I have a somewhat rare 1994 ZJ Laredo I am making a bit of a project out of...
Its stock configuration was as follows:
D30 low pinion, D35 3.55 gears open diff, np231, 4.0l and a factory installed AX-15!
I have done the following:
ARB Bull Bar/winch type
New Class 1 jasper 4.0, Borla header, Hi flow cat, small turbo muffler, custom bent SS Exhaust
Rebuilt Jasper AX-15
Rebuilt the np231 and installed SYE
New custom Driveshafts
New Clutch master/slave assy, New OEM clutch and cover, New flywheel, New bell housing, lever, tob etc. New Pilot Bearing
New trans mount and engine mounts
New brakes in the rear (Drum type) Wheel cyls and all the bits, new brake lines, extended brake lines everywhere
Rough country 4" Long arm kit
Now on to what's in the queue:
I've ordered 4.88 gears an overhaul kit and Detroit Truetrac for the rear, my thought process being that I'll and get a set of used 33" or 34" A/T',s drive it around on pavement/highway in 2wd for a little bit to make sure this is the ratio I want to run and work out the bugs. If I like it do the same to the front.
I know this size tire will wear out/beat on and break my stock axles! I anticipate this and don't really know what direction to go in on that just yet but for now I need this jeep on the road! It's not a DD but for one reason or another, all the work I listed has taken the better part of 2 years to complete and the vehicle was parked for all that time! I refuse to have the thing sitting on jack stands any longer. In fact I’ve been driving it every day to work, I love driving it! That doesn’t mean I won’t take the time or $$$ to do things right but I love driving this Jeep, Jeepers see the stick shifter in the console and go holy ****! Conversations ensue and it's just an all-around fun Jeep
On to where I am headed with this
My questions are the steering is obviously going to prove inadequate, I see a lot of back and forth on this forum about various upgrades, the ORO U-Turn kit, Currie Kit, WJ swap... Some people swap Durango steering boxes in. I am not sure what direction to go in but I want to order 1.5" pucks for the top of the coils and get a little extra lift and I will prolly leave lift height at that.
What makes sense for a steering setup? Drop pitman arm, tougher steering box? Brace? Linkage? Knuckles? I want it to be a really capable Jeep, but it needs to be reliable and most of all highway speed safe. My goal is not to build a beater rock crawler, to me this Jeep is too rare and means too much to me to trash it… I plan on wheeling it and have already tried it out on the trail with the lift in, it did very well! But I’m not one to flog the piss out of her. Also will the extra inch and a half really throw this whole thing into disarray?
I think the front trackbar with its new drop bracket is adjustable enough to compensate for the extra lift, the rear is stock with drop bracket so there may be issues there.
Also I prolly need bigger front brakes right!?