WJ Brakes on a ZJ - The simple way - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
Fernando
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WJ Brakes on a ZJ - The simple way

Hello dear Forum

I have a 1997 ZJ with the 4.0 engine, 42RE and NP242

I want to improve the stopping power on it, so I am looking into the WJ brake upgrade, however, I have seen tons of threads with people cutting/welding/replacing steering parts and such. This Jeep is a daily drive and I use it to haul music gear from one gig to another, will not see mud or rocks, will not get tires bigger than 31" and if it ever sees a lift it will be just enough for the 31s to fit.

Having said this, is it possible to get the calipers, knuckles, spacers, and reuse the steering? or is it absolutely necessary to perform the steering upgrade at the same time? It does elevate costs and adds a significant amount of complication for something I don't have a problem with.

For me, it would be ideal to replace the tie rod ends, knuckles, calipers, weld the spacers to the knuckle and add the caliper spacers, and reuse my steering, however, I don't know if this is possible or not.

Will my stock rims work with the new calipers, or do I need to think about new rims as well?

All help is appreciated, thanks!



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post #2 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 10:29 AM
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You can use the stock y-link steering, but you loose one of the big improvements WJ knuckles would give you.

Some 15" steel wheels do work with the WJ brakes if they have at least 4" of backspacing. You may need to trim a bit from the caliper edges. 16" wheels work no matter if they are steel or alloy.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #3 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 10:46 AM
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What about stock wj steering could he use that?

94 ZJ 4.5" on 31s
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post #4 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
You can use the stock y-link steering, but you loose one of the big improvements WJ knuckles would give you.

Some 15" steel wheels do work with the WJ brakes if they have at least 4" of backspacing. You may need to trim a bit from the caliper edges. 16" wheels work no matter if they are steel or alloy.
I have the stock 16 inch rims, that's good news.
If I want to reuse the steering, it is a matter of just bolting things back together?


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post #5 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfeman1992 View Post
What about stock wj steering could he use that?

94 ZJ 4.5" on 31s
WJ axles are wider than ZJ ones, so their steering links are all proportionally longer. I believe the adjustment range isn't large enough to reduce them down to a usable length for ZJs.

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Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
I have the stock 16 inch rims, that's good news.
If I want to reuse the steering, it is a matter of just bolting things back together?
Pretty much yes. Attach your TREs to the lower steering arms on the WJ knuckles and do an alignment. TRE taper is the same on ZJ and WJ so you should have no problems there.
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post #6 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 11:19 AM
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^- this exactly.

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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #7 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 11:29 AM
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And since it hasn't been mentioned yet, don't forget that you will need to change out your lower ball joints for WJ ones as they use a different taper than ZJ lowers.
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post #8 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatSplat View Post
Pretty much yes. Attach your TREs to the lower steering arms on the WJ knuckles and do an alignment. TRE taper is the same on ZJ and WJ so you should have no problems there.
Excellent, thank you so much for the information!

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Originally Posted by CatSplat View Post
And since it hasn't been mentioned yet, don't forget that you will need to change out your lower ball joints for WJ ones as they use a different taper than ZJ lowers.
Ok good, made a note. Thanks!


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post #9 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 11:45 AM
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Happy to help!

You may find it helpful to take a read through my WJ knuckle thread, there's a bunch of stuff in there with regards to steering you won't need but the fundamentals are the same. You can also ignore the ABS stuff if you don't want to bother.
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post #10 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 12:03 PM
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[QUOTE=CatSplat;40811373]WJ axles are wider than ZJ ones, so their steering links are all proportionally longer. I believe the adjustment range isn't large enough to reduce them down to a usable length for ZJs.

Has anybody actually tried though? Id imagine theres some way to make it work


94 ZJ 4.5" on 31s
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post #11 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfeman1992 View Post
Has anybody actually tried though? Id imagine theres some way to make it work
They won't work. You need custom length draglink and tierod.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #12 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
They won't work. You need custom length draglink and tierod.
Ok stupid question what if you used zj TREs and cut down the wj draglink?

94 ZJ 4.5" on 31s
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post #13 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfeman1992 View Post
Has anybody actually tried though? Id imagine theres some way to make it work
I didn't physically try to install them, but I did measure them out at the junkyard and my calculations indicated they would be no bueno. You could always cut-sleeve-weld if you wanted, would save a few bucks if you don't need the strength of DOM links.

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Originally Posted by Wolfeman1992 View Post
Ok stupid question what if you used zj TREs and cut down the wj draglink?
ZJ TREs are a smaller thread than the WJ ones so they won't work in a WJ tie rod.
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post #14 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatSplat View Post
I didn't physically try to install them, but I did measure them out at the junkyard and my calculations indicated they would be no bueno. You could always cut-sleeve-weld if you wanted, would save a few bucks if you don't need the strength of DOM links.
So it's one of those if your on a shoe string budget you can make it work but in the end you'll have just as much work as building custom crossover

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post #15 of 26 Old 12-06-2019, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfeman1992 View Post
So it's one of those if your on a shoe string budget you can make it work but in the end you'll have just as much work as building custom crossover
With a hack job you do more work and you end up with a way weaker setup as DOM tube steering links.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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