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Axle swap...?


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Ideas suggestions?

Currently has the 2wd straight axle under her, d44 rear I believe. 

Noticed a ton of slop on the front hubs/bearings, only a matter of time... 

Thinking of doing a 4x4 swap. I have a 44front pass drop, and a 12bolt rear out of some Chevy from late 70s I believe, both have manual locking hubs and Detroit lockers but need some attention, cleaning, new bearings, the thought did cross my mind to just fix those and throw them at the comanche, but, that would curve me away from trying to keep her closer to stock and lead me down the dirty path on her. Lol

 

Should I just XJ swap? What should I consider?

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12 hours ago, Wounded_Fighter said:

Ideas suggestions?

Currently has the 2wd straight axle under her, d44 rear I believe. 

Noticed a ton of slop on the front hubs/bearings, only a matter of time... 

Thinking of doing a 4x4 swap. I have a 44front pass drop, and a 12bolt rear out of some Chevy from late 70s I believe, both have manual locking hubs and Detroit lockers but need some attention, cleaning, new bearings, the thought did cross my mind to just fix those and throw them at the comanche, but, that would curve me away from trying to keep her closer to stock and lead me down the dirty path on her. Lol

 

Should I just XJ swap? What should I consider?

 

1) Are you aware that a D30 out of an XJ Cherokee would be a direct swap for your truck?

 

2) Are you aware that the XJ/MJ D30 is driver drop, not passenger drop? 

 

3) You do not have a Dana 44 rear axle in your truck.

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53 minutes ago, DesertRat1991 said:

 

1) Are you aware that a D30 out of an XJ Cherokee would be a direct swap for your truck?

 

2) Are you aware that the XJ/MJ D30 is driver drop, not passenger drop? 

 

3) You do not have a Dana 44 rear axle in your truck.

 

Was not aware.

I was on the fence with #3, didn't have my hopes up about it though lol.

 

I image it wouldn't be hard to swap 35 to 44, should i find one with an xj donor.

what about 35 front?

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56 minutes ago, Wounded_Fighter said:

I image it wouldn't be hard to swap 35 to 44, should i find one with an xj donor.

what about 35 front?

 

Better to find a D44 rear axle from an MJ, it's SUA and an easy bolt-in. An XJ D44 will be SOA and new spring perches will be required.

 

No Jeep models ever came with a D35 front axle. Some Dodge Dakotas and Durangos and maybe others came with D35 front axles, but the WMS distance ( wheel-mounting-surface) will be different than the MJ's.

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An MJ Dana 44 will be impossible to find. XJ Dana 44s are out there, but getting scarce, and they require cutting off the spring perches and relocating them. Not rocket science, but more work than a bolt-in. A good alternative, and plentiful, is the 97 - 2001 XJ Chrysler 8-1/4" rear axle. It's nearly as strong as the Dana 44, and there are lots of them out there for not a lot of money. And they can be converted to disk brakes fairly easily. There are fewer choices for lockers, but they are available.

 

There was no Dana 35 front. The front is a Dana 30.

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car-part.com can help with junkyard searches.  any year MJ/XJ dana 30 front axle will work but the website only searches with part numbers and that changed over the years so you'll want to look for various years.  ZJ and TJ axles will also go in but are low pinion if it matters (the last couple years of XJ were also low pinion).  

 

another option is to search your local craigslist for a whole XJ that has the correct trans/t-case you need and buy the whole thing.  then you would have both axles, the trans/t-case, front driveshaft  and the shifter parts.  everything but the rear driveshaft (XJs have a shorter wheelbase and thus a too-short rear driveshaft).  

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Not too long ago in another thread, the possibility of using a Liberty rear axle was discussed.  One selling point was the fact that it came with disk brakes.  I haven't seen any mention of that possibility since.  The later Cherokee axles are what keep being recommended.  So I'm curious if something about the Liberty axles ended up making them a bad idea, or if it's just not being recommended because nobody has tried it and done a write up on it yet.  Sorry if this seems like an attempt to hijack the thread.  This just seemed like an appropriate place and time to ask the question.

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the liberty is still an excellent choice. :L:  03-07 have disks and are a couple inches wider than a stock MJ axle so as to help accommodate the MJ's wide butt.  :D  (that's why the tires look pulled-in)   Plus I can buy a whole Liberty for the price of an MJ dana 44.  

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Another choice you may see mentioned for the front is a "Dana 44" from a TJ (Wrangler) Rubicon. It's not a bad axle, but it's sort of not really a Dana 44. The center section (the pumpkin) is Dana 44, and it uses D44 internal parts, but the axles and the hub/bearing units are the same as on the same year Dana 30 axles. And, if I remember correctly, the Rubicon D44 is a low pinion.

 

By the way, another axle to avoid is the "Dana 44" from ZJ (and WJ) Grand Cherokees. It's a mongrel of a D44 with an aluminum housing, and it doesn't take all the same internal parts. The aluminum isn't very strong so it's very prone to distortion. I briefly had a '99 WJ Grand Cherokee. The warning wasn't in the owner's manual, but in the shop manual it cautions NOT to jack up the rear by putting a floor jack under the differential. I don't remember if it came right out and said why, but the reason is that doing so will warp the housing.

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My Dana 44 rear with LSD (still sitting in the garage) that I picked from the JY came out of an 88 short bed, 2wd, 5/speed, 3.07 gears.  Don't remember which tranny was in it and don't know if it was a stock or not but there it was. 

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I am still new to MJ's, and had no idea that a D44 is an oddity in a SWB MJ.   My 1989 MJ (which is a Franken-MJ to begin with), I have a D44 in the back, and it's SWB.  It does NOT look like the axle tubes have been cut/welded upon.

 

So am I to assume that the axle on my Comanche is from a LWB MJ?

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1 hour ago, kryptronic said:

Isuzu Rodeos and Honda Passports from the late 90s have D44s, and are similar to swapping the XJ D44s.

 

 

But the Rodeo/Passport axles are a 6-bolt wheel pattern. Memory is fuzzy, but aren't they also narrower? (Of course, that would help allow space to run the necessary wheel bolt adapters -- but quality adapters add considerably to the price.)

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47 minutes ago, Eagle said:

 

But the Rodeo/Passport axles are a 6-bolt wheel pattern. Memory is fuzzy, but aren't they also narrower? (Of course, that would help allow space to run the necessary wheel bolt adapters -- but quality adapters add considerably to the price.)

 

The width is dead on from what I recall, bolt pattern is different, but matches the popular to swap Wagoneer driver-drop D44 front.

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7 hours ago, DesertRat1991 said:

There is an MJ D44 on car-part.com listed for $1500+shipping at the moment.  Dude said he sells them "all the time" for that price... lol.

 

Saw that - cracked me up.  :rotfl2:  It took me a couple of years to find my MJ D44. I found it browsing the classifieds on a now defunct XJ forum advertising an MJ D44 laying in the weeds that the seller originally bought for his XJ, but then found an XJ D44 and decided to use it instead. He wanted $200 for it along with a Honda Passport D44 limited slip carrier he had that would bolt right in. Called the guy and next day took a short drive up to the southern TN boonies to pick it up. I lucked out I know, but they are still out there. Here she is nestled in my bed prior to the drive back home.

small.jpg.7cf7947afd3dc7cdde82a088675204f0.jpg

 

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On August 10, 2018 at 1:36 PM, amsuco said:

Not too long ago in another thread, the possibility of using a Liberty rear axle was discussed.  One selling point was the fact that it came with disk brakes.  I haven't seen any mention of that possibility since.  The later Cherokee axles are what keep being recommended.  So I'm curious if something about the Liberty axles ended up making them a bad idea, or if it's just not being recommended because nobody has tried it and done a write up on it yet.  Sorry if this seems like an attempt to hijack the thread.  This just seemed like an appropriate place and time to ask the question.

Other advantages to the KJ axle is if you're looking for deeper gears, they're pretty easy to find in a 4:10 ratio. There's just more stuff to cut off than the XJ axle. I picked one up a couple years ago to put under my MJ, but the build hasn't really started yet, and I also picked up a 4:10 AMC 20 that I'm probably going to use cause it'll bolt straight in. 

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If you need to mod or weld an axle to go in, also consider an exploder 8.8 swap. Gets you rear disc, most have 3.73 lsd, some have 4.10.
They are usually pretty plentiful, and decent price.
Will need spacers/ adapters pending wheels.
Unless you upgrade to a c clip eliminator which would get you back near mj width.

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