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Old 03-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
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Upgrade my jeep

I have been throwing around the Idea of doing some additional upgrades on my jeep over the next couple of years. I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler X she has been good to me over the last few years and still runs fine. I’ve had a few issues but nothing too bad. She has a little over 160,000 miles and I know in the next year or two I will have to put some money into the engine. I live in the mountains and have to drive up, down & through them and I have to deal with snow about 5 months or more out of the year. Right now she has the stock I6, NV3550 (DDD) Manual Tranny, Dana 30 front diff, Dana 35 rear diff with trac-loc with 3.07 gears, a 2” lift, & running 31” tires. Its work well for me with no big issues so far. I am thinking of putting a 4.7 stroker and maybe switching to an automatic tranny “something with overdrive”. I’ve heard a lot of people talk trash about the Dana 30 & 35 diffs. If I am going to put a motor with more h.p. & torque I am thinking I should upgrade to Dana 44. I would also like to go with 32” tires. I am looking for advice on what front and rear diffs along with gear ratio, transmission swap to auto with overdrive, any engine add on’s that may be needed, and recommended lift/suspension “nothing too big” good ground clearance and fitment for 32”-33” tires. I know this is a big project that will take some money so I need to start getting some ideas and putting some money away. I’ve tried to include a pic, it’s a year or so old but looks the same minus KC lights and new wheels and tires. Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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if you're ready to do all that, why not consider diesel?

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Old 03-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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I think it's a good build but could use some tweaks. The 2"bb you have will clear a 32" tire fine provided you have the bump stops set correctly. You could do a 1.25" bl and go 33's . I would use a aw4 auto overdrive out of a cherokee sport they used a stand alone pcm for the transmission and many have done it so there is good info out there.

The 30 will hold up just fine with that setup and are capable of handling up to a 35" tire . The hp30 (high pinion ) out of a cherokee sport is about 30% stronger the 96-99 is the safest bet.

The dana 35 is the weak link and should be replaced with a ford 8.8 out of a 95-01 explorer, or a dana 44 out of another tj. Some will say the 35 is fine, but I believe it's a waist of money to upgrade one when you can have a better axle for only a couple hundred bucks more. Plus you can sell your old one and recoup some of the money.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AVtj03 View Post
if you're ready to do all that, why not consider diesel?
Have you seen the price of diesel.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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I think it's a good build but could use some tweaks. The 2"bb you have will clear a 32" tire fine provided you have the bump stops set correctly. You could do a 1.25" bl and go 33's . I would use a aw4 auto overdrive out of a cherokee sport they used a stand alone pcm for the transmission and many have done it so there is good info out there.

The 30 will hold up just fine with that setup and are capable of handling up to a 35" tire . The hp30 (high pinion ) out of a cherokee sport is about 30% stronger the 96-99 is the safest bet.

The dana 35 is the weak link and should be replaced with a ford 8.8 out of a 95-01 explorer, or a dana 44 out of another tj. Some will say the 35 is fine, but I believe it's a waist of money to upgrade one when you can have a better axle for only a couple hundred bucks more. Plus you can sell your old one and recoup some of the money.
Thanks, it would be nice to use the same front diff and get some mony for the rear. Any opinion if I should change the gearing?
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Really depends on the tire size. You could look for a ford 8.8 with 4.10 gears and weld on the brackets. I got mine from iron rock offroad for $230.00 shipped + $85.00 for the rear end at the junk yard. You can usually score a hp30 for $100-150.00 and the 4 cylinder 5 speed came with 4.10 gears. So for less then $500.00, some time hitting the bone yard and some welding you have low dough 4.10's and better axles! With an auto and 33's you may want lower (numerically higher) gears. I would do this before anything else. You will notice a huge power gain over the 3.07's .
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rda616
Really depends on the tire size. You could look for a ford 8.8 with 4.10 gears and weld on the brackets. I got mine from iron rock offroad for $230.00 shipped + $85.00 for the rear end at the junk yard. You can usually score a hp30 for $100-150.00 and the 4 cylinder 5 speed came with 4.10 gears. So for less then $500.00, some time hitting the bone yard and some welding you have low dough 4.10's and better axles! With an auto and 33's you may want lower (numerically higher) gears. I would do this before anything else. You will notice a huge power gain over the 3.07's .
Thanks for all the info.

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