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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1997 xj's 231 j failed so I thought I would review what went wrong and what l learned.
Why it failed: my rear springs were so bad i bottomed out my drive shaft breaking the yoke on my 8.25 rear axle. After replacing my springs and my axle with a ford 9 inch from a 59 f100 I went back to daily driving my jeep unaware that I had cracked my tcase. Because of the full drivtrain skid plate
I didnt see it leak all of the fluid out. I drove it for 3 months like this before it started making noise on downshift.
What failed:
What was really interesting is everything looked fine inside with the exception of the speedo gears being melted (speedo has never worked as long as ive owned it) and the low rang fork was in pieces. Even more interesting was that whoever installed the sye kit (already had it when i got it) forgot to put the oil pickup tube back in. Ive been driving it for years like this let alone how long they drove it before me!
What i did:
I always upgrade when something fails
So I decided to do a wide chain and 6 gear planet set upgrade.
I bought a 231j from a 2004 liberty for the case.
I got the Gears and chain from a 233d out of a 2002 durango and a 3 pinion planet set from a 1998 s10 with a 233c that i already had in the barn. This planet set had the other 3 holes machined out so pressed my old gears out of my plant set and filled in the open ones from the 233c. I made a pin that was the same length as the gears were tall so when i pressed the pins out the uncaged rollers wouldnt fall apart but the gear would slide right out. I used the low range fork and pickup tube from the liberty and bought new speedo gears and a seal kit. All other parts I reused from my original case including my sye.
Take away:
The 231j is a good case
Im shocked it lasted so long with out oil
It really is amazing.
It has a good low range and can be upgraded.
It only failed because I didnt fix my springs.
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