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Discussion Starter #1
If you're wondering my current setup I have a 04 TJ Sport, 4.0, 3:73s, 42rle auto, Currie Currectlync, Zone 4.25 combo lift, all 8 Metalcloak Adj control arms, Metalcloak Front Adj Trac Bar, Barricade tube fenders, 33x12.5 Cooper STTs. I'm slowly working my way towards 35s. I'm also going to upgrade to Black Magic Brakes before I step up to 35s, but that purchase is already decided. I'm doing some window shopping online for an upgrade from the D35, and just wanted to see what you guys thought about what I've come across. I'll try to lay out all of the options I've selected and other features that come with each diff to give a solid comparison.


ECGS 8.8 $2575 shipped
31 spline Used shafts
axle tubes welded
brake line kit installed
used disc brakes
stock cover
Detroit TruTrac
Adv. Adapters SYE + Spicer driveshaft
new axle bearings,seals,ring and pinion,diff bearings
5:13 gears
both E-brake cables
gear oil added
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ECGS Dana 44 $3028 shipped
30 spline Chromoly shafts
axle tubes welded
used disc brakes
stock cover
Detroit TruTrac
Adv. Adapters SYE and Spicer driveshaft
Set 10 wheel bearings (retain wheel if shaft fails)
5:13 gears
both E-brake cables
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DnDoffroad 8.8 $1815.60 shipped
all new disc brakes
E-brake cables
5:13 gears with LSD (not sure what make)
new Yukon bearings
that's all the info on their page that I saw
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So what do you guys think? Which should I go with IF I decide to order a rear diff instead of having one built for me? Any and all input would be appreciated, especially from you seasoned Jeepers. Thanks guys!
 

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Based on your nice setup and the fact you wanna go to 35s, I'd say get the axle packages that would allow 37s. I say this because the Ford 9" in the rear (which is what I did) isn't terribly much more than the 8.8 I wouldn't think, but it's been awhile since I did that swap myself. I did look at the 8.8 and it was suggested to me back in '06.
I wouldn't go the 44 way since that doesn't leave you a truly bomb proof rear axle for the bigger meats on it. And those tubes are just as soft as the 35. You said you would weld them in so maybe that solves the problem on it.
If you got some cheese to spend, consider the Ford 9" in the rear and maybe a Dana 60 up front. At least you could have options to go up to 37s or maybe 40s(?) in the later future...
Otherwise, if you're sticking with the 35s, I'd try a 35 spline axle shaft in the rear too. Would be an immediate upgrade over the 31s despite their being true to form for the 35s
 

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If you're wondering my current setup I have a 04 TJ Sport, 4.0, 3:73s, 42rle auto, Currie Currectlync, Zone 4.25 combo lift, all 8 Metalcloak Adj control arms, Metalcloak Front Adj Trac Bar, Barricade tube fenders, 33x12.5 Cooper STTs. I'm slowly working my way towards 35s. I'm also going to upgrade to Black Magic Brakes before I step up to 35s, but that purchase is already decided. I'm doing some window shopping online for an upgrade from the D35, and just wanted to see what you guys thought about what I've come across. I'll try to lay out all of the options I've selected and other features that come with each diff to give a solid comparison.

ECGS 8.8 $2575 shipped
31 spline Used shafts
axle tubes welded
brake line kit installed
used disc brakes
stock cover
Detroit TruTrac
Adv. Adapters SYE + Spicer driveshaft
new axle bearings,seals,ring and pinion,diff bearings
5:13 gears
both E-brake cables
gear oil added
----------------------------------------------------------------------
ECGS Dana 44 $3028 shipped
30 spline Chromoly shafts
axle tubes welded
used disc brakes
stock cover
Detroit TruTrac
Adv. Adapters SYE and Spicer driveshaft
Set 10 wheel bearings (retain wheel if shaft fails)
5:13 gears
both E-brake cables
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DnDoffroad 8.8 $1815.60 shipped
all new disc brakes
E-brake cables
5:13 gears with LSD (not sure what make)
new Yukon bearings
that's all the info on their page that I saw
----------------------------------------------------------------------
So what do you guys think? Which should I go with IF I decide to order a rear diff instead of having one built for me? Any and all input would be appreciated, especially from you seasoned Jeepers. Thanks guys!
If the D44 is a JK D44 then i would go for that one. Same strength as the 8.8 but the advantage is that you dont have a low hanging pinion and the D44 is a non c-clip design.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As far as I can tell the Dana 44s that ECGS supplies are actual TJ 44s. It would mean less angle and stress on my driveline, and not having the c-clip would be nice. But it is way more expensive as you can see. I really don't mind the idea of a 8.8 because I don't PLAN to go larger than 35s. This TJ gets street driven alot and it's more or less a weekend warrior build.
DnDoffroad also sells SYE kits, which isn't included in their price stated above. I probably should have thrown those numbers in the mix as well. Their SYE (dont know brand) is $195.95, so that brings their total to $2011.55 + drive shaft from someone else.
I may need to call them and ask what brands of LSD and SYE they use to see if they are quality or not. But, if they are fine, the extra money saved would be used to re-gear my D30 up front. Hmmmm, decisions decisions....
 

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Have you thought about pricing out a Junk yard axle build? Any 4x4 shops in your town? Or are you mechanically inclined to build it your self? you'll save a ton of money over a crate axle. And who is going to re gear your front? I assume you have a D30 up front? Have you found 5.13 gears for a TJ D30?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have installed all the mods on my TJ myself, and have a few years of turning wrenches under my belt. But a re-gear is something I don't feel comfortable doing myself. What I'm trying to do here is make a decision on an online axle, so that when I shop around locally for someone to build an axle I have a choice to compare prices and options with. I'm not sure if any of my local shops offer 5 years parts and labor warranty like ECGS does, but that will be taken into consideration as well. Also, I believe I read on here that Revolution Gear & Axle offer 5:13s for the D30.
 

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They've recently come out with 5.13 gears for the 30.


I bought the ECGS 8.8 axle, and have been very happy with the results. Quality work. Mine was setup a little differently, using the Artec truss, ARB locker and 4.88 gears. I thought about the TJ D44, but when configured as close to the same as the 8.8, it was always $200 - 300 more.
 

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Oh awesome, do you know what company?
They've recently come out with 5.13 gears for the 30.


I bought the ECGS 8.8 axle, and have been very happy with the results. Quality work. Mine was setup a little differently, using the Artec truss, ARB locker and 4.88 gears. I thought about the TJ D44, but when configured as close to the same as the 8.8, it was always $200 - 300 more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They've recently come out with 5.13 gears for the 30.


I bought the ECGS 8.8 axle, and have been very happy with the results. Quality work. Mine was setup a little differently, using the Artec truss, ARB locker and 4.88 gears. I thought about the TJ D44, but when configured as close to the same as the 8.8, it was always $200 - 300 more.
Yeah, I've heard nothing but good things about their work. Did you get their SYE and drive shaft as well? Or use someone elses? And you had to install them the same time as the new diff, correct?
 

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Yeah, I've heard nothing but good things about their work. Did you get their SYE and drive shaft as well? Or use someone elses? And you had to install them the same time as the new diff, correct?
I already had the SYE and CV drive shaft, so all I had to order was the axle. They really do outstanding work, and are very easy to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but if I'm planning on swapping to a different rear diff and I install the SYE and CV drive shaft now, when I get the new diff I will have to either replace the new CV shaft or have someone shorten it, yes? I'd rather not have to do that if it's true.
 

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It's a possibility. In my case, I didn't have to. There was less than a 1/2" difference, and I had plenty of room to spare. I set mine up with the U-bolt/yoke. I also had adjustable control arms, and a 3.5" lift, when I installed the axle. I didn't change the LCA, but did have to adjust the UCA some.

I have a 4.0L/AX-15, if you have a different transmission, it might work out differently for you.
 

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I wouldn't go to 5.13 in a D30. 4.88 is even pushing the limits. The lower the gear ratio, the smaller the pinion gets and less contact is made with the ring gear.


here's a stock photo of a D30 5.13 ratio. Look at the dinky pinion..
 
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