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  #1  
Old May 24th, 2017, 13:24
Nui 'Ula Nui 'Ula is offline
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New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Hey everyone!

We just picked up an XJ for what I feel was a pretty good price! But, we are trying to get it "trail worthy" with a set dollar amount in mind, and I have a few choices to make. Perhaps you all could lend some advice?

Our new XJ:
'95 4.0L, 5 spd, 220k...starts, runs, drives great...evidence of some minor leaks (oil pan or filter housing, possibly valve cover)...33" KM2's, 4.5" RC long arm setup, crossover steering, frame stiffening plates front to rear (the front most plates are not yet welded in), rear rock bumper w/ recovery points, sliders, Warn M6000 winch with control box hard-wired in under the hood (but the PO sold the bumper separately, so I can't mount the winch). D35 non-C-clip with a broken axle shaft and re-geared to 3.55; D30HP front with stock 3.07's (with a 3.55 set already in a carrier that I need to install). 52" light bar wires and mounts installed, but the light bar was stolen. Stout cargo rack on top. We paid $2000. I am trying to be "all in" and trail ready for $3500 total ($1500 for stuff).

Driving style/use:
We are moderate off-roaders, with trips once every 2-3 months. I have owned D35's on 33" XJ's, and I have never broken one; I'm more the "finesse" type. Trips in the SoCal area were anything in Big Bear and Panamint Valley mostly. The XJ will be street driven, and will need to tow a pop-up trailer. The next trip we have lined up (November, Panamint valley) will involve 2,000 miles of highway driving while towing the pop-up, so I am a fan of well-mannered A/T's for tires.

My build/repair/maintenance list (aka, how quicky $1500 disappears):
Maint/gaskets/fluids, $250 ish
A-A-L to correct rear sag, $75 ish
Rear axle repair/replace, $300-400
New 33" A/T's, $625
Light bar, $100
Front winch bumper, $200 (sourced locally...still talking with seller...if this falls thru, I may sell the winch and that adds $400 or so to the budget).


Axle/gear dilemma:
I need to repair the rear end, and match the gear sets so I can get her in the dirt. I have a few options available to me.

Option 1) Replace non-C-clip axles in the current D35; install matching 3.55's in the D30, done. Would need axles and bearing kits. Cost, appx $325. Maybe do an Aussie in the D30 in the future.

Option 2) Local Jeep guy has a stock 3.55 C8.25 pulled and ready to go. Install matching 3.55's in the D30, done. Cost, $300 (for reference, JY price around here is $275 + tax + core for a rear axle assy). Maybe do an Aussie in the D30 in the future.

Option 3) Here's where it gets weird. Local seller has a YJ D35 c-clip assembly with Yukon axles, Auburn ECTED, 4.10's. Also has a matched set of 4.10's for the front axle. He wants $450 obo, I figure I can get it all for $400. He says he bench tested the "locker," and it does actuate properly. But, the axle is not in a vehicle, so there's no way to road test. From what I've read, I can basically swap the YJ C-clip D35 internals to my XJ non-C-clip D35 housing, install the matched 4.10 to the front, done. Cost, $400.

How does this stuff sound so far? What would you do about fixing the rear end? Any other suggestions? Please let me know. Want to get this thing going ASAP but I need some guidance! Thank you so much!










Last edited by Nui 'Ula; May 24th, 2017 at 13:27.
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  #2  
Old May 24th, 2017, 13:38
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Kittrell Kittrell is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Personally I would swap in the 8.25 rear and just swap in a 3.55 D30. Would be a good time to replace ball joints, u joints, brakes, etc. You will never have to worry about the 8.25 with 33's.

I would also look for used springs instead of the AAL. I grabbed nearly new RE 3.5" packs off CL for $120.

Also, welcome to . That looks like a solid XJ to start with.
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Last edited by Kittrell; May 24th, 2017 at 13:42.
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  #3  
Old May 24th, 2017, 13:50
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smokeyyank smokeyyank is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Welcome, nice rig at a good price. Personally, I wouldn't invest a dime in a Turdy5. Get the 8.25 or a ford 8.8. As for gears I'd go with 4.11's or 4.56. I had 4.11's on my 33's with the auto and at altitude there where more times than not I wish I had deeper gears. On my MJ I'll be going 4.56 for the 33's. Understand that gears may not be in the budget right now but just some advice.

An option for the rear instead of a AAL is getting a shackle relocation box. Would get you some lift and not stiffen up the rear as much.

http://www.ironman4x4fab.com/Products/RLS.html

https://hdoffroadengineering.myshopi...relocation-kit

Also, was looking at the pic did some one remove the passenger side radius arm?
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Old May 24th, 2017, 13:54
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Kittrell Kittrell is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyyank View Post
Also, was looking at the pic did some one remove the passenger side radius arm?
The axle mount is gone as well. Looks like they made it a 3 Link. Hopefully they included it with the sale. I would swap in another D30 and remount that arm.
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  #5  
Old May 24th, 2017, 14:04
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smokeyyank smokeyyank is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

I was looking at it and am just like I swear there is supposed to be an arm there!
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  #6  
Old May 24th, 2017, 14:27
Nui 'Ula Nui 'Ula is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Oh shit. So what's missing?!

Also, there seems to be a lot of debate as to what's stronger, and how significant the difference in strength would be between a stock 8.25 vs D35 with CrMo axles and a truss. I tend to think that the CrMo 27 spline would be stronger than the 29 spline in the factory hardness. And a $99 truss on a D35 should, in my mind, make it flex equal to or less than a stock 8.25. Even the old timers go back and forth about this, so it's hard to say.

BUT, $300 for an all stock, open 8,25
vs
$500 for a D35, CrMo shafts, ECTED locker, 4.10s fr and rr, and a truss.

...to me, the D35 seems like the better buy in that scenario. Ugh. I don't know.

Last edited by Nui 'Ula; May 24th, 2017 at 14:31.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 14:33
RCP Phx RCP Phx is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

You definitely need to do something about your draglink/trackbar angles!!!
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  #8  
Old May 24th, 2017, 14:37
bigdaddyjlove bigdaddyjlove is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

I've had a D35 with an ECTED in a Wrangler (TJ). Mine never broke, but I wouldn't do it again. I have 8.8s in my rigs.
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  #9  
Old May 24th, 2017, 14:39
Nui 'Ula Nui 'Ula is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCP Phx View Post
You definitely need to do something about your draglink/trackbar angles!!!
TY...I'll have to do some research!

As for the radius arms...I didn't even notice. Car drives OK, I drove it home with the broken rear shaft. Is this something I NEED to replace? Can it wait? Can it stay the way it is?
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Old May 24th, 2017, 15:30
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smokeyyank smokeyyank is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nui 'Ula View Post
TY...I'll have to do some research!

As for the radius arms...I didn't even notice. Car drives OK, I drove it home with the broken rear shaft. Is this something I NEED to replace? Can it wait? Can it stay the way it is?
Well, it's definitely not set up right.

This is how it should look.



You are missing an entire bracket and arm, but it's set up similar to a y link. Whether or not you need to replace it is hard to say. I don't think so, but without driving it kind of shot in the dark. As for your angles, all you need to accomplish is getting your drag link and track bar at the same angle. You may need to move the bracket for the track bar with the crossover setup.

Dana 35's are better used for boat anchors than jeep axles. Yes you can wheel on them but it really is a gamble, especially with 33's and you wanting to tow. To truss one and put chromo shafts on is just throwing money away. A 8.25 or 8.8 will always be a better option if you are spending the cash to build the axle.
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  #11  
Old May 24th, 2017, 16:34
Nui 'Ula Nui 'Ula is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Found this, that helped a bit...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ra...ppers-1160839/

As for the D35...half the people I read about are on 27 spline C8.25's anyway. If the only difference at that point is the axle tubes, I shouldn't have anything to worry about. Thanks!

Some old trips in my old XJ (D30 open/D35 open, 5.5" RE, 33x12.5) - can't wait to get back out there! This one handled John Bull, Deep Creek, etc without trouble. That's as tough a trail as I dare to do!




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  #12  
Old May 24th, 2017, 18:45
Green XJ Jeep Green XJ Jeep is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

You have some lousy junk yards. The pick n pulls around here want 175ish out the door and there is always xj parts on craigslist.
IMO you should pick up a complete d30 with 3.55's to fix the missing arm problem (RC did not design it to be a 3 link) and pick up a d35 axle shaft to get you going until you can do a 29spline 8.25 swap or a 8.8 swap. You should be able to make this happen for under 400.
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  #13  
Old May 24th, 2017, 20:02
Nui 'Ula Nui 'Ula is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green XJ Jeep View Post
You have some lousy junk yards. The pick n pulls around here want 175ish out the door and there is always xj parts on craigslist.
IMO you should pick up a complete d30 with 3.55's to fix the missing arm problem (RC did not design it to be a 3 link) and pick up a d35 axle shaft to get you going until you can do a 29spline 8.25 swap or a 8.8 swap. You should be able to make this happen for under 400.
Thanks!

A '93 4.0 auto came in a few days ago at the 1 yard that's close to me. It should have usable front and rear axles @ 3.55, and the rear should be an 8.25 so that's good. I'll use those for the time being, and it's 50% off this weekend. I want more gear than that, but it will work for now.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 21:11
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Serious Offroad Serious Offroad is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyyank View Post
Well, it's definitely not set up right.

This is how it should look.


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  #15  
Old May 24th, 2017, 22:14
Green XJ Jeep Green XJ Jeep is offline
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Re: New XJ owner - need advice, can't decide on mods??? (PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nui 'Ula View Post
Thanks!

A '93 4.0 auto came in a few days ago at the 1 yard that's close to me. It should have usable front and rear axles @ 3.55, and the rear should be an 8.25 so that's good. I'll use those for the time being, and it's 50% off this weekend. I want more gear than that, but it will work for now.
I have a 5 speed also and run 3.55 with 30" tires and wish I had 4.10's when I am on the trails or towing my boat. 3.55 with 33's must feel pretty sluggish
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