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97 Red TJ Jeep Registry
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97 Red TJ

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Jeep Information


Model:Wrangler TJ Sport



Transfer Case:NP231

Front Axle:Dana 30 (plan to go to HP30 to match my rear gears)

Rear Axle:Busted dana 35, installing Ford 8.8 within the next month

Axle Gear Ratio:3.07 on 33s

Suspension:RE 4.5 SuperFlex short-arm kit

Tires:33x10.50x15 BFG AT's

Wheels:Stock (?) alloys, black rattle canned.

Armor:None to speak of, moving it's way up the to do list. Smittybilt tube steps, don't count as armor.

Recovery Gear:On the to-do list.

Accessories:Rugged Ridge SYE and custom Adams rear Driveshaft

Future Modifications:8.8, hp30, bumper, winch, rocker armor before summer 2012. Followed by Long-arms, tummy tuck, cage, and hopefully a narrowed HP44 and some 37s with new wheels.

Started building when I bought the Jeep summer of 2011, with 58,000 miles on it. Started with a used RE lift kit, which immediately led to the SYE and driveshaft. December 2011 bombed the spider gears in the Dana 35, and can't bring myself to spend money fixing a weak axle so I can go out and break it again, which has led to my current project, the ford explorer 8.8 axle swap. Bought the truss/bracket kit for an 8.8 axle on a TJ from Artec Industries, going to start my search for my 8.8 this week, looking for Posi, disc brakes, and 3.54 gears. I know 3.54 would be considered by many to be insufficient for 33s, but I daily drove with 3.07s and 33s in the mountains of Tahoe for six months without *****ing, so this will still be an upgrade to me gear-wise. Found a XJ hp30 with 3.54 gears for $75, so that will be my bolt-in gear upgrade for the front. Plan to get armor and a winch next so I can hit the Rubicon as soon as the snow melts this summer for my first time. After I've done the con on 33s once or twice I hope to go to a narrowed HP44 with 5.13 gears a friend is selling, with chromos, an eaton e-locker, chromo high steer with hydro assist. I'll need new wheels, and a super 88 kit to move my rear bolt pattern to 5 on 5.5 to match the front pattern, and get the axles to within an inch width-wise (the HP44 is 62.5, and 8.8 is 59.625, superior 88 kit will bring it to about 51.625). While I'm inside the rear axle I hope to add an ARB and 5.13 gears. Then I'll get my 37s, finish buying armor and cage, and call it built. Final goal for this TJ is long-arms and 37s, no coilovers or stretch, as I bought a TJ to get the coil system. Once I finish out my engineering degree and get to engineer full time instead of part time (as I'm doing now to get through school), I'll probably buy a YJ, and go more intense, up to the 40-44" tire range with full width one tons and stretched WB with coilovers. I still plan to keep the TJ though, right now it's got a about 64,000 original miles on the clock and will be a great drive for many years to come.


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Registered User
View icemansid's Jeep
01-15-2012, 12:26 PM
I have some disk parts from an 8.8 I'd sell ya

Registered User
View kpalm7's Jeep
01-15-2012, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the offer, but today was half off day at pick-n-pull in town, and the place was littered with explorers. Found mine off a '97 that's 100% complete, disc to disc, with 3.73's and limited slip. All I could find were 3.73s, which kinda sucks because I wanted to buy a front axle to match the rear instead of regearing, and I couldn't find any XJ's, so no high pinion 30 for me. Picked up a regular d30 off a ZJ with 3.73s, which will bolt in besides its pinion flange instead of a pinion yoke. I'll grab the yoke off my current D30. So I paid $160 for the front axle, and the only upgrade about it is the heavy duty steering and correct gears, but still cheaper than a gear kit for my current axle, and gives me some interchangeable parts to use as trail spares. The ZJ d30s have CV joints instead of U-joints, but I'm going to leave it as-is until I have issues, and then I'll pop in my old stock TJ ones.

For the rear 8.8 with LS I paid $101, including the 1310 flange adapter off an aerostar and a parking brake off of ZJ with discs. Add the $300 I paid for my truss kit, and a budget of say $100 or so for a new u-joint for the rear, welding rods, grinding discs, paint, brake fluid, and gear oil; total I'll be in about $660 for a trussed, 31 spline rear axle with disc brakes and a limited slip, plus upgrading gear ratios both front and rear and getting some spare front end parts, labor not included lol. I know plenty of people who've spent more than that regearing a single axle with labor. Pretty good bang for my buck if I do say so myself. Pretty long day though, I definitely don't recommend loading a 8.8 into the back of a subaru without an extra hand.

Registered User
View icemansid's Jeep
01-15-2012, 11:07 PM
No kidding... 225 for my 8.8 and 80 for brake assemblies. Another 300 in diff cover, longer studs, wheel spacers, fluid and brake rebuild kits.... Truss is coming with the next paycheck...

Registered User
View kpalm7's Jeep
01-16-2012, 07:11 PM
You'll have better width, brakes and a better cover than I do, but I definitely got a steal on the axle due to half price day. Although I guess the core wasn't half off, so it probably would of only been 180 or so at my pick n pull (sparks, nv) on a regular day, disc to disc. I'm not going to rebuild the brakes just yet, I can tell they were worked on recently as the pads still have over 1/4" left, way more than all the others I looked at. This summer I'll do the Superior 8.8 axle shaft kit which will eliminate the c-clips and give me another inch on each side, til then I'm gonna hope by 33x10.50s don't rub. Since you have to pull the shafts to replace the e-brake pads on a 8.8, I'll do all of the brakes then when I do the shafts, probably Black Magic pads. The discs will be an upgrade from my drums anyways. I need to move a Diff cover higher on my list, I've heard the stock 8.8 covers are pretty weak.

If you go with Artec for the truss, make sure you use the "jeepforum" coupon code to get the 10% off.

Registered User
View icemansid's Jeep
01-17-2012, 12:07 AM
Jegs for a diff cover. They have the ones that bolt down. You may want to check on the c-clip eliminators. I was told that they don't make them for "truck" axles. I'm running 31's right now with rims that space out the wheels already so I'm not too concerned about rubbing. Thanks for the info on the coupon.

Registered User
View kpalm7's Jeep
01-17-2012, 09:14 AM
It looks like quite a few of the ones on Jeg's are aluminum, and if I'm spending the money I want some good ol' steel. Remember 8.8s are common on mustangs, so lots of the Diff covers made for them have racing in mind, not off-roading. It's far from a "scientific test", but JP magazine did a literal "shootout" on a bunch of diff covers to compare how bulletproof they are haha. See

That test is making me think of going with a Great Lakes Offroad cover, which range from 115-160 depending on how ridiculously thick you want it. I'll probably just go with the 1/2" center strip plate as shown in the test above.

Superior Axle and Gear makes the "super 88" kit, though it doesn't increase spline count as most "super" kits do, since we already have 31 spline. It does, however, give you 2" extra width total and eliminate the c-clips, along with some heavy duty axles. It also gives you the option to run 5x4.5 or 5x5.5 bolt patterns, which might be nice to move up to 5x5.5 when I really upgrade the front. It's only $550 at

Registered User
View oklatj's Jeep
01-19-2012, 04:20 PM
Steel is better I think

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