2012 JK 4dr 3inch lift 35 inch tires.
I'm adding front and rear ARB air lockers and 4.88 gears. While I have it apart i am considering replacing the front D30-27 spline with the D30-30 spline they say you get 40% more strength. Any thoughts?
As long as you're swapping in a locker already, there's no reason not to upgrade the shafts at the same time as long as your budget can swing it.
You'll also want to to look at reinforcing the housing as well. With 35" tires the question is not whether your housing will bend, the question is when the housing will bend with an answer of "sooner rather than later". There's plenty of discussion on that around here if you search. I'm personally planning on using this kit:
Artec JK Front Axle ARMOR KIT
Throw on a heavy duty differential cover to give that D30 some more much needed rigidity and it will almost be acceptable.
Thing is, though, once you add up the costs of regearing, upgrading the shafts, trussing the housing, etc (especially if you have to pay someone to weld it up for you), you're better off just buying a drop in Dana 44. You'll spend close to the same money but get an axle that's quite a bit stronger. You order it with the gears/locker you want and then you swap over the knuckles off your D30 and reuse your unit bearings, ABS sensors and brakes. They come with all the brackets to bolt up to your suspension so you don't have to figure that part out. It's a naturally stronger housing so you don't have to truss it. And the ring/pinion is much bigger and stronger and will last a lot longer than a D30 ring/pinion.
I'm sticking with stock tires and gears (or, at most 4.10's) and stock axle shafts so a truss will be enough for me since I can weld it on myself and don't have to pay anyone to do it.
if you break your 30 off roading, chances are you'll break a 44.
i installed 513's with arb front and rear lockers and i'm running 37" tires on my dana30. for a while now, i have been successful and haven't had any issues. a vital key to success is the installation. if properly installed, this is a good foundation for wheeling.
the biggest variable is how you off road. every driver is different. every part of the country has it's differences. rocks, snow, dirt, water...
One person can break a dana44 with stock tires, gears, no lockers while another person with 37's, 513's, arb's, doesn't break his or hers. AND VICE VERSA
so it boils down to throttle control and knowing your limits.
don't buy into the stock crap. for the money, changing out a 30 for a 44 isn't worth it. either go to an aftermarket axle or modify yours. if i had to do it all over, i should have gone with an aftermarket.
and i'm not a believer in axle shafts. i'd rather break an axle shaft than break my internal housing/locker & gears.
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