Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Landrover, Range Rover, Jeep or whatever - off-road or not, this is the one.

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Richard Moss
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Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:43 pm

This was a bit of an impulse buy but it came from a friend, at a very attractive price, and was impossible to resist. It's done over 200,000km but seems to be in reasonably good condition mechanically and is practically rust free due to the climate here (see the shot of the wheel).

It's a "Laredo" spec which is one level below Chris's car and therefore has to do without the powered/heated/leather seats but is fitted with cruise control, central locking, powered windows/mirrors etc and of course aircon.

It came with a cracked radiator (see photo) but I picked up a new one at my local American parts shop - then took it back next day as they'd given me one for a V8 instead of the 6 cylinder engine. I have also treated it to a new pair of headlights (not yet fitted) because both of those on the car were shot - one had a corroded reflector and the other had melted when the bulb fell out! Hence the slightly "empty" look of the front end.

There's a package of bits on the way to me now - balljoints, CV boots, taigate gas struts, droplink bushes etc - so that I can give it a bit of a going over. Watch this space..............


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It needs new front CV boots. It seems odd that a "live axle" setup has CV joints - I guess I'll have to get used to 4x4 technology.
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This front anti-roll bar droplink is missing its bolt.
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The radiator had this crack in the side tank
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This is the new (wrong) one - not bad at about £90 including the transmission cooler
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One local bodge is the fact that the radiator and aircon condensor were being separated by what appears to be pieces of roofing felt!
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This is the right hand headlight - the American style bulb holder had fallen out and melted the bowl. The other headlight was a European type (H4 bulb) which had lost the silvering from the reflector. New European spec headlights will be fitted this weekend - Euro lights have a much better beam pattern than American ones (and are glass, not plastic!)
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I'm planning to fit the replacement radiator and headlights on thursday evening or failing that saturday. The other "goodies" should arrive in the post next week. I found it easier to buy small/light parts over the internet from the USA than try to explain complicated stuff in pidgin English to the local parts store chappie. However, postage costs would have doubled the cost of the radiator so big stuff will continue to be purchased locally.

I'm looking forward to getting really stuck into this.....
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by Richard Moss » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:46 pm

I forgot to add that the driver's seat isn't properly bolted in either, and had been driven like that for some time.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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CHR15E
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Post by CHR15E » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:07 pm

Nice interior. :lol: :wink:

I still find it very odd looking at cars with all that sand on them. Totally different to over here.
Chris
19 Vauxhall Astra 1.6T SRi Nav Estate
08 Vauxhall Astra 2.0T Design Twintop
02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7 V8 HO

Previously owned 57 800s 2000-2012

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Post by Richard Moss » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:28 pm

CHR15E wrote:Nice interior. :lol: :wink:
The interior is a bit cheesy - but the local scrappies may be able to help. One plus is being able to get underneath without having to jack it up.

Sand is a real problem this time of year, with summer sand storms caused by the hot air rising and creating strong, localised winds. The effect can be very localised - imagine a storm force wind affecting just a few blocks of a housing area.

As far as its effect on cars goes - it's better than salt! Pressure washers are very handy tools here.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by Richard C » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:49 am

Is that front tyre flat or did you park in a ditch?

I think that has lots of potential, sand/dust really makes the engine bay grimey i can see why theres a need for a pressure washer.

I am really warming to Cherokee's, I have been in Chris' and it's a pleasant place to be, it's a nice drive (although I only did 100 yards)and will get through all that the weather can throw at you (not that you would have that problem in the first place Rich). I think the model to go for is the one you have (Grand) the smaller car is very claustrophobic inside which does come as a surprise as it looks big from the outside. In Chris's it felt very wide when inside but when we measured it against my 800 it was only an inch wider and yes we did get the tape measure out :lol:

I think the interior for your car is probably the best for where you are leather would burn your legs due to the sun and if it was black the sand coloured dust would make it look dirty very quickly. I like it.

I am toying with the idea of buying a 4x4 as a tow car (thinking about a pikey wagon) the Cherokee is definately on the list. although for here it would have to be running on LPG.

I'm looking forward to seeing the work you do on this.
Richard

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Post by Richard Moss » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:59 am

Richard C wrote:I think the interior for your car is probably the best for where you are leather would burn your legs due to the sun and if it was black the sand coloured dust would make it look dirty very quickly. I like it.
The black leather interior in the Lumina can be a bit "challenging" in the summer sun.

It's not a flat tyre it is (appropriately enough) parked in soft sand.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:03 am

Well the radiator is in (along with a new pressure cap) and so are the headlights. The new lights are infinitely better than the old ones - especially the yellow plastic American one (which isn't meant to be yellow, but that's the effect of the sun out here). The lights need adjusting but that will have to wait until tonight.

I'm going to be sorting out fluids etc this week - I already have a new oil filter, 6 litres of synthetic oil, but need to get fresh oil for the transfer case and differentials plus some of the special (Chrysler/Jeep only) automatic transmission fluid. The air filter and ancilliary drive belt are done already (easy to do when the radiator was out!).

Some "drivetrain" work is next - front CV boots and several anti-roll bar drop links for a start.

I'm enjoying this. :D
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by CHR15E » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:22 am

What's your plan for doing the CV boots?

Are you fitting glue together ones or splitting the front end?
Chris
19 Vauxhall Astra 1.6T SRi Nav Estate
08 Vauxhall Astra 2.0T Design Twintop
02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7 V8 HO

Previously owned 57 800s 2000-2012

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Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:44 am

I've order one piece ones so will plan to dismantle the front as required. I've got the Jeep service manual and it doesn't look too bad a job - unless I've read it wrong.

I ordered a set of balljoints, too, just in case any collapse whilst I'm doing the job.

Have you done it and do you have any tips? Also, do you have a link to a good Jeep forum?
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by MikeMedford » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:08 pm

Radiator grill missing or just removed?

Also no towbar?

I ask as I happen to have both sat in my shed, just a shame the grill is blue and your not exactly local to collect the towbar :lol:

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Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:31 pm

Mike,

The grille is now back on - it was removed to prevent damage whilst I changed the rad and headlights.

As for the towbar, I need one and if shipping isn't too crazy, it could be worth getting one sent from the UK or the USA. Is there any chance that you could weigh it and also tell me how much you'd want for it?

Thanks
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by CHR15E » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:35 pm

Richard Moss wrote:I've order one piece ones so will plan to dismantle the front as required. I've got the Jeep service manual and it doesn't look too bad a job - unless I've read it wrong.

I ordered a set of balljoints, too, just in case any collapse whilst I'm doing the job.

Have you done it and do you have any tips? Also, do you have a link to a good Jeep forum?
Makes sense on the balljoints.

Done virtually nothing to mine TBH so no help at all in that respect.

I did look at forums when I had the last one but don't really remember what I found. So no help there either. :lol:
Chris
19 Vauxhall Astra 1.6T SRi Nav Estate
08 Vauxhall Astra 2.0T Design Twintop
02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7 V8 HO

Previously owned 57 800s 2000-2012

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Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:08 pm

What with the Jaguar, Alfa and Lumina/Monaro I've been using a number of fora recently and the only one thaty even begins to come close to this one for depth of knowledge and help/support is the Jaguar one and there are only really a couple of people on there who know the difference ABS and ECU.

I haven't had a real look for a Jeep forum yet - although I am still registered on www.allpar.com from the time when I had a Grand Voyager.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Post by CHR15E » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:13 pm

Does that mean we're all tight wads then? :lol:
Chris
19 Vauxhall Astra 1.6T SRi Nav Estate
08 Vauxhall Astra 2.0T Design Twintop
02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7 V8 HO

Previously owned 57 800s 2000-2012

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Post by Richard Moss » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Certainly not - we're just fiscally and environmentally "astute".
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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