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Old 09-26-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
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I'm heading out tomorrow to inspect a '97 Sport TJ with approx. 160k miles with 4.0 and manual tranny. Has lift approx 6" and I believe dana 30's in front and dana 35's I believe (is that stock). What should I be looking for other than the obvious tire kicking? Can I check tranny gear oil from underneath? Is T-case visible upfront to check for leaks? Really need help. I'm looking at trail riding for now but trails can be very difficult. Also, are lockers necessary? And if so, will the dana 30 and 35 be sufficient? Thank you.

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Old 09-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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with that much lift I'd try to see if they regeared the diffs, you cant tell fron looking but driving you might notice. what size tires are they? ask how old the clutch, and crankshaft position sensor.

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Old 09-26-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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It has 33" BFG's and the owner believes its been regeared to 4:11's. has rough country 4" lift with coil lift. Are sway bars aftermarket territory for this model? Is axle articulation possible only with aftermarket sways or will this thing have them being a jeep an all?
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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You can check the fluid conditions via fill plugs of the tranny, xfercase and diffs in about 10 mins. Just Google images of each so you know right where they are when you crawl under.

The TJ is very capable on many trails without lockers. Even with open diferentials, they can go where many locked up yotas can go. But lockers are definietly nice is certain situations, but before lockers, I would get a good winch. Also a stock D35 and lockers don't mix very well...axle shafts tend to twist and break. So many will upgrade the rear axle to a d44 or a ford 8.8 if they are going to run a rear locker. Some will upgrade the d35 to a "super d35" which also holds up better to a locker.

Check the frame over carefully for rust cancer. light surface rust is normal, but crusty frame rust can be a nightmare to have to deal with.
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