HPD30 Inner Axle Sleeves Installation
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.
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.
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 Jeep JK, TJ/LJ, XJ, ZJ D30/44 Inner Axle Sleeve Kit
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.
I left this info out. I will put it in another thread at a later time.
Prepping Axle Housing Tubes
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.
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.
Now the inner sleeves fit, ya!