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1998 Jeep Wrangler Parts, 1998 JEEP WRANGLER TJ: NOT ANOTHER JEEP LS SWAP – Despite the Toxin Spyder heat-reduction hood insert tossing hints your means, it’s difficult to know that prowling under the hood of Mike Zeko’s 1998 Jeep Wrangler TJ is a lot even more power than what appeared of the manufacturing facility. Yes, we’re discussing a V-8 engine swap, yet not simply an additional LS, Hemi, blah, blah, blah swap. We’re discussing a 5.2 L V-8 Magnum.

Let’s not get carried away with that said yet. We’re still discussing the exterior. Mike has spent more than a handful of years upgrading, building, as well as reconstructing to get the gear where it is today, and he’s extremely satisfied with exactly how it wheels as well as looks.


From nose to tail the Wrangler’s body is customized with a list of armor that starts with a Craigslist front bumper (Mike said it was cheap as well as in shape perfectly); Poison Spyder front XC 3-inch fenders; as well as GenRight front panel guards, mini watercraft sides, and also 4-inch stretch back edges. A Hanson rear bumper as well as extremely tailored swing-out spare tire service provider (that’s really intriguing) bring up the tail. Tucked under that tail is a GenRight 32-gallon stretch tank. We especially like the moving tough upper doors and the tire provider.

1998 Jeep Wrangler Parts

When on the path or highway, Mike as well as his passenger trip in the encouraging convenience of Smittybilt XRC seats and are bordered by an OR-Fab bolt-in rollcage. Communications and also navigation are obviously well managed too, considering an 80-watt 2-meter ham radio, Cobra CB radio, and Lowrance GPS device are installed within very easy reach. Evening driving is much easier with a 50-inch lightbar protected to the top of the windscreen through a Motobilt lightbar place.


Mike really went to town on the undercarriage, or perhaps we ought to say he mosted likely to the boonies. A Ford 8.8 back axle from a 1998 Ford Traveler was picked as well as experienced for the tail of the TJ, as well as a front Dana 44 axle out of 1977 Ford F-150 was reconstructed as well as slung under the nose of Mike’s ’98 Jeep Wrangler build. Both are easy-to-find parts and healthy perfectly under the TJ. An Under Cover Fabworks truss supports the front axle, an Artec truss boosts the back, and both bring 4.88 ARB Air Lockers rotating chromoly shafts. The back axle attributes 9-inch outers and a Black Magic hand brake flip package that swaps the support plates. The flip set moved the calipers to the front side of the axle, liberating space for outboard shock mounts as well as boosting emergency brake holding power.

The framework was notched bent on suit the GenRight back shock mounts. After that making use of a personalized mix of suspension builder parts from Artec, Barnes 4WD, Ruff Things, and also Synergy Production, Mike constructed a 100-inch wheelbase suspension damped by 14-inch ORI shows off in advance as well as 12-inch ORI struts in the rear. A ported manufacturing facility steering box, pump, and hydraulic ram help handle the substantial Maxxis 37×12.50 R17LT Trepadors installed to 17-inch Raceline Beast beadlocks. That point you see perched atop the winch is a power steering cooler.


The engine, transmission, and also transfer case are all from a 1998 Dodge 1500. Mike told us that the swap was very straight forward, but he sourced out the custom-made 2.5-inch stainless-steel exhaust system and also engine administration harness to avoid issues. Mike completely rebuilt the 5.2 L (318ci) Magnum V-8 with new efficiency parts and claimed he discovered a whole lot from the experience. Mike made all the brackets as well as places, besides the engine installs he received from Breakthrough Adapters. Any kind of engine machining was handed to Ali’s Automotive Device in Signal Hill, The Golden State.

Featuring the 5.2 L V-8 was a 46RE that was in good condition. However, Mike had Roy’s Transmission in Downey, California, go through it as well as add sturdy bands and also updated servos. Interesting note on the transmission: The transmission colder in the engine radiator feeds fluid to one more cooler under the bed with a thermostat-controlled electric fan before it recedes into the transmission. The transfer situation is the NP231 from the 1500 pickup truck, and also it was maintained for its large chain and bigger input bearing. Custom-made driveshafts from O.C. Driveline in Placentia, The golden state, carry the power down to the axles.

Show ‘N’ Go

Mike Zeko’s customized 1998 Jeep Wrangler TJ has been stretched, repowered, as well as tweaked for many years to develop the ultimate path automobile that Mike wanted for checking out the hills as well as deserts of Southern The golden state. And although a 4×4 show/swap fulfill is where we bumped into him and his shiny, cleaned-up as well as gorgeous Brilliant Jade Satin Metallic TJ, as soon as we climbed beneath it to additionally learn of its path qualifications, the marks of uncounted off-road experiences were clearly obvious.

Why This Jeep?

As one of our industry buddies recently noted, we (off-road media) have– after more than Two Decade– still never ever shut up about just how great the TJ is. That’s since it is. This set has a wheelbase that’s been stretched to 100 inches, so it has the ultra-maneuverable physical dimension of the TJ, but with the much more off-road– friendly longer wheelbase. Top that off with a straightforward twist on the V-8 swap and also a 1/2-ton pickup transmission and also transfer case, and also you have actually obtained a winner.

Hard Facts

Lorry: 1998 Jeep Wrangler TJ
Engine: 5.2 L V-8 (’98 Dodge 1500).
Transmission: 46RE automatic transmission (’98 Dodge 1500).
Transfer Situation: NP231 (’98 Dodge 1500).
Suspension: Customized 3-link (with track bar) front as well as triangulated 4-link rear constructed with a mix of parts, ORI coilover struts front and rear.
Axles: 1977 Ford F-150 Dana 44, 4.88 ARB Air Storage locker (front); 1998 Ford Explorer 8.8, 4.88 ARB Air Storage locker (back).
Wheels: 17-inch Raceline Beast beadlock.
Tires: 37×12.50 R17LT Maxxis Trepador.

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