker bar. Trying to just get the cushions off is a PITA, laying on the floor and working upside down. Most of the ZJs are power seats and are almost impossible to do this way.

That's about it, I think.

Last edited by dave1123; 12-16-2015 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the info!

It seems my daughter's boyfriend has raised new questions about it, which I'll put in another thread. I have not had problems like he is having with it.

(Personally, I don't think it likes him. )
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:39 PM
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I can only guess that YOU don't like him either, huh DAD? LOL. The 4.0 is a low-end torque motor that gives up at 4000, torque wise. It used to be 3000 but that was changed in 99. It's about at the limit of it's performance design and modifications beyond that are a waste of money. Oh, you can build a stroker, but why? JMHO.

BTW, I'm a 70 year old retired toolmaker and have worked on vehicles since I was 16, done some drag racing and engine rebuilding. My crowning achievement was a 67 SS 350 Camaro in G/Stock. (before bracket racing)
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:18 PM
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My experience with this particular series engine began with a 232 in a girlfriend's '66 AMC Classic with a 232, and my brother-in-law who once owned a '74 Hornet wagon that essentially rusted out around the 258. It's one heck of a good workhorse engine, though of course it's not something to take to the races.

You're right. Let's just say I have, ahem, reservations about the boyfriend, and I have had for the seven years the two of them have been together. I DO, however, find it amusing that when I test drove the car I had no real trouble with it. It rides great and shifts smooth as silk, though there is an issue with the Selec Trac. The two times he's tried to drive it the car has given him trouble. Both times I am certain point to his driving style and personality.

Ah, well..... That's a subject for the Off Topic forum.

I am, by the way, currently a 57-year-old substitute teacher, largely self-trained as a mechanic. Dad started me out when I was about five or six handing him wrenches when he'd work on our '61 Rambler Classic. I took an automatic transmission and an auto air conditioning course in the mid '80s, and I've taken it from there. I have only worked briefly as a mechanic. I like it as a hobby.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:14 AM
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The main reason I brought up the engine was these young guys today want to see how much they can get out of it and are unsatisfied with the power they produce. The engine is unimpressive at wide open throttle and wasn't designed for that. They are, however, very good in mud and rocks!

I've put about 3/4 ton of newspapers in my WJ and it drives very well. It does, however, take longer to stop! It's very stable with that load in it as well.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
The main reason I brought up the engine was these young guys today want to see how much they can get out of it and are unsatisfied with the power they produce. The engine is unimpressive at wide open throttle and wasn't designed for that. They are, however, very good in mud and rocks!

I've put about 3/4 ton of newspapers in my WJ and it drives very well. It does, however, take longer to stop! It's very stable with that load in it as well.
I understand the left-handed comment for the guys who want more than they can get out of that engine. If it's ponies they want, better they play with the 318 (5.2). They'll be a lot happier with the results. I suppose one can get more sheer horsepower out of the 360, but of Chrysler's small block V8s, it isn't one of my favorites. There are extremely good reasons why the 340 was the hot rod engine back in the day, and the 318 responds quite nicely, thank you, to a little massaging.

If you want a no-nonsense engine with good pulling power, the 4.0 and its ancestors are the way to go.
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