Originally Posted by 97buildup
I have a line up on a 98 dakota 5.2 with a a500 transmission and a 231 D HD im not planning on putting a high pinion front end, is there issues with just the stock d30?s
They actually call it 44re in 98, but with 3.5" of lift I didn't have issues with my old lp44. The starter is on the drivers side on the Dakota transmission vs passenger side on a jeep. I would source a transmission from a v8 grand Cherokee 96-98. If you don't already have a hp30 then getting on wouldn't be a bad idea. You are adding about 100# ft tq to the vehicle and added drive train strength is a good thing to have.
The hp30 is easy to find since they stuffed them in Cherokee sport until 99, but 96-99 are the better years to source from due to them all having 5-760x joints and being non disconnect.
Not sure what you plan for a rear either but seeing you are starting with a frame the explorer 8.8 would be a solid choice. I have a d44 and it's been good to me, but would never even try to run a d35 rear. That would be a ticking time bomb behind that magnum v8.