So my girlfriends 2002 WJ is approaching 100k miles and the suspension was sagging, shocks needed replaced, the factory Jeep aluminim wheels started to leak air, and the NP242 t-case wasn't very reliable this past winter. Sure we could have just replaced the components with more boring factory stuff but what's the fun in that?
So we began collecting parts and finally after all the collecting the build began. (click on pics to enlarge)
sorry for the crappy crackberry pics
The parts list includes:
4.5" RockKrawler X-Factor Plus long arm kit
ProComp MX-6 adjustable shocks
JKS bar pin eliminators
ProComp 8089 17x9 wheels
ProComp Xtreme M/T tires--33x12.50x17
NP231 t-case swap with Rugged Ridge Mega short shaft SYE kit
JE Reel double cardan driveshafts front and rear
custom exhaust to fit with the triangulated 4 link rear suspension
G2 4.56 gears front and rear and a Detroit TrueTrac in the rear
G2 diff covers
while I'm at it I'm changing the trans filter/fluid
Before: (sitting next to my Ram with 4" of lift on 35's)
The rear half of the lift kit went on very easily. The rear axle truss required some welding and I had to bend the rear brake lines a bit to fit into the notches on the truss. RockKrawler designed the kit to have the control arm mounts bolted on but I didn't feel like drilling that much so I welded the control arm mounts on instead. The front half of the lift kit wasn't too bad. I broke a couple of the shock bolts holding the bar pins on and broke the lower track bar mounting bolt off. I used JKS bar pin eliminators for the shocks (they come with all necessary hardware) and had to pound the welded nut off of the track bar mount at the axle with the trusty BFH and a punch. This allowed me to drill out the track bar mount and use the supplied 14mm bolt at the axle mount. I did run into an issue that RockKrawler didn't mention in their instructions when the track bar hit the spring bucket and still had to come up 8" to meet the frame mount. I marked the spring bucket and ground it out so the track bar would clear. (pictured below) I now have plenty of room for the track bar to travel to acheive maximum articulation.
Rear axle truss:
Control arm mounts:
Spring bucket ground out:
The NP231 t-case I used was out of a 97 XJ and was a direct swap into the WJ. The input gear and bolt up was exactly the same as the WJ's 242. I used the shifter bracket off of the 242 on the 231 and hooked up the WJ's stock cable shifter. Obviously the markings on the bezel inside aren't correct anymore because I no longer have 4WD Part time but I'm going to make a new bezel or repaint the one that is in there already.
(pics of the t-case to come)