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New to me xj questions.

Old 01-03-2019, 12:22 PM
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Hello, Ive just purchased an 89 xj 4wd to use for getting around while Im at work in the oils fields in North Dakota. It has what I would assume to be the stock 30 year old suspension on it. My question is, what does everyone think about putting a small aftermarket 3 lift on it? It has the Dana 30 CAD rear axle so I know I dont want to do anything too extreme to it. It runs extremely well for being 30 years old and I have gone through and done an entire fluid and filter change on everything. I wont be abusing it at all just a 4wd ride to get me out to location in the mud and snow and around town to the grocery store. Would a lift that size open up a wormhole of issues? Would I need an SYE and new driveshaft at that hight? Thank you to all! Happy new year!

Last edited by Ericharroun; 01-03-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:32 PM
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I ran a 3" lift and 31s for over a year with no issues. The rest of my suspension was stock, and I had no SYE.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:18 PM
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any lift of 4" or less will net you the least headaches and improve overall look, function and general usability look at zone for your budget lift needs

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Old 01-03-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericharroun View Post
Hello, Ive just purchased an 89 xj 4wd to use for getting around while Im at work in the oils fields in North Dakota. It has what I would assume to be the stock 30 year old suspension on it. My question is, what does everyone think about putting a small aftermarket 3 lift on it? It has the Dana 30 CAD rear axle so I know I dont want to do anything too extreme to it. It runs extremely well for being 30 years old and I have gone through and done an entire fluid and filter change on everything. I wont be abusing it at all just a 4wd ride to get me out to location in the mud and snow and around town to the grocery store. Would a lift that size open up a wormhole of issues? Would I need an SYE and new driveshaft at that hight? Thank you to all! Happy new year!
For what you are saying you are wanting to do it sounds like an "upcountry" suspension rebuild is right up your alley. It'll get you about 1.5 inches over what a stock XJ is without going too crazy and you'll be able to easily run 235/75R15s on there with no rubbing or anything else. And it'll be a fully refreshed suspension if you replace all the bushings and whatnot which I strongly recommend on a 30 year old XJ.

Your rear axle is a Dana 35 or Chrysler 8.25 (maybe a Dana 44?) not a Dana 30 CAD, that axle would be on the front.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by downs View Post
For what you are saying you are wanting to do it sounds like an "upcountry" suspension rebuild is right up your alley. It'll get you about 1.5 inches over what a stock XJ is without going too crazy and you'll be able to easily run 235/75R15s on there with no rubbing or anything else. And it'll be a fully refreshed suspension if you replace all the bushings and whatnot which I strongly recommend on a 30 year old XJ.

Your rear axle is a Dana 35 or Chrysler 8.25 (maybe a Dana 44?) not a Dana 30 CAD, that axle would be on the front.
my apologies, I believe its the Dana 35.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericharroun View Post
Hello, Ive just purchased an 89 xj 4wd to use for getting around while Im at work in the oils fields in North Dakota. It has what I would assume to be the stock 30 year old suspension on it. My question is, what does everyone think about putting a small aftermarket 3 lift on it? .................................................. . I wont be abusing it at all just a 4wd ride to get me out to location in the mud and snow and around town to the grocery store. ....................................



Well since you asked for opinions:

No need to lift 89 XJ three inches to get around on snowy and muddy roads. It is very capable vehicle as is, but adding rear axle (True Trac ?) limited slip and buying a set of tire chains would probably be money well spent.
It's best to stay home and wait it out if the roads are so bad that you can not get around in that.

Just saying

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Old 01-03-2019, 08:42 PM
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If you don't have access to a shop and tools to do the work, North Dakota winters are not favorable to doing any suspension work at all.

I think your on the right track, check, change and service the entire jeep to the best of your ability. Check the 4wd for proper operation, the CAD is vacuum actuated and prone to failure. If it is operating properly, your lucky. If not, there are a couple of things to do to eliminate the vacuum concern.

Put a good set of tires on it, drive it thru the winter and then look at lift and other things when it warms up.

I worked just out of Minot for 1 winter, well 6 weeks. lol I headed back to Texas asap.

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Old 01-03-2019, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by arto_wa View Post
Well since you asked for opinions:

No need to lift 89 XJ three inches to get around on snowy and muddy roads. It is very capable vehicle as is, but adding rear axle (True Trac ?) limited slip and buying a set of tire chains would probably be money well spent.
It's best to stay home and wait it out if the roads are so bad that you can not get around in that.

Just saying

🤔

I do appreciate your input! And I agree to a point, however work stops for literally nothing out here. we work minimum 84 hours a week (if were slow). But I do agree I dont want to pump too much money into what I have named the bakken beater so a simple suspension refresh kit and some new tires as mentioned before, and some new headlights should do the trick.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by texastaz38 View Post
If you don't have access to a shop and tools to do the work, North Dakota winters are not favorable to doing any suspension work at all.

I think your on the right track, check, change and service the entire jeep to the best of your ability. Check the 4wd for proper operation, the CAD is vacuum actuated and prone to failure. If it is operating properly, your lucky. If not, there are a couple of things to do to eliminate the vacuum concern.

Put a good set of tires on it, drive it thru the winter and then look at lift and other things when it warms up.

I worked just out of Minot for 1 winter, well 6 weeks. lol I headed back to Texas asap.

Happy Jeepin'
TexasTaz38
I actually have access to a bay in the mechanics shop they use to service our work trucks and heavy duty equipment, so Ill be able to do all the work in there. The 4wd seems to be working correctly. However Im not exactly sure how the part time compares to what I know as 4 high but when its in low range its all I can do to keep it from jerking forward on the ice with my foot in the break. Guess I lucked out, its in real good condition aside from the headliner being gone. All the gages work correctly the seats are clean and not torn up. No rust to be seen anywhere.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:26 PM
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If you're looking to just get some larger meats under the XJ trim the fenders and be done, cheap or free depending on what tools you have available.

If you're looking to breath some life back into the 30 year old suspension I'd search for the smallest yet most complete lift possible and buy that AND trim the fenders for more room.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:37 PM
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Part time is the same as 4 hi or 4low is on any other vehicle, unless it has full time, or AWD. Also if you don't what to hack up your fenders like people are suggesting you can fit 31s on a 3" lift with minimal trimming.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Joshua White View Post
If you're looking to just get some larger meats under the XJ trim the fenders and be done, cheap or free depending on what tools you have available.

If you're looking to breath some life back into the 30 year old suspension I'd search for the smallest yet most complete lift possible and buy that AND trim the fenders for more room.
Thank you, not really trying to get much bigger tires, just wanting to smooth out the ride and at least get some leafs that are bowed the right way lol.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 00t444e View Post
Part time is the same as 4 hi or 4low is on any other vehicle, unless it has full time, or AWD.
Thank you! 🤘🤘
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericharroun View Post

Thank you, not really trying to get much bigger tires, just wanting to smooth out the ride and at least get some leafs that are bowed the right way lol.
Yeah, I'd just put some more aggressive tires on that sucker and put a simple small lift on (three inches or less) you'll be good to go with new bushings, springs, shocks, arms, and overall better feeling Jeep. If you rub a bit, trim a little here and there or spring for some flares (Bushwackers, Napier, DIY)
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericharroun View Post
........... not really trying to get much bigger tires.........................
Good idea, wide tires are not good for optimum snow traction anyway!
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