BC 4x4 Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I got a 91 Cherokee (Auto... I know I know... if I had a choice but I didn't) Stock right now with p235 75r15's tires (I dunno what size that equates to in inches... I'm not that hardcore yet). I am looking to ease in some mods like a lift about 3", some bigger tires, and a rear locker. I have heard about some kind of cheap limited slip thingy I can slap on the back for cheap, but otherwise, I am trying to figure out how much this will all cost, and what kind of stages I can phase it all in. I haven't got a couple of large to blow right now, but if I can ease it in one upgrade at a time at a couple hundred a pop I think I can manage it. Anyone have info like this? I am looking costwise, cheap as possible without buying crap.

------------------
Cheapass Cherokee Boy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Myself I would want automatic because I dont want to be dickin around with a clutch goin sideways down a verry steep hill. With the auto You can idle over so many things without worrying if your gonna stall.

I think the the control your talkin about is the Limited slip (trac lock i think its called) that came on Jeeps like your cherokee. Mine came with it and it is a cheap available upgrade. What rear end do you have?

If you want a cheap lift to get you started check out www.rubiconexpress.com . They have budget lifts you can do for cheap. You can probably find cheaper even than that I just got rid of all of my links.

If you go to 3" of lift the largest tires you can fit would be 31's anything higher it would rub your fenders.

If you want to get started I would suggest the Trac lock (or lockers for that case) and a pair of sway bar quick disconnects. That way it will get you on the trails and give you time to see what your jeep is made of then you can find out what you need after. Hope that helps bud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the the control your talkin about is the Limited slip (trac lock i think its called) that came on Jeeps like your cherokee. Mine came with it and it is a cheap available upgrade. What rear end do you have?
That is the ticket. As far as I know I don't have it... my wheels spin pretty freely independently when I am in a jam. The rear end is stock. I don't know offhand which it is.

rubiconexpress... is that in American $$$ or Canadian? It makes a helluva difference these days...

------------------
Cheapass Cherokee Boy
 

·
Superfly
Joined
·
8,221 Posts
The trac-lok is a cheap upgrade in that you could probably buy one cheap from someone who wants to get rid of it. It isn't cheap when it comes to the install because you will have to pay someone to set up the ring & pinion gears for you (unless you know how to do it yourself).

A Lockright costs more but you can install it yourself and it is a true locker, not a limited slip which only minimizes wheelspin a little bit. That's why they're often referred to as Trash-Loks and Unlimited Slips. ;-)

The Lockright has quirky handling traits but automatic transmissions do a good job of masking them.

On the list of upgrades, I'd add an extra transmission cooler. Only costs around $40-75 and you can install it yourself. The auto tranny used in the XJs is a good one but like any slush box, a rebuild is expensive. Better to take good care of it instead. You might also consider getting the electronic switch that lets you force it into 1st gear. I'm trying to get Alan Chung to provide details on the one he built for his XJ.

...lars


------------------
19911995409993004:144444.103512.58274



Join | BC4X4 | .com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Trash-Loks and Unlimited Slips
Don't forget Limited S&#t.


Lars, I think that the switch you're talking about is the 2nd gear switch. The AW4 doesn't get TC lockup in 1st gear, so the switch is actually for 2nd gear. It works quite well in 4LO going down a slope and not wanting the tranny to jump back and forth between 1 and 2. Mind you, this is the only time to use this switch because you could fU><0r the tranny any other time.

Link to 2nd gear switch: http://www.ilovejeeps.com/tech/article.cfm?ID=5

Some other kewl stuff at www.ilovejeeps.com as well.

------------------
Phil M. - Kent, WA
95 XJ Sport w/Stuff
"Who cares about a list of crap, can you drive it?"
 

·
Superfly
Joined
·
8,221 Posts
Originally posted by nikon_jeeper:
Lars, I think that the switch you're talking about is the 2nd gear switch. The AW4 doesn't get TC lockup in 1st gear, so the switch is actually for 2nd gear. It works quite well in 4LO going down a slope and not wanting the tranny to jump back and forth between 1 and 2. Mind you, this is the only time to use this switch because you could fU><0r the tranny any other time.
Yeah, that's right, the switch I mean let's you use 1st or 2nd rather than let the tranny auto shift btwn the two. Didn't know it was related to the TC lockup, though.

Why is this switch a bad thing to use other than for coasting down hills?


...lars



------------------
19911995409993004:144444.103512.58274



Join | BC4X4 | .com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Something about the TC lockup in 2nd gear and not letting it shift into 1st when stopping. I'm not entirely sure about my last statement in the last post. I've never tried it. I think I'm confusing it with something that a friend in Iowa built for me. It's pretty neat...it's a 4 position switch that lets you shift into any gear, therefore making it fully manual.
Only drawback is that you can't shift into 1st gear with the TC locked (which is also controlled with an on-off switch) or it'll mess it up. Ok, that's where I was cornfused. Just ignore me.


------------------
Phil M. - Kent, WA
95 XJ Sport w/Stuff
"Who cares about a list of crap, can you drive it?"
 

·
Silverback
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Originally posted by mr_cheevus:
I am looking costwise, cheap as possible without buying crap.

"Cheap mods" is an oxymoron for an XJ.


A cheap 3" lift is not going to ride very well, though it can be done. You can get 2" of lift for cheap and not have to worry about the trackbar, upper or lower control arms, brakelines etc., but you will probably want longer shocks. A couple of coil spacers and some extended rear shackles, a small block and/or add-a leaf will get you higher.

I'd suggest that you save your money and do a proper suspension lift (new springs, rather than budget boost spacers, shackles, blocks, add-a-leafs or other inexpensive route items) once you have the $$$'s. A cheap 2" of lift is not going to allow you to run tires bigger than 30" anyway, and you can fit them at stock height.

Once you've got the basics - tranny cooler & tow points front and rear, invest in some armor (the rocker panels are vulnerable) and decent 30" tires.

Tow/tug points are more expensive on the uni-frame XJ than on framed vehicles. The front and rear bumpers are like tinfoil.

You can't just drill some holes and bolt a hook or shackle ring in place using the bumpers or the "frame". There are kits available to spread the load across the uni-frame "frame-rails" so that you won't end up tearing hooks out and catapulting them through your friends' windshields.

Custom4x4 Fabrication has decent hooks and/or D-shackle loops for reasonable prices, as does Rusty (RustysOffroad). A Google search will turn both of their URL's up. The cheapest rear tow point is a receiver hitch - but make sure that you try to get the frame rail nutsert plates that fit inside the rails, rather than fish separate nuts in - again, it's an issue of trying to tie as much of the uni-frame together as possible for added strength. A Class III receiver hitch will affect your departure angle, but it'll also afford significant protection to your crappy OEM rear bumper and sheetmetal. The bumpers on the XJ are like tinfoil.....oh, did I say that already?

I have the OEM tow-hook mounting arms that you can have to use as a pattern to make your own, if you want. I gave Dan B the angled bumper re-inforcement bits, but they'd be pretty easy to eye-ball and make while you're making the new arms. It's not a complex thing, but having the arms there in front of you for measurements etc. would be helpful. They bolt right up to holes already drilled in the uni-frame. You might want to just try to install the OEM arms, but the tow-hook mounting platform is bent up pretty badly on both of them from lateral tugs at Walker Valley. The C4x4 design is superior to the OEM ones.

Disconnecting the front anti-sway bar is a cheap and effective way of significantly improving your off-road performance. Driving while disconnected, with OEM springs, isn't recommended. IMO it's dangerous. Even though you may alter your driving style to accomodate the body roll, others may not, such that you'll need to engage in an emergency avoidance manoeuvre and won't safely be able to. I've seen people connect and disconnect their stock links, but it'd be much easier with after-market disconnects, or even home-made ones. There are quite a few sites on the net showing you how to modify the stock links to allow for somewhat "quicker" disconnect times for cheap.

One nice thing about the XJ is that you don't need to modify it much to get it to go places. With 30" tires and some armor you'll be able to keep up with the Jones' just fine - but you won't necessarily have the "look".

See you one the trails!

PS I've got a new Compushift sitting in its box on a shelf. It won't work on my XJ because of the "improved" self-diagnostic computer on the newer trucks. It's a simple device that basically does what the "home-fix" approach does - but gives you a box, a switch, a nifty little "on/off" light for ease of installation and use. If you get 'round to wanting to invest in this mod, let me know. It's not one of the first things that I'd do, but it's up near the top.....nice to be able to hold the tranny in 2nd on those long moderate downhills where you want to be travelling at 25 mph; my auto shifts into first at about 28mph and the revs are too high for my liking for periods of extended driving in 1st gear at 25mph.

------------------
DMMcG
'98 XJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
Glad I didn't give advice when I checked this post earlier - DMMcG saved me a lot of typing


The auto is great choice for a trail rig. No stalling, much more forgiving for tire size changes, and easier on axles.

My recipe for a low-budget street & trail XJ....
Step 1:
-2" budget lift. About $200.00
-Doetsch Tech shocks. Nice soft ride and long wheel travel. Also around $200.00 a set
-30" General Grabber MTs. Not as pricy as BFGs, tougher than most other "streetable" MTs. Good chance of finding 30s used.
-Home built sway bar disconnects in the front
-remove and toss the rear sway bar.
-factory class III trailer hitch for a rear tow point. $50.00 at a wrecker.
-front tow hook kit. $70.00 at wrecker.

Step 2:
-heavy duty tranny skid. $200.00
-rock rails. $400.00
-gas tank skid plate. $60.00 at wrecker.
-front skid. $25.00 at wrecker.
-no-slip or similar "lunch-box" locker

Step 3:
-cut out fenders and wider fender flares for more tire clearance
-AR767 steel wheels. 8" with 4.75" backspacing. $60.00 each
-31x10.5" tires

Your XJ would now be a totally kick-ass rig capable of traveling 90% of the trails in the province (asuming you are smart enough to take the bypass when necessary).
This is also a good platform to build on, since very little has been wasted. A few years down the road you could add 3" lift springs plus a SYE, steering mods, and shocks and go to 4.5" of lift. With the wider flares and cut fenders you could run a 33x10.5 tire with this setup.

For those of you who haven't seen them, check out these cool new Bushwacker flares:



------------------
Chris S.
2002 KJ - staying stock (almost)
2000 TJ - 2" suspension lift, 1/2" body lift, assorted skids, hooks, rock rails, rock lights, 33" BFG MTs, custom bumper, Warn 8274
Mud Puppy's Jeep site

[This message has been edited by Chris S (edited November 15, 2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
P.S.



My 91 XJ doing what it did best



------------------
Chris S.
2002 KJ - staying stock (almost)
2000 TJ - 2" suspension lift, 1/2" body lift, assorted skids, hooks, rock rails, rock lights, 33" BFG MTs, custom bumper, Warn 8274
Mud Puppy's Jeep site

[This message has been edited by Chris S (edited November 15, 2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! Thanks guys for the responses! A little leg work and I have gotten myself some good news. Class III towing hitch is the light duty one right? I have that, so I do have at least that for a tow point. I am running 29" tires stock... I keep seeing on the web now that 31's can fit without a lift... I am finding it hard to imagine 31's in those wheelwells though. It already seems awful tight.

The limited slip trac lock seems to be what I will have to look at... some locker is better than nothing, and this thing has to get me around on pavement as well, so a full-on Detroit isn't really an option.

The rocker rmour seems like it may be a wise earlier investment as well, seeing as how my primary thing with these mods is stealth: gotta keep the wifey from noticing too much visually.


As I said above about tire size, it seems like an absolute "must have" is a bit of a lift. If I can slip a cheapo 2" lift on, that may solve me a world of problems... and if I bump the tire size up to 30 or 31 that amounts to an extra 4" total right? I am finding the main stumbling block to where I have been wheeling is just smacking my arse-end coming out of ditches. That poor tow hitch I don't think is even usable as a tow hitch anymore, and I beat the tar out of the electric tow hookup before I thought to bungee it up behind my bumper! ;P A bit of a lift would probably solve that problem no?

Back to the Trac-Loc. Is that something I can pick up at a wreckers and throw on myself or with some buddies? Or is it something I need a garage for? Is buying at a wreckers even smart, or would they be too worn there to be much good to me? The Lockright sounds interesting, but I think I would like some more info on what it means that "Auto tranny does a good job of masking" it. Also, you never mentioned what a lockright would set me back.

Thanks again guys!

The extra cooler does seem like something I might grab right away... I noticed last summer on a few trails the engine was running a touch hot, and I had to stop a couple of times just to make surre I didn't overheat. And it is cheap to boot!

------------------
Cheapass Cherokee Boy
 

·
Superfly
Joined
·
8,221 Posts
Originally posted by mr_cheevus:
The limited slip trac lock seems to be what I will have to look at... some locker is better than nothing, and this thing has to get me around on pavement as well, so a full-on Detroit isn't really an option.
Perhaps I'm being a bit too dogmatic about terminology here but...and Trac-lok is NOT a locker in any way, shape or form. A locker will actually lock left and right axle shafts together so that absolutely no differentiation is possible. A limited slip, of which the Trac-lok is one, can only limit the amount of differentiation. Off-road, a limited slip will always be inferior to a locker and the difference is noticeable.


Back to the Trac-Loc. Is that something I can pick up at a wreckers and throw on myself or with some buddies? Or is it something I need a garage for?
Yes, it's something you can buy at a wrecker's. You can throw it in yourself if you're comfortable with reading the backlash and tooth engagement patterns, and disassembling and reassembling a differential. You'll need a dial indicator, bearing remover, torque wrench (including an inch-lb one), and a gear install kit or else have a bunch of shims on hand. Book says you'll need a case spreader but I've never needed one when re/re'ing a diff carrier. Most people I know would get someone else to install it but I don't know your background so you might want to do some learnin' here and try it yourself.

Is buying at a wreckers even smart, or would they be too worn there to be much good to me?
Well, no matter who you buy it from, unless it's fairly new (ie: less than a year old) I would buy some new clutch plates for it. It's best to replace them with the carrier sitting on a work bench. Just re-inserting worn clutch plates is a major PITA when you're lying under a vehicle on the trail (trust me on that). And don't forget to put in some friction modifier when you re-fill the diff.

The Lockright sounds interesting, but I think I would like some more info on what it means that "Auto tranny does a good job of masking" it. Also, you never mentioned what a lockright would set me back.
Price-wise, I think they're in the CAD$400 range. A Lockright is a true locker but differs from the traditional units in that it doesn't replace your gear carrier. Instead, it simply replaces the gears inside the carrier. Because you re-use the same carrier, you don't need to do any gear setup like you would if you installed a Trac-lok. You also get way better off-road performance. The downside is that they introduce a lot of backlash into your diff so getting on and off the gas while going through a corner will introduce some handling feedback (ie: understeer/oversteer transitions) and will make a clicking noise when you coast around corners. If you accelerate hard through a tight turn, it will also chirp one of your tires. If you have a manual transmission, the backlash will result in some bucking and banging when coasting and turning at low speeds. With an auto tranny, this last quirk is not a problem.

There is some question about the Lockright's durability. Some people have had problems with them, others haven't (I put around 90,000 to 100,000 km on my Lockright with no problems - I have an auto tranny, btw). As always your mileage may vary (ymmv).

...lars

------------------
19911995409993004:144444.103512.58274



Join | BC4X4 | .com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
I wouldn't bother with a trac-lock. installation requires pulling all the guts out of your dif and replacing them, they wear out fast, and used ones are likely toast. By hte time you pay someone who knows what they are doing to install it you are better off buying a real locker that can be installed by amatures. One of the best for this is the No-Slip. It's bit more $$$, but it has a retaining ring that hold the locker open in corners so it is much smoother on the street.

Class III hitch is the heavy duty 5000 lb one and has a 2"x2" cross bar from frame rail to frame rail and does not attach to the bumper. If your hitch has a plate that dangles it from the bumper then it is only a 2000lb hitch and not strong enough for recovery.

2" lift + 1" taller tires = 2.5" more clearance. half the tire is under the rim and half of it is above


31s on no lift is only for street rigs or guys with no wheel travel. Either that or they've already done a lot of fender trimming like I mentioned at step 3.

The tranny cooler is a good idea. Also Check under your hood to see if you have an electric fan in addition to the engine driven one. If not grab one from a 95 and up XJ at the wreckers and wire it on a switch. When your rig gets hot you can flip it on and double your cooling.

------------------
Chris S.
2002 KJ - staying stock (almost)
2000 TJ - 2" suspension lift, 1/2" body lift, assorted skids, hooks, rock rails, rock lights, 33" BFG MTs, custom bumper, Warn 8274
Mud Puppy's Jeep site

[This message has been edited by Chris S (edited November 16, 2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
sounds like you are well on your way,BUT don't cheap out on any problems related to your cooling.especially with the autoslutic.the '95+ fan is a good upgrade,and right about now you should think about a NEW rad and fan clutch.one other repair that dropped my temp. on the trail was replacing the fuel pump.apparently you run leaner and hotter if your injection system can't maintain full pressure.go figure.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top