Yeah, your right in that in between spot. found this "From 96-down the chrysler 8.25 will be 27 splined axles, from 96.5-up they are 29 splined axles. The 96's will be hit or miss on the spline count and the only way to verify is to pull an axle and count."
no 8.25 has ABS. ABS only came on the D35's.
Look and see when your jeep was built to see the spline count. A late built 96 will have a 29 spline. You could also look at the yoke. The 27 spline has a collar around the base of it. Its like this:
27 spline is on the left and and 29 on right.
But this isn't always correct since it is a model change. Only true way to get the count is too pull the yoke out and count the splines.
[SIZE="4"][U][B]1997 XJ Sport[/B][/U][/SIZE]
[SIZE="3"]6.5" with 31's[/SIZE]
[SIZE="3"]Built to CRAWL[/SIZE]