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WJ 2wd to 4wd conversion?

Old 12-05-2015, 08:27 AM
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Default WJ 2wd to 4wd conversion?

How hard would it be and estimated cost to convert a 2002 WJ from 2wd to 4wd? I got a sweet deal on an 02' that was too good to pass up but unfortunately it is only 2wd.

I know will will have to have a new(used) front axle, transmission and t-case with the transmission that matches up to the output shaft on the engine. How do I figure that out?

Basically is it worth doing all this or just put a selectable locker in the rear and offroad with just a 2wd jeep. I am not looking to rock crawl or get radical with this thing. But having 4wd would be nice for certain situations.

Also if you have any links to a conversion article please post them so I can read up on what all is involved.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:53 AM
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This question gets asked more than you would think. Can it be done? Yes. Is it hard to do? No, but it is labor intensive and requires many parts from a 4WD vehicle like the console shifter and Body Control Module. It depends what engine you have to determine the transmission you need. The 4.7 usually has the 247 t/case, but the 242 can be installed. You'll also need the driveshafts, of course. You also have the problem that the transmissions were changed in 99 so the speed sensor is inside it instead of in the t/case. The t/cases are shifted by a cable instead of a linkage, so you'll need all the brackets and cable for that.

Basically, it's a major undertaking and unless the WJ is a cream-puff, it might be less of a hassle to just add a locker and go for it.

Maybe you can answer a question I have. What does a 2WD jeep have for a front axle? is it a plain tube or a beam? Does it mount the same way as the 4WD axle?
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
This question gets asked more than you would think. Can it be done? Yes. Is it hard to do? No, but it is labor intensive and requires many parts from a 4WD vehicle like the console shifter and Body Control Module. It depends what engine you have to determine the transmission you need. The 4.7 usually has the 247 t/case, but the 242 can be installed. You'll also need the driveshafts, of course. You also have the problem that the transmissions were changed in 99 so the speed sensor is inside it instead of in the t/case. The t/cases are shifted by a cable instead of a linkage, so you'll need all the brackets and cable for that.

Basically, it's a major undertaking and unless the WJ is a cream-puff, it might be less of a hassle to just add a locker and go for it.

Maybe you can answer a question I have. What does a 2WD jeep have for a front axle? is it a plain tube or a beam? Does it mount the same way as the 4WD axle?
I bought the 02' Grand Cherokee with the 4.0 inline 6 engine. I wondered if I could find a wrecked 4wd and just swap over the parts? Anyway, thanks for the info. Yes I know it would be a major job but I would tackle it just because I like doing that kind of stuff.

You asked about the axle. It's a tube axle with lower and upper control arms just like a 4wd minus the pumpkin. I would think if I robbed one out of a 4wd everything would line up the same.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:30 AM
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If you did decide to do that your best bet would be to find a totaled WJ that matches yours a 02-04 and buy the whole thing only then can you be sure of having all the parts required for the swap.


Dave being you brought it up hope he comes back and answers I would like to know also.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:15 PM
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You asked about the axle. It's a tube axle with lower and upper control arms just like a 4wd minus the pumpkin.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:18 PM
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In case you wondered why I did not just go ahead and buy a 4wd WJ. I looked and looked for one and could not find one that had not been ragged out or beat to crap or both with high miles on it.

Found the 02' that had been well taken care of, low miles, body/paint in great shape. It would have been a mistake to walk away from it in my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:16 AM
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Yeah, same with me. I was looking for a 97-98 XJ or ZJ with the 4.0 and 231 or 242 t/case, and I came across this 2000 WJ 4x4, 4.0, 242 cream-puff one owner with maintenance records from PA that had just been detailed and had a bunch of new parts. I didn't care for it being white, but I snatched it up before someone else did. It's been the best used car I've ever owned. Here's before and after pics.

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Old 12-07-2015, 07:04 AM
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Would a 2000 WJ be compatable with my 02' as far as swapping over parts for 4wd? How would I go about finding out? Found a whole car for $650 right up the road from me. It's a 2000 4wd with the 4.0 engine. Ad says car not running but I don't care about that. I just want the 4wd parts. $650 seems like a deal.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:03 AM
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Grab that sucker!! AFAIK, all the WJ 4.0's are the same for the power train. The 242 Selectrac is standard in the Laredo 4.0 as well with the 247 optional. I think the Limited had the 247 standard. Check out wjjeeps.com for lots of info.

You may have to change the rear axle as well. The tow package jeeps came with 3.73 gearing and the rest came with 3.55. IDK what the 2wd's came with. You'll have to match whatever gearing you have or change both.

After you're done, you can probably get $300 for scrap metal unless you want to keep it for body parts.

Last edited by dave1123; 12-07-2015 at 11:12 AM.
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