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Old 12-16-2019, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1p View Post
The market is HOT for Rubi TJ D44s - like I mean ridiculously hot right now... complete sets are going for $3500+. If the price is right, I'd sell them and then use that money for the JK axles.

The TJ44 lockers are notoriously junky and tend to not last long; the odd LSD+locker rear was generally regarded as poorly executed. The front doesn't offer much of an upgrade over the factory D30 front end as the only difference between your D30 and that D44 is really just the gearset size.

The swap cost, aside from possibly having to source new wheels in the 5x5" pattern, would be near identical.
Thanks, someone ended up beating me to them so I'm going to stick to plan A. I already have the rear JK rubi axle sitting around, so might as well use it.

I've been doing some rough math for overall track width of the vehicle. Right now I am sitting at 75" (tire bulge to tire bulge, with 35x12.5s with 15x10" wheels with 4" BS). According to my math, I would be at 75.975" with 35x12.5s with 17x8.5" wheels with 5.2" BS. I think that will be enough to keep the tires out of the springs when turning (about 1/2" more clearance on each side). I've heard that there is a magic wheel base to track ratio for these Jeeps. I'm still contemplating the small stretch (2" or so each direction). I'm not going to hit that magic ratio (I think rule of thumb is 103" for wheelbase?), but does anyone see any issues with the added width from the JK axles?

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Old 01-25-2020, 10:51 PM
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It's been a while since I posted an updated. I'm still accumulating the parts I need for the next phase of my build, but I am getting there. I'm getting ready to start some body work in the next couple of weeks if I can find some time off of work.

In the meantime, I decided to tackle a smaller project by upgrading my soundbar. Mine was pretty faded from years of being in the sun. Also, the driver's side speaker didn't work at all, the passenger's side worked sometimes, and the dome light would never turn on when I wanted it, and one time it turned on by itself and drained my battery.............

I was going to just buy a whole new soundbar, but I figured it might be fun to refresh the one I had and not be as wasteful. I completely disassembled the sound bar, cleaned it up with some soap and water, and then hit it with two coats of Eastwood plastic resurfacer. I will say I was a bit skeptical when I bought the stuff, but it worked extremely well and the plastic looks brand new. I got a new dome light from the manufacturer, installed new Kicker speakers, and completely rewired everything. I haven't installed it yet since the factory sport bar is coming out of the Jeep when I repaint it. All in all, it cost me about $60, and now I have an essentially new soundbar ready to be installed.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:55 PM
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I started taking the factory fender flares off of the YJ yesterday. Of course all of the screws were rusted on, and everything was pretty much glued together by the 1/4” of DIY bedliner that a PO sprayed into. After an hour and a half, I only had the front flares off and a third of the passengers sidestep off...... It was cold in my garage, so I decided to call it a day.

I also bought a brand new front Ultimate Dana 44 with 4.88s and an eLocker (has thicker axle tubes, way larger Cs and more caster built in). I ended up paying less than the cost of gears and a locker, so it was a pretty good deal. I already have a used rear Dana 44 from a JK Rubicon (63,000 miles on it), so I have a decision to make.

Plan A would be to rebuild the rear axle and regear to 4.88 and use them both on the YJ. Plan B would be to use the Ultimate Dana 44 on my JK, and then use the JKs standard rubicon axle on my YJ. The only issue with Plan B is that I only plan to run 35s on the JK, and with the supercharger install I am about to do I am confident that 4.88s will be way too much gear. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:55 AM   #64
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Plan A would be to rebuild the rear axle and regear to 4.88 and use them both on the YJ. Plan B would be to use the Ultimate Dana 44 on my JK, and then use the JKs standard rubicon axle on my YJ. The only issue with Plan B is that I only plan to run 35s on the JK, and with the supercharger install I am about to do I am confident that 4.88s will be way too much gear. Anyone have any thoughts?
According to this chart, 4.88's are on the steep side for the 3.6L JK's transmission ratio:



That said, ~2700 RPM at 70 MPH doesn't seem that bad to me and certainly if you drive up the mountains or wheel it some, I'm sure you'll love the extra gearing.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:01 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Rexenator View Post
I've heard that there is a magic wheel base to track ratio for these Jeeps. I'm still contemplating the small stretch (2" or so each direction). I'm not going to hit that magic ratio (I think rule of thumb is 103" for wheelbase?), but does anyone see any issues with the added width from the JK axles?
I'm a big nerd and love numbers, so I went through a ton of posts, magazine articles, "Reader Rides", etc. and put those numbers in a spreadsheet, took the averages of WB and TW and plotted them side by side...

Here's what I came up with:


Of course this isn't to say there aren't some deviations and exceptions that work very well, it is just generally what people shoot for in YJ/TJ builds.
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95 YJ " Bleu Belle" | 4.0L 5-spd | RE Extreme 4.5" | Dana 44's | 4.88s | Eaton E-Lockers | 35" MTRs | 15 x 8 AR Baja's | 1" Daystar BL | MetalCloak 6" Overlines | Adam's Driveshafts | NP231HD | JB Super Short SYE | BDO 1" MML | Warn XD9000i | Hella H4's |

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Old 02-05-2020, 01:34 PM
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Yeah, for a stock JK I think 4.88s are on the edge of too steep. The general observations that I have on my JK with 35s is that 4.10s are not enough gear for 6th gear highway cruise (I spend a lot of time downshifting into 5th and 4th to maintain speed). Steeper gearing would help, but the problem is that off the line the shift from 1st to 2nd already comes very fast with 4.10s. I am installing an edelbrock supercharger in my JK in the next couple of weeks, so that problem can only get worse, and I agree that 4.88s will be too steep for my application. I’m just going to use the new Dana 44 that I bought for my YJ, which definitely could use steeper gearing and it shouldn’t have the first gear issue based on the gear ratios.

For the WMS to wheelbase chart, the thing I am struggling in understanding is why the chart uses WMS as the reference for wheelbase. Wheel width, backspace and tire width also affect the total track width, and it seems like the total track to wheelbase ratio is more important than WMS width to wheelbase. Here’s some math that I’ve done (sorry in advance for all of the numbers).

Current YJ:
Axle WMS Width: 60.5”
Wheel Width: 10”
Backspace: 4”
Tire width: 12.5”
Total Width: 75”

YJ with JK Dana 44s:

Axle WMS Width: 65.375”
Wheel Width: 8.5”
Backspace: 5.2”
Tire width: 12.5”
Total Width: 75.975”

So you can see that the JK axles result in a total WMS increase of 4.875”, but total width increases by less than an inch. According to the chart, I would need to increase wheelbase by 6” or 7” based on WMS, but based on the total width I think the number should really be closer to 2” or 3” (just a guess based on no math or experience). I guess it also depends on how I will wheel it. Do you have any additional thoughts / experience on how you think I should approach stretching the wheelbase?
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:27 AM   #67
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@pc1p For the WMS to wheelbase chart, the thing I am struggling in understanding is why the chart uses WMS as the reference for wheelbase. Wheel width, backspace and tire width also affect the total track width, and it seems like the total track to wheelbase ratio is more important than WMS width to wheelbase. Here’s some math that I’ve done (sorry in advance for all of the numbers)
Good observation! One could easily make a similar chart with trackwidth (TW). While WMS and TW follow each other fairly linearly, as you pointed out, it's easy for the information to get "lost in the noise" with some modern offerings that have high BS. I prefer WMS width since TW is often a factor that has many influences. Looks/styling, legal issues (such as too much tire sticking out), tire size, willingness to trim sheet metal, etc. will allow affect TW. Additionally, historically speaking, few axles worth upgrading to have factory 4.5" BS and an axle swap is almost always accompanied by a change in BS.

Perhaps I should update the chart title to better reflect where the data came from. When I originally compiled the data and made the chart, it was 100% based on CJ/YJ/TJ/Juggy builds (which themselves are often CJ/YJ/TJ based). Modern rigs such as the JK/JKU/JL/JLU have switched over to wide WMS axles under highly backspaced wheels. This has a number of advantages (and some disadvantages) and would throw the data off.

The issue is further compounded since JK/JL builders rarely add wheelbase (or at least significant wheelbase), particularly the JKU/JLU rigs (which are running at 116" WB from the factory), even when upgrading to 1-ton axles. Additionally, even when upgrading to beefier axles, even 1-ton options, many choose to stay near the factory 65" WMS width (some go 67"). This is fairly atypical in the non-JK/JL world where almost any axle upgrade will add considerable WMS width (which is often sought after).

In my area, I know of only one person running a big rear stretch on their JK (6" I think? I'd have to ask to confirm). If I'm not mistaken, I believe they also had to change their wheels as well to lessen backspacing to clear the new geometry (<4" of BS but again I'd have to confirm to be 100% certain). Incorporating or even trending JK/JL/U information would be a challenge, especially when trying to calculate track width.

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Originally Posted by Rexenator View Post
@pc1p So you can see that the JK axles result in a total WMS increase of 4.875”, but total width increases by less than an inch. According to the chart, I would need to increase wheelbase by 6” or 7” based on WMS, but based on the total width I think the number should really be closer to 2” or 3” (just a guess based on no math or experience). I guess it also depends on how I will wheel it. Do you have any additional thoughts / experience on how you think I should approach stretching the wheelbase?
Kinda like what I was referring to above, on the typical CJ/YJ/TJ stretch, WMS and TW tracked proportionally. When someone swapped in a larger axle, say 3" wider, their TW was for all intents and purposes a "3" change". There are sometimes minor differences, such as when someone switched from typical 3.75"-4" BS wheels to 3.5" BS beadlocks, but those are relatively minor changes and taking the average of a handful of data points washes the variability some.

As I said, the chart is really a general reference. If you use 60" WMS Width as a baseline and normalize the data to a zero starting point for TW, you can do the math from there. With that, I think you're correct in your calculations. A WB stretch of about 2" would allow you to take better advantage of your wider track width. Honestly, even going from factory 4.5" BS wheels to 3.5" BS wheels on a factory 60.5" WMS width axle would bump your TW up enough to where a small 2" WB stretch could help.

Looking forward to seeing how it all works out!
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:38 PM
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@pc1p

Thanks for the additional explanation, I really appreciate the insight and experience you’ve provided. At the end of the day, the whole reason for all of the math and discussion is to select which leaf springs to go with that will provide adequate stretch for my application. I’ve been juggling between a waggy spring stretch (~4” total) or simply going with standard YJ springs and using offset pin holes in the perches to provide a 2” stretch. My main concerns are quality of the ride quality with stiff waggy springs and steering geometry with a 2” front stretch. I’ve been thinking about how to accommodate all of this using different combinations of springs and offset holes, and here are the options I’ve come up with:

1) Waggy springs front and rear. Use the offset hole in the front perch to reduce stretch to 1” forward, and use the opposite hole in the back to increase stretch to 3” back. Still gives 4” overall stretch, but minimal steering impacts. This route does require more significant cutting of the rear wheel arches, which may be difficult with the metal cloak flare mounts I already have. Also stiffer ride.

2) Use standard YJ OME springs, and use the corresponding offset holes in the spring perch for 1” offset forward for the front axle and 1” offset back for the rear axle. Only 2” stretch total, but minimal steering impacts, little cutting in the rear and a much more comfortable ride.

I guess I just need to see how much cutting I am comfortable with and go for it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:02 PM   #69
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@Rexenator I think you may run into some issues with a 3" rear stretch; gas tank clearance is tight as it is and some people have to "massage" the skid plate some. That said, there is a good DIY method to gain some space for a modest stretch: https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...fuel-tank.html

For the front, 2" Waggy springs are a good option for a YJ. The 6-leaf pack is known to be stiffer but still flex well. For SUA, it's good for a 2" lift and 2" stretch. If you need a 4" lift up front, some Ranch 44044's are a good option.

You can always call Deavers and get a custom set of FSJ springs made with a lighter spring rate. They'll run you about $600 for the pair but are the best quality you can find.

A few companies sell steering gear box relocation kits. I have a DCU (https://davescustomsunlimited.com/je...n-bracket-kit/) but haven't installed it just yet.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:48 PM
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Thanks, I had planned on doing that fuel tank skid plate mod with the addition of a close out plate to fill the hole some. With the MC Fender mounting plates that I have now I may only be able to get a 2” stretch out of the rear (based on the measurements in the instructions, I’ll know more when I mock it up this weekend). I had not planned on doing a steering box relocation bracket, but based on the link you sent me I may consider it. The only issue I see remaining with the front stretch is that I would like to maintain a sway bar for on road drivability. I have some ideas about how to accomplish this by relocating the mounting tabs to the axle itself and using adjustable heim style links. It’s not much added work since I’ll be swapping axles anyway.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:22 PM
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I finally got the rest of the fenders and sidesteps off the YJ. Every bolt was rusted on and I had to cut most of them off. That said, I was pleasantly surprised to find no rust on the rockers, which was surprising considering how bad the bolts were. After I got the rear fenders off I noticed that someone had already clearanced the rear portion of the opening for me by slamming large tires up there without appropriate bump stops. When I saw that I decided it would be a good time to see how the MC fender mounting plates would fit if I wanted to stretch the wheelbase. I was able to set the mounting plates up abou 1-3/4” further back than MC calls for, but I can’t quite get them to 2” without more cutting and modifying the mounting plates themselves. All of the bolt holes align well with the body except one near the front. I’m thinking about welding a small tab onto the body of the Jeep and then bolting through it. I’m going to order some waggy springs this week so I can test fit the axles before I start drilling holes and making the final cuts.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:51 PM
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Things are starting to get real for the YJ. My garage is packed full of parts: a couple of axles waiting to be assembled, new springs, wheels/tires, boxes of exterior trim pieces, stereo and fenders. I have almost everything I need to get this axle swap going, just waiting for a set of shackles and I’ll be ready to go. Well, and I need to get my JK out of the garage (one more week until my ECM gets back and I can finish up the supercharger install). I’m going to start prepping the axles this week by cutting off the factory brackets and taking a wire wheel to the used axle so I can paint it. More updates soon.
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