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XJ Drive Train



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XJ Project - Drivetrain

Dana 300 Transfer Case

Plan is to flip the case to get the driverside drop and do a twin stick setup.

Purchased a Novak Flip Kit to do the flip.  Comes with the adaptor ring, new seal, gaskets, bolts and studs.

Adaptor installed, pt it under the jeep and realized that most of the mounting structure for the transfer case shift levers would need to be removed to fit around the transmission.

Here you can see that I had to take all of the bracket off below the shift rods.  Figuring out how much to take off was easy.  Just put a piece of cardboard against the back of the transmission and lightly tap it with a hammer.  This will leave an impression of the transmission adaptor that you can cut out.  Actually cutting the bracket off though is a real pain the the butt.

Even after all that trimming the transfer case still hits a small boss sticking out of the side of the transmission.  It is in the middle of the picture just to the left of the upper shift rod.  Will have to grind this off to get the case to fit.


Below are several pictures of the transfer case installed.  The transmission is still about 2" lower than it will be once everything is done.  The more I look at this, the harder it is going to be to do a three link, might look at a radius arm type suspension setup for the front.


Purchased some push/pull control cables from McMaster Carr.  

Ordered a driveshaft from a place in Iowa, have since ended up replaing the rear driveshaft tube with .25" wall DOM tube.   

Front Axle - Dana 44

Front axle is a Dana 44 (yes I know, I should have gone with a 60) and the plan is 5.13 gears and an Ox Locker.

Needs cleaned up and tore down.

Tore down, knuckle is at the machine shop and I am working on installing the gears and locker.  During the tear down I found out the drivers side lock out is trashed, and I found that someone used a roll pin in place fo the bolt to hold the center pin in the carrier.  I was able to take a hammer and a punch and shear the roll pin off.

OX and gears installed.


Knuckle after machining.


Installed, minus some guards for the OX cable and the hydraulic assist cylinder. 


Rear Axle - Dana 60

Purchased a Dana 60 out of a 1978 F250.

Stripped axle, cleaned up hubs, removed brake drums and backing plates.  One hub had gotten a little water in it and the bearings were shot so I had to replace the wheel bearings on that side.  Took a wire wheel to the axle, cleaned it up and primed it for paint.

 Welded the axle tubes to the housing.  Welded relatively easily, I had to take a wire brush to the joints to get all of the dirt out before welding.  I welded it using .035" wire, welding about 1" at a time then switching sides while rotating the axle to different areas.

Shaved the D60 

Did a small shave to the D60, started by taking a sawzall and knocking off the bottom lip and some along the left edge in the picture.  After that I took a grinder to smooth out the cuts and take some off the right side.  After some grinding I made up two plates 3/16" thick to fill in the areas that would still catch rocks.  Below shows the diff with the two plates in place.

Welded up the plates, then ground the diff again to get an almost completely smooth bottom surface. 

Next picture shows the diff after shaving from teh ring and pinion side, overall I gained about 1/2 to 5/8" oo clearance.  Later on I might shave off more, but this will work to start out. 

Disc Brake Conversion

Completed the disc brake conversion, below is a parts breakdown with costs.  All of the parts except the caliper plates came from Advance Auto, the caliper plates came from Great Lakes Offroad.   All the OEM parts are front brake parts for a 1985 3/4 ton 4x4 Chevy Pickup.  I still need to pick up some flexible brake lines.


Caliper Plates$45
Brake PadsMKD153$18
Brake Rotor (2)YH141049$24 ea
Brake Caliper184208$34
Brake Caliper184209$34


 The total cost has ended up being around $200  

 Disc Brake Bracket from Great Lakes Offroad, 3/8" laser cut bracket with tapped holes for the caliper bolts. 

 I did have to make one minor modification to the brakets to clear the small piece on the caliper.  Took a grinder and ground a slight notch in the bracket so that the caliper could slide freely.

Gears and Locker Install 

Pulled the old carrier out and amazingly the bearings pulled off by hand.  It appears that the bearings spun on the carrier, carrier is shot.


 Picture of the carrier right after it came out, the bearings pulled off easier than setup bearings. 

Installed the 5.13 gears and Detroit, no big issues, set up was quick and only had to make a minor adjustment for the back lash and preload. 


Wheels & Tires

Purchased a set of Military Humvee beadlocks with tires.    I will put up pics as soon as I take some.  I wont decide on spacer untill I get the axles under the jeep and try them out.  More than likely I will make up some 1.5" spacers, or recenter them, to try to keep from bashing my lockouts as much.

Humvee Beadlock specs:

  • Double Beadlock with magnesium run-flat 
  • 16.5 X 9.78
  • 8 lug on 6.5"
  • 7" of Backspacing
  • 4.88" Center Opening
  • 8 Bolt Split Rim (the radial version is 12 bolt)

 Unfortunately the tires are 36" tires so there is no chance of using them in competitions.  They arent in horrible shape so Ill probably use them for some trail tuns and testing until I find another set.  

Breakdown of H1 wheels: Tire, Magneisuim Run Flat(2), O Ring, Rim

New centers that will be welded in, once I decide on the new backspacing.

Run Flat - Im in the process of cutting the run flat portion off and just keeping the beadlock portion. 

Cutting the runflats was a bit labor intensive but quite easy.  I took a hammer and broke the fins out on the side, that is shown on the left.  Then I took a demolition bit and the sawzall and cut through the main web.  I could do one wheel in about 20 min.


Picture of the H1 Rims after the center is cut out and the new center is welded in.  Back spacing is now 4.5"s.

Tool I made up to cut out the centers of the H1 rims.  Works well, uses 5/8 bolts through the lug holes, just need to remember to grind off the paint where your going to cut before you start.

Rock ring installed and painted.


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