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I have a 2012 JKU sport model.

Can someone school me on upgrading the stock D30 to D44 axle while adding lockers to the front and rear?

I currently have 3.73 gears on 35s. Would it be prudent to change this as well?

I'm beginning my search and just looking for a place to start
 

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I have a 2012 JKU sport model.

Can someone school me on upgrading the stock D30 to D44 axle while adding lockers to the front and rear?

I currently have 3.73 gears on 35s. Would it be prudent to change this as well?

I'm beginning my search and just looking for a place to start
honestly there is no reason to upgrade to a Dana 44. the weak point of the 30 is the ring and pinion. everything else is relatively similar or the same.

so... upgrade your 30.
1. sleeve it or truss it (i'm a sleeve guy - some are truss guys)
2. when you lock it - put new gears in it. 4.56 with 35s and the 3.6L enginer are a nice pairing.
3. get some chrome-moly shafts...
4. reinforce your c-gussets.

done. :thumb:
 

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Edit: Lol... ^

Best bet is to buy a rubi axle, there's one in the classifieds for cheap. Regear/add locker and axls in the rear.

Axles housings are direct swap in.
meh.. build it! :whacky: you should be reinforcing the 44 same as the 30... the axle housing isn't that different.
 

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This is on my list for somewhere down the road. Honestly at this point I'm leaning towards swapping for a D44 when I do it and calling it done.

It'll be a bit before I'm ready.

For research purposes, other than gearing, what does it take to do the swap? Is it as simple as removing the D30 and bolting in the D44? I doubt it which is why I'm asking while it's on my brain.
 

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This is on my list for somewhere down the road. Honestly at this point I'm leaning towards swapping for a D44 when I do it and calling it done.

It'll be a bit before I'm ready.

For research purposes, other than gearing, what does it take to do the swap? Is it as simple as removing the D30 and bolting in the D44? I doubt it which is why I'm asking while it's on my brain.
yes once the axle is built - it bolts up same as the Dana 30 does... driveshaft and control arms don't mount any different. neither does the track bar or drag link.
 

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yes once the axle is built - it bolts up same as the Dana 30 does... driveshaft and control arms don't mount any different. neither does the track bar or drag link.
I kinda figured but I hate to assume. :)

Thanks.
 

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yes once the axle is built - it bolts up same as the Dana 30 does... driveshaft and control arms don't mount any different. neither does the track bar or drag link.
In theory it sounds that easy?

So I can get a prefabbed dynatrac or TF axle housing, have Northridge (or whomever) put it together, shipped to me and I can install the axle?

Btw I'd rather build than trade in for a Rubi
 

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I kinda figured but I hate to assume. :)

Thanks.
no worries at all... if you're kicking around locking the axle - you can get a different carrier (locker) that accepts a larger splined chromo axle.. with more splines that would make any axle stronger... not just a 44.

don't get me wrong there is a time and a place to walk away from the 30... but for some - myself included - i'd rather use up a built 30 for as long as possible.

i say this because the differences between a 44 and a 30 really aren't that great. if you're going to upgrade an axle - because you're wheeling hard... dana 60 (1-ton axles) probably ought to be where you're looking...
 

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honestly there is no reason to upgrade to a Dana 44. the weak point of the 30 is the ring and pinion. everything else is relatively similar or the same. so... upgrade your 30. 1. sleeve it or truss it (i'm a sleeve guy - some are truss guys) 2. when you lock it - put new gears in it. 4.56 with 35s and the 3.6L enginer are a nice pairing. 3. get some chrome-moly shafts... 4. reinforce your c-gussets. done. :thumb:
I elected to do it this way. The only thing I haven't done yet is the chromo shafts.

Down the road, if I swap axles it will be for a Pro Rock or Teraflex 44, not the D44. I just don't see much benefit to swapping for a D44 when you have to build it up the same as a D30.
 

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In theory it sounds that easy?

So I can get a prefabbed dynatrac or TF axle housing, have Northridge (or whomever) put it together, shipped to me and I can install the axle?

Btw I'd rather build than trade in for a Rubi
yep... if you order an axle that's assembled... bolt it up. i'd probably remove the diff cover to ensure everything looks right... and re-fill the fluids and off you go.
 

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A JKU with big tires & prolly skids, bumpers etc is very heavy for for such a small D30 ring gear. IMO, if I were doing any good wheeling with that set up I'd be very leery.

ProRock!!
 

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I am in the build it crowd. I tried hard to justify the Rubicon. I could bring myself to pull the trigger. A base 2DR Rubicon is in the 30-32 range new. A base JK with no options was 24. I can get the parts to do the axles for +/- 2500. I have made most of the mods to the JK. I have adjustable control arms showing up today to correct the lack of a pinion angle.

I have 5.13s, ARBs, sleeves and gussets in the garage to install.

I am sure at some point I will wish I was lazy. Then KJ would be my hero.


Bob K.
 

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A JKU with big tires & prolly skids, bumpers etc is very heavy for for such a small D30 ring gear. IMO, if I were doing any good wheeling with that set up I'd be very leery. ProRock!!
I'd love to do a ProRock right off the bat, but what is it, something like 6K with gears and a locker just for the front, then you'd still have a weaker D44 in the rear? I'm hoping to get 5 yrs. from my built up D30, then I'll think about a swap. Although I love hills and rocks, I'm pretty easy on the skinny pedal.
 

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If you're never going to go beyond 35" tires, the JK D30 can be built to handle the stress. For that you need the following:

  1. A truss kit like this one Artec JK Front Axle ARMOR KIT that will reinforce the outer "C" ends of the axle as well as reinforce the axle tubes themselves.
  2. A heavy duty differential cover. A stronger diff cover reinforces the differential housing (beyond the strength added by the truss). This keeps the housing from flexing when under stress, which is one of the major causes for failure of the ring and pinion gear.
  3. Chrome molly axle shafts. These are stronger and can take the abuse of the bigger tire.
If you do add a locker up front, a selectable locker is preferred. Leaving it open until you really want to lock it keeps the stress down and that makes the axle live longer.

One you start to go past 35's you want to start looking at heavier duty axles. In that case, you can buy a pre-built JK specific D44 and all you do is swap over the steering knuckles and bolt everything in. You can also buy a custom Dana 60 or 9" axle that can bolt into the JK with little modification.

I want to say the D44 housing fully built is $4K or so, while a D60 runs north of $7K. But you should do the investigation yourself to verify the prices.

I did the truss, the shafts, the diff cover, an e-locker, and gears in my front D30 for less than it would have cost to buy a complete D44 housing. But I did a lot of the work myself and have a friend that has the tools and expertise to "help" me set gears for cheap. If I step up beyond 35's I'll be saving up for the bigger lift, cutout flares and a set of D60's to bolt under the Jeep before I do.
 
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