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#1 09-14-2015 10:43:19

moses
Newbie
Registered: 10-05-2008
Posts: 14

Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

I have a 96 Cherokee that used to be my daily driver. I never thought I would ever want to take it off road when I bought it, but 8 years later I wish it was a 4x4. I've been kicking around the idea of converting it to 4x4, but I don't know if I can handle that kind of job. I figure I will need to change the front axle, transfer case, transmission, drive shafts, and driveshafts. I'm sure there are other parts I'm leaving out.

I was thinking I should be able to get these parts from the same year model Cherokee in a junk yard. Has anyone else tried a similar project in the past? The extent of my project experience to date is changing oil, starter, alternator, & brakes. This would definitely be a huge undertaking for me. I'm I crazy trying to do this? Any online references or hints you would be willing to share will be appreciated.

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09-14-2015 10:43:19

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Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

#2 09-14-2015 10:55:13

stevil
Enthusiast
Registered: 04-29-2009
Posts: 213

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

It is doable.  However it might not be as cost effective as you think.  Have you looked into trading in your vehicle or selling it and purchasing another 4X4?  The difference might not be too great and a whole lot less headache.  You will find that it is not just the big parts you mentioned.  for instance do you want the little light that tells you you are in 4WD?  The vacuum harness that engages the axle shaft is integral with the switch that goes to the idiot light in the dash...more little stuff.  See what I mean.  If you replace the vehicle the only thing you will have lost is sentimental value.  But you will grow even more attached to your new one.

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#3 09-14-2015 10:59:32

Kacul
Helper
Registered: 03-25-2009
Posts: 36

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

Considering that it might be a huge undertaking, I would also weigh in the possibility of just buying/ trade up to a similar year GC that is already 4x4. You might end up spending less money that way.

hope this helps, good luck.

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#4 09-14-2015 11:05:46

moses
Newbie
Registered: 10-05-2008
Posts: 14

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

Thanks for the feedback. I think I will go that route.

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09-14-2015 11:05:46

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Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

#5 09-14-2015 11:58:22

stevil
Enthusiast
Registered: 04-29-2009
Posts: 213

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

There is one more thing you might want to consider.  You might really get bit by the four wheeling bug and want to improve your off road capabilities.  XJs will be cheaper to acquire and have much more accessories available.  Also there is the capability of running larger tires.

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#6 09-16-2015 10:04:25

coup
Helper
Registered: 02-22-2010
Posts: 18

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

The Primedia magazine, Four Wheel Drive and Sport Utility magazine, ran an article about converting a GC to 4x4.  The article appeared a few years ago.  It looked very complicated, but not impossible.  I would second Steve's comment.

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#7 09-16-2015 14:47:17

adg53xj
Helper
Registered: 01-20-2010
Posts: 20

Re: Convert 96 Grand Cherokee (4.0) to 4x4

i agree with the previous poster, it's generally a better deal to sell your 2x4 and get one that's already 4x4 than do it yourself.

there is possibly one exception, and that's where you're planning serious upgrades to the drivetrain for serious offroading. in that situation you'd be ditching and replacing much of the stock 4x4 drivetrain, so converting a 2x4 wouldn't be very much more work.

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