Vehicle: Year, Make & Model
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L
Tell us about your upgrades and describe the parts installed.
I bought my 5.9L ZJ four years ago bone stock. Since then I’ve done a lot of upgrades. I made a homemade custom steel bumper with mounts in the front and rear for my 10k winch to go along with the hitch receiver and tow hooks. I also installed a 3.5″ Rubicon Express lift kit (a pretty easy install) and I have it sitting on 32″ BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires. I did a transfer case swap from a 249 to a 242 to allow me to have the 2WD option when wanted. The Surco Safari roof rack now houses my spare as well as my FireStik II antenna for the Cobra 18 WX ST II CB radio (which comes in handy quite often). There’s also some much needed added protection in the new factory skid plates, Superlift Dana 30 & Dana 44 differential guards and sway bar link disconnects that I installed. I recently bedlined the whole interior as well as the bumpers, lower cladding and the fenders. The Herculiner was easy to apply and looks just as good as the higher priced products. It makes for an easier cleanup after a trip in the woods since deep holes seem to be my forte – I think the next project may just have to be a snorkel. It’s always stocked with plenty of chains and straps, and, sometimes even a few car seats and toddlers. After four years of modifications I’m glad to be able to say that my Jeep is more than trail ready as opposed to getting thrills from mall crawling. It’s still my daily driver but you’ll definitely see me on (or off!) the trails.
What were some challenges and successes?
A leaky sunroof for starters. There’s a reason I tore out the carpet and decided to bedline the entire interior. Yes, it’s true that I enjoy the mud (and puddles) but the mold that goes hand in hand with wet carpeting is NOT something I wanted to have to deal with. Herculiner = problem, solved.
What can your ride do now that it couldn’t do before?
Go anywhere, do anything! Okay, okay; yes, it sounds cliche but it’s true. I’ve had it in the woods, on the race track, and everywhere in between.