Ive run 1.25" billet spacers on my last 2 XJ's and have over logged 175K miles combined, with zero issues. As for plating the inner and outer steering box area, this is a MUST DO for an XJ. I've experienced no uniframe cracking nor had any issues with steering box bolts coming loose in 10yrs/115k miles of use. JKS SBS kit is a good one and comes with all plating and sleeves to eliminate the cheesy aluminum box spacer. I went with the kit for both sides, plating inner and outer unirail on driver and pass side.
Got the transmission back this afternoon and just got done in the garage for the night. Bellhousing bolts are in (except the top two—they are always buggers and I think a different size than the other bellhousing bolts?) but had to bail for other things. That leaves cross member, starter, CPS, driveline, shifter linkage, muffler/exhaust and a few other odds/ends before I can test drive this thing. I’ll still need a front driveline.
MASSIVE progress tonight. added some rear shock mounts and got one side of the rear hard brake lines secured. Need a weld on tab or two for the other side. I think I’ve got some heavy sheet metal kicking around to make a couple of those
I forgot the drivelines I use on my “Jeep” use a different axle side joint (duh, 14 bolt and a 1310 are probably not awesome friends?). I have a couple extra spares that could be refurbished/lengthened by Axis. I think if they lengthen and swap the end to a 1310 I’m probably good to go? Most importantly, they’ll need to balance that beast?
Update: transmission seems good now. Can hear a few other rattles and noise that need some attention. I’ll get a little while Friday after work to tackle a couple of those and might have some time on Saturday to fix a couple others.
After those are done, I just need to change oil, check fluids and get it emissions inspected and it’s be “legal”. Interior needs some LOVE. I have a set of JK buckets (black) and another set of unknown buckets out of a Toyota (they are brownish and say SR5 on them). Daughter thinks buckets and a custom console would be cool. I think having the seat recovered, some new carpet and headliner repair and this thing is done? 137k on this 4.0L. Could last a long time?