Im pretty sure ill be doing this swap in the next few weeks, but im a little confused on what to do with the front ds. I have the cv style front ds. Does this mean i have to get a front ds from a 2002-03 WJ and new yokes for both the front diff and tc sides to fit the u-joint type?
Looks like you have a 2" lift currently? You can just swap the front yoke from your current transfer case onto the 242HD and continue using your cv style shaft. If you plan on lifting any higher than that, then you may want to look into converting to a u-joint style front drive shaft.
Also, to someones comment much earlier in the thread about the difference between the 242HD and the 242j, someone else commented that the HD was meant to handle the 4.7 and the 242j could grenade if it were used with a 4.7. That is simply not true. Everything about the two cases is identical except for the input shaft on the HD is slightly longer to accommodate the 5/45rfe transmission output shaft and the HD has an internal slip yoke (simply has a tail cone covering the rear output shaft) as apposed to the external slip yoke (uses a rubber boot to cover the output shaft) on the 242j. There are zero strength differences between the two cases. The internals of both cases are identical. Spline count on the rear output may or may not be different (I cannot confirm this) however, I can confirm that the spline count on the 242j is the same as the 247 that comes with the 4.7's so there are no strength issues with the spline count of the 242j.
BTW, I am working on a write up for swapping the 247 on a 4.7 to a 242j. This will include what steps are needed to perform the swap such as swapping input shaft gears, the main shaft, and the tail cone. I will be doing the swap this weekend. If my calculations are correct, the end result will cost me about $100 for the 242j and I will be able to use my existing rear driveshaft as well as my existing front driveshaft.
The reason I am doing this instead of the direct swap of the 242HD is simply money. The cheapest HD I found was over 100 miles away from me and would cost $400 + $100 for the rear driveshaft to go with it. I can grab 242j's around here all day long for around $100. Since the economy is in the crapper, most people, including myself, cannot afford to dump $500 on a swap like this. So I would rather take a little time and swap parts over and save money rather than have a quick and easy direct swap but have it be more expensive.