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Unread 05-18-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
99Greenmachine
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WJ brake knuckle conversion on 99 XJ poss.

So I am thinking about not lifting this summer and instead focus more on safety/features of the XJ instead. One of them that I have been brainstorming is improving the D30. I posted a while back about whether a D30 was worth sinking money into and most people agreed it was. Well as a result, I am thinking about doing the '03 WJ Knuckle/Brake Swap on greenmachine.

Here is what I have had bookmarked for like a year:

XJ Cherokee Conversion to WJ Front Brakes & Steering


I really like this idea a lot. According to car-part, the front axle assy is pretty common around here and can be had for as little as $300. There are a lot of '99 and '00 around but if I want an '03+ caliper set, there's an '04 for $450 at the beach for sale. I guess I would also need the master and the booster along with the prop valve off a WJ too.



I wanted to ask around and see if there were many folks who had done this to 97+ XJs and what yalls opinion is on this matter. Maybe I should save my money and put it towards something else. I do want to say that I will prob have to do a rotor pad change soon within the next year regardless....figured I might as well upgrade, right?

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Unread 05-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
justanotherjpr
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It seems well reported, but I am not sure where you could source the bearing spacer you would need, besides having a local machine shop cut it out. You should not need the the booster or prop valve from the WJ.

Personally, I am pretty satisfied with my stock front brakes and rear disc conversion. I think you'd be pretty happy if you did the WJ conversion on the front, just make sure you get something to improve braking out back too - you don't want it all in the front.
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Unread 05-18-2010, 10:53 PM   #3
1990JEEPXJ
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JKS sells the necessary hub spacer just for this swap

heres the simplest write up

XJ Buildup III - Page 9 - NAXJA Forums -::- North American XJ Association
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Unread 05-19-2010, 03:37 AM   #4
Timo_90xj
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I'm just doing this swap to my 1990 XJ.. the only "special" thing you really need is the spacer and also re-doing your steering.

While doing the conversion, I'd strongly suggest to consider running OTK cross-over steering. You can also do "y-link" OTK steering like many do (using ie. 1-ton GM TREs, can't remember the part numbers now though). Parts are easily available. What you need to do in that case is either invest in a correct-sized reamer and carefully do the job yourself, or take the knuckles to a machine shop. It is a good idea anyways for a shop to do it, since welding the spacers to the cast knuckles isn't what everyone can do.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
99Greenmachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherjpr View Post
It seems well reported, but I am not sure where you could source the bearing spacer you would need, besides having a local machine shop cut it out. You should not need the the booster or prop valve from the WJ.

Personally, I am pretty satisfied with my stock front brakes and rear disc conversion. I think you'd be pretty happy if you did the WJ conversion on the front, just make sure you get something to improve braking out back too - you don't want it all in the front.
i'm still planning on swapping in a disc'd D44 this summer. I still need to get in touch with my friend and go over and pull his D35 brakes. I will try to get on top of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990JEEPXJ View Post
JKS sells the necessary hub spacer just for this swap

heres the simplest write up

XJ Buildup III - Page 9 - NAXJA Forums -::- North American XJ Association
Thanks for the info and link, it is looking more and more doable as I think about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
I'm just doing this swap to my 1990 XJ.. the only "special" thing you really need is the spacer and also re-doing your steering.

While doing the conversion, I'd strongly suggest to consider running OTK cross-over steering. You can also do "y-link" OTK steering like many do (using ie. 1-ton GM TREs, can't remember the part numbers now though). Parts are easily available. What you need to do in that case is either invest in a correct-sized reamer and carefully do the job yourself, or take the knuckles to a machine shop. It is a good idea anyways for a shop to do it, since welding the spacers to the cast knuckles isn't what everyone can do.
I would definitely try to run some different steering on this set-up most likely OTK. It seems that is the standard swap protocol anyways.


Thanks guys. I think what I'm going to do is look for a cheap-o '99-'00 WJ Front axle and just buy new '03+ calipers. I need to replace the BJs anyway so it makes since to upgrade to new hardware while I'm at it.

Gettin me excited!
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
robojeep
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I've been thinking of doing this too!

for 96+ xjs, don't you already have a dual diaphram booster, and isn't it the same that is in the WJ? I seem to remember reading that, you might save some coin there if you don't need to swap it.

One other thing I've been thinking about: is all of the spacing issues a result of trying to maintain a 5x4.5 bolt pattern? I wonder: if you're getting nearly a whole axle assembly, could you just use everything (knuckles, hubs, rotors, etc) and switch to a 5x5.5 pattern? I haven't read enough to determine if the spacing problem is only because of the XJ/TJ hubs being used and if the WJ hubs fix that, just purely a guess.

obviously you'd no longer match the back, but if you're swapping the rear as well... or another way to look at it, it might be cheaper to get two different sets of tires
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
1990JEEPXJ
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the spacing is so that the knuckle rotates properly with the u-joints in the axle. it realigns them to prevent binding. so they are necessary.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
robojeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990JEEPXJ View Post
the spacing is so that the knuckle rotates properly with the u-joints in the axle. it realigns them to prevent binding. so they are necessary.
right, but will the WJ hubs correct the spacing also?

I suppose I could just look up the numbers, but I need to head to work
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Unread 05-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #9
justanotherjpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robojeep View Post
right, but will the WJ hubs correct the spacing also?

I suppose I could just look up the numbers, but I need to head to work
WJ hubs are the wrong bolt pattern - don't know if they'd provide the right spacing or not.
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Unread 05-19-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
robojeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherjpr View Post
WJ hubs are the wrong bolt pattern - don't know if they'd provide the right spacing or not.
yeah, but what if you don't care about bolt pattern?

did a quick search, found this: Jeeps "R" Us - Have you climbed a rock today?

looks like he just used all WJ parts (no spacers) and then had the hubs+rotors drilled+studded to get 5x4.5 pattern. Assuming he's right in his measurements (and some spec checking would tell you) then it looks like this swap is really easy if you don't need 5x4.5, just use everything from the knuckle out from a WJ
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Unread 06-03-2010, 07:11 PM   #11
escapeartist
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So, have you looked into this anymore? If so do you, or anyone else know will a 15X8 wheel clear this, or does this mod require a larger diameter wheel?
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Unread 06-03-2010, 07:14 PM   #12
robojeep
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Stock XJ rims will not fit, there are some 15x8 rims that will. It sounds like though you'll need to shave some of the caliper. Some let the caliper "self clearance" from the wheel, so it sounds like it's not a super tight fit.

I have no personal experience with this though, just stuff I've gleamed while web wheelin'
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Unread 06-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #13
99Greenmachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapeartist View Post
So, have you looked into this anymore? If so do you, or anyone else know will a 15X8 wheel clear this, or does this mod require a larger diameter wheel?
Well I know that the guy in the link in the first post was running canyons IIRC so I think that a 15x8 wheel would clear it. FWIW, I plan on running my Soft 8's with the new set-up although I would prob be better off running 16s.

FWIW I put this on hold till I get my AC fixed.
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Unread 06-03-2010, 10:06 PM   #14
RockRodHooligan
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Something to look at when it comes time to do your steering:
Full Steering Kits

Just sharing
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Unread 06-03-2010, 10:09 PM   #15
99Greenmachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod_hooligan View Post
Something to look at when it comes time to do your steering:
Full Steering Kits

Just sharing
That's a household name for true jeepers...no need to mention on my thread haha...If I can afford them, I'd do it. we'll see
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