Originally Posted by H3br3wHamm3r
Thanks. That sounds good. It will save me a lot of money. Do you happen to know if the Sport Dana 44 and Rubicon Dana 44 accept the same ARB lockers?
No. They absolutely do not. At all.
The Sport Dana 44 uses different size carrier bearings than the Rubicon axle. There is no way to put a Rubicon locker in a Sport Dana 44, and you can't put a Sport locker in a Rubicon axle.
I know. I tried.
When buying a locker for a JK Rubicon, you need to buy a locker specifically for a JK Rubicon.
For the Sport, you need a completely different locker. The short version why:
When Jeep came out with the JK in 2007, they had Dana make changes to the axles (both front and rear, both D44 and D30). They made the ring and pinion gear bigger and beefier. For the Rubicon, they went with a new, slightly bigger differential carrier and 32 spline shafts. But for the Sport and Sahara, they raided the parts bin of the previous generation Dana 44 for the differential carrier.
And then it gets more complicated for no apparent reason. The old Dana 44 has a carrier break
between 3.73 and 3.92. When Dana designed the JK D44, they machined out the space for the old generation carrier bearings (smaller than the new Rubicon) and located the pinion gear so that you don't have a carrier break for any of the ratios from 3.21 to 5.38. But they used the old generation Dana 44 30 spline carrier for 3.73 and numerically lower ratios to fit that 3.21 to 5.38 new generation gear set.
So it's really confusing trying to pick out exactly the right locker for a non-Rubicon Dana 44. And don't get me started on how they made the ring gear bolts bigger on the JK gear sets so you have to deal with bolts that don't fit the holes in the carrier and you have to drill them out or find some dual pattern ring gears that will accept the smaller bolts.
I have Eaton E-Lockers front and rear in my 2012 sport. I'm running 27 spline chrome molly shafts, along with an ARTEC truss and gusset kit on my front Dana 30 and it's holding up to 35" tires just fine. My rear axle just has 30 spline chrome molly shafts but with no truss or any other reinforcement. It too is holding up to 35" tires just fine. And I run some significant trails from time to time. I also don't really hit it with much throttle.
I could have gone with ARB lockers but I chose electric lockers instead. There's no reason the ARB won't be a good choice.
If you're not really rough on your Jeep, a properly reinforced Dana 30 and 44 will hold up to 35's alright. As far as upgrades, they are a significant monetary investment. But they will let you get away with far more abuse than a reinforced set of stock axles.
It's getting harder to find aftermarket Dana 44 rear axles simply because the cost difference between a 44 and a 60 means a lot more people just pick the 60. So why bother producing the 44?