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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HPD30 Inner Axle Sleeves Installation

Intro

I'm building a high pinion Dana 30 front axle assembly for my TJ. I plan on rebuilding the whole thing and installing 4.56s and a Truetrac.

I will do a write-up for each aspect of the project. I am starting with the inner sleeves.

I got the axle assembly out of a 1995 Cherokee (XJ) at a U Pull and Pay. It was clean and didn't have serious rust. There was no front end damage to the vehicle, or any damage that I noticed. Since I don't have a way to test for straightness, this will increase my odds. It came with the weaker u-joints and 3.07 gears.

Vehicle Car Pickup truck Auto part Nissan navara

I'm using a Hobart Handler 187 wire feed welder (MIG) with .035 solid wire and C25 gas. I had the voltage all the way to 7 (max) and 50-60 wire speed. BTW, I'm not an expert.


Why Inner Sleeves?

Some say don't bother strengthening a D30, it's a throw away axle. The tubes aren't the only weakness. I agree! However, this isn't only about the final product, it's about learning. So as long as I don't put too much money in it, I'm fine.

There are several ways to strengthen the tubes: outer sleeves, inner sleeves, retube and truss.

Anything that requires removal of the suspension mounts is out of the question. If I was going to do that, I would build a HPD44. I also worry about my welding skills and don't want a LCA mount breaking off.

I was going to go with a truss. I wanted to cut one of the 2" sides off a 2x4 tube, then weld it on the long tube and cast iron center section. I bought a stick welder solely to have better luck welding steel to cast iron. With all the work disconnecting and bringing home the axle (all by myself!), I just couldn't take the chance on my welds cracking.

So I got a MIG and chose inner axle sleeves. Not the best, but a great compromise. It's an OK test for tube straightness as well. If they fit, the tubes are at least semi-straight.


Synergy Suspension

There are a few companies that sell inner sleeves for a TJ/XJ Dana 30. I decided to go with Synergy Suspension Inner Sleeves (PPM-5901-30) and purchased from Poly Performance.

Synergy Suspension
Synergy Suspension*::*Synergy Suspension Jeep JK, TJ/LJ, XJ, ZJ D30/44 Inner Axle Sleeve Kit

Poly Performance
Poly Performance JEEP/TRUCK & BUGGY*::*Suspension*::*Suspension & Lift Kits*::*Jeep Suspension Systems*::*2007-Current Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension Systems*::*Synergy Suspension*::*Synergy Suspension Jeep JK, TJ/LJ, XJ, ZJ D30/44 Inner Axle Sleeve Kit

Here's a pic of the inner sleeves.

Bumper Metal Steel Pipe


Disassembly

I left this info out. I will put it in another thread at a later time.


Prepping Axle Housing Tubes

Clean
Got to clean out any gunk from inside the tubes. The sleeves are a tight fit and won't go in if there's gunk. I used soap and water with a scrub brush. I tied some metal wire to the brush handle and pulled it through the tubes a few times.

I then followed with a water rinse and thorough drying. All the while, trying to keep water from getting inside the pumpkin. I sprayed WD-40 on the pumpkin's inside surface to absorb any residual water. Then sprayed some brake cleaner in the tubes and wiped out.

Rust
I attempted to insert the inner sleeves, but they only went in a few inches. Rust was getting in the way.

I used a 2" hone I had laying around. Put it in a drill and went to town. I extended it using a threaded rod, for the long tube.



The hone is nice because it knocks down the highs, but doesn't remove enough material to increase the inside diameter.

After creating a bunch of rust dust, the tubes really smoothed out.

Auto part Automotive wheel system Wheel Metal

Now the inner sleeves fit, ya!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Drilling

The instructions are for the JK, so I cannot drill holes in the places they recommend. Since the sleeves are the TJ model, don't ya think they could have covered the TJ?

I started out with a drill press.

Machine Toolroom

Not worth it. I finished with a hand drill. It doesn't take much effort. Started with 1/4" bit, then 1/2". Used plenty of cutting oil.

Auto part Exhaust manifold Pipe Automotive exhaust Muffler

Tire Auto part Wheel Automotive tire Automotive wheel system

Now there's a lot of cutting oil in the tubes. So I cleaned again, spraying brake cleaner down the tubes and pushing a rag through with a broom handle. I did this several times.

There are 12 holes in passenger tube and 4 in driver tube.


Sleeve Prep

I tapered the outside edge of each inner sleeve with a sanding disc. This will create a nice groove for welding the ends later.

Cleaned the inside and outside of the sleeves. There were some metal filings inside the sleeves, probably due to manufacturing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Plug Welding

I started by tack welding the inner sleeves to the tubes by the bottom holes. That will hold the sleeves in position while I weld the rest.

Muffler Bumper

Here are my plug welds!

Bumper Auto part

After cleaning up with a 3M 2" Roloc ScotchBrite pad.

Auto part Bumper Vehicle Subcompact car


End Welding

Since I'm not a welding expert, I set the housing upward when welding. That way I'm not combating gravity.

Machine

The left pic shows the groove talked about earlier.
The middle pic shows my 1" stitch welds. I don't want to warp anything. I'm not sure if this is necessary.
The right pic shows it complete. Notice where the stitch welds overlap. I'm not sure if it's possible to make this look like one continuous bead.

Auto part Rim Automotive wheel system Wheel Metal

Todo
I want to flatten the weld bead just a little, so the factory axle dust shields have something flat to mate up against.


Summary

I was timid going into this. I do not want to warp the inner Cs or axle tubes. I have a feeling everything is OK, but I won't know until I get it under the Jeep and aligned. I have more confidence in welding now.

There is a lot more work to be done, but at least the sleeves are completed.
 

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Nice write up.

Any chance you measured the length of the sleeves before you put them in?
I'm wondering if I could just get some 2" quarter wall DOM from our local metal shop...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice write up.

Any chance you measured the length of the sleeves before you put them in?
I'm wondering if I could just get some 2" quarter wall DOM from our local metal shop...
I didn't. I believe there was about an inch between the end of the sleeve and inner axle seal.
 
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