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School me on the ZJ #854401 12/22/07 03:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,390
Sc0rp10n Offline OP
Body Damage is Cool
Looking to build a moderate DD wheeler. I need more interior space and towing capacity than my current TJ can provide.

My thoughts right now are trying to find a ZJ or XJ and lift it enough for 33's. Now I know a decent amount about XJ's and finding one with an 8.25. But I cant find much about ZJ axles past HP30 front and an optional modified d44 rear.

Please school me. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif" alt="" />



2000 XJ Classic - Classically a POS
1994 Isuzu Amigo XS -Sold
1972/3 CJ5 Glass body, 5" lift 34's. 5 years of work coming to an end.
From the Off-Road World
Re: School me on the ZJ [Re: Sc0rp10n] #854402 12/23/07 04:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 401
fred1980 Offline
Mudrunner
93-95's only came Low Pinion D30's (same as TJ's) and D35's (rear has drum brakes) axles, come in either a 4.0L I6 or 5.2L V8 engines and have the 242 t-case on the 4.0L's and the all wheel drive 249 on the 5.2L's. The 249 is not very desireable because it uses a viscous coupler to transfer power to the axles and the VC has been know to start giving out at around the 100K mark and are expensive to rebuild.
96-98's also have the LP D30 and D35 (rear has disc brakes) out back but the V8's came with the aluminum D44 rear end (aluminum center section, different gear sets from regular 44's, C-clipped axle shafts and NO aftermarket support for a locker since Aussie just recently discontinued the ONLY locker made for this axle) It is an upgrade from the D35 but it is not as strong as the regular D44's. They also came with 4.0L's and 5.2L's but in 98 there were a few with the 5.9L engines. These years also have the 242 for the 4.0L's and 249 t-case's for the V8's but this version of the 249 was a bit more desireable because it has a low-lock capability in 4LOW meaning that both axles were actually locked going the same speed like a normal t-case. With the earlier versions the 249's didn't have that so basically the VC was doing the power transfer to the axles so the t-case was never really locked.
Popular swaps would be to drop in a HP D30 from an XJ if you're going to be running 33"+ tires and be locked up front. Out back if you're also going to be running 33"+ tires and be locked you can also swap in a D44 from an earlier XJ or a TJ if you can find one and it's not too expensive but an easier and less expensive find is a Ford 8.8 out of an explorer (these have disc brakes if you get one from a 96+, have a larger Ring gear than the D44 and have 31-spline shafts) the only thing is that they are C-clipped and are 5/8" narrower per side than the OEM ZJ axles but this can be fixed with spacers or if you want and have the extra $$$ get a c-clip eliminator kit and kill two birds with one stone because the kit also widens the axle. With the 8.8 you can probably run 37's be locked and safe out back. I personally went the ford 8.8 route after upgrading to 35's but I did run my D35 locked with 32's for 3 years with no problems, but I also don't have a heavy foot off road. T-case wise popular swaps for the 249 is a 231 or a 242 but there are different input shaft lenths on the all of these cases and it is just not as simple as bolting the new t-case in. You basically have to find a new t-case with the same input shaft lenth, but to do that you have to know what yours is so you have to remove your t-case and measure, or if you are really mechanically inclined and can rebuild a t-case and what not you can just swap over your input shaft from the 249 into the new 231 or 242 case if they are not the same. As far as I know there is no real way to tell what you have for the input shaft lenth on the t-case (maybe a jeep dealer can decode the vin and tell) but the best bet to getting one that matches yours is getting the new case from a vehicle that's the same year as yours.
Lift wise you could get away with 33's and a 4.5" lift and no rubbing if you have the correct offset wheels and bumpstops. I ran a 5" lift and 32's with ZERO rubbing at full stuff and could I could also turn lock to lock with no rubbing. Now with the 5" lift and 35's I can also turn lock to lock but I have some rubbing at full stuff front and back (but more in the back) but I can fix that by putting in larger bumpstops, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm running short arms for now with the 35's for the last 2-3 months but will be going to long arms here pretty soon when it starts to get a bit warmer out and I can work on the Jeep again. Hope this helps... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

Fred R.


97 ZJ, 5" Long Arm Lift, Beadlocked 35's, 231/D300 Doubler, Locked Front & Rear (Narrowed HP D44 & F8.8), ARB Bull Bar & 9K winch, 1-Ton Hydro-assist steering, "Custom" body work and some other goodies... PICS
Re: School me on the ZJ [Re: Sc0rp10n] #854403 12/27/07 07:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,390
Sc0rp10n Offline OP
Body Damage is Cool
Wow that was way more/better info then I ever thought I'd get. I really appreciate it.

Now do you have any opinions about the rocky-road 4.5" lift. I was curious to know more opinions about it. I am especially Leary of the use of the front stock coils as the lift coils for the rear.

Thanks again <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />



2000 XJ Classic - Classically a POS
1994 Isuzu Amigo XS -Sold
1972/3 CJ5 Glass body, 5" lift 34's. 5 years of work coming to an end.
Re: School me on the ZJ [Re: Sc0rp10n] #854404 12/27/07 09:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 147
the_other_guy Offline
Wheeler
i wouldnt know anything about that lift. the only thing i could think about swapping the front springs to the rear is that you know they wont be rediculously stiff like some aftermarket lift springs, and they wouldnt sag a bunch like cheap lift springs would. But Im not familiar with the ZJ at all, so I dont know anything about it's suspension setup.


Your road to glory will be rocky, but fulfilling.
- Panda Express fortune cookie

94 YJ. no lift...YET
Re: School me on the ZJ [Re: Sc0rp10n] #854405 12/28/07 08:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 401
fred1980 Offline
Mudrunner
Quote
Now do you have any opinions about the rocky-road 4.5" lift. I was curious to know more opinions about it. I am especially Leary of the use of the front stock coils as the lift coils for the rear.


In my opinion I would stay away from that that kit IF you are actually going to take you jeep offroad. Once you get over a 2.5"-3" lift on a ZJ you are going to need adjustable control arms to fix any rubbing and vibration issues you will have with your axles and driveshafts at a 4.5" lift. They provide a t-case drop to try to "fix" the vibration problem but believe me it will cause you more headaches than anything else if you actually offroad the vehicle. Not only will it lower the "belly" of the jeep causing it to hang up on things, it also SEVERELY messes up the geometry of the already crappy OEM t-case linkage, let me explain... part of the t-case linkage mount on your ZJ is mounted on a bracket that attaches to your tranny and t-case, the other mount for your t-case linkage is mounted on a welded FIXED point on the undercarriage of your jeep. So if you lower your t-case say 2" like this "kit" would do and thus lowering one of the aligned mounting points, then you will severly bind up the already badly designed linkage for your transfer case. TRUST me on this one, I was also a "newbie" when I first purchased and lifted my ZJ and also thought I needed a t-case drop, but after taking my jeep out for the first time after the lift I quickly realized all the problems a t-case drop was causing me (not being able to fully shift into 4lo and back fully to 2wd all the way just to name a few) and promptly removed it, on the trail for that fact!!! This kit also does not come with extended brake lines which will also be a problem for you IF you decide to take your jeep offroad, on pavement you don't really need longer brake lines but once you get offroad and your axles start articulating then you will be stretching the limits on your OEM lines with a 4.5" lift, and that is certainly something you don't want to break out on the trail.
I am currently running a 5" lift with NO t-case drop and I'm only getting a very MINIMAL vibe when I'm doing 85+MPH in my jeep. I attribute the lack of vibes and rubbing on the fenders to the adjustable control arms being able to line up my pinion angles on both axles to minimize vibrations and push the axles away from the sheetmetal. Everyone has their brand preference when it comes to lifts so I'll let you decide what you want to get but I went with a full teraflex kit minus the springs (heard the springs were stiff) and opted for Skyjacker springs instead (heard they provided a softer onroad ride) but I've probably would have gone with Rubicon Express springs instead if I knew then what I know now. Heed this old adage, you certainly will get what you paid for if you skimp, whether it be ride comfort of offroad prowess. Swaping your front springs to the rear to get lift, well I can only give you second hand info on that since I've never personally done that on my jeep but a friend of mine that used to have a ZJ once swapped his 4.5" front springs to the rear to get about a 7" lift when he went to longs arms and he did NOT like it, he said the back end of his jeep felt "squirly" at freeway speeds and the jeep felt stiffer on the trail (realize the front springs on a ZJ are designed for just that, the front of the vehicle carrying the engine and what not and have a different spring rate than rear springs), he even tried "fixing" the ride by first heating them up with a torch to reduce the spring rate (did not work) and then even cut them down and used spacers to reduce the spring rate (also did not work).
Like I mentioned earlier I'm going to long arms here when I warms up enough for me to crawl under the jeep and weld all this stuff up but I did run short arms and 32's for 3+ years and it worked and flexed like no other offroad and onroad so don't let anyone tell you that you NEED long arms to be capable offroad with a ZJ... Once I upgraded to the 35's that was a different story and I needed to go to long arms to take FULL advantage of what 35's can do for me offroad. Hope this helps.

Fred R.


97 ZJ, 5" Long Arm Lift, Beadlocked 35's, 231/D300 Doubler, Locked Front & Rear (Narrowed HP D44 & F8.8), ARB Bull Bar & 9K winch, 1-Ton Hydro-assist steering, "Custom" body work and some other goodies... PICS

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