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axle swap

Old 01-14-2015, 12:13 PM
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Year: 1998
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Default axle swap

I have a 1998 Cherokee, I have found a 2008 rubicon crashed I can pick up cheap, does anyone know how big of a job it is to put them under my xj. thx
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:55 PM
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Well a JK Rubicon (or none Rubicon) has Coil Springs in back, so at the very least you would need to weld new brackets for the XJ Leafs, then the wheel bolt pattern is a 5x5.5 on a JK vs. 5 x 4.5 on an XJ so you need all new wheels, then the driveshafts most like will not match, so all new driveshafts. Top that with the fact that the JK axles tubes and axles are no stronger than the XJ's, your only really gaining a stronger ring and pinion. If you have a Dana 35 in back of your XJ it may be a bit more appealing to do, but I would look at getting a 8.25 Chrysler (only bad is c clip axles) or swap a 8.8 Ford with c-clip eliminator kit. in.

The advantages don't really justify the cost of the swap unless you are getting the jeep for free in my opinion (others may vary). Unless you are fabbing your own brackets, doing your own welding, and have more time than money so your time has little value.

Largest Planned Tire Size + Wheeling Style (heavy right foot) and Type (rock vs. mud) should dictate your axle choice.

PS: Google is your friend, there is a ton of articles on the subject. Google Search on Subject

Last edited by bryweb; 01-14-2015 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:49 PM
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The JK D44s that come in Rubis are pretty strong unlike the TJ versions and the front is high pinion. That being said nothing will bolt up. Plan on cutting off every mount and welding on all new ones. They are a little wider which shouldn't be an issue. You'll need new wheels as well since the bolt pattern is different.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:24 PM
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Here's a thread about it. seems pretty positive if you have the skill and plan on going bigger than 35s for the d30.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:03 AM
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You can get a front truss to make the swap easier the rear just look up a dana 44 swap kit.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:06 PM
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One bonus not mentioned with the JK axles yet is larger disk brakes up front & disks (instead of drums) in the rear.

A WJ steering swap to run similar dual pistons in front in addition to a KJ rear disk swap would run you $1000 alone. I'm not saying it's worth the cost to do this swap, but this is a nice bonus to think about.

That Jk to XJ TNT axle truss fully pimped out runs $500+. JCR did JK axles on Project RealHawk & they said all they did up front was relocate the spring perches inwards since the JK axle is wider.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:10 PM
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:35 AM
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For what little gain would be I wouldn't do it even if they gave me the other Jeep for free..........That's a lie I would take it and sell the parts off of it to others, just not for my use JMHO.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:33 AM
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Depends on what you want. JK axles are around 65wms and IMO that's about perfect for a 5.5-7 inch XJ on 35s running 4 inches of back spacing on a 8inch rim.

Stripping brackets off the rear and welding on spring perches and shock mounts is pretty easy. Then its a matter of stripping off the brackets from the front axle and either welding on new brackets or a TNT Truss. I personally went with the TNT when I did my Ford HP44. The TNT truss helps greatly in keeping the jeep axles from bending and the tubes from rotating. Should probably sure up the inner Cs also, gussets are cheap.

If the Rubi is cheap, GO FOR IT. Having lockers front and rear is AWESOME. That and you get better (although not ideal) gears. If the Rubi comes with Wheels/Tires that's a plus. You can sell off the 241 ($500+) and other parts from the Rubi to help offset the cost also. You could also sell your XJs axles, wheels and tires. Good luck
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