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YJ Axle Swap



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Old 07-09-2005, 06:58 PM   #1
 
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YJ Axle Swap

Mission:

Start with a stock 93 YJ 4.0 auto, Dana 35 rear axle, Dana 30 front axle, 3.07 gears, open diffs, springs under axle.

End with 9" Hybrid rear (8.8 chunk flipped for high pinion) 35 spline axles, Dana 30 front with all heim steering, 4.88 ratio, full Detroit lockers, spring OVER axles, stock leafs. [All these parts come from the Parts YJ]

I knew I would need a lot of room (tall jackstands) to fit the new axles. This picture is after finishing the SYE kit and it's not near high enough (as you will see).


Before raising Jersey higher, I pulled the 'new' axle from the donor vehicle. This gave me the opportunity to see just how high I would need to raise Jersey (very high). After the axle was rolled back out of the way, I measured to the bottom of the leaf springs (about 20"). I had my target hieght.


Things to do before you physically remove the axle (leaf sprung vehicle):
1) Scotch block the axle (tires) that is staying on the ground and remove the shocks (or disconnect the axle end).
2) Make sure your vehicle is securely positioned on quality jackstands. It's safest to lift under the axle with a floor jack. The springs will droop, so you must go high. Your first try may not be high enough. You need your tires to be about 1/2" above the ground while the axle/springs are hanging unloaded with any weight.
3) Disconnect the parking brake cable(s). Loosen the tensioner, then unhook the individual cables from the tensioner. The ends of the cable housing will be locked into some sort of bracket on your vehicle. It might be some simple clips that can be tapped out with a hammer and screwdriver. If the locks are tabs that flare out from the cable itself, I have found the box end of a 13mm wrench to be the perfect tool. Slide it over the cable and housing and start wiggling it as you work it over the tabs.
4) Disconnect the axle breather tube, either at the axle or at its endpoint on the frame/body.
5) Disconnect the rear brake line, either at the axle or up on the frame. The fittings may be really tight; a LINE WRENCH might help. Vise Grips must be your last resort. If you have to use vise grips, line the jaws up to make the minimum damage to the nut and squeeze them as tight as you possibly can on the very first try. A back-up wrench will help avoid deforming any brackets. I had to use vise grips on one connection. I lucked out and was still able to use a regular open end wrench once I had the nut broken loose.
6) Remove your driveshaft [and steering drag link if front axle].
7) Remove u-bolts. If SPOA, the tires will drop to the ground and you're ready to roll the axle out. If SPUA and you lifted the vehicle extra high, support the axle with a floor jack, disconnect your shackles, lower the axle with your jack. BE CAREFUL...the axle may try to roll forward or back and fall off your jack.

Now you can see how much higher I had to raise Jersey. Dana 35 removed:


I rolled the unlocked, little-tired D35 out of my way. Problem: how am I going to move a heavy, Detroit-locked, big-tired 9" axle sidways across the drive? Answer: engine hoists aren't just for hoisting engines.


Rear axle installed, but not finished. Hardly worth the effort; I have to look hard to tell any difference. NOTE: THIS MUCH LIFT IS ACHIEVED WITH ONLY A SPRING OVER AND WELL-WORN 35" RADIALS. THOSE ARE STOCK WRANGLER 200,000 MILE LEAF SPRINGS!!:






Still to do on the rear axle swap:
1) Extended brake line
2) Parking brake cables
3) Vent tube
4) Driveshaft. A little surprise there: it appears to be too short. After a closer comparison between donor (4.0 5sp) and Jersey (4.0 auto), it looks like the t-case on the auto is about an inch forward. Below is a picture of the two FRONT driveshafts from the different vehicles, the longer one from the 5 speed. I thought it had been lengthened due to the lift on parts jeep. I put the longer one in before buttoning up the t-case skid plate and it's too long!
5) Transfer the long shocks from donor to trail jeep
6) transfer bump stops [Jersey's bump stops are completely non-existant...cancer completely ate them away]


Last edited by Hatch; 07-10-2005 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 07-09-2005, 08:58 PM   #2
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I'm guessing the swelling will go down with time?


























Looks good!! toast
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:34 PM   #3
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thats what I'm talking about! Looks good.
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:56 PM   #4
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cool keep em comin.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:45 AM   #5
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:47 PM   #6
 
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For field expediency, I have decided to mount the stock D35 in SPOA under parts jeep by just flipping it over. No need to unbolt the leafs; saves time. It's only there for mobility purposes.



I might need steering on parts jeep, so I may get some cheap spring perches from Northern for the old D30 up front. No welding; I'll just zip the u-bolts down gutentite.
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Old 07-10-2005, 01:40 PM   #7
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Tractor supply has spring perches for trailers. You might have to drill the hole a little bit bigger, but they would be cheap.
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:24 PM   #8
 
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Slow progress. One more day of Summer School; progress should pick up a little bit.



I worked on one of the rear bolts on Jersey for almost 30 minutes trying to get it to break free from the grip of the spring bushing. I didn't want to cut it cuz I needed it to bandaid parts jeep back together with rolling stuff.

Still much work to do, but I am very pleased with the look. The front really sat low compared to the rear after selling the hardtop. I made an educated guess that a pair of stock rear leafs up front (one more leaf than front) might level it out pretty well. I think I guessed right. Add a winch to the front and some tools in back and it should all come out just right. At this point I'm going to say, "No additional lift!" If I need tire clearance, I will trim sheetmetal. And if that doesn't work, then I moved up to a tire too big. 35s are gonna be fine and I think I can sneak 36s under there.

I transfered the special Currie front shackles that are made for a tow bar (didn't realize parts Jeep had them 'til after I got it home). I still have my tow bar from the old flat-tow-the-Sami days. Now I can do day trips and not hassle with removing the camper from the trailer. All the list above (opening message) is still work I have to do, plus I still need to zip down the u-bolts up front.
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:28 AM   #9
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Looking good Hatch!



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Old 07-14-2005, 08:08 AM   #10
 
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Ground to running board step:

SPUA, little tires: 19"

SPOA, 35" tires: 29.5"
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:52 PM   #11
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Cool deal!!

Keep the progress reports coming!!
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:43 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatch
I might need steering on parts jeep, so I may get some cheap spring perches from Northern for the old D30 up front. No welding; I'll just zip the u-bolts down gutentite.
No worries here. I pulled the plain-jane D30 with leafs still attached. Parts Jeep is gonna look funny: it'll be sittin' like a drag car with the rear SPOA and front SPUA
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:54 AM   #13
 
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Thursday:

front u-bolts tightened
front bump stops transfered (one rusted/broke bolt on Jersey...fix later)
steering connected
adjustable track bar and its axle mount removed
front brake lines re-routed for added length (no need for extended lines)
rear ext'd stainless brake line transferred (very stubborn about coming off of donor)
initial brake bleeding done (I can now SAFELY move it around under its own power)
parking brake cables routed but not connected to the adjuster

First thing today is to swap back to the auto's original (shorter) front driveshaft to see if I need a length adjustment. If so, I will carry both driveshafts in early this morning so I can have them back this evening.

Then, I need to inspect the rear disc pads...I get the feeling they are well worn. I also need to look over the brake lines on donor and see if any changes were made due to rear discs. Perhaps not, which could explain why (if they have) the rear pads have gone so much faster than the front.
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:33 PM   #14
 
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Front done, to include shocks and extending the vacuum axle disconnect lines. Jersey moved to a more level working spot under her own power and stopped on a dime.
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:42 PM   #15
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If you got hung up on a dime you will need bigger tires!
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudgod
If you got hung up on a dime you will need bigger tires!

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