Few questions for those who have done the 249 to 242 or 231, im kinda stuck.. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, my names Andy, i live in southern california. I picked up my first jeep 2 weeks ago, and in really looking forward to getting this project goin. Its a 96 grand cherokee. It has the 5.2 and the 249 transfer case. I did my research before buying, and pretty much knew that if it had a 249, that the vc would probably be bad. Well it is, so im planning on doing either the 242 or the 231 t case swap. Im leaning towards the 242 as i will be moving to colorado in the near future, and i hear that the fulltime function is great for ice. Heres my issue. My jeep is 96, and according to the how to's and write ups i have read, there were different cuts of the gears for 94.5 and up t-cases vs pre 94, and that they are not compatible. I from my understanding, the 249 will have a different sized input shaft vs the 242 or 231, and as such needs to be swapped. I have looked far and wide for a 242 and even a 231 from a 96 and up but i have had no luck. I did however find a 242 from a 93 as well as a 249 from a 93. Both of these guys are selling them for a very reasonable price, but im not sure if itll work. My question is.... if i were to get a 1993 249, and 242 t-case, and swapped the input shafts, would it work for my application or are there other factors that would prevent it from working such as driveshaft differences etc? Sorry for the long post, im just trying to get this resolved before i take this thing on any sort of longer drive, and i really want to get this project going lol. Thank you for your help

Andy

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post #2 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 11:02 AM
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Few questions for those who have done the 249 to 242 or 231, im kinda stuck..

Let me know if you need a 242 bezel
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Andyjman83 View Post
Hey guys, my names Andy, i live in southern california. I picked up my first jeep 2 weeks ago, and in really looking forward to getting this project goin. Its a 96 grand cherokee. It has the 5.2 and the 249 transfer case. I did my research before buying, and pretty much knew that if it had a 249, that the vc would probably be bad. Well it is, so im planning on doing either the 242 or the 231 t case swap. Im leaning towards the 242 as i will be moving to colorado in the near future, and i hear that the fulltime function is great for ice. Heres my issue. My jeep is 96, and according to the how to's and write ups i have read, there were different cuts of the gears for 94.5 and up t-cases vs pre 94, and that they are not compatible. I from my understanding, the 249 will have a different sized input shaft vs the 242 or 231, and as such needs to be swapped. I have looked far and wide for a 242 and even a 231 from a 96 and up but i have had no luck. I did however find a 242 from a 93 as well as a 249 from a 93. Both of these guys are selling them for a very reasonable price, but im not sure if itll work. My question is.... if i were to get a 1993 249, and 242 t-case, and swapped the input shafts, would it work for my application or are there other factors that would prevent it from working such as driveshaft differences etc? Sorry for the long post, im just trying to get this resolved before i take this thing on any sort of longer drive, and i really want to get this project going lol. Thank you for your help

Andy
Here is the skinny on your situation. If your only options are from 93's, you're gonna need to get the 242 t-case and swap the front case half from your 249, which includes the input, planetary set, and case half. If your slip yoke/output shaft is the newer external design found on most 96's, your rear driveshaft will be 1.5" too short and will need to be lengthened. Everything else will stay with the 242.


The details -

The 93-95 t-cases have internal slip yokes, nearly all the 96+ have external slip yokes. All that matters to you is that the rear driveshaft lengths are different by 1.5". I've included pictures of a 94 231 t-case from my 95 ZJ vs a 98 231 t-case from a Cherokee so you can check yours and see which style it is. My rear driveshaft is too long for the 98 t-case. Front driveshaft stays the same. I'm using the 98 case and driving with just the front axle until I finish the 94 t-case rebuild.

The 242 and 249 share the same front case halves, so what you can do is called a "front case swap". Basically, get the new 242 t-case, and swap the front half of your 249 in, which will give you the correct input gear, bearing, and planetary set. The old cut gears used a wider 24mm dual row bearing, the new ones on your 96 use a 16mm single row bearing. If you order a rebuild kit, you're gonna want to order one that goes for the newer bearing style as that's what you will stay with.

If you don't want to do all of this, then you have to find a newer style t-case with the same slip yoke design. You will likely have to split the case in half to swap inputs for length anyway, so if you're not opposed to getting the rear driveshaft lengthened or getting an early ZJ rear driveshaft then you can easily go with the 93 ones. It's basically the same steps but swapping the front halves around.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 01:02 PM
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Oh and your question about the 93 249 and 242. Yes, you can buy both and swap just the inputs. But your driveshaft situation will still be there on the 96'+ external slip yoke t-cases.

You only need to swap front case halves if you're trying to use a newer 94.5+ gear cut input with an older one or vice versa.

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet, thank you soo much for the info. So if im understanding this correctly... If i get the 249, and 242 from 1993, I can swap the input shafts and install it on my jeep as long as I use a rear driveshaft from an older zj?
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 03:06 PM
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Let me know if you need a 242 bezel
I need one!

GW
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Andyjman83 View Post
Sweet, thank you soo much for the info. So if im understanding this correctly... If i get the 249, and 242 from 1993, I can swap the input shafts and install it on my jeep as long as I use a rear driveshaft from an older zj?
It could, the splines are the same, but you'd need it to be from a v8 ZJ since the rear axles are different between the I6 and v8 ZJ's and so the driveshafts are different lengths.

The input shafts only need to be swapped if you've got a different length input gear. The early 249/242 have the same gear teeth pattern so they'll mesh, but not the same length input if the 249 was from a V8 ZJ. The 242 was only available on I6 Jeeps, which always used medium length .840" inputs (Unless you have a 5 speed ZJ like I do, then it's the short .750" input). 249 came in both I6 Limited and v8 ZJ's, so depending on the engine, will have either a medium (I6) or long (v8) input gear. This changed in 96 when the v8 ZJ got a different transmission, the 44RE and then all ZJ's had medium lengths. Your ZJ should already come with a medium input gear, so if that's the case, then the 93 242 will bolt up just fine without swapping input gears if it's from a ZJ. Your driveshaft will still be too short, however. You'll need to measure whatever driveshaft you get from an older V8 ZJ and compare it, but an early v8 zj driveshaft should work in theory. I measured using my ZJ and the distance is exactly 1.5" less between the back of the output shaft and the axle pinion yoke on a new T-case vs the older one.

Here is a guide of the different input lengths between ZJ years.

93-95 V8 ZJ's: 46RH transmission, 1.55" 23 spline input shaft
93-95 I6 ZJ's with the 42RE: .840" 23 spline input (with collar)
93 I6 ZJ's with the AW4 or AX15: .750" 23 spline input
All 96-98 ZJ's: .840" 23 spline input
All 96-01 XJ's: .840" 23 spline input
92-95 XJ's: .750" 23 spline input
91 and older XJ's: .750" 21 spline input

As you can see, your 96 ZJ used the .840" length input, so you want to find something that is also the same. The 242 only came on I6 ZJs which also has a .840" input UNLESS it was an early early model ZJ with the AW4, so any 242 will work on a 96+ V8 zj, but NOT on a 93-95 ZJ. The difference is then the external vs internal slip yokes, 93-95 242's will be 1.5" shorter than the 96+ 242's.

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post #8 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Some_Anchovies View Post
It could, the splines are the same, but you'd need it to be from a v8 ZJ since the rear axles are different between the I6 and v8 ZJ's and so the driveshafts are different lengths.
I'd be taking careful measurements before assuming an early V8 rear shaft will work. '93-'95 and '96-'98 V8s have different rear axle snout lengths (D35 vs D44A) and different transmission lengths (46RH vs 44RE) in addition to the slip yoke differences.

I do have an early V8 shaft kicking around I could measure.

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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ok cool. The whole selection process is a bit confusing lol. I am curious though, you said that The 242 only came on I6 ZJs which also has a .840" input UNLESS it was an early early model ZJ with the AW4, so any 242 will work on a 96+ V8 zj, but NOT on a 93-95 ZJ.

So from your info, which i very much appreciate by the way, It sounds like a 242 from a 93-95 XJ will not work because of the shorter input shaft, Unless I find a 93-95 249 from an I6 ZJ with the .840 input as an input shaft donor, and put that input shaft into the 93-95 XJ case as long as I remove the collar?

Am I correct?

lol sorry for making this clear as mud.
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CatSplat View Post
I'd be taking careful measurements before assuming an early V8 rear shaft will work. '93-'95 and '96-'98 V8s have different rear axle snout lengths (D35 vs D44A) and different transmission lengths (46RH vs 44RE) in addition to the slip yoke differences.

I do have an early V8 shaft kicking around I could measure.
Oh I thought all V8 ZJ's had the D44a, or was it just the early v8 ZJ's with towing package?

To answer your question Andy, that's correct, the .750 will work as it's .090" shorter, which is not much at all, the seal lip is right on the edge but it should still work. Some people advise sealing the case to the trans because of this. Or, you could just swap your front case half onto the 93 xj 242 case.

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post #11 of 15 Old 09-12-2019, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Some_Anchovies View Post
Oh I thought all V8 ZJ's had the D44a, or was it just the early v8 ZJ's with towing package?

The D44A was introduced in 1996 for the ZJ and was installed behind all the V8s from then on. The '93-'95 V8s got the same ol' D35 as the I6s.

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post #12 of 15 Old 09-14-2019, 06:49 PM
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OP, you sent me a PM but your inbox is full, so I can't reply.

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post #13 of 15 Old 09-14-2019, 09:14 PM
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Living in Colorado with ice (i used to live there), you will be better off putting in a 249 from a 96-98 ZJ, that way you will have true Full Time 4WD for a DD rig.

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post #14 of 15 Old 09-15-2019, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jeeepguy View Post
Living in Colorado with ice (i used to live there), you will be better off putting in a 249 from a 96-98 ZJ, that way you will have true Full Time 4WD for a DD rig.

I was just about to say the same thing: if this is mostly a daily driver and doing occasional trail runs in 4lo, 249 is WAY better in ice & snow compared to the 242 full time. 249 is a true all wheel drive transfer case with a torque-biasing device (viscous coupler) that forces torque to the axle with better traction.


I need to go from 4 full time to 4hi part time fairly often in slightly deeper snow, icy roads or packed snow to have any kind of reasonable traction - where with the 249 the amount of traction is almost as good as part time hi with the 242 or 231. If you don't need RWD, just replace the viscous coupler.

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post #15 of 15 Old 09-15-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I found this guy yesterday at the junkyard, along with some other goodies. The date on it is 10 30 95. I gotta say, with some purple power and a pressure washer, it.cleaned up nice.

This rig will primarily be used for offroad. I may seldomly take it into town, but itll live in the dirt the majority of the time. This is why i leaned toward a 242 or 231.
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