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post #1 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
Big By Fahr
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Best Year MJ

I have been looking for a 1991 or 1992 MJ for some time now and have had no luck at all. My intent was to get the HO motor. I plan on lifting at least 3" and running 31's. My patience is running out and I might have to just buy an older one. How much power would I be giving up by going the non HO route? Is it worth the effort?

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post #2 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 12:02 PM
Dana44
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I think thw HO's have like 199 hp, and the non-HO's have 179, not much of a diffrence really, i guess. if you get a 1991, or 1992 it would be best, wouldn't have to worry about the crappyshap BA/10
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 12:18 PM
Pete M
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Non H.Os have 177 hp, 224 ft-lbs
H.O.s have 190 hp, 225 ft-lbs (but the max torque moved up in rpm slightly so the non-H.O can have more grunt off the line)

There is NO reason to pick one engine over the over based on what the horsepower was 15 years ago. The amount of care the owners have given the engine over the years is FAR more important.
There are differences though. The newer the MJ, the better the rust proofing. The newer the MJ, the better the paint is. The older MJs have a knock sensor which is GREAT when building up a stroker 4.7L. The older engines are far easier to diagnose problems on your own, without the expensive help from the dealership. The older engines are cheaper and far more of them were put into MJs so they are easier to find. The newer ones are still being made for TJs, so if you need to throw in a lowmileage junkyard block, the 91-92 MJs will make life a bit easier.
There are reasons to pick one over the other, but horsepower should not be it.
Jeep on!
--Pete

-88 MJ; 4.0L, ex-2wd, TJ ax15/231, 78 Ford D44 w/spool, 9" w/posi, 33" trXus MTs, custom roll-bar/bumpers/etc.
Also an 86 MJ Metric ton and 2 '90 MJs
Projects/wheelin' pics: picturetrail.com/petermontie
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 06:17 PM
Bonkers
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I was determined to get an HO this time around too, but then I started to research the perks vs cost. From everything I've read the only real advantages of the 91-2 years were the Ax15 and rarity. If you plan to modify you'll pay for and then lose the value of that rarity.

Its like the 12" lifted 1989 J20 that was on ebay last year - a truck so rare even DC didn't realize some got out until after they sold - or the 1 of 10 Diesel Mj with the 100g fuel tank - both big $$$ if original, both sold for pennys because they were modified.

91-2s will be worth something in the coming years, but if you plan on visiting unknown lands I would stick with the 87-89s.

I drive way too fast to be concerned with cholesterol....
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 06:38 PM
a4xnut
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AX-15's started coming in MJ's in '89, though some early '89's still had the BA-10/5.
(My '89 MJ has the AX-15 and came that way.)
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
Big By Fahr
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Thank you all for your replies. I really have been looking locally for over 2 years and the best MJ I have found is an 89 4x4. Guess its just best to just buy the next solid one I see . Since I sold my ZJ and bought the 2002 WJ Overland it's been a battle not to modify it. Hopefully I can get the MJ to cure my habit.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 08:21 PM
JeepDoggyDog
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I searched for a year to get the HO MJ I wanted, for me the advantage of the HO was that I can use most of the parts, tools and diagnostic equipment that I have for my TJ 4.0. If I didn't have my TJ I would buy the first rust free 87+ MJ I could find and then raid the junkyards for upgrades.

1998 Sahara Auto with stuff(Sold 03/2006)

1997 ZJ Grand Cherokee (Sold 06/2002)

1991 Comanche Eliminator
JC bored out throttle body, Rancho 3 inch lift, rebuilt AX-15,.Teralow 4:1, 3.73 gears, and 31 inch Cooper STT

2000 Cherokee intake ready to install
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 08:22 PM
a4xnut
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You might want to expand your search if you're looking for something special.
All the MJ's I could find locally were not too sharp - many with major mechanical troubles (ie; blown engine or lunched trans) and most were 2WD. I ended up driving 250 miles and crossing a state border to get the one I've got now.

Paul
My MJ
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 09:22 PM
Pete M
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Best wheelin' deals going are the shortbed 2wd/manual/4.0 MJs with a bad/blown trans. Dump the trans for an AX-15/NP-231 combo and swap in a Dana 30 from a '94+ 2.5L XJ (4.10 gears and 297 U-joints) and an 8.8 from a '97+ Ford Explorer (4.10s, posi, disk brakes, stronger then a Dana 44). SOA the rear and throw on your choice of 4.5-5.5" XJ front lift. Don't forget to armor up with bumpers and rocker guards and then go show the TJs who's really got the better wheelbase.
Jeep on!
--Pete

-88 MJ; 4.0L, ex-2wd, TJ ax15/231, 78 Ford D44 w/spool, 9" w/posi, 33" trXus MTs, custom roll-bar/bumpers/etc.
Also an 86 MJ Metric ton and 2 '90 MJs
Projects/wheelin' pics: picturetrail.com/petermontie
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-28-2005, 11:47 PM
a4xnut
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The 8.8 has some pluses over a D44, but it has minuses as well. The pluses (IMHO, small ones) are it has a 0.05" bigger ring gear and one more axle spline. Minuses are it's a C-clip axles and weak connection of the axle tubes to the center section (also a weak link in D35 axles).

IMHO, if you're breaking a D44's axle shafts or ring & pinion, a 8.8 isn't gonna cure your woes, you better be looking at something at least one tonnage range higher, like a D60 or stronger.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-29-2005, 12:33 AM
Pete M
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8.8 pluses over the 44: stronger, newer, more plentiful, and can be found with better stock items than the MJ/XJ 44.

If you're building up an axle from scratch, the Dana 44 is more desireable. But you can't beat the 8.8 for those who don't want to tear into the axle.

Jeep on!
--Pete

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dana 30 frontaxle COT: 640 MOT: 2350
Dana 35 rear axle COT: 870 MOT: 3480
Dana 44 rear axle COT: 1100 MOT: 4460
Ford 8.8 28spline COT: 1250 MOT: 4600
Ford 8.8 31spline COT: 1360 MOT: 5100
Dana60 semifloat COT: 1500 MOT: 5500

Sorry, no numbers for the Chrysler 8.25, Ford 9" or AMC-20 Anybody got those?

COT: Continuous output torque rating
MOT: Maximum output torque rating
Numbers from January edition of Fourwheeler (with the typo on the Dana 44's MOT fixed) page 60.

Notice that: 225 ftlbs x 3.83 = 861 ftlbs (4.0L + AX-15 in 1st gear)

-88 MJ; 4.0L, ex-2wd, TJ ax15/231, 78 Ford D44 w/spool, 9" w/posi, 33" trXus MTs, custom roll-bar/bumpers/etc.
Also an 86 MJ Metric ton and 2 '90 MJs
Projects/wheelin' pics: picturetrail.com/petermontie
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-29-2005, 01:02 AM
a4xnut
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Sure, the 8.8 is easier to find than a XJ/MJ D44, but who says that's the only one to look for? (I run a Scout II D44 in my XJ... super cheap and easy to find - the bolt pattern is different, but there are ways to deal with that.) I'm not saying the 8.8 is crap, just saying the difference between them isn't that great, and the D44 has some pluses over it.

Nice strength numbers!
But still doesn't take into account how much C-clip axles suck off-road and how easy it is to break them at the C-clip groove when they get a side load, or the lame job Ford did of fitting axles tubes into the housing. (Not that the job done on Dana 35's or AMC 20's in CJ's is any better.)

FWIW - GM rates 10 bolt axles in 1/2 ton trucks these days for a helluva lot more than they ever used to be rated for back in the 70's, but I still don't want to trust one. AFAIK, they haven't made any earth shattering technology leaps in 10 bolt technology.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-29-2005, 12:13 PM
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Yes, there are plenty of axles that you can build for the rear. A few throughout history even have the right width and wheel bolt pattern, but they are hard to find and the older ones will need a complete referb. And none approach the 8.8 in strength. It's closer to a Dana 60 than it is to a Dana 44. Throw in a deeper gear ratio and a Detroit or ARB and run 38s comfortably. I'm having difficulty finding someone that has broken a shaft in an Explorer 8.8. That may be because the heavy fullsize trucks can't run such a narrow axle, but they are behind plenty of v8s. I challange you to break one with a 4.0L and a 3100 lb MJ. I'll even let you drop in a 350. If the shaft doesn't break, it being a C-clip or not is a moot point. Don't associate the 8.8 with the Dana 35 because they share a C-clip design. The carrier and spiders are a known weak point, but it's all relative and a real locker replaces those pieces anyways.
Oh, and I want to add to this topic that the Ranger 8.8 is a poor axle and the Fullsize 8.8 won't match the Dana 30 in width or bolt pattern. The Explorer/Mountineer is the good one. And apparently the IFS 8.8 has a better diff cover.
Jeep on!
--Pete

P.S. I don't think the Scout axle counts as "easy" to find. What self respecting junkyard doesn't have at least 2 explorers? (even if they are drums/29spline, they are still a great upgrade to the crap-tacular 35) I think the most important point here is that the 35 has got to GO!

-88 MJ; 4.0L, ex-2wd, TJ ax15/231, 78 Ford D44 w/spool, 9" w/posi, 33" trXus MTs, custom roll-bar/bumpers/etc.
Also an 86 MJ Metric ton and 2 '90 MJs
Projects/wheelin' pics: picturetrail.com/petermontie
My email:
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-29-2005, 03:35 PM
cj7xjmj
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Also when was the last time you heard of someo0ne breaking a c-clip in an axle The fact that it has disc brakes from the factory is a good selling point in my opinion as well They wil hold your axles in, so you can limp off the trail Also I have yet to find a D-60 sitting in a j-yard, that didnt want an arm and a leg for them. But I have seen them practically give away explorer rears at 130 for the whole shabang. Lug nut to lug nut, and companion flange.



Also it really dont matter what axle you have thee is a chance that you can spin a tube in the housing. Thats why I say weld all tubes to the housing, If you got the skills and equipment, just good insurance.


BTW a draw back to have non c-clip axles is the bearing are pressed onto the axle, making it a lil more of a PITA to carry a spare, cause it is hard to remove the "wedding ring" and bearing in the field, thus meaning the axles have to be caried in a dry and clean place as not to contaminate the wheel bearings.


Patrick
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-29-2005, 05:46 PM
DirtyCommanche
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It's not the c-clips that let go, it's just that it's a pain to change shafts. That and if you have a drum brake D35 and you drive on the broken shaft you tend to lose the wheel.... No issue with disk brakes as the calipers will retain the shaft, it's not exactly ideal though.




I'll just say if I was to do it over again I'd just go full widths and scrap the D30 at the same time.
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