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Discussion Starter #1
I have been torn the past several months (or even years because it's always been in the back of my head) trying to decide if I want a front D44 or 1 tons. First, I have a jeep tj 4.0l D44 rear & d30 front 4.88 gears. I have been doing alot of research on axles lately. A couple of my buddies are really pushing me to get a sxs and I really have never been interested is the sxs side. I really don't want one. Just because the only places we go where I would really benifit from one is the sand dunes which we go to 3-5 times a summer and I get alot more fun out of playing on rocks. Something about me just has more fun being in a jeep and I have driven alot of sxs. When we go to off road parks I never regret being in a jeep vs. a sxs. So my thought process right now is to just get it to be a little more playful in the dunes but still gain alot of strength for playing in rocks. Also long term upgrades include a rear stretch and a engine swap. Short term would be the front axle along with coilovers or some really nice shocks and springs for the front. Rear already has outboarded fox resivors that would go with the rear stretch. (The rear towers that would get re used accept coilovers as well) and all 4 corners have speed bump bumps stops right now.

The reason I'm torn with the D44 is because

Pros:
A front D44 although harder to find could be alot less work for the front.

Once I do the stretch I don't even have to worry about the front axle

Cons:
I'm worried I could still bend a front D44 even with a truss if I took one to many hard hits on the dunes

I'm limited to width. But also trying to be realistic because living in michigan being a little narrower is nice most of the time in trails around here.

Unless I find a d44 already out of a tj/LJ the same amount of work is involved to bolt it in.

I love to go "fast" in my jeep on the dunes. Also I realize that fast is not very fast in a jeep. But you can still work up to some decent speed in the dunes no matter what engine. It's just the ride quality and then constantly worrying about bending an axle I always worry about

I probably wouldn't go above 37" tires because I like reliability.


The reason I'm torn about the D60 is because...

Pros:
I wouldn't ever have to worry about bending an axle really

It would be pretty awesome to have for when your playing in boulders confidently being on 40's

Cons:
Alot more work because if I do a d60 front I have no choice but to do a 60,10.5,14 bolt, etc. Rear axle at some point or along with it.

Are 1 tons just overkill for a light tj? Unless on extended trips I don't carry a spare, have and aluminum tailgate, and am working on aluminums bumpers. (Has steel rock sliders, bumpers, and a winch right now)

You are pretty much limited to wheeling minimum 40" tires due to ground clearance

What route would you guys go? The idea of staying light is really cool to me. But I also don't want to have to worry about bending axles even when they are both trussed. To me it looks like there are alot of routes you can go to get the bigger sizes ring and pinions and beefy axle shafts for when stuff does break so right now I guess I'm just concerned about stuff bending or constantly breaking once it's fully upgraded.
 

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Gustafson
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You say you like to go fast on the dunes, but you also like rock crawling. In my mind, that's 2 totally different rigs. The way you build them and set them up is apples to oranges.

On the front axle sizing; if you want to run 37" tires, you are already past the limits of a D44.

Just some things to think about.
 

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F-U-CANCER!!!
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It is pretty easy to see that you "want" to go d44. I do not think you would have to worry much about bending a trussed d44 at the dunes. 37 inch tires get a little sketchy on a d44. At the end of the day, you will have a tough decision on what you really wanna do to move forward.
 

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37s + dana 44 is something I would not recommend, especially if rock crawling.
I broke 4 chromoly dana 44 axle shafts on 35s before building a new axle.

It would take a serious hit to break a properly trussed dana 44. This is not something I would worry about.

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Gustafson
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37s + dana 44 is something I would not recommend, especially if rock crawling.
I broke 4 chromoly dana 44 axle shafts on 35s before building a new axle.

It would take a serious hit to break a properly trussed dana 44. This is not something I would worry about.

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So basically, don't go larger than 35s on the rocks and if you truss the axle correctly there's little chance of breaking it.
 

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F-U-CANCER!!!
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^^^ IDK He says he broke 4 shafts on 35's while running a d44...
 

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I drove the jeep hard on that dana 44, and it has a 400hp LS motor.

I blew 2 shafts apart on a full throttle hill climb at rocks and valleys. The front 2 tires were in the air when I got to the top and I did not let off when I landed. The tires grabbed the dirt and boom.

I blew another 2 shafts apart slow rock crawling at the badlands. This was right after I did many full throttle hits to make one of there big climbs, so my guess is they were hurt already from that.

I have also destroyed at least 2 ford 9" third members and at least 2 ford 9" 31 spline axle shafts both rock crawling and hill climbs.


All this happened on 35" maxxis trepador radials, and if I had to guess my jeep is on the lighter side around 3500 pounds. My style of wheeling/driving just did not cooperate with a dana 44. I will say though it wasnt always breaking on me, I did a lot of wheeling in between breaks. I ran a full RBOR race season on it with no issues and got 3rd overall in the MOD class. It also successfully got me through lions den in Harlan kentucky without breaking.




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Discussion Starter #9
You say you like to go fast on the dunes, but you also like rock crawling. In my mind, that's 2 totally different rigs. The way you build them and set them up is apples to oranges.

On the front axle sizing; if you want to run 37" tires, you are already past the limits of a D44.

Just some things to think about.
As far as shock tuning I guess I would have to find a happy medium. I guess fast isn't a good term for a jeep that will still see some rocks. But in my head I already go jeep fast on the dunes the ride quality is just really bad even with bumps and decent shocks/springs and the axles are a concern. I am starting to lean towards the 1 tons though. One guy mentioned alot of breaks with his driving style. With either axle swap I would definitely want to run at least 37's too... Maybe I'm thinking to far into but I'm guess I'm thinking like the every man challenge jeeps you see at koh. They seem like good all arounders sacrifices a little to do both
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I drove the jeep hard on that dana 44, and it has a 400hp LS motor.

I blew 2 shafts apart on a full throttle hill climb at rocks and valleys. The front 2 tires were in the air when I got to the top and I did not let off when I landed. The tires grabbed the dirt and boom.

I blew another 2 shafts apart slow rock crawling at the badlands. This was right after I did many full throttle hits to make one of there big climbs, so my guess is they were hurt already from that.

I have also destroyed at least 2 ford 9" third members and at least 2 ford 9" 31 spline axle shafts both rock crawling and hill climbs.


All this happened on 35" maxxis trepador radials, and if I had to guess my jeep is on the lighter side around 3500 pounds. My style of wheeling/driving just did not cooperate with a dana 44. I will say though it wasnt always breaking on me, I did a lot of wheeling in between breaks. I ran a full RBOR race season on it with no issues and got 3rd overall in the MOD class. It also successfully got me through lions den in Harlan kentucky without breaking.




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So what are you sitting on now? Sounds like a heavy foot but I would want to do the same having the suspension you got under there
 

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Unless ya buy a bolt in 44 from a rubi you still are gonna have the same amount of fabrication, I would truss any axle I swap in. It adds beef and easier to package
I’d go 60 just because you will end up there eventually and sd 60 is so cheap it’s a no brainer
My zj I built ran 36” iroks and was very reliable on a d30 and 8.8 but it was a crawler not a bouncer. It walked lions den pretty easy


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I'm not old, honest...
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"IF" you never plan to go about a 37" tire, stick with a D44. Truss it well, put in quality shafts and joints and go have fun.
"IF" you think you will ever jump up to a 39-40" tire - go D60.

End of story.
 

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So what are you sitting on now? Sounds like a heavy foot but I would want to do the same having the suspension you got under there
Same maxxis 35" tires, but I cut the front frame off and built all new with a double triangulated 4 link. Axle is a ford 9" center section with super duty dana 60 outers.


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