Axle Housing Reinforcements? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Axle Housing Reinforcements?

Please post up your thoughts. I'm thinking of ordering Poly's C-gussets and am wondering what else might be a good idea while I'm doing the welding.

Things like sleeves look nice but they seem like they are just unnecessary for a weekend wheeler like me. (For reference: https://jkowners.com/tech/axle/index.php) The C-gussets are only $65 and look like they are a worthwhile investment.

What about things like replacing the shock mounts or installing control arm skids? Are they a good idea or a waste of time and money?

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post #2 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 10:36 AM
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I have c gussets, and control arm mount skids with the 35s. I feel I'm pretty good with that on the front end. I'd like to have rear shock mount reinforcements, mine are thrashed.

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post #3 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 12:43 PM
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I say the control arm skids are worth the $. I bashed my LCA skid several times last time out and it's holding just fine. Not sure an un-beefed up control arm bracket would have held up.

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post #4 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 12:49 PM
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What size tire are you running?
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post #5 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ALASHA View Post
What size tire are you running?
Still stock size (rubicon) but I have my eye on some 35x12.50x17's.

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post #6 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fnc View Post
Still stock size (rubicon) but I have my eye on some 35x12.50x17's.
I think if you plan on regearing as well, it would be cheap insurance to sleeve it while you are in there.
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 01:42 PM
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A weekend wheeler like me broke a housing on a relatively minor muddy hill. I strongly recommend you consider sleeving the axle now vice being in a similar predicament later. Believe me, I wondered what people were doing to these axles to break them, and I am finding out that it's not always that much.

A sleeving kit is only a couple hundred at most, and even if you can't or don't know someone who can weld, it's still a good deal, vice a $2000 axle housing, whatever is broken inside, and few hundred dollars or more for towing out of BFE. Especially when you are waiting around for days to see if your warranty or auto insurance is going to cover it or not.

Do a search for broken JK axles and seriously consider spending a few hundred bucks now, vice potentially thousands later.
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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What about truss vs. sleeve?

Also, who all makes either product. I know Rock Krawler offers a truss.

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post #9 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 03:56 PM
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I have been doing the same research lately.

Regarding the sleeves. Poly, Benchmark, Teraflex, RSE, OffRoad Evo, TMR Customs, all make the products.

I am looking at the Teraflex just becasue they are the cheapest for me here in Canada.

RK and Poly makes a truss, Poly Performance and RSE make an outer sleeve kit.

I think you could fab a truss up yourself pretty easily. I plan on doing purchasing the sleeves and c-gussets, and building my own truss and LCA bracket skids.
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
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What about truss vs. sleeve?

Also, who all makes either product. I know Rock Krawler offers a truss.
I've seen a couple of JK's that had sleeved tubes and still had a crack where the axle tube meets the diff housing. I would truss the front (and the rear axle tubes), and at least do outer sleeves on the front.

If you plan to do that then it would also be a good opportunity to add new brackets- track-bar/ stabilizer, shock mounts, spring mounts, and LCA mounts.

Poly Performance makes a nice low profile front axle truss. That's what I used.

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post #11 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spillidge View Post
I have been doing the same research lately.

Regarding the sleeves. Poly, Benchmark, Teraflex, RSE, OffRoad Evo, TMR Customs, all make the products.

I am looking at the Teraflex just becasue they are the cheapest for me here in Canada.

RK and Poly makes a truss, Poly Performance and RSE make an outer sleeve kit.

I think you could fab a truss up yourself pretty easily. I plan on doing purchasing the sleeves and c-gussets, and building my own truss and LCA bracket skids.

Benchmark is right down the road from ya. And ya could bring me some of that Vodka you were talkin about while your down here. Thats who I'm going to go through.
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post #12 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 05:39 PM
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Mckbrew, fyi - I replaced a Dana 44 axle housing, new for $800 from Randy's Ring and Pinion.
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post #13 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 06:10 PM
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on my rubi 44 axle, I put the terraflex gussets, rockkrawler truss and the rock slide engineering outer bombshell kit...

http://www.rockslideengineering.com/...er-Axle/Detail

this outer axle kit fits around all original brackets,mounts and braces and just weld it on
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
Poly Performance makes a nice low profile front axle truss. That's what I used.
Did you do the RSE outer sleeves along with the Poly truss? I plan on doing both.

Did you extend the Poly truss out to the upper control arm mount on the passenger side?

How hard was it to weld to the cast center section?

Got any pics?
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post #15 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcally View Post
Did you do the RSE outer sleeves along with the Poly truss? I plan on doing both.

Did you extend the Poly truss out to the upper control arm mount on the passenger side?

How hard was it to weld to the cast center section?

Got any pics?
used the Poly sleeve kit and the Poly truss (home-fabbed truss on the rear).

I don't really think there is much need to extend it out. The main thing was to reinforce the area where the diff housing meets the axle tubes. The sleeves should prevent the tubes from twisting or bending, and the truss should prevent any cracks or bends at the housing.

I didn't do the welding. Not sure of any complications welding to the cast housing.

Detailed pics of the front and rear (page 6 you can see pix of the front truss):

Jeep Pictures http://s976.photobucket.com/albums/a...joe/jeep/Other
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcally View Post
Did you do the RSE outer sleeves along with the Poly truss? I plan on doing both.

Did you extend the Poly truss out to the upper control arm mount on the passenger side?

How hard was it to weld to the cast center section?

Got any pics?

From Poly:
http://www.polyperformance.com/instr...XLE-SLEEVE.pdf

Check page 4 of 5 item #20. A little pre heating then MIG or TIG. The best time to do it is when you do gears, you will need to replace the seal as well.

Mine has some tube and plate. Plenty of ready to weld in kits out there Poly/RK....









Lots of plug welds - 16 actually. Simple really took longer to drill the holes...

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post #17 of 30 Old 11-17-2010, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
used the Poly sleeve kit and the Poly truss (home-fabbed truss on the rear).

I don't really think there is much need to extend it out. The main thing was to reinforce the area where the diff housing meets the axle tubes. The sleeves should prevent the tubes from twisting or bending, and the truss should prevent any cracks or bends at the housing.

I didn't do the welding. Not sure of any complications welding to the cast housing.

Detailed pics of the front and rear (page 6 you can see pix of the front truss):

Jeep Pictures http://s976.photobucket.com/albums/a...joe/jeep/Other
Looks good!

What are they doing with the plugs in the axle tubes?
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post #18 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 07:57 AM
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Something to keep in mind with the sleeves is that they can cause axle shaft rub if the latter is not centered, which most aren't. I had a bitch of a time with Superior Evolution shafts rubbing the sleeve. Superior kindly made me up a set that are dead on the money which fixed the problem. Stock shafts had been rubbing, too, which I discovered when I pulled them to install my Spyntec hubs. That had caused a vibe I thought was the common front driveline vibration. Also caused it to pull to the right. As a result of all that, if I had to do it all over I'd probably not sleeve the axle but do the Poly outer cladding and truss, plus gussets. FWIW, I used the Teraflex sleeve & gusset kit which is excellent.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 09:16 AM
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I agree sleeves and gussets can be a good idea for many that go wheeling but there are other options that should be considered as well.

I've found that many users would have changed out their housings if we had the ProRock44 available when they started working on their front axle. Once a user starts making additions (even a gear swap) to their housing they feel married to it and are much less likely to want to throw away their aleady-spent cash and labor.

If you do the math and figure out what the needed additions cost, you'll find that a new housing is not a huge additional investment. Obviously, if you do all your own work the cost is greater but for the guy that pays to get this type of work done to his JK, the additional cost is very minimal.

Certainly, doing all the additions can be easier on the budget if you can't afford to do it all at once, but no amount of polish will make a stock housing much more than 'adequate'.
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcally View Post
Looks good!

What are they doing with the plugs in the axle tubes?
We plugged the tubes to help with heat displacement- so that the tubes would not warp or become out of round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
Something to keep in mind with the sleeves is that they can cause axle shaft rub if the latter is not centered, which most aren't. I had a bitch of a time with Superior Evolution shafts rubbing the sleeve. Superior kindly made me up a set that are dead on the money which fixed the problem. Stock shafts had been rubbing, too, which I discovered when I pulled them to install my Spyntec hubs. That had caused a vibe I thought was the common front driveline vibration. Also caused it to pull to the right. As a result of all that, if I had to do it all over I'd probably not sleeve the axle but do the Poly outer cladding and truss, plus gussets. FWIW, I used the Teraflex sleeve & gusset kit which is excellent.
Another thing to consider with inner sleeves. I think the outer sleeves combined with the Poly truss & brackets, Reid knuckles, and Dynatrac ball-joints will prove to be a very strong set-up on most trails.

Only thing left for me....is to upgrade to RCV shafts next year.

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post #21 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Gussets and a truss (prefab or homemade) look easy enough and inexpensive enough that it could do them myself in my garage with my Lincoln Pro-Mig140.

I like the look of the Poly gussets even though they are more expensive than the Teraflex but I'm thinking either would be just fine.

It might be willing to spend money on a prefabbed truss just because it would be easier, less time consuming, and look better. It even looks like with a little modification, a person could install both the Poly truss and the Rock Krawler truss if they wanted to for whatever reason.

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Originally Posted by Mr.RonGilbert View Post
Who makes this truss and do you have a part number? Or did you fabricate it yourself?

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Originally Posted by ALASHA View Post
I think if you plan on regearing as well, it would be cheap insurance to sleeve it while you are in there.
Re-gearing was something I wasnít planning on doing unless it became absolutely necessary. Iím currently torn between the Rock Krawler JK 2.5 Max Travel PRO Mid Arm System and their JK 3.5 X Factor Mid Arm System. Iím currently only interested in running 35ís but have the possible option of 37ís is appealing. (It takes less lift than these systems offer to run 35ís on my Rubicon but both of these systems would give me more performance and options than my needs require.) Is it safe to assume I could live with stock gears on 35ís but re-gearing should be done for 37ís? (I could always re-gear later regardless of what I do for reinforcement. It would just be a matter of more time and labor.)

Sleeves or new housings look like they might require a higher degree of skill and much more work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
used the Poly sleeve kit and the Poly truss (home-fabbed truss on the rear).

I don't really think there is much need to extend it out. The main thing was to reinforce the area where the diff housing meets the axle tubes. The sleeves should prevent the tubes from twisting or bending, and the truss should prevent any cracks or bends at the housing.

I didn't do the welding. Not sure of any complications welding to the cast housing.

Detailed pics of the front and rear (page 6 you can see pix of the front truss):

Jeep Pictures http://s976.photobucket.com/albums/a...joe/jeep/Other
I see in your pictures you stripped down to the bare axle housing and reattached all of the mountings after the sleeve work. Is this required for both the Poly and R-SE outer sleeves to be installed? This becomes an area of issue for a person like me. While Iím and experienced welder, I think my Lincoln could perform the work but it would be pushing its limits. Inner sleeves might be a better option for me. Both the Teraflex and Benchmark sleeves are comparable in price and should work just fine. Also, I donít mind disassembling the axles and putting them back in, but I would be pushing my skill limits cutting off all of the mounts and getting them welded back on in the correct positions with proper alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
Something to keep in mind with the sleeves is that they can cause axle shaft rub if the latter is not centered, which most aren't. I had a bitch of a time with Superior Evolution shafts rubbing the sleeve. Superior kindly made me up a set that are dead on the money which fixed the problem. Stock shafts had been rubbing, too, which I discovered when I pulled them to install my Spyntec hubs. That had caused a vibe I thought was the common front driveline vibration. Also caused it to pull to the right. As a result of all that, if I had to do it all over I'd probably not sleeve the axle but do the Poly outer cladding and truss, plus gussets. FWIW, I used the Teraflex sleeve & gusset kit which is excellent.
Any more information you could provide with the rubbing issue would be greatly appreciated. In my mind, Iím not quite seeing how the axles would rub unless they were too long or installed slightly askew. Both instances seem like they could fairly easily be prevented with forethought and extra attention to detail during thee installation. Where on the axles did the rubbing occur?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynatrac View Post
I agree sleeves and gussets can be a good idea for many that go wheeling but there are other options that should be considered as well.

I've found that many users would have changed out their housings if we had the ProRock44 available when they started working on their front axle. Once a user starts making additions (even a gear swap) to their housing they feel married to it and are much less likely to want to throw away their aleady-spent cash and labor.

If you do the math and figure out what the needed additions cost, you'll find that a new housing is not a huge additional investment. Obviously, if you do all your own work the cost is greater but for the guy that pays to get this type of work done to his JK, the additional cost is very minimal.

Certainly, doing all the additions can be easier on the budget if you can't afford to do it all at once, but no amount of polish will make a stock housing much more than 'adequate'.
Not a bad point however, on the Dynatrac website, I cannot locate the ProRock44 housing to even see how much it costs. Is it just the axles tubes that would need to be welded on or is it a full housing set up?

At some point I have to draw a line in just how far I go. Too much money and I might as well be looking at something like a new D60 set up for not a whole lot more money.

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post #22 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 12:56 PM
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We plugged the tubes to help with heat displacement- so that the tubes would not warp or become out of round.

I am new to welding and just learning. How would plugging both ends help displace the heat? Would it be better to just weld in small sections and let the housing cool down then weld another small section?

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post #23 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
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I see in your pictures you stripped down to the bare axle housing and reattached all of the mountings after the sleeve work. Is this required for both the Poly and R-SE outer sleeves to be installed? This becomes an area of issue for a person like me. While Iím and experienced welder, I think my Lincoln could perform the work but it would be pushing its limits. Inner sleeves might be a better option for me. Both the Teraflex and Benchmark sleeves are comparable in price and should work just fine. Also, I donít mind disassembling the axles and putting them back in, but I would be pushing my skill limits cutting off all of the mounts and getting them welded back on in the correct positions with proper alignment.
At least with the Poly outer sleeves....you will have to remove all the brackets. They suggest reusing the upper control arm brackets (which we did) and the spring perches (which we did not- instead using Poly spring perches).

Yea- you pretty much strip the axle to prep for the Poly outer sleeves. Not sure about RSE.

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post #24 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 01:01 PM
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I'm just jumping in here since I was on face book and saw pure jeep posting pictures of their truss. Keeps the stock control arm mounts.

Seemed like something I would be interested over sleeving or cutting off the stock mounts.

Just another, new, option..

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post #25 of 30 Old 11-18-2010, 01:04 PM
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Not sure about RSE.
With RSE you do not have to cut any of the stock mounts but it is not as strong as the Poly kit.
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