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Unread 11-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
skain8
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Wj 231HD build

Quick and dirty parts list to build a junkyard 231HD. I've seen a bit of conflicting information on this and other forums, so I will share what I have learned in piecing mine together. First off, there is no "231HD" case from any Jeep or Dodge vehicle that is simply plug and play. There may be other varyiations to this, but below is what I know will work for your WJ. You can either piece it together yourself, or buy a pre-made, brand new case from JB conversions that includes the items listed below:

1. 231D out of a '98 - '01 Dodge 1500 pickup. This will include the 1.25" wide chain (231J's (jeep models) are 1"). This case will also include the updated and stronger aluminum shift forks. Prices vary anywhere from $150+ depending on your region. Check www.car-parts.com.

2. Source a 6 pinion planetary from a late 90's model dodge transfer case (i.e. 241D, 241DHD). Late model is critical so the gear cut will match. The 231D (and 231J's) includes a 3 pinion planetary that is rated at 600 ft/lbs torque. The 6 pinion is rated at 1,400 ft/lbs torque. I found several used on eBay varying in price from $75+. JB conversions can get you a new one for $200. I opted for used.

3. HD Slip yoke eliminator. JB conversions or Advance Adapters is your best bet here. The 231J/D SYE is the same. Includes a 32 spline output shaft, which nets you an increase of 54% torque capacity over stock output shaft. Can go super shorty or regular. For long wheelbase WJ's, there really is no reason to go super shorty. Regular SYE will run you $200. I opted for JB due to a couple of minor advantages that I perceived over AA. Both are very good, however.

4. Swap your input shaft over from your 242/247 and it will match perfectly to your trans.

5. Miscellanous:

a) No 231 bezel swaps over so you'll need to either do nothing or ghetto-fab some labels. The 231HD shift pattern is opposite from that of a 231J, as follows: 4L - N - 2 - 4PT.

b) You may have to modify the linkage arm, depending on your donor case -- there are a few good threads on this. Note: you do NOT have to modify the linkage if you swap the linkage from your 242. A 231J or 247 linkage will not work. See pic of 242 linkage arm, which is direct swap.

c) You will also need a 1 1/4" freeze plug to plug the speedo port, which is a few dollars at any local parts store (speedo port is nice b/c if you consider an axle swap down the road, you can always run speedo off the transfer case and not the axles). Advance Adapters offers a billett plug with the 231j style horeshoe retainer. I opted for this over the freeze plug, which apparently AA was seeing some issues leakage-wise. See pic of billet plug/retainer.

d) Some 231d's use a vacuum switch for the dash indicator light. The 242 switch is a direct swap, but the detent is longer so the dash light is not accurate. Either leave it alone (I think you should know whether or not you're in 4wd or not , or you can buy a 231J 4wd switch and swap it in by splicing the wire to the new plug. Threads are all the same.

e) Alternatively, you may be able to swap in a Dodge 241 (basically a 231HD) which has 6 pinion planetary, the wide chain, etc.., but the 241 SYE kits are much more pricey. Plus, I am not 100% sure if the input shafts are a direct swap.

Total should run you about $500 in parts. JB's 231HD is $1,275.

Hope that helps.

242 linkage (w/4wd switch in background) + speedo housing plug pics:

231-linkage.jpg   231-speedo-housing.jpg  
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'02 WJ: 4.7L, 5", HP44/9", 231HD, tall & skinny KM2's
'99 XJ: stock
'99 XJ: stolen
'06 XK: sold
231HD build guide
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Unread 11-21-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
YZ212
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Excellent, thanks!
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Unread 11-21-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
jusjammmin
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always great info from this man
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Unread 11-21-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
Trevino
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Good info, thanks man. By any chance do you know the cut off years for 231 cases that are compatible. A buddy is offering me his old 231j out of his 92 yj for free. Not sure if it will swap in though...
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Unread 11-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
patrick983
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nice to see someone do this. just curious why you didnt just start with a 241d or was it an availability issue? i know they are pricier but have the gearset and chain already.
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Unread 11-21-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
smunns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevino View Post
Good info, thanks man. By any chance do you know the cut off years for 231 cases that are compatible. A buddy is offering me his old 231j out of his 92 yj for free. Not sure if it will swap in though...
I think you need like a '95+ NP231 with the later gear cut to swap input shafts.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 01:23 AM   #7
Volcom02Wj
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Great info! I think I am going this route over the 242.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 05:01 AM   #8
98318242
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Sweet so you have this setup in and running now? Any pics of the assembly?
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Unread 11-23-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
sandfreestyle
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I went this route as well and I am very happy. Mine was a little more then the $500 quoted above but I also did a little more to it (rebuild kit, spare 247 input shaft, SS SYE kit). When I did the build the cost came out to about $800 for just the TC and no drive shafts. Totally worth it IMO.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
WJflexLJDreams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevino View Post
Good info, thanks man. By any chance do you know the cut off years for 231 cases that are compatible. A buddy is offering me his old 231j out of his 92 yj for free. Not sure if it will swap in though...
You'll need a '97 or newer 231J. I've looked into the older models, they won't work.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
Trevino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smunns View Post
I think you need like a '95+ NP231 with the later gear cut to swap input shafts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WJflexLJDreams View Post
You'll need a '97 or newer 231J. I've looked into the older models, they won't work.
Well I guess the 231 I had in mind is a no go then of well. Probably just going to stick to the 247 for a while longer then
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Unread 11-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
WJflexLJDreams
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You and I both brotha! I had an opportunity at a similar 231 and it didn't match up. 247 it is.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #13
skain8
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Unless you're have an opportunity to get a 231j for practically nothing, it makes much more sense to source a 231d.
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'02 WJ: 4.7L, 5", HP44/9", 231HD, tall & skinny KM2's
'99 XJ: stock
'99 XJ: stolen
'06 XK: sold
231HD build guide
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:13 PM   #14
rockcrawlernut
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Very good a lot of great info. Thanks! The price difference is a lot but is it worth the extra money up front for a bolt in unit??
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Unread 01-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #15
skain8
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Updated for content/pics re: 242 linkage & speedo housing.
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'02 WJ: 4.7L, 5", HP44/9", 231HD, tall & skinny KM2's
'99 XJ: stock
'99 XJ: stolen
'06 XK: sold
231HD build guide
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