What are the best upgrades for the zj

Trying to get some ideas for my zj. Thinking about doing a transfer case swap to one with a 2wd option. But any input on that or other upgrade would be great.

1.) Lock the rear axle. If you have a D35 then swap in a Ford 8.8 and lock that
2.) Rocker sliders
3.) Swap in NP 231 from a 96+ XJ
4.) T-case skid
5.) Gas tank skid
6.) 3.5"-4.5" lift
7.) 32’s or 33’s
8.) Swap in high pinion Dana 30 front axle from a XJ
9.) Alloy shafts for the D30
10.) Lock the D30
11.) Winch


Sweet thanks man you just made that alot easier for me.

just checked the diff cover it has a d44 in the rear what type of locker do you recommend? and is any one running the Powertrax No-Slip Locker?

You still might want to replace the rear axle. I’m not too familiar with ZJ but I do know that some of them come with an Aluminum 44 which some compare to a D35. Eric will be able to confirm this. If you’re looking at a “lunch box” locker, I run an Aussie in the front and have never had a problem with it yet. I also know of people who run them in the rear as well. Is this Jeep going to be a trail rig or a DD? If it is going to be a DD I would look into a Detroit or selectable locker. So that you will have better handling on the road

x2 on the 44a. it will do till it breaks though. :wink: I prefer to wheel it, see what needs upgrading after. IMHO, steering is important, then skids and sliders, bumpers etc.

i’ve always been a fan of armor first. if the vitals are protected you dont have to worry about much if you have to get dragged off an obstacle.

The D44a will work. I did not realize you had the V8. The gears inside that thing are bigger than an iron D44 and the pinion is comparable in size to a D60. The tubes are the same size as a D35 though. Unless you are jumping then it will be fine.

Step number 1 should be a Spartan locker for the D44a. My friend Eric (who also drives a black ZJ) is running one and was commuting back and forth to Boston. They work fine on the road.

The V8 already has beefier steering. In fact a common “upgrade” for the XJ/TJ crowd is the ZJ V8 steering. I’m running the Currie steering which is a huge step up from the V8 steering and I still bend 1-2 tie rods per season (at $200 a pop). I’m starting to wonder if it would have been better to stick with the stock steering and just keep plenty of cheap spares on hand. Either that or take the plunge and go with a high-steer setup ($$$ and a step backwards on the street because of bump steer).

thanks for all the tips this is my daily driver. it really started out as a cheap dd to help save money (no car payment) to fund my 1973 challenger restomod. but i can not leave anything stock it is a sickness.

but you guys really know your stuff and that will be huge to help me from making mistakes and poor choices.

1973 challenger? nice! I’d like to hear more about this, let’s have a beer sometime. I’m also in Northern RI, building a 71 Pontiac T-37.

ya thats my baby i have had it since 2000 and it is getting close now. i have a 440 magnum, shaved door handles, custom front fenders, frenched in front and rear bumpers, 19" rims, ta fiberglass hood and trunk lid. the list goes on and on. the body shop has it now i am hoping to get it back by spring.

but either some beers or some trails just let me know i have been looking for some good local trails to see if my son will like it.

Have you signed up for the next trail ride? We usually follow the trail rides with a couple beers. :mrgreen:

i can’t make the jan 28 ride but i am in for the feb 26.

just ordered the spartan locker for the rear. now i just wish i didn’t have to work every weekend theres a trail ride.

Congrats on the locker!

Don’t you feel a sore throat coming on? You really don’t want to miss the ride on the 26th. It’s going to be a good one.

i thought i was safe on that day. i mean who really works on a sunday. but i am a building engineer in prov. and now i have to shut the main water line off to a building for repairs. :imp:

hey if you guys ever need a building envelope consultant give me a ring. R.J. Kenney Associates, we are out of Attleboro, MA.

Since when did you join the marketing group?

you saw my trifold brochure… i’m always scheming

i think the best upgrade for a Zj would be a YJ. :mrgreen: