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1987 xj to 8.25 and 3" budget lift will it work?

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1987 xj to 8.25 and 3" budget lift will it work?

Old 02-15-2010, 07:53 PM
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Year: 1987
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Default 1987 xj to 8.25 and 3" budget lift will it work?

Hi all, I'm looking for a few clarifications before I start buying stuff. It's for my stock 87 xj pioneer 4.0 AT that has been my daily driver since I bought it cheap last year when my audi was dyin'.

Of course now I love it and it runs great so it's time suspension upgrades.
I just picked up four barely used 30x9.5x15 Firestone Destination AT's for $340.

However my rear diff is howling, my leafs are sagging, hubs shot, shocks, etc - too nervewracking to drive it anywhere long distance.

After much research in the forums, my plan is to raise it about 2 1/2 to 3 inches and replace my tired dana 35.

I don't do much wheeling - mostly this is to pull a small boat and to give me more clearance through deep MN snow - so I'll just stick with 3.55 for better gas mileage on the highway (right?)

I'm trying to do this lift cheap so I'm planning to buy:
* 8.25 Chrysler rear diff from a 97 or newer, complete with good brake drums. There's a 2001 for $200 at local junkyard with 50k miles.
* 15x7 steel 5spoke wheels from junkyard $25x4
* used but good rear leaf springs $35x4 junkyard, using 2 of them as add-a-leafs. 2 or 3 extra leafs per side = 3" lift (hopefully?) I'd use the leafs that are on my jeep now as AAL's but they're really shot.
* Front ZJ UpCountry Sensatrac shocks part # 37193 x2 (for 3" lift on an XJ, No BPE needed)
* Rear 1986-92 Jeep Comanche Monroe Sensatrac shocks part #37029 (plus need Bar Pin Eliminators)
* Carquest HD XJ progressive coils part CC784 which I read somewhere give 2" lift and cost $70 a pair
* plus 1" coil spacers, leaf clamps and center pins for my bastard pack, longer ubolts, and a YJ Wrangler Rear brakeline, and might have to do both wheel hub assemblies in front. Hoping I don't need the SYE.

Does this sound right to you awesome trial-and-error experts out there? Anything I'm missing or not thinking about? Thank you! - Mark
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:10 PM
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Sounds like you've done your homework for the most part. I don't know about the Carquest coils though, I've never heard of that before. Here is a really good write up on going up 2-3"

http://www.rocklizardfabrications.co...dget_boost.htm

And for 30" tires, I wouldn't be worried about finding a late model 8.25, any 8.25 will be fine for what you have in mind. I wouldn't pay over $120 for one.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:11 PM
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sounds right. wont know for sure till you start pulling things apart
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:21 PM
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Thanks Darren, I'll keep you guys posted on those coils if I get them. I'm just gonna try to get the lowest mileage rear diff possible and I read something about the 29 spline in the 97+ is a little stronger. How many miles is too many miles on an 8.25 junkyard pull?
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:27 PM
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The 29 spline is definitely stronger than the 27 spline, however the 27 spline is way more than strong enough for 30" tires. I'd say that around 150,000 miles you might look at rebuilding a rear end before you put it in, but it all really just depends on the condition of the one you get.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:50 PM
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sorry I meant to post this thread in the xj tech forum - but I was in here looking at all the pics and dreaming
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:25 AM
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Default Change of plans

Well, instead of going with the monroe shocks and those unknown coils, I just ordered that 3" RC AAL lift for 200 bucks from carparts.com. Also found an 8.25 rear diff and leafs and steel wheels from a junkyard 01 sport with 80k miles - can't wait for some warmer weather so I can start putting this baby together
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:10 PM
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just curious..what you got out back right now?? if you have a D44 like alot of the 87 seem to have i wouldn't go to a chrysler 8.25..just my .02 i would just rebuild the 44
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:17 PM
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He's got a dana 35 non 'c' clip rear axle and is changing to an 8.25. Just did the same thing on my 89'.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:51 AM
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Hey guys... new plan.. I've been accumulating parts over the last few months of paychecks, but my "to buy" list keeps getting longer.

So I went back and added it all up. I bought the jeep last July in an online charity auction for $520 including tax/title/license. Took it right to Sears and they put in front shocks for $110. Bought a cheapo radiator from radiatorguyz on ebay for $56 shipped, and a Haynes repair manual for $6. Total cost for the first year of ownership was $692 - plus gas, oil, and insurance. Not bad!

But since then I've spent another thousand bucks on parts (which still aren't installed) and I still have more parts to buy. Here's the damage so far:

30x9.5x15 tires - $340 craigslist
steel wheels - $80 junkyard
8.25 rear diff - $120 junkyard
pro comp 3" leafs - $195 speedycarparts
Rough Country 3" coil springs - $121 iron rock offroad thru ebay
Rough Country hydro 8000 shocks - $112 carparts.com (who screwed up my AAL order by the way, so I now have an extra pair of shocks..)
RC steering stabilizer - $30 carparts.com

total: $998

And I still need to buy:
YJ brake line, front wheel hub assemblies, brake pads and rotors, longer ubolts, control arm bushings, tie rod ends, mount and balance the tires, and alignment.

But right now what's holding me up is rust. It's fairly clean underneath except right where the front leaf spring bolts connect to the frame. The front mounts are almost completely rusted through, so I'm looking for someone who can weld new mounts and do some frame stiffening.

Then hopefully I can start putting this stuff together! Thanks for listenin to my rant. I'll post pics in the next few days. Moral of the story - this stuff gets expensive, and plans change.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:50 PM
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Default update

Just a quick update - got all these parts for my lift installed at a local 4x4 shop since I never could find the time and don't have the right tools. I gained about 4" in the back and 3" in front.
I'm really happy with the ride of the procomp leafs and the rough country coils and shocks... it rides smooth and doesn't roll on the corners, and it floats over speedbumps without bouncing, plus the extra visiblity is great. Can't wait to see how it goes thru snow!
But I've got driveline vibes. It starts vibing at around 15 mph - not too bad just rattles the dash a little, but it makes a grinding sound when I let off the accelerator at higher speeds, so I will need a SYE. But I've got the np207 transfer case so I've gotta figure out a hack and tap or something. The vibes are probably hard on the ujoints and transmission, so I hope she holds together until I can save the dough.
I only went with 30" tires since it's a daily driver and I didn't want to change gears from 3.55 so it doesn't have the power on the highway that it used to, but I can still kick it down real hard and get it to downshift up hills to maintain my speed. Cruises down the highway real nice at 60 or 70 mph. Gas mileage seems about the same as long as I'm not kicking it down too much - I bet driving thru hilly country will kill my MPG.
More pics to come but here's a preview:



Still on the list: SYE/hack tap, install stereo system and cb radio and power inverter, upgrade alternator, find the annoying dash leak (my feet get dripped on when it rains), replace sagging headliner with a funky pattern, sand and paint rusty looking diffs and stuff underneath, fix AC, and whatever else might come up.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default pics

Here are a few more photos after I painted the wheels black:








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