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Old 08-18-2019, 12:20 AM
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Question Lock my Dana 30?

Hey all. I talked to a shop about getting a re-gear and having selectable lockers installed front and rear. The guy recommended that I should avoid putting a locker in my Dana 30 because it might not handle the load. He suggested that I go with a Detroit TrueTrac in the front instead to play it safe.

I'll be running 32" tires with 4.56 gears. What do you all think? I've searched for this topic, but it seems like everyone asking is running 35" tires. Thanks!

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Old 08-18-2019, 02:37 AM   #2
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A locker of any type leads me to believe that you wheel between 6-8 on a scale of 1-10 of severity. After upgrading my '87 YJ to HD D-44's front and rear, I can tell you what I would do in your situation. Start looking for a good used D-44 out of a rear end wrecked rubi and buy the front axle assembly. You can sink over $1500 into a re-gear and selectable locker for a D-30. The D-44 is SO MUCH stronger than a D-30, I personally would not invest any money into upgrades on the 30. I purchased a '79 Ford Bronco solid housing (78-79 only), hi-pinon, reverse cut, D-44 for $300 empty. All the new gears, bearings, ARB locker, custom cutting / shortening of the housing and axles cost about $2000. EXTREMELY BULLET-PROOF!!! Loved it!! Wish I had it on my Rubi now. Much heavier duty than what Jeep puts on, even on a Recon. If I were going to upgrade, I would to it 100%, not 50%. I never regretted spending the money on our '87. It did things that would have destroyed a D-30..

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Old 08-18-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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this debate is awesome......only the gear set of the D44 is stronger. the rest is a D30

a truly stronger new D44 front axle is gonna run 5k (rock jock or dynatrac), but comes built the way you want.
you can find um used for 500-1000, and still gotta build it to your specs. but you could luck out and find it already packed with 4.56.

the D30 is there already, but will cost 8-1200 to regear, and another 8-1000 for a selectable locker that might kill it. or new shafts and a lunchbox locker, = 6-700.

i'd look for a HP D30 (or 44), with 4.56 already in it. that takes the regear of 1 axle off the expense list. and keeps the difference in cost between regear and purchase price in your pocket for upgrades to that axle, like your traction device.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveTJ04 View Post
only the gear set of the tj rubi D44 is stronger. the rest is a D30
they also regularly go for $2k, would need to be regeared, and the locker is not the strongest and parts are becoming more and more difficult to source. then the real kicker, the weakest part of any tj front axle is the ball joint housing.

it sounds like a great idea but much different in the real world.

the d30 in our TJ's can be locked and handle up to 35" tires with alloy shafts.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:58 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
I ended up choosing the Truetrac for the front to play it safe and an ARB locker for the rear. The jeep is also my daily driver, so it will be nice to have an LSD when the snow hits the road Maybe one day I'll get a proper Dana 44 for the front, but I feel that this combo will be quite potent on the trail.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:13 AM   #6
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The guy in the shop does NOT know what he's talking about, Dana 30 axles are very commonly locked. No problem with up to 33's with a locker, replacement 4340 alloy axle shafts just become a good upgrade if you get to 35's. A lunchbox locker like an Aussie lunchbox locker works extremely well in a Dana 30 and is a very common upgrade. Truetracs are nearly useless for offroading, they barely help at all. I had f/r Truetracs 20+ years ago and they were so useless offroad I replaced them with lockers. I installed a lunchbox into the Dana 30 of my previous TJ and loved it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:39 AM   #7
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I have a lunchbox in my tj front end, no issues, I am considering trussing it, wont cost much, my tj is light and it hasnt failed me yet.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:34 AM   #8
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... I am considering trussing it, wont cost much, my tj is light and it hasnt failed me yet.
There is no benefit to trussing the Dana 30. Really.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:58 AM   #9
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Aussie in both my D30's stock shafts 33" tires no problems yet.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:38 AM   #10
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35s, ARB, and Alloy shafts. Has been absolutely fine since early 2017. I agree with what has been said above, TTs are not ideal offroad when traction is needed (wheel in the air for example)
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:25 AM   #11
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35s, ARB, and Alloy shafts. Has been absolutely fine since early 2017. I agree with what has been said above, TTs suck offroad when traction is needed (wheel in the air for example)
Corrected.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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35s, ARB, and Alloy shafts. Has been absolutely fine since early 2017. I agree with what has been said above, TTs are not ideal offroad when traction is needed (wheel in the air for example)
Earlier this summer, didn't that guy have a Detroit rear and a TT front? The front didn't do much that I could tell. I know my LSD rear likes to slip when it really starts to matter.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:08 AM   #13
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Too many of the new generation bash the D30. Yes, a D44 is stronger, that doesn't mean the D30 won't get you where you need to go. People have been locking the D30 for years. There is a long history of D30's going places most people on this forum will never attempt.

I think a lot of it is people trying to justify to themselves.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:42 AM   #14
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Only reason to go with a Dana 44 front axle is when 5.38 or lower gears are necessary for your application. Locked Dana 30 with chromoly shafts and 35” tires is a solid combo.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:18 PM   #15
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i have D30 and D44 ,both have ARB's and 4.56 gears with 33's. Been running since 2015 no problems. Most of the time I run with the front unlocked until needed in the rocks on some climbs.

Have installed CroMo in the D30 and added a B/L so I can run 35's.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:49 PM   #16
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Earlier this summer, didn't that guy have a Detroit rear and a TT front? The front didn't do much that I could tell. I know my LSD rear likes to slip when it really starts to matter.

I recall TTs front and rear. I know he struggled quite a bit on the Rock Pile at Spring Creek.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:57 AM   #17
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Only reason to go with a Dana 44 front axle is when 5.38 or lower gears are necessary for your application. Locked Dana 30 with chromoly shafts and 35” tires is a solid combo.
Well said, X2.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:43 AM
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Haha, now I'm torn I still have a week before the shop does the work...
How does the ring and pinion hold up when locked, especially with chromoly axle shaft? From what I've read, it's the u-joints and stock shafts that explode before the R&P
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:38 AM   #19
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I would think after all the positive replies you would feel confident that a locked 30 will be fine. IF anything were to break I would rather it be a u-joint than anything internal. You have got to have a weak link or it could suffer catastrophic damage.
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'94 YJ 5sp 4.10, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 4" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:05 AM   #20
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I purchased a '79 Ford Bronco solid housing (78-79 only), hi-pinon, reverse cut, D-44 for $300 empty. All the new gears, bearings, ARB locker, custom cutting/shortening of the housing and axles cost about $2000. EXTREMELY BULLET-PROOF!!! Loved it!! Wish I had it on my Rubi now. Much heavier duty than what Jeep puts on, even on a Recon. If I were going to upgrade, I would to it 100%, not 50%. I never regretted spending the money on our '87. It did things that would have destroyed a D-30..
D44's out of a Ford are available on Bronco ('78-'79), F150 and F250 in a wider year range than '78-'79. Not worth the money to shorten and custom shafts when paired with the 9" or D60 from the same vehicle. Now that is a Bulletproof combo that works. WMS on the Ford truck/Bronco is 65" while the Jeep is 60" that equals 2.5" per side. I have personally run 38" tires on that setup in a YJ many moons ago.
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'94 YJ 5sp 4.10, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 4" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:13 AM   #21
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like 12b says leave a weak link b4 the diff and hopefully it'll go b4 you could crank anything inside.
leaving the small U joint at the pinion. hopefully that'll be my shear point. it's under 20$ and 15m to change out.
my biggest fear now is if it did go, can i get off the pedal fast enough to not ruin the drive shaft. and hopefully i'm not goin downhill at the time, ha.

i have a way to put a shear pin into a drive shaft....it would have to be a dedicated trail rig
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:59 AM   #22
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Haha, now I'm torn I still have a week before the shop does the work...

Tape yourself back together & listen to what is being said rather than allowing yourself to be haunted by the first bad advice you got, save yourself a butt ton of money on the unnecessary 44 & avoid putting something in that’s cheaper (TT) that will only satisfy a fear you have but won’t help move your TJ forward on the trail where you need it most.
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Old 08-24-2019, 09:05 AM   #23
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my biggest fear now is if it did go, can I get off the pedal fast enough to not ruin the driveshaft. and hopefully, I'm not going downhill at the time, ha.
Why not run a driveshaft hoop? your fears are gone
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'94 YJ 5sp 4.10, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 4" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:01 PM   #24
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I agree, the guy you talked to is worthless, and needs to be out of business. Locking a D30, is just as reliable as a Locked D44. You will need to upgrade the axels and U-Joints, as different stresses will be employed, but these are not insurmountable.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:08 PM   #25
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I run an HP30, 513gears, ox locker with revolution chromoly and Patagonia 35/12.50r17 on the front of my LJ without much concern. Stock driveshafts and joints are small, but, they have a 5:1 advantage.

Of course whatever you build can be broken, but if I break this setup, it won't be without first thinking "should I be doing this"

Get yourself a selectable locker, there will come a time that you'll be happy you did.
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