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 ZJ History and Basic!

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Join date : 2013-05-14

ZJ History and Basic! Empty
PostSubject: ZJ History and Basic!   ZJ History and Basic! EmptyWed May 15, 2013 12:04 am

The Grand Cherokee's origins date back to 1983 when American Motors (AMC) engineers were designing a successor to the smaller Jeep Cherokee (XJ).[1] Three outside (non-AMC) designers — Larry Shinoda, Adam Clenet, and Giorgetto Giugiaro — were under contract with AMC to create and build a clay model of the replacement model, then known as the "XJC" project.[2] However, the basic design for the Cherokee's replacement was well under way by AMC's in-house designers and the 1989 Jeep Concept 1 show car foretold the basic design.[3]

The Grand Cherokee was the first Chrysler-badged Jeep product. Development work for the new model continued and Chrysler employees (after the 1987 buyout of AMC) were eager for a late-1980s release date; however, then-CEO Lee Iacocca was pushing for redesigned Chrysler minivans, thus delaying the Grand Cherokee's release until late 1992 as an Explorer competitor.

The Grand Cherokee debuted in grand fashion at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Then-Chrysler president Robert Lutz drove Detroit mayor, Coleman Young up the steps of Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window to show off the new vehicle. Production of the Grand Cherokee started shortly afterward in the purpose-built Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit, Michigan and has remained there since.

The ZJ models, manufactured from 1993 to 1998, originally came in three general trims, the Base, Laredo, and the Limited. The Base model offered basic features such as full instruments, cloth interior, a standard five-speed manual transmission, while soon gaining the moniker SE name in 1994. Creature comforts like power windows and locks were not standard equipment on the SE, although conveniences like these were finally included in 1995; a somewhat contrasting pricetag with minimal production numbers resulted with low consumer demand and dropping the now-uncommon bare-bone model indefinitely. The Laredo was the mid-scale model (essentially becoming base model after 1996), standard features included added body cladding power windows, power door locks, and cruise control; exterior features displayed a medium grey plastic lower body paneling and five-spoke aluminum wheels. The Limited was the premium model, with the lower body paneling being the same color as the vehicle color. The Limited also boasted standard features such as leather seating, optional power sunroof, mirrors, seats, and remote keyless entry system; heated mirrors, and heated seats, a basic onboard computer; and waffle-like cast aluminum wheels.

In 1995 the performance of the V8 engine was upgraded to 300 lb·ft (410 N·m) from 285 previously. 1996 brought cosmetic changes ranging from improved body modeling (grille, bumpers), and integrated foglights; interior features added dual airbags and increased fabric quality for seating. At the same time, the "Grand Cherokee" fender emblems in the American Motors-typeface were replaced with the typeface used on other Chrysler vehicles. The AMC 4.0 L straight-6 engine, able to tow 5,000 lb, was also refined, through minimal loss in horsepower but gained more torque and presented quieter operation. Limited models that year and onward had more luxury items such as driver placement memory, remote radio control from the steering wheel, and variable assist while driving and parking.

Between 1996-98, the export Grand Cherokee Laredo (marketed for Japan) had the optional Aspen package (source: The Story of Jeep).

Special edition ZJs

Throughout its lifetime, there were several different "one-off" and special edition models of the ZJ, including but not limited to the gold series. The following highlights several of these.

The 5.9L Limited ZJ (1998)
A Deep Slate 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9L (Note hood louvers and mesh grill inserts)

The 5.9 Limited was a Jeep Grand Cherokee produced only for the 1998 model year, having more luxury and performance than that of the regular Limited. Chrysler churned out nearly a quarter million Grand Cherokees in 1998. Of those, less than fifteen thousand were 5.9s. It housed a Magnum 5.9 L V8 engine with an output of 245 hp (183 kW) and 345 lb·ft (468 N·m) of torque, going from zero to 60 mph (100 km/h) in only 7.3 seconds[5] (Motor Trend measured this at a slightly faster 6.8 seconds [6]see Motor Trend, January 1998, page 51), making it the quickest SUV available that year. The straight line performance of the 1998 5.9L V8 has been surpassed by Jeep only with the 2006 introduction of the 6.1l SRT8 HEMI grand Cherokee. The 5.9 Jeep Grand Cherokee was named the 1998 four-wheel drive vehicle of the year by Peterson's 4-wheel & Off-Road . [7] Other features separated the 5.9 from the standard Limited model including[8]:

* Functioning heat-extracting hood louvers
* Mesh grille insert
* Five-spoke alloy Ultrastar wheels
* Black-wall tires
* An improved premium 180 watt, 10 speaker infinity stereo system
* A rear speaker bar for additional infinity speakers
* Calf-grain, soft leather seats and trim
* Leather door inserts
* Leather shift handle, e-brake and transfer case handle
* Enhanced faux wood trim throughout, additionally around the transmission shift handle base
* A full-leather spare tire cover with multiple pockets
* A center leather armrest in the rear seat
* A lower-profile roof rack that eliminated squeeking problems found on the base 5.2l limited
* Molded rocker panels
* Stock foglights
* Stock power sunroof/moonroof

The Grand Cherokee 5.9 further included additional performance-enhancing features including:

* A stronger 46RE transmission than the 5.2L with a heavier output shaft
* Quadradrive heavy duty NV249 transfer case
* Standard trac-lock rear differential
* An electric fan
* A high-output 150A alternator
* Lower restriction exhaust and chrome plated exhaust tip

Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1993)
1993 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

For 1993 alone, Jeep carried over the Grand Wagoneer name for a special luxury version of the Grand Cherokee with the 5.2 L V8, this marked the last appearance for the Grand Wagoneer in the Jeep lineup. Having all the features of the Limited, it featured a simulated wood grain body cladding, along with special Grand Wagoneer badging, and a unique leather interior. This Jeep was the most costly of the line up, and was produced in limited numbers.

The Orvis Edition (1995-1997)
1996 Grand Cherokee Orvis

The Orvis (1995-1997) was a Grand Cherokee Limited package that featured an exterior color scheme of either Deep Hunter Green, or (less commonly) Light Driftwood, with red and gold side strip accents (1995). Green paint accents on the road wheels (matching the deep hunter green body color) and the special "Orvis" brand badging were the only significant exterior visual differences. In performance, the 5.2 V8 engine became standard, but was available with a 4.0 inline 6 cylinder engine. Also, all Orvis editions were installed with tow hooks and the Up-Country suspension group. However, the interior was special. Two-tone green and tan leather seats were complimented with red accent piping and Orvis insignia. There was a slight difference between the 1996 and 1997 years' interior compared to each other. The 1996 had a black dash where the 1997 had a tan dash, this is an easy way to tell the difference between the two. Because it was an additional luxury trim package to the Limited, the Orvis Edition (when fully optioned) became the most expensive of all the Grand Cherokee versions until 1998 when the 5.9 Limited was introduced.

TSi (1997-1998)

A sporty TSi model (1997-1998) briefly debuted, exterior features included single color body paneling, with lower indigo blue striping accent similar to that found on the Eagle Talon model. TSi packages came equipped with 5 spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, 225/70R16 tires, sport tuned suspension and steering, perforated leather seats, and a premium sound system. A 5.2 litre V8 was available. The TSi was priced between the Laredo and the Limited.

[edit] 4x4

Four-wheel drive systems included Command-Trac, a part-time unit offering temporary 4-wheel assistance; Command-Trac was dropped from lineup in conjunction with the SE trim in 1996. Selec-Trac had the option of either full-time or part-time operation; both shift-on-the-fly Command-Trac and Selec-Trac were already available for the Cherokee, and they were adapted to the Grand Cherokee. Exclusive to the Grand Cherokee was the introduction of Quadra-Trac system with permanent all-time four-wheel assistance. This was standard on all Limited and most specialty trims, as well as optional on Laredo models. Rear wheel drive I6 models were sold though only for the Laredo in late 1993, while it was in 1994 when rear wheel drive was made available for the Limited. In 1997, the 5.2 L V8 engines were made optional in rear wheel drive models.


An available "Up Country" package was offered. The suspension package included heavier duty gas charged shocks, along with various other suspension components improved.


The Grand Cherokee V8 was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list and was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1993.

It was also Petersen's 4x4 of the Year in 1993, 1996 (with the redesigned NV249 transfer case), 1998 (with the newly available 5.9L V-, 1999 (with its acclaimed 2nd generation model), 2001 (with the new 5-speed transmission), and 2005 (with its 3rd generation model).


* 1993–1995 — Base "SE"
* 1993–1998 — Laredo
* 1993–1998 — Limited
* 1995–1997 — Orvis "Limited Edition"
* 1997–1998 — TSi
* 1993 Grand Wagoneer
* 1998 5.9 Limited
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