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BonBon541 05-10-2013 09:55 PM

Is it worth it to upgrade my 4.0 ZJ???
I bought a 1997 Jeep ZJ about a year ago ($4000) and I'm getting to the point of upgrade friskyness...however, I haven't convinced myself that this is the rig I want to throw a butt-load of money into. It is a 4.0L Laredo with selec-trac but I believe it has a D35 in the rear, but it does have a factory tow package (in the process of getting spec sheet). The exterior is in pretty good shape for a 15 year old thing, and I just recently broke 150,000 miles! Long story short, would decking this thing out be worth it, or should I just wait and invest in a WJ or something else in a few years...? :confused: Thanks in advance for everybody's input.

kg6mov 05-10-2013 10:10 PM

All 4.0's had the d35 from the factory. It's fine for 31's.

I wheel the **** out of my 96 with only 2.5" and 31's. I can follow locked and built tj's on bigger tires all day long. And it doesn't take much coin to get to that place.

WJ's are harder to modify with computers and a slightly different front suspension design. And the engines are not as reliable, the 4,7 V8 sucks, and they managed the f up the 4.0, which should run forever in any other vehicle they put it in.

BonBon541 05-10-2013 10:24 PM

Do you think the 4.0L has the juice to roll 33's or maybe even 35's? I have a 5.5" IRO lift in mind and I'm worried about the axles and the engine...

kg6mov 05-10-2013 10:28 PM

You may have to regear, but it's got the torque.

If you put some 4.56's in there it would roll 35's fine. If you do that though look for a d44a from a post 96 V8 and regear that instead of the d35. It will bolt up the same and be stronger, especially if you truss it in the process.

Nick05 05-10-2013 10:37 PM

1 Attachment(s)
4.0 on 33's. as you can see from clearance, at this point it does not do major off-roading, but it will squawk the tires all day long. this jeep sees a lot of mud and hills and does fine. i am sure if i was gonna play with it all the time the d35 would break, but for moderate fun, it works fine

BonBon541 05-10-2013 10:41 PM

Sorry I'm kind of a noob haha, but I'd have to do D44's front AND rear right?

kg6mov 05-10-2013 10:49 PM

The post 96 V8's came with d44a (NOT a D44, a d44a) in the rear. All zj's have a D30 in the front. You would pull the d44a out of a 96+ V8, bolt it in place of your d35, put new gears in the d44a in back and the d30 in front and be ready to roll.

BonBon541 05-10-2013 10:57 PM

I feel like that axle is going to be hard to find hahaha :drool:

kg6mov 05-10-2013 11:01 PM

Pick them up from V8 zjs in the yards around here any day. But this area has a lot of mommy wagon V8's that probably have never had their t-case shifter touched.

BonBon541 05-10-2013 11:05 PM

Would 31's look ridiculous on a 5.5" lift...? I dont have the budget for an axle swap yet...eventually I want to have a Moab rig, do you think 31's would be sufficient, because it sounds like 33's would bust the D35 in Moab lol!

kg6mov 05-10-2013 11:28 PM

Bah! Wheel it till you break it!

If you're kind to the d35 (easy on the skinny pedal) then it shouldn't be too bad. There are people who run the d35 without problems.

I'm pretty sure texas was still running a d35 behind his 5.9 on short arms, with 35's and he wandered all over moab just fine. His driver fu is slightly higher than most though.

BonBon541 05-10-2013 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by kg6mov (Post 15418591)
Bah! Wheel it till you break it!

Sounds like some good advice! :2thumbsup:

9859limited 05-11-2013 10:02 AM


Originally Posted by kg6mov (Post 15418541)
Pick them up from V8 zjs in the yards around here any day. But this area has a lot of mommy wagon V8's that probably have never had their t-case shifter touched.

Of course not all v8s came with a 249 stock and who needs fourblow

BonBon541 05-11-2013 05:17 PM

For now I'm just gonna baby the you guys have any advice about what would be like the minimum requirements to wheel in Moab? Minimum tire size, lift, etc.

framanda 05-11-2013 06:19 PM

I have ran a d35 on 33s for a year now and I try to get out at least once a month and wheel if you run it open and drive accordingly it will be fine. You don't have to drive like an 80 yr old lady but don't drive like some lunatic either.
And I believe Texas had a super 35 behind that 5.9.

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