98 XJ with 8" lift and a bunch of other stuff Jeep Registry
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98 XJ with 8" lift and a bunch of other stuff

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Jeep Information


Model:XJ Cherokee

Engine:4.0L L6 Gas OHV Distributor-Breakerless Naturally Aspirated MPI Electronic FI MFI

Transmission:Aisin 5-Speed Standard Transmission AX15

Transfer Case:Command-Trac NP231 w/ Advance Adapters Slip Yoke Eliminator

Front Axle:Non-Disconnect High-Pinion Dana 30 w/ Super 30 kit, EATON E-Locker, Rough Stuff Differential Cover

Rear Axle:Ford 8.8" w/ Super 88 kit, Auburn ECTED, and Rough Stuff Differential Cover

Axle Gear Ratio:4.56:1, Superior Ring and Pinion Gears

Suspension:Iron Rock 8" Long Arm w/ Adjustable Long Arms, JKS Quick Disconnects, and 6 Degree Shims

Tires:35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM2

Wheels:15x8 w/ 3.75 Backspace - Black Rock Series 900S Viper - Tungsten Silver

Armor:OR-Fab Front Winch Bumper, OR-Fab Rear Bumper

Recovery Gear:Smittybilt XRC8 Winch w/ 24,000 lb. Snatchblock

Accessories:JET Stage 1 Performance Chip, Rusty's 1" Throttle Body Spacer, Rusty's Intake Tube w/ K&N Air Intake

Future Modifications:More Power, More Armor!

Here is a picture of my Jeep the last time I went off roading... before I started a massive project.


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Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:12 AM
I bought this 98 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L 4x4 in late January of 2010 for $2500. The Jeep is from North Carolina so no rust which is great. Everyone is jealous of just that, being here in New York.

So this is the list of everything that will go into the build.

-[s]Front Bumper[/s]
-[s]Rear Bumper[/s]
-[s]JET Stage 1 Chip[/s]
-[s]8" Long Arm Suspension Lift[/s]
-[s]Slip Yoke Eliminator and Driveshaft[/s]
-[s]Ford 8.8" Rear Axle[/s]
-[s]4.56:1 Gears[/s]
-[s]Rear Auburn ECTED Locker[/s]
-[s]Front Eaton E-Locker[/s]
-[s]Chrome Moly Axle Shafts[/s]

First thing I did was put on my OR-FAB rear bumper. I did not take any pics during the process of this. But It wasn't too complicated to put on. It was mostly a bolt on, with a little bit of hacking away with the sawz all.

This first picture shows the bumper before.

This is the bumper completed. Looks pretty awesome.

The next day my front bumper came in. This was pretty much a bolt on as well, but I did have to do a little bit of grinding. As some of the holes in the frame did not line up with each other. Not too difficult though.

Before it had a Reese hitch on the front, which I will eventually try to fabricate up for the back.

After. I did not like the way the winch mounts on the plate so I drilled different holes in part of the plate.

Another view of the front bumper.

I also have installed the JET Stage 1 Performance Chip. This was not all to difficult to do. Just plug it in. It improved my fuel economy a lot though. Very happy with the product as I should gain my money back in just a few fill ups.

JET Stage 1 Chip

Today I went up to AVL Recycling in Ontario, NY and picked up a Ford 8.8 out of a 2001 Ford Explorer. It has 31 spline axles, 4.10 ratios, posi, and disc brakes. I will be re-gearing the axle to 4.56. I will also be putting in Auburn ECTED Locker. I need a flange to yoke adapter, need to weld new spring perches and shock tabs as well. A heavy duty differential cover with a drain plug and countersunk holes would be nice on it too. More to come on the rear axle soon.

Not in too bad of shape.

A close up view of the axle. It's a little rusted, but I'm sure it will look almost like brand new when I am done with it.

Today I actually got around to wiring up the winch. What a pain let me tell you. There was not much room to work down in there. Once I finally got all the wires on the proper terminals, I ran into another problem that the control box would not fit. I guess that is what I get for making my own mounting holes for the winch, but I am pretty sure the control box would not have worked with the winch in the original mounting holes either. But with some time and patience I got the control box squeezed in there. It is a tight fit and I think it looks nice down there, also out of the way.

Smittybilt XRC8 Winch

Today I started to get the Ford 8.8 torn apart. I didn't make very much progress, but I got the cover off. Also got the brake calipers unbolted. Still waiting on parts for the rear axle.

With the cover off.

Ruff Stuff Specialties Differential Cover

3/8" thick with fill and drain holes, also countersunk bolt holes.

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:13 AM
My new rear locker, cant wait to get this project all done.


Since my last post I have accomplished a lot.

This picture shows the majority of my parts that came in. Gears, chrome moly axle shafts, lift kit, etc.

Christmas came early this year!!!!

The lift itself is not all that difficult to install, its when you add to that, re-gearing, axle swap, sye that it can become a pain. I went with the Iron Rock 8" Long Arm Suspension Lift.

Some pictures of tearing out the old rear axle.

After the first night the rear axle is ready to drop out.

Some pictures of the Ford 8.8 just about done.

Have to put the sticker on otherwise it wont work properly!!

C-Clip eliminators

New e-brakes and hardware

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:13 AM
Making More Progress

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:14 AM

Some front axle work.

Now all I am waiting on is the rear driveshaft, and shims for the front differential. Then only minor stuff such as alignment.

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:14 AM

Now for a little about the front axle. First I decided to go with the Eaton E-locker 30 spline (19819-010). This required upgrading the axles to 30spline as well. I went with Superior's Discovery Series (DC30TJ) kit. I had numerous problems with this part of the install. To make it easier for anyone else doing this I will make a list.

1. The shims from the original carrier do not work with this e-locker, it requires shims from a D44 (use p/n SK30214 and order two packs just in-case)
2. Even after ordering the new shims, you will need more than the original and they go on the inside of the bearing so you need to press the bearings on and off multiple times until you get the right amount of shims and backlash.
3. Because the bearings need to pressed off so many times, when you buy the bearings get 4 of them (all the same EXACT). The first two either get bored out or grind them out with a die grinder until you can easily slide them over the carrier.
4. Once you get the backlash correct, press on the 2 fresh bearings with the same shims and pray that the backlash stays the same. If not you may have to press off the bearings and the shims may get a little messed up in the process.

Now for some pictures.

I ran into another problem once I started to install the axle shafts. This picture explains it. The axle shaft is in all the way, yet the seal is not doing much good.

I think these will solve the problem, but I need to wait for shipping yet again.

I will post more when I get parts in.

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:15 AM
Got my seals in, and the Jeep is now sitting on all four tires.

I am still waiting for the Tom Wood's driveshaft I ordered from Rusty's. It's been about two months now... WTF. I won't order from Rusty's again.

Any questions or comments, let me know.

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:16 AM
The project is now done, other than some paint touch up!

Driveshaft in finally!

Drove it from my Dad's house to my Mom's... maybe 3 miles.

The next day I got it aligned and some brackets made up to connect my sway bar links. I didn't take many pictures though.

Registered User
View dlane2155's Jeep
08-12-2010, 10:27 AM
As I'm sure most of you know with a project like this there are going to be adjustments that need to be made and bugs to work.

The brackets I had welded up for the sway bar links aren't cutting it... the one on the driver side keeps bending. I also do not really trust the steering being as there is an 8" lift in it now with only stock steering.

Today I am taking it to Draken Offroad to have a custom steering setup made. He specializes in JK and Land Rover suspensions but he said he could do this with no problem and I've seen that he does very nice work. This will be the only part of the project that I have not done myself.

What I'm going to have done is:

-New brackets for the sway bar links
-New drag link and tie rod
-Possible track bar bracket on axle relocation for improved geometry
-cut off original lower control arm brackets
-Steering stabilizer needs to be addressed
-Some brackets on the rear axle to bolt the brake lines to
-Quick disconnect frame mounts to be installed

I could do all this stuff myself but it is just easier to pay these guys to do it seems how they already have all the equipment to get the job done right. Plus he is not charging me too much!!! Actually cheaper than I could do myself!

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