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Georgia: '92 4.0 Ho, Ax-15, 2Wd

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  My Chinese E-bay radiator decided it didn't like the cold weather and started leaking (antifreeze was good to -35, according to my coolant tester).  Swapped in another Chinese one this weekend:


Radiator #2 must have been a copy of a copy as measured by a tape measure.  I had to shim the air box to get clearance on the filler neck (still only have 0.040" or so).  Also I had to take some 3/8" trans cooler line and shim the posts for the lower rad support.  Radiator #1 had neither of these problems.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Georgia finally has matching seats!  Found a '93 4dr XJ sport and spliced the pass seat bottom with the driver's seat back.  I pulled the 2 dr seat I had in Georgia and swapped the covers tonight.  The flip forward seat covers and standard seat covers are surprisingly different...it was a PITA making the 4 dr covers fit. 


Old seat cover with tear, worn spot, cigarette burn:



4 dr XJ sport seat cover installed (yes it needs more scrubbing)


Matching seats!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Had a great score at the u-pull-it.  I've been keeping an eye out for an external slave AX-15 for Georgia but these have proven quite elusive.  Much to my surprise I came across one today!!





  The donor was an oddly optioned '94 Country with 168K on the clock.  I've never seen a country with a manual trans.  The T-case was junk (broken chain which poked a hole in the case) so it stayed in the yard.


  Of course Georgia is 2WD so my original plan was to strip the bellhousing & bearing retainer and leave the rest of the trans.  I couldn't do it though as it was just too nice to abandon.  Now I'm faced with the question of whether or not I should convert her to 4WD.  I'll have to sleep on this one...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found a 123K mile front axle & T-case donor for my 4WD conversion :banana:


  A small jy outside of Charlotte was parting out a '96 XJ with a bad motor (rod knock).  This AX-15, NP231 truck was straight and clean.  We agreed on $400 for the front axle, driveshafts, NP231, and complete T-case linkage pulled and ready for me to pick up.


As it looked on the ad:


As it looked yesterday when I went to pick up the parts:



Everything was waiting for me. I pulled the diff cover on the axle to check the R&P and everything looked good.  The ID tag was on the axle & the fluid was clean.  Hadn't been opened since it left Toledo:


I field tested the T case by manually shifting through 2hi, neutral, 4HI, & 4LO.  Pulled the fill/drain plug and the inside looked clean.  Paid for everything and loaded it up:


The shift linkage is in the cab and the 5 gal bucket has all the nuts & bolts (I asked them to save all the fasteners). 


I have to strip, clean, & catalog everything but it seems like it was well worth the drive. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been working on the D30 prior to putting it in.  The donor truck sat for a long time and spent a few weeks (maybe a month +) laying in the junkyard without wheels.  As I started tearing it down the need for a rebuild became apparent.  The truck hadn't been hit (straight axle) and the R&P and carrier bearings are good.  The rest I can work with:


This axle has been a b*&^h to tear down: 

Hub & bearings were so rusted in place that I pulled them apart instead of out:


 Finally got the hub & bearing assys out and went to the spindles:


   Spindle came out and took the upper ball stud with it.


  I had to put the spindle in the press and pop the studs free.


U joints looked rough.  They were so tight I tweaked the handle on the press removing them. This was after soaking them for 48 hrs:

As found:


Side gears & spiders looked questionable so I'm replacing them.  Removing the roll pin and carrier pin is a royal PITA.  Ended up adapting the axle bearing puller to do the job:


Old gears didn't look that great but I saw that when I bought the axle:


R&P looked great.  Slight wear on the coast side but you can't even feel it:


New & old side gears:

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Changing the side gears & spider gears on the D30 is ridiculously hard.  It's obvious that the carrier was fully assembled and then dropped into the housing.  I wrestled the new roll pin in but it put up one he&& of a fight.  Ended up using a piece of 0.5" dia hot rolled bar stock and a sledge to drive it in:



  Had to hammer the new cross pin all the way in too, even after sitting in the freezer overnight.  But the carrier is reassembled:



New ball joints & bushings are in too:

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Great work. Refreshed parts always look amazing and sometimes you even feel bad putting them under the truck and outta plain sight.


Thanks :) .  I was quite happy with the way it came out.  In a way I do feel bad hiding it under truck but I'm hoping to not disturb it for another 100K+ miles.



I'd guess vette or Superbird or daytona

  Not a Mopar vehicle but, yes, there's a big girl under that car cover.  She's my '65 Olds Delta 88 2 dr Holiday Hardtop.  First year for the Delta trim package and has just under 51K original miles...

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  • 9 months later...

I'd meant to post progress on a regular basis and thought I wasn't that far behind but it turns out I'm way behind here :hmm:


Anyway here's where Georgia is sitting now:


Rebuilt the front driveshaft with new u-joints.  that double cardan is a real PITA to work with:


Also gutted the interior to put in the 4WD shift handle and replace the E-brake cable that let go:


I replaced the input & output shaft seals on the AX-15 prior to installing it:


Seal contact area looks good:



Then I finally got her up in the air for the transplant:


2WD trans came out, new clutch went in:

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Test fit the '94 external slave AX-15 and the '96 NP231:


Installed the trans:


Installed the T-case, linkage, and front driveshaft:


Put her back down on the ground, bottomed out the slip yoke and backed out 1" to measure center to center:


Sourced a beefy aftermarket driveshaft from a Fox body Mustang GT and had it cut & balanced to my measurements.  In case anyone is wondering D35, AX-15 with external slip yoke NP231 D/S is 41 15/16" center to center.  Used 1350 to 1310 xover u-joints:



Then got her back on the road.  :banana:

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Ran into an issue where the 4wd was behaving erratically and traced it down to a bent linkage.  I questioned the linkage when I got it but I was assured that everything in the 5 gal pail (nuts, bolts, handle, linkage, etc) was needed and in good condition.  As I had no point of reference I installed it as-is.  Turns out the little jy I sourced the T-case from bent the linkage badly.  Fortunately I found another 4WD AX-15 donor and grabbed a replacement center link:



We've had some nasty weather in the past few weeks so I've had ample opportunity to test the 4WD.  Works great :D

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Thanks!  I still have some odds & ends to sort through but I'm happy with how she turned out :).  Converting her to 4WD allowed me to pick & choose later model parts that had the bugs worked out (non CAD large U joint axle, external slave AX-15, etc).  I couldn't find exactly what I wanted so I had to build it.

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  • 5 months later...

Finally had a chance to partially strip the interior and install the replacement shift lever.  This one came out of a '94 Country with the AW4 (handles are the same for auto and manual trans).   The mom & pop junkyard that gave me a package deal on the front axle, transfer case, linkage, & driveshafts apparently let the t-case hang by the linkage.  The bottom of the lever was subtly bent which caused the bushing to continually pop out.  I pulled this handle myself and it's nice and straight.  Put in a new Mopar bushing and swapped the handles.  Works great!


Old & "new".  New one is rustier but straight:


It's in!


The bend isn't noticable unless you use a straight edge on it:

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