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Hi all;

   I'm working on an idea for mix-n-match of Jeep parts (front and rear axles) and my "rollin' wreck" Toyota 4X4 truck. I've been given a rear end from an '88 Comanche that was wrecked and s "spare" front axle I THINK is from an '89 Cherokee. It's a pretty long drive to 'em,so I'm trying to do some research before making the trip. I think the front axle is from a Cherokee with an automatic,and the Comanche axle was from a 5 speed model. What are my chances of them having the same gear ratio? If they're different,I can get the Comanche front end too,but the right end is torn off;how much of a bag-o-snakes is it to swap the gears over to the other housing? (I hope it's built like my Toyota with a removable carrier.)

   Thanks in advance for ANY information you can offer-the repair manuals don't show any pics of the axle housings so I don't know HOW they're built.

   Speed

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Hi, Speed...The XJ Cherokee and MJ Comanche share front axles (a Dana 30 with a vacuum disconnect at the right/passenger side tube in '88/'89).  So the front end comes down to odds on finding a ratio match.  A possible match, though no guarantee.

The rear axle on the MJ is either a Dana 35 or a Dana 44 ("heavy-duty" version).  MJ rear 44s are somewhat rare and prized as a bolt-in swap axle for upgrading an XJ Cherokee.  These 44s get snapped up immediately at recycling yards. 

44 ratios are typically 3.07, 3.54 and 4.09.  35s are available in 2.73, 3.07, 3.31, 3.55, 3.73 and 4.11.  If the Comanche has a rear 44 and manual transmission, I would bet on a 3.54 or 4.09 ratio.  In this case, the match would be a Cherokee with a 3.54 or 4.11 front axle, respectively.  (4.09 rear works with a 4.11 front.) 

Most popular in either vehicle would be 3.55/3.54 rear axles and a matching 3.54 Dana 30 front.  An XJ with 4.11 ratios would typically be a four-cylinder model with a manual transmission.  3.55 is more common, usually coupled with an AW4 automatic and 4.0L inline six.

The Dana 30 front axle common to the XJ and MJ should be 3.31, 3.54, 3.73 or 4.11 ratio.  Your best outcome will be a 3.54 front axle to match a 3.55 Dana 35 rear axle or a 3.54 rear 44.  A ratio match from two vehicles is always a crap shoot, largely dependent upon the MJ's GVWR and rear axle type.

Let us know what you find!

Moses

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Okay-What would it cost to swap the gears from the MJ front housing to the XJ "spare" axle? This is a worst case scenario. If it turns out all this stuff is not compatible in any form,I'm looking at a mid 70's Chevy truck axle set. I'm just wondering how different they'll be in width,available width for spring pad attachment,etc. and which side the carrier is on. (I don't even know THAT about the Jeep axles.) I'm going out there tomorrow to get #'s,measurements and comparing ratios for a possible match.

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Speed...The Chevy axles would be a wider track, desirable for a lifted truck, as this helps correct the center-of-gravity liability.  You need to be aware of the axle/differential and transfer case drop/offset positions when considering any 4x4 swap axle.  The spring pads would need relocating, pay close attention to caster and pinion angles when relocating the spring perches.

Jeep axles would be closer in width to the Toyota frame rails.  The Jeep front axles are link-and-coil, so you would be making perches from scratch more or less.  Note the layout...

Your fact-finding trip with a tape measure in hand will prove helpful.

Moses

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The main things I'm concerned with are which side axle drop is on,and the spring pad width,or room to fit spring pads.

   So far the Toyota is 29" spring pad width center to center,and the axle drop is on the left.

   The Jeep Cherokee is 31" spring pad width and has a right side axle drop,

  A '78 J-10 has a 32" spring pad width and a right side axle drop. I checked this one just because it was there.. I suspect most of GM's axles will be similar,though Dutch says Suburbans have left side drop.

 

    I'm calling a loss on the Jeep Cherokee/Comanche axles,mainly due to the axle drop,and the J-10 for the same reason but I was told about a Chevy LUV 4X4;. I'm not sure what year it is,and when I make contact with the owner I'll need him to dig it out of a pile of cars. In '77,when I worked for a Chevy dealer,the 4X4 LUV was offered as a special order conversion,but I don't know where the axles or T/C were sourced from. I remember they were only available with a 4.10 ratio. We had one on the lot and I drove it a LOT. When Chevy started producing them in '79,if I remember correctly,they used an IFS instead of the leaf spring solid axle,so it'll be a one year wonder if it fits....I'll keep looking

Speed

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BTW-I broke the cable on my 5K winch,so I'm getting a quote from "Elko Wire Rope" to get the same size/length,plus one wrap,of their best quality cable. Having the winch down has made a one day job into a three day (so far) job. That "Badlands" winch from Harbor Freight is a pretty good unit if you get GOOD cable on it.

Speed

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Understand the axle/transfer case drop issue well.  Yes, the LUV OEM/factory 4x4 system was IFS.  The earlier conversion was likely Spencer Low's kit, which was also popular for Toyota Hi-Lux type pickups prior to the factory beam axle models introduced in 1979.  The Low conversion used a beam front axle...

Interesting feedback on the Badlands winch.  Warn, Superwinch and Smittybilt are either Chinese sub-components ("assembled in the U.S.") or outright China built units.  This places Badlands in the same league.  Just depends upon the engineering and which Chinese shop makes the units.  Service parts availability can be an issue with Chinese-built products.  I like your idea of U.S. sourced wire, that's the safety end of the winch...They know quality wire at Elko.

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At this point I'm not really choosy about what axles I use.like I said,if there's room for spring pads,a left side carrier,and 3.55 or deeper gearing,I can make 'em work. Any other axle sets that might work? I thought about Land Cruiser axles,but they can't be found for less than a fortune.

The guy at Elko Wire Rope says this cable is 5/16",like the original,7X19, and is rated at something over 9,000 pounds,which I'm guessing is nearly twice the rating of the one I destroyed. The cable appears the same as what I took off,but FEELS much less likely to "rats nest" than the original one. It spooled onto the drum as neat as I could have hoped.I bought 60 feet of cable instead of the stock 50 foot,and though it's a little close to the cross supports I think it'll tuck in a little once it's been stressed a couple of times.

Speed

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Here's another question-If I went ahead with the Cherokee/Comanche axles,would there be a chance of using a pair of those double u-joint set ups on the front drive line,(one at each end) to compensate for the front driveline crossing to the other side? SO far,all the front axles I've found are right drop,but the Yota is a left drop. For what it's worth,the truck will never see over about 40 mph with its hubs locked in,so I don't think vibration would be a deciding factor.

   There seems to be plenty of room at oil pan etc. for the shaft to cross from left T/C to right drop axle.

   I guess the BEST thing would be either another set of Yota  truck axles or maybe Land Cruiser axles-IF I could find 'em for less than a fortune. around here,they're harder to find than a four speed Monte Carlo.

   Speed

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Speed...To keep with disc front brakes, the Toyota axles might be your best bet.  Many 1980-up chain drive transfer case trucks have a left side drop, try for a chain-drive transfer case 4x4 pickup:  Dodge Ram (full-size) might be a way to go, they use Dana or AAM axles.

Moses

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I decided my best move is to swap my '81 Yota axles over to the '82,swap the P/S set up over,and pull the engine,Transmission and T/C and whatever else could be used from the '81 and scrap the rest. I REALLY don't need ANOTHER truck,and this one (the '81) needs too much work to save.

   I'll  get the '81 up on stands under the frame,pull the wheels off and borrow a set of those wheel dollies,pull the front and rear axles and springs complete and wheel them over under the other truck and jack them up into place. I bought new urethane bushings to use under the other truck,but will have to buy new bolts and lock nuts for the springs since they weren't included in the sets. I MIGHT invest in shocks for it while I'm at it. In the meantime,I installed the new bracket and 105@ 10si alternator on the '82,and have some 100W headlights for it that I won't install until the truck is functional. The '82's front fenders are pretty whanged up on the front edges,so I'm looking at cutting the bottom foot off the front of each one. I'll also swap as much of the brake system over as I can,since it's all new on the '81. I'll buy a set of stock mirrors for the '82,that'll only cost around $60.00. I'll ALSO want an electric fuel pump for it,I might have one in the garage somewhere. I MIGHT consider a better set of seats,since these are hammered and the frames are pretty flimsy. What's a good fit in the Yota pick up? Not a lot of room in those things. If I can find an A/C compressor and bracket for a 22R motor I'll set it up with on-board air. One more thing I'm considering is using the gas tank from the '81 as a second tank for the '82. I think I can mount it on the left side similar to the stock location,and just put the filler tube into the truck bed. I figure that'll give it about 600 miles range. I'd put a manual selector valve in the lines and wire both senders through a "left-off-right" toggle switch

My friend Ben says he'd build me a set of bumpers,a grille guard and a hitch for it,with a suitable degree of overkill. I might put a winch on it,or just a spotter hitch,which I can then plug my 5K winch into at either end of the truck.

   Speed

 

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I installed TJ Wrangler Bestop seats in the XJ Cherokee, and they work great.  However, they crowd the console and tunnel like you hint.  I had to do a lot of work with the sub-frames, including fabrication of "adapter" mounting brackets to allow use of the OEM Jeep floor mounts and slide adjusters.  It was ultimately a "bolt-in" after fabricating the adapters, which required welding and use of my Harbor Freight bandsaw.  Realistically, lots of work but worth ditching the stock, flimsy Cherokee seats.

Explore the later Toyota pickups and Toyota passenger cars.  See if you can devise a suitable factory parts swap.  It's always easier than aftermarket unless a model specific seat package is available for your year/model Toyota pickup.  Then there's the option of rebuilding your original seat frames and having the upholstery and padding upgraded.

Moses  

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I think I'll be looking at a trip to Pick-N-Pull for seats next time they have a Half Price Day.

Speed

 

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