I ran 33's with 3 inches of lift, now 35's with about 6" of lift.
Don't be scared to axe the factory flares and get after your fenders with some snips, channellocks, and sledgehammer.
Rear D35 will hold up if you don't put a locker in it or get throttle happy
Front D30 will hold up with a lockrite and TJ shafts.
If you keep the axle disco, relocate the vacuum cannister out of the inside of the front bumper. It'll fit in the engine compartment next to the battery.
If you keep the disco, get a set of YJ shafts. They use a bigger joint than the XJ, and carry spares of the intermediate shaft. Best answer is to just get TJ shafts though.
Stock tie rod will bend. Get an aftermarket one out of beefier tubing. www.baertrax.com sells one.
The stock LCA's are pretty weak and will bend on rocks. They'll hold up for a while, but if you're gonna keep the stock ones, I would pick up a spare set at a boneyard. They're cheap.
If you wanna run a rear locker, try upgrading the rear axle. There are a few out there:
Chrysler 8.25's and Dana 44's came stock in the back of the XJ if you can find one.
An explorer rear will also work well, ford 8.8 with 31 spline shafts, and disc brakes with E brake, all in all a good swap.
If you're going with any of the cherokee rear axle housings, replace the spring perches. The perches are short, narrow, and wimpy, which makes them VERY prone to axle wrap in the rear. I did a 5 minute fix on this after bending the shit outta a perch with a piece of 5/8" plate welded on top of the perch. It is a super ghetto fix, but I still have a D35, so I really don't care how crappy it looks, it'll look like shit in my trash can no matter what I do whenever I get rid of it.
XJ's are fun rigs, have a good time with it.
also, be careful what sheetmetal parts you cut off or smash on rocks, as there is a lot of sheetmetal that is structural on the XJ... no frame afterall.
A forum community dedicated to custom off-road vehicle owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about trail reports, builds, performance, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, fabrication, drivetrain, and more!