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Old 12-27-2012, 07:33 PM   #1
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Exclamation Anything special at all about a Rubicon D44 housing?

I recently had a my TJ Rubicon's front axle seize up. It was caused by a leaky pinion seal and I didn't know until it was too late. My mechanic says the housing is too scared up to just rebuild it because it would likely happen again in the near future. New housings run around 2k and all the inners near $1500. I'm wondering if there is anything else about this Dana 44 housing itself that seperates it from other Dana 44's in the way its structured. I'm looking for things other than the obvious such as drum/disc swaps. Tube thickness and things like that. Any help is much appreciated.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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yes the TJ 44 is really a dana 30 with a low pinion 44 center section. what about the housing is messed up?

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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Where the pinion is sealed backside near yoke entry. My mechanic says its all chewed up and that the seal, if replaced, may last 5 years, it may last 5 weeks. Would it be a good idea to have the axle removed and taken somewhere else for a 2nd opinion? I cannot find one of the things anywhere used either... 2 weeks and counting
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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anybody???
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Boneyard?
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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There are three D30 fronts on ebay right now at around $500. Not a D44 but it would get you off road. Don't know how you wheel but there are lots of guys having fun with D30's in front.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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there are some differences....for example, bearing caps and some minor dimensions, obviously the carrier/locker...nothing substantial.

$2k-3.5k isn't unusual for a new Rubi D44 housing w/ all internals...

check out the prices from Dynatrac, Solid Axle, etc on bolt in assemblies....those are even more.

Dynatrac - Confidence to Explore®
Solid Axle Industries

also check out prices from places like JeepsAreUs.com and WeRMopar.com to compare new stock housings.

If I was you, I'd call up Davey's Jeeps and see what a used housing will cost you...
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavolrubicon View Post
I recently had a my TJ Rubicon's front axle seize up. It was caused by a leaky pinion seal and I didn't know until it was too late. My mechanic says the housing is too scared up to just rebuild it because it would likely happen again in the near future. New housings run around 2k and all the inners near $1500. I'm wondering if there is anything else about this Dana 44 housing itself that seperates it from other Dana 44's in the way its structured. I'm looking for things other than the obvious such as drum/disc swaps. Tube thickness and things like that. Any help is much appreciated.

Your mechanic is mistaken. A new housing from Jeep runs usually in the 850ish neighborhood if you know someone.

Is the locker ruined or what? I just went through this with a buddy who got tagged in the front right wheel and it bent his inner C, long side tube, and control arm mounts on that side.

He had every mechanic and fab shop trying to sell him up to and including 7000 dollar front axles. I convinced him to just get another housing and swap everything over. He did and was out the door well under 1500 bucks and only then because he had to buy one inner alloy axle which you don't need.

He found his housing on Ebay, new, 800 delivered and I know you can get them from Jeep for similar if you know someone on the wholesale side.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Where the pinion is sealed backside near yoke entry. My mechanic says its all chewed up and that the seal, if replaced, may last 5 years, it may last 5 weeks. Would it be a good idea to have the axle removed and taken somewhere else for a 2nd opinion? I cannot find one of the things anywhere used either... 2 weeks and counting
Absolutely take it someplace where some common sense resides. It would have to be pretty messed up to be unable to get a seal and race in there.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
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This is the info I'm looking for. Thank you everyone for your input. Would it be safe for me to drive this thing for awhile with no front driveshaft or gears? It's my DD and I'm seriously thinking of finishing this repair and selling it and getting a JKU Rubi. Im just tired of dumping $$$ into this thing.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:18 AM   #11
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@blackmagicbrakes. The inners are all chewed to hell, I have seen those in person, I didn't get a chance to look at the shafts or locker. The breakage happened starting from a full stop in a turn lane. I had to force it about 200 yds so i could get it off of the roadway. It didn't look completely destroyed but Im no expert. I do know what completely destroyed looks like. My T-case exploded on the interstate due to a failed u joint. THAT was destroyed. haha
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #12
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Pictures would help.
If is just the surface were the seal contacts, maybe it could be polished smooth and the low spots filled in with JB weld. I did a similar repair on my motorcycle successfully.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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Pictures would help.
If is just the surface were the seal contacts, maybe it could be polished smooth and the low spots filled in with JB weld. I did a similar repair on my motorcycle successfully.
Yeah, I'm in the same boat. If the bearing journals for the locker are good, the bearing seats for the pinion bearings are good, a seal bore that you press the seal into isn't that hard to make work and there is very little load on the seal to keep it from both leaking or spinning.

Hard to tell without pictures though, good ones.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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ok. It will be Monday before I can get into the shop and snap any photos. Would it be driveable and safe for me to have them just disconnect the front driveshaft completely and remove all the moving parts in the front axle except for the shafts? That way this can be done in a less costly and less hasty manner. This TJ is my DD so I really need this thing moving ASAP. Would this work for a month or so?
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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ok. It will be Monday before I can get into the shop and snap any photos. Would it be driveable and safe for me to have them just disconnect the front driveshaft completely and remove all the moving parts in the front axle except for the shafts? That way this can be done in a less costly and less hasty manner. This TJ is my DD so I really need this thing moving ASAP. Would this work for a month or so?
As long as the stub shafts are holding the unitbearings together, you are good to go forever until you NEED 4wd.

They will need to separate the front axles at the u-joint, leave the u-joint on the inner shaft, install the stub back into the unitbearing and run it like that. You can NOT leave the inners in there flopping around unless they are plugged into the differential and you can't leave the diff in there without oil, and you can't have oil in there without a pinion and pinion seal.

Yes on pulling the front. If it were mine and I wanted to do this. I would snag a cheap low pinion or high pinion Dana 30 housing, leave the driveshaft off, swap over whatever parts it takes to make the steering and brakes work and drop the housing off some place with some sense.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #16
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^^ Totally agree with Black Magic!!! My friend found that out the hard way when both of his snapped off driving his on a test drive.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:45 AM   #17
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I recently had a my TJ Rubicon's front axle seize up.............
Mine was seized up, as well. Listen to Black Magic, he walked me through repairing mine and it was definitely seized.

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Old 12-31-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
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Would anyone know of a link with specific instructions on how to hollow out an axle like this? Happy New Years
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:50 PM   #19
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Would anyone know of a link with specific instructions on how to hollow out an axle like this? Happy New Years
It's not hard. I don't have a link you would have to find a link to axle assembly to get an idea

Remove front drive shaft.
Remove disc calipers and unit bearings each side
Slide out both axles.
Remove 4 bolts holding the complete gear carrier.
Pry out gear carrier
Put diff cover back on
Disassemble axle shafts. Remove u joints completely from stub shaft.
Reinsert. Stub shafts and reassemble hub assembly.
Put tires on and drive it. It will drive and act completely normal.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:11 AM   #20
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Thank you
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #21
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2WD Rubicon back on the road! Hopefully I'll have it all back together within a month or so. Again, thanks for the help.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:47 PM   #22
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2WD Rubicon back on the road! Hopefully I'll have it all back together within a month or so. Again, thanks for the help.
Good luck. Glad to hear you're back up and running.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:39 PM   #23
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Here are a couple pics of the backside of the axle at the pinion seal

https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f125...UmZBim0DO67Q--

https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f125...fIQ1AhHv6nCQ--
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #24
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Here are a couple pics of the backside of the axle at the pinion seal

https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f125...UmZBim0DO67Q--

https://ne1-attach.ymail.com/us.f125...fIQ1AhHv6nCQ--
Can't see them without an account which I ain't signing up for.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #25
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Just curious which shop you have it at in Kennesaw.

Also check this out.
http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/pts/3494321508.html
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #26
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A friend of mine runs an America's Service Center in Acworth off of 41. I know he was trying to help me out but now I know, just go to Southern gear. I spoke to that guy from the Craigslist ad on Dec. 26. Someone got to him before I could. He traded them for a built front D60... Sorry about the photos, i was in a hurry. There is a large chunk missing out of that out seal ring.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:10 PM   #27
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I would really get someone else to look at it. Maybe Nelms. Shallowford and Canton Hwy. If you find another one let me know and I can help you pull it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:42 AM   #28
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A friend of mine runs an America's Service Center in Acworth off of 41. I know he was trying to help me out but now I know, just go to Southern gear. I spoke to that guy from the Craigslist ad on Dec. 26. Someone got to him before I could. He traded them for a built front D60... Sorry about the photos, i was in a hurry. There is a large chunk missing out of that out seal ring.
What I would call the seal ring is the rubber part of the seal that is bonded to the metal part of the seal which then rides on a polished seal surface on the pinion and it presses into the seal bore.

Which part is missing the chunk?
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:17 PM   #29
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I would say that about 1/8 of that polished steel surface on the pinion is what is broken. Just about as wide as a half dollar or so.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:13 AM   #30
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I would say that about 1/8 of that polished steel surface on the pinion is what is broken. Just about as wide as a half dollar or so.
This is ridiculous, but anyway, the pinion is the part that the driveshaft hooks to that turns the ring gear. If it is only the pinion that is bad, then a new gear set, install kit and someone to set up the gears is all that is need, not a new housing.

A good picture is so much better at figuring this out.

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