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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a little info about me and my future build. I'm deployed to Afghanistan right now but am buying the parts over the course of the year to assemble my own doomsday jeep.
Right now it sits in my stepdad's shed covered in dust and pigeon poop. It's an 1986 XJ, 2.8v6. Yes a 2.8 GM V6. That's what came in it. Auto tranny - that slips horribly, and an unknown T-case. Stock height with stock rollers. The interior is decent. I'm going to re-dye the carpets after i pressure wash them and get new covers for the seats.

When I get back, my brother and I plan on gutting the interior, drivetrain, and anything else that will unbolt from the rig. From there, I'll take care of all of the bodywork re-painting it Mopar Sublime Lime. After that, I have an AL's Liner kit so I am going to undercoat the jeep and the lower 6-8 inches of the doors and rockers. It will receive custom built front and rear bumpers with rock sliders on the sides and a safari rack on the top to mount my lights and carry any essential extra gear.

The drivetrain will be replaced with a 4bt, NV4500, and probably a NP241 w/SYE. I'm probably going to deal with TSPerformance in Bowling Green Ky or Schied Diesel on my performance needs for the 4bt. I'll be calling the local junk yards in ky looking for the tranny w/t-case from a wrecked truck. I also need to find the pedals and console from a manual Cherokee.

I'm going to run a rusty's 6.5inch long arm suspension lift.
I already have a 8.8 rear from an explorer. I have to get a dana 44 for the front.
I'm looking at running 4.10 gears w/33 inch tires. I'm not entirely sure of the lockers I am going to run in them yet.

Feel free to chime in on your thoughts. I'll catch up on here to let you guys know how I'm coming on getting parts and will include full teardown and restoration pics once I get back to the states.
 

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I've been considering the same swap in my 94 XJ for use up where the trees get short however based upon the torque curve and transmission gearing, thought that for all around drivability, 3.55-3.70's would be a more suitable choice. Maybe I'm anticipating more driving and less crawling, but have you considered final drivel ratio in your gearing plans? Best of luck with your swap.
 

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First, Godspeed on a safe trip home.
The old drivetrain from that jeep might be in demand as some rock crawler guys want that transmission as it bolts to a Olds Aurora engine if I remember correctly. I know its some kind of GM aluminum block/head engine. I saw one at the jeep show in york pa in a buggy and at the time I had a Cherokee just like the one your describing is the only reason I remember it.
For T 241 is a good option unless you want to go with a 205 or a Dana 300 with lower gears in it.
Talk to Clayton Off road for your lift. I talked to them for 2 hours at the jeep show about their manufacturing practices and their geometry. Its honestly the only jeep lift kit on the market I would buy. Super over built, rebuildable joints. Lifetime Guaranteed. If you bend or break something send it back and they send you a new one.
As for axles it sounds like you want to make this a pretty awesome offroad machine. In a Cherokee with coil over suspension, if you had the cash, I would just buy some dana 60 housings from one of the off road companies that are cut to length and have all the brackets unless your planning to widen the stance. It removes a huge chunk of time for a little bit of hazard pay and speeds things along.

Hope that helps,
Morgan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advise. Still got about 7 1/2 - 8 months left here in afghanistan.
I've seen both the Clayton and Rusty's lift kits up close at the summer 4x4 show at Del Mar California. Both are really good quality.
I helped my buddy install about the same axles under his supercharged 4.0 cherokee that I'd like to put in mine. They held up well.
The only thing he did was c-clip eliminators for the 8.8 rear, along with having the tubes fully welded and braced.
Gearing for this build is undecided too. I don't plan on running it on the street a lot but with 4.10's that puts final drive ratio at 2000rpm at 65mph.
If I do decide to run it on the street a lot, I'll most likely go with a 3.55 gear. That puts the motor running at 1700 RPM at 65mph.
Since I've been out here I've picked up a manual pedal set for the jeep. I'm going to fab my own center console.
I plan on strenghtening the chassis by cutting out the rockers and replacing it with 2x3 box tubing and tying it into the factory subframe with
cross braces. Mainly because cherokees tend to flex real easy and rockers are first to go with these trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I'm back from afghanistan and I'm getting things sorted out. I've decided against using an xj cherokee for the build. I got ahold of a rolled over 95 ram 2500 for next to nothing. The motor had already been pulled but I'm going to use a lot of parts off it. I'm going to use the axels, nv4500 trans, ram hydraulic slave cylinder, and transfer case. I'm trying to run down a wagoneer. From there, I'll strip and sell off it what I dont need, add the big dana 60/70 axels, add a 4bt backed by the bulletproof 5 speed, and go from there.
 

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There was Waggy with a 6bt at the SEMA show last year. I've got some pictures somewhere. I started a Wagoneer 4bt project a few years ago and decided to 6bt in a suburban. There's a few Wagoneer builds this site.
 
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