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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1
shawn
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Default Tell me what to biuld

I am going to have to regear as soon as money allows. But I'm not sure I want to put any money in the front D30. I'll never go any bigger than 35's. So I don't need a 60. Would love to just biuld a mild hp44. I don't even mind keeping the D30 outers so I can stay 5 on 4.5.

What ya think?
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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hp30 and some alloys. a dana 44 is a waste of money IMHO
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepaholic View Post
hp30 and some alloys. a dana 44 is a waste of money IMHO
Yeah, that's kinda what I'm thinking. I was going to look for a Rubi front housing, but a hp30 is stronger (gear wise) than a lp44. And I believe the axle tubes are the same tubes on both the D30 and Rubi 44? And I think ARB even has a 30 spline locker for the D30?
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #4
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Yes the axle tubes out are the same between a rubi 44 and a 30. Yup had the "Super 30" kit in my Tj when I sold it. Had a 44 rear, alloys, disc, arb, 4:56 and a Super hp30 with the arb, alloys, 4:56 was a nice setup with the 34's
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Old January 11th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #5
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Now the question, 4.56 or 4.88. I frequently drive the freeway, and plan on getting some sort of small pop-up to tow for camping and wheeling around Michigan.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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i would say 4.56's that is about right for 35's.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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First I will tell you how to spell build.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #8
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honestly Shawn, I would build a 60. You wouldn't need alloy shafts or special high-dollar ujoints, just run stock parts. To narrow it, all you would need is one custom inner shaft for a couple hundo (or less) and it's bulletproof and already set up for high-steer.

by the time you build a HP30 with alloys, high quality Ujoints, good steering and good outers you could have just ran a 60. If you are worried about diff clearance then shave it (also free).
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Old January 14th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #9
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Build nothing.

I would re-grear and add a LockRight/Aussie in the front end if you plan to stop at a radial 35" tire.

Watch the for sale section or look in junkyards for a spare set or two of D30 shafts. I think I had maybe $100-150 into spare shafts.

I wouldn't bother with alloy shafts, a new axle, or anything else. That's what I did until I decided to go bigger, and I don't regret it. While I had my TJ on 33 swampers then 35 MTRs with a D30, I broke one u-joint and it went plenty of places (all over Michigan, Badlands, Paragon, Tellico, etc.).

I think part of the reason my D30 held together so well was the Lock Right. I never had to bomb up hills like folks in open diff'd rigs do. I could control my wheel spin, and didn't get into those stick/slip situations that blow an axle apart.

I ran 4.56 gears when I went to 35s with a 4.0/5spd and it did alright on the highway. I had low gears in the t-case, so I never felt it wasn't low enough off-road.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyJ View Post
Build nothing.

I would re-grear and add a LockRight/Aussie in the front end if you plan to stop at a radial 35" tire.

Watch the for sale section or look in junkyards for a spare set or two of D30 shafts. I think I had maybe $100-150 into spare shafts.

I wouldn't bother with alloy shafts, a new axle, or anything else. That's what I did until I decided to go bigger, and I don't regret it. While I had my TJ on 33 swampers then 35 MTRs with a D30, I broke one u-joint and it went plenty of places (all over Michigan, Badlands, Paragon, Tellico, etc.).

I think part of the reason my D30 held together so well was the Lock Right. I never had to bomb up hills like folks in open diff'd rigs do. I could control my wheel spin, and didn't get into those stick/slip situations that blow an axle apart.

I ran 4.56 gears when I went to 35s with a 4.0/5spd and it did alright on the highway. I had low gears in the t-case, so I never felt it wasn't low enough off-road.
I agree with this.

Going to a bigger heavier axle, especially around here where we deal with soft terrains -snow, sand, mud- that floation is important, does it really help you that much? Have to gauge how much you value not breaking something, vs how much it holds you back on the trail.

And regardless what people will tell you, that its OK weight to have because its low, or you can shave it, you will have ~200lbs extra weight, and it will cost you ground clearance. And those will hurt you.

And those who say to get a $500 dana 60 forget all of the maintenence items those axles usually need. And the new wheels you need. And the cost of narrowing it. And the fun of trying to fit a 60" wms dana 60 into your Jeep with all your links. And the changes you'll need to make to your brakes.


Parts break. Get spares and enjoy life.

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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #11
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Jim (Bult4Mud) seems to do pretty well with his D30. He's got alloy shafts, ARB locker, 4.11 (I think) gears, and the Warn manual hub conversion. I know he runs 35's and was considering switching to 36/37s.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
I agree with this.
x2. i would possibly truss the dana 30 up as well. even when I ran a dana 44 i saw u-joint failure before failure of the shafts. on the alloys they didn't break the ears off but on the stock one they did. either way the u-joint was the failing point. I wish I would of had a stock configuration so I could just slide in a new shaft. If you stick with a dana 30 grab extra shafts like mentioned before but also grab some unit bearings so you can just unbolt the wheel and the three unit bearing mounting bolts and slide one in quick. I would avoid the super kits because its never fun waiting around for replacment parts when you could could be running something that is easier to find parts for.



but on the other hand I would build a dana 60 before i sunk the money into building a dana 44 for a TJ even a Rubicon one. you can also shave a 60 to get the clearance of a dana 44 and then swap in aftermarket rear shafts for 5x5.5 and have someone machine your dana60 hubs to 5x5.5
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #13
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hp30 and 4.56's. Wait until you break the one on it now then replace.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #14
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I agree with JohnnyJ as well except for the LockRright. Never been a fan of lunchbox lockers. As long as you have to regear anyway, why not spend the bit extra for a Detroit or selectable of some type. Between the lunchbox and new open carrier you're half way or more to a Detroit already.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #15
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The strength gain in an HP30 isn't worth the swap unless you get the axle for free. Gear strength of a d30 isn't typically an issue unless the gears are poorly setup, or your rough on the drive line. I completely agree with keeping stock shafts, re-gearing, and adding a lunchbox. I prefer the Aussie Locker, but YMMV.

I didn't buy alloy shafts for anything until I built my 609. I've been in a lot of crazy places with stock d44 shafts and 36's with no breakages. Only once did I break a shaft at the shaft, typically it was at the yoke. Never at the splines.

My experience has been:
D30 with 260 shafts and Spicer joints with 31-33" AT's; open.
D30 with 297 shafts and Spicer joints with 33-35" MT's; locked.
D44 with 297 shafts and Spicer joints with 36" SX's; lunchbox & ARB.

The only time I broke a 297 d30 shaft was full lock reverse locked on 35's. Broke a joint (probably a Brute Force) and took out the ears.

When I switched to an ARB is when I started destroying D44 shafts. But it never surprised me, I was always driving silly when it happened.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #16
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JohnnyJ is spot on. Lock up what you have as cheap as you can and buy some spare shafts. The best way is to have a complete set of inner/outer shafts with joints already paired up with a unit bearing. Takes less than a half hour to change on the trail.

I would not waste the money on a Detroit or other form of replacement carrier. You know how easy I am on my stuff. When I was running my D30/35 combo with my V8, I never had a problem with a front dif........... ever. Just joints & shafts. I exploded my rear dif once. Actually the Saturday before I was supposed to pull it & it was already sold. But when I did, I was pounding it hard on a hill that I couldn't get up. Most people would say I was being stupid..... at least that's what my wife said.

If you're going to stay with basic Michigan wheeling with shorter tires, stay with what you have & deal with the repairs now and then. And then do what John and Daryl said, start accumulating parts and put in a 60 when you feel the need.

My guess is you will never feel the need.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #17
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I've read up on HP fronts and it always made sense that the gears were much stronger in HP fashion, but I'll let the experience on this board speak for that. Although, on one of my trails rides at SnoFari Shane was running a LP30 and that ring and pinion stripped (at least that's what it looked like to me).

I think I'll probably end up with 4.56's, keep the D30 turd, and most likely get a selectable for it. I've had Detroits front and rear before on my last rig that I drove everywhere, and winter driving was SCARY! Heck, even parking lot driving could be interesting.

A few of my biggest problems building a front 60 are;
1) because of width and bolt pattern I now have to build a rear 60
2) I don't think I need it
3) $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ( it has to be street able, so steering gearing and locking all have to be done right and that means $$$$$)
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #18
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HP gears are stronger going forward in a front application, and weaker going backwards. A quality, well setup gearset in a d30 will take some abuse.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #19
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Shawn I have this real nice army truck with 44/60 & 4:11s that could be just what you need? I will make you a hell of a deal. plus it would upgrade you to 8 lug wheels.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #20
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There is lots of talk about axles so I'll address the gears. I had 4.56s in my TJ with 35s and it did fine, but I did want a little more gear for highways. Granted, I would be turning more rpms, but I would have more power for passing. I would still have to downshift on some hills with the 4.56s.

This is also with the manual. If yours has the 3sp auto, then you better stick with 4.56s.
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