Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: East Coast USA
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CJ-7 axle swap - width recommendations
I am about to start my long overdue build. My currently stock '84 CJ-7 drivetrain will receive the following transplants: '96 LT1 350, SM465, D300, Ford 9" rear, Dana 44 front. I have everything I need for the project except for the t-case adapter, wiring harness, and suspension lift (evaluating now to compensate for V-8 weight).
I am seeking experiences, input, and recommendations on axle width. I've got the donors almost all cleaned up and ready for the chop. Width is obviously connected to my use. My goals are pretty restrained: I don't seek to create a monster Jeep, a buggy, or a rock crawler in the traditional sense since I'm on the east coast. I plan on staying spring-under-axle, flipping the U-bolts. I just seek to create a tough, fuel-injected, what I would classify "semi-modified" Jeep. I don't see myself running anything larger than 33" tires, but might be swayed toward 35" once I see the thing coming together.
In theory I only need to cut three sides; both ends of the 9" rear and the long side of the D44 front, as it's a flat-top version from a J10 pickup. Any recommendations on widths from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface? Others with similar setups or experiences? Has anyone blueprinted a similar setup a reference?
Also, what are your feelings on maintaining the construct of keeping the front slightly wider than the rear, like the stock widths?