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Extremely Humble
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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 03 SWB Rubicon with all the standard (OEM) drive train goodies. Since I’m running 34” tires I feel that I’m about at the limit of what my axles can handle and if I ever wanted to move up to say 37’s :D what would I need to upgrade them to? Is a chromoly axle shaft with a stock spline going to be strong enough? Should I look at increasing my spline count and ditch the stock lockers and go with an ARB? Am I going to blow up my stock lockers? What else would be the weak points in my drive train?
 

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34's should be fine for two dana 44's.If you want to get 37's I would buid up the 44's or get a ford 8.8 for the rear or dana 60's:D
 

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If it was my jeep I would get new axles shafts and arb's fornt and rear with a higher splin count.:D
 

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Fields of pain is where I graze
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is your driveway that steep leading to your garage? :flipoff:
 

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Jack Lives Here!!!
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Scott, to run 37's on your 44's all you need to do is upgrade your shafts to chromoly and put some good u-joints up front. Then you will have STRONGER shafts/joints and still have your old setup as spares. Should you upgrade to 33 spline shafts and manage to break something you are screwed unless you buy 2 sets of everything. IMO it's all about minimizing down time and maximizing what you can fix should you need to. Waiting for 5 days to get a new shaft replaced (even if it's on warranty) isn't something I want to deal with.

Check out the site or give Joe a call and he can hook you up with some Alloy USA shafts. I know he even has the rear 30 spline 44 shafts on special this month. Throw in some dynatrac covers to add some rigidity to everything and you will be fine running on 37's. Hell Alloy even has 30 spline outers with 30 spline unit bearings that you can put in there to strengthen up the entire front axle.
 

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Extremely Humble
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Jack. By upgrading the axles will that potentially weaken anything else? Ring and Pinion? Anything like that?
 

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Jack Lives Here!!!
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Thanks Jack. By upgrading the axles will that potentially weaken anything else? Ring and Pinion? Anything like that?
Yes there is something to be said about building something that has a "Cheaper" weak point. There is always the opportunity that one could break a R&P. However there are a lot of different variables that usually are met before that happens. So many that it's not even in my mind when I'm wheelin thinking it will happen.

Again in my opinion stiffening up the pumpkin with full covers and only going with 30 spline chromoly replacements will still minimize any "Non-Trail Reparable" damage that could happen. You'd be more likely to break the joints in your DShaft first before you started blowing up R&P's on a D44. It's also why I only run 1310 joints/yokes on my dshafts. I'd rather a $250 dshaft break on me than an $600 R&P job, just because I have 1350 or 1410 joints in my shaft.

Unless you are putting in a V8 and running 40's there's really no benefit to going D60's (With Andy's Build he needs the beef, you don't) and as someone said earlier about an 8.8. If you already have a 44 out back then there's no reason to swap in an 8.8 seeing as they as so close strength wise.

Believe me, I had a serious tendency to way over analyze everything I was doing to my jeep. As as a matter of fact a certain WF Vendor even told me today I was thinking way to much about some gear i'm buying for my rig. :D Keep your builds as simple as possible and you will never go wrong. :D
 

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While you can install stronger u-joints and alloy (like from Warn, Superior Axle, or Alloy USA) into your axles, the front D44 is still not really up to 37" tires. The Rubicon's front Dana 44 uses the same axle tubes and knuckles as the TJ's Dana 30 does which aren't up to good long-term survivability with 37" tires. I'd feel comfortable with 35" tires on a Rubicon and that's it, no matter what axleshafts are installed. I have f/r alloy axleshafts and though I nearly went to 37" tires, got talked out of them by several hard-core Johnson Valley regulars who have had bad luck with 37" tires on that combination. :)
 

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I would stick with the 44's.To bad i have a shity little d35 out back.I don't want to lock it but are there any better axles for the d35 with the stock splin count? A d35 is 27 splins?:D
 

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Jack Lives Here!!!
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While you can install stronger u-joints and alloy (like from Warn, Superior Axle, or Alloy USA) into your axles, the front D44 is still not really up to 37" tires. The Rubicon's front Dana 44 uses the same axle tubes and knuckles as the TJ's Dana 30 does which aren't up to good long-term survivability with 37" tires. I'd feel comfortable with 35" tires on a Rubicon and that's it, no matter what axleshafts are installed. I have f/r alloy axleshafts and though I nearly went to 37" tires, got talked out of them by several hard-core Johnson Valley regulars who have had bad luck with 37" tires on that combination. :)
Gotta think about your audience too Jerry. Most of the people here even with 37's won't be running anything like we do out here in the West. JV is different because it's mostly boulder fields leading up washes with misc real obsticles thrown in. There's plenty of chance to bust knuckles, ball joints, bend tubes coming down hard on them etc.... However in places like Moab even you don't have that kind of terrain. Here in AZ we have ALL kinds of different terrain where rock crawling is involved. But there's no need for the majority of the people in America to go spending 3 - 5k on front D44 or D60 steering axles for the terrains that they traverse in their regions.
 

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Extremely Humble
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Discussion Starter #13
You guys are making some very good points and it's much appreciated. I'm thinking a little more long term as I'm planning on doing a pretty big rebuild this summer and breaking axles is one of my biggest fears. (No mall jokes please :D)

Let me pose this question: If you wanted to build up your stock Dana 44 axles and make them as strong as possible (keeping the factory locker) what would you need to do? Overkill is ok with me - I'm just looking for an example (or two). Also, links would be nice. :D
 

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New shafts and u joint thats all that comes to mind if you don't want a higher splin count.:D
 

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Once you upgrade the shafts and joint the tubes flexing would be my next concern, perhaps some sort of weld on tube support for them.
 

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Ya Rubi lockers are kinda a pain to lock in and out somedays.. gotta wait for 'em to pump up and release pressure, maybe move forward and back a few times :p

Better than nothing though.

Scout, your my inspiration with my Jeep dude. Everytime I see a post you start, I get out the pen and paper and take notes for the day that mine is paid off, warranty is out, and I can mod her! Keep up the good work man.
 

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Once you upgrade the shafts and joint the tubes flexing would be my next concern, perhaps some sort of weld on tube support for them.
YA maybe a welded brace from one side of the axle to the other side.
 

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Extremely Humble
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Discussion Starter #20
Ya Rubi lockers are kinda a pain to lock in and out somedays.. gotta wait for 'em to pump up and release pressure, maybe move forward and back a few times :p

Better than nothing though.

Scout, your my inspiration with my Jeep dude. Everytime I see a post you start, I get out the pen and paper and take notes for the day that mine is paid off, warranty is out, and I can mod her! Keep up the good work man.
Awww you made me tear up a little. You don't take notes on the Off Topic threads I start do you? :eek: :D :eek:

Thanks!!! :D
 
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