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99 WJ for cheap. Worth my time for MJ upgrades?

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Hey all,

 

I found a wrecked '99 Grand Cherokee (WJ) for $400, but I think I can get it for $300.  I have the guy talked down to $100 for the brake booster/master/prop valve and tie rod/drag link/pitman arm if I pull everything where it sits. (in a muddy driveway)

 

All this WJ is missing is the engine.  The drivers side looks like something dragged the length, but the interior is clean and all the running gear is intact. (minus the 4.7 V8)  After looking at Pete M's index for bolt on upgrades, I wonder if it's worth dragging the whole thing home for the bolt-on upgrades I can put on my '89 Comanche?  I have a D30 up front and an 8.8 SOA in the rear with disc brakes.  

 

I'm thinking that since high temps are just above freezing this weekend, maybe I would be better to just drag the whole thing home so I can do the work inside?  Think I can part out the drive train and interior and get my money back?  Other than the steering parts and brake upgrade, what else should I be considering for my Comanche?

 

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What parts do you think you'll be able to use?

 

I owned a '99 WJ -- for less than a year before Daimler-Chrysler bought it back to stop me from going lemon law on it. The transmission is trash. The rear axle is the aluminum case "Dana 44" that's possibly the only live axle in the universe worse than a Dana 35. The wheel lug bolt circle doesn't match the MJ/XJ.

 

Doesn't sound like a bargain to me.

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If you want to do a WJ swap you'll need a new D30 (unless you already swapped to a non cad) as the CAD axle is useless for that swap. The WJ D30 will be longer as runs CVs instead of u joints and I'm pretty sure is low pinion. Rear axle isn't great on them. Tranny IMHO is fine, 545rfe, its the 4.0 with the 42re that's garbage. But not like it would bolt up to a MJ. If its has the 242HD that is worth something but if not nothing special about the tcase. 

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49 minutes ago, Smokeyyank said:

 If its has the 242HD that is worth something but if not nothing special about the tcase. 

 

I'm pretty sure the 4.7L V8 wasn't offered with the 242 -- only the 4.0L I6. The 4.7 was only offered with QuadraTrac (or the optional QuadraDrive, which added the gerotor packs on the differentials). I absolutely have to disagree with you on the tranny -- and, remember, I speak from [unfortunate] first-hand experience. The entire drive rain of the V8 '99 WJ was trash. Mine spent nearly as much time in the shop as it did on the road, which is why I was going to go lemon law with it. I easily qualified, based on how much time it was in the shop.

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2 hours ago, Eagle said:

What parts do you think you'll be able to use?

 

I owned a '99 WJ -- for less than a year before Daimler-Chrysler bought it back to stop me from going lemon law on it. The transmission is trash. The rear axle is the aluminum case "Dana 44" that's possibly the only live axle in the universe worse than a Dana 35. The wheel lug bolt circle doesn't match the MJ/XJ.

 

Doesn't sound like a bargain to me.

 

What I understand would be an 'upgrade' from my stock Comanche is the front steering components and the brake booster/master/proportioning valve I mentioned above. (since I'm already disc brakes on all four corners)  My 231, D30 and 8.8 are all freshly built with SYE, seals, bearings, gears, etc. so no desire for any of those parts for my use.

 

Sounds like axles, transmission and transfer case aren't worth much, so maybe I just suck it up and pull these components for the $100 and leave the rest in his driveway?   :holdwrench:

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1 hour ago, Eagle said:

 

I'm pretty sure the 4.7L V8 wasn't offered with the 242 -- only the 4.0L I6. The 4.7 was only offered with QuadraTrac (or the optional QuadraDrive, which added the gerotor packs on the differentials). I absolutely have to disagree with you on the tranny -- and, remember, I speak from [unfortunate] first-hand experience. The entire drive rain of the V8 '99 WJ was trash. Mine spent nearly as much time in the shop as it did on the road, which is why I was going to go lemon law with it. I easily qualified, based on how much time it was in the shop.

 

Nope there where a few of the V8's that had the selctrac option. I'm currently trying to find one for my WJ. They aren't as available as a 247 but they are out there. 

 

I get it, I'm not saying a WJ is the best drivetrain out there but from talking with people the 545rfe isn't that bad.  It's definitely not something I would try to swap into anything. 

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1 hour ago, lcoutback said:

 

What I understand would be an 'upgrade' from my stock Comanche is the front steering components and the brake booster/master/proportioning valve I mentioned above. (since I'm already disc brakes on all four corners)  My 231, D30 and 8.8 are all freshly built with SYE, seals, bearings, gears, etc. so no desire for any of those parts for my use.

 

Sounds like axles, transmission and transfer case aren't worth much, so maybe I just suck it up and pull these components for the $100 and leave the rest in his driveway?   :holdwrench:

 

Still not worth it IMHO. There's more than just pulling stuff on and swapping it over. WJ swaps on the D30 aren't even close to bolt on. You'll still need to source the better calipers that where on the later models 02-04 (akebono). Re drill brake rotors for the correct pattern. Track bar will need to be re positioned along with sway bar links. 

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1 hour ago, Smokeyyank said:

 

Still not worth it IMHO. There's more than just pulling stuff on and swapping it over. WJ swaps on the D30 aren't even close to bolt on. You'll still need to source the better calipers that where on the later models 02-04 (akebono). Re drill brake rotors for the correct pattern. Track bar will need to be re positioned along with sway bar links. 

 

Eagle - Thank you for the details from your experience.  That's helpful! :L:

 

Smokey & Mean - you're saying you don't think the brake booster, master cylinder, proportioning valve to accommodate the upgraded disc brakes I already have as well as the beefier tie rod, drag link and the 1" drop that comes with the WJ pitman arm is worth the $100?

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You keep mentioning the steering. Other than the knuckles, none of the steering is swappable to your MJ. The WJ has a wider track, thus longer steering rods. And I don't think the steering box will swap over either, as Ive never heard of that as an upgrade. The ZJ steering and box are upgrades but not the 99 WJ.

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2 hours ago, lcoutback said:

 

Eagle - Thank you for the details from your experience.  That's helpful! :L:

 

Smokey & Mean - you're saying you don't think the brake booster, master cylinder, proportioning valve to accommodate the upgraded disc brakes I already have as well as the beefier tie rod, drag link and the 1" drop that comes with the WJ pitman arm is worth the $100?

 

Brake booster and master cylinder would work, but rest no, because as stated entirely different.  

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3 hours ago, dasbulliwagen said:

You keep mentioning the steering. Other than the knuckles, none of the steering is swappable to your MJ. The WJ has a wider track, thus longer steering rods. And I don't think the steering box will swap over either, as Ive never heard of that as an upgrade. The ZJ steering and box are upgrades but not the 99 WJ.

 

2 hours ago, Smokeyyank said:

 

Brake booster and master cylinder would work, but rest no, because as stated entirely different.  

 

Thanks guys!  That makes more sense now.  I mistakenly thought I could use the steering components.

 

I think I'll go back to sleep now!  LOL

 

Have a super-fantastic weekend!  :beerchug:

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6 hours ago, lcoutback said:

Smokey & Mean - you're saying you don't think the brake booster, master cylinder, proportioning valve to accommodate the upgraded disc brakes I already have as well as the beefier tie rod, drag link and the 1" drop that comes with the WJ pitman arm is worth the $100?

 

Why do you want a drop pitman arm? Did you lower the frame end of your track bar? If not, you DON'T want to drop the pitman arm.

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6 hours ago, Eagle said:

 

Why do you want a drop pitman arm? Did you lower the frame end of your track bar? If not, you DON'T want to drop the pitman arm.

 

It was my impression is that even though I have an adjustable track bar, a drop arm would reduce the angle of the draglink and reduce stress on the gearbox.  This is purely conjecture on my part, without having actually measured these angles.  My MJ is just going to be a daily driver/lite trail rig, so I don't need to do any crazy upgrades.  I figure if I can find bolt-on items that are factory and a bit more beefy they would be more subtle than expensive aftermarket parts.

 

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The angle of the drag link has to match the angle of the track bar (the straight line from end joint to end joint, ignoring the bends in the bars). If you change one of them without changing the other, you introduce bump steer. There are several older threads with photos to illustrate that.

 

Irrespective of length (which is what an adjustable track bar changes), if the frame end hasn't been dropped you do NOT want to use a dropped pitman arm. Bump steer is an unpleasant phenomenon at best, and can be dangerous. If you are concerned about stress on the steering box, get a steering box brace. Actually, IMHO the single best thing you can do for the steering box (and tie rod ends) is train yourself to NEVER turn the steering wheel unless the front tires are rolling, even if it's only a 1 MPH.

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