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Need opinions 1998 GC 5.9 limited

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by Jeepenstein, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Apr 14, 2014
    Jeepenstein

    Jeepenstein Me like Jeep.. 2024 Sponsor

    North Central FL
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,197
    So I've got a bead on a 1998 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9.. The guy in my opinion is way overpriced. He's 1000 over book for excellent condition and I would give it a fair condition. He's banking on the rarity of it, which I am well aware of (14K made).. Anyhow, I intend to drive a very hard bargain to get him more in line with what I see fit for pricing. Anyhow, my question regarding opinions is more in the lines of general ZJ opinions.. Good/bad/ things to look out for.. I know it's a pig on gas, I'm ok with that..

    Bubba
     
  2. Apr 14, 2014
    sawilly

    sawilly Member

    Salmon Arm BC
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    The 249 transfer case has viscous coupler that is prone to seizing up. Common fix is to change it to a 242 case. = better drivability. The d44hd has an aluminum center section. Some say the axle tends to bend. i think the 5.9 heads tend to crack.
    Some front axles run the weaker constant velocity joints with the rubber boots ,over the 297x joints.
    Some also have the weaker goofy front drive shaft.
    If you fix the transfer case i would run one . The other stuff mentioned cheap to upgrade .
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  3. Apr 15, 2014
    w3srl

    w3srl All-around swell dude Staff Member

    Port Orange, FL
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Messages:
    4,275
    :iagree:

    I had one, it was beautiful and in near mint condition at 70k when I sold it. The 249 is a POS, I did replace it with a 242 from and XJ and from then on it ate rear tires. chainsawguy

    With a Flowmaster muffler on it and trying to be good with the skinny pedal it still only got about 9 MPG around town.

    The usual ZJ issues were there: Leaky AC evaporator, had to recharge it every few months. It pinged even on 91 octane, from what I understand a bad intake manifold gasket/lifter valley pan is common and makes it ping while eating into the MPGs. The dash had an electrical gremlin that I never did find, hit a bump just so and all the lights would cycle on and off like the alarm system had tripped (no horn though) and I never did solve that one.

    It was a very fun and comfy DD, I just got tired of fixing all the annoying little things that go wrong with ZJs. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  4. Apr 15, 2014
    Jeepenstein

    Jeepenstein Me like Jeep.. 2024 Sponsor

    North Central FL
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,197
    I'm still pretty skeptical of it.. I am going to look at it here shortly and give it a thorough combing over.. The latest owner is a bit of a doos and let a few things slide on it. Anyhow I will report if it comes home or not..

    Bubba
     
  5. Apr 15, 2014
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5,810
    Had 4 ZJs through my family (94, 98, 2002, 2004) although the 98 did not have the 5.9 V8. The first two had the 4.0 and the second two had the 4.7V8. Don't know about some of mechanical upgrades mentions - never had any problems but they were mostly babied around as DDs for wife and mother except the 2004 which I had for a while here in CO and wheeled pretty much stock (wife is still made that I don't have an automatic for her to wheel anymore!)

    But...definitely the 94 and 98 had problems keeping the AC charged, and both had electrical gremlins in the dash. The 2002 and 2004 had less issues, but still had some little annoying oddities. Nothing major ever kept them from getting out on the road for the 150k we drove all of them, but they took a little tolerance for the annoying stuff (especially given the price) - guess they might be more Jeep than previously thought.

    Been without a GrandCherokee for the last 2.5 years - and considering getting one of the new styles in another year when some good used ones start popping up (but its really the wife's decision).
     
  6. Apr 15, 2014
    JustEnos

    JustEnos Member

    Fox Point, NS,...
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    292
    CV axles are plenty strong for up to a 31" tire, I actually swapped my brother's into my ZJ when he went to 32s. CV axles are cheap too, a couple guys around here have swapped them into their TJs when they got tired of replacing U-joints constantly.

    249 is ok while it lasts, if its good just keep your eye out for a 242 for a future swap.

    The 44A is a known weak point when off-roading with limited aftermarke support - no parts in common with a regular 44. It can be trussed to strengthen it.

    It all depends on what you want to do with it, if you're building a modified off-roader you'll need some upgrades, for on road, most of it will be just fine.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2014
    Jeepenstein

    Jeepenstein Me like Jeep.. 2024 Sponsor

    North Central FL
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,197
    Well I went to give it the once over and left mad.. I could easily tell that at one time that Jeep had a loving owner that treated it to the good stuff.. JK adjustable link arms, adjustable track bar, OME lift and shocks, K & N intake, Optima battery etc.. The current owner of the last six months or so was a punk *** kid who was just driving the wheels off it with no maintenance at all.. The oil was disgusting, the PS fluid was mud, the inside of the radiator was full of stop leak and was leaking somewhere as there was no coolant to be seen from the filler or in the overflow the belt was old and severely cracked,. Both pinion seals were leaking as was the rear t case seal. The vent line on the front axle was missing, the bushings in the rear upper control links were MISSING!! The drivers door panel nearly fell off when I opened the door, which he said was from the "custom" stereo install, a complete hack job, the sun roof did not open, the seat mounts were rusted like mad (I didn't get that, the rest was fairly rust free?).. I was so mad that such a nice and relatively rare jeep was being mistreated, not to mention the $5K asking price.. He was pretty upset with me when I told him I was not interested and I'd value it at about 2K at best..

    Anyway, I guess I'm gonna hang up the jeep search until I return from Romania in June.
     
  8. Apr 17, 2014
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,437
    We had a '97 ZJ Ltd. with the 5.2. Bought it with 18.5K miles on it. Kept it 11 years, sold it at 139K miles.
    In that time it took an intake manifold plenum and a radiator No other repairs beyond maintenance and wear items.
    It was a strong and reliable rig. My wife still misses it, 5 years later.
    The 249 served us well; I believe it's a decent tc if used with a light foot. Flog it and it suffers.
    At this age of a ZJ, it's probably hard to find one gently used.

    Good luck!
     
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