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Old 06-07-2014, 12:06 AM   #1
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Does 3.5" lift require drive shaft changes JKU

Looking at 3.5" Metalcloak JKU ARB Game changer mid arm kit for 2013 JKU. Would it be a given that front and rear drive shafts be changed? recommended or required and is a Tom Woods considered a good drive shaft by those who have experience with them and others? Advice appreciated.

Also looking at trusses and chromemoly axles on the front Dana 30, is that a waste of time and money or would it be much better to add the money required to upgrade the entire axle assembly?

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Old 06-07-2014, 12:47 AM   #2
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The driveshaft will most likely need to be replaced at some point.

I'm in the same boat as you regarding beefing up the D30 or not. I haven't done anything and have done a decent number of trails over the past year and a half with no issues. I'm going to be getting upper and lower c gussets weled in this summer and that's about all I plan on doing. IF any major damage does happen, I'll spend the money on a dynatrac or teraflex d44 housing and upgrades.

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Old 06-07-2014, 01:21 AM   #3
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Yes, will need front DS on a JKU for a true 3.5". Woods is considered ok, but use some Chinese parts, so I would avoid them. I'd get a JE Reel, or Coast. If considering 37's eventually, might as well get a 1350. If 35's will be the max, 1310 should be good.

Definitely C gussets on the d30. Truss is a matter of opinion. Definitely worth it if you can do it yourself. Questionable if you have to pay labor on it.

Don't do chomo shafts. They'd be worth more than the whole D30. If going in that direction, save up for a D44 or aftermarket (PR or Currie).
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:29 AM   #4
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I just received the gussets in the mail today, will be welding them in place this week. This whole thing started with my wifes DD and has evolved very quickly into an unplanned build. I was going to get a Rubicon and begin on it in the fall. Now I will be taking her 2013 JKU and she will be getting a 2015 JKUR. So I have decided to begin researching and buying the needed and hopefully correct assemblies to do a fairly stout build on this 2013. I know some folks who have had good results with a reinforced D30 and say they work. But others say something else. Would really like some solid advice. For now I will install the clips like you are The 2.5 lift has served us very well on 33s but we have reached its limitations many times. Strangely enough traction has not been the limitation as of yet. But an ARB locker in front and possibly even in the rear will also be a items considered strongly but not until I can get an answer/advice on the Dana 30 question. And of course gears....sheesh

I too looked at the Tera Flex and Dynatrac D44s , and as you will make that decision when the 30 gives up the ghost if it does. There lies the choice of trusses and axles being enough? Is that just a waste of money? I may call the tech folks at Teraflex and possibly a few others and see what they may say in that regard.

Good luck
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Yes, will need front DS on a JKU for a true 3.5". Woods is considered ok, but use some Chinese parts, so I would avoid them. I'd get a JE Reel, or Coast. If considering 37's eventually, might as well get a 1350. If 35's will be the max, 1310 should be good.

Definitely C gussets on the d30. Truss is a matter of opinion. Definitely worth it if you can do it yourself. Questionable if you have to pay labor on it.

Don't do chomo shafts. They'd be worth more than the whole D30. If going in that direction, save up for a D44 or aftermarket (PR or Currie).
If the shafts would be a waste in the thirty, that pretty much answers that part of my question. Appreciate the DS advice too. Yea 5 to 600 bucks for 27 spline Chromoly axles.

Going to stick to 35s at least for a while and see where that gets me with the 3.5 lift, (probably to a broken D30.) The truss I can weld myself. Since I am going to do a gear at the same time I would get an axle shop to reinstall seals and axles.

allot to consider...

Appreciate the feedback greatly.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:21 AM   #6
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Tom Woods has long been considered one of the best but there are other good brands.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:45 AM   #7
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I haven't looked at the numbers but TF has a 30 upgrade that's pretty popular. Even if you were to buy a takeoff 44, gussets, truss are still recommended if wheeled. Another option is a already built take off 44 but then the rear would need to be geared to match. Look at the numbers, see what makes the most sense.

Wait on the DS. People are rebuilding the Cv Joint and/or carrying spares. Hard to say whether one needs one or not. It's such a crap shoot IMO.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:45 PM   #8
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Appreciate the help greatly. We do not have lockers in this as of yet, but would it still be a good idea to carry spare axles with us at this point. We are fairly careful but I have no experience with what it takes to twist or break a D30 in a JK. Broke many a 10- 12 bolt chevy and a couple F9" in mostly spooled drag race rearends. Chromoly solved many of those problems as well as larger diameter shafts. Just not quite the same application, a bit of learning curve here for me. SuicideKing mention cost value verses entire upgrade, I get that and dont want to waste too much time and effort on the 30 if it really can"t cut it, but was/is hopeful anyway. As you mentioned a 44 is not bullet proof either and would need to stiffy it up as well if I did change it out.

Thank you folks for the advice.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:56 PM   #9
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The main problem with a d30 is the ring gear size. If you gear it right, it will be too small and easily broken. Again, the cost of gears is worth more than the axle.

The d44 solves this problem. However, still can break if you get into harder crawling. Just not likely to strip the ring gear.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #10
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Bonecollector, the stock D44 has the same housing has the D30. The exterior strengthening mods talked about the D30 needs to be discussed with the stock D44 too. The D44 does have a lot bigger ring and pinion than the D30 (therefore stronger), so you could go fully built D44 on a stock one. When you go fully built D30, your ring and pinion becomes the weakest point and that is not good. The aftermarket axles like TF, Currie and Dynatrac (to name a few) are custom made and stronger than a stock Dana 44/30 axle.

Personally, I would factor in driveshafts in my budget if I was going 3.5", especially on a 2012+ JK, the front driveshaft contacts the exhaust loop and transmission skid at flex at 2.5" of lift. Tom Woods is a great driveline but so is Adam's, Coast, JE Reel and Krawl Off-roads own branded drivelines.

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Old 06-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicideking View Post
The main problem with a d30 is the ring gear size. If you gear it right, it will be too small and easily broken. Again, the cost of gears is worth more than the axle.

The d44 solves this problem. However, still can break if you get into harder crawling. Just not likely to strip the ring gear.
That darn sure is a problem, I would want somewhere near 4.56 to even consider 37s. Motive Gear has 5.13 sets for D30 but I have no clue as to wheeling reliability in rocks and grade hills. what would be the size limit you would place on the D30 gear as in 4.11, 4.56, 5.13 ?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_M View Post
Bonecollector, the stock D44 has the same housing has the D30. The exterior strengthening mods talked about the D30 needs to be discussed with the stock D44 too. The D44 does have a lot bigger ring and pinion than the D30 (therefore stronger), so you could go fully built D44 on a stock one. When you go fully built D30, your ring and pinion becomes the weakest point and that is not good. The aftermarket axles like TF, Currie and Dynatrac (to name a few) are custom made and stronger than a stock Dana 44/30 axle.

Personally, I would factor in driveshafts in my budget if I was going 3.5", especially on a 2012+ JK, the front driveshaft contacts the exhaust loop and transmission skid at flex at 2.5" of lift. Tom Woods is a great driveline but so is Adam's, Coast, JE Reel and Krawl Off-roads own branded drivelines.

-Dan
So in your opinion considering the ring and pinion issue with the D30 it is a wasted effort to build on the 30? spend the money for the D44 and build on it instead? less wasted money in the long run? At this point the drive shaft issue has actually taken the back burner, now the issue is do I want to scrap a new 2013 basically stock JK D30 for a D44?
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
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And one other point that is in these lift plans I want to stay as low as possible and get max droop. This was one reason I looked so hard at the metal cloak "Game Changer". The droop is what causes the biggest issues with the drive shafts I assume, so where is the sweet spot between droop and compression that the given drive shaft can handle. Hopefully these are not PITA questions or placeing them in the wrong place. I hate not knowing what is the right parts that will work well together. I can wrench, weld and fabricate, just want to avoid reliability and performance mistakes.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #14
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5.13 is too small, 4.88 and you're still pushing your luck, but not too bad.

As Daniel m mention, you can build a d44. Still worth some fixing.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:07 PM   #15
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5.13 is too small, 4.88 and you're still pushing your luck, but not too bad.

As Daniel m mention, you can build a d44. Still worth some fixing.
Thank"s for the help very much. I do not see myself going beyond 4.88 at this point, I am going to start looking for a D44 that I can build on before ever doing the 3.5 lift. Will also see what kind of package deals I may be able to get on gears D44 truss and clip kits and the lift of course. RK is another lift I was looking at...wow overwhelming choices for new folks to wade through. Drag racing was easy to a point, "how fast do you want to spend" was the main criteria.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #16
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i have that same MC/ARB lift and 35s on my 2013 JKU and after reading a bunch of stuff came to the conclusion it wasn't worth trying to make the d30 work long term. i am running unlocked with the stock 373 gears and i'm just waiting for it to break and then i'll do the full swap to an aftermarket 44 and maybe a 60 in the back. i didn't do drive shafts (will do them with the axle upgrade) but i did add the aFe Y pipe to get the exhaust out of the way.

i will be adding C gussets since that is a low cost thing, but not pouring a bunch of money into the d30 (so no truss, sleeves, stronger axles, lockers or gears)

the big problem with this strategy is that i know that it is not going to fail in the driveway so i will likely have an ugly trip at some point in the future when it fails in the back end of nowhere.....
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:22 PM   #17
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Are you getting Metalcloak fenders?

If not, then getting the gamechanger is wasted money (Only the MC fenders have the clearance to take advantage of the 6-pack shock up-travel, but that's beside the point.

I have a full MC 3.5 (arms and springs) lift except with Rancho RS9000XL shocks and a 1310 driveshaft. I still had to have exhaust spacers, but they caused my crossover to rattle against my skid plate. I ended up having to get a custom crossover made to clear the skids.

Also, instead of building up a D44, you might be better off just getting an aftermarket axle... maybe the new G2 Core 44. I have the Prorock 44 myself on 37's and 4.88 (but with a 3.6 manual) and it's actually pretty liveable.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
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i have that same MC/ARB lift and 35s on my 2013 JKU and after reading a bunch of stuff came to the conclusion it wasn't worth trying to make the d30 work long term. i am running unlocked with the stock 373 gears and i'm just waiting for it to break and then i'll do the full swap to an aftermarket 44 and maybe a 60 in the back. i didn't do drive shafts (will do them with the axle upgrade) but i did add the aFe Y pipe to get the exhaust out of the way.

i will be adding C gussets since that is a low cost thing, but not pouring a bunch of money into the d30 (so no truss, sleeves, stronger axles, lockers or gears)

the big problem with this strategy is that i know that it is not going to fail in the driveway so i will likely have an ugly trip at some point in the future when it fails in the back end of nowhere.....
This is precisely what I have been pondering, where will my wife and I be when the D30 disintegrates. I will not be doing the bigger lift until I get her into her new JKUR in the late fall or for Christmas maybe. But I am looking at beginning to accumulate the build parts for this JKU. The 2.5 TF and 33s is funtional but limited at this point. The MC looks to be the ticket and I do not believe I need the upward travel of the six pack. I'm also thinking along the lines of going with Rancho 9000s with that lift. Those shocks have been fantastic for us.

Thanks for the input, what you have done is where I think I'm headed.

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Are you getting Metalcloak fenders?

If not, then getting the gamechanger is wasted money (Only the MC fenders have the clearance to take advantage of the 6-pack shock up-travel, but that's beside the point.

I have a full MC 3.5 (arms and springs) lift except with Rancho RS9000XL shocks and a 1310 driveshaft. I still had to have exhaust spacers, but they caused my crossover to rattle against my skid plate. I ended up having to get a custom crossover made to clear the skids.

Also, instead of building up a D44, you might be better off just getting an aftermarket axle... maybe the new G2 Core 44. I have the Prorock 44 myself on 37's and 4.88 (but with a 3.6 manual) and it's actually pretty liveable.
The game changer comes in two variaties, one with the six pack shocks and one with OME shocks. I am not going to do the six packs but am going to shoot for the Ranchos just like you have. Love them on what we have now. versatility and great performance. The clearences with exhaust and plates I can deal with, I just need to come to a defined plan for the front housing, which after such great imput from many of you folks I believe I have. I will have to see where the most bang for the buck lies with building up a 44 or going with a complete aftermarket housing and axle assembly. I think 35s will be the tire size but 37s are not out of the question at this point. so 4.56s, 4.88s I don't know that either.

Welding in c gussets on the D30 this week to try and get my wife's daily driver D30 to live till Christmas....

Thank you all,,,,Sincerely

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