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2000 GC axles- which do I have?

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Old 08-12-2017, 08:34 AM   #1
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Default 2000 GC axles- which do I have?

I tried a search but didn't figure this out......
I want to replace the front axles on my 2000 GC as they are original w/190,000 mi. on them, boots are shot etc.. The parts store- NAPA- lists two different axles, one "Varilock" set, one not. We can't seem to find out which my car has and I'd like to have the right ones before I take it apart. FWIW, I'm also replacing the bearing hubs and ball joints at the same time, but am borrowing garage space so I need to get done in a timely fashion.

I have the 4.0L straight six, Selec-Trac transfer( 2WD, 4PT, 4FT, N, 4L) and I did contact Chrysler for the build-

Dana 30/186 mm Front
Dana 35C/194 mm Rear
3.55 axle ratio


However, none of this references "Varilock" .How can I tell beyond taking it apart and matching up axles?
Be kind, I'm just a shade tree mechanic who services his own vehicles.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:33 PM   #2
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The Vari-lock axles are only used with QuadraTrac and the NP247. Yours are open differentials. Same as mine. For lots of good information, go to wjjeeps.com

The hardest part about what you plan to do is getting the hubs out of the knuckles. They tend to rust-weld into their bores. Make sure you put anti-seize on the new ones after you clean up the inside of the knuckles. The axle nuts get torqued to 175 foot-pounds. For this you can lock the rotors in place with a big screwdriver or prybar in the rotor slots and against the caliper brackets. Speaking of which, you'll need a long breaker bar to remove the caliper mounting brackets.

Those caliper brackets will get wear notches in them from the brake pads and if notched too deeply, will tend to make the pads rub against the rotors and squeak. They are replaceable on the WJ where they are not on the ZJ or XJ. When you retract the caliper pistons, both of them need to be done together or one will extend and pop out of it's bore.

Good luck and I'm always here.

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:11 AM   #3
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Dave, thanks for the reply and info- I had sort of ferreted out the info about the Varilock/Quadra Trac late last nite but it's good to hear someone else verify it.
I hear you about the caliper pistons, I always clamp against a worn out pad.

I just recently did all the tie rod ends, stabilizer and new rotors for the death wobble, hence finding out about the ball joints , axles and while I'm at it, new wheel bearings. Didn't do it last time because of the borrowed space. After this, off to find a good alignment shop, new tires and then various smalls to get ready for winter.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as it unfolds......
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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About winter.....Get your battery load tested to make sure it's good enough not to let you down when it's REALLY cold. Also, warm the transmission up in neutral for a couple of minutes before you start to drive it. It gives the old hard o-rings a chance to get flexible.

IDK where your winter is, but mine is not easy. I deliver newspapers on a motor route and I'm out there before the plows. My jeep is unstoppable and has never let me down. I nosed into a ditch once, put it in low range, and backed it right out. One especially bad night I had it in part-time 4wd all night! I wouldn't want any other t/case but the 242. I'm a dinosaur and like to be able to shift it the way I want it to be, none of this automatic crap!

About the death wobble. Check the trackbar bushings. Loose bushings are the most common cause of wobble. Ball joints are also on the list, but you've got them covered. I crushed my steering damper on a rock and took it off about a week ago. The only difference I've found is a slight shake after hitting a bump at speed and that stops quickly.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #5
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I'm in NWCT so winters can be pretty snotty around here. I do keep up with my battery, new last fall.
My track bar seems pretty solid, but the tie rod and drag link ends were shot and had a warped rotor so did it all. Seems to have taken care of most of it; I got the original ball joint spec on the new ones, just hoping the camber is right as I'm told that's the adjustment on the WJ
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:22 PM   #6
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There is no caster or camber adjustments on the WJ. The ZJ and XJ have cam bolts in the lower control arms for caster, but the WJ just has bolts, not even slotted holes for cam bolts. Camber is preset in construction and the only way to change it is with offset ball joints. That leaves toe-in, adjusted with the steering links. This is the problem with high lifts. The angle of the control arms changes the caster and makes it more susceptible to wobble. Aftermarket adjustable control arms cure that.

To make it clearer, caster is the angle that the wheel pivots on in relation to vertical, meaning the balljoints are offset so the top one is farther rearward than the bottom one by about 7*. Camber is the angle the tire is from vertical top and bottom, meaning the top is closer to the frame than the bottom. That is preset by the balljoint arms on the axle housing. The only way to change that is by using offset balljoints and installing them properly. Even then, they only come in 1/2* increments up to 1.5*.

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Old 08-14-2017, 08:13 AM   #7
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Spot on description of the caster and camber Dave. Like I said, I purchased original specification ball joints because if I had to get the offset joints I'd have to have a shop with a good alignment machine install them- not really a home mechanic install.
It's one of the problems in my area, there used to be a few good alignment shops here but they've all closed. Now it's being done by discount tire shops and I won't even get tires there- could tell you some horror stories.
So, I'll put the orig. spec in, Pretty sure it'll be fine as even with the originals in now, the car handles ok up to 75mph (a rare occurrence), but bangs going over bumps.
Most of the driving here is country roads at lower speeds.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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Okay, You can get a ballpark toe-in adjustment with a tape measure! I had a couple of Chevy trucks that needed tierod ends and I set the toe-in by measuring the distance from the center groove of the tire to the same spot on the other one and making them 3/8" closer in the front then in the rear. The front tires wore evenly so I guess I did it right.

I've seen some mechanics count the number of turns it takes to remove an end, then installing the new one the same number of turns! Who says they are identical lengths? I myself have measured between the grease nipples and that worked very well.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:29 PM   #9
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I used trammel points set to the center of the existing tie rod and then drag link ends. Took off the old ends, cleaned out the threads in the rods with a toothbrush and comp.air; then applied some anti-seize to the internal threads and re- set the ends to the trammel.
Easy peasy, and I can see no extra tire wear so far, so's good for now.
I do want to get the front end re build done tho, need to do tires and get out to the beach for surf casting right after Labor Day.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:33 PM   #10
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When you say NWCT, are you saying Connecticut? I spent my formative years in Warwick, RI! I sailed Narragansett Bay all summer every summer! I've fished for stripers off Jamestown Light!
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:35 PM   #11
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If you have Varilock, the build sheet would say you do. So you probably don't have Varilock.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94zj318 View Post
If you have Varilock, the build sheet would say you do. So you probably don't have Varilock.
According to what I've read, only Trac-lock was available for the D35 in 2wd jeeps in 2000. VariLock was available only in the D44a as optional equipment.
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