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New 2.5 MJ project...Now a 4.0 H.O. project


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I got a 2.5 2wd MJ given to me for my son :cheers: Body is not bad, nothing that a couple weekends and some hard work can not fix and it runs good. We would like to do something around a 4” lift (SOA) and put a flat bed on for now and do a 4wd conversion when we have the $$$ to do it, already have the transfer case ;) As this will be his daily ride to and from school we do not want to go overboard on it, so no major off road trips :cry: nothing larger then a P265/75R15 tire :oops: .

 

What would be the lowest cost way to get around 4” of lift? , $$$ is a big problem for him and Dad has his sister in college so I am also not much help :cry: Should we replace the rear axle, or can we use that $$$ somewhere else?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Charles

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well, being a 2.5 You should have a dana 35 with 4.10's in the rear if it's a 5 spd, 3.55's if it's a 4 spd.

If you're not planning on wheeling it hard keep the stock axles.

Go SOA on the rear, and then get a matching lift up front.

at 4+" up front you're going to likely need a new trackbar, and you should seriously consider going over all the front end stuff to avoid a deathwobble encounter.

because the t-case was "married" to the trans in the Mj line you'll have to practically rebuild the trans to get the output right for the t-case. Might be better finding a 4wd donor cherokee and grabbing it's front axle, trans and t-case to bolt up to your son's rig. Make sure you get the correct gearing to match the rear axle.

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I just did the 4wd swap on mine this summer. I got a dana 30 and 8.25 from a local yard for $300. They are geared at 3.55. I figured that these axles would suffice for the mild off-road trips I will take with my MJ and it sounds like they would do your Son just fine as well. They are fairly common to be found in XJ's (the case with mine) and fairly cheap as well. Finding out what your son has for a rearend would be my first step though because you don't want to take a decent and high-geared rearend out of the truck... Also, if you have leafs lying around, it may be easier to make some new packs and forego the whole SOA idea. I kept mine at SUA and I love it.

 

I am wondering what year your son's truck is, as this will give some info on the transmission is has in it. I'm not a 4cyl guy, so I don't know what t-cases will bolt to which transmissions...

 

Best of luck and I hope it is an experience you and your Son enjoy. I thank my Dad often for getting me into Jeeps!

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Also, if the track bar up front is good, you should be able to redrill the mounting hole on the front axle to compensate for the lift :brows: saves$$$ in the long run and even if your track bar is bad you can go buy a stock one for much cheaper than an adjustable one like I did on mine and use the redrilled hole to mount it to. Just realize that you can only redrill the hole once...

 

Lift coils are one way to go, sometimes you can find some used ones for it. Other areas to look for are in the Junkyards at other Jeeps with different coils, who knows what you might find... You can also put a spacer in the top of the stock ones and be just fine

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you mentioned a SOA but did not say what you are planing on for front a SOA is only good for rear as you are puting the leafs on top of axle the frt has coils you can go 3" in frt with out having to mess with the control arms anything more and you need to replace the lower control arms.if you find a used lift for a Cherokee,97 up wrangler the supention is the same for a cherokee and frt wrangler so if you are going for the cheap this could help, if you want new National Tire and Wheel has a special on a kit frt coils rear add a leafs and heckthorn shocks, you can use this kit to start with and always add control arms and frt spacers later for 4"-5" of lift and SOA rear. hope this helped a little Good Luck...Sean.

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Wow when I started replying to tread no one had posted got a phone call and like 4 or 5 posts lol,anyway I see you are from OH you should check some of the local jeep forums for parts here are some of them hrja.org,noth east crawlers,black list wheelers association,great lakes jeep thing,West Virginia Jeep club,try some of them to find some parts and meet people in your area I'm on hrja and wv jeep club awsome people just as they are here but a little closer for parts and trail rides and such. again hope this helps.

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Sean

 

Thanks, I will look into them. Looking into ideals on the front. The 4" is not cut into stone. If 3" will save $$ then we will look into 3".

 

The back springs have some broken leafs so I will have to make up new packs on the back.

 

Charles

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3" is going to be the less costly route.

I re drilled my TB axle mount, but I think that aything higher than my lift and you wouldn't be able to get it centered.

I've got a 3" skyjacker lift on my junk I got for cheap.

I'm not sure where amanda is, but I'm in ashland.

You need a hand with anything hit me up.

If you want a garage to work in with air tools you're welcome to it.

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here's something to consider

with a very small lift, you should b e able to clear 31's, and i personally think it gives it a real nice look, i found this out when i was fiddling with a set of 31s on my old manche before i junked it

with some spacers in the front and shackles in the back u should be able to lift it about 3 inches with very little invested. enough lift that most of your geometry SHOULD be okay, even though i know of ppl who have had problems.

 

you could lift it for under 300, when you lift it swap in the 4WD front axle and slowly save up for the 4wd conversion. u should be able to get a matching d35 set for under 150

 

for under 500 u should have a nice semi built manche. I know it is doable within that price range in my area, ive found that states be on par or slightly cheaper then ontario

 

my 2 cents

 

oh and if you use spacers, shop around. you might be able to get a good used set for cheap. if you go much bigger then 4 i think u need to really look at driveline angles and such IIRC

 

do lots of research, i think ride quality would be most important

 

someon chime I'm if I'm wrong on what ive learned so far

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I forgot to mention you also could go to a spring shop and have them make you new ones (rear springs) mine cost me 150.00 installedand are 2.5"-3" lift w/bushings, you mite also put an add in the wanted section of these forums I mentioned for control arms off a TJ,XJ,ZJ aftermarket of coarse lots of guys going w/long arm systems and looking to sell old control arms I got a set of fixed arms never used because the guy had bought adjustable ones I only paid 20.00 for all 4 well worth a try spacers are cheap try joining a club that gets a discount at the local 4wd shops or check out the vendors in all the different forums they mite offer a dicount remember real jeeps are built not bought and a project built on the cheap (but safe ) is always a bonus,scavange the U-Pullit yards for anything jeep that in good shape and if you don't need it chances are someone else will,and trade up for stuff for your sons comanche. sorry for the long post but its late and I'm just rambling lol.well again pm,e-mail any time and I will try and give all the help, advice,that I can....Sean.

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Honestly if you just want to fit 31's they'll fit stock. They will rub on the steering skid and the LCA's at full lock but it's not bad.

They'll also rub the frame rails in the rear when you really work out the rear suspension. maybe I should bumpstop those, but it flexes good.

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Thanks, guys.

 

We will need some lift to clear the flat bed but 3" will work good.

 

 

Now if I have this right for a 3” lift on the rear I can build / buy new springs with a 3” lift that I can bolt SUA?

 

On the front I can buy / build spacers for the springs?

 

On the spacers will they be 3” or will they be a little less?

 

I may or may not need to make adjustments on steering / drive line, will have to wait a see?

 

Where will I find on the rear axle if it’s a 3:55?

 

ON a 3” lift will I need longer shocks?

 

Also the local bone yard has an XJ 3.55 front axle w/vac for $70, anyway to use it w/o vac or will I need to find a axle w/o vac.

 

 

Sorry for all the newbie questions.

 

 

Charles

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There *may* be a tag on the rear axle with the ratio, but don't count on it. The surest way to confirm the r&p is to pop the cover and look on the ring gear for the tooth count stamped into it (or count teeth, but if you spin the ring gear around, you will see the two count numbers stamped into it). By far, the most common ratio in XJ/MJ's that have a 4.0 and AW4 is 3.55, so look for that combo as a starting point.

 

You can use a disco front axle for your project (that's what I have in mine, BTW). You have several options for dealing with the CAD, depending on what you want to do:

 

*install all the factory vaccuum crap and operate as normal (PITA)

*rig up your own vaccuum with a selectable vac switch in cab

*install a posi-lok (either purchased $$$ or homebrew)

*pull the CAD and shim over the shift fork and reinstall it (what I did)

*replace the 2 pc shaft with a non-disco single shaft (have to add a seal)

 

Jeff

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Easy way to get your ratio that takes less than 5 mins. Jack up one of your rear tires off the ground. Put a peice of tape on your tire and on your fender for a reference, next mark your driveshaft/yoke with respect to your rearend for another reference. Now have someone go under the jeep and someone spin the wheel that is in the air and count how many turns of the single jacked up wheel it will take to spin the driveshaft one complete turn. (You must have one wheel blocked or on the ground so it can't spin) This will give you your gear ratio. Common Jeep ratios include: 3.07, 3.55, 3.73, 4.10 and the list goes on. Your math won't be exact but it will get you close to one of these numbers :thumbsup:

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Also, yes you can make spring packs to bolt on SUA. This eliminates having to reweld your spring perches. Beware though that some guys on this site have problems with taking out the main bolts for their leaf spring bushings. When I pulled mine, they came out just fine (i guess I got lucky) but some guys have to cut them to get them off. Pete just did a big project on one of his MJ's that involved messing with the rear springs. Here is the link, its on pages 3 and 4 http://www.comancheclub.com/forums/view ... 6&start=45

 

For spacers up front, Some guys, I know many back home get pieces of pipe and weld up their own spacers, all you need is something that the coil will rest on and fit in nicely when it is compressed to the body. Once they weld these spacers up then they weld them to the body to make sure they won't wander on them. You can buy them as well from many offroad sites or even ask around on here, I'm sure someone has some.

 

Any time you change the geometry of your front end you should at least allign your Jeep. This is really easy on Jeeps. Just loosen the Tie rod clamps and start turning the connecting rod with a pipe wrench. Before you do this though, you should adjust your steering wheel so it will be straight again. You can adjust this by loosening and tuning the joint that connects the pitman arm to the ?drag link?. Once your steering wheel is straight then you get your wheels to be at equal distances from the front of them to the back of them. Just take your time and be patient with this. I like to get my the fronts of my wheels about 1/16 inch farther apart than my the rears of my wheels... Thats just the way I was told to do it by some friends ( the same guys that make their own spacers)

 

A front driveshaft from an XJ should work just fine for you and you shouldnt have to change the angles for your front end pinion. The rear driveshaft can be cut down to accomodate your new length once you get the t-case in. Thats what I did for mine.

 

You will need new shocks all around for a 3 inch lift. The only place I was able to find them for mine was from Rusty's offroad and they ran me $30 a piece. Some guys here don't like Rusty's, but they have never done me wrong.

 

I don't know much about disco axles, I have a nondisco so I don't have to worry about it.

 

Have fun

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Well it sounds like you got the axle that is most common, and most hated on all of our MJ's. Dana 35s are known to be a very weak axle. As long as you keep the Jeep on the Pavement as a daily driver, it shouldnt give you any problems. The minute you take it offroad though, chances are that its evil side will show through...

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Well it sounds like you got the axle that is most common, and most hated on all of our MJ's. Dana 35s are known to be a very weak axle. As long as you keep the Jeep on the Pavement as a daily driver, it shouldnt give you any problems. The minute you take it offroad though, chances are that its evil side will show through...

 

the 35 is bad but its not THAT bad. haha.

 

it can be wheeled, just gotta remember you're not driving around with D60s... but behind a 2.5 automatic driveline... it should take alot to kill it.

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I got the 2.5 with a manual and I have said this alot but ill tell you anyways. I have 35s and the D35 rear and wheeled all over and drive it everyday and even made it thru Tellico on a all day trip WITHOUT problems. Never broke never came apart.....BUT....Thats not saying they are strong. I am having issues getting a 8.8 or something stronger than the stocker so right now so thats why i still have it. And who is to say when i go to work tommorrow that it will make it without breaking but I have 3 spares so I'm not to worried.

 

Cole

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We have the 2.5 with a manual 4 speed.

 

JOMJ87

 

Which do you have a 4 or 5 speed? How did you like Telico? We had a place in Telico Planes up to about 1 yr ago, but never made it up the trail. Came close on day but it was late and we were alone so we did not go :cry: Also I had the big GMC 2500 6.5 and did not know how it would do ;)

 

bdjr

 

PM on the way.

 

 

Charles

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