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Old 04-13-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
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Front axle for 37"

Looking at either swapping in a HP Dana 30 or a rubicon Dana 44 if a great deal comes up. (I have a very limited budget)

Been reading a ton and seems like the ring and pinion would be the weak link for the HP 30 because my gear ratio would be 5.13. Is there any way to avoid destroying my R/P?

Would the 5.13 gears hold up in a Dana 44 better?

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Old 04-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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Neither of those axles are up to a 37" tire, at least not long-term. The Dana 30's and Rubicon D44's ball joints, knuckles, brakes, axle tubes, steering etc. just aren't up to a 37" or bigger tire. And a Rubicon D44 is only a D44 in its center pumpkin, R&P gears, & inner axle shaft. Everything else about a Rubicon D44 is pure Dana 30.

I'm running a beefed up front Rubicon D44 with Superior Axle Evolution 30 spline axle shafts, the big Warn hubs with 30 spline outers, CTM (i.e. huge!) u-joints, etc. but I'm still limiting my tire size to 35".

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Old 04-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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I would go with a Dana 44 ,bigger ring and pinion ,30 splines and chrome moly shaftsand good U-joints.

Dana 30 smaller ring and pinion 27 Splines, yes you can upgrade to 30.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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I agree with Jerry about the Rubicon Dana 44's save some money and build yourself a real Dana 44.The Rubicon housings are thin walled.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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why the need for 37's? Jerry and I both run 35" tires on our trail Jeeps.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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why the need for 37's? Jerry and I both run 35" tires on our trail Jeeps.
True but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be running 38's or 40's on some big honkin' axles tomorrow if I win the lottery tonight.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Looking at either swapping in a HP Dana 30 or a rubicon Dana 44 if a great deal comes up. (I have a very limited budget)
Very Limited Budget and 37's don't belong in the same sentence, same post, or same rig if your intent is to run them. If you intent is to warn someone of the expense, then by all means, proceed.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:36 PM   #8
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build a JK HPD44 or a Ford 1/2" tubed HPD44/hybrid Jana 54. won't be limited budget tho, but will be cheaper than 609.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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I have a limited budget for the axle.


Looks like the only way to go is to build up a completely different axle and re do the brackets. Very good to know. I was hoping to avoid this because of the high prices of front axles.

Alright ill just have to watch Craigslist!
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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I run a HP dana 30 on my YJ with heavy 37's on H1 wheels (150lbs each). Ive been running this set up for a couple years now and have had no issues other then wearing hubs out. I use timken hubs with a 3 year warranty so ive only bought two and change them out twice each in the past 2 years. My ball joints are STILL the stock ones from 1993 and are still in good shape. Ive even drove to both the Rubicon (1500 miles round trip) and Moab (2300 miles round) with no other issues. Oh and one other note this is my daily driver. Only work ive done is upgraded to 30 spline molly shafts. I knew i would run big tires and didnt feel like building a custom axle. It comes down to how you wheel, if your heavy throttle type then I would look at getting a real Dana 44, a JK or TJ 44 is nothing more then a D30 with a 44 pumpkin.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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I run a HP dana 30 on my YJ with heavy 37's on H1 wheels (150lbs each). Ive been running this set up for a couple years now and have had no issues other then wearing hubs out. I use timken hubs with a 3 year warranty so ive only bought two and change them out twice each in the past 2 years. My ball joints are STILL the stock ones from 1993 and are still in good shape. Ive even drove to both the Rubicon (1500 miles round trip) and Moab (2300 miles round) with no other issues. Oh and one other note this is my daily driver. Only work ive done is upgraded to 30 spline molly shafts. I knew i would run big tires and didnt feel like building a custom axle. It comes down to how you wheel, if your heavy throttle type then I would look at getting a real Dana 44, a JK or TJ 44 is nothing more then a D30 with a 44 pumpkin.
That's what I was hoping to hear. Are the xj Dana HP 30s about equivalent to the yj one?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #13
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That's what I was hoping to hear. Are the xj Dana HP 30s about equivalent to the yj one?
Yes, but if you go with an xj one I would think about a truss or sleeve it as you wont have the CAD for added strength.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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Yes, but if you go with an xj one I would think about a truss or sleeve it as you wont have the CAD for added strength.
Truss sounds good. I'm taking a welding class this summer. What's CAD?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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There is no "axle for 37s" they are pretty much all too big or too small. the jk hp44 suggestion is about as close as you can get without overkilling it too much. a hp30 or hp44 can be built to handle a lighter wheel/tire combo of 37s on a lighter vehicle with lower gears and stock horsepower. Aka very basic. You could go with a hp30 and have a super light high clearance small diff, with lots of pinion clearance, sleeve, truss, gusset the C's, throw some RCVs at it, cryo the R/P, blah blah blah, and run 37s and be pretty well off. basically the same sorta deal with the hp44. Beef it up. U joints in the shaft are the weak point and are the same in the 30 and 44, except the JKd44. You could do what blaine has done and do some custom stuff and use the jkd44 shafts, you'd have to ask him about that one.

I can tell you want to just swap in an axle and run it, and a hp30 is not gona do that. You can run 35s fairly reliably and that's it, if you wheel it.

TJ d44, even hp44s can't even really reliably run 37s. Like Jerry said, lots of parts wear out. Blaine has actually said the Ball joints won't go bad on 37s, but the U joints, axle shafts, and just other parts in general including tubes/housings, basically anything can go at 37s with these axles in stock form, when they are wheeled hard. If you are running a 37 inch tire, you SHOULD be wheeling hard, or you don't need 37s and those big expensive, axles that take time and research to build.

I am telling you all this because I have gone through the same thought process a few years ago and know where you're at. Do things the right way the first time.

The xj hp30 and yj hp30 are the same, minus some possibly differences is vacuum disconnects and u joint sizes on different years, which are also seen between the axles on each vehicle over the years as well.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:35 PM   #16
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Truss sounds good. I'm taking a welding class this summer. What's CAD?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:41 PM   #17
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There is no "axle for 37s" they are pretty much all too big or too small. the jk hp44 suggestion is about as close as you can get without overkilling it too much. a hp30 or hp44 can be built to handle a lighter wheel/tire combo of 37s on a lighter vehicle with lower gears and stock horsepower. Aka very basic. You could go with a hp30 and have a super light high clearance small diff, with lots of pinion clearance, sleeve, truss, gusset the C's, throw some RCVs at it, cryo the R/P, blah blah blah, and run 37s and be pretty well off. basically the same sorta deal with the hp44. Beef it up. U joints in the shaft are the weak point and are the same in the 30 and 44, except the JKd44. You could do what blaine has done and do some custom stuff and use the jkd44 shafts, you'd have to ask him about that one.

I can tell you want to just swap in an axle and run it, and a hp30 is not gona do that. You can run 35s fairly reliably and that's it, if you wheel it.

TJ d44, even hp44s can't even really reliably run 37s. Like Jerry said, lots of parts wear out. Blaine has actually said the Ball joints won't go bad on 37s, but the U joints, axle shafts, and just other parts in general including tubes/housings, basically anything can go at 37s with these axles in stock form, when they are wheeled hard. If you are running a 37 inch tire, you SHOULD be wheeling hard, or you don't need 37s and those big expensive, axles that take time and research to build.

I am telling you all this because I have gone through the same thought process a few years ago and know where you're at. Do things the right way the first time.

The xj hp30 and yj hp30 are the same, minus some possibly differences is vacuum disconnects and u joint sizes on different years, which are also seen between the axles on each vehicle over the years as well.
I built a re-tubed JK 44 to stock width to keep with stock axles and the factory Rubi electric locker. I don't know that it would be considered cost effective or that I would do another one. This one was a 37" tire test for the Hammers and so far it is holding up.

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:43 PM   #18
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There is no "axle for 37s" they are pretty much all too big or too small. the jk hp44 suggestion is about as close as you can get without overkilling it too much. a hp30 or hp44 can be built to handle a lighter wheel/tire combo of 37s on a lighter vehicle with lower gears and stock horsepower. Aka very basic. You could go with a hp30 and have a super light high clearance small diff, with lots of pinion clearance, sleeve, truss, gusset the C's, throw some RCVs at it, cryo the R/P, blah blah blah, and run 37s and be pretty well off. basically the same sorta deal with the hp44. Beef it up. U joints in the shaft are the weak point and are the same in the 30 and 44, except the JKd44. You could do what blaine has done and do some custom stuff and use the jkd44 shafts, you'd have to ask him about that one.

I can tell you want to just swap in an axle and run it, and a hp30 is not gona do that. You can run 35s fairly reliably and that's it, if you wheel it.

TJ d44, even hp44s can't even really reliably run 37s. Like Jerry said, lots of parts wear out. Blaine has actually said the Ball joints won't go bad on 37s, but the U joints, axle shafts, and just other parts in general including tubes/housings, basically anything can go at 37s with these axles in stock form, when they are wheeled hard. If you are running a 37 inch tire, you SHOULD be wheeling hard, or you don't need 37s and those big expensive, axles that take time and research to build.

I am telling you all this because I have gone through the same thought process a few years ago and know where you're at. Do things the right way the first time.

The xj hp30 and yj hp30 are the same, minus some possibly differences is vacuum disconnects and u joint sizes on different years, which are also seen between the axles on each vehicle over the years as well.
You think a trussed xj HP could handle light 37x12.5 with 4.88 gears? Like try to keep each corner under 100 pounds?
I'd switch out the shafts for chromoly too

I don't go slamming my jeep into things. I'm pretty light on the gas. If I struggle to get up an obstacle I don't do the "Moab bump". I'm not afraid to go around.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #19
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I built a re-tubed JK 44 to stock width to keep with stock axles and the factory Rubi electric locker. I don't know that it would be considered cost effective or that I would do another one. This one was a 37" tire test for the Hammers and so far it is holding up.
How much do front axle brackets usually run?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:51 PM   #20
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You think a trussed xj HP could handle light 37x12.5 with 4.88 gears? Like try to keep each corner under 100 pounds?
I'd switch out the shafts for chromoly too

I don't go slamming my jeep into things. I'm pretty light on the gas. If I struggle to get up an obstacle I don't do the "Moab bump". I'm not afraid to go around.

You could, maybe cryo the gears at that point because your R/P might be near the weak point and it's pretty cheap to cryo gears. like 75 bucks or something I think.

The thing is by the time you do good shafts, a locker, a truss, brackets, regear, cryo those gears, put big brakes or whatever you do to the d30 to handle 37s, etc, your up to like 2 grand pretty easy, which is not "budget" and no where close many other axles you could get in stock form and slap brackets on. The issue is there aren't any stock width axles worth putting in. If you don't care about staying stock width go with a 60 front or something similar.

Basically building a front axle for 37s sucks. There is no cheap or easy way to do it. I wanted to do it. Probably sticking with 35s now on the setup I will have until I have some major money and time to throw away...
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:55 PM   #21
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Yes, but if you go with an xj one I would think about a truss or sleeve it as you wont have the CAD for added strength.
CAD hardly makes the axle stronger, the cast disconnect piece is a common failure point.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:57 PM   #22
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You could, maybe cryo the gears at that point because your R/P might be near the weak point and it's pretty cheap to cryo gears. like 75 bucks or something I think.

The thing is by the time you do good shafts, a locker, a truss, brackets, regear, cryo those gears, put big brakes or whatever you do to the d30 to handle 37s, etc, your up to like 2 grand pretty easy, which is not "budget" and no where close many other axles you could get in stock form and slap brackets on. The issue is there aren't any stock width axles worth putting in. If you don't care about staying stock width go with a 60 front or something similar.

Basically building a front axle for 37s sucks. There is no cheap or easy way to do it. I wanted to do it. Probably sticking with 35s now on the setup I will have until I have some major money and time to throw away...
Thanks for the advice. Ill prolly take it slow. Ill run 33s for a while until I can put in an 8.8 and HP 30. Then move up to 35s. Ill retire my jeep to weekend warrior when I get out of college. Ill make the move up to 37s then. Who knows, maybe ill be 100% satisfied with the 35s.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #23
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Thanks for the advice. Ill prolly take it slow. Ill run 33s for a while until I can put in an 8.8 and HP 30. Then move up to 35s. Ill retire my jeep to weekend warrior when I get out of college. Ill make the move up to 37s then. Who knows, maybe ill be 100% satisfied with the 35s.

Thanks again!
Considering that you and I live in the same area and I'm well familiar with the wheeling challenges, you'd be hard pressed to find any place in the entire state that you can't be very happy on 35's and that includes the Hammers.

The only reason I would suggest going to 37's for anyone in this part of the world is to keep 102" or more of wheelbase happier or help with your lack of driving skill and or experience.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #24
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I have a guy in my club who ran 35s on a rubi 44 and bent the housing and broke multiple shafts now he runs a chopped Dana 60 with a 36 tire. If you want a 37 you might as well go the 60 route.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:08 PM   #25
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Considering that you and I live in the same area and I'm well familiar with the wheeling challenges, you'd be hard pressed to find any place in the entire state that you can't be very happy on 35's and that includes the Hammers.

The only reason I would suggest going to 37's for anyone in this part of the world is to keep 102" or more of wheelbase happier or help with your lack of driving skill and or experience.
Haha :P

Yea I talked to some guy in the area the other day and he said the exact same thing about 35s.

I've got friends on 35s and friends on 40s I guess I'll just see what happens. The idea of stopping at 35s is getting pretty convincing
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:14 PM   #26
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No problem. Blaine is right, and to add to that: You can be super capable on 35s, and there is a lot more to a capable rig than just X tires Y suspension and Z drive train. I would get your axles gears and tire size selected, and built/installed, and start focusing on how to use that stuff to it's fullest potential. Add clearance, as suspension travel and stability, improve handling, steering, traction. If you focus your efforts in the right area you can have a very capable rig for a little less than a pretty penny.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:16 PM   #27
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I've been running 37's (MTR's) on the Rubicon Dana 44's, with Superior shafts, for the last 3 years with no issues. I try to be smart with the throttle. Rubicon trail, Moab's Pritchett, Behind the Rocks, Golden Spike, Moab Rim, all that kind of stuff. Nothing's broken yet, I'll let y'all know if anything ever does break.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #28
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But guys with 35's go everywhere I go, sometimes better cause they're better drivers. Driving skill is prolly more important than 37's.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:01 AM   #29
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hmmmmm....taking advice off a person with a user name 'village idiot'....not too sure about that
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:31 AM   #30
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hmmmmm....taking advice off a person with a user name 'village idiot'....not too sure about that

He didn't really give any advice. You can run 37s on Rubi 44s, some guys manage to get them to survive, while other guys would shred them the first time out. Nothing wrong with him throwing his .02 cents in... What's your take on this?

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CAD hardly makes the axle stronger, the cast disconnect piece is a common failure point.
Actually, the CAD housing is stronger. The multiple piece shafts may be weak, but can easily and cheaply be swapped for the TJ shafts and have the vacuum plugged with a plate. I used to think the same thing about the vaccuum housing being weaker.

see: So many opinions: Is anyone running an HP 30 "disconnect" axle in a TJ? - JeepForum.com

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