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Old 08-20-2009, 02:45 AM   #1
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Angry So I went crosseyed reading about Diffs and gearing.... Few questions

Hey all Im fairly new and I have been doing my share of reading, but I cant find the specific answers I want being SO new.

I see theres Dana 44, 60, 70, 80, the 14 Bolt, 8.8 and a 9" from all kinds of different years/makes/models to name a few and a number of different gear options on top of that. Theres a number of all these locally.

Since Im a firm believer of doing things right, I need some advice and am not ashamed to ask for help. Here's what I want my jeep to do...

Its a 97 4.0 Auto 30/35C with 3.07 as it sits...all stock. I want it to be a daily driver and to run 33" tires safely, ON and OFF the road. Lets say 70% on road and 30% of my time off road (weekends). I dont want to ever have to worry about breaking anything in the drivetrain that I could have prevented when picking a set up.
I also would like to save money on gearing, by looking for a specific ratio in any model diff listed above already manufactured...But which model and ratio is correct? I dont want to have limited knowledge before I spend money on the wrong item.

So my questions are,
1.) Are all the DANA Diffs direct bolt ons no matter what the size, in place of my 35C?
2.)Would I be better going to a 14 bolt, 8.8 or 9"? Why?
3) If so whats needed to have it mounted on my TJ?
4.)What years/models/makes are acceptable to pick a diff from? They seem so wide spread!
5.)Can I Mix and match say a dana 44 front and a rear 14 bolt? ( I know gearing needs to be the same)

By these questions Im sure you can see my dilemma, and believe it or not if you dont have an idea where to search the internet these are tough questions to find answers for. I'm coming over from High-performance sports cars..but am enjoying my Jeep alot more Im finding. I will be doing all the fab work, welding install etc..myself in my garage, but I just need kick in the ass to get on my way. Lifts/wheels/tires It think I'm pretty good on as far as picking and install later on.

Thanks much for the space!

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Old 08-20-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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1). No not all Dana Diffs are direct bolt-ins.
Since you have a 97 TJ, any D44 from 97-06 should bolt-in, but usually requires some sort of modification weather it be in the driveline, shocks, or drive shafts.

D60's D70's, D80's & GM14 usually require the width to be modified to fit and adding the TJ bracketry.

Ford 8.8 & Ford 9" are about the same size fit for a TJ and rather popular upgrade but once again require TJ brackets to be welded on and possible driveline mods as well.

2) For your application the best & cheapest route would be either a D44 from a 98-05 TJ otherwise the next better & littler stronger option is the Ford 8.8 with the 31 spline shafts.

Yes you can mix & match as long as the gearing is the same.

D60's to 14bolts (1tons) might be a little harsh for how much street drivng you do.

Herre's a nice little article from JP Magazine a while back about axles
Weakest to Strongest Axles - Jp Magazine

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Old 08-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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1st, no matter how well you build your jeep, anything can be broken. That being said to run 33's with as little danger of busting something I would do the following:

1. Find a dana 44 rear from another TJ, its a bolt in and will be fine for tires upto 35" even with a locker. common stock ratios' 3.73 to 4.11 (rubicon version only)

2. Swap in a front dana 30 axle from a 1996-1999 XJ with matching gears. This is a HP axle and has bigger u-joints if I recall. You may/will need to mod the front drive shaft but not too much $$.

3. Depending on your lift, you may need an SYE.

4. If you plan at some point to run lockers these axles are fine for 33's with a locker.
As stated though anything can bust.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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1st, no matter how well you build your jeep, anything can be broken. That being said to run 33's with as little danger of busting something I would do the following:

1. Find a dana 44 rear from another TJ, its a bolt in and will be fine for tires upto 35" even with a locker. common stock ratios' 3.73 to 4.11 (rubicon version only)

2. Swap in a front dana 30 axle from a 1996-1999 XJ with matching gears. This is a HP axle and has bigger u-joints if I recall. You may/will need to mod the front drive shaft but not too much $$.

3. Depending on your lift, you may need an SYE.

4. If you plan at some point to run lockers these axles are fine for 33's with a locker.
As stated though anything can bust.
x2 find 4.11 geared d44 and an hp d30 from a 4 cyl cherokee which will have the same gears.

don't bother with 14 bolt and 9" you don't need them. 8.8 is an ok axle and came with 4.11 gears also, the bolt pattern is the same, but the bracketry is not a direct bolt in, does require mods.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks for the info guys. Looking at those rubicon diffs and their prices, I think I'll shoot for the ford 8.8 and make brackets myself. Should I regear my 30, go to NAPA and just order the XJ shaft new? Or will it not be the high performance and cost more? Im thinking it will be tough to find that 4cyl cherokee front diff in 4.11 gear. (because its so specific)

Also I can get a great deal on the 8.8 so regearing isnt too bad of an option...would you stick with 4.11 (for my auto 6cyl) anyway, even if you had the option to re-gear or is there something better I can gear the front/rear to for 33"?

I called a local guy whos into all this and he told me, the 8.8 I want is from an 96-01 explorer with 31 spline (like you guys said) because it has dist brakes. He also asked what the width from brake drum to brake drum was, as he may have a few other ideas for me aswell. Does anyone know that width off the top of their head?


I like how on that website they showed the 30 destroyed ha anyway

I'm on the way, thanks so far
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market plug in your state and then the jeep and the part.

compare this to the 8.8 and time spent building etc...
Quote:
dana 44 AT,3.73's,LHBS 090269 $750 A. Malinish USA-PA(Ligonier) Request_Quote 1-866-238-4080 Request_Insurance_Quote
42
btw I think it might be cheaper to swap in a different dana 30 than pay for gears and install.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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Hey guys I found a local set of dana 44's with 3:73 rear and a non matching front ratio from a older wagoneer / scouts. BUT he only wants 150 for the pair, should I hop on this or not?

Heres the link Jeep CJ YJ Scout Wagoneer Dana 44 44's


whats an average gearing job usually run?
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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Beside ebay & craigs for deals, check out the classified section on jeepforum.com
There's usually 8.8's in there forsale quite often.

4.11's should be fine for your 6cylinder TJ

I believe the 8.8 is the same width as the TJ, I don't recall if it has to be narrowed.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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Beside ebay & craigs for deals, check out the classified section on jeepforum.com
There's usually 8.8's in there forsale quite often.

4.11's should be fine for your 6cylinder TJ

I believe the 8.8 is the same width as the TJ, I don't recall if it has to be narrowed.
Ahh cool Ill check there too. Whats the main concern with the width? Is it possible to just run a different offset in the back to correct something like this? Or will it throw the Jeep all over the place on the road. Im looking forward to jacking this thing up in the air soon!
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
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Just stay away from Scout front D44's in your search.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:52 PM   #11
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Mainly stating that the 8.8 should be a bolt-in once brackets are welded.
I know a couple friends that put one in there ZJ and they didn't have to narrow.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:54 PM   #12
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The 8.8 is only 1 1/2" narrower than factory, it's a non issue.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:53 PM   #13
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Just stay away from Scout front D44's in your search.
OK the 8.8 I found is all the way in pottsville pa...about 4 hours away and shipping is 300 bucks.

Now, how are the wagoneer fronts?

How are the scout 44 rears? I see you said only the fronts are bad.

I can get both for 100 in that link I posted above, (wagoneer front 44 and scout rear 44) He called me tonight I told him I would talk to my buddies on line.


If I have too, Ill drive out to get the 8.8 I found for 300, but I will not pay that shipping.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:08 PM   #14
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OK the 8.8 I found is all the way in pottsville pa...about 4 hours away and shipping is 300 bucks.

Now, how are the wagoneer fronts?

How are the scout 44 rears? I see you said only the fronts are bad.

I can get both for 100 in that link I posted above, (wagoneer front 44 and scout rear 44) He called me tonight I told him I would talk to my buddies on line.


If I have too, Ill drive out to get the 8.8 I found for 300, but I will not pay that shipping.
I think both the scout and waggy have the wrong side front drop for the TJ t-case. Also bolt patten is 5x5 so that's an issue. Also some waggy rear 44's are off center with the diff.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:12 PM   #15
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bolt pattern is 5x5.5 i think. scout rear d44 is fine other than the bolt pattern. i bought scout axles for my build, but i wanted right side drop, and i know i'm cutting, rotating and rewelding knuckles, setting caster and pinion angle and machining away part of the housing to fit a spring perch for my front axle. not a diy for most people.

not sure how involved or built you wanna get, but if the axle is a right side drop, a d300 transfer case is a nice unit.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:15 PM   #16
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I think both the scout and waggy have the wrong side front drop for the TJ t-case. Also bolt patten is 5x5 so that's an issue. Also some waggy rear 44's are off center with the diff.
Aww man your the bearer of bad news huh, haha but this is why I made the thread so I dont make a mistake...I will keep looking.


A complete ford 8.8 with 4.10 is in pottsville...4 hour trip. Is that worth it to make the trip? Then just find front?\

Also, If I keep it on the road, what will my 30/35c with 3.07's do with 33's because I need tires very soon.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #17
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You can make it live with the 3.07's and 33' I know some folks who wheel with it like that.. not well , but they do wheel...lol
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:19 PM   #18
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you can run them with those axles, people do it. you will notice a difference, if you need tires and can fit the 33's buy them and get the axles as soon as you can. 300 is about normal for the 8.8, its not too high, but you gotta do some searching to find it cheaper.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:23 PM   #19
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bolt pattern is 5x5.5 i think. scout rear d44 is fine other than the bolt pattern. i bought scout axles for my build, but i wanted right side drop, and i know i'm cutting, rotating and rewelding knuckles, setting caster and pinion angle and machining away part of the housing to fit a spring perch for my front axle. not a diy for most people.

not sure how involved or built you wanna get, but if the axle is a right side drop, a d300 transfer case is a nice unit.
Ohh well wheels are not a problem, I havnt bough any yet, and I can do different pattern in the front / rear but same model wheel.

However, it does look like a right side drip up there if thats it..



I dont want to get to involved, but I do like my vehicles to be ready for what they will see and more for the most part.

My M3 has 4.10's, full adjustable suspension, sway bars, cross members, strut towerbars and a ton of other things..I just want the jeep to be done correct as well!
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:29 PM   #20
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You can make it live with the 3.07's and 33' I know some folks who wheel with it like that.. not well , but they do wheel...lol
I see your penguin, are you from Pittsburgh too?

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you can run them with those axles, people do it. you will notice a difference, if you need tires and can fit the 33's buy them and get the axles as soon as you can. 300 is about normal for the 8.8, its not too high, but you gotta do some searching to find it cheaper.
And I may have to do something like this for the time being but I can hold on the wheeling if I have too...the truth is I have never gone...well not on my opwn since I have had my license for the last 9 years. My dad took me a long time ago but I was young.

Im more of a sports/speed guy. I sold my CBR to get another project car and then saw a nice lifted jeep and unloaded the project car for what I have now...I dig riding in the Jeep
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #21
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i'm in pretty much the same boat as you. 4x4 and offroading are much different.... slower = better.

1) i come from a sports car/high performance background (i have a crotch rocket and am working on building up a 72 vette with my dad/brother)
2) i want to keep my build pretty light with 33's eventually

this is just my $0.02.... i'm not an expert, i could be wrong, but these are just my observations from talking with local people and lurking around on a few different forums.

-a lot of people wheel with the 30/35c without problems, but they're mostly on lighter trails or mudding. a lot of people also destroy their axle shafts doing the same thing. a lot has to do with how you handle the gas pedal.

-the d44s are probably the easiest to swap. for the most part they're a drop in replacement. replacing stock parts with stock parts. you can upgrade the shafts and make them even stronger than stock. if you were to swap just one i'd say do the rear because it does the most work. it's not uncommon to have a (high pinion) hp30/44 setup. the downside is that they can be expensive because people who are selling them know that they're desirable, and they're expensive to have built.

-the 8.8 seems to be another good choice for a daily driver, or mostly street driven rig. you can usually pick one up for not too much if you pick it yourself at a junk yard and you should be able to have any capable 4x4 place build it for you for close to the same price as a 44, if not less. you can also get super 88 kits that make them even stronger and push the axles out the extra bit to make them the same width as stock. there's a little more involved with these since you may need to get new e-brake cables, but once a shop welds the brackets on it should bolt up like a stock axle. this is the route i think i am personally going to take.

-anything higher than that (d60+, 14 bolt, etc) seem to be for the hardcore guys, the ones running 38+ tires. (just generalization, i'm sure some guys use them on the street without problems). the bigger axle you get i believe the pumpkin gets bigger which could reduce ground clearance. if you're only running 33's then you might not want to get an axle with a bigger pumpkin.

there's also great debates about what gear ratio is best for 33's, mainly for streetability. i don't know what it is for an auto, but for a 5-speed it's usually a debate between 4.56 and 4.88. just do a search for gear ratio and that's probably the most commonly asked question "what gear ratio with 33's and x engine?"

i also grabbed this piece of info that was posted on another site that's handy:

The axle shaft strength (tested by Warn Ind.) is as follows:
F8.8= 6,500 (lb. ft.)
D44= 4,600-5,000 (lb. ft.)
D35C= 4,000-4,300 (lb. ft.)

COT: Continuous output torque rating
MOT: Maximum output torque rating

Numbers from January edition of Fourwheeler, page 60.

Dana 35 rear axle COT: 870 MOT: 3480
Dana 44 rear axle COT: 1100 MOT: 4460
Ford 8.8 28spline COT: 1250 MOT: 4600
Ford 8.8 31spline COT: 1360 MOT: 5100
Dana60 semifloat COT: 1500 MOT: 5500

so, that's what i have... from one street guy to another. also, see if you can find a local forum and check out some of the members rigs. you might see one that's in the direction that you want to go in so you can either copy what they did or learn from their mistakes.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #22
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oh, and another piece of advice. try to hold out on wheeling as long as you can if you really don't want to break anything. if your plan is to lift, etc try to wait until you do that before going out. i went once last year in stock setup and have been dying to get back out there ever since... i just don't want to break something important since this is my dd. i've never had so much fun going <5mph, i was shocked.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #23
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Something to keep in mind... If you are in fact looking for a rear axle, a 8.8 from a 01' exploder is the same length. Just need to cut the BS off and buy aftermarket stuff for you jeep.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:06 AM   #24
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Bidding on a 8.8 4.10 disk brake rear...the 4 hour one haha wish me luck
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:40 AM   #25
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I see your penguin, are you from Pittsburgh too?
yes, live in Ky currently, need to change the pen to steelers now...LOL
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:35 PM   #26
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yes, live in Ky currently, need to change the pen to steelers now...LOL

Yea you better get that up, playin the skins tonight...so Im pretty sure you can hold off one more week
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:31 PM   #27
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so guys would these be good for me...4.10 driver drop ?

Dana Front&Rear Chevy 4:10 Gear
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:46 PM   #28
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so guys would these be good for me...4.10 driver drop ?

Dana Front&Rear Chevy 4:10 Gear
The rear appears to be a 14 bolt, not sure on the front, 44 or 60 perhaps.
The 14 bolt is big.. really for 37" and bigger tires.. with 33's or even 35 is going to limit your ground clearance. That being said you would of course need to fab all the mounts etc.. If its close to you go look them over take a tape measure and see how they would fit in your jeep. Also take a camera and get some pic's to we can see what they look like.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:49 AM   #29
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Ill give him a call tomorrow...they are about 2 hours away so Ill take cash. Ill take alot of picture too and all that good stuff. Thanks for the response...Will I be needing to have drive shafts made aswell?
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:11 AM   #30
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I also though I read somewhere if I was going to be on the highway more often I would want 3.73 gears instead, but then all the same if I ever considered going to 35s, the 4.10 would be my best best eitherway I think...Im just thinking out loud feel free to comment anyone. Thanks

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