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Old August 18th, 2014, 10:03 AM   #1
Thor151
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Default 350/axle swap-Recommendations wanted

I am at a place in my life where I need to make some tough decisions… I have a 2006 rubicon with a stock 4.0 and a new head. I can't get past the crapy trans, sorry shift points, and lack of power. I am going to do a 350 swap. Please don't try to talk me into stoking my 4.0 I have several 350s and all the parts to go with them…. I am selling my K5 and have all kinds of attic stock parts that can be used. If I do the motor swap, what are your thoughts on axles and transmissions? I was just going to go with my 4L60 and the transfer case out of the Rubicon. After my decision to get rid of the terminal cancer patient K5, I am rethinking the Axle thing. I have a dana 60 front just laying around but it has a passenger drop. Here are some parts I have on hand. What would the best combo be? I would like an overdrive but not opposed to the 400hd. I have heard great things about the 241 but then I would have to come up with a new front axel.

4l60 plus whatever transfer case that came out of an 88 3/4 ton chevy
400hd out of chevy army truck
Turbo 350
Chevy dana 60 front (passenger drop)
14 bolt
205 transfer case
241 jeep transfer case (driver drop)
Chevy 3 speed with a creeper (not sure which trans)

I am looking to run 350 horse with 35-38's that are bulletproof. Would my axles hold up? What if I built the crap out of them or should I do some kind of swap? I would love to hear from you guys!
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Old August 18th, 2014, 01:14 PM   #2
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Building for 35-38" tires is tough. Really depends a lot on the driver. 35s with 1 tons = not the best ground clearance. Some people can make it live (myself, I've run 36s and 37s locked with dana 44s without issue), some like to hammer down and bounce the Jeep up obstacles and break everything.

It comes down to, imo, do you want a big fabrication project?

If you gut out the drivetrain, then you'd be able to sell the Rubi axles, and the T-case for good money, and the motor as well.

Once something is gone to full widths and 37-38s, I don't really see the point of overdrive, but everyone is different. If it were mine, I'd go TH350 and an NP208 modified for a fixed rear shaft, or a Dana 300. (which was the scrambler I was building: 5.3/TH350/D300/Dana 44s/36" swampers), and go dana 60/14b, with H2s or narrowed down to ~63" or so, and run 37-38s.

I think you could make it live with the stock axles, if you drove it reasonably. But the housings aren't the strongest, so I'd want to beef them up to prevent bending, and get some RCVs or allows up front, and run a 241 case with a SYE.


I'm in the same boat, trying to plan my CJ7.... 35s, without ever going bigger, can live with even a dana 30, if you are careful. Many times, D44s aren't any better. 36s or 37s are like no mans land...no axle is perfect in this range.
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Old August 18th, 2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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I am running a 350/th350/np205 with scout 44's on grooved 38" tsl sx's. ..

Front has a Detroit and drive slugs with chromo shafts.
Rear is welded with stock shafts.

Axles are not trussed or braced in any way...

I run about 5 psi with beadlocks when off road and get very good traction. I'm not afraid to let it roar a bit when needed, but try to keep in mind that I'm not on tons...

It has good clearance and I've only broken one chromo outer on the front. I have no idea when it broke, just went to drive it onto the trailer with no ramps and it wouldn't do it...

Not saying it is perfect, but seems to work for me. Depending on driving style and a good realization that you are not on tons it may work for you as well.


That being said.... jeep is likely going to be sold and Buggy built this winter... I want something to beat on to wheel with my Cheap Thrills club mates...

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Old August 18th, 2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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if your selling all the rubicon parts, just sell the whole jeep and start with a 4 cyl wrangler and go from there, you would get by cheaper in the long run .
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Old August 19th, 2014, 05:42 AM   #5
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I say 35's-38's but would love to run 40's if a 6inch long arm lift would clear them i really don't want to do a body lift.. I am not a rock beater, but i do like rocks and i hate breaking down on the trails...durability=good times
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Old August 19th, 2014, 06:29 AM   #6
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Hag gar is pretty much on. You are right at that transition point. When I did my 60/9" swap I was running 37's. After my first trip out running some rocky trails I jumped to 40's. I have no regrets with the jump to the bigger tires.
Running a D44, the weak point is the front u-joints. Prior to my 60 swap, I was running a D44/9" combo with alloy shafts and Yukon super joints. Prior to the Yukon joints, I broke front axle joints fairly often. After the upgrade, I never did. If you honestly don't plan to go bigger than a 37/38" tire, I would stick with some kind of D44/9" combo. If you honestly think you will eventually go bigger AND YOU HAVE THE PARTS ALREADY, I would go with the 60/14 combo that you own and figure out what transfer case you want to run. Honestly, with the stuff you have, sell everything you don't need and get a passenger drop Atlas and be done.

I'm running a TH350. Although it works great for me in slow crawling applications, there are times I wish I had an overdrive. Cruising the dunes or on faster trails in low range does not work so I need to up and downshift the t-case fairly often.

Good luck with the build.
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Old August 19th, 2014, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
I'm running a TH350. Although it works great for me in slow crawling applications, there are times I wish I had an overdrive. Cruising the dunes or on faster trails in low range does not work so I need to up and downshift the t-case fairly often..


I was considering just a 'normal' T-case ratio around 2-2.7 when I made my statement about not needing OD. If I was in the Atlas range, without an intermediate range, then it would be more important.

Definately think about what you are doing with the thing when selecting gearing. Much of 'Michigan' wheeling needs a certain amount of tire speed. Mud, Sand, Snow, and Hill Climbs all have something of a similar requirement. You want to be able to generate wheel speed, without running into the redline and having to shift.

My usual rule of thumb for a vehicle with an decent power to weight ratio (like a Jeep with a 350 V8), is that you really want a gear which gives you about 200-220 rpm per mph. So if you were going 1000-1100 rpm, then you'd be going 5 mph. 5000 rpm = 25 mph. etc...

The more powerful the engine, the lower this number can be.

Once I get that set, I let the crawl ratio fall where it may.
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Old August 19th, 2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandfox4 View Post
if your selling all the rubicon parts, just sell the whole jeep and start with a 4 cyl wrangler and go from there, you would get by cheaper in the long run .
This ^
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