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Old 04-21-2015, 03:23 AM
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1988 YJ Build Help

I owned my first Jeep in 1982 - December, to be exact...it was a 1983 CJ7 and I called the color "burnt Orange" but the official color was Omaha Orange. Owned it for about 3 weeks and hit black ice on a bridge in St. Joseph, MO and the insurance company listed it as totaled.
Advance to 30 years (plus) later, and yesterday I purchased a 1988 Jeep Wrangler. It runs, has the original engine with a propane conversion, but has nothing at all on the leaf springs (no axles at all)...the owner had Dana 44's and sold them. He also sold the transfer case. Other than the propane conversion, the engine is stock (2.5L L4 OHV).
I do not know a lot about gearing, so I thought this would be the best place to ask:
First, I plan to make this my daily driver and weekend mudder/4x4 fun-vehicle.
I plan to remove the propane conversion and go back to gas (tanks take up where the back seat was). And I plan to put 37 sized tires on it.
Since the best trails are about 2 hours away, I'll be driving on the highway to get there.
Second, this will be a work in progress. I'm hoping to have it on the road within a year.
What I need to know: What is a good complete axle for front and back and transfer case?
This is my first posting, so if this is the wrong area, I apologize in advance.
Also, I really appreciate any and all helpful info in advance.

Thanks,
Phil

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Old 04-21-2015, 05:38 AM   #2
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Bout all I can help you with is by saying welcome and if you want this to be a daily driver you will NOT be putting 37's on it with a 2.5. It will be such a slug you will hate it. I have 33's and I would not go an inch bigger. Ford 8.8 is an easy axle to mod for the back the d30 with same gears in front seems to be what some guys are going with. That said, GL sounds like your in for a hell of a project

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Old 04-21-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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Would have to agree with the daily driver statement. 37's with a 2.5 will be a little under powered in my opinion too. But can be done with correct geared axles. Another option is D44's again. Kinda depends on your sources and funds. Can order bolt in axles online at a steep price or junkyard and re gear.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:37 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to mention I'll be going with a Novak Chevy 5.3 engine/trans/transfer case swap. That should not have a problem with the 37" tires.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:57 AM   #5
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The 5.3 will be a little bit of an improvement. As far as axles go, are you looking to drop the coin on new ones or are you looking at a junk yard swap? Since you also need a transfer case and you are swapping the rest of the drive train you have more options. The pinion drop on the front axle is dependent on the t-case you choose. 37's and V8 power are going to be pushing it even for half ton axles like the Dana 44. I would think a Dana 60 and 14 bolt would be about right, or both 60's, or if you are going new a pair of fabricated 9 inchers would be my choice.

Welcome to the forum. Make sure you start a build thread in the YJ Build section and share lots of pics.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:24 AM
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The plan is the Jeep NP231 transfer case, unless you have a better option?
I do not mind purchasing new complete axle systems, if that is the better option.
One friend told me Dana 60's on front and back with 4:10 or 4:56 gears. Another told me 4:10's if I want to take it down the highway to get to the mud.
Some of the other options I'm not sure of...like Air Locker or Detroit Locker or something else? This will be an under-leaf spring mount, unless there is something better?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:46 AM   #7
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There are always better options. The problem is they usually cost more money. As far as the t-case goes, I would ditch m NP 231 in a heartbeat if I could afford an Atlas. The 231 is a good case and will most likely work just fine for you. That's what 90% of us are running behind V8's.

As far as gear ratios, there are calculators out there that will tell you your engine speed at various speeds with the different gear options. You also need to consider the type of wheeling you want to do. If you are rock crawling you will want to go a little lower like the 4.56 or even 4.88.

Locker choice and suspension type are kind of personal preference. I like the simplicity and reliability of a Detroit, but others swear by the selectable lockers. Spring under suspension is fine, but lift springs ride rougher and don't flex as well as flatter springs. A SOA may be a better choice, but again will be a more expensive option.

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