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Discussion Starter #1
Since I have already made mistakes(did locker before gear change) wondering which I should do first(1) a truss or (2) Sleeves and C gussets or does it matter?
Since I did lockers first I am locked into the 3.21 gears for now. only way to change gears in front is to replace locker.
 

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Ouch.

I wouldn't put a ton of money into a D30, and your tires aren't that big still under 34. I would sleeve and gusset and call it a day. Be vary wary of the skinny pedal Offroad when locked, and continue to run factory Axle shafts as long as you can - these give you a weaker "fuse" that in an ideal case breaks first before the important stuff. The reason I mention skinny pedal is you are significantly undergeared for those tires for offroad - adding lockers into the mix compounds the problem. You can't really crawl 4LO because of your gearing, and even with lockers will need a little gas to compensate, but giving gas to a locked Axle be very careful.
 

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To expand a little, while the D30 gearset is small, leaving it at 3.21 for now makes it a little stronger than say you had put 4.56 in. But matching it up with lockers, it is still...a D30 gearset.

A truss wouldn't be a bad idea. How much money you want to put into the axle is the question? If you treat it right, lay low on the skinny pedal, and only plan to do mild trails - it may be worth it to you.
 

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gussets and truss OR sleeve. doing both is a bit redundant. I did the complete artec armor kit and got it on sale, so I was only out like $265 for the complete set, truss, c-gussets, trackbar bracket and LCA skids. Had a friend weld it up. The truss is a lot of work. Took 3 nights to get it fully welded up. A sleeve will take less time, and is easier to NOT take the axle completely out. A truss almost requires you pull the whole axle IMO.

I did the locker as well, but use it sparingly. Made sense for me financially to stick with the D30, but always on the lookout for a takeoff D44.

I will say that going to 4.56 was the better part of the deal. If I had a choice between gear and locker I would pick gear. sorry, don't mean to rub salt in the wound.

Maybe you can offload the locker..probably take a beating on it, but you never know. Then just go to an open carrier and better gearing.
 

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gussets and truss OR sleeve. doing both is a bit redundant. I did the complete artec kit and got it on sale, so I was only out like $265 for the complete armor set. Had a friend weld it up. came with lca skids as well. The truss is a lot of work. Took 3 nights to get it fully welded up. A sleeve will take less time, and is easier to NOT take the axle completely out. A truss almost requires you pull the whole axle IMO.

I did the locker as well, but use it sparingly. Made sense for me financially to stick with the D30, but always on the lookout for a takeoff D44.

I will say that going to 4.56 was the better part of the deal. If I had a choice between gear and locker I would pick gear. sorry, don't mean to rub salt in the wound.

Maybe you can offload the locker..probably take a beating on it, but you never know. Then just go to an open carrier and better gearing.
This. The proper way to do a truss is remove the axle and strip the paint. You want to weld metal to metal, not metal to paint. Then weld, repaint, reinstall. The cost in the Artec kit isn't so much the parts but the labor to weld it on properly.
 

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I have a Dana 44, but I ended up doing all three: Gusset, Truss, AND Sleeve. I know people say that truss and sleeves are not needed together, but it's cheap insurance. I was having everything else done, so why not press in some sleeves while they were at it.

Like MMC put it...at the end of the day it's still a Dana 30. If you can make it work for your needs, you're better off keeping it since you already have the locker. But if you think you're going to want larger tires or do more hardcore trails--save yourself the money and just do it how YOU WANT IT the first time!

Good luck!
 
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I would do a full truss kit and a re-gear. Sell the locker. Will gain some back but not all. That is what I am doing to mine. Don't have a locker in the new jeep as of yet. If you can afford (which most cant including myself) I would upgrade to a after market 44. But if you cant Then build up your 30 until it breaks. By then you could save up for a new 44. There are lots of people who swear against building a 30. I have built 2 of them and beat them up hard and never had a issue. But I'm not rock bouncing my jeeps either. The only time i have ever seen a 30 break is when a buddy of mine launched his jeep about 6 feet in the air and bent a tube. Not saying it doesn't happen. Hope this helps

-JP
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input. I am pretty gentle on skinny pedal that's why I went automatic. And most of my trails are 2+ rated with a little bit of time on a 3 or 3+. Locked in low it crawls right up stuff with no issues so far. my main concern was to keep it from Smiling(bent tubes)so it looks like I will just truss, since sleeves don't help this I thought they did but that is why I was asking. In a couple years 2+ may be able to go 44 route and regear.
 

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I still have some RCVs sitting in the garage for a Dana30 an ARB too if you're inclined. My ProRock44 will be here any day!


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I still have some RCVs sitting in the garage for a Dana30 an ARB too if you're inclined. My ProRock44 will be here any day!


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I would not RCV a D30 with lockers. That is a recipe for kaboom. Leave Axle shafts stock - let them grenade rather than lockers and gearset. Of course no guaranty everything doesn't grenade at the same time, but you put a strong Axle shaft on a weak locked gearset - it isn't the axle shaft that's going boom first.
 

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I would not RCV a D30 with lockers. That is a recipe for kaboom. Leave Axle shafts stock - let them grenade rather than lockers and gearset. Of course no guaranty everything doesn't grenade at the same time, but you put a strong Axle shaft on a weak locked gearset - it isn't the axle shaft that's going boom first.
This^^^^ Mine is set up this way on purpose. Stock axle shafts are cheap..
 

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I no longer subscribe to this philosophy. Been there done that and since a ring and pinion is 1/2 the price of axles, I rather they be the week point.
I've busted axles and it was, by far, not a trail fix. Carrier still had to come out to clean up the mess. If your UJoints are the weak point, it's likely the ears will shear and you'll need new axles. That would be an easy trail fix if you carry spares, but not cheap.


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I no longer subscribe to this philosophy. Been there done that and since a ring and pinion is 1/2 the price of axles, I rather they be the week point.
I've busted axles and it was, by far, not a trail fix. Carrier still had to come out to clean up the mess. If your UJoints are the weak point, it's likely the ears will shear and you'll need new axles. That would be an easy trail fix if you carry spares, but not cheap.


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Stock shafts can be found free or nearly free around here. Agree that sometimes they take out other parts with them - but most of the failures i have seen, just pull the shaft on trail and get to pavement or baby it home.

Yes I have also seen a few catastrophes (always involving the skinny pedal lol) that grenaded everything - one particularly great one was driver approaches waterfall, driver misunderstands comma in spotter direction "Bump it hard, (turn) driver" instead hearing "BUMP IT HARD DRIVER!", points Jeep at waterfall and absolutely FLOORS it, skinny pedal to the metal. The sound was horrific and he grenaded the entire rear end (gears, lockers, actually sheered the pinion off, destroyed driveshaft) and portions of the front. Ironically good thing it was the first obstacle - he was able to get out on his own power with basically no rear end (made an awful noise tho lol) by driving the whole way...in reverse, he could not go forward.

Replacing a ring and pinion is not something the average Joe can or will do, much less trail repair. And losing these is way more likely to leave the rig DOA needing a tow out, rather than a "simple" shaft break you can usually at least get to pavement if not baby it home or trail replace if you have a spare.
 

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Actually blowing the ring and pinion is no different. Just pull the axles and/or driveshaft and drive home in 2wd. You can totally destroy the R&P and carrier and axles and still drive it home. Destroy a wheel bearing and/or knuckle when a UJoints blows out and you are getting towed home. Same guy who can't do a R&P change won't likely be able to clean up a broken axle in the carrier or change axle seals. It's not rocket science.


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I say don't put another dime into that D30. You aren't driving it hard yet, so start putting $ away for a takeoff Rubi 44 or an aftermarket 44 if you can swing it. Gear the rear to match whatever you end up with in front and have fun.
 

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Since I have already made mistakes(did locker before gear change) wondering which I should do first(1) a truss or (2) Sleeves and C gussets or does it matter?
Since I did lockers first I am locked into the 3.21 gears for now. only way to change gears in front is to replace locker.
My vote is for gussets, then truss if you have the money left. I have been driving a D30 with gussets Truetracs and 4.56 gears for over 3 years and no issues. I run 35" Toyo's and mild wheeling, as others have said easy on the skinny pedal and don't jump anything and you will be fine.
 

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Start with a heavy diff cover to prevent housing flex and gear deflection. Likely the #1 cause of D30 ring and pinion failure as the teeth can skip when the housing flexes.
Next would be a truss and C gussets to support the tubes.


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I say don't put another dime into that D30. You aren't driving it hard yet, so start putting $ away for a takeoff Rubi 44 or an aftermarket 44 if you can swing it. Gear the rear to match whatever you end up with in front and have fun.
Gears and spline count on axle shafts are the only difference between the D30 and Rubi "D44". Same C's, tubes, ball joints (OEM), etc. Still will need to beef up tubes @ the C's on the Rubi takeoff. Probably better off buying an aftermarket beefier housing and building it than getting a Rubi takeoff.

BTW I have a D30 with a lunch box locker and 37's. Do some crawling in Central Texas. Stock 3.73 gears/shafts, and guess what...no kaboom. I'm not new to crawling, and light on the pedal, which goes a long way...BUT the HP D30 has been used for years with good success offroad. It's not a disaster waiting to happen...and the Rubi takeoffs are, IMO, a false sense of security (notwithstanding the better R&P and splines on the shafts).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for additional input, waiting for my shop to get D30 truss in stock will ask how much to add C gussets.
 
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