Join Date: Sep 1999
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Re: 88 Sahara pics
The manual trannys in the '87-89 YJs are worthless for trail duty. I trashed my '89 5-speed in a year. Of that, I began to seriously beat on the vehichle (about as much as you can in stock form anyhow) only the last 6 months or so.
Basically, have a back-up tranny waiting if you decide to take the YJ offroad.
I've got the same tranny in my Comanche that is doing fine because it doesn't see off-road use. 113k miles and no complaints so far ::knock on wood::
The almost perfect thing to do is to find a 86-or-newer rusted out Grand Wagoneer that runs and drives and swap in the engine, transmission, and axles, but forget the full-time x-case. Run a J-Truck's NP-208 instead. I think this is about the most cost-effective method of building a trail-capable YJ.
Albeit, I am biased. I have a Grand-Wagoneer TF727 and J-Truck NP-208 installed in my Wrangler behind the fairly-stock 258 engine. There are Grand Wagoneer D44 axles in pieces in the back of the Jeep. There is a 70s Cherokee 401 in AZ waiting to be crated and shipped my way. When everything is ready, I'll rent some garage space and get to work on it again.