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Old 02-26-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
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Dana 30 to a Dana 44

I have a 07 JK with a 4' lift and 35' tires. My front Axle is a Dana 30 and was wondering how simple this swap would be for me....

Currently have 4.88 new ring and pinion and eLocker in my Dana30. Managed to snap my passenger front axle shaft and bought new chrome ally axle shafts. But dont know if it would just be better for me to go Dana44 and forget all about the small Dana30 all together..... The biggest question is, will my new gears and eLocker fit inside a Dana 44?

Any and all information is appreciated .

Just to be clear, all this will be done by myself and maybe a friend or 2 to turn some wrenches.

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hi. I'm a diehard DIY guy...I also have a D30 front in my 2014 JKU, no substantial mods done yet. BUT, I do have extensive axle experience and IMHO the strength gain going from a D30 to a D44 are minimal. The spline count on the shafts is a bit better.

You've already swapped shafts...if you add a sleeve and C gussets, you're very close if not equal to the D44 in strength, at around $160 or so for the sleeve/gusset kit.

Just my two cents worth...of course, if you're really wanting to have a D44 up front, then I'd say go ahead and do it if it makes you happy.

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Old 02-26-2014, 05:21 PM   #3
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Well with a D44 costing around 1300 bare..... My wallet would love to be able to keep the D33 :P. I will have to check out the sleeve/gusset kit. Thank you for all your help!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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Do you know of a good brand or the top performance brand for the sleeve/gusset kit?
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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There are a few. Contact Dave at Northridge to find out what would be best. Same with Chromolly axleshafts. And to your original question, no. The parts are not interchangeable on the internals.

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Old 02-26-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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Do you know of a good brand or the top performance brand for the sleeve/gusset kit?

There are a few...they're all effective. I prefer the Synergy kit. A "kit" consists of the sleeves and gusset together.

Just be aware that with the Synergy sleeves, you have to drill the axle tube and plug weld the sleeves. On all gussets they are weld on.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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i'm still running a dana 30 with 37" tires now, i've had quite a bit done to it. sleeves, c's, synergy ball joints, g2 4.88, ox locker, g2 placer gold 27 spline chromo shafts...

IMO - reinforce the 30...
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:53 PM   #8
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i'm still running a dana 30 with 37" tires now, i've had quite a bit done to it. sleeves, c's, synergy ball joints, g2 4.88, ox locker, g2 placer gold 27 spline chromo shafts...

IMO - reinforce the 30...
If I were gonna swap my D30 for something, it'd be a D60. Not worth the money to go to a D44. He's already done the expensive stuff (locker, shafts).
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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If I were gonna swap my D30 for something, it'd be a D60. Not worth the money to go to a D44. He's already done the expensive stuff (locker, shafts).
i couldn't agree more, you're exactly right. that said...

i would consider upgrading to an aftermarket dana 44 housing (like TeraFlex) then i could build it the way i want.. or a dana 60. i ran the numbers i think i could save like 1800 bucks building one, vice buying a rock jock dana 60.

TF 44, g2 placer gold 35 spline shafts, OX cable locker, g2 4.88s, reid knuckles.. yeah i've kicked that around. but i wouldn't upgrade to a stock dana 44. nope.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:15 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the wonderful and useful input , cant wait to open my wallet back up and buy some upgrades
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:24 PM   #11
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Dana 30 has a smaller ring and pinion though. I've seen a couple of locked 30s on 35's strip a ring gear with chromo shafts. If found for a decent price id do a Dana 44 swap.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:03 PM   #12
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Dana 30 has a smaller ring and pinion though. I've seen a couple of locked 30s on 35's strip a ring gear with chromo shafts. If found for a decent price id do a Dana 44 swap.
The D30 carrier can easiky be upgraded to a 30 spline locker...Ox Locker is common, and possibly Aussie. D44 front is 30 spline.

Of course, it all boils down to what the OP wants.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dvn4life1972 View Post
The D30 carrier can easiky be upgraded to a 30 spline locker...Ox Locker is common, and possibly Aussie. D44 front is 30 spline.

Of course, it all boils down to what the OP wants.
not sure if you can get a 30 spline shaft in a dana 30 with a sleeve. (my case) why i had to go with a 27 spline shaft.

and part of the allure of building a TeraFlex 44. i can fit a 35 spline shaft, OX locker in side of a reinforced housing... for a lot less (and just as strong) as a Dana 60. not knocking the 60, hard to beat it... but if i'm going to build one - that's the way i'm headed...

two months ago i was pretty dead set on a 60... till i learned i could build one just as strong and save money.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:16 PM   #14
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Well, a Teraflex D44 is a different ball of wax from a stock/OEM D44. All depends on the kind of wheelin you're into and your preferences.

If/when ya upgrade, keep me posted.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:23 PM   #15
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Well, a Teraflex D44 is a different ball of wax from a stock/OEM D44. All depends on the kind of wheelin you're into and your preferences.

If/when ya upgrade, keep me posted.
i will. planning to with the TF 44. i'll let you know when it's done.
  • tf 44
  • g2 35 spline shafts
  • OX locker
  • synergy ball joints
  • g2 4.88 gear
  • reid racing outer knuckles

with any luck, i'll be able to recoup some money; the ox, 4.88, and g2 shafts from the 30.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:32 PM   #16
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2012 JKU. Did 27 spline g2 chromoly shafts, 44 magnum sleeves, C's & gussets, G2 4.88 R&P with ARB locker on 35" tires for two years. Don't want to say I wheeled the hardest trails but did do most the trails in Moab with 6&7 rating. No issues worked great. Decided it was time for me to make the jump to 37" tires. Went with Prorock 44 with 4.88 R&P, ARB locker 35/32 spline RCV shafts with 1/2" tubes and Reid racing knuckles Teraflex big brake kit.
Sold my built up D30 for $1300 after wheeling it for two years. You can do some fairly difficult trails with a beefed up D30 but you need to be a little easier on the skinny pedal and you need to be careful turning the D30 when it's locked. It is stronger than most give it credit for.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:20 AM   #17
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two months ago i was pretty dead set on a 60... till i learned i could build one just as strong and save money.
I'm in the same boat, I'm leaning toward a D60 when I'm ready to do an upgrade in a few years, but I'd go with a PR44 if it can be built to similar strength. Are you saying the housing is as strong for a PR44 as a D60, or it can be built as strong with additional reinforcement?
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:26 AM   #18
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Sold my built up D30 for $1300 after wheeling it for two years.
I didn't realize there would be a market for a built up D30. If I could get even half of that after a few years, I'd be very happy.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:45 AM   #19
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2012 JKU. Did 27 spline g2 chromoly shafts, 44 magnum sleeves, C's & gussets, G2 4.88 R&P with ARB locker on 35" tires for two years. Don't want to say I wheeled the hardest trails but did do most the trails in Moab with 6&7 rating. No issues worked great. Decided it was time for me to make the jump to 37" tires. Went with Prorock 44 with 4.88 R&P, ARB locker 35/32 spline RCV shafts with 1/2" tubes and Reid racing knuckles Teraflex big brake kit.
Sold my built up D30 for $1300 after wheeling it for two years. You can do some fairly difficult trails with a beefed up D30 but you need to be a little easier on the skinny pedal and you need to be careful turning the D30 when it's locked. It is stronger than most give it credit for.
you're spot on. should be easy with any axle, things could always fail.. glad to see you where able to recoup some. that's where I'm at... figure if I can get a grand out of it... I'm a happy camper.

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I'm in the same boat, I'm leaning toward a D60 when I'm ready to do an upgrade in a few years, but I'd go with a PR44 if it can be built to similar strength. Are you saying the housing is as strong for a PR44 as a D60, or it can be built as strong with additional reinforcement?
yes. a PR or TF housing is already reinforced. I called TF and Joe put it to me
like this... Dennis has been running a TF44, locked, with 38" tires and a hemi conversion. without one issue. that sorta did it for me.

I'm convinced I can save building a TF 44 over buying the 60, that's the road I'm headed down.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:56 AM   #20
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I didn't realize there would be a market for a built up D30. If I could get even half of that after a few years, I'd be very happy.
I know I was going to break it down and try and part out the locker and shafts. Maybe I just got lucky. Here is how it got sold. I was in one of the more popular chain off road stores (not going to mention the name) emptying out my bill fold and was telling one of the sales guys I was jumping to a PR44 ( He knows I take care of my vehicles) he asked what I was doing with my beefed up D30 I told him I was going to try to part out a few things and take the rest to the scrap yard. He asked what I wanted for it I said $1500 he said let me ask around. Called me back with in a few hours and asked if I would take $1300 i said yes.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:50 AM   #21
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I know I was going to break it down and try and part out the locker and shafts.
That was my plan. That's great, I may try to see if I can sell it as a package first when the time comes.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:04 AM   #22
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That was my plan. That's great, I may try to see if I can sell it as a package first when the time comes.
x2! the times quickly approaching!
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:25 AM   #23
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x2! the times quickly approaching!
You sound like a man on a mission! Good luck, I'll be interested to hear how it works out.

I just put my gears/lockers in so I need at least a couple of years of use before I explain to my wife why I need a new axle, lol.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:35 PM   #24
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Since I have all you hardcore Jeepers here. Figured I would throw a curveball to this thread.

Took me 8 hours to fully fabricate this spreader to try and get my 4.88s and eLocker out to put new seals in for my chromoly axles in my D30. The bolt on the far right ended up bending at around .004. With the 1/4 steal bars on the left and right starting to bend, so ended up reinforcing it with angle iron as you can see.

Got rid of the bolt and put a hydrolic press in its place. Got it to spread .007 of what my 4 volume 07 Jeep Wrangler Book says .020 is max. The steel pipe at the top are 3/4 inch solid but the holes on the left and right of the diff cover are 7/8. Didnt think it would make that much of a differnce till it popped off and broke both holding grade 5 bolts. Was thinking about welding a grade 8 thread in the indentions on the axle. Then just using a high endurance bolt to hold it in place.

Bottom line is, I was unable to remove the shims from the housing. Therefore have yet to actually remove the 4.88s and eLocker. (Got the shop to put it in, I know.....)

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #25
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You sound like a man on a mission! Good luck, I'll be interested to hear how it works out.

I just put my gears/lockers in so I need at least a couple of years of use before I explain to my wife why I need a new axle, lol.
oh, i know. not exactly set in motion.... yet. but it will be very soon. probably do it all over the summer.

and michael - i've got nothing, sorry. axle shafts, i'll deal with - as in replacing a broken one; but rebuilding axles, bearing preload and a gear lash - nope i leave that to the professionals. not something i want to take any chances with.

sorry i'm not much help there.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:24 PM   #26
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Can't really tell from your photo, are the flats duals? And the Dana has a holes on the housing, closer to the axle tube inserts. The pin should fit snugly in those holes. Your base needs to be a bit wider.

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Old 02-27-2014, 05:13 PM   #27
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Can't really tell from your photo, are the flats duals? And the Dana has a holes on the housing, closer to the axle tube inserts. The pin should fit snugly in those holes. Your base needs to be a bit wider.

Bob K.
Thanks Bob, that was one of the options I was thinking about taking..... break out the 3/4 inch solid pipe and put 7/8 in its place like it was supposed to be. Just having trouble finding it.

But yes, I managed to basically shatter the axle once the U-Joints gave while coming down the mountain I was on..... Its my own stupidity, but atleast Im learning something from it all

Does anyone know where and how much the spreaders the dealership uses?
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:16 PM   #28
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and michael - i've got nothing, sorry. axle shafts, i'll deal with - as in replacing a broken one; but rebuilding axles, bearing preload and a gear lash - nope i leave that to the professionals. not something i want to take any chances with.

sorry i'm not much help there.
Figured it wouldnt be to bad since Im not taking the Pinion out. But I could be wrong.....
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:10 PM   #29
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I just know the dealership that put my ring, pinion and elocker in had to have used a spreader. I can not for the life of me get the gears out.....

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