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Old 03-29-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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Which axles for 5.3L?

I am about to start my first build (97 SE 2.5L) and will be going from the bottom up. Axles, suspension, driveline and in that order. I will be stretching 5-7in. for 35's. Haven't decided if I will move the front forward yet. I have most everything decided.. except the axle dilemma. Still trying to educate myself so please excuse of the noob questions.

I will be swapping for a 5.3L, t-56 tranny, and hopefully Atlas 4.3 if I can save enough for it. I have done a lot of looking and the general consensus is get a D60. I have also read that a full floating D60 isnt much stronger than a ford 8.8 with a 35 spline. If this is the case, do I look for a semi-float D60? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the 8.8 not being enough. They are ran in f150's with 3'5s and v8's pushing those for tens of thousands of miles. Does most axle (8.8) breakage come from the wheel spin in the rocks? It seems to me it could hand the 35's with 5.3L power with ease.

Ideally I would like to go with the 8.8 because of the huge price jump. I also want to do it right the first time. I was also going to run a D44 up front, but am open to suggestions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-29-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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I'm a fan of ford 9" swaps myself. Almost unlimited options for gears, lockers, axles, third members etc, and you don't ever have to worry about welding to cast iron
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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The 8.8 can handle 35s with no problem. And is much cheaper then a 60 or 14 bolt.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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The 8.8, especially upgraded, would be perfectly fine. It's finding a matching front axle. The TJ 44 is just an over glorified d30 and has the same weak points. With the 5.3 a 44 or hp30 might be pushing it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PHILDABEAST View Post
I'm a fan of ford 9" swaps myself. Almost unlimited options for gears, lockers, axles, third members etc, and you don't ever have to worry about welding to cast iron
Wish I could remember or find the thread again, but it said d60 is better for 4x4 rigs and 9" are better for drag strips. Not saying you are wrong at all, just something I saw. Is this other theory right right? And probably going 4.10 or 3.92 if its available.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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The 8.8 can handle 35s with no problem. And is much cheaper then a 60 or 14 bolt.
That's what I was thinking too, but can it handle 300+ hp from a 5.3 along with 35?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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The 8.8, especially upgraded, would be perfectly fine. It's finding a matching front axle. The TJ 44 is just an over glorified d30 and has the same weak points. With the 5.3 a 44 or hp30 might be pushing it.
Is there a 8.8 front equivalent or is it just a D60?
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:32 PM   #9
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I wouldn't go with 60's if I'm only gonna run a 35" tire. You'll have very little ground clearance.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatrhed View Post

Wish I could remember or find the thread again, but it said d60 is better for 4x4 rigs and 9" are better for drag strips. Not saying you are wrong at all, just something I saw. Is this other theory right right? And probably going 4.10 or 3.92 if its available.
I'd like to read that thread just to what reasoning they have behind that. I've know loads of guys with big horsepower and 40's running ford 9's without ever having an issue. My buddy was running some fabbed 9's in his ultra4 truck and after the silver state 300 the truck was pretty much falling apart around the axles lol
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tatrhed View Post
Wish I could remember or find the thread again, but it said d60 is better for 4x4 rigs and 9" are better for drag strips. Not saying you are wrong at all, just something I saw. Is this other theory right right? And probably going 4.10 or 3.92 if its available.
Without being able to read the thread and see some reasonings I'd have to say that is a very broad statement. The Ford 9" is a very popular axle in the offroad community, typically though you see a lot more fabricated 9". The modular fabricated 9" is very popular for competition because it can be strong as hell and you can quick swap gears.

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Originally Posted by tatrhed View Post
That's what I was thinking too, but can it handle 300+ hp from a 5.3 along with 35?
HP isn't terribly important, what's the torque output? My guess is an 8.8 with super 88 kit could handle it piece of cake. Quite a few people run 37s on a stock 8.8.

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Is there a 8.8 front equivalent or is it just a D60?
I believe the only front application of the 8.8 is an IFS version. Front axle choices are pretty limited compared to the rear unless you're up for some insane fabrication. HP30, some kind of D44 (there are many variants), D60, or a fabricated 9" are about the most common axles.

While not ideal, you might look into finding a HP 44 and having it retubed to a waggy width. Probably cheaper than something like a Dynatrac RockJock 44.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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8.8 or 9 inch rear, and a hp44 up front beefed to hell. 60s on 35s makes no sense when you look at diff clearance.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by freeskier View Post

Without being able to read the thread and see some reasonings I'd have to say that is a very broad statement. The Ford 9" is a very popular axle in the offroad community, typically though you see a lot more fabricated 9". The modular fabricated 9" is very popular for competition because it can be strong as hell and you can quick swap gears.

HP isn't terribly important, what's the torque output? My guess is an 8.8 with super 88 kit could handle it piece of cake. Quite a few people run 37s on a stock 8.8.

I believe the only front application of the 8.8 is an IFS version. Front axle choices are pretty limited compared to the rear unless you're up for some insane fabrication. HP30, some kind of D44 (there are many variants), D60, or a fabricated 9" are about the most common axles.

While not ideal, you might look into finding a HP 44 and having it retubed to a waggy width. Probably cheaper than something like a Dynatrac RockJock 44.
Here is said article.

http://www.savagesun4x4.com/enter/te...9_jeep_tj.html

After looking again he says 9" are good for <36".

The torque (at fly wheel) from what I gather will be in the 305-340 range, then whatever headers, exhaust and CAI will add. I have looked at the RockJock and the offer a D44 hybrid. Not sure if its JK specific, but it's a D44 with D60 knuckles and outer pieces. Sorry for not having specific parts down yet. As I said, still trying to educate myself.

Is the only downside to a d44 front with that power the wheel spin, or will the torque pushing it up the rock face cause it to bind?
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:35 AM   #14
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8.8 or 9 inch rear, and a hp44 up front beefed to hell. 60s on 35s makes no sense when you look at diff clearance.
Do you know the difference? I thought I saw somewhere the difference was about 5/8" in ground clearance.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatrhed View Post
Do you know the difference? I thought I saw somewhere the difference was about 5/8" in ground clearance.
The difference in which? you have to consider pinion clearance, pumpkin clearance, etc. Either way the 60 is fat and you could do a shave but that's a lot of work. I don't know the exact difference but I'm sure you could look it up

When offroading 5/8" is still pretty important, especially at the axles.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00 View Post

The difference in which? you have to consider pinion clearance, pumpkin clearance, etc. Either way the 60 is fat and you could do a shave but that's a lot of work. I don't know the exact difference but I'm sure you could look it up

When offroading 5/8" is still pretty important, especially at the axles.
Difference in the 8.8 and d60.

The 5/8th inch I was talking about was just clearance from ground to lowest point on the pumpkin. I never thought about looking up clearances for the tubes.

I figured fat would be better for strength. Or are they fatter because there is more space inside the tube, and not because the outer walls are thicker?
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tatrhed View Post
Difference in the 8.8 and d60.

The 5/8th inch I was talking about was just clearance from ground to lowest point on the pumpkin. I never thought about looking up clearances for the tubes.

I figured fat would be better for strength. Or are they fatter because there is more space inside the tube, and not because the outer walls are thicker?

I know the 8.8 already has very beefy tubes. The D60 I believe has a bit larger ring gear which is why the pumpkin is bigger. The shaft diameter is only different by a few fractions of an inch, probably a few tenths, and I don't know the actually different in the tubes. I know the snout of the 60 is going to be bigger than the already big 8.8. I also know the 8.8 has a big lip. The 60s is bigger but people do shave them. I wouldn't really do a 60 rear, I would go for a 60 front before a 60 rear. I would do something like a 14b w/ a shave in the rear if you are gona go that big.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
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I know the 8.8 already has very beefy tubes. The D60 I believe has a bit larger ring gear which is why the pumpkin is bigger. The shaft diameter is only different by a few fractions of an inch, probably a few tenths, and I don't know the actually different in the tubes. I know the snout of the 60 is going to be bigger than the already big 8.8. I also know the 8.8 has a big lip. The 60s is bigger but people do shave them. I wouldn't really do a 60 rear, I would go for a 60 front before a 60 rear. I would do something like a 14b w/ a shave in the rear if you are gona go that big.
Thanks. That really helps a lot. That is what I thought/hoped for. I wanted to get opinions and experiences from guys with them before jumping in blind.

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