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Old 10-11-2014, 01:24 AM
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Need to regear, what else do I need?

Have a 97 TJ 4 cylinder/5 speed and had 33" Duratrac's put on. Clearance and ride are perfect but the loss of power at low 1st gear and the loss of practically all of 5th are killing me especially when you need everything you can get and quickly coming off the clutch in first.

Talked to my ever busy Jeep mechanic (only does Jeeps) and he had initially said to try it out and see if I liked it, but if wanted the original performance back I needed to regear to 4.88 or 4.56. I need to do this.

A few things I've read and didn't quite understand - do I need/want better axles and do I need/want a locker? For the axles I see Dana 44's - do I actually need these, and how much would these run on a regearing? I understand that the work to add a locker is practically done while regearing so a locker is 'free' as far as install - what should I look at as a quality locker and if I am driving in dirt/rock offroad and sometimes snow on the highway, do I want a front of back locker?

Thanks

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Old 10-11-2014, 06:04 AM   #2
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You want 4.88 gearing.


If you want lockers and will be driving in the snow you will want selectable lockers like ARB, OX, or Eaton. (Not automatic lockers like Detroit or Aussie) If you will be limiting your trails to trails where you really don't need a full case locker a quality limited slip like the Detroit true-trac could be an even better addition than a locker, specifically if you will be driving on ice and snow often.

Your front Dana 30 will be fine with your 33" tires. Add 4.88 gears and whatever differential you want.

Your rear Dana 35 is the problem. If you are easy on it, it would probably do alright on your 33" tires but ONLY if you leave it unlocked. People commonly leave the Dana 35 open and just lock their front Dana 30. If you would like to do a limited slip or locker in the rear your choices are 27 spline chromoly shafts (would be alright with a locker or limited slip as long as you drive smart), 30 spline "super 35 kit" that will upgrade your axle shafts to a larger 30 spline and provide you with a locker to match, or swap in a Dana 44 from a 1997-2006 jeep tj. The Dana 44 will be fine strength wise for your 33" tires and would probably be cheaper than the super 35 kit. You would have to regear axles no matter what unless you manage to find some with 4.88 gearing already installed.


The ford 8.8 rear axle is also a common swap but I won't get into that here. Its not bolt on and will ultimately cost more than a Dana 44 or an upgraded 35.


Honestly if you aren't sure if you need lockers I would say a good quality Limited Slip differential in the front and back would be a great addition to your jeep and will greatly improve it's offroad abilities while preserving your current road handling.

My list would probably be:
4.88 gears front and back, Limited slip differential front and back, and 27 spline chromoly axle shafts for your rear Dana 35.

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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^^^everything he said...I am regearing mine to 4.56. I have a 4.0 5spd. It is quite a chore. I have D30/D35. Most say do not waste money on a 35. I went with a Detroit Truetrac in the rear and stayed open in the front. Mainly due to costs. Depending on your present gear, you may need to change carriers. That is where it get expensive. I'm into mine for about $1k in parts alone. Doing the labor myself. I do have a mechanical background but the setup of the gears isn't easy. It will take time and money. I'm not finished yet but can't wait to see the difference from 3.07's with 33's. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:17 AM   #4
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I agree mostly. If I were in your situation, I would regear to 4.88, install a Detroit Tru-Trac in the D35 (which will handle it fine) There were many 35's produced with limited slips. I would also install a selectable locker in front such as one of the ones Jeepwayoflife suggested....ARB, Eaton, or OX.

Just for clarification replacing a rear D35 axle with a D44 means the entire axle (housing and all). They are hard to find and expensive when you do. I have been looking for three years, and finally scored one in a second whole Jeep I bought.

Replacing your rear axle with a Ford 8.8 is another option, but there is fab work that has to be done so if you don't do your own work, that can get pricey also.

It boils down to how bad do you need/want it, and what are you willing to pay to get it.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #5
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X4 on the 4.88 for your 2.5L engine and 33's. Don't go with 4.56 which is only the right choice for 33's when you have the 4.0L engine.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
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I can only speak for the 6 speed and 4.0, but I preferred my 4.88's on 35's. Too revy with the 6 speed when I ran the 33's on the 4.88. I think 4.56 is great with the 6speed and 33's. I'll defer to jerry with the 5 speed and the 4 cylinder.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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I can only speak for the 6 speed and 4.0, but I preferred my 4.88's on 35's. Too revy with the 6 speed when I ran the 33's on the 4.88. I think 4.56 is great with the 6speed and 33's. I'll defer to jerry with the 5 speed and the 4 cylinder.
Again, the gearing requirements are different between the 2.5L and 4.0L engines. And the 6-speed's gearing requirements are different from the 5-speed too.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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^agreed, when i first read it I thought it was a 4.0. I went back and edited as I don't know how to delete.
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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I hear good things about the Super 35 kit w/stronger axles.Personally I would go that route with a Tru-trac since the labor for the R&P will be the same. I had though about a D-44 for some time. Used ones around here (if/when you can find them and not junk) are $ 1200.00 and up (97-2006) even then the gearing would probably not be what you want-so R&P to 4.88 you would have to add that cost. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:54 AM
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Thanks for all of the info.

Looks like the smartest thing to do is stay with the axles I have and get the Detroit trutrac in the rear a locker in the front as well as go 4.88 gearing.

Question I have regardless of what locker I get in the rear; I know I want the locker 'on' when off-roading in 4x4 but would I want it 'on' when driving on the road in snow/ice/sleet or would I leave it off?
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGerman View Post
Thanks for all of the info.

Looks like the smartest thing to do is stay with the axles I have and get the Detroit trutrac in the rear a locker in the front as well as go 4.88 gearing.

Question I have regardless of what locker I get in the rear; I know I want the locker 'on' when off-roading in 4x4 but would I want it 'on' when driving on the road in snow/ice/sleet or would I leave it off?
If you are looking at one for the front, leave it off onroad
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:25 PM   #12
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I suggested going with a Super 35 kit-if you want to run that big of tire with some type of locker. The D35 weakest link is your small splined axles.
Putting in a locker in the rear without the Super 35 kit (bigger axles/harder axle gears)will probably get you a broken axle.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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Keep an eye on the classified section I kept looking and looking and eventually I found a d44 with 4.88 and an Auburn ected locker for 850$. Had to drive 2 1/2 hrs for it but was worth it. Two weeks later I found a d30 with exact same setup 20 min away for 750$. Be patient they are out there

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