WJ Knuckle/Brake/Steering Swap. Anyone want a write-up? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 03-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #1
Divinitous
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WJ Knuckle/Brake/Steering Swap. Collective information.

I've swapped out my low pinion D30 for a high pinion D30 from an XJ. During the process I also upgraded the steering, installed an Arb locked, regeared it to 4.10, brakes to the 99-04 WJ knuckles for high steering with a true tie-rod and 02-04 WJ Akebono brakes w/ MrBlaine special Black Magic brake pads. This was my first time doing any of this, so it took a good bit of trial and error, well lotsa error. Overall I did it.

The reasons for this are
1) The stock brakes suck.
2) High pinion is stronger and gets the driveshaft up a bit more
3) High pinion somewhat compensates for driveline angles when lifted considering it's higher placement
4) The steering is higher
5) The tierod is knuckle-knuckle so alignment isn't affected with weight differences. Installing a large bumper and winch can affect alignment.
6) The ford 8.8 axle was 4.10, so this one needed to match, while at it I installed a new ARB that I came across on the cheap.

While doing this build up I also installed an 8.8 axle in the rear.


Teaser:


Keep your "polishing a turd" comments to yourself... cause honestly I see people swapping out rubi D44's for HP D30's.

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Unread 03-04-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
BillR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinitous View Post
I'm working on swapping an XJ HP D30 into my jeep. MY work will include an ARB, 4.10, WJ setup, and some new bushings/balljoints. Anyone have any interest in my documenting the process? On monday I'll have all the rest of the parts neeeded.

Teaser:


Keep your "polishing a turd" comments to yourself.
I'd love to see a good write-up on the process!!
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Unread 03-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
WillysEdition04
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x2 on the write-up. a HP D30 is in my long-term plan. Include pricing/budget as you go!
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Unread 03-04-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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I'd for sure be interested in the WJ portion of it.
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Unread 03-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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i'd love to see a write up!
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Unread 03-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #6
jeeptinker78
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Add me to the list of folks that would like to see a write-up on your HP D-30 swap. I think this is a great swap for a lot of people building their Jeeps on a budget and aren't looking to build a B@!!s-To-The-Wall rockcrawler.

BTW, I also second the notion of including a cost break down of your build. I understand that the price of parts/labor/tools/etc. vary from place to place, but it would give others a ballpark idea of how much it could cost in the long run
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Unread 03-04-2009, 06:42 PM   #7
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I did a bit of work today. Nothing serious, just a bit of ball joint pressing and steering pre-mockup. I'm trying a new tierod made of polyvinyl chloride. It'll be all the rage in a few years. Yeah, it's custom.

I still need to get the spacers and rod end flip inserts into the knuckles. This is all just a teaser for now.
img_0028_small.jpg   img_0029_small.jpg   img_0030_small.jpg  
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Quote:
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:03 PM   #8
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First, let me mention that without reading through all of MrBlaines posts on over a dozen forums I'd be completely in the dark. While he isn't the first one to do the swap, he is however the first one to do it RIGHT.

Here's a good amount of info that I've come across thus far for the swap. No useful order.
Red = uncertainty
Blue=Update

Knuckle/Brake Bracket Spacer- 1.4", technically .3" [MrBlaine], but 1/4" works. A washer is required to space the caliper bracket ~1/16 1/8 away from the knuckle. The 1/4" spacer will center the u-joints between the balljoints. The bracket spacer will center the rotors between the pads.

Trackbar- You need to remove the trackbar mount from the XJ/TJ axle. The reason being is the tierod travels straight through the mount. JKS makes an over the axle mount to raise the trackbar. This isn't perfect as you'll need to shorten your stock/aftermarket trackbar now. But it does put the trackbar inline with the draglink (note upper mount on passenger knuckle). This puts the two in a parallel config and prevents bumpsteer.

Tierod- The tierod follows closely infront of the axle. Sorta a pain as I'll have to use the original WJ tierod ends. I am currently unsure if a WJ tierod will work. I suspect that the WJ axle is wider. A quick measurement from a WJ in a parking lot reads 56 1/4 from eye-eye for the tierod ends. The pvc mockup shows the eye-eye reading to be 53". I hope the JKS tierod is tapped pretty deep, I'll need to shave off some length. We'll see how this turns out, sadly I'm a bit doubtful. Fabricating a new tierod would have been easy, but the thread is m24x1.5. It seems impossible or very expensive to buy both a RH and LH tap for this. A threaded isert would have saved my ***, but those too are impossible to find. People talk about using the chevy 1 ton ends, but I fear that the knuckles space the tierod so close to the axle that it would rub against the cover had I used some straight TREs. I've been assured that the JKS tierod is made for my axle setup. So things should be good.

Draglink- Cannot confirm the required length yet. I have a WJ draglink, so we'll see.

Rotors- 2001/02 Ford Explorer Sport Trac- You may need to remove 1/16" from the unitbearings flange for the rotor to slide over it. (Not confirmed first hand yet). The rotors are 5x4.5 and 12" (WJ size).

Flipped Tierod/Draglink- You'll need to flip both the draglink and the tierod. www.goferitoffroad.com sells tapered inserts. Drill out the hole in the knuckle to 3/4". Weld the inserts in and flip. You will need a replacement end for the draglink. The end is for a RHD WJ. Part numbers will be given upon completion.

Brake Lines- Undecided on what i'm doing. I plan to install the axles when I install a 3.5 or 4.5" lift. So I might just do extended lines at the same time.

Ball Joints- The upper is the same, the lower is WJ specific.
__________________
-Ryan
Google Voice (or the number Grape calls when drunk): 845-476-8182

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo Ferrari
"The Jeep is Americas only real sports car!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlaine
"Jeeps do not make jeepers, jeepers make Jeeps."

Last edited by Divinitous; 03-04-2009 at 08:12 PM..
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:24 PM   #9
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinitous View Post
Tierod- The tierod follows closely infront of the axle. Sorta a pain as I'll have to use the original WJ tierod ends. I am currently unsure if a WJ tierod will work. I suspect that the WJ axle is wider. A quick measurement from a WJ in a parking lot reads 56 1/4 from eye-eye for the tierod ends. The pvc mockup shows the eye-eye reading to be 53". I hope the JKS tierod is tapped pretty deep, I'll need to shave off some length. We'll see how this turns out, sadly I'm a bit doubtful. Fabricating a new tierod would have been easy, but the thread is m24x1.5. It seems impossible or very expensive to buy both a RH and LH tap for this. A threaded isert would have saved my ***, but those too are impossible to find. People talk about using the chevy 1 ton ends, but I fear that the knuckles space the tierod so close to the axle that it would rub against the cover had I used some straight TREs.
You should ask more questions. I'm pretty sure I still have some 24 mm threaded inserts left from when I was doing the swaps. If not, I know I still have my 24 mm right and left hand taps you're more than welcome to borrow. In fact, JKS used them when they did their first production run of draglinks and tie rods until their taps got made for them. I had to have my custom made as well.

I do believe that if you look down the tie rod, you'll find that even though it has bends to clear the rims, that the centerline of the rod is still the body of the TRE.

No, the WJ tie rod won't work, it's too long. It's also an odd size of tubing, so it's hard to sleeve internally if you cut it down.

If you get me a length, I think I have a tapped tie rod from JKS in the garage somewhere that I wouldn't mind getting rid of at a good price. I also have some 24 mm jam nuts I think. Let me know and I start digging.
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
You should ask more questions. I'm pretty sure I still have some 24 mm threaded inserts left from when I was doing the swaps. If not, I know I still have my 24 mm right and left hand taps you're more than welcome to borrow. In fact, JKS used them when they did their first production run of draglinks and tie rods until their taps got made for them. I had to have my custom made as well.

I do believe that if you look down the tie rod, you'll find that even though it has bends to clear the rims, that the centerline of the rod is still the body of the TRE.

No, the WJ tie rod won't work, it's too long. It's also an odd size of tubing, so it's hard to sleeve internally if you cut it down.

If you get me a length, I think I have a tapped tie rod from JKS in the garage somewhere that I wouldn't mind getting rid of at a good price. I also have some 24 mm jam nuts I think. Let me know and I start digging.

Well, if you wouldn't mind I might borrow those taps from you. Unfortunately I already bought the JKS setup w/ jam nuts. It'll be here Monday. I should be able to just cut the rod to length and tap the end.

Not having a WJ axle to compared to kinda makes this hard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo Ferrari
"The Jeep is Americas only real sports car!"
Quote:
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"Jeeps do not make jeepers, jeepers make Jeeps."
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #11
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I redrilled the wj rotors to fit the tj hubs, and made the spacers, tie rod and drag link. I do also have jks links and spacers on the way for another project, I don't think they are going to be a problem, they say they are specifically made for the wj swap using stock tre's.

using used wj parts (knuckles, rotors, calipers, and tre's) and jks pieces (spacers, tie rod/drag links, jam nuts) the cost is $380.00 including the shipping for the jks parts.
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #12
Divinitous
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Originally Posted by mudb8 View Post
I redrilled the wj rotors to fit the tj hubs, and made the spacers, tie rod and drag link. I do also have jks links and spacers on the way for another project, I don't think they are going to be a problem, they say they are specifically made for the wj swap using stock tre's.

using used wj parts (knuckles, rotors, calipers, and tre's) and jks pieces (spacers, tie rod/drag links, jam nuts) the cost is $380.00 including the shipping for the jks parts.
Great. The swap overall sounded rather complicated at first, but it's really just a bit of simple welding and some swaps. The only annoyance is the tierod. Heh.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo Ferrari
"The Jeep is Americas only real sports car!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlaine
"Jeeps do not make jeepers, jeepers make Jeeps."
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Unread 03-06-2009, 07:03 AM   #13
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Do those TREs look reversed? (L-R)
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Unread 03-06-2009, 07:17 AM   #14
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Do those TREs look reversed? (L-R)

Are those stock WJ tie rod ends?

If so, they appear to be correctly installed.

WJ tie rod ends angle back towards the knuckle slightly before they turn outwards.
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Unread 03-06-2009, 07:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ View Post
Are those stock WJ tie rod ends?

If so, they appear to be correctly installed.

WJ tie rod ends angle back towards the knuckle slightly before they turn outwards.
Interesting...
I've seen them installed the other way. (I think...)
The tie rod was angled outward from the diff to provide better clearance.
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