1. 273

    273 Well-Known Member

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    I got a beat up 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 AWD, I want to turn it into pure drag only.

    Would it be better to try to keep it AWD or switch it to RWD, I’m guessing RWD will be better, but don’t have and track experience, wondering what you guys think??
     
  2. thesiren74

    thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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    More traction with Awd but much heavier.Rwd is less complicated.
     
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    • thesiren74

      thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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      It should have enough weight towards the rear to remove the front heavy front diff and transfer case, you'll need a rwd transmission.
       
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      • Garrett Ellison

        Garrett Ellison Amateur driver on public roadway, do not imitate.. FABO Gold Member

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        You may need to upgrade the rear axle, too. Does that have a 9-1/4 or the AMG independent rear?
         
      • 273

        273 Well-Known Member

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        The plan I have is to do a very budget build.

        Shed as much weight as possible, for now try to make the best out of the stock suspension, was planning to cut the front gear section out and replace it with a tube. Engine for now will be stock long block, but port the heads add M1 single plane 800 Edelbrock, 380 create engine cam and headers. Swap in a 904 trans.

        Unless there’s a good reason to keep it AWD.
         
      • 273

        273 Well-Known Member

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        it’s not independent, thought it was 8 1/4, does have a sure grip and hopefully 3.55.
         
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        • Treblig

          Treblig Well-Known Member

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          That vehicle should have the large hole (2 1/8") magnum manifolds!! May or may not have the smog port:

          DSC04085.JPG

          DSC03904.JPG
           
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          • thesiren74

            thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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            Pull as much weight as possible from the front end and the 8 1/4 should be good for a while but plan on a heavier duty rear with more gear would help.
             
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            • gzig5

              gzig5 Well-Known Member

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              Keeping it AWD is going to suck up a bunch of power driving the middle gearbox, and they aren't developed to handle much more than stock power either. Doesn't sound like you are going to be high enough HP to justify AWD traction. Gut it and go RWD.
               
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              • 273

                273 Well-Known Member

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                If I get right into racing it , I could see back halfing it and got a few 8 3/4 or maybe find a Dana or something, down the road.
                 
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                • Bobzilla

                  Bobzilla Well-Known Member

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                  I'm not sure you'll like that 380 crate engine camshaft in such a heavy vehicle. That camshaft is not known for low end to mid range torque, which is what you'll need. You may want to talk to a camshaft grinder for suggestions.
                   
                • 273

                  273 Well-Known Member

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                  it will have to do for now it’s what I got, I’m switching my create engine in my valiant to a dual plane with Holley fuel injection and a smaller cam. So gonna use the carb intake and cam in the Jeep, for now.
                   
                • 318willrun

                  318willrun Utube channel 318willrun

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                  as others have said, Go RWD
                   
                • 273

                  273 Well-Known Member

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                  Plus I’m gonna gut as much as can to get its weight down.
                   
                • AustinGriggs

                  AustinGriggs Active Member

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                  Cool idea in theory, but the power level needed to have traction problems in a Jeep Cherokee is pretty expensive to start with. Ill offer you this food for thought. I have both a Durango R/T and a Dakota R/T, the Dakota will embarrass the Durango on any given day but in the dirt it is a different story even with the extra pounds to carry and drivetrain losses, I wouldn't reinvent the wheel with the Jeep you have but if you do, it will certainly be faster and easier by making it RWD.... unless you have tons of power (keep your transfer case in mind) or are in the dirt. Funny thing about the R/Ts is they put the smaller 8 1/4 rearend in the AWD Durangos and the big 9 1/4 in the Dakota makes me wonder about the Jeeps.
                   
                • Bobzilla

                  Bobzilla Well-Known Member

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                  In that case, for sure try dropping some weight. It will still be fun to play with.
                   
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                  • my68barracuda

                    my68barracuda Well-Known Member

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                    this is how one guy did it with AWD,,

                     
                    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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                    • 273

                      273 Well-Known Member

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                      I just did a google search it seems like I got a D44 with aluminum center section and 3.73 gears.
                       
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                      • thesiren74

                        thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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                        So plan on an 8 3/4 or better.
                         
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                        • thesiren74

                          thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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                          Sounds like a fun project.
                           
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                          • Garrett Ellison

                            Garrett Ellison Amateur driver on public roadway, do not imitate.. FABO Gold Member

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                            Those are actually a little larger/heavier duty than the regular Dana 44. There has been some breakage issues on the trails with them from crashing the housing into rocks. I don't know how your durability will be with slicks, but the vipers used them. I don't think yours would have sure grip, but they are available aftermarket. The weakness is the aluminum housing flex letting the pinion move around under extreme loads. It starts going south pretty fast after that. I don't see a long happy life with slicks, but it's mostly uncharted territory. I recommend selling it and getting a 9-1/4 out of an earlier model. If it's an open diff and the budget allows, install a lunchbox locker. If the budget doesn't allow for it, weld the spider gears.
                             
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                            • thesiren74

                              thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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                              I wonder if an 8.8 would work? 3.73s limited slip and disc brakes out of the turd explorers.
                               
                            • 273

                              273 Well-Known Member

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                              I got an E body and B body 8 3/4 in the shed that I could use.
                              But the 9 1/4 is probably the easiest route.
                               
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                              • Garrett Ellison

                                Garrett Ellison Amateur driver on public roadway, do not imitate.. FABO Gold Member

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                                Your present perch to perch width is 43-1/2 and WMS to WMS dimension is 60-5/8, your E body axle is 46 perch width and flange to flange is close to 61-1/2 inches. Sell your Dana 44 while the market demand is still good and weld some perches onto your 8-3/4. Use the money to buy some 4.88s or 5.13s and a spool.
                                Best money you will spend toward the whole project. Don't forget to go ahead and add your ANSI approved wheel studs. Mopar 8 3/4" (8.75) Lightweight Spool
                                 
                                Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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                                • turboking15

                                  turboking15 Well-Known Member

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