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Old 05-12-2017, 01:58 PM
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Replacing axles on my Sport

I have been looking at upgrading my front D30 to a D44 and adding both front and rear lockers with front and rear gear changes too. I have not taken this Jeep anywhere other than a little mud and dirt roads but would like to do something a little more serious in the future which is why I was looking ad the upgrades. The jeep has just under 18K miles on it.

After doing some research I am thinking of getting a new front D44 axle with lockers and for the rear its cheaper for me to buy a complete new Mopar rear axle than pay a jeep shop to add a locker and re-gear my current rear. Shop charges about 1200 + 1000 for locker/re-gear and a new rear is 1700ish out of the crate.

Researching more I can get a crate Mopar Rubicon front axle at about 2K but curious how much inferior it is compared to a ProRock44 at about 4K or something similar?

Since the Mopar axle comes with stock lockers how hard is it to wire these to a Sport too?

Any input would be great.

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Old 05-12-2017, 02:01 PM   #2
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Have you damaged/bent the D30? If not, why replace it just now?

Get the gears and the lockers, and sleeve/truss/gusset the D30, and it will be about as sturdy as a stock D44. And it will cost you a great deal less. Then when you break it, get a D44.

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Old 05-12-2017, 02:06 PM
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Have you damaged/bent the D30? If not, why replace it just now?

Get the gears and the lockers, and sleeve/truss/gusset the D30, and it will be about as sturdy as a stock D44. And it will cost you a great deal less. Then when you break it, get a D44.
No damage on either axle but I don't like to throw money at something that is just a band aid. I also want to go from 35's to 37's next time the rubber wears out.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:10 PM
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In regards to the regear for both axles its like 2400.00 not counting locker cost and truss cost. I think it will definitely be cheaper to buy the axles at this price but may be missing something.

How much stronger is a ProRock over a Mopar D44? Worth double the cost?
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:17 PM   #5
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I built my D30 a couple years ago -- 4.56, gusset, Eaton e-locker. Never had any problems with it, including a couple weeks in Moab running any trail I wanted. I was running 285/75-17 (34" tires, actual height:33.25) at the time. I installed a 4:1 tcase also.

When I upgraded to 37s (actual height 36") earlier this year I decided to sell that D30 and buy a G2 D44. It was not driven by any feeling of "must do because failure is impending", and in fact, if I had been constrained by budget I'd have just left it and continued to run the smaller, lighter tires.

With the Rubicon t-case I think the forces are actually less on that front axle because I can be so very gentle with it (and am) and it will just slowly inch up the big rock in front of me. With the original 3.73 gears and 2.72 t-case... well, we all know about momentum and having to hit an obstacle with some juice to get over it. Especially with an easily-stalled 6M transmission.

So, my takeaway? If I had it to do over I'd not have built the D30, on which I spent about half as much (iirc) as the D44 cost by the time it was all said and done. I did recoup $900 selling it. If I were staying in the southeast I'd probably have just run the D30 forever. But going out west changes that. Plus, I have to be able to drive home when I'm done.

By the way, I figured if I was going D44 it was going to be an G2 or better -- I wanted there to be a BIG difference between my D30 and what I was getting.

I did leave the stock 44 in back, but installed G2 halfshafts.

The front axle with gears and locker was $4300.

https://www.4wd.com/p/g2-jk-core-44-...vfQhoCSGDw_wcB
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:17 PM   #6
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I've had the same conversation with myself (and my bank account) many times. Building out a G2 or Teraflex D44 vs a set of Rubicon castoffs vs regearing/locking my D30/D44 ...

For $4500 you can basically buy both D44 axles all ready to just bolt on. Granted, this particular offer is 4.10. and I'd rather 4.56 or 4.88 but the math is compelling considering I could do this in my garage.

Rubicon HD J8 Front & OE Rear Dana 44 Axle Assemblies w/ Lockers & 4.10 Ratio | eBay

Decisions, decisions, decisions.....
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #7
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I have no idea why anyone would ever buy a new D44 to replace a D30. It doesn't make any sense.

The D44 has larger R&P, so you get a beneficial upgrade there, and the axle shafts (but not the axle housing) are a slightly stronger. Big whoop.

That is it. Otherwise the D30 and D44 are identical.

You would need to build the D44 (C gussets, etc.), purchase chromoly axle shafts etc., still need to buy gears if 4.10's were not enough (because 4.10's are the max you can buy with a new crate axle from Jeep), etc.. By the time you add parts and labor, you would be much better off with an aftermarket D44 or have a D60 built for you.

Also, without debating, some strongly believe trusses and sleeves are a complete waste of money since they don't really prevent housing failures at the pumpkin, which is where the vast majority of failures occur (according to the anti-truss, anti-sleeve crowd.... I don't personaly know if this is data is right).

But why bother? Used take off D44's in my area go for around $1,700 to $2,000. That is nuts!
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:53 PM
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Is a Prorock twice as good though for twice the price? I guess that's my major question on the new front axle thoughts.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:03 PM   #9
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Is a Prorock twice as good though for twice the price? I guess that's my major question on the new front axle thoughts.
Pretty much nothing in the world of upgraded anything has a linear relationship between price and level of improvement.

Is a Shelby GT350 twice as good as a Mustang GT 5.0? Is a ZR1 twice as good as a base Corvette? Is a 911 Turbo S twice as good as a 911 Carrera S? Is a $4,000,000 house twice as good as a $2,000,000 house?

The answer is pretty much always no.

Incremental improvements are always much pricier than the small improvement they make.

It usually costs twice as much to get a car that will go 200 mph vs. one that will go 175 mph.
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Current: Anvil '14 Willys JK 6M, 4.56, G2 rear shafts; Eaton e-lockers, G2 D44 axle up front; 4:1 t-case; RE 2.5" long-arm, 35x10.5" Kenda for Street/37" Interco for Trail;
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #10
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Is a Prorock twice as good though for twice the price? I guess that's my major question on the new front axle thoughts.
Look at a Ultimate 44 from Dana Spicer. Locker, chromemoly axles, gearing of your choice, caster correction, 5/16 thick axle tubes, 1/4" thick brackets and much better forged Cs for a few bucks over 3 grand. I don't think they are quite Pro Rock quality but should be a good deal better than a Rubicon axle.

Ultimate Dana 44™ Front Axles for the Jeep® Wrangler® JK - Axle | Spicer Parts
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:08 PM   #11
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Look at a Ultimate 44 from Dana Spicer. Locker, chromemoly axles, gearing of your choice, caster correction, 5/16 thick axle tubes, 1/4" thick brackets and much better forged Cs for a few bucks over 3 grand. I don't think they are quite Pro Rock quality but should be a good deal better than a Rubicon axle.

Ultimate Dana 44™ Front Axles for the Jeep® Wrangler® JK - Axle | Spicer Parts
I looked long and hard at those and, while I decided to spend about 500 or 600 bucks more for the G2, I didn't see anything about the Spicer that would have been a turnoff. It looks like a solid product at a good price.
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Current: Anvil '14 Willys JK 6M, 4.56, G2 rear shafts; Eaton e-lockers, G2 D44 axle up front; 4:1 t-case; RE 2.5" long-arm, 35x10.5" Kenda for Street/37" Interco for Trail;
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:42 PM   #12
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I looked long and hard at those and, while I decided to spend about 500 or 600 bucks more for the G2, I didn't see anything about the Spicer that would have been a turnoff. It looks like a solid product at a good price.
I have a Dana 30 that is built with an ARB, chromoly shafts, sleeved and gusseted with 4:88s. I run 37's and I put that front diff through hell and it just keeps going with no issues. I don't really have a reason to upgrade but I'm pretty certain one of those ultimate 44 will find its way under my Jeep soon. The best part is I ought to be able to pay for a good chunk of it when I sell the 30.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:03 PM   #13
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I have a Dana 30 that is built with an ARB, chromoly shafts, sleeved and gusseted with 4:88s. I run 37's and I put that front diff through hell and it just keeps going with no issues.
"Through hell" is a relative tearm. I have split a factor locker, busted the ring gear, sheared the bolts off of the ring gear and broke a 35 spline RCV shaft over the years on my D44.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:06 PM   #14
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I went through the same upgrades that you're planning with aftermarket 44 in the front and reinforced 44 stock rear. Thet set up i have is working great for 37". However after 2 years im starting to think about 40's.

I wish i went with 60/60 combo from the start. I wasn't too far from it, but now its a lot more costly to upgrade to 60/60. Its like starting from scratch.

Just another thought to consider, and i was the one who was saying "the 37" are the biggest i would go".

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