Originally Posted by cjovertj
...i don't want to bash your opinion but what about a post 80 w/ a dana 300 tcase, or anything w/ the 304, or if u can find an 86 w/ the dana 44 rear end(but i don't think they offered the 304 in cjs in 86 could be wrong though)
No problem, but we are talking 'stock CJ's', right?
Surf through this site: http://www.jeeptech.com/
A lot of good info.
Last year for the 304 was 1981.
The Dana 300 Tcase is a very good case, as the Dana 20 was. The aftermarket has 'cloned' the 300 into excellent products, IE: Atlas II, and STaK. However, you can lower the stock 2.03:1 gearing in the Dana 20 to 2.46:1 using a combination of Bronco 20 gears and Dana 18 gears. 3.15:1 is available from TeraFlex. There used to be a place called O'Brien's Off road that made an 'extreme' kit for the Dana20, but I can no longer find them on the web.
Jeep chose to abandon the Borg-Warner T18 (with it's 6.32:1 non-syncro low gear) in 1979 and the best truck-like trans you could get was the T176 (3.52:1 low-but synchronized), which was a medium duty trans that Ford also used.
In 1981 Jeep dumped the good Warn Premium 6 bolt front hub and swapped in a cheapo Warn 5 bolt version. It's not just a matter of swapping the hubs to get back to the six bolt design, you gotta change out the spindles/stubs/etc.
The AMC20 gets a lot of 'bad press'. I won't argue that in stock form the Dana44 is a better rear end. However, toss a set of 1-pc axles in the 20, weld the tubes and add a brace (and some protection for that wimpy rear cover) and you've got a good rear end. And IIRC, you can gear it as low as 4.88:1.
I own a 76. If I was looking for another CJ, I'd stay away from the 76-77 model years, as there are certain items that are unique to them. Translation: hard to locate in the aftermarket.