dt5150

05 TJ, Stock to Mall Crawler

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picked this up last fall to plow my driveway with. all stock except for some aftermarket wheels and tires. i can't leave it stock though. it just doesn't look right, doesn't look like a "jeep". it's almost embarrassing to drive it like this. it deserves a little modding. my plan for this one is much different than my last one... i went way down the rabbit hole last time. v8 swap, tranny swap, dana 44's, bds lift, 36" intercos and tons of other stuff that i spent way too much money and time on. not gonna happen this time (of course i say that now). but this one will be a simple lift and wheel/tire upgrade. down the road i may add a few bolt-on goodies here and there like bumpers and such. for now, it's getting a zone 3" lift and some 33" duratracs on some black d-window steelies. nothing grand. i did buy a used bestop soft top for it and some bestop soft doors on craigslist for short money. put those on last night. this is going to be somewhat of a slow process, i simply don't have as much time (or money) as i used to. a wife, 2 kids, 5 pets and a house all seem to conspire together to take up most of my time so i'll be doing this work in short segments when i get free hour or two. i have all the parts for the project as of yesterday, so i hope to get started on it soon. one thing i don't want is this taking up space in my garage for months on end for such simple work so hopefully i can make to most of the small windows of time i have. i've never done a coil spring lift so this will be a little different for me, my last one was an 83 cj7 on leaf springs, but i think i'll do ok.

pics as i bought it and with the new soft top on there. more to come as things progress.

 

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D44 or D35 rear axle? I agree with you. No reason to get to the extent you did on the last one. As long as it's a D44 you can leave the rear axle alone. It has a 4.0 so just put some taller gears with lockers, a small lift and maybe a little trimming for 35s and you're good to go.

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should be a 44 in that Willy's Edition

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nope, it's a 35.

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NO :beers:

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I'd look for a D44 out of a TJ or a 8.8. With the 8.8 you can find a 4.10 ratio, but I think the D44s found in TJs all came with 3.73s, but I could be wrong on that. I wouldn't keep the D35 with 33s, especially if you want to continue plowing duties with it. My 98 TJ had a D44 and I found a Cherokee HP D30 to swap into the front that had 4.56 gears already in it so I only had to regear the rear axle to match.

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I have a cheap Dana 44 rear for a TJ.  It's missing bearing caps.  You would have to "guess and check" until you found caps that fit (ish).  I also have another TJ rear 44 with 3.73 and full Detroit, but the brackets are pretty rough.  The housing with missing caps has good aftermarket brackets.  I will make a deal if interested....

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i appreciate it guys, thank you, but i'm gonna run what i've got until it breaks. then upgrade with better stuff.

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started marinating the nuts/bolts in pb blaster in preparation for the lift install. when i'll get to do it, i don't know. fishing the winni derby this weekend, but sunday it's supposed to rain pretty good. maybe i'll get some time then to get started.

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got to spend a few hours working on the jeep last evening and sunday afternoon. started with the front end tear down and right off the bat, she fought me. those POS oem lug nuts fell apart and did not want to come off. took way longer than it should have, but i got them off. then the front shocks.. 2 of the bolts on the driver's side argued with me. ended up having to bust out the sawzall and the cutting wheel, cut the nut off of the top because the it wouldn't come off. then cut off the bottom of the shock at the eye to get at the stripped bottom bar pin bolt. PITA but she finally let go. passenger side went relatively smoothly, only had to cut off the top shock nut, bottoms came out fine. i can't wait for the fight with the rear shock bolts :facepalm: then came the sway bar end links, which came off fine, no troubles there. that's where i had to quit. it was getting late, had to get the kids to bed. plus the skeeters were getting bad in the garage.

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