I have been looking into the wj knuckle and brake swap, because I really like the idea with the beefier brakes. But then it hit me I have a 1992 4.0 limited with abs, and due to the law I can not remove it, and I don't want to either. I have a 4.5" lift that I want to install later, but I still need a few things. Furthermore, I will never run larger tires then 31" maybe 33". So will I get any benefits from the wj brakes (and with time direct cross over steering) at all.
My Jeep is my hobby and I really enjoy to built and modify it to get the best.
Others may disagree but I don't think the disc brake swap is worth it - especially if you would be facing legal issues. In my opinion, rear drums with ABS is better than discs without ABS, especially in a vehicle as light in the back as a Cherokee. I think trying to swap and set up the ABS would involve a lot of trial and error to get the proportioning valving dialed in...and I'd hate to see you have an accident during that process.
For what its worth, I've carried and towed some heavy weights with the drum brakes and haven't had any problems stopping (and i don't have the ABS system). Biggest issue is that the drum brake self adjusters are FAR from perfect - I usually adjust myself every so often (especially before hitching up a trailer). That's just the nature of drum brakes. Discs are better but after dealing with drum brakes on my various cars for ~35 years, I've gotten used to it.
The wj swap, is not about the rear drums, but the front discs. Where you use the dual piston caliper from the wj together with the knuckles and larger discs. I dont want to touch the rear drums because of the abs.
Ok - I didn't understand the "knuckle" and "steering" references in your original post. Sorry.
I'm not familiar with the WJ front brake swap so I'll be watching this thread and hopefully learning something.
I had the same oegal issue wirh the need to keep the ABS brakes on my ZJ when I did the WJ brake & knuckle swap. It is fairly easy actually; I cut a custom 1/4" thick spacer plate for the caliper brackets, of which I used to mount the ABS wheel speed sensors to. Also required is to drill an 18mm hole to the knuckle for the sensor, and a bit of dremeling on the sensors. IRC I've got some pictures of this on my ZJ build thread. ABS has been working perfectly ever since
Worth it? Definitely. You'll love the added stopping power and much better steering