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2.5 liter 2wd to 4wd conversion questions (lots of them)


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I have some questions before I start tearing apart my truck and looking for parts. Any help or ideas to point me in the right direction would be very helpful. First off I have a 2wd jeep comanche 1987 with a 4 speed transmission. My goal is to end up with a manual trans and 4wd on my 2.5 liter engine. I also want to lift my truck with the parts off of a 1994 4.0 jeep cherokee 4wd I will be acquiring. The cherokee has a three inch lift, I am 95% sure that the front lift will fit no problem, I wanted to know about the rear add a leaf he has, I have just found something that the comanche leafs were longer. My first question is would I be able to add the leaf to the comanche, even if it is lower than it was on the cherokee, maybe under two leafs instead of under the top on the cherokee? I don't need to achieve much lift, or any for that matter, because I would like to do an axle under leaf conversion which should give me close to the right amount of lift to match my front three inch lift, I just want the added strength, which brings me to my next few questions. Next, will I be able to use the axles off of the cherokee for my 4wd conversion? I am again 95% sure the front will be a bolt on swap, the rear is slightly different, and I am not sure if there will be different brackets than what I need. I am not sure which axles the cherokee has, I just know that they must be the same ratio if they have been on the cherokee together, which is all I am concerned about. If I can manage to get all of this straigtened out, That leaves me one more obstacle, my transmission and transfer case. I am looking for a manual trans with transfer case that will fit an 87 comanche. So here go my next few questions. What transmission will I need, an ax15? and what transfer case will I need? I was hoping to find a wrangler or cherokee with the 2.5 and 4wd at a scrap yard or something. If I do this, will any trans I find behind a 2.5 work, or do I need to be concerned with year or model? will the clutch from my 4 speed transmission fit any transmission that would work for the conversion? I am trying to do this on as little of a budget as possible, If I am unable to convert to 4wd I will just focus on the lift because I should have everything I need from the cherokee. Thanks for any help you can give, I will continue my research and post any findings so perhaps someone can confirm or deny them!

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Your 4.0 XJ will offer you nothing but maybe interior parts and odds and ends.......mirrors.....doors......etc.

 

You need a 2.5 XJ for AX5 and TC and front 4.10 axle.

 

You will also need to have a DS built.

 

94 and up will offer you the external bell housing and slave and master...........I have one for sale if you need it.

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Since you have an ax4 you probably already have 3.55s in the rear so the xj front axle will work but going to an ax5 you will eventually want to regear.

 

What does the XJ have for a lift? An XJ 3" lift can cost from about $50 to a few hundred depending on how its put together. It may not be worth it to get the XJ. If all you need is the axle.

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Since you have an ax4 you probably already have 3.55s in the rear so the xj front axle will work but going to an ax5 you will eventually want to regear.

 

What does the XJ have for a lift? An XJ 3" lift can cost from about $50 to a few hundred depending on how its put together. It may not be worth it to get the XJ. If all you need is the axle.

 

 

 

No he has the 2.5..............4 cylinder

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I am in Michigan in the detroit area. You say that the xj lift will not fit? The front ends are identicle aren't they? It has a zone offroad 3 inch lift and zone add a leaf in the rear. It also has one ton steering set up in the front. I plan on taking lots of interior parts and the front brakes are way better than the ones on the comanche, For only 150 for the cherokee, I will be able to get all the parts I want then scrap it and mostly make my money back. I looked on oreillys and I am thinking that the axle I have is the Spicer 35C 7.59 Inch Ring Gear? I base that only by the picture which looks like the one I bought when I redid the fluid and gasket. So you say none of the cherokee parts will fit the comanche?

This is what I was hoping to use from the cherokee

Brake caliper, pads and rotors,

all the speakers and head units

Zone lift 3" front and back

Interior lights

Axle if they will mount up with little modification

Light housings for the blinkers.

I will pull apart the cherokee hopefully this weekend and then see where I am at parts wise.

Thanks for the help everyone

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I am in Michigan in the detroit area. You say that the xj lift will not fit? The front ends are identicle aren't they? It has a zone offroad 3 inch lift and zone add a leaf in the rear. It also has one ton steering set up in the front. I plan on taking lots of interior parts and the front brakes are way better than the ones on the comanche, For only 150 for the cherokee, I will be able to get all the parts I want then scrap it and mostly make my money back. I looked on oreillys and I am thinking that the axle I have is the Spicer 35C 7.59 Inch Ring Gear? I base that only by the picture which looks like the one I bought when I redid the fluid and gasket. So you say none of the cherokee parts will fit the comanche?

This is what I was hoping to use from the cherokee

Brake caliper, pads and rotors,

all the speakers and head units

Zone lift 3" front and back

Interior lights

Axle if they will mount up with little modification

Light housings for the blinkers.

I will pull apart the cherokee hopefully this weekend and then see where I am at parts wise.

Thanks for the help everyone

 

 

 

You have a 2wheel AX4 you cannot add on the TC from the XJ......you will need an AX4 or AX5 and TC.

 

You will have a 4.11 gear in the rear of your truck now........you do not want to run the 3.55s from the XJ. I have the 2.5 and I have it running as well as it ever will and with 4.11s it's all it can do to get out of it's own way.

Take off and 2nd gear and see how it feels...........3.55s will feel like you are taking off somewhere between 1st and 2nd.

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The front XJ lift and steering items will work for your MJ. The rear add a leafs for an XJ if added to the MJ packs probably won't get you much if any lift, as MJ springs already have more arch in them than XJ leafs do. If added to the stock MJ packs spring under, it may actually lower the rear end due to the added leaf thickness. I think the other guy was saying that if you are keeping the 4 cyl the trans and tcase in the XJ won't be any use to you, unless you swap it all over completely from the XJ to do a 6cyl swap, but I'm not sure that that is the info you were looking for.

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The front XJ lift and steering items will work for your MJ. The rear add a leafs for an XJ if added to the MJ packs probably won't get you much if any lift, as MJ springs already have more arch in them than XJ leafs do. If added to the stock MJ packs spring under, it may actually lower the rear end due to the added leaf thickness. I think the other guy was saying that if you are keeping the 4 cyl the trans and tcase in the XJ won't be any use to you, unless you swap it all over completely from the XJ to do a 6cyl swap, but I'm not sure that that is the info you were looking for.

 

 

He's gonna use the axles from the 4.0 XJ and it's a mistake the he will regret but I'm not getting through to him.

 

I think he is also under the impression the he can use the TC and install on his AX4........he cannot and his AX4 is useless too.

 

Live and learn I guess.

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http://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/2706929620.html

 

This is the kind of donor you will want to look for in your area.

 

I tried to get you to look for a 94 and up........why? Newer spare parts.......metal valve cover instead of the crappy warped plastic one that on their now...........starter.......alt..........radiator........power steering pump.......etc.....external slave.

 

Also if you spend a little more and get a runner you will be able to test the tranny and TC..........I did not get a runner and I will have to swap trannies again.

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I am not under the impression that I am going to use any trans or transfer case from the xj, I just wanted a few parts because it was so cheap. I was thinking about using the axles purely because they can be used together that's why I asked, The trans I have now will not hook up to any transfer case, My plan was to use all the parts I can from the xj, I was hoping the axles, but its not worth it if its gonna make it that slow. I just have a lot of questions, I have nothing as of now for the 4wd swap, just lots of other parts from the XJ. If I am unable to find an xj with the 2.5 will a wrangler with a 2.5 work? I was thinking if I could find just the trans and transfer case it would be cheaper, but not now that I know those axles won't work I would love to find a jeep with a blown 2.5 or something but Its just hard to find. Thanks again for the help, And I am not set on anything right now, I want all the info I can get before I start tearing apart my beloved comanche. Thanks for the info on the 94 and newer, I will definitely keep that in mind when looking for a donor. If I find a donor 2.5 with 4wd from a cherokee or wrangler, will the rear axle mount up without modification?

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I am not under the impression that I am going to use any trans or transfer case from the xj, I just wanted a few parts because it was so cheap. I was thinking about using the axles purely because they can be used together that's why I asked, The trans I have now will not hook up to any transfer case, My plan was to use all the parts I can from the xj, I was hoping the axles, but its not worth it if its gonna make it that slow. I just have a lot of questions, I have nothing as of now for the 4wd swap, just lots of other parts from the XJ. If I am unable to find an xj with the 2.5 will a wrangler with a 2.5 work? I was thinking if I could find just the trans and transfer case it would be cheaper, but not now that I know those axles won't work I would love to find a jeep with a blown 2.5 or something but Its just hard to find. Thanks again for the help, And I am not set on anything right now, I want all the info I can get before I start tearing apart my beloved comanche. Thanks for the info on the 94 and newer, I will definitely keep that in mind when looking for a donor. If I find a donor 2.5 with 4wd from a cherokee or wrangler, will the rear axle mount up without modification?

 

 

No.

 

You can keep the axle you have.

 

 

 

I'm of the mindset that it's best to swap everything over stock to stock and once complete and running then make modifications. The only exception I would make is if I were set on the Chrysler 8.5 instead of the D35 as this will effect drive shaft length.

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I agree with that, it seems these guys are finding running jeeps 4x4 and everything for so cheap, I would like to find one for just a few hundred, but i know theres a lot of people looking for the same thing. Thats good to know that my rear axle will work, that will mean all I will hopefully need will be the trans, transfer case and front axle, Then mod my rear axle so it is under the leafs. Thanks for the info guys, I'm building up some good info everyone, so my big wonder now is for the donor jeep, Will the front axle off a wrangler mount up with out mods or only from the cherokee? Thanks again everyone, it is awesome having a site like this for reference!

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if your truck has a 2.5L/4spd, then it already has 3.55 gears. 2.5L/5spds came with 4.10s.

 

you can still buy that jeep, strip it of the sell-able parts, then scrap it. the front suspension and front axle will work under your jeep, you just probably won't be happy with the gearing if you add larger tires. the rear can be sold off and the proper 3" lift parts put on your truck.

 

be wary of cheap jeeps. there is usually a good reason why they are cheap.

 

Be careful about the rusty parts under your MJ. bolts (such as the ones on the sway bar) like to snap off and make a simple swap into a hard swap. Is this your only driver?

 

YJ wrangler front axles are pretty much worthless to you. but their trans and t-case can be made to work. you'll still need parts from a 4wd MJ/XJ though (shift linkage and such). your current trans shifter column needs to be retained. the wranglers are taller.

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Front Axle

 

1984–1996: Dana 30, High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 27-spline axleshafts (1989 – 1995 : with ABS used 5-297x universal joints, non-ABS had 5-260x universal joints. Certain XJ models were produced with constant-velocity joints instead of universal joints.)

1996–1999: Dana 30, High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 297x/760 universal joint, 27-spline axleshafts.

2000–2001: Dana 30, Low Pinion, Standard Cut, 297x/760 universal joint, 27-spline axleshafts.

1985–2001: Straight non-driven front axle for two-wheel drive only.

 

[edit] Rear Axle

 

1984–1989: Dana 35, non c-clip, with anti-lock braking system (ABS) or non-ABS.

1990–1996: Dana 35, c-clip, ABS or non-ABS.

1997–2001: Dana 35, c-clip, ABS.

1991–1996: Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 27-spline axleshafts.

Late 1996–2001: Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 29-spline axleshafts.

1987–1990: Dana 44, non-abs, 30-spline axleshafts.

 

[edit] Axle Gear Ratios

 

Jeep XJs came in several standard gearing ratios:

 

3.07:1, manual transmission, I6 engine.

3.54:1, automatic transmission, I6 engine with Dana 44 rear differential.

3.54:1, manual transmission, I4 diesel engine with Dana 35 rear differential.

3.55:1, automatic transmission, I6, V6 engines; manual transmission, I4 engine.

3.73:1, automatic transmission, I6, Tow Package, UpCountry Package.

4.10:1, manual transmission, V6; automatic transmission, I4 engine.

4.56:1, automatic transmission, I4, offroad or tow package.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_%28XJ%29

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if you can't read the tag, you can use this procedure:

 

-jack up one rear tire,

-put trans in neutral,

-rotate tire around exactly twice while counting the number of times the driveshaft rotates,

- that number is your ratio. 3 and a half times = 3.55/3.54 just over 4 times is 4.10/4.11

 

if it has a posi in the rear, then jack up both tires and rotate around only once.

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An AX-15 swap is not completely out of the equation. Wrangler guys swap them into their TJs frequently with a adapter kit.

 

here's one using a Dodge Dakota 4 cylinder bellhousing. (uber rare bellhousing to find)

 

http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=956031

 

here's a JP Mag article that uses the Advance Adapters kit for the swap.

 

http://www.jpmagazine.com/techarticles/ ... index.html

 

Buddy of mine is thinking of doing this swap in his 97 2.5 TJ. If it where me, I would find a AX-15 married to a 231 and hit two birds with one stone.

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