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Old 12-20-2016, 01:14 PM   #1
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TJ axle swap options

Hi all,
I am planning for an axle swap early next year on my Jeep with D35 3.07. I want to end up running 35s but I have 30" tyres with no lift now. I would like to do some intermediate off roading.

Is it wise to skip the lift and tyres now? I was thinking that I will do the axle upgrade first, put some 32" tyres on a BB lift with new shocks for now. I want an OME lift or a currie one in the long run.
I tried ECGS but they advised to get the lift now, to ensure the pinion angle (?) is set up right the first time. But other axle options like from G2 does not have the pinion angle option at all; wtf!! Can I adjust the angle later when I do an SYE.

Also what axle options do I have? I do not have a garage and my skills are none(struggle to pin point the nasty clunk from the front end yet), so the bolt in is the only option that I am considering.
W.r.t features
* should I get the locker now or can I delay it; is it going to cost me a lot more in the long run?
* I will definitely get the new dic breaks
* 4.88 gears. I will regear front end too, but plan to leave it open for now.

What axle options do I have? Since I am getting the bolt in assembly, 8.8 is a bit expensive and almost comparable to D44. Also pretty sure D44 will fetch more money if I want to upgrade it later. I am thinking I will go with G2 D44. But they the D60 is only around 500$ more. I do not think I will end up needing more than a well built D44. In short super confused.
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:31 PM   #2
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One axle option that I liked is:
https://www.4wd.com/Drivetrain-and-D...2D44TJ-A48835D

I would like to keep the axle cost below 3000$ if possible.

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Old 12-20-2016, 01:53 PM   #3
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If you order a rear axle from ECGS, they can set the pinion angle for your two joint slip yoke drive shaft and stock control arms.

After you install a lift, SYE/CV, and adjustable control arms, you can then adjust the pinion angle to match the CV angle.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
If you order a rear axle from ECGS, they can set the pinion angle for your two joint slip yoke drive shaft and stock control arms.

After you install a lift, SYE/CV, and adjustable control arms, you can then adjust the pinion angle to match the CV angle.

So just get one with for 0" lift. Then later on when I get the SYE and CV I can always rotate the axle using the control arms? Is that the idea?

Will rotating the axle have any side effects? Just curious to know what I gain by buying an axle with a preset pinion angle.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by evolutiontheory View Post
So just get one with for 0" lift. Then later on when I get the SYE and CV I can always rotate the axle using the control arms? Is that the idea?

Will rotating the axle have any side effects? Just curious to know what I gain by buying an axle with a preset pinion angle.
Yes, you are on the right track.

There are no side effects or rotating the axle. Some guys get a little concerned about a difference in fluid capacities since a rotated axle will have the fill plug angled downward more than it was stock. But its really a non-issue. Some will jack the rearend up high, then add the diff fluid. Or they will get a different diff cover.
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:06 PM   #6
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If you are concerned about the D35 rear you might take a look at a Super 35 kit. Relatively affordable in terms of axle work, strong enough for 35" tires, and comes with an ARB rear locker. Just thought I would throw it out there. Revolution has them on their website
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
Yes, you are on the right track.

There are no side effects or rotating the axle. Some guys get a little concerned about a difference in fluid capacities since a rotated axle will have the fill plug angled downward more than it was stock. But its really a non-issue. Some will jack the rearend up high, then add the diff fluid. Or they will get a different diff cover.
Thanks! Good point on fluid fill plug.
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by EatTacoCatTea View Post
If you are concerned about the D35 rear you might take a look at a Super 35 kit. Relatively affordable in terms of axle work, strong enough for 35" tires, and comes with an ARB rear locker. Just thought I would throw it out there. Revolution has them on their website
D35 is going way(no disrespect to those; I have seen then holding up pretty well on the trails I plan to run).
I need to re-gear(for the new tyres) with new brakes (might skip on the locker ???) along with the axle upgrade + good lift kit+ tyres + wheels + sye + d shaft + winch coming in the queue. So not much money savings when you take the total cost given that I am building up from the scratch.
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:28 PM   #9
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Is it a good idea to skip the lockers to save some money? I am not going to lock the front immediately. And the jeep is my daily driver, so no auto-lockers. I am favoring brake upgrades over the lockers.
D44 30 spline seems to be the best choice. Or should I go for 35 splines just for the heck of it.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:21 PM   #10
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You might as well throw in a locker while you have everythign else out. No since in doing it all twice, especially if you are paying someone to do the install.

Keep the 30 splines, go with chromos if you want. If you happened to break a 35 spline on the trail, then you are SOL trying to find a replacement to get out of there.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tworley View Post
You might as well throw in a locker while you have everythign else out. No since in doing it all twice, especially if you are paying someone to do the install.

Keep the 30 splines, go with chromos if you want. If you happened to break a 35 spline on the trail, then you are SOL trying to find a replacement to get out of there.
Okay not skipping the locker..

Can I buy an axle with a disc break even though I currently have drum brakes?
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:42 PM   #12
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Okay not skipping the locker..

Can I buy an axle with a disc break even though I currently have drum brakes?
Yes. You should not even need a different proportioning valve, but some people prefer to use one from a Rubicon.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:04 PM   #13
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Yes. You should not even need a different proportioning valve, but some people prefer to use one from a Rubicon.


Interesting. Would not have imagined that was possible


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Old 12-21-2016, 09:13 PM   #14
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If you compare the prices of a built 8.8 from ECGS, and a D44 from pretty much anyone you can think of, built up as close as possible to each other, you'll find the 8.8 is the better bargain. Mine, with 4.88 gears, ARB locker, disc brakes and Artec struss was $2833, including shipping.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindel View Post
If you compare the prices of a built 8.8 from ECGS, and a D44 from pretty much anyone you can think of, built up as close as possible to each other, you'll find the 8.8 is the better bargain. Mine, with 4.88 gears, ARB locker, disc brakes and Artec struss was $2833, including shipping.
Isn't the 8.8 stronger than a D44 anyway? This thread is a great read, as I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'd love to replace my axles, beef them up, and get some lockers in. I'm sick of getting stuck in stupid crap.

Also: is a D60 just plain overkill?
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:41 AM   #16
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If it were me, i would spend the $'s on the locker rather than the disk brakes. Rear brakes offer little in the way of stopping power anyway. As Dextreme mentioned, just get the pinion angle set up as stock, and once the rest of the build is completed, you will be able to rotate your pinion angle with your adjustable ca's.

I would also use 30 spline axles (although I would go chromoly), that way if you have an axle issue down the road, you could run a readily available stock axle to get by.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:40 PM   #17
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Also: is a D60 just plain overkill?
The problem with the D60 (or 1 Ton axles) is the pumpkin is so large...so most people will save the 1 Tons for 37"-40" tires when they need the strength, but have the extra ground clearance gain from the large tires.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
Isn't the 8.8 stronger than a D44 anyway? This thread is a great read, as I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'd love to replace my axles, beef them up, and get some lockers in. I'm sick of getting stuck in stupid crap.

Also: is a D60 just plain overkill?
Slightly stronger. That wasn't my concern, as I knew that the D44 was strong enough for 35s. My problem is that after 3 years of searching, I never found a D44. So I started pricing out completed axles. The 8.8 was cheaper, when setup the same way, by several hundred dollars.

I paid $2833, to my door, from ECGS. That includes 4.88 gears, ARB locker, shiny new disc brakes, proper e-brake cables for the 8.8 to TJ and the Artec truss system.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
The problem with the D60 (or 1 Ton axles) is the pumpkin is so large...so most people will save the 1 Tons for 37"-40" tires when they need the strength, but have the extra ground clearance gain from the large tires.
Personally, if I'm going that big, I'm dropping a Corp 14 into it. Virtually bulletproof, and can be shaved for more clearance than a D60.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:22 AM   #20
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I paid $2833, to my door, from ECGS. That includes 4.88 gears, ARB locker, shiny new disc brakes, proper e-brake cables for the 8.8 to TJ and the Artec truss system.
Did you also do the HP front axle, too?
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:27 PM   #21
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Did you also do the HP front axle, too?
No, still have the original, but upgraded with a Zip locker, axle shafts and 4.88 gears.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:10 PM   #22
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I also did the 8.8 from ECGS for the same reasons above. Completely happy
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:23 PM   #23
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Evolutiontheory, you mentioned right off the bat that you would get 4.88 gears in the rear and leave the front "open" for now. Maybe its just the way you phrased it but you can't run different gears in your front and rear axles and use 4wd. Open generally refers to not having a locker, the gear ratio still needs to be the same regardless of whether it is locked or not.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:32 PM   #24
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Though the 8.8 option is common, how easy is it to find, and economical; are replacement parts (if needed) like axels, bearings, gears, etc.
Parts for a D44 are pretty readily available, and is this so for an 8.8?
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:49 PM   #25
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Evolutiontheory, you mentioned right off the bat that you would get 4.88 gears in the rear and leave the front "open" for now. Maybe its just the way you phrased it but you can't run different gears in your front and rear axles and use 4wd. Open generally refers to not having a locker, the gear ratio still needs to be the same regardless of whether it is locked or not.

Thanks!!
I meant just regear and leave it open.


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Old 12-29-2016, 03:54 PM   #26
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TJ axle swap options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evpjr View Post
Though the 8.8 option is common, how easy is it to find, and economical; are replacement parts (if needed) like axels, bearings, gears, etc.
Parts for a D44 are pretty readily available, and is this so for an 8.8?


My local shop told me that the 8.8 is better wrt aftermarket parts and such.

They are quoting me $4500 range for 8.8 swap with arb 4.88 in the back + air supply.

Problem is once I do this I need to buy new tyres or else the ratio would be too bad. Since I wanted 35" in the long run I am unable to decide on a temporary tire or lift. I could by 32" and run on BB lift but the current tires (30") are very good and I would have preferred to switch to 35" directly. But that adds up the cost to around 10k at least. I am looking for John my joints and rancho 5 way adjustable shocks + I might As well add tera 2 lo kit when adding sye.

Long story short there is not cheap option for me at this point. So I am holding on to the build until I can splurge a lot of money on to the Jeep . :-( which sucks!!
Or buy a rubicon. But they are priced around 4K above the normal models; so not much of savings either way. But with rubicon I can build up in small pieces I believe; since there is no axle swap involved.

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Old 12-29-2016, 08:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by evolutiontheory View Post
My local shop told me that the 8.8 is better wrt aftermarket parts and such.

They are quoting me $4500 range for 8.8 swap with arb 4.88 in the back + air supply.

Problem is once I do this I need to buy new tyres or else the ratio would be too bad. Since I wanted 35" in the long run I am unable to decide on a temporary tire or lift. I could by 32" and run on BB lift but the current tires (30") are very good and I would have preferred to switch to 35" directly. But that adds up the cost to around 10k at least. I am looking for John my joints and rancho 5 way adjustable shocks + I might As well add tera 2 lo kit when adding sye.

Long story short there is not cheap option for me at this point. So I am holding on to the build until I can splurge a lot of money on to the Jeep . :-( which sucks!!
Or buy a rubicon. But they are priced around 4K above the normal models; so not much of savings either way. But with rubicon I can build up in small pieces I believe; since there is no axle swap involved.

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To run 35" tires, especially when you have a D35, and do it properly, there are no cheap routes. However, you can build a plan, and run with it. In my case, I started with a TJ that already had a 4" lift, and 1.25" body lift. It had 35" tires on it, but was not built to handle them, other than a budget 4" lift.

Making it 35" ready was my goal, but I studied and learned before I began the process. One of the first changes I made, was to install a SYE, and fall back to 33" tires, which I continued to run long after installing the 4.88 gears.

Not to discourage you, but to make you aware of the journey you might have to take, I've poured about $8 grand into suspension and axle mods to make it happen. More of it in the axles, but I had to correct several things that the PO either did, or in some cases, didn't do. Not to mention the mistakes I made along the way, and changes I've made in mid-stream.

As of now, I'm running a Metalcloak 3.5" game changer lift, the original 1.25" BL, 8.8 rear axle w/ARB and disc brakes, ZJ steering upgrade, Vanco big brakes on the front, Yukon Zip locker, alloy shafts and 4.88 gears up front, and a Rugged Ridge SYE/CV drive shaft. All to run a set of 35" Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires.

I also added an Exogate rear tire carrier to manage the spare.

Some of the changes I still plan to make is a switch to a JB Conversion Super Short SYE and a new rear drive shaft. There's a lot of other things I want to do to it, but I won't need to make any further mods, just to run 35" tires.

You can get out a bit cheaper than I did, but I like to think I erred towards quality and safety.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:27 AM   #28
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To run 35" tires, especially when you have a D35, and do it properly, there are no cheap routes. However, you can build a plan, and run with it. In my case, I started with a TJ that already had a 4" lift, and 1.25" body lift. It had 35" tires on it, but was not built to handle them, other than a budget 4" lift.

Making it 35" ready was my goal, but I studied and learned before I began the process. One of the first changes I made, was to install a SYE, and fall back to 33" tires, which I continued to run long after installing the 4.88 gears.

Not to discourage you, but to make you aware of the journey you might have to take, I've poured about $8 grand into suspension and axle mods to make it happen. More of it in the axles, but I had to correct several things that the PO either did, or in some cases, didn't do. Not to mention the mistakes I made along the way, and changes I've made in mid-stream.

As of now, I'm running a Metalcloak 3.5" game changer lift, the original 1.25" BL, 8.8 rear axle w/ARB and disc brakes, ZJ steering upgrade, Vanco big brakes on the front, Yukon Zip locker, alloy shafts and 4.88 gears up front, and a Rugged Ridge SYE/CV drive shaft. All to run a set of 35" Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires.

I also added an Exogate rear tire carrier to manage the spare.

Some of the changes I still plan to make is a switch to a JB Conversion Super Short SYE and a new rear drive shaft. There's a lot of other things I want to do to it, but I won't need to make any further mods, just to run 35" tires.

You can get out a bit cheaper than I did, but I like to think I erred towards quality and safety.


Thanks!! Yeah saving up the money now!!


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