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post #1 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Point me in the right direction?

Hey guys, I recently picked up a new JKU. Already in love, and can't wait to start lifting it, and tinkering around with it. I have a couple quick questions that I'm hoping I can get cleared up. I bought a sport, because the end goal is to gut the front axle for a true 44, and from what I read, the Rubicon isn't a true 44, and would need to be swapped anyway. Also, I'll be running 37s, so the 4.10s didn't do me much good in the long run either.

So my questions start there. I wanna wheel the little dana 30 in the front until it breaks, and then swap out axles. Should I stay with 35s and a 3.5-4 inch lift for now? My thought process here is to make the jeep capable off road without prematurely destroying that axle. I want the 3.5-4 inch to give myself room to grow into the 37s, so I'm not re-doing work down the road. Or, should I gusset and truss the little 30, and just have at it with the 37s and some steep gears?

A little background, I live in Las Vegas, so trails aren't much out here. It's mostly sand, and mild trails in the mountains. Secondly, I have no idea what gears to run. I've narrowed it down to 4.88 and 5.13, but it seems like those are both personal preference gears. This is the DD, so I'm leaning more into the 4.88 since I don't need a racecar, and a lot of the drive to work is on the highway.

My end goal is to have a capable rig with 37 inch tires, and enough lift to comfortably let them stretch their legs. If sleeving the axle, and adding the reinforcements will see my front axle a reasonably long life, then I will pursue that route. I just don't want to be throwing money away to an extent. I know eventually the 30 will fail in the end, and I'm ok with that. But if it won't last too long, I'll stick with 35s for a little while until I can source a 44 and build it.

Third, I understand the backspacing, and trimming fenders aspect of stuffing tires, but how safe are wheel spacers on these jeeps? I will certainly go with hub centric vs lug centric, but coming over from the lifted diesel truck scene, wheel spacers are pretty taboo. I know the jeeps weigh a lot less, but I don't wanna be blowing wheel bearings out quickly if I can just do something else. Ideally I would just find a properly spaced rim, but if that becomes a loss cause, I wanna know my options.

Fourth, I've read into the Teraflex lift kit, and it looks to be a great deal, and I will probably end up with it on my jeep. Has anyone had any problems with it? I've read a lot of great things about it, but I haven't heard many negative things.

I've tried to read up on this jeep a fair amount before clogging up the forum with redundant threads, so if I'm asking commonly answered questions, could you please link me over to the information? Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 06:39 PM
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What year ?

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Building a capable off road Jeep is easy...building a street legal one that you can drive two hours away to wheel and then drive to work the following morning is the challenge...
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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What year ?
2015. It's brand new. But from my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the suspension on the 15 shares the same setup as the 07+ 4 door wranglers?
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 06:59 PM
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Finding a "true" 44 that fits in the JK is going to be tough to impossible. You will spend as much on one as building something like an 05+ super 60. Check out some of the recent threads on building the 05+ super duty axles.

If you are going to build an axle, might as well BUILD AN AXLE.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Finding a "true" 44 that fits in the JK is going to be tough to impossible. You will spend as much on one as building something like an 05+ super 60. Check out some of the recent threads on building the 05+ super duty axles.

If you are going to build an axle, might as well BUILD AN AXLE.

It's funny you say that, because this is what I was driving up until this past weekend. It's an 02, but I loved the axles under it. I need to do some research on how to swap out those axles. That seems to be getting into full on fab work, and I'm not going to lie, is exceedingly intimidating. I haven't even put 200 miles on this jeep yet!!
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 09:57 PM
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The ready-to-bolt-up aftermarket 44's from Dynatrac and Teraflex run around 5k (depending on components). The new G2's are a bit cheaper, but, still new and there is some speculation on them. All of these options offer beefier housings than the stock ones, with several options for tube diameter and thickness. You can run stock rubi 44 internals, or a choice of aftermarket. All will use the same gears as jk d44's, and also the same brakes and hubs.

There are several bolt-up d60 (or better) options available. Some are quite pricey. The new Ultimate 60's have been getting a lot of attention recently, so may be worth a look.

And as noted, there are quite a few junkyard build threads to read through if you want to try your hand at that.

What gears do you have now? With the new engine, some people report that they are ok on 35's with stock gears. Some even say they are ok on 37's. Drive it with the new tires before looking too far into gears.

There are quite a few wheel spacer threads to read through. Install them right, and maintain them, and you won't have a problem. It seems that the few negative reports of problems can be traced back to leaving the clips on the studs or installing and then forgetting about them. But I agree that buying properly backspaced rims is a better choice than spacers.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not opposed to a junkyard build, I have no welding experience, so would have to source that out. And as stated earlier, it's a brand new jeep, so I'm exactly chomping at the bit to start throwing a D60 under it immediately.

Can anyone comment on the life expectancy of a D30 reinforced with 37s?
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 10:26 PM
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Can anyone comment on the life expectancy of a D30 reinforced with 37s?
LOL. Opening a can of worms on that one. You will get replies from people running 37's on bone stock axles who say they are fine. Replies from people who have bent/shattered housings with sleeves and trusses. And you might even get replies from people running stock 29" tires who bent/shattered the front housing just hitting a pothole. Roll of the dice. Price out the upgrades and the labor and decide if that money would be better spent toward an upgrade.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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LOL. Opening a can of worms on that one. You will get replies from people running 37's on bone stock axles who say they are fine. Replies from people who have bent/shattered housings with sleeves and trusses. And you might even get replies from people running stock 29" tires who bent/shattered the front housing just hitting a pothole. Roll of the dice. Price out the upgrades and the labor and decide if that money would be better spent toward an upgrade.
Unfortunately, that's what I was getting from reading around too. It seemed most of the people running 37s on mildly built axles like I want to do that had success weren't wheeling their jeeps hard, and were responsible Not to say the people who break their jeeps are irresponsible, but it just seemed like the mall crawlers and less than weekend warriors had decent success. If I get a year out of them, that would give me time to build a full D60 for the front, and decide on the rear, if I wanna go Dana or sterling or something else from yesteryear. I may end up just doing 35s for a while until I can go full assault, and then step up to 37s. Who knows! I may like 35s and be content. I doubt it, but it's a start.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 10:56 PM
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I would say put the lift on, put a set of 35's on and depending on what you got left in your budget go for the rims or spacers. I wouldn't put any money into the Dana 30. I would save your money for step 2 of putting a new front axle Dana 44/60 at which point I would re-gear, as long as your current gears are 3.73. If not I would look for a set of used gears for the 30 and re-gear sooner.

opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one and some stink
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-31-2015, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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I would say put the lift on, put a set of 35's on and depending on what you got left in your budget go for the rims or spacers. I wouldn't put any money into the Dana 30. I would save your money for step 2 of putting a new front axle Dana 44/60 at which point I would re-gear, as long as your current gears are 3.73. If not I would look for a set of used gears for the 30 and re-gear sooner.
Yes, I have 3.73 gearing in the jeep. I'm leaning more towards that, since I can find/hangle for a set of used 35s for very little out of pocket cost, and at least start enjoying the jeep.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what D30 axles sell for? I'm just wondering if there is even a market for them, or if I should count the axle as a total loss?
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-01-2015, 01:52 PM
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Can anyone comment on the life expectancy of a D30 reinforced with 37s?
To reinforce any of the axles under one of our jeeps, be it a D30 or D44 is basically the same since from the housing out, they are the same.

truss and c gussets. The problem with something like the Artec truss is that if you arent running some lift(I think Artec recommends minimum 2.5") the truss can and will hit things.

Ball joints: synergy, teraflex, dyantrac, rare parts. Get the factory crap out of there.

Then you are talking gears and lockers probably. People who say "3.73's are fine with 37's" have probably NEVER driven a properly geared Jeep. Everybody is surprised when I tell them "I have 37's, 4.88's and get 17.5 mpg" when they say "my buddy had 37's and got 8mpg", probably wasnt geared. I ALMOST wish I had gone to 5.13's instead of 4.88's, but then in a the D44 your ring gear is getting pretty thin.

Then you get into axle shafts.

THEN you still have the weak link of the small ring gear in the D30, double so if you put 4.88 gears in it for the 37's.

THEN if/when you go to D60's, your wheels have to be changed...AGAIN.

Its never ending. I saved and did my entire build at one time except for doing D60 axles, so only thing I will have to swap out is my wheels.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-01-2015, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rjacobs View Post
To reinforce any of the axles under one of our jeeps, be it a D30 or D44 is basically the same since from the housing out, they are the same.

truss and c gussets. The problem with something like the Artec truss is that if you arent running some lift(I think Artec recommends minimum 2.5") the truss can and will hit things.

Ball joints: synergy, teraflex, dyantrac, rare parts. Get the factory crap out of there.

Then you are talking gears and lockers probably. People who say "3.73's are fine with 37's" have probably NEVER driven a properly geared Jeep. Everybody is surprised when I tell them "I have 37's, 4.88's and get 17.5 mpg" when they say "my buddy had 37's and got 8mpg", probably wasnt geared. I ALMOST wish I had gone to 5.13's instead of 4.88's, but then in a the D44 your ring gear is getting pretty thin.

Then you get into axle shafts.

THEN you still have the weak link of the small ring gear in the D30, double so if you put 4.88 gears in it for the 37's.

THEN if/when you go to D60's, your wheels have to be changed...AGAIN.

Its never ending. I saved and did my entire build at one time except for doing D60 axles, so only thing I will have to swap out is my wheels.
I think my plan for now is to go with teraflex 4 inch lift, and some used 35s to get an idea how the jeep works, ie: the weaknesses I find, and things I don't like. Then I will source out the 60s, and start building them while I wheel on 35s. I will just run 3.73 and 35s, and deal with the sluggishness of the jeep. No speeding tickets right? I'll run smaller rims, and bigger rubber to save on weight as well. I just need to start researching what rear axle I want to run. If I wanna stay in the dana family, or move to sterling axles or what.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-01-2015, 07:29 PM
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what D30 axles sell for? I'm just wondering if there is even a market for them, or if I should count the axle as a total loss?
I ended up giving my D30 away to get it out of my garage. You probably can sell it, but you will want to sell it local because shipping would be more than you can sell it for.

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post #15 of 16 Old 06-02-2015, 07:14 AM
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I think my plan for now is to go with teraflex 4 inch lift, and some used 35s to get an idea how the jeep works, ie: the weaknesses I find, and things I don't like. Then I will source out the 60s, and start building them while I wheel on 35s. I will just run 3.73 and 35s, and deal with the sluggishness of the jeep. No speeding tickets right? I'll run smaller rims, and bigger rubber to save on weight as well. I just need to start researching what rear axle I want to run. If I wanna stay in the dana family, or move to sterling axles or what.
I wouldnt even do anything to the D30. If it breaks it breaks. It aint worth nothing anyway.

As far as "smaller wheels and bigger rubber to save weight" I wouldnt count that to work out for you. From what I know the difference between a 15x35 vs. a 17x37 is maybe 3-5lbs(thats talking tire weight difference), so a 17x35 would probably weigh LESS than a 15x35. 17" wheel may or may NOT weigh more than a 15" wheel.

Most people who do the 05+ super 60 front seem to do the 10.5" 14b out of the 99+ chevy 2500/3500 gas motor trucks. The d60's and sterling 10.5" that are in some of those trucks dont really fit in the JK due to center section offset.
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-03-2015, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldnt even do anything to the D30. If it breaks it breaks. It aint worth nothing anyway.

As far as "smaller wheels and bigger rubber to save weight" I wouldnt count that to work out for you. From what I know the difference between a 15x35 vs. a 17x37 is maybe 3-5lbs(thats talking tire weight difference), so a 17x35 would probably weigh LESS than a 15x35. 17" wheel may or may NOT weigh more than a 15" wheel.

Most people who do the 05+ super 60 front seem to do the 10.5" 14b out of the 99+ chevy 2500/3500 gas motor trucks. The d60's and sterling 10.5" that are in some of those trucks dont really fit in the JK due to center section offset.
I found some 35s last night for an amazing deal I couldn't pass up. I think my plan for now is to run the 4 inch lift kit, and these 35s until something breaks, and then build as needed. How gutless will this engine be with 35s and 3.73s? I'm guessing it'll be pretty bad...
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