Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

3,967 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have the stock Dana30 and like many eventually would like to upgrade. I'm currently on a, when it breaks then it's time to upgrade approach. I'm planning for when/if that occurs

I keep looking at the prices of our JK front axle upgrade options. Dynatrac PR44, Spicer Ultimate D44, Currie, Mopar, Stock Rubi Dana 44 swap, etc, etc, etc. There's tons of discussion on this forum for all those different "upgrade" front axle options. There's one thing they have in common which keeps many of us from just doing them. They ALL have a relatively high price tag of admission!!!

When I say high price, I think anything over $2K for completing a front axle swap and the amount of upgrade you're getting in return really just seems very non proportionate. Currently, there just doesn't seem to be any good value "bang for the buck" front axle swap options in my opinion and you're left with digging deep for your hobby, or trussing and other options to try and strengthen that front Dana 30 if you can't justify throwing $4K+ into a hobby. That's where I'm at with all this and I know I'm not alone. It's a hobby, one which that I can't justify spending $4K+ into swapping a front axle. I rather go on Craigs List and purchase $200 front Dana 30 take-offs and just replace them, if it breaks. The JK is our DD and we are the weekend warriors who just want to get out there, have some fun offroad and not have to worry we're going to do any major damage that's going to cost us big money to repair and a lot of down time without our DD to get to work. Such is the case with replacing a broken front axle. If there was a <$2K HD front axle aftermarket upgrade option, I'm sure this would be a easier decision for many of us. I hate to say it, but it seems to me this front HD axle market really could use a "Made in China" option if no one else can provide one for less than $4K. I'm certain many weekend warriors like myself would buy it, if it existed.

Of all the options out there, I have been mostly leaning towards the Fushion 4x4 Dana60/44 Hybrid. It seems like a decent value option comparatively speaking. Strength of a Dana 60, while not having to change a bunch of additional items such as wheels, to mount a D60 under your JK. However, $4300 is the price of admission. Very similarly priced as all the other aftermarket complete drop-in, new Dana 44 HD options which are priced high enough to push you into considering a D60 anyways. From my understanding, what Fusion 4x4 does is they use a Sterling Superduty Dana 60 junkyard Ford F150 front axle and then do all the necessary mod conversions, so it can be used as a JK drop-in front axle swap while being able to re-use a majority of your JK's brakes, wheels, etc.

This then put me on the investigation path of reading this write-up by FOURWHEELER magazine, to get some insights as to what it would take for me to mod my own Superduty D60 front axle to do the same.
Jeep Wrangler JK Junkyard Dana 60 Axle Swap - Part 1

When I read it, I thought...."Welding on control arm brackets and getting proper location for caster, is going to be outside of my DIY capabilities where I'm going to need some pro help."

Which then got me looking back at the Fusion 4x4 Dana60/44 Hybrid where I then ran across this Fushion 4x4 product. A Superduty D60 conversion kit for our JKs!!!

Which now brings me here seeking advise from the experts to get a better understanding of what else I may be overlooking and may need parts wise and any additional DIY work I may need to take into consideration.

Here's my current simplification of what I think needs to be done in the mod/parts department.
- Junkyard Superduty Dana60 front axle (will need to shop around). Estimate Price=$500
- MOD: Axle length shortened. JK WMS=65.5", SuperDuty (SD) WMS=69.25". So I have to cut the SD tubes to meet the JK axle length.
- Axle mounting Brackets: (TB, upper/lower control arms, Sway Bars, Spring, shock mounts )= Fusion 4x4 SD conversion kit. Price=$415
- Driveshaft connection: Will need a JK 1310 Yoke. Need to find this. Fusion 4x4 includes one with their Dana60/44 Hybrid axle. Price=???
- MOD: Ball Joints and C's: Ream SD C's to fit JK aftermarket HD Ball Joints. Leaning towards the TF HD Ball joints currently. Price=$200
- Brakes, Rotors, Hub: Re-use JK Dana 30 parts. I have the Mopar BBK installed.
- MOD: Axle Shafts. Since the tube length needs to be shortened on the SD D60 axle, so will the axle shafts. Unsure what my options are, mod SD shafts? replacement option?
- Gears, Lockers/LSDs: My plan is to re-gear to 4.56 or 4.88 and add Truetrac LSDs front and rear. I currently, have 3.73 gears. If I can find a SD D60 with 3.73 gears, so I can plan those regear/traction mods at a latter time, that would be preferred.

3,967 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I feel Fusion 4x4 is on a great solution for a lot of us with this Superduty D60 conversion kit.

Here's what just pizzes me off about our JK axle upgrade options, it's the supply/demand price gouging.

For example. Even if I wanted to pursue purchasing a Rubi Dana 44 take off, the going price is about $2K and with that $2K investment, I got the same weak tubes and C's. I get a larger pumpkin, slightly stronger shafts, and pinion. For me, that is not worth a $2K price of admission because I still have the weak tubes and C's that I need to be concerned about.

The problem is that people want it and are willing to pay that much, and it's that demand with the limited supply that drives those prices up so high. Good ole Supply and Demand at work.

In comparison, I can go on Craigslist and get most any Dana 60 takeoff from a pickup truck for $200-$500. A stronger axle at 1/10th the cost of a Rubi Dana44 take off. That just doesn't make any sense, but it's that JK market demand and limited supply that allows that to happen. So I feel the solution around that, is to look for alternative solutions outside of the bolt on JK HD axle market and that's what Fusion 4x4 did with their superduty Hybrid 60/44 JK axle conversion. I'm hoping now that they also have a SuperDuty D60 JK conversion kit, that makes pursuing that option even more accessible.

Seeing take-off axle purchasing options like these in my area on Craigslist are just pizzing me off. :rant:

Complete Dana 60 front axle from a 2001 RAM pickup Truck $200

Complete Front and Rear HD Dana 60 axles from a Ford F350 $800

Could you even imagine being able to purchase a bolt on 1Ton Dana60 front axle for $200 for our JKs or $800 for a complete set? Everyone would have a set, but instead we're looking at $7K-$13K for the same Dana 60 front axle for our JK and the only thing different is that they can be mounted onto our JK. :doh:
1 - 5 of 5 Posts