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Old 05-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Stock front axle life with large tires

What size tires have you guys been able to use with the stock front TJ axle? And for how long and under what kinda wheeling conditions? I've got an uprgraded rear 8.8 axle, but the front is stock... Right now I've got 35x12.5x15 all around, been on the jeep for 5 years, no problems... tires are worn out and I'm thinking of going with 37's when I replace them... Has anyone run 37's with the factory front axle in a 4cyl TJ? Did it work out ok? I've got 4.88 gears right now, what upgrades would I need to run larger tires? Thanks for everyones input

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:59 AM   #2
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If you mall crawl you are fine with the stock lp30, but if you wheel your jeep then you need axle shafts, sleeves, upgraded, brakes and steering. Most with 35's would have already done these things!

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Old 05-22-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
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You're openin' an entire can of worms on this one.

What kind of upgrades do you have already?
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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I would stay away from 37s. They're an awkward tire size. 37s are really pushing it on an 8.8 or D44s or HPD30, yet most D60s are still rather large axles. I say stick to 35s, get an HPD30 and build that and the 8.8 to be bullet proof and throw in some good selectable lockers. Money much better spend.

IMO the only next logical step after 35s are 40"+ and D60s.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #5
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The stock Dana 30 is fine up to the 35" tire size. Depending on the difficulty of the trails you do and whether your front axle has a locker, hardened axle shafts may be required but other than that, life with 35" tires on a Dana 30 is absolutely fine. It's when you get to 37" and bigger tires where neither the TJ's Dana 30 nor the Rubicon's front Dana 44 is up to it.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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I would stay away from 37s. They're an awkward tire size. 37s are really pushing it on an 8.8 or D44s or HPD30, yet most D60s are still rather large axles. I say stick to 35s, get an HPD30 and build that and the 8.8 to be bullet proof and throw in some good selectable lockers. Money much better spend.

IMO the only next logical step after 35s are 40"+ and D60s.
I feel the same way, and am planning on this.

I'm currently one 32's and will be stepping up to 35's to better my skills. I'm going to be getting an 8.8 with ARB and swap in a HP30 with ARB as well. The 8.8 should do pretty damn good on 35's by itself while the D30, either HP or LP would really benefit from some Alloy shafts and larger U-joints. I'd much rather break a u-joint on the drive shaft than the axle shaft. The biggest issue with the D30 is the hub-unit bearings. With tires larger than 35's they tend to wear out really fast... as well as ball joints.

After really learning how to wheel... I'm going full widths and 40's but that is quite a few years away.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:44 PM   #7
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You're openin' an entire can of worms on this one.

What kind of upgrades do you have already?
4 inch suspension lift, 3 inch body lift, sye, cv driveshaft, 4.88 gears, some kind of funky aftermarket front sway bar, homemade front and rear bumpers, rocker guard rock sliders, roll bar/cage reinforcements, ford 8.8 rear axle with disk brakes....

I just got the Jeep in a trade, it has 35 inch mickey baja claws on it right now that are about 30% tread left.

I'm gathering from everyones input that I should just go with 35's when I replace the tires because 37's or larger will require axle upgrades...

can I go with wider tires? like 35x15/16? or will those require axle upgrades as well?
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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If you mall crawl you are fine with the stock lp30, but if you wheel your jeep then you need axle shafts, sleeves, upgraded, brakes and steering. Most with 35's would have already done these things!

I don't mall crawl, I trail ride, hill climb, beach bash, camp, fish, and hunt... I don't rock crawl, and there really isn't anywhere near me for rock crawling here in south eastern Virginia....
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #9
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A wide tire is going to have a greater scrub radius, thus more strain on the steering components and ball-joints as well, so long as you don't have wheels with very little backspacing. If I were you, I'd ditch the 3" body lift for a 1" and call it good. The 35's will fill out the gap a lot better then.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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I would stay away from 37s. They're an awkward tire size. 37s are really pushing it on an 8.8 or D44s or HPD30, yet most D60s are still rather large axles. I say stick to 35s, get an HPD30 and build that and the 8.8 to be bullet proof and throw in some good selectable lockers. Money much better spend.

IMO the only next logical step after 35s are 40"+ and D60s.
I ran an 8.8 under a full sized bronco with a 302, 456 gears, and 39x18x15 inch Mickey Thompson baja belted tires with no problems at all, and I wheeled the snot out of it...
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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That's the rear... the front is the one to worry about.

And an 8.8 under a full sized Bronco... musta looked funny.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:08 PM   #12
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That's the rear... the front is the one to worry about.

And an 8.8 under a full sized Bronco... musta looked funny.
My comment was directed towards the person saying that an 8.8 won't live with 37's.

The 8.8 is factory stock under every bronco from 1980 till 96, so no, it didn't look funny.

And yes, I realise the front axle is the one to worry about, that's the reason I started this thread in the first place.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:11 PM   #13
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The stock Dana 30 is fine up to the 35" tire size. Depending on the difficulty of the trails you do and whether your front axle has a locker, hardened axle shafts may be required but other than that, life with 35" tires on a Dana 30 is absolutely fine. It's when you get to 37" and bigger tires where neither the TJ's Dana 30 nor the Rubicon's front Dana 44 is up to it.
How come 35's are ok on the dana 30, but 2 inches bigger won't even work on the Rubicon dana 44?

I must be missing something, what's the weak link in each axle, and how come the dana 44 rubicon axle isn't stronger than the dana 30?
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #14
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How come 35's are ok on the dana 30, but 2 inches bigger won't even work on the Rubicon dana 44?

I must be missing something, what's the weak link in each axle, and how come the dana 44 rubicon axle isn't stronger than the dana 30?
The diff and the inner axle shafts on the TJ/LJ Rubicon front are D44, but all the outer components are D30.. Meaning the outer shafts are D30 and can only take up to a 35 and even a D30 has it's limits with 35's
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #15
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The diff and the inner axle shafts on the TJ/LJ Rubicon front are D44, but all the outer components are D30.. Meaning the outer shafts are D30 and can only take up to a 35 and even a D30 has it's limits with 35's

Thanks for the info! Are the outer components the weak link? What can be done to upgrade them on either axle without going to the larger dana 60?
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:29 PM   #16
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XJ Knight the dana 30s has the shafts and outers from a dana 44 all the same parts. its the ring gear that is the weakest link in the chain and you cant fix that. also 37s will put a lot more stress on the weak tubes and Cs on a dana 30. If your wheeling 37s you need a 1 ton 44, built toy 8in or 60s plain and simple. you'll speed a ton of money to build a dana 30 and at the end of the day all you'll have is a dana 30. I cant wait to toss mine
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:37 PM   #17
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XJ Knight the dana 30s has the shafts and outers from a dana 44 all the same parts. its the ring gear that is the weakest link in the chain and you cant fix that. also 37s will put a lot more stress on the weak tubes and Cs on a dana 30. If your wheeling 37s you need a 1 ton 44, built toy 8in or 60s plain and simple. you'll speed a ton of money to build a dana 30 and at the end of the day all you'll have is a dana 30. I cant wait to toss mine
Thanks for the good information Irongrave! So the dana 30 has dana 44 outer shafts and u joints? If I upgraded to better inner shafts and a stronger carrier and ring an pinion, could the dana 30 handle 37's in sand, mud, and woody earthern trail rides... I don't do any rock crawling in southern Virginia.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:08 PM   #18
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an LP30 can't take a 37 there is just too much stress on it. you'll spend close to 2+ grand to get it stronger and you'll still break parts. lower the jeep down aka lose the body lift and just rock 35s for now. when you want to get stupid and have fun on the rocks step up to 1tons
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #19
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From all the research I have been doing, A D30 will hold up "good" (with 35's) with chromoly's, upgraded joints, tacked caps, a selectable locker, and being easy on the gas when wheeling, no bouncing off things.

I've been researching it alot lately considering I just put some new 35's on and I dont really plan on swapping out the D30 anytime soon. Maybe just for a direct bolt in HP30.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #20
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The dana 30 and 44 both suffer failure in two common areas, the u-joint/axle ear and the ball joint. The 30 in stock form will commonly twist the 27 spline shaft, or break a ring gear before a 44 with it's 30 spline shafts and 8.5 ring gear. The 30 and 44 housings are weak on most factory jeeps as well . They sell a sleeve kit for the tubes, but that's only one of the weak links of a quarter ton axle.

If the guy you got it from put a 3" bl on it I doubt he addressed the steering box, tie rods or the brakes you need to upgrade when you go to a 35" tire. First thing I would do is get rid of th to tall body lift and go with a 1" bl instead! Also some zj tie rods and a durango steering box.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by necromancer_tat

My comment was directed towards the person saying that an 8.8 won't live with 37's.

The 8.8 is factory stock under every bronco from 1980 till 96, so no, it didn't look funny.

And yes, I realise the front axle is the one to worry about, that's the reason I started this thread in the first place.
Where did I say they wouldn't survive?
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #22
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Also some zj tie rods and a durango steering box.
Are these stronger and direct bolt ins?

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