After this was done, we found that our Dana 30 came out of a very early Cherokee, and for some reason, the axletube inner diameter was a few thousandths of an inch larger than those of later vintage. That meant that the OD of the axleshaft seal we were supposed to use was too small. The proper-sized seal was not available anywhere. (Believe us when we say we searched.) After many sleepless nights, we finally figured out a way to make a tool that would slightly expand the OD of the seal to the proper size. And darn if it didn't work. One of the things we did to increase the axletube's strength was to make up a two-piece sleeve that we welded over the short span of axletube between the axle disconnect and the differentialhousing.
We also built a new taller mount for the track bar, and reinforced it both on the front and back side for added strength. This is important because there is a lot of side-to-side force applied to it as the axle travels through its suspension cycle. We spent a considerable amount of time, and the end results were worth it. The track bar follows almost the exact arc of travel that the steering drag link does for "bump"-free steering response. The mount also serves double duty as a steering damper location point. On the frame side of the track bar, we used a mount supplied by T&T Customs that moved the sway-bar mounting point downward about 2 inches.
6. ARB's 30-spline Air Locker was our choice up front. Note how the air line now comes out
7. We used Motive Gears and the setup bearing kit to install our ARB Air Locker. The tooth
8. The new Superior 1.31-inch-diameter, 30-spline axleshafts with Spicer-style joints and
We figured that stock brakes up front were not going to do the best job with tires and wheels that weigh about twice as much as the originals and that have a much larger rolling radius. Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation provided us with new quality cast rotors that have what are referred to as "Turbo Slots." These slots are specially designed to remove the gas buildup that occurs between the pads and the rotor during hard braking. A side advantage is that they also remove water and dirt that can get between the pads and rotors during off-highway travel. They also had just the right brake pads to ensure that our Cherokee's stopping distance would be improved in all driving conditions.
Rusty Megois of Rusty's Off Road knew just what coils we needed to get the 5 inches of increased ride height we wanted, taking into account the added weight of the ARB bumper and Warn winch, as well as our aggressive driving style. Rusty's model ROR508 coils worked perfect. Yes, going down the highway as a daily commuter, the front end is about an inch lower than the rear-we like the look-but when the back is loaded with a fullsize spare tire, a chainsaw, recovery gear, an ice chest, and other gear, it sits level and still looks good.
9. The Teraflex tie rods are made from hex aluminum bars and feature some unusual heavy-du
10. The ARB pump just fit next to our K&N air filter.
11. The much stronger and functional (lower) track bar and mount from T&T Customs is what
On our first buildup, we had used JKS upper stud-eliminator shock mounts as well as their pin-bar eliminators on the bottom mounts so we could use a more readily available and wider range of shock lengths that used the more common EB1 type eye. They had worked excellently, and we saw no reason to change them out. In our opinion, the lowers are almost a must-have, as they do an excellent job of capturing the shock bushing and preventing it from distorting and an early demise. We also used JKS adjustable bumpstops. These are pretty cool in that they allow for seven different height adjustments.
To get the power from the transfer case to the front axle, we again went to J. E. Reel Drivelines, who made us up one of its long-travel slip-yoke shafts and equipped it with the waterproof U-joints. Not only do these have better seals than a standard auto-parts-store joint, but the body is cold-forged and cryogenically treated for additional strength.