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Old 03-07-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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Question what's the best axle swap for my 97?

ive got a 97 tj that is doomed for disaster. i just got the jeep, and it came with pretty new 35s, and a locker in the rear. all equipped on a dana 35. it's my daily driver/weekend warrior. i like to play in the mud and crawl and do it all. just nothing super gnarly. sometimes i have a heavy right foot, but not always. so, knowing those facts, what do you guys think would be the best/easiest/cheapest swap? at the moment im only looking to do the rear, but the front is in my list of plans. oh, and matching gears is something im not super worried about, i already have my front driveline out. thanks!

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Currie Dana 60 Stage 1 kit

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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Are 35's the biggest you plan to go? Also what is your budget for this project? Can you do any work your self.. or does it need to be just a bolt in product?
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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Pretty tight budget. Nothing bigger than 35s. I work at a shop, so I'll be doing it myself. The closer to bolt in the better. I don't want to do any heavy modding.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #5
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Either find a TJ D44 (can be expensive), get a Super35 kit and pray, or look into fabbing in a Ford 8.8 (cheaper and stronger than the D44 but not a bolt in).
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Dana 44 from a TJ or 8.8 from an explorer are your cheapest options.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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What all needs done to have the 8.8 fit?
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
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Lot's of fab work... how would I know?

Good thread to read up there, but before you try an axle swap, do your homework.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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Hardest part about the 8.8 swap is getting the old leaf brackets off. I used the Artec truss and it only took me a weekend to get the old axle out, test fit, burn everything on, and bolt everything up and have the Jeep drivable. Probably could have busted it out in a day if I hadn't wasted half a day trying to find a new crush sleeve and deal with buttoning the gears up...
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier View Post
Hardest part about the 8.8 swap is getting the old leaf brackets off. I used the Artec truss and it only took me a weekend to get the old axle out, tack everything on, test fit, burn everything on, and bolt everything up and have the Jeep drivable. Probably could have busted it out in a day if I hadn't wasted half a day trying to find a new crush sleeve and deal with buttoning the gears up...
You regeared yours too? Yeah I would say just doing careful and precise measurements for the brackets and setting the pinion angle correct is the hardest part. The artec is going to make placing the brackets a piece of cake.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 5spdftw View Post
Either find a TJ D44 (can be expensive), get a Super35 kit and pray, or look into fabbing in a Ford 8.8 (cheaper and stronger than the D44 but not a bolt in).
Get a Super 35 kit and pray?

From what I have been reading, that's true unless its made by Superior.

I have been reading lots of good things about them.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #13
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You regeared yours too? Yeah I would say just doing careful and precise measurements for the brackets and setting the pinion angle correct is the hardest part. The artec is going to make placing the brackets a piece of cake.
Yep, I did the gears for the 8.8 and HP30. I did the gears for the 8.8 first and was a couple months of slow work but was able to bust out the HP30 gears in a weekend.

The Artec truss really does make things simple. Only have to make a couple measurements and everything else just falls into place.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #14
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Yep, I did the gears for the 8.8 and HP30. I did the gears for the 8.8 first and was a couple months of slow work but was able to bust out the HP30 gears in a weekend.

The Artec truss really does make things simple. Only have to make a couple measurements and everything else just falls into place.
I have the artec for my 8.8 and I am really happy I went with it for lots of reasons. That's nice on the gears, my buddy can do them but like you the first ones he did took him a long time. I am hoping to just pick a hp30 w/ 4.10s so I don't have to worry about regearing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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I have Artec truss on my 8.8 in my TJ. I was impressed how it fit together and was pretty simple to put on.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:38 PM   #16
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Ecgs sells a bolt in 8.8 for the t for $700. That is the route I will go when I get rid of the d35
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:47 AM   #17
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I did the bolt in 8.8 from ECGS and with new gearing (front and rear), new brakes, calipers, SYE and driveshaft, new limited slip, 3 inch BDS lift and labor was 3300.00

I am very happy with the axle and work the guys at ECGS did for me.

(they were very fast, 2 days to build the axle, and 1 to do all the labor.)
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:41 AM   #18
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I'm building an 8.8 currently. 4.10 8.8 w/ LSD, all new brakes, etc, flange adapter, artec truss, SOLID cover, new bearing and seals and it would be around 850 if I didn't do smart shopping. I will be doing that whole build, plus a sye/cv and a custom x member and tummy tuck, for right around 1000. I could have done it all even cheaper by going with a cheaper bracket kit, shortening a front driveshaft from another vehicle instead of buying a new CV, and reusing more of the stock brakes and seals and bearings.

Yes there is a heck of a lot more time involved in building your own, but as a college student who works part time, my time isn't worth nearly as much as it will be in 6 years.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #19
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Ecgs sells a bolt in 8.8 for the t for $700. That is the route I will go when I get rid of the d35
Actually the ECGS TJ 8.8 would run about $1200-$1800 or more with other options. The $700 is just the base to start the build. Cheaper alternative to G2 or Superior D44 bolts in's.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #20
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Actually the ECGS TJ 8.8 would run about $1200-$1800 or more with other options. The $700 is just the base to start the build. Cheaper alternative to G2 or Superior D44 bolts in's.

Which is exactly why I went with ECGS and the 8.8, I got the entire project for less than the coast of a G2 set up similarly but with drums.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:06 PM   #21
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Get a Super 35 kit and pray?

From what I have been reading, that's true unless its made by Superior.

I have been reading lots of good things about them.
My Jeep's Super 35 was grenaded by the previous owner on 35s. To each his own but knowing the kind of wheeling that I do I would not trust any D35 under the back, especially locked with 35s.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #22
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Actually the ECGS TJ 8.8 would run about $1200-$1800 or more with other options. The $700 is just the base to start the build. Cheaper alternative to G2 or Superior D44 bolts in's.
I priced mine out and it came to about $1k but yeah the base price starts at 700
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #23
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Wow, lots of help here! But I'm going to get an explorer 8.8 and do the truss. Just gotta budget it. Haha.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #24
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Wow, lots of help here! But I'm going to get an explorer 8.8 and do the truss. Just gotta budget it. Haha.
Welcome to my past 3 months and my next 2. Have fun. I was looking at 1700 initially for everything I wanted ( 8.8 w/ 4.10s and LSD, matching front axle (hp30) tummy tuck, sye, cv, artec truss, all new brake parts, diff cover, etc etc) and Am not looking at right around 1000 for everything. I did the TT because with the offset of the 8.8 I didn't want to gamble on vibes, and since I was welding the brackets and can set my pinion angle to anything I want, it was a great time to add the sye and cv and tt because I don't need arms since I can adjust my angle through welding and center the axle that way.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:32 PM   #25
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My front axle can wait, my front drive shaft is already out. But I'm not going to buy a brand new axle. I have access to used ones, with what I want, for pretty cheap. And i work at a shop. As far as the the sye and extra things, they will come a little later probably. I'm on a tight tight budget. I'm 19 and experiencing the joys of bills :/

What are the benefits of the hp30?
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #26
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I'm also 19, and building my own ford 8.8 from the junk yard. Read below in my build thread. If your fine with no 4x4 that's all good, but why do an axle swap if you don't even have 4wd? I wouldn't buy a new axle either.

The hp30 basically has the ring/pinion ride on the drive side instead of the coast side, which is a long stronger (going forwards at least). Around 30%. It bolts in and is exactly the same as the lp30 otherwise. You can upgrade the shafts and U joints and housing w/ sleeves and gussets and basically have a d44.

Stock, it basically junk ensures that your R/P don't go, so just carry spare shafts/U joints with a 35 or bigger tire.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #27
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A super 35 from Superior would be a good way to go or a Dana 44 out of a TJ. Those two would be the easiest to run 35s.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #28
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Wow, lots of help here! But I'm going to get an explorer 8.8 and do the truss. Just gotta budget it. Haha.
I got just over $700 into mine.
That's an $80 junkyard axle 4.10/limited slip, $355 for the artec truss, all new brake calipers rotors & pads from rockauto, you need a 1310 yoke for the 8.8s pinion flange, I used a riddler differential cover for around $100, axle seals, '94 grand cherokee emergency brake cables

I have a friend who set up an 8.8 with the artec kit, stock control arms, no SYE, and got it spot on. So while it is possible, it just requires a bit more attention to angles as you install the truss. Also, if you do go SYE later on, your spring perches will be at a less desirable angle then.

I wouldn't worry about changing a LP30 to a HP30, unless you have one, or really know why you'd want one. You got all the time in the world to do that.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:23 AM   #29
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I got just over $700 into mine.
That's an $80 junkyard axle 4.10/limited slip, $355 for the artec truss, all new brake calipers rotors & pads from rockauto, you need a 1310 yoke for the 8.8s pinion flange, I used a riddler differential cover for around $100, axle seals, '94 grand cherokee emergency brake cables

I have a friend who set up an 8.8 with the artec kit, stock control arms, no SYE, and got it spot on. So while it is possible, it just requires a bit more attention to angles as you install the truss. Also, if you do go SYE later on, your spring perches will be at a less desirable angle then.

I wouldn't worry about changing a LP30 to a HP30, unless you have one, or really know why you'd want one. You got all the time in the world to do that.
The only reason I said to do it was so he would have matching gears front and rear, to use 4wd.

I'm right around the same price as you for my 8.8 I think 700 is about as low as you can go really doing it right, w/ the artec at least.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #30
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The only reason I said to do it was so he would have matching gears front and rear, to use 4wd.

I'm right around the same price as you for my 8.8 I think 700 is about as low as you can go really doing it right, w/ the artec at least.
Finding a hp30 4.10 is a needle in the haystack.

You put that rear in yet or what man!

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