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Old 27-05-2018
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Default Fitting JK Unlimited Axles into an XJ Limited

I've posted this in my build thread, but will also write up any little tidbits in here for people to find. Artec Industries do a complete truss/mount system to fit JK Axles into TJ's, however it's designed for LHD applications only. I'm hoping to be able to use the majority of the truss/bracket system for the front axle, but with a couple of differences for the track bar and steering damper mounts.

I picked up a set of complete disc to disc axles from a mate who had upgraded to Ultimate Dana 60's. It's a D30/D44 combo from an Overland, and had been recently regeared to 4.56:1 ratios. I'll be running the original 18" Overland wheels with road tyres as day-to-day driving wheels, and will pick up a set of 16" or 17" base tyres to throw some 33's on for offroad. I'm planning to adapt the original Wrangler wheel speed sensors to the wiring for the ABS in my XJ, which shouldn't be too difficult as it's just a simple tone wheel.

The JK Axles are 120mm wider from wheel mounting face to mounting face compared to the XJ axles. I've done a heap of measurements to make sure the spring perches are in the correct spots.

Pinion Angle to Spring Perch = 10.3*
XJ Drum face to Centre of Spring Perch = 216mm
XJ Overall axle width (Drum to Drum) = 1539mm
JK Overall axle width (Disc to Disc) = 1659mm
JK Disc face to Centre of Spring Perch = 276mm

Anyway, started the rear axle today. Removed all the old control arm mounts from the D44, cleaned up the housing and welded the new spring perches to the axle tubes after a LOT of measuring. Will also be fitting a Uneek4x4 Weld-on Truss (sitting on the diff in the final photo) to the rear axle before it's fitted to the car.

Dana 35 from my old black sport for reference and shock mounts


Unboxing the JK Axles


Checking the Pinion angle relative to the spring perches on the Dana 35



The Dana44 axle before bracket removal


Mid bracket removal


Just the LCA mounts to go


Leaf Spring perch welded to axle tube


Soon to be Finished Product


I've left part of the bump-stop bracket from the original JK bump stop mounts as it holds the handbrake cable. I'll need to get custom handbrake cables made up, as well as hard lines for the rear brakes. I'll also need to drill and tap a hole for the rear brake line to bolt to, as the original breather now sits under the truss on the left side of the photo.

Now just to play the waiting game for the Artec JK2TJ Front truss setup to arrive, then I can start getting the front mocked up.
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'96 XJ Limited

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Last edited by fraz; 27-05-2018 at 11:26 AM.

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Old 21-06-2018
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Managed to get a little more done last weekend. Welded the truss onto the diff housing, cleaned up a few of the spots where I over-cut with the grinder, and gave it a coat of Matte Black to stop it rusting (I live next to the ocean).

Will get the shock mounts done when I get it on the car, as I want to make sure they're right and don't limit travel.

Next up will be sorting out the front end. The artec industries JK2TJ kit has arrived, so I'll start cutting the front brackets off this weekend.

Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Tapatalk
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For starters, got the front all mocked up and ready to go, then ran out of time to actually weld the mounts on that day. Welded the front coil mounts and swaybar brackets together, then realised I needed to do that on the diff, so cut a slot so it would fit to the diff without having to undo a heap of weld. (I'm not great at reading instructions)

Started putting the diffs in tonight after work. Got the rear in, the rear bolted up stupidly easy. Used ZJ rear brake lines (had to drill them out to suit the JK banjo bolts) and they connect straight up to the XJ hard lines. (Will get pics tomorrow)

Welded the front coil mounts onto the front diff, and tomorrow the front diff goes in. Hopefully the Panhard and bracket turns up in time. Will be using a JK pitman Arm and steering linkages. Not sure how I'm going to get the steering damper to mount, but I will.

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So I got it all finished, and holy crap does it drive well. There's a vibration from the back due to the pinion angle being not quite right, but that was there before I changed the axles. A new driveshaft is definitely needed though, as the original XJ one is too long (even with 4-5" of lift). To make the XJ driveshaft work with the JK D44, I ended up getting a Driveshaft flange from a Nissan MQ Patrol as this shares the same bolt pattern and locating-bore size as the JK Front yoke flange. The JK D30 and D44 pinions have the same spline count and size, so I have just swapped the yokes around for the time being.

The Driveshaft Slip-yoke needed to be shortened by about 1", as well as the Gearbox Output Shaft, as the driveshaft was too long and was bottoming out on the back of the gearbox/transfer case. Quick cut with the grinder on the output shaft (while the engine was running and gearbox in Reverse) and popped the slip-yoke in the lathe and no more issues there! I'll be upgrading to a better driveshaft down the track, but funds didn't quite allow at the moment.

Onto the front. This was the interesting one, as there was a lot of "I hope this works..." regarding the steering and panhard setup. In the end, I had to file the locating tabs down on the JK Pitman Arm to get it to sit where I wanted on the steering box. I also had to cut about 1-1.5" out of the drag link adjusters, as the OEM JK Drag link was too long. I did get a 2nd hand Synergy drag link, but it was longer than the OEM at its shortest length, so the steering could only turn in one direction.

The panhard setup I'd ordered ended up being to suit a LHD vehicle (even though the seller was adamant otherwise) and so I had to persevere with the Wooders panhard I already had. Pushing the poly bushing out, I found that a Hilux lower front strut bush was the same size, Outer Diameter and the centre tube had the correct Inner Diameter and Length to suit the original JK Panhard Mount.

Finally, the nut for the panhard bolt had to be welded in place, as the Artec coil mounts sat over the top of the JK panhard mount. Once that was in and I was sure it couldn't break off, I re-tapped the threads to clean them up and used an M14x1.5 bolt for the panhard diff mount. I actually had to shorten the panhard rod from where it was set with the XJ D30, so it's almost the same length as a stock panhard rod now. I will get around to making a double-shear bracket for the body side; but again, that's a future-me problem.

Front diff ready to go in


Steering linkages and Panhard angles are near perfect!


The wheels don't stick out as far as I'd originally thought they would



It all went together a lot smoother than I'd thought it would. I still need to make up Handbrake cables and sort out the front driveshaft, but it runs and drives and handles quite well. I've since driven it from Sydney to Melbourne fully loaded and towing a loaded box-trailer (around 500-600kg) and it drove like a dream. No bump-steer, no death-wobbles, and I still haven't yet fitted a steering damper! The disc-brakes work great, although I have a chirp coming from somewhere. The gearing is perfect, as even fully loaded it barely shifted out of overdrive for hills and the like. Economy has even gotten better too! Managed to get from Sydney to Holbrook on a single tank while towing! (may or may not have put 78L in at Holbrook though...)

Altogether I'm extremely happy with it. Some parts were really tricky to get right, and others just sort of fell into place by sheer dumb-luck. Now to get some new flares, smaller wheels (17's) and 33's

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Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Parts List-

Front Axle
Artec Industries JK2TJ Front Axle Truss System
-Did not use the Panhard mount or Steering Damper mounts from this kit
JK Wrangler Pitman Arm
JK Wrangler Tie Rod
JK Wrangler Drag Link (Shortened 1-1.5")
JK Wrangler Steering Damper (Rubicon Express) and Currie Industries Tie-Rod Bracket
XJ Cherokee Extended Brake Lines (6")
-These need to be custom made to suit the JK Brake Caliper. I got these made through a local Enzed.
XJ Cherokee Front Drive-shaft
JK D30/D44 1310 Pinion Yoke (Planned)

Rear Axle
Uneek 4x4 Leaf Spring Perches - suit JK D44
Uneek 4x4 Weld-on D44 Rear Truss
JK D30 Front Pinion Flange
MQ Patrol Driveshaft Flange
-This converts the 1310 Uni on the XJ Driveshaft to the JK Flange
XJ Rear Brake Hard Lines
ZJ Rear Caliper brake lines
-As with the fronts, these need to be custom made to suit the JK Rear Caliper. They're only a Short line.
XJ Rear Extended Brake Line (5")
Custom Hand-brake Cables (Planned)
-These need to be made to suit the XJ Body Mount and JK Diff/E-brake assembly

That's everything I used in the conversion. If I remember anything else I'll add it to this list, but there was a surprisingly small amount of parts needed to get this working.
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