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Starting my build on 98 XJ-


NAXJA Forum User
Prescott, AZ
Just bought this rig and cant wait to start mods. Been many yrs since I have owned a Jeep, need to get up to speed on latest tech. Not a DD vehicle
It currently has a 6 inch long arm with old 32 BFGs (dry rot and cracking). Gonna probably get 33x12.50 r15 M/T. Need to swap gears and add lockers. Usage - trail 60%, road 30% and light 10% rock crawling. We live in MTNs of No AZ. Dana 30 fr and rear. Thought I would upgrade gears to 4:56. Is it worth doing this gearing on a Dana 30?
looking for good suggestions on ring and pinion and budget lockers fr and rear?
You can run 33s on a Dana 30. '98 should be high pinion.

I would be surprised if you have a Dana 30 rear however. Most likely D35, especially if you have ABS.

You are probably best off ditching the D35 and swapping in a Chrysler 8.25, Dana 44 or Ford 8.8 from an Explorer. The Explorer 8.8 is a popular choice. Generally comes with discs and in theory you could retain ABS by grinding off every other tooth on the reluctor ring (or whatever it is called).

Up front, look into WJ brake swaps. That will get you better brakes and better steering. It can be hard to run 15" wheels with WJ brakes. Before you spend money on new tires, spend some time thinking about this option. Once you get invested in one path it is hard to switch over.

What kind of access to junkyards do you have? What are your fabrication skills? The answers to those questions will help with advice on a path forward.
A selectable is best for a front axle. Something else to consider in your locker decision is you probably also have a NP242.
Getting the good parts from the JY generally requires frequent, repeated visits.

Or you have to get lucky.

My luck isn't that good. I have to compensate with effort.
Hey just saw this forum and I am in a similar position. I'll be following what you do as I am also in AZ and have very similar questions.