My Jeep is a 1991 YJ with Dana 30 front axle,swaybar disconnect, Aussie lockers front and back,32" BFG's, 2"body lift, 4.0 engine, heavy bumpers and winch dual batteries, etc. I load it up to go camping and wheeling so I consider it heavy for a YJ.
Current problem: I ripped up my drivers side axle, and made it home around 3:00 AM with one bolt holding the bearing carrier on and no brakes.
I have been driving in the Pecos River quite a bit so I should replace both bearing carriers anyway and probably a do a brake job. I wheel it hard and do rockcrawling and trailriding and drive it to work. If I keep the current D30 I will go back with good chromemolly axles at least.
Temptation:I can buy a D30 that already has the axle upgrade, the same Aussie lockers, fresh seals and bearings, a truss, and a strong and good looking diff.cover. The deal also includes a Ford 8.8 rear axle with Ausie lockers as well. I know that my D35 rear axle will not last forever and I want to replace it before the next Chili Challenge anyway. The only problem is that it all came out of a XJ and is set up for front coils and rear leaf springs. The owner wants $1,400.00 for both axles and I think that is hub to hub, including brakes. Now, I like the way coil spring equiped TJ's ride so I would consider swapping over to coils on my YJ.
My question is, how big a job will it be to change over to front coils? Can I use any stock TJ parts or a long arm lift kit? I have found coil spring conversion kits for $2,000.00 to $4,000.00 but that sounds a little steep. (My YJ is eventually going to cost as much as a newer (air conditioned) Jeep at the rate I am going!)
I am a good welder and fabracator and I want my Jeep to wheel great and also go down the highway and curvy mountan roads safely. I will want to get the front swaped out right away and do the rear later if I can. I could use a few inches lift so I might have to do the rear soon to avoid the "desert racer" nose high stance. If I wind up a lot taller I will go for bigger tires as soon as the Aussie lockers chew up the BFG's
I know that I can always gut the coil spring housing and use the parts in my old axle or cut the truss up and mount leaf spring mounts to the XJ axle but that seems counterproductive. Has anyone done this swap before? Photos and tips please!!