Bought tons VS built tons. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Bought tons VS built tons.

So I've been looking at going tons on Hardway. I have wheeled the piss out of it the last two years, put 50k miles on it two sets of 37s, minor damage , shafts ,U joints , bent flanges, typical stuff for 44s.
Is it really cheaper to build tons or to just buy a set ? I can do everything myself I have access to a welder can turn my wrenches no problem.
But then you look at a set of Fusion, UD60s, Daynas or RJ all in the 15 to 19k price range and pretty much bolt on with a warranty. It's a tough choice. We have plenty of guy in our clubs that are now running tons and coils and 40s.
They say its cheaper to build, but is it? .
Some have problems with the clearance or the speed sensor's or locker issues.
Just looking for some feedback from some of you out there in the 4x4 world.
Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 11:26 AM
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I've spent an ungodly amount of time on this subject since I joined a real crawling club. I need more stout housings to , likewise , shoot w/ the dudes rollin' on 40s & tons in my club, since it seems they're the ones having the most fun.
I get down into the discussion w/ my better half & it always ends in ," that Unlimited JK is so nice. Some family could get into offroading like we did with it ..." or ," that thing is too nice to do what you're about to do with it , kiss what little of its resale value goodbye once you roll it ..." & ," are you honestly going to spend $20k more for 1500 additional pounds of rolling weight on the already insanely expensively setup JKU that we will never see back again ?!?! only to then want a V8 or diesel in it since even with 5.13 gears , it isn't going to be drive able with tons & 40s on it. ..."

we decide it'd just be best to sell the jku for whatever I can get for it & then acquire a tow-rig , 2 seat crawler and trailer to avoid the hassle.

I do love my jku,tho





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post #3 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post


I've spent an ungodly amount of time on this subject since I joined a real crawling club. I need more stout housings to , likewise , shoot w/ the dudes rollin' on 40s & tons in my club, since it seems they're the ones having the most fun.
I get down into the discussion w/ my better half & it always ends in ," that Unlimited JK is so nice. Some family could get into offroading like we did with it ..." or ," that thing is too nice to do what you're about to do with it , kiss what little of its resale value goodbye once you roll it ..." & ," are you honestly going to spend $20k more for 1500 additional pounds of rolling weight on the already insanely expensively setup JKU that we will never see back again ?!?! only to then want a V8 or diesel in it since even with 5.13 gears , it isn't going to be drive able with tons & 40s on it. ..."

we decide it'd just be best to sell the jku for whatever I can get for it & then acquire a tow-rig , 2 seat crawler and trailer to avoid the hassle.

I do love my jku,tho





Right ?? I have contemplated that also , just build a LJ with an LS and get a tow rig ....

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post #4 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 01:08 PM
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problem is an LJ cost as much as your JK does so no real savings there.

You can build tons cheaper if you can find the donor axle at a cheap price. Locker and gears $1500-1700, brackets 400-500, brakes 500-800, shafts are likely to be upgraded $800-1000, tone rings, yoke $150, new bearings and seals $100. It is a savings but not a huge amount. Fronts may have to add knuckles if not the set up for steering you want and hubs.

Fusion 60/60 package at $12850 is a pretty good deal and you don't have the headaches of sourcing parts and doing the labor. One nice thing about buying built is that you get your axle has the proper caster for your pinion angle without you having to cut off and rotate the inner C's.

And either building or buying you are going to need new wheels, driveshafts, and likely steering links running the cost up about $2-3k more.

One thing I have noticed this year is most vendors are offering financing on parts thru third party companies.

I see nice built buggies out there for $12-20k that would offer better performance off road and keep the jeep more stock for a DD or for resale value.
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post #5 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 01:47 PM
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yeah, I could never get so fortunate nor afford such a machine as the rare LJ.

no, I got her to agree that whatever I would be " dumb enough" to sell the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara for , loss-wise :eyeroll:
, I would chuck no less that 1 grand per child into their respective education savings ...THEN, whatever was left, I could get a trail rig with.

I would probably wind-up with something more like :



srry, tapcola , not gonna derail this good topic./
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post #6 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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yeah, I could never get so fortunate nor afford such a machine as the rare LJ.

no, I got her to agree that whatever I would be " dumb enough" to sell the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara for , loss-wise :eyeroll:
, I would chuck no less that 1 grand per child into their respective education savings ...THEN, whatever was left, I could get a trail rig with.

I would probably wind-up with something more like :



srry, tapcola , not gonna derail this good topic./
I would rock that beast !

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post #7 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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True though, you could by a 2 seat buggy now days for 16 to 20k , the price of a set of built tons.

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post #8 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:19 PM
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I went down your path (still stuck there) and wish I called Fusion.

The decision making process boils down to this.
What looks better: @tapcola in a speedo holding a MIG torch or Fusion's welds.

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post #9 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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I went down your path (still stuck there) and wish I called Fusion.



The decision making process boils down to this.

What looks better: @tapcola in a speedo holding a MIG torch or Fusion's welds.
Please , I can rock a set of speedos

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post #10 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I have looked at many options really like the Fusion stuff , even thinking about just getting the housings , that SD60 and 14b with 4in tubes. But then you start going down that list add= traction control, yes pls , install gears yes pls, add shafts yes pls , buy the time you are done it's like screw it just get the king pin 60 /14b combo ! It comes with new steering components. Makes sense right ?

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post #11 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:48 PM
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I have done a couple sets from fusion and they would be my recommended go, to and I personally run Dynatrac 60/80 on my rig. Very good quality on the Fusions and lots of options to go with. Just dont make the mistake of buying too narrow an axle if buying, I would be a minimum of 70" and recommend 72" WMS to run 40x13.5" tires.
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post #12 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:52 PM
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I've got a set I've built and for the set, it was still cheaper than buying a front prebuilt. Thinking about selling them to a buddy though since I wont need tone rings anymore and he's offering a good bit more than I got in them. Looking at the 14b front and rear axle housings, it would be kind of cool running these as no one else I know has them.
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post #13 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:55 PM
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if you want something different why not run rockwell's, you can get them for $1600 a set. Run some 46" tires and have better driveline angles.

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post #14 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 03:59 PM
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I dont know what kind of trails you run but I think there is something to be said for not having to end up at the same spot you began. A good numbers of the trails out here dont end where you began so having to trailer is a bit more cumbersome.

Also I think @gt1guy put it best. The Jeep shouldnt be looked as a investment you recoup in money. Its something you recoup in joy. Im paraphrasing.

Also Im an idiot who plunged into tons and now redoing all my suspension etc... so what do I know. My pockets are empty
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post #15 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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I dont know what kind of trails you run but I think there is something to be said for not having to end up at the same spot you began. A good numbers of the trails out here dont end where you began so having to trailer is a bit more cumbersome.



Also I think @gt1guy put it best. The Jeep shouldnt be looked as a investment you recoup in money. Its something you recoup in joy. Im paraphrasing.



Also Im an idiot who plunged into tons and now redoing all my suspension etc... so what do I know. My pockets are empty
All over Las Vegas , Logandale, Sand Hallow (fav)
We have a good amount of trails out here and the guys I run with are awesome ,we run 8s and up most of the time. I have beat the crap out of my jeep and it has held up well. I have took on some body damage and had it fixed. Alot of the trails are trailer friendly.

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post #16 of 48 Old 12-03-2019, 04:23 PM
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This is a DD/Trail rig. I haven't seen a vehicle with 2.5s and still was able to drive it across the country, at least enjoy it anyway. If it were a trail only jeep, and I felt like redoing my suspension and such, that'd be my way to go.

I have a tendency of selling stuff that doesn't get used more than once a week.

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post #17 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 06:22 AM
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Please , I can rock a set of speedos






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post #18 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
if you want something different why not run rockwell's, you can get them for $1600 a set. Run some 46" tires and have better driveline angles.




it would be highly entertaining - to me - to see how a 3.8l JK Unlimited would "perform" w/ a set of Rockwells on it. Even w/ 5.38 gearing I bet the thing could only motivate 46" tires if it were on flat ground.


@FatCow
what'd ya mean about not seeing a Jeep on "2.5s" & not being drivable ? You mean coils?


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post #19 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 07:30 AM
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Rockwell 2.5 axles only come in 6.72:1 gears. 840 pounds for the front and 690 pounds for the rear so they do add a bit of weight. You can get a couple different lockers with them.
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post #20 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Come on guys , FOCUS! Nobody's talking about 2.5s ...

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post #21 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 08:30 AM
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Fusion. Happy with mine and Dan is awesome. I ordered them on black Friday 2018 and installed them in February, i think. Since then, I have been to Rubicon 3 times, Fordyce 2 times and Slick Rock 3 times. Not sure if Sour Grass counts but 3 runs there too.

I went with e-lockers and Yukon hubs. They definitely perform well and hold up to the abuse. Big thanks to @thedirtman for steering me to them.

Something to keep in mind with fusion is that you get a custom width axle for the same price and the standard chromoly axle shafts have a lifetime warranty.

Dan has a formula for getting the correct axle width for your setup. It is based on your chosen wheel and tire size. For example, with 40" tires, he is going for an outer rim lip to outer rim lip measurement of 79". You need to factor in your wheel width and bs.


Example, for 8.5"wide trail ready bead locks that have 4.5" bs, you want a 71" axle.
79-(2*(8.5-4.5))=71.

To come up with a true 71", Dan/Fusion includes 1 custom made axle. I went with the option of using off the shelf parts in case I am stuck in a pinch. With off the shelf parts, you can get 70.6", which rounds up to 71" anyway. Close enough.
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post #22 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 12:30 PM
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^^^^X2^^^^

I did the math and it wouldn't make sense to go with anything but Dan @Fusion .

After looking at just the hard parts .
Then really look past the fact that the bits and pieces that you just don't consider as part of building them are hard costs too .
The list might look like a laundry list IE ; a couple of rolls of mig wire , a bottle of gas , new hardware , wear items , ….Hell the list just goes on and on , those consumables are items that add up quick .

Pull the trigger , I'm happy I did , your check book feels the hit all at once , not nickel and dime like you would if you built them yourself though .

The pain ceases real quick once your done .
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post #23 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 12:34 PM
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Its like driving two hours to an airport to board a flight that is going to take you 11 hours with 2 stops vs leaving at your local airport for a direct 4 hour flight so you can save $20 on a round trip ticket. All that shit adds up and your time is worthless. How much would you make if you put in 2-3 extra shifts at work?
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post #24 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Its like driving two hours to an airport to board a flight that is going to take you 11 hours with 2 stops vs leaving at your local airport for a direct 4 hour flight so you can save $20 on a round trip ticket. All that shit adds up and your time is worthless. How much would you make if you put in 2-3 extra shifts at work?



When it quits makin" sense …..well .
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post #25 of 48 Old 12-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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If you can do everything yourself it is definitely cheaper. I did the same thing wheeling on 37s but figured I might as well get some money for my rubicon axles before I destroy them and get nothing. That helped offset costs for brackets and other parts back when prices were cheaper. I hunted for my 05+ 60 and 14 bolt and got them for under 300 bucks. Everyones situation is different, some can shell out money for pre built axles with JK brackets that hang super lower only to be cut off and redid later. Yes, you can buy them without brackets but you'll still have to do custom work anyway if you go that route. In my case I had more time than money so I spaced it over a year doing my axles and suspension together. It is a lot of piecing together but with all the swap kits and info out there its doable if you know what slippery slope you are going down. The options are endless, my build was simple by buying the best parts I could afford while if something ever broke replacement parts are readily available. For example I could of went 40 spline everything while being significantly stronger, that also drives up the price shafts etc. Nothings unbreakable so it gave me piece of mind knowing sticking with the stock spline count I could get parts cause you pick and choose you want the fuse to be. Also after seeing how big the 05+ 60/14bolt are I can't imagine people wanting or more so "needing" a beefier axle idk maybe its marketing hype since the ton swap has become so popular or people driving like morons. Are the pre built axles a better product? Sure, they better be for that cost but in the end thats why they cost so much is because all the work is done for you.
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