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I know this subject has been beat to death. I know because I've spent a week trying to read everything I can and depending on how the topic is first approached I seem to see a lot of differing opinions on this but I am STILL left with questions. Hopefully this thread might help answer some of them.

I continually hear/read about how the D30 has weaknesses. 5000 mile JKU SPORT is coming out of the dealer today after destroying a spider gear on the trail. I don't want this happening again and I also don't want to worry about what else might happen - especially as we head around the country to wheel including Moab in May. I'm running 34" tires. This isn't some pre-runner that gets pounded everywhere and I don't really care for rock gardens but I do like hard trails and want to be able to climb a face ahead of me. We bought the Sport 1) because I didn't fully understand the difference in the Rubi and 2) because we thought we would figure out what parts we wanted to upgrade and do it then.

I am thinking that putting an Eaton E Locker in. Many say don't put a locker in the D30 because it will tear itself apart. But doesn't the Eaton replace the weaker gears and wouldn't that in combination with chromoly axles take care of all/most of the weak points? Further, I am thinking that being able to lock up the front and crawl up things rather than having to hit them harder/faster would actually be easier and break things less?

Second thing I am seeing is don't put a locker in the front if the rear only has Trac-Lok. Again, I want to crawl up things, not hit them harder and I'm thinking that locking the front end in combination with the Trac-Lok in the rear would only help?

Third. Some have suggested putting a Tru Trac in the front and this doesn't make sense to me as an E-locker is only a couple of hundred more and would seem much better. If an E-locker would tear up the front end why wouldn't a Tru Trac? How would a Tru Trac ever be better for a D30 than a full lock?

Finally, what else (short of a full D44 conversion - which I am considering I just don't know about the price...) could be done to strengthen up the D30.

While I know it might be time to sit back and enjoy the show, popcorn included, I'm also hoping to learn something that my peabrain hasn't picked up in the other threads. Thank you for your input.
 

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I am thinking that putting an Eaton E Locker in. Many say don't put a locker in the D30 because it will tear itself apart. But doesn't the Eaton replace the weaker gears and wouldn't that in combination with chromoly axles take care of all/most of the weak points? Further, I am thinking that being able to lock up the front and crawl up things rather than having to hit them harder/faster would actually be easier and break things less?
One of the weaker points is the ring and pinion, it's very small. Changing the carrier and axles does not address that. Crawling is easier on components than using tons of throttle, sure, but that doesn't mean you can make it live forever.

Second thing I am seeing is don't put a locker in the front if the rear only has Trac-Lok. Again, I want to crawl up things, not hit them harder and I'm thinking that locking the front end in combination with the Trac-Lok in the rear would only help?
Nothing wrong with locking the front if you have an LSD rear. Nothing wrong with running lockers in both, it's personal preference. The LSD is better for on road slick situations (compared to open) and the locker is better off road.

Third. Some have suggested putting a Tru Trac in the front and this doesn't make sense to me as an E-locker is only a couple of hundred more and would seem much better. If an E-locker would tear up the front end why wouldn't a Tru Trac? How would a Tru Trac ever be better for a D30 than a full lock?
Personally I would never put an LSD or auto locker in the front of a daily driven vehicle. Selectable only.

Finally, what else (short of a full D44 conversion - which I am considering I just don't know about the price...) could be done to strengthen up the D30.
You can strengthen the D30 all you want, but you still have the small ring and pinion. Now, people run 35's all day long and never have an issue if they are just crawling around. The problem is people's ideas of being an aggressive or passive driver vary, and whether or not people are locked, or if they have different gear sets etc etc all matter so you're never going to find a real answer. Myself personally would never invest a bunch of money into a 30 because I wouldn't want "will it break today" in the back of my mind. I'd simply wheel it until it broke and put that money towards a PR44 or something.
 

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Lots and lots of opinionative questions. First off, i'd be interested in how you smoked a gear with a basically stock JK, open front diff, and 34" tires.

So, I have had air lockers, e lockers, detroits, and now truetracs over the years. I went with truetracs front and rear this last time and I will never own another selectable locker again. Not because they don't work, because they do. There are many reasons for me as to why I like my Truetracs. And you'll be getting reply's from people shortly that will argue about a selectable. In the end, it's your choice.

1. The Truetracs work too, and they WILL and DO lock up just like any other locker despite it actually being an LSD. Can't speak to this in Jeeps pre Brake Lock Diff, but the BLD and Truetracs are a perfect marriage in these newer jeeps. Us old school know how to make the parking brake work it. :)

2. No drilling in your housing to install it

3. No air lines or electrical wires to tear out leaving you without a functioning locker on the trail.

4. Doesn't require the LSD additive, just strait 80W-90

5. It's automatic, locks up when you need it and acts like an open diff when you don't. on the trail and on the highway.

In the end, it's your call. They all work and they all serve their purpose, to increase traction. With a newer jeep like yours and a dana 30, I don't think you can get any better than a TT. When I did my TT, I went to Yukon 4.56 gears as well, FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lots and lots of opinionative questions. First off, i'd be interested in how you smoked a gear with a basically stock JK, open front diff, and 34" tires.
It was muddy, steep and slippery and we spun the tires a bit but honestly I'm not really sure as we didn't hammer it that hard. My general idea is save the jeep and pull the winch line - that's what I bought it for. That's what we did this time too. But a few miles down the road later we had no front drive.

Thank you for your opinions. Can you answer one question for me - why would you chose the True Trac over the E-locker for essentially the same money? Is it just in reliability or is there something else?
 

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Well, it's not the same money. I was wondering where you were getting that at. Here is a link to Summit Racing, which is where I got mine and seems to be the cheapest on the TT. 389 bucks:

Eaton Detroit Truetrac Differentials 912A585 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing

Same place is the cheapest i've seen on E lockers too, difference is an E locker is 800 bucks:

Eaton Electronic ELocker Differentials 19818-010 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing

So unless someone slipped crack into my sweet tea, that's less than half the price. The TT is also going to be cheaper to install, since there is no drilling, lines to run, electrical connections to make, etc...


It was muddy, steep and slippery and we spun the tires a bit but honestly I'm not really sure as we didn't hammer it that hard. My general idea is save the jeep and pull the winch line - that's what I bought it for. That's what we did this time too. But a few miles down the road later we had no front drive.

Thank you for your opinions. Can you answer one question for me - why would you chose the True Trac over the E-locker for essentially the same money? Is it just in reliability or is there something else?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, it's not the same money. I was wondering where you were getting that at. Here is a link to Summit Racing, which is where I got mine and seems to be the cheapest on the TT. 389 bucks:
Ok, "essentially the same money" was probably minimizing the difference a bit. I was comparing $400 on the TT to $780 on the e-locker. When I was looking at having to replace everything for about $2000 I was thinking 'about $300' isn't enough difference to make a difference if the elocker was better. I guess it's all in the rounding. What's the quote? "A hundred here, a hundred there, somewhere along the line we are talking real money."
 

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tarpon4me speaks the truth, I have be involved in off-road with many different kinds of vehicles and sizes . the TT are a kind of best of both worlds if you take care of your vehicle and don't bash it around . I personally taken a rear only LSD pickup as far off as some guys with lockers in Jeeps, they were floored. You have to learn how to drive. If you go to some websites, A loaded 44 is there holy grail (or 60). but if you want to do that kind of thing build a King Of Hammers buggy and go for it, but is that what you want to use to pick up your kid at school or go to the store with.......
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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When it's all said and done, the E locker up front will cost you probably 500+- installed. That's a Diff. So if you did both front and rear, over 1K difference. 500 bucks might not be a lot to you, but that's a lot to me. That can buy a lot of other jeep parts, like bumpers, on board air, winch, suspension parts, 3 new wheels, and a couple hookers.

Ok, "essentially the same money" was probably minimizing the difference a bit. I was comparing $400 on the TT to $780 on the e-locker. When I was looking at having to replace everything for about $2000 I was thinking 'about $300' isn't enough difference to make a difference if the elocker was better. I guess it's all in the rounding. What's the quote? "A hundred here, a hundred there, somewhere along the line we are talking real money."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
3 new wheels, and a couple hookers.
:bop::bop::bop:

I guess you can take that anyway you want. Not sure I need new headers though. :)

I'm only doing the front but yah, $500 is a lot of money but money that I would spend IF it was that much better. Not so sure that it is.

Again, thank you for your input. I can't wait to see others'.
 

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There's a reason why Jeep doesn't put a selectable locker in a D30 from the factory. They know stuff will break and it would be a warranty nightmare..lol
 

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There's a reason why Jeep doesn't put a selectable locker in a D30 from the factory. They know stuff will break and it would be a warranty nightmare..lol
It looks like you put a tru trac in the front of yours? How is that any less hard on things once it is locked up? Are you comfortable with the TT and chromoly axles or did you do more to yours?
 

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It looks like you put a tru trac in the front of yours? How is that any less hard on things once it is locked up? Are you comfortable with the TT and chromoly axles or did you do more to yours?
yes when I decided to regear I did the ARB locker in rear but when it came to the front axle I didn't want to dump a lot of money into the D30 and the shop that did the work concurred being that I was going to install a D44 eventually. I had the Trutrac put in for better performance. It worked flawless and was a great up grade. The chromoly axle shafts were a up grade I wanted anyways also. I have since put a Dynatrac 44 up front , the D30 with the Trutrac in it did me very good while I had it and handled a lot of off road abuse . That being said got some decent money out of it when I upped to thee 44. I highly recommend the Trutrac as a alternative to a locker . Good luck with your decision. Guess I need to update my signature. lol..
 

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I know this subject has been beat to death. I know because I've spent a week trying to read everything I can and depending on how the topic is first approached I seem to see a lot of differing opinions on this but I am STILL left with questions. Hopefully this thread might help answer some of them.

I continually hear/read about how the D30 has weaknesses. 5000 mile JKU SPORT is coming out of the dealer today after destroying a spider gear on the trail. I don't want this happening again and I also don't want to worry about what else might happen - especially as we head around the country to wheel including Moab in May. I'm running 34" tires. This isn't some pre-runner that gets pounded everywhere and I don't really care for rock gardens but I do like hard trails and want to be able to climb a face ahead of me. We bought the Sport 1) because I didn't fully understand the difference in the Rubi and 2) because we thought we would figure out what parts we wanted to upgrade and do it then.

I am thinking that putting an Eaton E Locker in. Many say don't put a locker in the D30 because it will tear itself apart. But doesn't the Eaton replace the weaker gears and wouldn't that in combination with chromoly axles take care of all/most of the weak points? Further, I am thinking that being able to lock up the front and crawl up things rather than having to hit them harder/faster would actually be easier and break things less?

Second thing I am seeing is don't put a locker in the front if the rear only has Trac-Lok. Again, I want to crawl up things, not hit them harder and I'm thinking that locking the front end in combination with the Trac-Lok in the rear would only help?

Third. Some have suggested putting a Tru Trac in the front and this doesn't make sense to me as an E-locker is only a couple of hundred more and would seem much better. If an E-locker would tear up the front end why wouldn't a Tru Trac? How would a Tru Trac ever be better for a D30 than a full lock?

Finally, what else (short of a full D44 conversion - which I am considering I just don't know about the price...) could be done to strengthen up the D30.

While I know it might be time to sit back and enjoy the show, popcorn included, I'm also hoping to learn something that my peabrain hasn't picked up in the other threads. Thank you for your input.
I personally would not put chromoly axles up front in the D30. Mainly so that you can have some affect on where your weak point would be. Using chromoly shafts will shift even more stress into your R & P, which compared to a Rubi "D44" (it's not a real D44), is smaller and therefore weaker.

So...if it were me...I'd just use stock shafts, put whatever traction device you want, regear to a MAX of 4.56 (to keep more meat on the gears), and have them Cryo'd. Cryo treatment is reported to increase strength by around 150% (depends on who you are reading), so I get conservative and say half that...which is decent for under $100. And, being in the "if it were me" paragraph, I'd put a lunch box locker in there and call it a day. An Aussie locker is proven to be plenty-strong, and it replaces your spider gears, so no need to worry about those anymore :thumb: . It doesn't lock unless you're in 4wd anyway (have lived in ME and CO with a similar setup...it's not dangerous if you know how to drive lol).

Be sure to gusset those C's (around $30 to $40 for parts). VERY cheap insurance for them.

Anything can and will break under the right conditions. Driver skill is the deciding factor.

Looks like you live in a great part of the country with access to some amazing trails. You dawg! :beerdrinking:
 
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