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Old 03-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Axle advice.

I'm trying to learn more about my axles.

I'm having a little bit of trouble searching the forums because it seems like there's no "beginner" type threads. The tech-talk starts up fast and I end up getting lost relatively quickly.

Some background: I'm driving an '04 TJ X. have a stock Dana 35 rear axle with a 3.73 ratio with 33x12.50 tires. I use it as a DD. The most I'm going to do is take it to Moab, hopefully at least once a year.

How much upgrading should I consider? I definitely don't need my TJ to be a behemoth, but I also want to make sure appropriate components are upgraded/reinforced to avoid long-term problems. I want to be buried in this Jeep.

Advice or even a nudge in the right direction would be appreciated.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #2
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Upgraded axle shaft will go a long way, don't run over a 33" tire and don't run a locker in the 35. You can run a locker on the 30 up front though, which greatly helps.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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Superior axles is the brand of axle shafts isn't it?
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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I run alloy USA in my 06 and g2 in my 78, superior makes great as well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Your weak link is the rear dana 35. Either swap in something else.. dana 44, ford 8.8 or 9".. or a superior axle kit. The kits are good for upto a 35" tire. You might also consider a gear swap to lower gears...I would skip over the 4.11 and go to 4.56 as I don't think your going to see that much help from the 4.11s from the 3.73's.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #6
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Wow. I didn't expect this much of a response so quickly. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrussblues View Post
Upgraded axle shaft will go a long way, don't run over a 33" tire and don't run a locker in the 35. You can run a locker on the 30 up front though, which greatly helps.
Someone else said that same thing in another thread I was reading through. I was thinking about stepping up the tires to 35" eventually.

If I bump up to 35" tires, I'm assuming a Dana 44 and lockers would be more beneficial?

Being that I just got my 33" tires last year, I still have some time to do upgrades and not have to rush it.

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Originally Posted by 4Jeepn View Post
Your weak link is the rear dana 35. Either swap in something else.. dana 44, ford 8.8 or 9".. or a superior axle kit. The kits are good for upto a 35" tire. You might also consider a gear swap to lower gears...I would skip over the 4.11 and go to 4.56 as I don't think your going to see that much help from the 4.11s from the 3.73's.
That's really what I'm most concerned about. I don't want to "upgrade" and feel very little benefit. If I'm going to upgrade, I want to make sure I see benefits.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
Wow. I didn't expect this much of a response so quickly. Thanks!

Someone else said that same thing in another thread I was reading through. I was thinking about stepping up the tires to 35" eventually.

If I bump up to 35" tires, I'm assuming a Dana 44 and lockers would be more beneficial?

Being that I just got my 33" tires last year, I still have some time to do upgrades and not have to rush it.

That's really what I'm most concerned about. I don't want to "upgrade" and feel very little benefit. If I'm going to upgrade, I want to make sure I see benefits.
Dumping a lot of money in a 35 is wasteful. It also depends on how you wheel. If you plan on running 35's a 44 rear should be in your plans as well as a regear, upgraded shafts for the front 30, upgraded steering and a loss in mpg.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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A Dana 35 with superior super 35 kit will run ARB fully locked 35" tires without a problem. Just an option.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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If you plan on running 35's a 44 rear should be in your plans as well as a regear, upgraded shafts for the front 30, upgraded steering and a loss in mpg.
Yeah, I was just doing some reading on gearing and splines. There's a lot to it, but that's why I started the thread.

Do I have to worry much about the front axle when I upgrade the rear, aside from gearing it the same? From the reading I've been doing, I don't get the feeling that the front is a huge priority.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
Being that I just got my 33" tires last year, I still have some time to do upgrades and not have to rush it.
This right here is very smart and not something a lot of people understand. It is oh so tempting to just throw in a Super 35 kit and throw on some 35s. Take your time, start looking for a new axle now. A Super 35 and 35s is still very close to the limits of that axle. Find a d44 or an 8.8 and you'll have a very comfortable margin for error. Throw in some chromo shafts and you've got a very bullet proof axle.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #11
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Do your research before throwing money at it. Here is a GREAT thread for beginners that help you understand a lot about your TJ:

TJ Tech BOOT CAMP: A must-read for new TJ owners/forum members - JeepForum.com
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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The D44s I've seen are pretty expensive brand-new. Would I be better off finding a used axle and piecing together parts for it, such as the gears and lockers?

Saving money is nice, but I want to make sure I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot doing it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
The D44s I've seen are pretty expensive brand-new. Would I be better off finding a used axle and piecing together parts for it, such as the gears and lockers?

Saving money is nice, but I want to make sure I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot doing it.
A D44 out of the back of any TJ or LJ is a direct bolt in replacement. Mine came out of a Sahara that had a wrecked front half of the frame. Of course, before anyone gives you any more advice, what is your intended use? Daily driver, weekend toy, etc? What kind of wheeling do you like? Rock crawling, hill climbs, fire roads, mudding, etc? These will determine how built up your axles, brakes, steering, etc need to be. Also, auto or manual?
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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A D44 out of the back of any TJ or LJ is a direct bolt in replacement. Mine came out of a Sahara that had a wrecked front half of the frame.
Good call. Sounds like I'll have to keep my eyes open on a wide range of sites.

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Of course, before anyone gives you any more advice, what is your intended use? Daily driver, weekend toy, etc? What kind of wheeling do you like? Rock crawling, hill climbs, fire roads, mudding, etc? These will determine how built up your axles, brakes, steering, etc need to be. Also, auto or manual?
When the weather gets warm, it's easier to take mass transit here in Chicago, so the TJ moves away from being a DD. I think I'm about middle of the road between DD and "weekend toy."

I'm still trying all kinds of different wheeling. I think rock crawling and hill climbs are some of my faves. Don't really know what fire roads are.

I have an automatic transmission.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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Regearing is tough when you are not sure what size you will run. I think 4.10 is right for the 3 speed auto on 33s. Don't take my word for it though, I have 35s, a 5 speed manual, and 4.88s. I've also never been on 33s so everything I can say about them is speculation and stuff I've heard or read.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:35 PM   #16
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I found a graph (and of course I'm having a hard time trying to find it again) that compares gear ratio to tire size and shows their RPMs. The graph was color-coded to show optimal gear and tire configurations.

That said, if I find a used axle that's "bolt in," does that essentially mean I can run it without having to make further modifications to CVs or transfer cases, et al? As always, I want to make sure I'm doing this right, but it would really help me in the wallet if I can do the build gradually versus dumping everything in at once.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:44 PM   #17
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Figure out what size tire you want to run long term. I prefer 33s and that is what I run with the 3 speed tranny and 4.10 gearing, but mine is a daily driver. You only want to regear once so make sure you have the axle you want. A Dana 44 out of a TJ or LJ is a direct swap and will work fine or you can go the Superior Super 35 route. Figure that out and then regear as needed. 33s and the auto tranny are ideal at 4.10 gearing although 3.73 is not too bad either.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:12 PM   #18
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33s and the auto tranny are ideal at 4.10 gearing although 3.73 is not too bad either.
I've got 33s with 3.73 right now on my stock D35. I really like the 33s, but like I mentioned above, I'm considering switching to 35s when it's time to get new tires. That's a long ways off yet, so I want to plan as I go.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #19
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I've got 33s with 3.73 right now on my stock D35. I really like the 33s, but like I mentioned above, I'm considering switching to 35s when it's time to get new tires. That's a long ways off yet, so I want to plan as I go.
If you think you will go to 35s then I would just save all of your "gradual" mod money until you need new tires and then do tires, rear axle, regear, steering, brakes, etc. If you decide you want lockers, its a perfect time to get them when you are regearing. However, if you decide to lock the front you will likely need chromoly axle shafts as the stock ones will be on borrowed time. And depending on how many miles you have on the front axle you can switch to better u-joints (Spicer 5-760x) at the same time. You will also need to make sure you have the necessary lift components to clear 35s (at least a 4" lift with a 1.25" body lift unless you run flat fenders and do a heavy amount of trimming like me). Also, with that much lift you will need a Slip yoke eliminator (SYE) for your transfer case, probably new driveshafts, and adjustable control arms. See what we said about 35s opening up a huge can of worms?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #20
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See what we said about 35s opening up a huge can of worms?
Pretty sure that already happened when I bought a Jeep to begin with.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:53 PM   #21
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I'm looking into swapping my axles. I found dana 44 with 410s and disc brakes. does it matter what year they are out of and what also what else do i need to change to make the disc brakes work.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #22
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I'm looking into swapping my axles. I found dana 44 with 410s and disc brakes. does it matter what year they are out of and what also what else do i need to change to make the disc brakes work.
You will need the ebrake cable (not sure how it works) and be able to bleed the brake lines. As long as the axle is out of a Tj (97-06) it should fit fine.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:32 PM   #23
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If it is out of a rubicon you will need the air pumps, and switches. Also will need to shorten the driveshaft and get a u joint adapter.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:26 PM   #24
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Is it possible to use the stock lighting on the speedometer panel for the front and rear lockers? I noticed them today in the upper right-hand part of the panel.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:48 AM   #25
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Is it possible to use the stock lighting on the speedometer panel for the front and rear lockers? I noticed them today in the upper right-hand part of the panel.
Some have done it:

Using The Rubi Locker Dash Lights w/o Rubi Lockers - JeepForum.com

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Superior axles is the brand of axle shafts isn't it?
Yes, but sadly they seem to be going out of business.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:10 PM   #26
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Yes, but sadly they seem to be going out of business.
Going out of business!?
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:12 PM   #27
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Going out of business!?
Yep:

Is Superior history? - JeepForum.com
Superior Axleshaft Delays & Dissapointments - JeepForum.com
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:28 PM   #28
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Wow, so sad to hear. For a company that invented the "super kits" they didn't last too long. Had a great reputation as well. I guess it isn't all just about product quality... I'm glad I found a Dana 44 to replace my Dana 35 and didn't order a super 35. Thanks for the Info
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:30 PM   #29
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Wow, so sad to hear. For a company that invented the "super kits" they didn't last too long.
Supposedly they started back in 1934 (or at least the beginnings of what would become Superior):

Superior Axle & Gear

I wouldn't be surprised if they make a come back under new owners or something similar. It is indeed a shame.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:05 PM   #30
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Back again after wandering around and looking through numerous axle set-ups (and hoping something would pop up on a few parts sites).

Would someone mind explaining the difference between these axle types? Benefits? Drawbacks? I know there's a number of them listed, so let me thank whoever tackles the list in advance for your time.

ARB Air Locker
Detroit Locker
Detroit True Trac
Ox Locker
Eaton E-Locker
Auburn Ected
Dana Trac Lok

I'm still considering 35" for now, but I'd like to also keep in mind that I'd like to prepare to go bigger if the components allow.

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