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1997 XJ Gradual Build

Old 01-23-2019, 07:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Default 1997 XJ Gradual Build

I recently bought a 1997 Cherokee. It is a 4.0 AW4. I am looking to build it out over the next few years. I already have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but am looking for input from some people with proper Jeep experience. I plan on keeping this for a long time, so I am willing to put the time in money into it, and can do most of the non-welding work myself. I have a few buddies that can weld in exchange for a six pack and a pizza. My plans right now are for a 8-10 inch lift, V8, and the biggest tires I can fit (probably 37's). The main things I am looking for advice for are as follows.

1). Axles. Dana 60's? GM Corporate? What should I do in order to hold up to off-roading and the V8 power?
2). V8. I'm leaning towards a 5.3 or 6.0 Chevy right now, due to parts and general reliability compared to other V8's of similar power. May consider a the R2.8 Cummins instead of a V8.
3). Trans. Not sure if I want a manual or auto. Thinking NV4500 for manual, or 4L80E for auto.
4). T-Case. Dana 300 seems like a good option, haven't really done a ton of research yet.
5). Lift. I guessing i'm gonna have to do a bastard lift of some kind, since I would have different axles and weight loads than stock.
6). Wiring. Just looking for any tips in wiring up everything.
7). Lights/Bumpers/Roof Rack. Looking for recommendations.
8). Tires. Looking for recommendations. Patagonia's and Cepeks look good to me.
9). Brakes. Want to run four wheel disc brakes. Was looking at Wilwood sets, but it would really depend on what axles and hubs I run.
10). Gearing/Lockers. Looking for recommendations.

Thanks in advance for the help and advice.

Last edited by TylerByington; 01-31-2019 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Changed Idea
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