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Grand Cherokee Front Dana 30 to XJ Axle Swap


 
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gnurob
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Grand Cherokee Front Dana 30 to XJ Axle Swap Reply with quote

I recently came into front/rear axles from an '04'ish Grand Cherokee. The front Dana 30 has real strong steering linkage, high ball joint mounts on the spindles, and a sweet double piston caliper on 12" rotors. The down side is a 5x5" bolt pattern and expensive CV joints.

Can the spindles and linkage be swaped over to an 91'ish XJ D30? Or, can the 5x5" bolt pattern be changed for a 5x4"?

Fabrication for suspension linkage won't be a problem.

Thanks!

Rob
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ThePhantum
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Location: I knew it...I'm surrounded by Assholes!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been seriously considering a WJ knuckle conversion myself for awhile now. Like you said, better steering and beefier front brakes...

It can be done, but it's a bit more complicated than just bolting it all on. You can swap in the XJ bearings, which will get you the 5x4.5" bolt pattern and with the right aftermarket rotors, you can re-drill the holes to get the bolt pattern back. The problem is that the WJ knuckles are a little shallower than XJ knuckles where the unit bearing bolts up. It's not much, maybe 0.25", but it's enough to cause the u-joints not to be centered in relation to the ball joints anymore. That will cause binding in the steering as well as possibly "bottoming out" the axle shafts in the diff.

Sew...you've got to have a spacer betwen the knuckle and the bearing to not only re-center the u-joints, but be strong enough to bear the weight of the Jeep. In other words, the spacer has to fit into the knuckle and the unit bearing into the spacer. I haven't seen anyone manufacturing spacers to do this. In all the writeups I have seen, folks are fabricating them up themselves (or having them custom fabbed).

I've also seen people ask about spacing out the three bolts that hold the bearing to the knuckle (using washers or whatever) as opposed to making a custom spacer that fits the knuckle into the bearing. Bad idea. The bolts are only meant to retain the bearing in the knuckle. It's the knuckle/bearing combination that bears the load of the front end. Just spacing the three bolts places the load squarely on those bolts. It will never hold up.

You'll also have to swap in a WJ booster and master cylinder to handle the bigger front brakes and you might have to add an adjustable proportioning vavle to dial in the front/rear brake bias.
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.jksmfg.com/db/fab_parts/doc_page2.html
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