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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not a newb by any means on fabbing, just unibody and heep suspension.

I picked up a 1998 XJ 2 door. 4.0L, auto, 3" lift, 31s. Ive always hated the 4 doors and really wanted a 97-01 2 door for the longest time.

Poly or rubber drivetrain mounts?

Always ran poly/solid mounts with frames with good success. but dont know how the unibody will react.

Any difference in strength between a CAD and non CAD front axle?

I found a HP30/8.25 with 4.56 to replace my 3.55 set. Figured the 8.25 is sufficient on 31's-33's, but more worried about the front cad housing. I know all about the 8.8... but one with 4.56 is quite a bit more. I had a YJ with 4.11's, 33's, 4.0l, ax15, and wasnt too impressed.

would there be any benfit in a short arm vs long arm suspension with only 31's?

The bushings are worn out, I would be replacing the steering and panhard anyways. trying to kill two birds with one stone.

On top of that, is there a JY solution or good aftermarket rear 3" springs. I hate blocks.

Why is there a spacer needed with the WJ knuckle conversion?

I see no need to upgrade to a 44 for anything less than 35's. This isnt a full blown build so nothing exotic/60's (which i have). the crossover steering looks good to me.

Does anyone make cut out flares (like iceland use to?)

As i would prefer to drop it down back to stock and run 33's if possible. The bare cut out fenders look hack/ghetto to me. But bushwacker esque scream mall crawler.

and

Are body stiffeners required with 31/33's and sliders?

Figured i could run some tube ones, plate the 'frame' for the legs, and the end result would be similar?

Reason behind buying the cherokee is im moving to a college town in January to finish my degree. So im not taking my truck/DD to get fucked up by drunks. I would build another crawler but im more limited on space/shop than money at the moment. Need to have good road manners, hence the long arm suggestion. I still want to wheel, along with tow a flats boat to go to the coast in.

Not opposed to off the shelf parts. But would rather build and have the availability to do so for the next few months.

Things like a rubicon 4:1 t-case, full winch bumpers, things of that nature are in the back of my mind.
 

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ARcrawlers
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186 Posts
you'll be just fine with poly or rubber mounts

the CAD axle puts a big weak spot on the long side

the WJ knuckles need a 1/4" spacer for the ujoint to line up with the ball joints when using the xj unit bearings

my opinion is that an aftermarket set of short arms should be fine with 31"s

with such a low belly hight and small tires i would definetly suggest the frme plating, it will improve durability over time and stiffen up the rig
 

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Launch it
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you'll be just fine with poly or rubber mounts
go ahead and replace the motor mounts with bombproofs. I never could get the stockers to last

the CAD axle puts a big weak spot on the long side
swap your factory shafts into the CAD housing, you'll need to run a seals-it seal but this will net you a one piece long side shaft with larger u joints.
the WJ knuckles need a 1/4" spacer for the ujoint to line up with the ball joints when using the xj unit bearings

my opinion is that an aftermarket set of short arms should be fine with 31"s

agreed

with such a low belly hight and small tires i would definetly suggest the frme plating, it will improve durability over time and stiffen up the rig
Yes plate the frame, the steering box is a weak spot no matter the tire size and it isn't difficult to crush the main unibody rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes plate the frame, the steering box is a weak spot no matter the tire size and it isn't difficult to crush the main unibody rails.
Just made it home and measured. 2" rear block, so I'm thinking 3" front springs since it sits level. 18" belly, that seams to be quite high for only 31s? Ideally I'd like to be stock height with 33's but can't find the cut out flares.

Durango box in the works as the stock box leaks. Just fish plate both sides?

On the CAD housing. Does is spin the tubes? Bend?
 

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Launch it
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Just made it home and measured. 2" rear block, so I'm thinking 3" front springs since it sits level. 18" belly, that seams to be quite high for only 31s? Ideally I'd like to be stock height with 33's but can't find the cut out flares.
I ran 33's on 1 3/4" lift and no flares (they would have been destroyed in one trip around here) I used aftermarket control arms to push the front forward just enough to not rub on the back of the inner fenderwell, beat the pinch seam flat and bump stopped to about 2 1/2" of up travel. At full stuff I could have cleared a 35, but never made the jump.

Durango box in the works as the stock box leaks. Just fish plate both sides?

I would buy or build something similar to the Hd offroad front frame stiffeners for the outside. On the inside, replace the aluminum spacer with something like this C-ROK 4X4 - Specializing in Jeep Cherokee XJ - Tempe, AZ
The spacers will have to be a bit longer though due to the physical size of the Durango box. It also wouldn't hurt to run a steering box cross brace to the opposite frame rail.

On the CAD housing. Does is spin the tubes? Bend?
It could be more prone to happening, but I've personally never seen it. Then again, I've always looked at 30's as throw away axles anyway.
 
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