Ford 8.8 Swap for TJ Dana 35
I was reading the "How Big a Tire For Stock TJ Axles" question in the Mar. '10 issue. I have a 1997 TJ with the 2.5L engine, five-speed manual, Dana 35 rear, and 136,765 miles on it. I've been told that a Ford 8.8-inch will fit in my Jeep. I would like to know what has to be done to do this. I can get an 8.8 with 4.11:1 gears in it for $75, and it has the posi-lock. The early Explorers had leaf springs, and the newer models have coils, I think. Would the newer axle fit better than the older version?
I know that my TJ (with 2-inch lift and 31-inch tires) is a good daily driver. I get about 21 mpg just in daily driving as long as you stay under 60 mph. I do use Fourth gear more than I should, but I live in western Pennsylvania and we have some hills.
It's good that you're considering swapping out the rear axle for the 8.8, as it is a very good choice, especially for the price. Grab it while you can. The Dana 35, even with the low-horsepower four-cylinder, is a real liability on the trail, as it will break!
Yes, you have to cut off the leaf spring mounts and add new mounts to convert it over to the coils that your TJ has. Mountain Off Road Enterprises (877/533-7229, www.mountainoffroad.com) has all the parts you need to make the conversion. Part number 98700 includes all the necessary brackets; part number 221379 is the special yoke adapter; and part number EB4 is the proper emergency-brake cable.
You will find that the rearend is about 11/2 inches narrower than your present setup. You can leave it like that, or install some longer lug studs and some Baer spacers, both of which are available through Summit Racing (www.summitracing.com). The spacers are pretty cool as they center on the raised ring on the center of the axleshaft.
Oh, and if you're still not sure you want to make the conversion, try Googling something like "8.8 Jeep conversion," and you will find more information than you will ever need on the subject.
Chevy TPMS Won't Recalibrate for Replacement Tires
I have a question about the tire pressure monitoring system in my 2007 Chevrolet 2500HD. I had my local Chevrolet dealer install new wheels and BFG All-Terrain T/A tires (305/70R17s) on my truck. As part of the package, they installed new tire pressure sensors in my new wheels (to the tune of $50 per wheel). The problem is that my TPMS light is always on because I run my new tires at 60 to 65 psi, and the sensors need 70+ psi to turn the dash light off (apparently set for a recommended minimum pressure for the OE tires). I assumed that the new tire pressure sensors would or could be recalibrated for my new tires, but the service rep and parts person are saying there is no way to adjust the pressure at which the light comes on. After some discussion, they agreed to refund my $200 for the sensors. My question is whether you know of a way to recalibrate the sensors, or are there any manufacturers of aftermarket sensors that would work for pressures in the 60- to 65psi range? Any help is appreciated.
The way I understand it from reading the factory service manual, you should be able to get the tire pressure sensors to "re-learn" various pressure settings. The procedure is quite involved, and way too long to print here, but hopefully you should be able to get your dealer to print it out for you if they are nice guys. However, it also takes a special Tire Pressure Monitor Diagnostic Tool (p/n J-46079) in order to do the necessary calibration. I have no idea what the tool costs, but it just might be cheaper to have the dealer do the work instead of buying the tool and only using it once. Then again, there is always the "black electrical tape over the light" method.