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TJ Axle Upgrade
Need advice and recommendations
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

August 26, 2022 - 8:10 am

1

I want to upgrade my front Dana 30 to a Dana 44 due to a damaged ARB locker which resulted from breaking the axle shaft. I'm looking for advice and recommendations as to how to proceed. Questions include:

1. What should I get? I have a rear ARB air locker so I want to stay with one in the front as well. I'm running 4.88 gears and 35" tires.

2. What shop should I use to do the work if I don't do it myself?

3. If I do it "myself" (i.e. not through a shop), I will need lots of assistance since I'm not a mechanic. Is it worth trying or should I just use a shop?

4. Are there any other upgrades or things I should consider doing at the same time? I'm considering new shocks and tires, possible will go with bead locks.

TIA!

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Gilbert & Betty
El Dorado Hills
Posts: 1363

August 27, 2022 - 8:24 am

2

If you use a shop think about River City. I’ve heard good things about them. They may even be able too help with finding a D44 or a D44 housing for you. As for helping I’m willing to help. I can move parts and turn wrenches. 

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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

August 27, 2022 - 9:17 am

3

Gilbert & Betty said
If you use a shop think about River City. I’ve heard good things about them. They may even be able too help with finding a D44 or a D44 housing for you. As for helping I’m willing to help. I can move parts and turn wrenches. 

  

I'm planning to call WFO on Monday. I went there earlier this week and they didn't seem too interested and said axles were six months out. I called River City and they said they did one a week or two ago and that it only took a few days to get all the parts. I might take the Jeep down there and talk to them in person.

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Gilbert & Betty
El Dorado Hills
Posts: 1363

August 27, 2022 - 6:44 pm

4

Jeff_R said

Gilbert & Betty said

If you use a shop think about River City. I’ve heard good things about them. They may even be able too help with finding a D44 or a D44 housing for you. As for helping I’m willing to help. I can move parts and turn wrenches. 

  

I'm planning to call WFO on Monday. I went there earlier this week and they didn't seem too interested and said axles were six months out. I called River City and they said they did one a week or two ago and that it only took a few days to get all the parts. I might take the Jeep down there and talk to them in person.

  

Yeah, I'm sure they will remember the jeep laughing

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Guy and Lynda
Posts: 1268
August 28, 2022 - 7:24 am

5

Jeff - you may want to try cloakworks; they have done excellent work for me & Brad. Unless you buy a packaged axle assembly, differential work should be left to experienced people for best long-term results. Even the Balkins went to the outside for that kind of help.

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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom
Posts: 558

August 28, 2022 - 1:32 pm

6

I was happy with my recent experince at Cloakworks as well, they did my PSC system, new control arms and springs all around.

Guy and Lynda said
Jeff - you may want to try cloakworks; they have done excellent work for me & Brad. Unless you buy a packaged axle assembly, differential work should be left to experienced people for best long-term results. Even the Balkins went to the outside for that kind of help.

  

K6NUB

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kris_olof
El Dorado
Posts: 997

August 28, 2022 - 4:52 pm

7

I would push for going with JK44s, cut the brackets off, and then use the Artec JK2TJ trusses.  I second Sean at River City to do the gear and locker work but everything else is bolt on or simple weld on stuff.  

If you are already considering new wheels and tires then the timing is perfect for the JK axles since they are 5x5 rather than your current 5x4.5.  And since the axles can handle it, you might as well pull the trigger for 37s and maybe go 5.13s for gearing.

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Sloguy
Posts: 218

August 29, 2022 - 11:41 am

8

I am willing to help as much as I can Jeff.

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Guy and Lynda
Posts: 1268
August 29, 2022 - 3:33 pm

9

Jeff - Depending on all the things you can buy & install, I too can lend a hand. By the time you get all the parts you want to install, it'll be sometime in 2023, the way things go nowadays!

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k-jeep
Parts Unknown
Posts: 2155

August 30, 2022 - 7:14 pm

10

Depending on the direction you go, a work party may be on order. grin

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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

September 9, 2022 - 12:08 pm

11

I told WFO to order the G2 axel they recommended. It is a G2 Axle and Gear CORE 44 Front Axle Assembly with 5.13 Gears and ARB Air Locker - C4TSFS513AC0. I'm going to have them re-gear the rear to match the 513 new G2 front. Quote says 3 to 4 months as like many things, there is a supply chain problem. Since it is not too late to make any changes, any thoughts or advice? Here is a link to the axel and specs on 4Wheel parts website: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/.....TSFS513AC0

 Comes with an ARB locker and 30 spline G2 Chromoly Axle shafts (inner and outers).

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kris_olof
El Dorado
Posts: 997

September 9, 2022 - 3:59 pm

12

Those are 30 spline inners but only stock 27 spline outers.  Basically you get the stronger HP 44 JK ring and pinion, stronger 30 spline inners, but still 1310 series wheel joints, 27 spline stub shafts, small stock brakes.  

As you found out, your 27 spline shafts are your current weak link.  Upgrading the inner is a good step but still leaves you with a similar strength outer. (stub shafts typically have better heat treating due to their size but still 27 spline).  As gill found out, the 1310 u-joint is also running near its limit for 35s.  

If you go with that axle as spec'd there are a few options to upgrade the outers for security:

First would be RCVs - $1250 to 1400 (depending on specific application as ARB wants the shaft a slightly different length than OEM locker but the 300m 27 spline would be significantly stronger than even chromo units).

Second would be a 30 spline outer kit like this: https://www.alloyusa.com/alloy.....12168.html - $650

Third, Revolution sells a u-joint upgrade kit that goes to larger JK 1350 u-joints for like $950 but would need to be used with specific ball joints and im not sure if they have a 30 spline outer version.

In both cases I would spend the coin to upgrade brakes to something like vanco or a WJ knuckle swap ($1400 for vanco or $500ish with some minor welding and drilling for WJ brakes with brand new brake parts and used knuckles).

Alternatively, you could ask them to customize it and do JK inner C's and shafts with JK u-joints and jk32 spline outers.  I have a complete JK 30 in my shop you can take the outers and brakes off for price of some beer.  You would be onto 5x5 bolt pattern wheels but I bet your existing rear shafts and rotors could be re-drilled by a competent machine shop for a decent price.  I will take some measurements on my JK axle to verify front WMS stays approx the same in the morning. 

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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

September 24, 2022 - 9:50 am

13

I have a question on breaking in my new front gears. Since I have an Atlas t-case, do I have to have my Jeep in 4WD in order to break-in the front gears? When my t-case shifters are set in the rear 2WD position, my front driveshaft is in neutral. So if I do the recommend break-in in 2WD, are the front and rear gears getting broken in equally with the rear or do I need to run it in 4WD to give the front gears the same amount of use as the rear gears? I think that my front tires should turn the front gears and front driveshaft in 2WD since the driveshaft would be disengaged in the t-case. So I think running in 2WD should break-in the front gears at the same rate as the rear but I just want to confirm. 

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JohnDF
Posts: 9474

September 24, 2022 - 8:28 pm

14

Jeff_R said
I have a question on breaking in my new front gears. Since I have an Atlas t-case, do I have to have my Jeep in 4WD in order to break-in the front gears? When my t-case shifters are set in the rear 2WD position, my front driveshaft is in neutral. So if I do the recommend break-in in 2WD, are the front and rear gears getting broken in equally with the rear or do I need to run it in 4WD to give the front gears the same amount of use as the rear gears? I think that my front tires should turn the front gears and front driveshaft in 2WD since the driveshaft would be disengaged in the t-case. So I think running in 2WD should break-in the front gears at the same rate as the rear but I just want to confirm. 

  

Do you have hubs?

I used to wheel a lot. . .

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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

September 24, 2022 - 11:04 pm

15

JohnDF said

Do you have hubs?

  

No, no hubs.

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JohnDF
Posts: 9474

September 25, 2022 - 5:55 am

16

Jeff_R said

JohnDF said

Do you have hubs?

  

No, no hubs.

  

Then your axle shafts will spin as you drive and so will your gears. thumbs-up

I used to wheel a lot. . .

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Sloguy
Posts: 218

September 25, 2022 - 9:52 am

17

Hey Jeff,

 

Is the time line still looking good for Friday???

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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

September 25, 2022 - 10:57 am

18

Sloguy said
Hey Jeff,

 

Is the time line still looking good for Friday???

  

I'm dropping the Jeep off first thing on Monday. We shall see.

Avatar
Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
Posts: 1436

September 26, 2022 - 9:17 am

19

New axle arrived and the install should start later today according to WFO.

IMG_1420.jpgImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
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JohnDF
Posts: 9474

September 26, 2022 - 10:54 am

20

Looks Sweet!

I used to wheel a lot. . .

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Gilbert & Betty
El Dorado Hills
Posts: 1363

September 26, 2022 - 12:44 pm

21

Jeff_R said
New axle arrived and the install should start later today according to WFO.

IMG_1420.jpgImage Enlarger

  

thumbs-uplooking good you'll like the up grade

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