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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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:04 am

The new one is a Limited - so has all the whistles and bells.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:07 pm

Crap photos of the new one, which will be collected in a couple of weeks.
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard C » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:13 am

Love that colour
Richard

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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Richard C wrote:Love that colour
Close to Rover Atlantic Blue, I would say.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard C » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:42 pm

ahh I thought it was grey,
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1989 827 Si Fastback, Manual, Pulsar Silver Metalic
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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by CHR15E » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:51 pm

It's greyish, gets my vote. :lol:
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Re: Rich Moss Jeep Grand Cherokee 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:51 am

It's blue/grey when not under fluorescent light in a car park having its picture taken on a mobile phone!
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Fri May 25, 2012 8:30 pm

I've been trying to decide what to do with the old ZJ whilst assessing the new WJ, and I think I've reached a conclusion. "Ye Olde Jeepe" is a lot better off road so will be staying as a fun car. The new Jeep will also be staying as an all purpose car, with occasional off-road use. This means that the Lumina will be saying "bye bye", probably in august/september when the new influx of expats arrives and they need cheap cars.

More here: http://www.rover800.info/forum/viewtopi ... 818#p98818
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by CHR15E » Fri May 25, 2012 10:08 pm

Bitten by the buh then?

Oddly both mine are going soon?
Chris

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Sat May 26, 2012 6:45 am

Bitten - oh yes. Still, I don't see any point in getting rid of this car and using a less capable vehicle in its place. With the two Jeeps I will have th best of both worlds (apart from the fuel cnsumption!)
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by CHR15E » Wed May 30, 2012 6:44 pm

At least it's cheap. :lol:

Both mine have now gone. I'm going to get something else instead.
Chris

07 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi Estate

Previously owned 57 800s 2000-2012

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:22 pm

It's been a while since I updated this so here goes:

A few months ago I started to hear unpleasant screeching noises from underneath.The noises occurred when accelerating in 4WD, but not 2WD, so I thought that it might be down to the front differential or driveshaft, especially as it was juddering a bit. Not being the greatest fan of working on differentials (due to the difficulty in setting them up) I handed the car to my local, trusted, garage to sort out. It turned out to be a stretched/damaged chain in the transfer box and this explained why it only showed up in 4WD. It was a straight forward fix for the garage and normal off-roading was resumed without too much delay.

Other "issues" recently have been a leak from the power steering box, increasing noise levels from the front differential and the aircon packing up (no fun in 49C temperatures!). So, in the interests of reliability - especially in the interests of "not getting stuck in the desert" - I decided to get it sorted. I knew that the differential bearings were getting worn because when I first got the Jeep the front diff oil was full of metal flakes (possibly because some pillock had used ATF in it in stead of EP90) so I knew that a rebuild would be required. The steering boxes are tough but tend to leak after a while - and whilst the rebuild job is reasonably straightforward, it would be time consuming and I have a lot on with other commitments and I'm as fond of delving inside steering boxes as I am of delving inside differentials, I got the garage to look at it.

So, 3 days later I have the Jeep back with a quiet differential, leak free steering and functioning aircon. The diff has been rebuilt with new bearings and is as quiet as it's ever likely to be - it's quieter than the front axle of the other Jeep. The aircon needed a new sensor or two and a re-gas but otherwise was OK. All in all, I think I got a good deal for £310 including parts! I will certainly feel more confident about going on longer offroad trips in future.

Other stuff coming up includes a couple of upgrades to the running gear. An uprated track bar is on its way from the USA and this will help to locate the front axle more effectively as well as being more robust than the standard item. The standard one has a normal bush at one end and a balljoint (like track rod end) at the other and whilst this is a great idea in theory, in practice the balljoint wears out and the axle wobbles around and I've already had to replace it once and the new one is getting tired after just 5,000km of hard use. The uprated one is adjustable and comes with a proper bush at each end and a revised bracket to attach it to the chassis leg. Not cheap, especially when you count the shipping from the USA, but hopefully well worth it.

http://www.ironrockoffroad.com/Merchant ... y_Code=ZSC
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The other upgrade is an electric cooling fan conversion. This are talked about a lot on http://www.jeepforum.com and are said to give better cooling at low speeds than the mechanical fan does. We shall see!

I'm also going to keep my eye out for an inlet manifold, throttle body and injectors from the next 4L Grand Cherokee as these are said to be a straight swap and give a useful power boost for the older model.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:16 pm

The electric cooling fan conversion turned out to be a bit of a disaster! The wiring etc was fine but the generic cooling fan I bought was simply not up to the job and the ZJ overheated badly when off-roading 2 weeks ago. It blew out most of its water and the engine got so hot that the oil started smoking - and I thought I'd knackered it. However, after letting it cool for a while, I refilled the water and drove home with no further incident.

The next day I invested in a new viscous clutch for the mechanical fan and refitted that. Apparently, if the clutch gets tired, the fan doesn't move as much air as it should. I bought a new, genuine Jeep heavy duty one and fitted that, along with a new radiator cap because the old one turned out to be 15psi instead of 16psi. After an oil change to replace the burnt stuff from the sump I started using it on road and the temperature was better controlled than at any time since I bought it. A through pasting on the dunes also revealed no problems - but I did make a couple of additional mods before hitting the sand. It looks as if these super-tough iron inline 6s really do deserve their reputation.

The new trackbar is fitted and whilst i really can't tell if there is any improvement in handling, it is a lot more robust than the old one and should last better. It's certainly much more solidly built.
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I also fitted some air cooling ducts to the bonnet. These were just cheap, Chinese fake ducts (with no actual vents in them!) designed for "styling" use but were easily modified. My trusty ALDI Dremmel-copy was used with a cutting disc to open out the slots and they were then painted red and left to dry over night. The next day I set to work on the bonnet, also with the mini cutter. First I removed the underbonnet insulation to give free access to the parts of the bonnet that did not have reinforcing beams. I measured - twice - and then measured again and covered the relevant area with masking tape before drawing round the vents. Then came the nerve wracking part as I cut out the holes in the bonnet panel. After drilling securing holes, the vents were bolted down and the net result is pretty tidy. They really work, too, because even at idle I can feel a stream of hot air exiting from them, pushed out by the cooling fan.

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The next plans for the ZJ probably involve supplementing/semi-replacing it with something a bit more capable off-road. Don't get me wrong, this vehicle is good but as I am now taking on drives of a more challenging nature and the automatic transmission means that it struggles sometimes with getting the power down, thanks to the loses within the slush box. Manual ZJs are more rare than honest politicians and so I have a couple of choices. either a) convert this to manual or b) after selling the V8, buy something with a manual box. As it happens, I have a couple of interested parties eyeing up the V8 WJ and I know someone sellin a manual 1996 Cherokee.

As the A-team say "I love it when a plan comes together"................... so fingers crossed
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:29 pm

I had a clonk coming from the front, right suspension and suspected a damaged shock absorber. However, n checking it out I found that one of the lower suspension arms had a very slightly loose bolt. A quick tweak with the socket set and silent runing is resmed. I fitted poly bushes to the front a while ack and maybe I never tightened this one up fully - but you can't argue with a free fix.

The more I use this vehicle, the more I like it - so I'm definitely not selling it any time soon
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ 4L (1996)

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:25 pm

With apologies to Pam Ayres and "The Hedgehog":

"It has been well recorded,
Both in chapter and in verse,
That in a Jeep and Lexus fight
The Lexus comes off worse."

Today in Dubai, whilst sitting in a queue of traffic waiting for the lights to go green, we were brutally assaulted from the rear by a LexusCruiser (Landcruiser with more toys and a Lexus badge). Our towbar got stuck in his bumper, our bumper got pushed up a bit and our tailgate is a slightly different shape now, but I think he got the worst of it. I particularly like the bit where my Jeep's exhaust pipe burnt a hole in the Lexus's bumper (4th photo)! Now to see how quickly the insurance companies sort it out (he admitted liability).......

Most importantly, no-one was hurt (although Sophie and Hannah were a bit shaken by it) and both vehicles were drivable. The cops were called because they have to do a Police report for the insurance company, and joked that mine was going to be a LOT cheaper to fix.
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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