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Discussion Starter #1
Well I finally did it... I bent the front axle housing on my 2013 JKU.

So I ask you, the jeep-public, for some opinions on what is next. I can either replace the housing or upgrade it. But what to upgrade to?

Ghost is an overland based jeep - I run conservative 33s, a 3" lift. I don't want anything insane, and I don't want to break the bank.

Suggestions and thoughts, oh-most-knowledgable-jeepers?
 

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Dynatrac PR44 with the thick wall tubing option or similar. At least that's what I went with, it's about as HD as an unmodified 44 gets.
 

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What did you do to bend it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I suspect it had to do with foolish off-roading. Or running to Moab and back on 33s, if the bendability of the Dana 30s can be believed.
 

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Did you have a truss or sleeves?
 

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I'm going to say probably not if they don't come from factory. :doh:
About $200ish of welded steel truss could've saved your Axle (an inside sleeve I believe is even less).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So if I have the option to, say, have a local shop straighten out and true my axle housing... and add a sleeve, I may get off with a lower cost and a lesson learned?
 

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If you are going to wheel it then get the PR44 and be done with it. I D30 is nice for light duty but Moab and rocks will eventually cause you issues. Don't cheap out on it if you plan to wheel it. A D30 is only so tough and can be enhanced to be better but why keep chasing potential issues. You aren't going to trust that axle again! I say this because I am in the process of research and replace too. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you are going to wheel it then get the PR44 and be done with it. I D30 is nice for light duty but Moab and rocks will eventually cause you issues. Don't cheap out on it if you plan to wheel it. A D30 is only so tough and can be enhanced to be better but why keep chasing potential issues. You aren't going to trust that axle again! I say this because I am in the process of research and replace too. Good Luck.
Moab, while amazing, is a solid 4000km (2400mi) from me (and that was a fun drive!). Our local Canadian wheeling is pretty mud/dirt road heavy. That being said, our style is mostly overland, with some local wheeling in between - read: I can't afford a toy-jeep right now so I have to be careful with my overland/daily driver.

I should probably just replace the damn thing... even though my husband can get it straightened at work.
 

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So if I have the option to, say, have a local shop straighten out and true my axle housing... and add a sleeve, I may get off with a lower cost and a lesson learned?
Regarding sleeves, from basic engineering adding 1/4" of thickness to the inside of a 2.5" tube does very little to increase the section modulus (a fundamental property for structural strength) compared to adding the thickness on the outer diameter. Adding sleeves IMO is throwing good money after bad. On top of that the ring gear diameter on the D30 is smaller than the D44 and that can cause another failure point.
 

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Yes replace it. Trying to repair it may only cause more frustration and tire wear if the axle isn't true.
Man you must have slammed that thing if you're only running 33s. I been running 35s with no trusses or sleeves for 2 years on rock and, knock on wood, have not bent anything.....yet.
 

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Find a cheap take off from someone on the forums, or Local Craigslist is saving money is the immediate need. If the gearing is the same and in, you can do the swap in a couple hours yourself. For good measure, gusset, and sleeve or truss before putting in.
I run 35" on my D30 all over including Moab. No issues. Just be easy on the skinny peddle.
 

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I'd have to say replace it. This is not a cheap upgrade but it is one where I'd go with something like a PR44. I have a gusseted and trussed Dana 44 with 35s and it has held out well so far. I am hoping I don't have to mess with it since I'm not in the mood for any more mods, but if it went, I'd consider one of the aftermarket 44s....maybe even 37s. Still, fingers crossed since I have other money pits.
 

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Find a cheap take off from someone on the forums, or Local Craigslist is saving money is the immediate need. If the gearing is the same and in, you can do the swap in a couple hours yourself. For good measure, gusset, and sleeve or truss before putting in. I run 35" on my D30 all over including Moab. No issues. Just be easy on the skinny peddle.
^^ all excellent advice. Going easy on the peddle and picking good lines when wheeling increases your rigs longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for all your advice guys! I really appreciate it.


Update:
The diagnosis from the dealership (we took it there expecting just to have the axle seal replaced under warranty again) was: bent axle housing, worn ball joints, throttle body water damaged, front u-joints need replacing, rear brakes, fluids etc.

We have a fairly poor relationship with our local dealership as a club (actually they have a very poor reputation in town), which is too bad. Either way, I don't particularly trust them. So I got a second opinion from a local shop (who I would have taken it too had I not been anticipating warranty work).

Their diagnosis:
They have no idea how the dealership decided the axle housing was bent as apparently you need to do an alignment to tell and that can't be done on my jeep right now.
Ball joints and drag links need replacing big time. rear brakes, and of course the U-joints.

:censored: dealership...
 

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Thank you for all your advice guys! I really appreciate it.


Update:
The diagnosis from the dealership (we took it there expecting just to have the axle seal replaced under warranty again) was: bent axle housing, worn ball joints, throttle body water damaged, front u-joints need replacing, rear brakes, fluids etc.

We have a fairly poor relationship with our local dealership as a club (actually they have a very poor reputation in town), which is too bad. Either way, I don't particularly trust them. So I got a second opinion from a local shop (who I would have taken it too had I not been anticipating warranty work).

Their diagnosis:
They have no idea how the dealership decided the axle housing was bent as apparently you need to do an alignment to tell and that can't be done on my jeep right now.
Ball joints and drag links need replacing big time. rear brakes, and of course the U-joints.

:censored: dealership...
Why can't your jeep be put on an alignment rack right now? :confused:
 
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