Junkyard front axle swaps?
I would like something stronger, like a Dana 44. It doesn't have to be bolt in, I could attempt to weld new mounting brackets. The width is what I am concerned about. Maybe shorten a wider axle housing and purchase Rubicon axles?
I'm not interested in purchasing a Rubicon D44 because the axle tubes are not really that much stronger and pricy. Aftermarket D44 fronts are sweet, but pricey as well.
I know about the HP D30. I would go with it if I could be convinced it's strong enough for a locker and 33s. Maybe 35s?
Some of the older Ford D44s, I think like 70's had good strength to them and nice aftermarket for them as well.
The HP30 is actually weaker or listed weaker then the Rubi D44.
The 03-06 Rubi D44 is fine and works good up to 36-37's and if your only running 35's it will be fine. I had 35's on mine and no issues with it.
The 07-present Rubi D44s are even better if you can get one of those.
Found this from a bookmark I kept a while back from JPmagazine
Front Axles (weakest to strongest)
18. Dana 25
It shares similar closed-knuckle parts with the Dana 27 and 44. It has several weak points when overtired and overpowered, including axletubes, differential gears, shafts, and steering joints.
17. Dana 27
See Dana 25-also has a marginally larger ring gear.
16. Low-pinion Dana 30
The shafts and small 260-sized U-joints are its weakest parts. Also has weak axletubes. However, it has lots of aftermarket support.
15. Closed-Knuckle Dana 44 (FSJ)
See Dana 25-same smallish, coarse spline outer shafts and dinky U-joints like the 25 and 27. The '71-and-later inner shafts are large 30-spline parts. The '71-and-earlier axles have weaker 19-spline shafts.
14. Toyota 8-inch
A stout axle for its compact size. Aftermarket Birfields can beef it up. It can actually make for an OK Jeep swap, but it's often frowned upon for being an import axle.
13. High-Pinion Dana 30
It's one of our favorites when found without the axle-disconnect system. Early versions can be converted to larger U-joints with factory and aftermarket parts. Air time will bend the tubes. This axle has lots of aftermarket support.
12. '06-and-earlier Rubicon Dana 44
Same outer ends, steering U-joints, and axletubes as Wrangler Dana 30. The only real gain in strength is in the gears and inner axleshafts (larger diameter and more splines). It has lots of aftermarket support but limited available ratios if you're using the stock Rubicon differentials.
11. Toyota Land Cruiser
They're getting harder to find, but they're still usable for a Jeep (albeit an expensive oddball possibility). It's not a popular swap or one that makes sense unless you have the axles already. Even then, you may be better off selling them.
10. Chevy 10-bolt
It's marginally weaker than a GM or FSJ open-knuckle Dana 44. They have slightly smaller 28-spline shafts and thinner axletubes. However, almost all the 10-bolt knuckle components and stub shafts interchange with the open-knuckle Dana 44. It's a usable full-width axle, but we'd prefer a Dana 44.
9. Low-pinion Dana 44 (FSJ, GM, Ford, and Dodge)
Perhaps the most swapped-in axle in history. Both left- and right-side pinion versions are common and lots of parts interchange between different 4x4s that used some version of the Dana 44. It has a good cost-to-strength ratio and can be easily upgraded in many areas because it has plenty of aftermarket support.
8. High-pinion Dana 44
Only found in some Ford 4x4s. It's a little rare, but the ring-and-pinion are slightly stronger than the low-pinion 44 gears when used in a front application. There are fewer ratios available than what can be had for a low-pinion version. It's a decent swap for a full-width axle with a driver-side pinion.
7. '07-and-later high-pinion Rubicon Dana 44
It features stronger tubes than the 44 axles in the previous model TJ Wrangler. It's sure to see plenty of aftermarket support, including complete assemblies available from Mopar.
6. Low-pinion Dana 60 (M-715)
It has weak stub shafts and weak axletubes. Also has huge, nearly unusable brake drums. It's not a popular or a particularly good swap.
5. Low-pinion Dana 70 (International and Dodge)
Rare. Not all that desirable.
4. Dana 50
Ford Super Duty full-width ball-joint style solid axle. Kind of an underdog. It's possibly a good swap for Jeeps that need a driver-side differential. It has a decent amount of aftermarket support.
3. Low-pinion Dana 60
It's a kingpin-style, full-width axle commonly found in GM and early Dodge 1-tons. They're normally way overpriced in today's used axle market. However, the 60 has unbelievable aftermarket support. You can build a complete axle using all aftermarket components. There is also a newer ball-joint Dodge version, which is slightly weaker.
2. High-Pinion Dana 60
It can only be found in Fords in two versions. There is an older kingpin design and the newer Ford Super Duty ball-joint version. The kingpin style is typically considered stronger and more desirable. It's also more difficult to find and more expensive. Like the low-pinion version, this 60 has unbelievable aftermarket support. You can build a complete axle using all aftermarket components.
1. Rockwell 2 1/2-ton
My take on it is if you are going go cut to size and fab up mounting brackets, why stick with something small. Go big or go home. Find a nice 60 out of a one ton, swap it, and you will have peace of mind about that axle never being a problem (at least as far as breaking goes) If you find one axle from the junk yard, look for another from the same make, that way you wont go through hell trying to find matching rims. Remember, with the upgraded 1 ton axles comes the upgraded 1 ton breaks!
mite as well only do it once!
Can't go wrong with an hp 30. A lot of people are swapping out 44s for them.
^^60 is going to hang down pretty low with 35s. Unless you did a rock jock or something n
60s are overkill for 35's
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