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Another 97+ Cherokee swap question


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Hey everyone. A few months ago I was given a rolling MJ chassis. The motor and tranny has been removed, as well as the interior. It basically just the shell, but the frame and unibody is perfect! Not a bit of rust anywhere. Well today, I had a friend offer to sell me his 98 Cherokee for dirt cheap. 100k miles on the motor. I'm sure I'll be getting in WAY over my head, but I've started thinking about just transferring everything from the XJ over to the MJ being that it's a complete donor. I've read through Alexia's 97+ build and have got a lot of my questions answered, but one thing I haven't been able to figure out is what I'll have to do with the driveline.  The XJ is 4wd. The MJ is 2wd. I'm guessing I'lI have to switch over both axles from the XJ right? Will they bolt right up?

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Front axle will bolt in, rear axle not so much.

If you can identify the gear ratio in the MJ's axle (knowing what engine and trans were in it would give you a good guess, or figure out a way to measure it) you may be able to reuse it if it matches the XJ front (or if you don't want to be 4x4, stick the transfer case in and leave it in 2wd...). But I'm guessing if it's left in the shell you likely won't want to, as the later XJ's axle is probably a stronger C8.25 (although that's not a guarantee), if it was a stronger MJ axle than the d35, whoever stripped the drivetrain likely would've taken that too. To use the XJ's rear axle you'll need to cut off the spring perches and weld on new ones as they aren't in the same spot on the MJ. Look up any of the axle swap threads in the DIY forum to see how to do that. 

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Gogmorgo pretty much hit it on the nose.  You'll want to swap both axles as the MJ gear ratio is highly unlikely to match.  The MJ leaf springs are spaced just a tad narrower.  Replace the perches and cutoff the shock mounts on the C8.25 and it will bolt in.  One other thing you'll need to consider is that you'll have to have a rear driveshaft made since the XJ one is too short, the front however will be a direct swap.  

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