Cons to WJ knuckle/caliper upgrade? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
bruinjeeper
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Cons to WJ knuckle/caliper upgrade?

Hey all, as the title eludes...

Are there any cons i may have overlooked on my research to the WJ knuckle and caliper upgrade?

I want to do this to address my steering....and while i am in there, if i can get better braking - why not make it a double whammy?

Are the stock boosters capable of controlling the beefier dual piston calipers? Will my stock drag link work with the upper arm on the knuckle? Any cons would be beneficial as i start gathering info and parts for this

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post #2 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 06:02 AM
johnboy68
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I'm not sure of the answer but it may have already been covered.

Copy and past this into Google:

"WJ knuckle" site:jeepforum.com/forum/f12

-John-

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post #3 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 06:15 AM
paulhead
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I've read the write up and it looks like a lot of work. Whats wrong with your steering? I did the 95 booster/MC upgrade, took out the o ring out of my proportioning valve and I can pretty much lock up my 35's
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 06:42 AM
JeeperDon
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I find it odd that all I had to do to make perfect braking is add the '95 dual booster to my '93, and you already (should) have a dual booster on your Jeep. I can lock up my 35" tires going uphill with a panic stop. I'm curious to your answer to Paul's question too.
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'93 YJ, '02 GM 4.3V6, SOA, dual ARB's, 8.8+D30(WarnHubs), 4.88s, 35" BFG KM2s, AX15, NP231+4:1+SYE+2LO, York OBA, Warn M8000.
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
bruinjeeper
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Thanks for the replies... i would like better braking and actively try to (as with everything else) build towards a platform that i have set for the jeep.

I wanted to address steering because my rod ends are shot. Now, i could simply replace the rod ends. Or i could get something beefier with a means of installing it (hence the knuckle) in a proper geometric way to get a step closer to that platform i have set. If i could get that done in one fell swoop while gaining stopping power - i would.

Hence why i ask about the calipers compatability (or usability) with the stock booster/MC. I have the 4 cylinder, so i dont have the dual diaphragm or MC that came on the 4.0's. If it did come on the 4 cylinder model, it was after mine was produced. Cost saving is also (obviously) always a method for most of us.... sure i could get a teraflex knuckle and drag link/tie rod.... but at about $900CAD. I could also go JB4x4 bracket (or equivalent) but that is also costly and am not feeling the drilling and tapping of the knuckle. I am also not going anywhere near welding the cast knuckle. Neither of these options would do anything for brake-ability. Essentially as i scribe this response - the question seems to transform into 'will the dual piston calipers do anything for braking power with my single diaphragm booster'?

WJ knuckles are cheap and plentiful if i look.... this is simply a feeler thread. I dont mind the labour (of love) involved with doing this if it saves me significant dollars with upgrade gains. (Yes i have read and re-read the JCR detailed WJ knuckle and caliper swap write-up).
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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If its inefficient i would re-direct my course of action naturally and just handle the braking as a separate upgrade.

The booster seems to be the issue, so it appears it would be underpowered in any event rendering the additional piston on the caliper useless.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 08:17 AM
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On the brake side... I'm almost 100% sure the MC bolt pattern of the two booster styles is the same. I wouldn't have a concern using your present MC with the dual booster. Easiest way to get a dual booster is just buy one at the local auto parts, and return your old single as the core (they never check).

On the steering side... I just went with an upgraded tie rod with it still low, stock position (Ruff Stuff DIY, 7/8" heims). I drilled the YJ D30 knuckles for the 4/3" bolts for the heims. I've banged stuff with it, never slowed me down and haven't bent anything yet. With the SOA, I even had to mount the rod below the knuckle arms, still no damage.
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'93 YJ, '02 GM 4.3V6, SOA, dual ARB's, 8.8+D30(WarnHubs), 4.88s, 35" BFG KM2s, AX15, NP231+4:1+SYE+2LO, York OBA, Warn M8000.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 09:08 AM
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I did the WJ knuckles on my '95. It was a hell of alot of work because there is a ton of incorrect, incomplete, or inaccurate info out there. I think alot of stuff is very specific to your setup. I'm 4" lift with SUA. The steering is so much better than the factory. My only complaint is that even with the astrovan pitman arm, it doesn't reach the steering stops on both sides. It gets close, but your gonna loose a little turning radius.

-Stock booster and master cylinder worked fine for me, brakes feel excellent with the WJ stuff in the front and 8.8 diff in the back. I dont know if mine is dual diaphragm, but its 2.5L with an automatic. I never really had issues with my stock brakes, but the WJ are more powerful.

-In my case, drag link and tie rods were going in the dumpster. I bent them last time I wheeled with it, so I was upgrading at the same time. I dont believe stock would work with the WJ knuckle, but I could be wrong. I did the tie rod flip and it caused the drag link to interfere with the Tie rod with any mild flex, so I had to install a flat pitman arm from an astrovan.

-XJ wheel bearings are required. I don't know about u-joint geometry, but with stock wheel bearings it will leak gear oil from the diff.

-Stock front brake lines are way too short. Some from a C1500 worked great and were way longer than stock.

-Welding the knuckles is no big deal at all, its cast steel, not cast iron. I preheated in the oven just to be safe and after welding wrapped in a welding blanket to cool. No "tings", pops, cracks, anything bad.

-In my setup, the track bar had to go, and the bracket had to be cut off the frame. The longer, flatter pitman arm would contact it.

-Rotors from a Explorer Sport-trac are very close to being perfect and dont require you to drill, but are slightly too far offset. It required a 1/8" spacer/shim between the hub and rotor.

Been driving without issue for probably 8 months or so now.





Need more pics/more info?
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Last edited by mrit; 06-19-2017 at 09:51 AM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-19-2017, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Wow...

That was fantastic and really helpful. Thank you
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 02:14 PM
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Cons to the WJ swap? A ton of work! A ton of research! I finished up my WJ swap and have had some good seat time in it, here our my opinions.

The Good

Braking - I don't have the dual booster, and my braking is much better than the stock set up. Its not night and day difference, but better.

Steering - This was the night and day difference to me! With no sway bars and no track bar my jeep drives like a tank. I did upgrade to GM 1 ton TRE over stock

The Bad

Research - there is so much wrong info out there, I started reading about doing the swap a good year in advance. I had a notebook that I made notes in, and over that year so much stuff was crossed off and re wrote.

Parts - You will use parts from so many different makes and models that id suggest keeping a sheet with all that info for parts down the road. You will also have to alter perfectly good new parts to work.

Tools / Machines - You will need a garage full of tools, welding skills, and I often used CNC / Manual machines at my job for certain things too.

Flat out Skill - Remember that you are taking parts from multiple vehicles and trying to make them all work together. Easier said than done. If you have never worked with numbers on the other side of the decimal place (.001), than this may not be for you.

IMO, you can achieve the same thing with bolt on parts. It may cost a little more, but what is your time worth? Your jeep will be down weeks, this is not a weekend project.

@bruinjeeper I know you have scraped this ideal, I just posted here for others thinking about this.

91 YJ 4.0/AX15/231J AA SYE/ Tom Woods CV
3.5" BDS Springs / .75" Booms / 1"BL
HP D30 /Akebono's /1 Ton GM Crossover Steering
Ford 8.8 / Trac loc LSD w/ disc brakes
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 05:07 PM
Vernors
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I'm finishing up this upgrade right now, and it's been really straightforward up until the point of setting up the steering. I can't find any clear information on selecting the right tie rods (not going heim) and pitman arm.

If you aren't running your sway bar you can use the wagoneer arm as was suggested to me. I've heard good things about it, but since I'm keeping my front sway I've run into a the problem of not knowing which pitman to use.

One of the positives for me was the price, even with having to cover some welding, it's been really reasonable. Upgraded steering system and dual piston calipers with rotors that are at least 30% larger.

I've got a 2.5" lift and a 1" body lift, so am replacing the brake lines with those of the chevy 2500....Amazon had 'used ones" which were new, but previously returned...for $5 each. Super cheap.

Also installing a 95 dual diaphram booster and Marquis master cylinder. 8.8 with discs on the rear.

It's a popular combination of parts, and yes definitely from ALL TYPES of vehicles and manufactures. Frankensteined!

I'm happy with the choice to go forward, so far, but haven't yet driven it so can't give any 'final result' evaluation. Soon!!
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 05:11 PM
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The Bad

Research - there is so much wrong info out there, I started reading about doing the swap a good year in advance. I had a notebook that I made notes in, and over that year so much stuff was crossed off and re wrote.

Completely Agreed!!
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vernors View Post
If you aren't running your sway bar you can use the wagoneer arm as was suggested to me. I've heard good things about it, but since I'm keeping my front sway I've run into a the problem of not knowing which pitman to use.
I have a few issues with this post.....

1) I personally gave you a solution to your problem, but you deemed it to costly, and dismissed it.
2) You make the statement that you cannot use a waggy arm with a sway bar, WRONG. You can use a waggy pitmen arm with a currie anti-rock sway bar.

Statements like #2 is what I'm calling misinformation. Somebody will read that and think you cant run a sway bar, when in fact, you can.

Check this thread out...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/a...ar-yj-1147095/

When I get home I will look in my notes and find the part numbers I used for my TRE, and post them here....

91 YJ 4.0/AX15/231J AA SYE/ Tom Woods CV
3.5" BDS Springs / .75" Booms / 1"BL
HP D30 /Akebono's /1 Ton GM Crossover Steering
Ford 8.8 / Trac loc LSD w/ disc brakes
35x12.5x16 Nitto Trail Grapplers
Walbro255 MetalCloaks
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 10:23 AM
Vernors
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Ooops! I can see how that could be misread because what I meant, but did not clarify, was that I was using my stock sway bar which doesn't work with the waggy pitman. My bad, a good catch. Thanks.

Also, I checked out the Currie Antirock swaybar, looks like a nice set up but at nearly $500 it's just not a viable option for replacement of the stock sway....at least for me.

Thanks for digging up the TRE numbers, appreciated.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vernors View Post
Also, I checked out the Currie Antirock swaybar, looks like a nice set up but at nearly $500 it's just not a viable option for replacement of the stock sway....at least for me.
With your skillset, make one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vernors View Post
Thanks for digging up the TRE numbers, appreciated.
I had some notes on my phone in regards to what TRE I ordered.

TRE Driver ES2234R
TRE Pass ES2234L

Pitman Arm ES2234R (N)
High Steer ES2234L (N)

Next time your back in the D you owe me a beer

91 YJ 4.0/AX15/231J AA SYE/ Tom Woods CV
3.5" BDS Springs / .75" Booms / 1"BL
HP D30 /Akebono's /1 Ton GM Crossover Steering
Ford 8.8 / Trac loc LSD w/ disc brakes
35x12.5x16 Nitto Trail Grapplers
Walbro255 MetalCloaks
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