BCS repeatedly breaks, fixes, and re-breaks his Jeep

BerserkerCatSplat

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I kinda forgot to post this back when I got the vehicle, so here goes.

So, in the interests of impracticality and getting some cheap kicks, my goal for the summer was to bag myself a cheap truck or SUV so I can have some offroad fun without hurting the bank account too badly. I gave myself a budget of $500 for the vehicle itself and $250 for anything I might need from the junkyard.

Enter... the Jeep! Yes, it needs a clean.






It's a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.2L MPI V8, in solid condition with a certified insurance inspection ($100 value!!! Shamwow not included.) It's clean, drives well, and is in outstanding nick for $500.

The Good:

- Dodge 5.2 (318) motor, 225 hp/300 ft?lb
- 46RH transmission w/ Quadra-Trac
- Full leather interior, and other Limited stuff like heated mirrors and electric everything (and more to the point, electric everything that works.)
- Pre-towing package with the 3.73 gears, hitch, and auxiliary transmission cooler
- Alpine deck with MTX speakers all around, sounds great!
- No significant rust at all

The Not-So Good

- Motor has a LOT of km. 375,000, actually. But, then again, 318 Dodge, so no biggie. I'll rebuild it this winter if I find I have too much time on my hands.
- Fuel gauge didn't work. I figured the float was just saturated, and sure enough that was the problem. Yanked a float/resistor assembly from a junkyard fuel pump for $5, problem solved. Re-installing fuel tank was a PITA.
- Driver's side mirror was cracked, replaced with a $10 one from the junkyard. Still needs to be painted.
- One rear seatbelt was horribly frayed. Replaced with a spiffy one from the junkyard, $18.
- Battery was toast. $80 for a new one.
- Paint in some areas isn't the greatest and is fading, but I really don't care that much.
- Engine idled rough and a bit high. Cleaned out IAC and it's smooth as anything now.
- Air filter was crap, found a brand-new one in the back of a Jeep at the junkyard. Got it for free.
- Corner marker was cracked, got a replacement from the yard for $16.
- Fog lamp covers are missing, I'll likely just keep an eye out for some replacement units.
- Hatch lift rods were toast, got some from the junkyard for $24.
- Needed an oil change, $15 for a filter and I had oil sitting around.
- Spare tire cover was missing, got one from the yard for free.


So, $500 initial investment and $175 worth of finishing touches into it and she's ready to roll, and under budget as well. Not the most capable offroading machine in the world, but it'll do the trick and still allow me to lug my camera gear to the more remote locales. However, there's still some things on the to-do list.


To-Do List.

- Remove the stupid big deflector. I keep forgetting.
- Clear coat is coming off the aluminum wheels and is starting to look like crap. I will be resurfacing and painting them satin black. I'll look boss
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd316/fraserbrown1986/New1034.jpg
- The vehicle has the NV249 transfer case, which is known for having a weak viscous coupling unit that breaks fairly frequently. Mine is still good, but I'd much rather have an NV242 unit in there that has 2WD/4WDFT/4WDPT/N/4WDLO instead of just 4WD/N/4WDLO and is much more reliable. However, they're usually not that cheap, there's a Jeep specialty yard out here that wants $600 for a used one, so to hell with that noise. I'll just keep an eye out at the normal yard in case one comes in and grab that for $100. No rush.
- While the diffs have 3.73's, this particular unit wasn't fortunate enough to get the Traction-Lok LSD. I'll keep my eyes peeled for one of those as well, or see if I can get a compatible unit for cheap. I considered swapping in a Dana 44a instead of the Dana 35, but apparently that's a major pain and expense. Not going to bother.
- Also looking out for a gas tank skidplate, they had one at the yard last time I was there but it was bent to hell.
- Front tow hooks
- Better tires, maybe with a small, easy, cheap (2") suspension lift to clear the tires if I get larger ones.


So, that's the story so far. I'll probably have time to hit the trails in the spring, so I'm really looking forward to that. If things pan out well this week, I should also have a "How much fun can you get for $500? - Motorcycle Edition" thread. :mrgreen:
 
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gaasc

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i approve of your purchase
 

Crazyjeeper

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:thumbsup:

I love ZJs, they are indestructible. I knew a guy with about 300k on one and it still ran great.
 

JipJopJones

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You should go for a NV231 HD.

It's a stronger version on the NP231. Any full time T/C is going to be weaker than it's part time counterpart. Although the NV242 is a decent case, 2wd is just there for no reason, it's actually a full time 4wd transfercase and is still known to break. The NP231 is good if you have a 4.0L, but with the V8 you should go for a NP231. (2wd/4hi/4low) It's definetly a stronger case.

Nice truck though. I really like Grand Cherokees, it's unfortunate that they've gotten steadily weaker throught the generations. (My dad had a 2000 GC that I drove... it was a blast)

I've always wanted a 1998 GC 5.9L
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Yeah, I'd jump at a 231HD if I could find one and knew I could make it work, but the vast majority of 249-replacement tech articles are for the 242 and they're a much more abundant case. As I understand it, the 231HD was somewhat rare in the ZJ and in other applications may have an incompatible input shaft. We'll see what the junkyard has in store, I'm not too picky and I doubt I'll be stressing the TC too ridiculously much. Heck, all three of the cases were available on the 5.9, so I doubt my 5.2 will make a 242 quake with fear.

Also, there's a '98 5.9 a block from my house that is NEVER DRIVEN. It drives me nuts every time I go by it.


Edit: Apparently there was a 242HD case that was stronger than even the 231HD, if I can find one of those I'd use it in a heartbeat. It'd probably only require an input shaft swap.
 
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CrzRsn

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Anyone else notice the wheels, and how they're really similar to these



Or it might just be me since its 2:34am

Anyways, looks great for $500. Hope you have tons of fun with it.
 

Magnet

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I love cheap bush bashers. Nice ride and have fun!
 

JipJopJones

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Hmm, I didn't know about the 242 HD... What did it come in?

I would love a 5.9 Cherokee, it's just too bad that they all go for $5000 + because fucking vancouverites think that everything is worth a trillion times more than what it actually is.
 

TechZ

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You've made my 'I want' purchase of a Jeep Wrangler come back again :(
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Hmm, I didn't know about the 242 HD... What did it come in?

I would love a 5.9 Cherokee, it's just too bad that they all go for $5000 + because fucking vancouverites think that everything is worth a trillion times more than what it actually is.

The 242HD only came in the 02-03 V8 w/ Selec-Trac, so it's a pretty rare case. I doubt I'll find one, but it'd be nice.
 

argatoga

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I just saw this on the wikipedia page for the ZJ. Bob Lutz is pure awesome.

The Grand Cherokee debuted in grand fashion at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Then-Chrysler president Robert Lutz drove Detroit mayor, Coleman Young up the steps of Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window to show off the new vehicle. Production of the Grand Cherokee started shortly afterward in the purpose-built Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit, Michigan and has remained there since.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Woot, found a '96 ZJ at the junkyard that has the Up-Country suspension package on it. I'll be heading down tomorrow to grab the springs, shocks, skidplates, and front tow hooks!
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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So, after 5 hours of wrenching in -10C weather, I have:

- Stiffer Up-Country springs
- Sachs-Boge monotube shocks (dirty, but in good condition)
- OEM front tow hooks and mounting brackets
- (not pictured) Front skidplate
- (not pictured) Transfer case skidplate

Installation will happen whenever it stops being so goddamn cold.
 

JipJopJones

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Sweet deal.

Don't the up country shocks/springs give you an extra 1" or so of lift?
 

NooDle

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dammit, I need some cool cars to be made available here for that kind of cash...
for 500 euro monies you may be able to buy something from the 1980s with fail wheel drive. That has 300k kms. And has been crashed. And needs a towtruck to move...
 

Dr_Grip

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dammit, I need some cool cars to be made available here for that kind of cash...
for 500 euro monies you may be able to buy something from the 1980s with fail wheel drive. That has 300k kms. And has been crashed. And needs a towtruck to move...
Cross the border to germany, you'll get some amazing deals in the low-price segment. No Jeeps, of course, but a Sierra like Posmo has, for example...
 

NooDle

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:drool:
if only I had a place to put such a car, money to buy it, skills to maintain it, or time to work on it/drive it :p
 

Matt2000

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[Snip]

So, after 5 hours of wrenching in -10C weather, I have:

- Stiffer Up-Country springs
- Sachs-Boge monotube shocks (dirty, but in good condition)
- OEM front tow hooks and mounting brackets
- (not pictured) Front skidplate
- (not pictured) Transfer case skidplate

Installation will happen whenever it stops being so goddamn cold.
Coil springs are over-rated. :p
 
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