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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a rural mail carrier and have the good fortune to get to drive my rhd xj 150 miles a day for work. Even though the 4.0 and aw4 are more than up to the task, they use a substantial amount of fuel to do it. I average 13.5 mpg on the route, but a point of comfort is that the new rhd wranglers don't do much better.

Now we are supposed to have a back up vehicle so I figured why not try to build one that is just as capable but more efficient? I would really like to use a rhd scout for this project but they are as rare as hens teeth so I will probably end up finding a cheap wore out rhd xj. I had a 300sd back in the day and absolutely loved it; I think that the om617 might be able to net me better mileage, maybe even make my own bio diesel. One of my sticking points though is the tranny, the aw4 is a fantastic tranny, but an independent controller is expensive on a mailmans budget. Is there an all mechanical 4wd transmission that has an adapter kit to the om617 that will still be efficient? Or will I just have to plan for the added expense of a tranny controller?
 

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I am a rural mail carrier and have the good fortune to get to drive my rhd xj 150 miles a day for work. Even though the 4.0 and aw4 are more than up to the task, they use a substantial amount of fuel to do it. I average 13.5 mpg on the route, but a point of comfort is that the new rhd wranglers don't do much better.

Now we are supposed to have a back up vehicle so I figured why not try to build one that is just as capable but more efficient? I would really like to use a rhd scout for this project but they are as rare as hens teeth so I will probably end up finding a cheap wore out rhd xj. I had a 300sd back in the day and absolutely loved it; I think that the om617 might be able to net me better mileage, maybe even make my own bio diesel. One of my sticking points though is the tranny, the aw4 is a fantastic tranny, but an independent controller is expensive on a mailmans budget. Is there an all mechanical 4wd transmission that has an adapter kit to the om617 that will still be efficient? Or will I just have to plan for the added expense of a tranny controller?
Low mileage mid 1990's r/h Japanese Toyota diesel vehicles, are being imported into the US and they get 25 + mpg...might want to look into them..HI-ACE Van, Surf and other models in 2wd or 4x4...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response! I'm going to stay away from gray market vehicles even though they are super cool. There has been a movement lately by a couple states to de-register previously legal gray market vehicles and that sounds like something my state would love to jump on board of. I did do a cursory search and did not see any for sale for several hundred miles, which did not surprise me; foreign vehicles are not popular at all around here. I used to catch a lot of hell for my rx7 being Japanese. Strangely enough I got nothing but respect for the mercedes. The hi ace and such that I did see for sale distantly were super out of my budget anyway. Remember I was complaining about spending 1600 dollars on a transmission controller! I already even have an extra aw4, (spare for my primary,) worn out Rhd xjs can be had for 500to 800 dollars, and om617s can be got for 1000-1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, has to be auto and 4x4. I Often have mail in both hands and starting and stopping 3 to 400 times a day would play hell on a clutch and my left knee! Road maintenance is not in the top 10 of priorities of my county so I have to use 4x4 any time it rains and we get snow and ice. I love my 242 case in my xj by the way, eases my mind about running in 4x4 for extended periods.
 

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So, you'd like a fuel efficient motor, bolted to a non-computer AT with fuel-efficient gearing (probably an OD gear), which is bolted to a married transfer case with the correct drop. For not a lot of money.

Right?

If so, unless you have mad fab skills, I bet something is going to have to give.

What did Jeep have as a smaller option to the 4.0?

FWIW, around here, the most popular mail rig is the RHD Subrau.

Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The question was just basically is there any transmissions I should look at that i hadn't considered. The answer is obviously no. I've seen the om617 swapped into xjs done before with great results; the answer is you either have to use a manual or spend the money for the controller, end of story.
 

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An NP241C will bolt to the 700R4, so with the correct input gear installed in the existing 242 it too should connect to the 700R4. The 700 is not a small trans. It isn't huge, but fitting it into the trans tunnel may or may not take a little work. I'm sure that it has been done before and is documented somewhere. Might look to XJ specific forums and sub-forums to see if you can find it documented.
 
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