99 WJ 2WD-to-4WD and lift - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-15-2017, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
rarmstrong0125
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
 
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99 WJ 2WD-to-4WD and lift

I have a question for those of you that like to do your own lifts. In Oct '98 I bought a brand new '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ) 2-wheel drive. It has sentimental value to me because the kids grew up in it, then after 12 years I gave it to my son who's been driving it since and has about 290k miles on it. Still in good shape. My son has now bought a new car and asked me if I wanted to lift the old Jeep. I lifted my old '94 XJ so know what's involved, but it was already a 4WD vehicle. Can anyone shed some light on what I'd be getting in to, to convert this 2WD to a 4WD and put a 4-6" lift on her? I have to decide how much "sentiment" I can afford. I know it's a wide open question so here are some criteria.
- I would do all the work myself in my garage with standard tools (that is how I did my 94 XJ)
- I'm concerned about the level of work/complexity with the conversion to 4WD more than I am for lifting it.
- I'd like to do a fairly inexpensive 4"-6" lift and will use salvage parts wherever I can.

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 4 Old 08-15-2017, 05:53 PM
WiLieR
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99 WJ 2WD-to-4WD and lift

Depends on the engine as to the difficulty to convert to 4wd. The obvious parts are needed: live front axle, frt/rear driveshafts, t-case, all assorted cables and shifter assemblies.

Now for the fun part;
If it is a 4.0, then it has the 42RE transmission. This requires replacing the overdrive unit on the transmission to allow a tcase to bolt to it.
If it is a 4.7 V8, the it has the 45/545RFE transmission which requires the use of an adapter bracket to attach the tcase.

Neither are hard, but I would recommend rebuilding the 42RE OD unit before installing it as they are known to be a weak point in the transmission. If you don't have a press take it to a shop to rebuild as it has a very beefy spring in it that takes a lot of force to compress.

As for the lift, 4" and more needs long arms to ride nice and not be like an oversized skateboard on rough roads. Iron Rock Off-road, Rough Country, and Claytons Off-road are all the most common. IRO and RC are bolt on while Claytons requires welding. There are pros and cons of each kit, so read up on them all.

Inexpensive does not apply to a 4-6" lift with the WJ. By the time everything is purchased you will most likely have spent well above the KBB value of the Jeep. Expect at least $2,000 in suspension parts just as a starting point.

Edit to add;
Personally, I am looking at getting the bare RC upgrade kit, using Clayton 6" springs, and Bilstein shocks for my lift. Though I recently read the RC kit has a built in TCase drop, and I don't care for those as they decrease rear driveshaft angles but increase front angles. So I am on the fence about going full Claytons even though it costs a bit more. Again, read up on each and make your own decision.

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99 WJ Laredo - Mine once again!
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-15-2017, 07:32 PM
RoysJeep
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I'd call your local junkyards and/or pick n pulls to see if they have any WJs. That way, you can pull or request the parts you need.


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2004 WJ Laredo, 4.0, 197,xxx miles and counting, 3:55 gears, D30/D35c. Stock for now
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-16-2017, 07:43 AM
Jeeples
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiLieR View Post
Depends on the engine as to the difficulty to convert to 4wd. The obvious parts are needed: live front axle, frt/rear driveshafts, t-case, all assorted cables and shifter assemblies.

Now for the fun part;
If it is a 4.0, then it has the 42RE transmission. This requires replacing the overdrive unit on the transmission to allow a tcase to bolt to it.
If it is a 4.7 V8, the it has the 45/545RFE transmission which requires the use of an adapter bracket to attach the tcase.

Neither are hard, but I would recommend rebuilding the 42RE OD unit before installing it as they are known to be a weak point in the transmission. If you don't have a press take it to a shop to rebuild as it has a very beefy spring in it that takes a lot of force to compress.

As for the lift, 4" and more needs long arms to ride nice and not be like an oversized skateboard on rough roads. Iron Rock Off-road, Rough Country, and Claytons Off-road are all the most common. IRO and RC are bolt on while Claytons requires welding. There are pros and cons of each kit, so read up on them all.

Inexpensive does not apply to a 4-6" lift with the WJ. By the time everything is purchased you will most likely have spent well above the KBB value of the Jeep. Expect at least $2,000 in suspension parts just as a starting point.

Edit to add;
Personally, I am looking at getting the bare RC upgrade kit, using Clayton 6" springs, and Bilstein shocks for my lift. Though I recently read the RC kit has a built in TCase drop, and I don't care for those as they decrease rear driveshaft angles but increase front angles. So I am on the fence about going full Claytons even though it costs a bit more. Again, read up on each and make your own decision.

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Solid advice in this post!

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


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It is what Jeeples has *PARTIALLY* stated.
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