Decided to install the Nitro sleeves into my dana 30 even though there was little info available on them but I liked the no weld option and it is cheap insurance from bending the axle tubes. I have a 2dr with 35s with 4.88 gears and Poly c gussets just for a little info.
As always Marcus at RCO was great on answering my questions (even responding to Pms on a Sun evening) and got these shipped out quick to me at a great price!
First we put the jeep frame on jackstands and let the suspension fully droop. Remove the tire and wheel, brake caliper and rotor, axle shaft and hub (no need to remove the axle nut, the shaft and hub can be removed together.) We also removed the knuckle from the C but left it connected to the steering.
We started with the short side first, cleaned the inside of the tube and the sleeve. Lightly started tapping the sleeve in with a hammer and a block of wood. Don’t forget to stuff a rag inside the sleeve to keep debris out during the install. Once the sleeve is started into the axle tube is when the fun starts! Quickly found out that the wood was not going to hold up to the beating from a sledge hammer so we ended up using the blade side of an axe(the instructions say to use a bearing race/seal driver which we did not have). I realize this probably not the best tool for the job but it was what we had available and it worked good on the short side. The short side went in easy enough but was still tight enough that I have no doubt that there is no need for any welding. These things are not going anywhere once they are in there!
The instructions said to beat he sleeve in until it was flush but the short shaft side stopped a little short of flush which still left plenty of clearance for everything so we left it that way.
We marked it with a paint marker as a reference but I really doubt it is going to move.
Reassemble everything and move on to the disassembly of the passenger side. For us the passenger side was much more difficult to tap in then the driver side. The passenger side took a lot more pounding to get it to slide into the tube. Not sure if this was because my axle was slightly bent, I did a poor job of cleaning the tube first or the tolerances were off a little on the sleeve but here is how we dealt with it. We beat the shit out of it!
With the end of the sleeve being so deformed we knew it wasn’t going to fit into the tube so we got in as far as we could and cut about ¼” off the end with an angle grinder. We then tapped it in a little more until it would no longer move. Using the driver set would have prevented this from happening just wanted to accurately document how we dealt with it.
Check the clearances between the sleeve and the shaft and reassemble everything.
Took a short test drive and admired the days work with a cold beer.
I probably didn’t do a good enough job of cleaning out the axle tube and that is why the passenger side required it literally having to be beat in. I don’t think cutting off ¼” of the sleeve will affect the strength the sleeve.
The instructions said to use a bearing race/seal driver set which we didn't have. Using this would probably have prevented most of the mushrooming on the passenger side sleeve.
I will occasionally check the paint markers to verify but I don’t see the need to weld these in. The tolerances between the tube and the sleeve and the long knurled end is more then enough to hold the sleeve in place.
These sleeves are a good option for someone who doesn’t have access to a welder or doesn’t want to pay someone to drill and fill weld all the holes that the other sleeve options require. Plus they are compatible with the large 35 spline shafts.