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Transmission / Transfer case / Front Diff Dilemma


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Hey all,

 

I'm in full swing converting my '89 Pioneer SWB from 2wd to 4wd.  I've just finished a Ford 8.8" rebuild with 4:10 gears so I can run 33's without much pain, and will be doing an SOA / SYE swap soon with new spring perches and shock mounts.  I swapped an AW4/NP231 from a wrecked '89 Cherokee last fall (major rear-ender), and have a D30 from my wrecked '91 Cherokee. (major front-ender)  My daily driver is a 2000 Cherokee with a branded title that will become a fender/front panel/hood (maybe doors also?) donor once the Pioneer is road-worthy.  I don't have the 'moxy' to do the HO/Renix swap into my Pioneer right now, and with Cruiser54's tips the Renix is pretty solid.  I plan on selling the 2000 Cherokee when I'm done.

 

Since I know the condition of the Transmission / Transfer case in the 2000, is it worth swapping into the Pioneer?  Is it as simple as plug/play with the computer?  If not, how about just the transfer case?  I'm fairly certain the SYE kit is specific to either the '89 or '00.

 

Is there benefit to using the D30 from the 2000 Cherokee versus the 1991 that is already on the ground?  The D30 on the ground does have bent brackets from the wreck, and I can't say with confidence there wasn't any other damage that can't be seen with my old eyeballs. (not sure if there was any deflection with the axle tubes, etc.)  Regardless which one I use, it's getting new ring/pinion/gears/etc.

 

I'm a half step above 'shade tree' status, and like most of us my money tree isn't producing well with our drought, so I want to do this right the first time.  The Pioneer will be my daily driver when I'm done, and wheeling is limited to mostly poking around in the desert and a few logging trails.  My pocketbook (and back) don't allow me to be as aggressive as I used to be!  LOL

 

All opinions are welcome...

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^^^ that.

not an end-of-world thing, but you do loose ground clearance below your driveshaft and there's talk of the gears being weaker due to driving the opposite side of the gear teeth. But they came factory in ZJ's, TJ's, WJ's etc without major concerns. 

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If you bent the brackets on your 91 HP D30 in the wreck, there is a good chance you bent the tubes or the Cs.  I would not trust it.

 

As said, the 00 one is low pinion, personally I would never use one as I have a hatred for low pinion front axles.  You could use it though, at least it will have the newer style axle shafts/ujoints and you know it is in good shape.

 

The auto trans changed from Renix to HO to OBD-II, and while it is possible to swap them around I don't know if the outcome will be desirable.

 

Likewise for the tcases the input spline count changed.  The Renix AW4 had a 21 spline output, so the tcase used a matching 21 spline input.  The later AW4 and tcase is 23 spline.  The gear cut in the planetaries (and the input) changed in 95, so you can't swap the inputs around.

 

Hopefully I followed your post correctly on what you were proposing to do, I'm tired. :peep:

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:bowdown:  @DirtyComanche, that's super helpful! 

 

With the power of the internet, it's amazing just how small the world has become and readily available information is...  And yet, a couple hours of searching and reading was just summarized nicely in a few lines!   

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There is a lot of work needed to convert the late model trans to work in your rig. If you search "aw4 naxja" on google it will bring you to a great swap thread.

 

Short story is that 96 and older will swap in no issues but 91-96 you will also need to grab a matching tcase as was mentioned before the spline count differences. A 97 trans will work also but you'll need to cut and splice the older connections in.

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AW4 will bolt up but the electrical will be a lot of work. You're better finding a pre 96 and pulling the tcase with it. For the D30 find a 97-99, it will have the better u joints, be a high pinion and non CAD. Pretty sure you're 91 will be a CAD and those are just silly to swap in unless it's your only option. 

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Thanks Goose and Smokey.  :thanks:

 

I found a high pinion, non CAD D30 in great shape for pretty cheap.  I'm going to rebuild it (new ring/pinion, bearings, seals) and keep the '89 AW4/NP231.  

 

Seems like the easiest route for now to get it on the road, then see where my next adventure takes me?

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