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Discussion Starter #1
I've currently got a 2wd Z85. I'm going to be needing a 4wd eventually, so it's either sell my truck or do a SAS. Since I've got the coil spring front suspension, I was wondering if the front axle, springs, and suspension links from a WJ Grand Cherokee could be grafted onto my Colorado. I believe the axles are close in width. I realize the Dana 30 is tiny, but I'm not looking for a big lift and big tires. Stock appearing would be fine with me.

I would also swap in the WJ rear axle to gain disk brakes and keep the lug patterns the same.

Anyone thought through this swap before?

Thanks in advance for the input.
 

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It'd be cheaper to just buy a 4x4 considering your wanting to keep it stockish height. The jeep axles are more narrow I believe. I'd say you may run into problems for that reason. Also unless you do like me and swap in a np241 the dana 300 swap will run close to 1g without driveshafts. Driveshafts will run around $300 a piece from tom woods. The adapter alone is over $500 from advanced adapters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You might be right. However, my base model Colorado isn't worth more than $5,000 with or without the turbo. I can buy a running and driving donor WJ for around $3,000 and part out the unused components.

The WJ track width is 59.5" and I believe my Colorado's track is 57.5". Both use heavily offset wheels... I bet the axles are dang close in width. The Jeep's coil springs are probably spaced closer than mine due to it's lack of a frame.

I'm not familiar with the transfer case situation. I didn't realize I'd need an adaptor. The WJ uses an NV 242. Since I'm adapting it anyway, perhaps I could use that? (Forgive the stupid questions... I'm a noob to 4wd drivetrains).

Anyway, I had a WJ a few years ago and loved the ride quality of the coil spring / link suspension offroad. However, I also like the power and mileage of my 4cyl Colorado. That got the gears turning in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like you have a ton of research and questions ahead of you
Ain't that the truth!

The fabrication involved doesn't bother me at all. It's the details regarding compatibility of components that starts to muddle my mind.

Sounds like the first step is to crawl under a WJ with a tape measure. I probably should have done that before I started a thread.

At least you guys have gone easy on me so far... Thanks for that.
 

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Let me ask this question, why are you so set on a wj? There's tons of axles that will work for you.

On a side note I have a driver drop 241c that is manual shift and has the vss. I can get it up to you by way of the one guys coming down to wcsm next month. I need a passenger drop case of the same variety. All you'd need for your truck would be an adapter that is only about $50 and your tcase will work perfectly. I have all the linkages needed to make it functional.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I had the WJ in mind for these reasons:

1) They're new enough that all the components should be in working order without the need for rebuilding (and no rust)

2) They're cheap compared to a Wrangler

3) Good sized disk brakes on all four corners

4) Similar track width to the Colorado

5) Coil springs all the way around

6) Lots of aftermarket parts available for both axles

I couldn't think of another vehicle that gave me the complete package. Like I said though, I need to take some measurements. If the coils run right into my frame and couldn't be relocated easily, or if the axles are just too narrow, it might not be worth pursuing.

Regarding ride height: I think I'll end up at least a few inches higher than a stock Z71 in the front no matter what I do. Our front ends were definitely not designed with a straight axle in mind.

PM sent about that T Case.
 

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I just noticed your a 5speed. You may not be able to run a 241. You have to run a 97-99 silverado adapter for the 4l60e to make it work. I don't know if it'll be compatible with the 5 speed. You will probably have to do a divorced tcase setup.
 

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Ok. I didn't know if it was or not. I did a write up on the swap but it hasn't been approved yet. It's pretty easy. Just have to splice 2 wires.
 

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I like where this is going.. haha, having been a WJ owner my self, I understand where your coming from... WJ's have a nice ride on and off road... and those axles should hold up fine with 33" tires, if you were planning on going with 35"+ then Id say look else where for axles.
 

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id get some good off road tires on your truck and put in a stronger rear end with a locker. once you actually have rear traction in the rear your truck will most likely do everythiing you want it to and still be 2wd.

unless youre doing some serious rock crawling, most people never need 4wd, IF they have a solid rear axle/locker.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I get what you're saying, and you're right in a way. I can go everywhere I want to go on the highway with my current setup.

However, at least once a year I drive in to one of the most remote areas in central Idaho to hunt elk. This is late October and around 9000ft elevation. There's always a good chance of having to buck a foot of snow for 20 miles on this little mining road as it weaves along shear cliffs.

The usual group of vehicles that make the trip are 3/4 ton diesels. Everybody carries chains. The year I took my WJ up there, everybody had to chain up except for me.

I've got a Truetrac at the moment. I agree that a good diff makes a big difference.
 

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id get some good off road tires on your truck and put in a stronger rear end with a locker. once you actually have rear traction in the rear your truck will most likely do everythiing you want it to and still be 2wd.

unless youre doing some serious rock crawling, most people never need 4wd, IF they have a solid rear axle/locker.
while part of this is true, there are situations not necessarily meaning "serious rock crawling" that do require you to have 4wd... specially in mud and sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I like where this is going.. haha, having been a WJ owner my self, I understand where your coming from... WJ's have a nice ride on and off road... and those axles should hold up fine with 33" tires, if you were planning on going with 35"+ then Id say look else where for axles.
That was my experience too. Once you disconnect the swaybars they ride so smooth over the nastiest terrain.

Another place where 4wd is nice is while driving fast on gravel and dirt roads. I'm talking over 75mph for miles at a time. There's nothing like having those front tires pull you around corners. I grew up in the desert on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. No cops + gravel roads + being a teenager = frequent trips into the triple digits on gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've done it in numerous vehicles. Some had straight axles, some didn't. What's the difference?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I guess I should clarify... That's not why I'm looking into doing the sas on the Colorado. I was just giving another example of when 4wd > 2wd.
 

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have you talked to any one with a 2wd that goes off road how well it does
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've pretty much been offroading my whole life. A 2wd will get stuck about twice as fast as a 4wd. And when the 4wds get to a place where they need to chain up, you'll find the 2wd about 10 miles down the mountain waiting to be pulled out of the snow.
 
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