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Old 03-23-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L

Xaza's Niner
This is my DD and I just want to have that little extra oomph. This truck was bought to replace my XJ as a DD so we could focus on it's build more which is why this one is slow to move along, especially with the addition of the trailer project. My niner as she sat when I got her. It has 3.5 inch RE lift and K&N intake.
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On the same trip as that pic was taken, the front CV style drive shaft ripped apart on me. It's maiden trip out I limped it home in rear wheel drive and haven't taken it off roading since. Got rid of the CV style shaft using a yoke from an XJ and having a shaft made.


Truck was left alone to just get me to and from work until one day I jumped in to run to gas station and it popped and died. Opened hood and remote started it to hear a terrible noise from rear passenger side of engine. After further inspection found the bolt for K&N intake had fallen into combustion chamber and detonated a piston.

Dad was unable to help rebuild my motor so I ended up buying a rebuilt motor. This is where the building on this truck started. I am not the type of person to put things back just the way they were, I like them to be better. Ended up finding a performance motor with 10:1 compression, Erson cam, roller rockers and RT head.
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Well once the motor was installed the juices had already started flowing. New motor had more oomph without a doubt but wasn't as much as I had hoped. Decided the new motor needed to breath a little better and went with a Hughes airgap intake.
Again there were improvements but it's just never enough. Happened across some Edelbrock headers and picked them up but while waiting to install them ended up with a 52mm TB . Also got a SCT tuner from Hemifever and got a tune on her.


managed to sneak it off to Bandimere for a couple 1/4 mile runs, consistent around 17. Decent times I think since it is a 5000+ lb, all wheel drive, lifted Jeep with oversized retread tires



and then got headers installed and exhaust finished the rest of the way out 3" with high flow cat and muffler.


Exhaust guy welded in my new bung for my data logger which is sitting here waiting to be installed. Got another part off the shelf and in the truck though, 42K ignition coil.

As of recently we just rebuilt the t-case because there was a little slop in the output shaft. We also have a clunking noise from the rear passenger side and thought it was the bearing. Replaced the bearing but the noise is still there. Will dig more into it but most of the bushings are like new, some are new. This is current on truck. Future plans are fuel injectors/pump, smaller tires(no more retreads), 4:10 gears and transmission rebuild with valve body and TC. Most likely build will end there but we will see when we get there.

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Old 03-25-2015, 03:13 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good build. Keep us updated!

I wouldn't go with smaller tires as much as I would more of a street tire. Unless the tires are rubbing the fenders over bumps. What size tire are you running now? I believe stock is 225/70R16.

You probably have a set of 3.55 gears in the axles so I'd change tires and see how it performs before investing in a set of gears, install kits and labor. You may find that 4.10 may be too low.

A set of injectors should help the motor quite a bit. Depending on the size, the stock pump may have more than enough to feed them.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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You are right on the stock tire, I am running a 245/70R16 which does rub a little when turning. Being a retread it is larger than a normal 245, could not see a difference when comparing to the 265/70R16 I took off. I will be staying slightly above stock size tire because it is a lifted Jeep as well as keeping the AT tread for snow. I agree 100% with changing tires and seeing. Stock gears are 3.73 so the jump down to 4.10 won't be much. I ran 31" mudders with 4.88 gears on my XJ for a year until I could afford tires so I know a little something about over gearing. For ring and pinion we would do it ourselves to eliminate labor, already have the tools. Still unsure of keeping the rear axle, Dana 44A. I am likely going to upgrade injectors to a 4 hole for better atomization. Have more research to do and a lot more to learn. It has been within the last 10 years that I have taken to working on and building trucks. I have only built my XJ and this ZJ (and help brother with his XJ). We are getting into a bit of fabricating now, crazy dreams to build a truck to run King of Hammers using my spare Magnum 360. I will post up some pics in my intro thread of our XJs.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:10 AM   #4
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I've got 285/75R16 on my truck and at full turn to the left, they rub a touch. little trimming and its all good now. Cooper puts out a really good AT (what I have) tire that costs much less than BFG and performs just as well. General Tire is another good one as long as you stay away from their load range E tires (something is wrong with the compound and they wear fast).

For the axles, look to see what the difference is between a TJ and ZJ, You may be able to swap a D44 front and rear. The D44A isn't a bad axle for the vehicle, just not ideal for offroading and the aftermarket support is limited as parts from a standard D44 don't fit.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:08 PM   #5
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Parts have been on the shelf for last 6 months, hopefully will start installing soon. Still need to get new coil springs and shocks but control arms and track bars have been picked up from junkyard. Removing the lift kit and installing poly bushing set all through truck, new tie rods and a couple bearings. Already got cargo hatch lift shocks and exhaust gaskets replaced.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:23 AM   #6
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the time is finally here to start installing. Headlight housings were pretty fogged up, got them replaced with some new clear ones. Added in some new sway bar end links and all new steering bars and rod ends. Got started a bit last weekend but fought with some rusty bolts and didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted, hopefully will still have it done this weekend. Have an oil leak to track down and add to the list now. Rear is complete except for a shock I was waiting on which showed up a couple days ago.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #7
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Looking good... How is the stance?
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:21 AM   #8
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Have not seen the stance yet. Almost finished front yesterday, should have it setting on it's own today to see. Going to have to put smaller tires on it, should look like a basic stock GC when I am done. Here are a couple pics of the front from yesterday
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:47 PM   #9
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Smaller tire is going to take some of the difference clearance away...
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:35 AM   #10
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Managed to finish up suspension. When taking apart front we found a bad ball joint and ripped cv boot on passenger side. Replaced CV axle and all 4 ball joints. Got it all back together and setting on some new tires. Went to smaller tire, 235/70/R16 Hankook Dynapro, but is still about a half inch taller and half inch wider than stock tire. Tires fit nice and looks like I will have no clearance issues. The variable rate springs we installed are designed for handling heavier loads so truck should not sag when loaded also. Got the alignment done on Monday and this weekend should be finishing up the little other small things. The truck is handling the road much better now. Body roll has been reduced tremendously, corners more comparable to a car now. Bumps are handled much smoother and throttle is noticeably more responsive. I expect a pretty good increase in mileage too, time will tell. Replaced windshield because it had a crack, tape is off truck now but still in one of the pictures.
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