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Unread 08-12-2015, 07:26 AM   #1
89LaredoYJ
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First post here = axle question

First and foremost, I have to thank this forum as I've been lurking as an "outsider" for a couple months and have used some articles in here to get my dash working again and an LED light swap behind the dash as well.

Yes, I've used the search button, but after quite a while I hadn't found an answer to my specific question, so I thought I might as well introduce myself and get one post on the board.

I have an 89 YJ Laredo with 4.2L, AT. We bought the Jeep as a "fun" vehicle for taking the kids to get ice cream on the weekends, something for the wife and I to take on a date night, etc. but it's turned into more of a daily driver than we had planned cuz it's so much fun! As much as some of you may cringe, I really don't plan on a lot of off-roading with this thing. I would eventually like to put a 2.5" lift and some bigger tires and that's probably where the mods will end (famous last words, huh?). The most off-road it would see might be some gravel mountain roads and a few stints into not-so-difficult trails. I'm too poor to afford to fix stuff every other weekend!

From the beginning, I had a whine in the rear axle. Yes, I know, I probably should've torn into it then and there, but I did not, because as I mentioned, it wasn't going to be driven much. I'm completely new to Jeeps, so I didn't get a sense of urgency about replacing it. 2 weeks ago, we took another couple for a cruise with the top off and after a bump in the road, something under there started to make a different noise, louder. We put it up on jacks, and came to the conclusion that it was something in the transfer case. My brother in law works near a 4X4 shop, so he was going to drop it off on the way to his job yesterday and he knows a guy that was going to drive it, diagnose the issue and then he and I were going to try to do the work ourselves as we're both somewhat mechanically inclined (he, moreso than I). Well, the aforementioned rear end "whine" went nuclear and the thing blew apart to the point where we think a bearing roller blew a hole through the diff cover and there were pinion gear teeth all over the place. So, my first priority is the rear axle, and I think I'm finally getting to my question.

What other model of YJ years will have a rear axle that I can simply swap into place with my 89? I had read a while back when I first got my Jeep that the 89 Laredo came with AT, 3.55 and LS, but we don't think it's a LS. When I took the diff cover off, I put that little metal strip down with all the other bolts and didn't look at it, so I need to check that for sure. We literally just got the diff cover off last night, took a few pics and called it a night and I was going to try to find a replacement axle today, which is why I'm on here asking. A local yard has a rear from a 1994 2.5, AT, 4X4. Will that be a direct replacement to mine?

What's a reasonable price to pay for the replacement? I had kicked around that this was a good time for the 8.8 swap, but main priority is a mix between simplicity and cost and I think a junkyard 1 for 1 swap would fit that best. I can always do the 8.8 down the road.

And what's one more question in this long ramble, right? My transfer case says "NP231AMC". I found a NP231J from a 99TJ for sale on CL and the guy will do $35. Will the NP231J from the 99 just be a direct swap for my NP231AMC on my 89?

Sorry for the ramble, but I appreciate your time and responses.

NOT SURE HOW THIS GOT IN THE TJ FORUM, Can someone please move to YJ?

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Last edited by 89LaredoYJ; 08-12-2015 at 07:49 AM..
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Unread 08-12-2015, 08:15 AM   #2
Jeepsr4me
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any rear YJ axle will bolt right up... 87-95... Gearing must be the same or changed.

yes that other case will work... But need to know the spline count on the input gear.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
Randonexplosion
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I think you are going to have a hard time finding a YJ dana 35 geared in 3.55, they aren't all that common. Any year YJ will work with some slight differences such as the yoke using a 1330 U-joint in later years vs your 1310, but a conversion u-joint can solve that easily. Can you or your brother weld? It would be a pain but worst case scenario, find an XJ dana 35 (very commonly geared to 3.55) and move the spring perches and shock mounts, but by the end of that process you could have done most of an 8.8.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
89LaredoYJ
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Thanks for the feedback...and I love Hell on Wheels!

The 3.55 isn't a must-have. I'm a pretty go-with-the-flow type of person, so if I gotta do 3.73s or even a bit higher, it won't crush my spirit Main concern is getting back on the road, being cost effective and having a decent feeling of reliability and not necessarily in any particular order.

Any idea on what's a reasonable price on the pick-n-pull axle, or does it depend on what it turns out to be?
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Unread 08-12-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
gotswap
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not sure how close this is to you but it is a perfect match, with maybe the exception of the yoke size, for $200. 3.55 and all

http://allentown.craigslist.org/pts/5082700940.html
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Unread 08-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
89LaredoYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotswap View Post
not sure how close this is to you but it is a perfect match, with maybe the exception of the yoke size, for $200. 3.55 and all

http://allentown.craigslist.org/pts/5082700940.html
Dang, that's awesome! Thanks!!! It's maybe 2 hours away, but I need a t-case as well, so that might be worth the trip!
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Unread 08-12-2015, 10:53 AM   #7
Randonexplosion
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There you go! Craigslist is your friend. I'd see if you can get it for cheaper, I took my 3.07 dana 35 to the scrapyard because I couldn't give it away. Remember: your gear ratios have to match front and rear to use 4wd.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 12:40 PM   #8
jeepster93
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$200 for a 3.55 Dana 35, wow.
It would be scrap around here too.
I had one with 4.11's and a locker and only got $150, and was kinda glad to get it.

I suppose need is need, though.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 12:47 PM   #9
89LaredoYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
There you go! Craigslist is your friend. I'd see if you can get it for cheaper, I took my 3.07 dana 35 to the scrapyard because I couldn't give it away. Remember: your gear ratios have to match front and rear to use 4wd.
This makes sense after the fact, but I honestly never thought about it. Guess I need to see what I got up front, or at least what that little tab says on the rear and get the same. I followed up on a few leads, including the one from CL. Thanks again guys!
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Unread 08-12-2015, 01:03 PM   #10
gotswap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster93 View Post
$200 for a 3.55 Dana 35, wow.
It would be scrap around here too.
I had one with 4.11's and a locker and only got $150, and was kinda glad to get it.

I suppose need is need, though.
I am down in the Springs and they are anywhere from $50 to $300 at FN Jeep. Hard to beat a direct bolt in though.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 03:45 PM   #11
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Keep in mind the later tcase will be setup for electronic speedo.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 06:27 PM   #12
TSEJEEPERS
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Why do you think your tranfercase is bad?
It could have been the rear end the whole time.
I would pull the transfercase out, take it apart and see what is wrong. They are really not that bad to rebuild.
It could be just the chain.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 09:08 PM   #13
89LaredoYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSEJEEPERS View Post
Why do you think your tranfercase is bad?.
My neighbor that I mentioned in the original post said the same thing. He's a mechanic and had something like that happen. He swore he had a problem up front by the noise he heard, but it ended up being in the rear, so we're going to replace what we KNOW is messed up (the rear), put things back together and see if the sound still seems like it's coming from the t-case .

I got a lead on a replacement axle. It turns out, after counting teeth and checking stamped numbers in the ring gears, I actually have 3.07s.

Also, I counted splines on the end where the driveshaft goes into the t-case and its 26 spline. I think I've seen that somewhere, but most people say "it'll be 21 or 23 spline" when talking about t-cases. No one mentions 26 spline. The t-case does say np231 amc.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 09:52 PM   #14
Jeepsr4me
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the input shaft splines you can not count till you pull the case...
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Unread 08-12-2015, 11:19 PM   #15
rustisexpected
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Check out Harry's U-Pull-It ( wegotused.com ) I know for sure the Hazleton location has 5 YJ's atm, and more 8.8's than you can count. Check out the price sheet while you are on their site, I paid $60 per axle to get a 4:10 8.8 and a 4 cyl dana 30. Worst case scenario you buy a dana 35 with the wrong gears to match your front and pull the correct set out of an XJ. But trust me its worth a look, the yard is over a mile long and almost as wide. Plenty of full size trucks too if you want to go all crazy and do full width.
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