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Old 01-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Difference b/t TJ and XJ 4wd systems?

I had 2 XJs in the past, a '93 and a '00. This is my first winter in my current 02 TJ, which is my first "wrangler."

it is my understanding that the XJs had a different 4x4 system than the TJs. However, getting past the differences in name, what (if any) is the actual funtionality difference(s)? I feel that my XJs handled snow much better than my TJ does. I'm sure some of this is due to longer wheelbase, but I can tell a very noticeable difference in just how the 4wd behaves.

Going further, would it be possible to convert/fabricate an entire XJ axle assembly (including Xfer case) to work in my TJ? This link

JeepWire.Com Presents: High Pinion Dana 30 Upgrade for TJs

had what appears to be the beginning of a nice little overview, but not super detailed (it assumes the reader has a clue.)

If I do this, will it cause any issues replacing my rear axles with a ford 8.8?(I will be replacing my rear axles this spring regardless. I am planning on running 4.56s when all is said and done with my 2.5" lift and 31-33" tires (31s for now, 33s when it's time for new ones.)

anyway, I know that this info can get very detailed, is probably remedial to many of you (forgive me if I sound like a retard,) but i would appreciate any input. I tried the search but not coming up with anything very relevant.


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Old 01-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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Both the TJ and XJ drivelines are VERY similar. They both had D30 front and D35 rears (XJ's either came with an D35, D44 or Chrysler 8.25"). The only other thing that could be different is in a few of the XJ is that they had a full-time transfercase, the NP242 vs the part-time only NP231 that TJ's have. It was either 4WD Hi for street use and 4WD Lo for offroad use only. The BIGGEST factor is the wheelbase like you stated and probably is what makes you think the XJ did so much better.

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Old 01-28-2011, 01:23 AM   #3
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thanks for the input.

in my TJ, when in 4wd hi and in snow, it feels almost like the front wheels aren't pulling as hard as the rears. I still get a little bit of rear drift. In my XJs, the front and rears felt even up.

But if I am understanding you correctly, the only difference between my TJs "part time" 4wd system (and corresponding "PART TIME" dash light) and my XJ's "4HI" or "4LO"s dash lights are just that...a difference in the dash lights? The 4wd systems are the same despite the difference in nomenclature?

If that's the case, why did the XJs have the higher pinion placement? wouldn't it have been more economical (and useful) for Jeep to use just the same D30 for both with the high pinion (more trail capable)? Right? I'm not trying to be a smart@ss. it just seems like common sense if both xcases are the same. Why not use the same total axle assembly for both vehicles?
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