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Old 07-06-2011, 04:28 AM
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Swap to Rubicon axles

Ok, so when I bought my 05 X, I apparently had no clue what to look for. Had I known, I would have been looking for a Rubicon instead. I got a pretty good deal though, so I can't complain too much. Now I'm eyeballing a front and rear axle set from a TJ rubicon with supposedly low miles. It has be gear ratio that I was going to regear to anyway with the lockers as a bonus. Plus rear disc seems like a nice upgrade.

Now the questions.

1. Rubicons use the same drive shaft connections as all the other TJ's correct?
2. Is there anything I need to be aware of since I'll be going from rear drum to disc brakes?
3. It doesn't come with anything to support the air lockers. Are they specialized in how they work, or will I be able to maybe use an ARB pump or something similar to activate them. I can get my own switches and figure that part of the wiring out, but I need to know if there is something else about them that might not be so obvious.

Anything else you can think of would be helpful. I'm getting the axles for less than I would pay for a fully setup 8.8 from ECGS, but it's obviously not quite as strong. At least in the near future I don't plan on doing any hard core crawling, but the lockers will be a nice addition assuming they aren't crap.

Thanks for your time.

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Old 07-06-2011, 10:48 AM
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So, no issues here to worry about? I can just hook them up and call it good?

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Old 07-06-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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So, no issues here to worry about? I can just hook them up and call it good?
I am thinking the Dana 44 has a bigger U joint then the Dana 35. So I am not sure that the driveshaft will bolt right in. Shouldn't be that big of a problem to overcome even if it is different though.

You will need a set of rubicon locker pumps as well. ARB lockers run at a MUCH higher psi (around 80) then the rubi axles. Rubi lockers only use about 5 psi to lock. I think it would be easier to find a locker pump then it would find a regulator that would bring the psi down to 5 with any accuracy.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
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My main question to you is this, how much are you getting the axles for? There are other options available. I speak from experience as I have a Rubicon myself, and I also have a TJ that's medium/heavy modified but still street legal and not yet a buggy, but that's the direction I'm steering it towards... unless you're getting the Rubi axles for really cheap, your fron't dana 30 you already have is about 90% as strong as the Rubi front axle is... The Rubi front axle isn't as strong as a dana 44 that you would get out of an old 3/4 ton truck or older full size Jeep. And the rear 44 isn't that desireable either... A good ford 9 inch, or even an 8.8 which is what I run in my TJ is prolly a better axle. For a bit more money you could also get a dana 60 front, and a full floating rear axle from a for e350 work van and still come out pretty cheap... It all boils down to the price and what you intend to do with them...
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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I bought a rubicon front axle with locker and bought a rubicon pump on ebay. As stated above, other pumps are too high pressure. I also bought a 8.8 for the rear. They are relatively easy to find with 4.10 gears and a limited slip. Haven't gotten it all installed yet, but I haven't had anyone tell me it was a bad idea...

I bought a 1310 to 1330 u joint to hook up the 44.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I definitely have some considering to do. I guess what I was looking at is I know my front axle is not bad, but I will still have to pay someone to regear it and install a locker. I'm not completely useless, but I certainly wouldn't trust myself with any of that. Parts + labor for regear on a rear axle is 500, plus the additional cost and labor for a locker which best case scenarior is another 500. I'm getting the set for 2500, so it doesn't seem like a bad deal for me. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I do have to make a decision real soon. The addition to disc brakes just seems like a nice bonus as well. If you still think it's a mistake, it's not too late to beg off. I'm not desperate for it yet, but I need to do something soonish and it needs to be a relatively bolt in solution.

If left with the prices of just about any aftermarket axle, I would end up doing nothing because that's just too much money to dump into the jeep right now.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
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I was in the same boat as you, thats why I went with this route. I plan to run 33's. I have a guy finishing the 8.8 for me now and should be installing all of it this weekend. $2500 isn't a bad deal for the axles, as long as they are in good condition. The air pumps are around $100, so if you can get them thrown in, that would be a plus. I think the U joints were around $20 per.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:14 PM   #8
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There is a good write up on installing the rubi pumps on Jeep Forum. Many people burn them out by hooking them up incorrectly. Read the entire write up. It is long, but worth the read.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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on the locker pumps.
DO NOT HOOK UP THE PINK WIRE TO POWER !!!
It will smoke the circuit board inside the pump.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:28 AM
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I'm thinking at 5psi, that I might just run tubes into the cab and blow on them when I need to activate them.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:52 AM   #11
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I'm thinking at 5psi, that I might just run tubes into the cab and blow on them when I need to activate them.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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I'm thinking at 5psi, that I might just run tubes into the cab and blow on them when I need to activate them.
Classic.... BLOW HARDER its not working!!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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IMO $2500 is too much money for Rubi axles.
1. The lockers are suspect at best, they are not as strong as an ARB.
2. D44 rear is not a great axle by any measure.
3. The Front Rubi D44 is a joke! 95% of it is made with the same parts as a D30 (compare part numbers). It has all the same weaknesses as a D30.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #14
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I'm thinking at 5psi, that I might just run tubes into the cab and blow on them when I need to activate them.
So many things I could say, but...............I won't.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
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IMO $2500 is too much money for Rubi axles.
3. The Front Rubi D44 is a joke! 95% of it is made with the same parts as a D30 (compare part numbers). It has all the same weaknesses as a D30.
All dana 44 have the same Achilles heal as dana 30s week ears on the ujoints

and $2500 is way to much for set of stock axles
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:42 PM   #16
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All dana 44 have the same Achilles heal as dana 30s week ears on the ujoints

and $2500 is way to much for set of stock axles
I agree. Considering that I own both, a 97 TJ and an 03 Rubicon, and that I'm building my 97 with a factory dana 30 and a ford 8.8 rear and I actually perfer my Dana 30 and 8.8 combo to my Rubicon, I would hope that people would trust me when I say the swap isn't worth it... Otherwise I would've swapped my Rubi axles into my TJ already...

For 2500 you could get a nice 8.8 with disk brakes and a locker, and upgrade the factory front dana 30 to be stronger than the Rubicon dana 44.... plus have enough money left over for a front locker, better axle shafts, and a gear swap for both axles... and in the end you'd have a better set up.

The only things I like better about my Rubi than my TJ is the 4:1 transfer case and the 6cyl vs the 4 in my TJ... But I plan on doing an engine swap into my TJ sometime in the future, and I won't be doing a jeep 6 swap when I could do a V8 swap for about the same price.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:40 PM
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I did end up passing on this. Someday I'll end up getting an 8.8 and probably a hp30. I think I will end up doing all the small stuff(armour, tire carrier, sye) first until I get up the nerve to spend the big bucks. That should give me enough time to hopefully find a more cost effective solution too.

Thanks again for the sanity check all.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #18
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10's of 1000's of D30's spinning 33" tires wheeling everyday with no issues if the brain is full engaged before letting out the clutch so to say Rubicon Dana 44's with the right gearing, working lockers, and disc brake's ready to be bolted in is a bad call is indeed a matter of how much. Rubicon front axles can be upgraded with a set of EVO or RockHard axle sleeves and C gussets and keep the weight down from standard 44's. Alloy axles are going to be in your future with ANY dana 44 so your not saving the cost of axles with either pick. Dana 60 are great if you plan on thrashing your rig or going 37's or larger on tires but make sure you need them because theres a large weight penalty for that upgrade. Also not likely to find the right width axles housing so your back to a non bolt on solution. Wheeling with your buddies on the weekends and daily driver duty do not require such upgrades. A few hundred thousand rigs out there proving that every weekend.

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