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Old 04-10-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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Axle swap

I was looking into getting a front locker. I would probably get an electronic locker. When I looked into the price installed, looking like around $1000+.

So after doing some research, I'm now thinking of saving up some money and replacing the D30 with either a Rubi D44 (would come with a locker), or PR44. I've seen others mention the Ford 8.8, but not sure if that's an option for the JKU?

I currently have 33's and will upgrade to 35's, not larger.

Input please!

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:35 AM   #2
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Beef it up. Do gears and locker(s) at the same time

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Old 04-10-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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if you want to get a front locker, upgrading to a dana44 isn't a bad idea. if you know how to do a swap, a dana60 isn't a bad choice either, since you can put a junk yard axle in for alot cheaper than a pr44. i personally would recommend a pr44 over a rubi, just because unless you are buying an axle with gears and shafts, you will be spending alot of money just to get the new housing set to be road ready. pricing should look something like this

beefing up front axle with locker; 1000 for locker, 1000 to regear, 500 for sleeves and gussets (2500)

complete rubi axle, either used or just buying a mopar axle ($2600)
pr44 with locker and axle shafts ($4500)

now really, you'll probably want to at least buff up the c's on the rubi axle, so you can toss in another for beefing it up, and youre at 3k for that. hence why most folks will consider the pr44 a viable option (I know I did, hopefully getting mine later this week). But, if you can get a used rubi setup for cheap, thats certainly a good deal. biggest problem with the rubi axles are they need 32 spline axle shafts, whereas the other 2 options will run with either a 30 spline shaft or a 35 spline, both of which have a decent amount of aftermarket availability.

all that being said, assuming you're getting a front locker because you want to wheel the piss outa it. if for some reason you don't plan on doing that, i might consider saving some coin, and just beefing up the front end. prorocks only seem worth the cash if you plan on beating your jeep up
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneck View Post
if you want to get a front locker, upgrading to a dana44 isn't a bad idea. if you know how to do a swap, a dana60 isn't a bad choice either, since you can put a junk yard axle in for alot cheaper than a pr44. i personally would recommend a pr44 over a rubi, just because unless you are buying an axle with gears and shafts, you will be spending alot of money just to get the new housing set to be road ready. pricing should look something like this

beefing up front axle with locker; 1000 for locker, 1000 to regear, 500 for sleeves and gussets (2500)

complete rubi axle, either used or just buying a mopar axle ($2600)
pr44 with locker and axle shafts ($4500)

now really, you'll probably want to at least buff up the c's on the rubi axle, so you can toss in another for beefing it up, and youre at 3k for that. hence why most folks will consider the pr44 a viable option (I know I did, hopefully getting mine later this week). But, if you can get a used rubi setup for cheap, thats certainly a good deal. biggest problem with the rubi axles are they need 32 spline axle shafts, whereas the other 2 options will run with either a 30 spline shaft or a 35 spline, both of which have a decent amount of aftermarket availability.

all that being said, assuming you're getting a front locker because you want to wheel the piss outa it. if for some reason you don't plan on doing that, i might consider saving some coin, and just beefing up the front end. prorocks only seem worth the cash if you plan on beating your jeep up
Yes, I plan on beating the hell out of it!

I'm not planning on doing this myself, don't have the skills. That said, the problem will be finding a used one and knowing what to look for. I might try to have the shop that's going to do the swap find me one or inspect it when I find one.

It would be nice to go with the PR44, but yeah, much more expensive that route.

Would really like to hear from someone that's done a Rubi D44 swap. Would like to know what parts (if any) from the D30 that I will want to keep. Since the Rubi will gave 4:1 gears, I will need to find 4:1 gears for the rear too. Should be an easy find since most are getting rid of them for 35's.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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Without any basis in actual fact and having done no investigation into this whatsoever . . . I would also hazard a guess that it might be tough to find used Rubi D44s that aren't already beat up.

You're basically looking for take offs that somebody had replaced prior to actually damaging them, meaning that the prior owner basically bought a Rubi with the intention of swapping out at least the front axle and locker almost immediately. If that was the plan from the get go, it would seem almost foolish for them to buy a Rubi in the first instance.

The front D44, the lockers, the e-discos, 4.10s, and the t-case are the main benefits to a Rubi, and I'd expect the type of jeeper who plans on ditching a front D44 almost immediately would probably find a lot of those benefits just as inadequate as the D44. Why pay for the Rubi goodies when you're going to pull them off?

In other words, I can't imagine there's too many D44 fronts with lockers in good shape floating around out there. I'd think most of them would be bent or damaged. Replacements that were "suddenly needed," rather than planned. So if I was having a shop try to find me one, I'd be at least marginally concerned about everyone getting "hoodwinked" into picking up a D44 only to find that the housing has been fixed up, painted, whatever to cover up some pretty severe working over that it experienced.

Just speculation though. I could certainly be wrong.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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For Sale: Dirtmans old stuff available after April 14th

jko, jkfreaks, jk-forum, all some good spots to look for axles. i think the best bet in terms of buying a used axle is getting an already beefed up one; there is really no point to buying an emtpy rubi housing unless you're getting it for free. but the one I linked there, front and rear for the price of a pr44, and its already been beefed up so the concerns with it being bent are negated quite a bit (of course, the fact that the guy has his own shop helps a bit too :-p).

I bent my axle, so my first bet was to go buy a used one, i got one off craigslist, had no idea what i was doing, turns out I bought something I couldnt use (had no gears, was set up for a 3link). Then I looked at buying an empty rubi housing from a jeep club member, but after looking at the cost of regearing, decided it was worth springing the extra cash for a new front end. of course, its always right when you drop the big cash that you see a deal like the one i linked >.< always my luck. oh well. in terms of what transfers from a d30 to the d44, the rotors, brakes, and outer knuckles are it. things you need for the axle (and they can be included but check for) are gears, driveshaft output, axle shafts.

I do think you need a bit of expertise when buying used parts, and buying new always is safer. but if you cant trust a jeeper who can you trust!
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicideking View Post
I was looking into getting a front locker. I would probably get an electronic locker. When I looked into the price installed, looking like around $1000+.

So after doing some research, I'm now thinking of saving up some money and replacing the D30 with either a Rubi D44 (would come with a locker), or PR44. I've seen others mention the Ford 8.8, but not sure if that's an option for the JKU?

I currently have 33's and will upgrade to 35's, not larger.

Input please!
I recently put New Rubicon edition D44's front and rear with 4.10's e-lockers and all the goodies. $5800 delivered to my door. Now, as soon as I get my stock D30 and D44 cleaned up, I am goi ng to put them on Craigslist and recoup some of the cost. I also got a hold of a NV 241OR Rock Trac Transfer Case with the 4 to 1 low range ratio. So now I have a Rubiclone
So far-- about $7500 in upgrades; could have traded for a Rubi for $10,000. But I have some distinct advantages over a Rubi in that I can lock up either front, or rear independently, in either hi or low range regardless of speed. Although I don't really see much need to lock up with any speed involved. So far I am loving it when offroad. Good luck
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
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one thing (and im sure it was obvious) to keep in mind is you need to have to the rear gearing match the front. a problem with any swapping of the front end since jk d44s with 3.73 gears dont really exist. I mean the rear axles are the same, just different spline axle shafts and gear carriers, but just something to budget for. you either need to snag a front and rear rubi, or get something done up on the front end and regear the rear
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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Jeepdon, just saying. Be it a 03-06 or a 07-11 Rubicon, you can jump the locker with few wires and run the lockers like you said.
Something I need to do in a later time.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Without any basis in actual fact and having done no investigation into this whatsoever . . . I would also hazard a guess that it might be tough to find used Rubi D44s that aren't already beat up.

You're basically looking for take offs that somebody had replaced prior to actually damaging them, meaning that the prior owner basically bought a Rubi with the intention of swapping out at least the front axle and locker almost immediately. If that was the plan from the get go, it would seem almost foolish for them to buy a Rubi in the first instance.

The front D44, the lockers, the e-discos, 4.10s, and the t-case are the main benefits to a Rubi, and I'd expect the type of jeeper who plans on ditching a front D44 almost immediately would probably find a lot of those benefits just as inadequate as the D44. Why pay for the Rubi goodies when you're going to pull them off?

In other words, I can't imagine there's too many D44 fronts with lockers in good shape floating around out there. I'd think most of them would be bent or damaged. Replacements that were "suddenly needed," rather than planned. So if I was having a shop try to find me one, I'd be at least marginally concerned about everyone getting "hoodwinked" into picking up a D44 only to find that the housing has been fixed up, painted, whatever to cover up some pretty severe working over that it experienced.

Just speculation though. I could certainly be wrong.
I've barely begun looking, but it looks like they do come up for sale. As you mentioned though, no way to know if they're in decent shape unless I know what to look for and I certainly don't.

A brand new PR44 would be great, but that's just not going to be in my price range unless I start with the bear minimum and build it as I go. But that would end up costing me even more than the $5K in labor if I don't have it all done at once.

So that leaves me pretty much with finding a Rubi take off, or nothing. I still don't know if a Ford 8.8 is a viable option or if there are other choices.

I still don't even have the money together, so yeah, I have some time to research and watch the ads.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneck View Post
For Sale: Dirtmans old stuff available after April 14th

jko, jkfreaks, jk-forum, all some good spots to look for axles. i think the best bet in terms of buying a used axle is getting an already beefed up one; there is really no point to buying an emtpy rubi housing unless you're getting it for free. but the one I linked there, front and rear for the price of a pr44, and its already been beefed up so the concerns with it being bent are negated quite a bit (of course, the fact that the guy has his own shop helps a bit too :-p).

I bent my axle, so my first bet was to go buy a used one, i got one off craigslist, had no idea what i was doing, turns out I bought something I couldnt use (had no gears, was set up for a 3link). Then I looked at buying an empty rubi housing from a jeep club member, but after looking at the cost of regearing, decided it was worth springing the extra cash for a new front end. of course, its always right when you drop the big cash that you see a deal like the one i linked >.< always my luck. oh well. in terms of what transfers from a d30 to the d44, the rotors, brakes, and outer knuckles are it. things you need for the axle (and they can be included but check for) are gears, driveshaft output, axle shafts.

I do think you need a bit of expertise when buying used parts, and buying new always is safer. but if you cant trust a jeeper who can you trust!
Thanks for posting that link and the other sites to check.

I actually PM'd the guy above. Great deal if they're in good shape. I asked him how much for just the front and he replied that he wanted $4K...
Again, not that I have the money together yet anyway.

As already mentioned, I wouldn't know how to spot problems in an axle. I do have local forum members that I wheel with though and one owns a shop and would probably be doing the swap. So I would not buy one without having someone take a look that knows what they're doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneck View Post
one thing (and im sure it was obvious) to keep in mind is you need to have to the rear gearing match the front. a problem with any swapping of the front end since jk d44s with 3.73 gears dont really exist. I mean the rear axles are the same, just different spline axle shafts and gear carriers, but just something to budget for. you either need to snag a front and rear rubi, or get something done up on the front end and regear the rear
Yeah, I did figure that. I figure that a Rubi take off would most likely come with the 4.10 gears in it. Should be pretty easy to find one for the rear with all the people re-gearing. I wouldn't need higher than that in the next few years because I have 33's.

Definitely planning an upgrade to 35's, but that would be a few years down the line when the 33's wear out.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:27 PM   #12
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I recently put New Rubicon edition D44's front and rear with 4.10's e-lockers and all the goodies. $5800 delivered to my door. Now, as soon as I get my stock D30 and D44 cleaned up, I am goi ng to put them on Craigslist and recoup some of the cost. I also got a hold of a NV 241OR Rock Trac Transfer Case with the 4 to 1 low range ratio. So now I have a Rubiclone
So far-- about $7500 in upgrades; could have traded for a Rubi for $10,000. But I have some distinct advantages over a Rubi in that I can lock up either front, or rear independently, in either hi or low range regardless of speed. Although I don't really see much need to lock up with any speed involved. So far I am loving it when offroad. Good luck
Did you buy the axles new from the dealer for $5800? Maybe one of my options -- to just buy the front if it will be $2900.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:57 AM   #13
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Did you buy the axles new from the dealer for $5800? Maybe one of my options -- to just buy the front if it will be $2900.
Bought them brand new from Quadratech! 12 mo warranty and all.
And as I said, I will be putting my used axles up on CL and recoup some of my cost!
On a side note, if I had done all the research I should have before buying a Jeep, I would have bought the Rubi instead of a Sahara. But; such is life! And as my signature says about experience!! I can just laugh at myself.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #14
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thats exactly why my personal jeep isnt a rubicon. didnt want to spend the extra 5k-10k and extra $200 a month on finance charges and be stuck with a 44.

can always get a junker for cheap and build it. without the stealership rip off / finance bullshit
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #15
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Bought them brand new from Quadratech! 12 mo warranty and all.
And as I said, I will be putting my used axles up on CL and recoup some of my cost!
On a side note, if I had done all the research I should have before buying a Jeep, I would have bought the Rubi instead of a Sahara. But; such is life! And as my signature says about experience!! I can just laugh at myself.
That does sound appealing at this point!

I'm almost afraid to ask: Curious why you did the rear too? Are there differences between the Sport D44 and Rubi D44 other than gears and locker?
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #16
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Heavier axle shafts and already set up with the elocker and correct gearing to match the now 4.10 gears that I was putting in the front. Swapped out both axles myself in about 6 hours with the aid of a friend. While at it, I swapped out all the stock bolts in the track bars and control arms. I had also purchased the pigtail that connects the wiring to the elocker from mopar to ease the wiring up the elockers.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #17
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Also Eaton elocker or ARB or Yukon Ziplocker for my D44 would have been $800 - 1000. onboard air if ARB or Ziplocker $500. then add in gears and install and the cost just keeps climbing. $2500 for the brand new Rubicon axle and if I can sell my D44 that is not damaged for a grand; that means I got the Rubi axle for 1500
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #18
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Don't forget even if you get a new front axle, that more then likely you will have to regear the rear to match so a simple axle sway won't be too simple or cheap. Plus as many mention, a used front axle has a lot of unknowns which could be a problem and still might not have the best gear combo for the engine. If I was getting a new axle, I would go new. Teraflex has one that suppose to be stronger then the stock D44. Not cheap though at $2K
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 Rubicon, it has 2500 miles on it. My pr44 will be here tomorrow and I plan to put it in over the weekend. I want to sell my Rubicon 44. It has 3.73 gears, the elocker and has never been locked in or off pavement. I ordered the pr44 with the gears and e locker in it because I can do it all but dont trust myself to set up gears. Only problem is I have no idea what its worth. $1500.00??

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Old 04-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #20
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I have a 2012 Rubicon, it has 2500 miles on it. My pr44 will be here tomorrow and I plan to put it in over the weekend. I want to sell my Rubicon 44. It has 3.73 gears, the elocker and has never been locked in or off pavement. I ordered the pr44 with the gears and e locker in it because I can do it all but dont trust myself to set up gears. Only problem is I have no idea what its worth. $1500.00??

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