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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:36 AM   #1
AmcPackRat
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2WD AX5/AX15 conversion

Yeah, I know this is kinda silly for Jeep guys with 4WD and big tires but here goes.

I just bought a 2000 XJ 2WD with a 2.5/AX5 drivetrain. This is going to be my "Commuter Jeep" and I'm going for gas mileage and dependability more than anything. I'm running 235-75 15 tires and 15x8 Canyon wheels. I'm planning on doing the little upgrades like cat-back exhaust, cone air intake, 4.0 throttle body and spacer, electric fan swap, etc., to up the horsepower and torque a little and possibly an injector swap. I'm also lightening it by removing parts I don't need like the whole AC system and rear seat.

The main problem I see is the weak AX5 trans that sounds like I'll probably have blown up by the end of the summer. The question is - what all is involved with a 2WD ax5/AX15 swap? What bell housing is needed, trans mounts, etc.? I've heard the Dakota AX15 may be a better swap - maybe because of the output spline difference? Is the AX15 longer - needing to have the driveshaft reworked?

If it's a simple matter of combining the right parts I'll probably start looking into it a little further. Also . . . maybe a dumb idea but I was thinking of swapping in a 3.55 gear limited slip axle seeing as how first and second gear are pretty worthless with the 4.10s in it now. Would that make it totally gutless even with the engine upgrades? I think maybe gearing in the 3.70 - 3.90 range would be better but I have the 3.55s sitting here.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.

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Unread 01-20-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
Caish
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The 4.0 and the 2.5L use different bell housings.
Does the AX5 and the AX16 use the same pattern bolting to the bell housing?
I can not tell you.
I can tell you my sons Comanche 4.0, 5 speed 2WD got 23 to 25mpg making the trip to KC 350 miles each way,
it can back carrying about 1000 pounds of stuff.
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Unread 01-20-2014, 09:49 PM   #3
AmcPackRat
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I've been reading around but not getting much hard info. I think the Dakotas used the ax15 with the V6 and the AMC 2.5 engine (same as Jeep). If they didn't change the bolt pattern then the ax15 from a Dakota should bolt right up. I would probably have to change the shifter and the trans crossmember, though. I haven't found anything on output shaft splines or whether I could just use the Dakota yoke and my driveshaft (U joints the same?). I haven't found any trans length specs on either trans anywhere, yet, either.

I'm thinking with the right mods I should be able to up the horsepower and torque some and possibly get 25 MPG all around and maybe 30 MPG hiway at 65 MPH. That'd be fine for me.

I've read 37 pages of the 90 page thread on "4.0 with 30" tires" so far the last couple days and it's getting pretty mind numbing so far. Only a few things in there I didn't already know, but I will try some of them. Weird thing is, the guy's doing and discussing all this stuff and ignoring a couple of the easy basics that would help.

I'm thinking I can ditch 200 pounds by losing the rear seat, seat belts, and the complete AC system. That should help with mileage a little and make it a little quicker through the gears, anyway.
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Unread 01-22-2014, 09:31 PM   #4
AmcPackRat
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OK . . . . I have only found one spot on the net so far that helps me. It's on another Jeep forum. It's a swap thread and it lists the 1996-2000 Dodge Dakota 2.5AMC engine as having the same GM style bellhousing bolt pattern as the Jeep 2.5 AMC engine. Can anybody here verify that?

Funny thing is, the same bell housing also bolts up an AX15 to an Aurora V8 or a Northstar V8. Maybe I ought to just swap one of those into my Jeep.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 07:10 PM   #5
rjbruzan
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All the info you need is in this thread.
http://www.jeeps-offroad.com/showthread.php?t=4740
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Unread 01-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
AmcPackRat
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Yeah, that's the exact same thread I already found where it says a 1996-2000 Dakota 2.5 AMC bellhousing works. It's pretty vague as far as any problems that might arise on the swap, though.

Like, why won't pre-96 bellhousings work?

Is the Dakota shifter different?

Can I swap in the AX5 shifter or do I need an AX15 shifter from another Cherokee?

Do I need the Dakota flywheel and clutch setup?

Is the output spline count different and can I just use the Dakota yoke on my driveshaft?

Are the trans lengths the same or will I have to shorten my driveshaft?

Can my trans crossmember be adapted or do I need to find a 4.0 Cherokee trans crossmember?

Is the clutch pedal hookup the same between the two bellhousings?

In other words, I'd like some info from someone who's actually done the swap rather than just "winging" it and having a disassembled Cherokee sitting here for 6 months trying to figure out how to complete the swap. I'm beginning to think maybe there's no one here that's actually done this swap, or they haven't seen the thread. Even if a guy did a swap on a 4x4 I could probably get some useful information from him.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
AmcPackRat
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Oh, I just looked a little closer at that link. The one I looked at only had the first conversion post and that was it. Lots of good info there I'll have to study up on but it'd still be great if there was someone here that'd actually done it.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
Caish
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I was looking at something else and found this thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/2...mplete-659386/
Should cover what you needed.
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