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SFA KJ

Dana 30 SFA/IFS gear compatibility


This is a discussion on Dana 30 SFA/IFS gear compatibility within the SFA KJ forums, part of the Jeep Liberty - KJ (02 to 07) category!
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dana 30 SFA/IFS gear compatibility


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Hey guys,

First of all let me give you some background.
I'm in South Africa, and I own a 2002 KJ (Cherokee, as it's called here) 2.5CRD manual.
I've bought a 2005 2.8CRD manual that rolled, and will be doing an engine swap very soon.

After this operation, I'll be looking at the possibility of a SFA swap.
IMPORTANT Note:
Here we are not as fortunate as you guys in the US when it comes to axles availability. Very few F100s, no F150s, a few F250s but the D60 are hellishly expensive, and the few D44s out of a Rubicon are sold for as much as their weight in gold in the blink of an eye. So yeah, options are rather LIMITED!

Second note:
The intended use for me would NOT be hardcore 4x4 or rock crawling or stuff like that. The main purpose is to increase the ground clearance that is very limited with the IFS. Run 32" tires, maybe 33" further down the line, but I'm set on 235/85 R16 as a starting point. And then take it for mellow to a bit more involved wheeling, but nothing extreme. This is my daily drive (although I don't drive daily ) and I don't intend on damaging it.


That leaves us (me) with the following options, considering availability, compatibility and costs as well:
- XJ Cherokee D30 with open diff
- WJ Grand Cherokee D30 with Vari-Lok diff (Quadra-Drive transmission)
I would prefer the WJ D30 for the Vari-Lok. Also remember that buying a locker will cost an arm and a leg to import here.
The problem I now have is gearing. The local WJs came in either 3.73 (petrol) or 3.55 (diesel). 3.55 is too low, 3.73 is pretty much spot on for 32" tires. BUT my KJ came with 4.1s, and the second one I bought has 3.55s.
The first option I had considered was swapping both axles from a WJ, the rear being a D44a (aluminium casing) but after doing some reading, it seems that the stock AMC 8.25 is at least as good, if not better.
This led me to look at a front axle swap only, but now I have to get around the gearing issue.

After this long introduction, my question is: are the ring/pinions interchangeable between the IFS D30 and the SFA D30 found in the WJ?
If I trust the Crown Automotive part numbers, not so:
52419.0040 for a 3.73 for a WJ D30 SFA (ratios available: 3.55, 3.73, 3.91)
52419.0042 for a 3.73 for a KJ D30 IFS (ratios available: 3.55, 3.73, 4.1)

Do you guys have any idea on this?

Should I rather look at the XJ front axle, as you can find 4.1 gears for it?
(edit) The PCD on the XJ is the same as the KJ, whilst the WJ's is different. So it's going towards the XJ then...(/edit)

Any opinion welcome.
Thanks guys!
Fab.

Last edited by Forest Fab; 05-03-2017 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You're not really going to gain any ground clearance by going SFA
32 inch tall tire which the 235-85-16s are will give same ground clearance with IFS really , maybe a bit more since there isn't a diff hanging down in the middle.
All depends on where you measure
Good 4 inch lift, 32 inch tires and 4.10 gearing would do wonders
Wouldn"t go with the WJ diffs on either end, IMO
The XJ front diff while you can get gearing the same as the 8.25 is narrow, will work but would need to use coilovers since space is limited for lower mounts
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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No the KJ and WJ/XJ/TJ/JK/XK/KK/WK or any other D30 gear set are not interchangeable.

The KJ's D30A gear set is unique and only works in the D30A diff.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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To be honest, it doesn't sound like you're a candidate for an SFA. If you only want to run a 32-33" tires, you can do some stuff to the IFS to make that work great at a fraction of the cost. An SFA minimum you'll be at 7+" of lift I believe which is a lot of work to just run a 32 inch tire. Get a JBA steel front diff and sleep soundly at night with a lot more money under your mattress!
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tommudd View Post
You're not really going to gain any ground clearance by going SFA
32 inch tall tire which the 235-85-16s are will give same ground clearance with IFS really , maybe a bit more since there isn't a diff hanging down in the middle.
All depends on where you measure
Good 4 inch lift, 32 inch tires and 4.10 gearing would do wonders
Wouldn"t go with the WJ diffs on either end, IMO
The XJ front diff while you can get gearing the same as the 8.25 is narrow, will work but would need to use coilovers since space is limited for lower mounts
I believe I will gain ground clearance especially when going downhill. At the moment with the weight transfer to the front wheels, the sump guard turns into a plough... With a SFA, the ground clearance will remain the same whether I'm going up or downhill.
And a lift is in the cards at the same time as the swap, depending on what's necessary for clearance purposes.
The XJ front track is about 2" less than the standard KJ, which is in turn slightly wider than the rear track. Spacer could be made up if tires were rubbing.

Please elaborate on your comment about the WJ's axles?

Originally Posted by tjkj2002 View Post
No the KJ and WJ/XJ/TJ/JK/XK/KK/WK or any other D30 gear set are not interchangeable.

The KJ's D30A gear set is unique and only works in the D30A diff.
Thanks, that's the crystal clear answer I was looking for. although I thought it's what it was since P/Ns were different.

Originally Posted by HoosierJeeper View Post
To be honest, it doesn't sound like you're a candidate for an SFA. If you only want to run a 32-33" tires, you can do some stuff to the IFS to make that work great at a fraction of the cost. An SFA minimum you'll be at 7+" of lift I believe which is a lot of work to just run a 32 inch tire. Get a JBA steel front diff and sleep soundly at night with a lot more money under your mattress!
Although you have very valid points (yes, I'm going half way in with 32" tires), the cost would be less doing an SFA swap than importing stuff, keeping in mind that I can do all drawings of necessary brackets, have them cut and bent, and do the welding.
Just to give you an idea, I can find a complete XJ or WJ or ZJ for the price of a 2" lift kit here (EFS). Then I'm left with a lot of odds and ends to sell or crush to get some bucks back. That's around ZAR15.000 ($1.000 give or take).
And JBA's steel diff would cost me roughly ZAR30.000 landed, excluding duties, excluding bearings and install of my current diff in the new housing.
So, sadly, way more expensive! (edit) Add to that new gears worth $400 or $500, plus shipping, taxes and duties (/edit)
The alternative would be to do the 2" EFS lift only along with the 32" tires, and look out for worn CVs and cracked diff housing. It is a viable option after all.

In regards to your comment about the lift, are you saying that I'd need around 7" lift for the SFA to clear underneath the chassis?





Thanks to all for your input, it's much appreciated

Last edited by Forest Fab; 05-04-2017 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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That's where everyone that has wanted to keep it low ends up...seems to be a common theme in all the builds.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, thank you very much, this is precious information.
It does indeed change the scope of the swap altogether...
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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LOST JEEPS € View topic - And so it begins.. err.. continues...JJ's SFA KJ

This is a good build.

Hopefully tjkj will chime in but here's his thread
It sits level

I think he tried to keep it as low as possible too.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, I'll be doing some reading
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've inspected one KJ with an XJ front 30 installed .
I know the ones who run them, but I would never. The coilover had to be angles in at the bottom to clear everything and have a good mounting position, was not impressed at all

Now as far as going down a hill with IFS it would be lower than with a SFA????Please explain how you came up with that
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03 OVERLAND EDITION, Timberline Green Pearlcoat, JBA 2.5 inch Total Control Lift, Kilby gas tank skid, Skid Row, 4XGuard mixture, MOABs, 265-70-16s, 4.10s, Mudds bumper
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