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Unread 10-24-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
satchmoe
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locking hub conversion

doing a locking hub conversion would essentially eliminate the stock axle vacuum disconnect correct?
any good links to any sites where anyone has done this?
thank you all for the info

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Unread 10-24-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
Jakemd98
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No, all a locking hub conversion will do is make it so you can lock and unlock the hubs manually, rather than them be locked at all times.

If you want to eliminate the vacuum disco, just get some TJ or XJ 1 piece shafts and put them in your axle. Also, not sure where to get them, there should be a seal kit for the unit as well.

Really the best option is just to make the disconnect a lever rather than a vacuum. It should be pretty easy to do and it will give you the ultimate control.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
Truth
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One piece shaft conversion can be done on the cheap, and it eliminates parts that will fail eventually while netting you bigger ujoints. I'm not sure why guys do hub conversions, but it does nothing with the shafts.

Do the TJ/XJ shaft swap and you'll be very happy with it. There is a TON of info here if you search. I did a write up when I did mine, but can't find the darn thing.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
Joe Dillard
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Lets see if I can clear-up a few misunderstandings, myths, and as to why some of us convert to hubs, and the benefits if done with a bigger picture in mind.

I will speak of the Warn hub conversion - since this is what I have, did the install myself ~5.5 years ago, and have helped several others install. Yes, different rotors were installed at the same time as well as new brake pads. The entire job from start to finish took ~4 hours including taking coffee breaks, taking pics & lunch, and this was my first one. Others took less time, even while walking others thru the steps.

Some may say the kit is too expensive - which for them this could be true. For me, I got it long before the prices started going up & got it basically on a group buy price which is ~1/2 or less what you may expect to pay these days.

If I was building a rig that didn't demand a higher standard, I might swap to TJ shafts & be fine. But since I know that going that route is a big gamble as far as reliability goes where I like to wheel, I decided to go another route.

I have an older YJ, so I had 260 ujoints. I wanted to upgrade to a minimum of 760's and chromoly shafts, so I needed to replace the inners and outer shafts. I soon swapped to CTM ujoints since I wanted even more strength & the hubs to be even more likely to go before anything else.

Could I have simply installed TJ or XJ style shafts with the 297 series ujoints? Sure I could - however, those shafts tend to snap like thin brittle twigs where I like to wheel & I'd be replaceing shafts, ujoints etc, far too many times in a weekend.

Add deep axle gears, an Atlas 5.0, 35" tires, and full lockers in the mix & try running several Hammers trails all weekend long & you had better have several sets of TJ/XJ style D30 shafts in your toolbox. If you bring ~5-10 full sets already assymbled, you *might* be okay, but who wants to swap axles & broken ujoints all weekend long at a place where flat stable ground is very difficult to come by? Seen it too many times and you will certainly be the focus of fun around the campfire unless you learn real quick.

If you have 260 ujoints, installing the Warn hub conversion kit will require you to upgrade the inner shafts. This is due to the size of the axle shaft ear holes increases as the ujoint cap size goes up. However, the kit does not include inner shafts, they are optional & purchased seperately. Plus, who wishes to mix chromo outers with standard inners if you happen to already have the larger ujoints? Not me, I wanted the strength of the inners & outers to be more similar.

I wanted to build-in a "weak link". The hub kit does this, or should I say - it is intended to do this. Will a hub always fail prior to something else - no, but the chances are pretty high that the hub will go first unless something else is starting to let loose. And yes, I carry 2 spare hubs, plus assembled Warn inners & outers for both sides "just in case".

Changing a Warn D30 hub is usually foolishly simple if it happens to break. So if it does, simply remove the wheel lugs, tire, grab the hub with your bare hand, slide it off, slide the new one in, reinstall the tire & lug nuts & you can be back in business. How easy is that?

For those who believe that the Warn hub is the same as the hubs found on Rangers, Bronco II's etc - you are sadly mistaken or misled. The workings/internals are different & the Warn is much stronger. Just take each apart & compare side by side & you'll see what I mean. I did.

Since the OP requested info on the install, I'll post the steps in my next post in a few minutes.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
Joe Dillard
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Back in May of '04, it proved to be another fun filled day!! Once again, great friends proved what great Jeepers are about. Friends stepped in to show me around the block when swapping in a Warn hub conversion (Blaine & Kathryn Johnson). Thanks to you two for showing me how to do this & walking me through the steps! My friend Sergey was also of GREAT help, and assisted me along the way!!

Here's a few of the pics during progress throughout the day:

Vacuum disco comes out:



Axles come out (that's the ARB cross pin you see down the tube)


Warn supplied Spicer 760's being pressed into the stubs. Notice the numbering system Blaine placed on the ujoint. This is critical during assembly so that the matching caps don't get mixed-up. These are non-greasable ujoints which require the caps to be removed & replaced only where they originated from!


New Premium rotors & new wheel stubs being pressed in:



My sloppy application of grease to the Warn splines & seal area:

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Unread 10-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
Joe Dillard
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Warn Hub Conversion Kit & Warn inners install continued:

Warn spindle:


Axle is in:


I prefer NOT to use brake cleaner for this mod. Simple Green works much better to remove the coating.


Always use plenty of grease! Blaine had me try some new blue synthetic grease he held on-hand. Yummy.




Hub installed.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
Opihi59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Dillard View Post
Since the OP requested info on the install, I'll post the steps in my next post in a few minutes.
Certainly will be nice to see that, Joe.

If I can save up my nickles and dimes, I am interested in doing that conversion sometime in the next year.

Edit----Wow, that was fast....we were posting at the same time.......thank you.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 02:53 PM   #8
Truth
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See I like that. Well not really, but I like the thought of a fuse... break something easy and cheap before you break something expensive and more difficult to repair. But, after you regear, locker, shafts, hub conversion, brakes, rotors, and whatever other doo-dad you throw on there you might as well swap it to something that's a little better from the get go and doesn't need so many doo-dads. That's a lot of time and money to put in a 30 and not worth it. But that's just my opinion, and you know what that's like.

When I first saw these being sold they advertised as almost a must if you have a front locker which is bunk. Then started the myth you can't steer if you have a locker upfront, which lead to more selectable lockers (which are actually selectable spools)
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Unread 10-24-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
Joe Dillard
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I see your point in going with an axle swap - that's a great way to go too.

I already had gears, an ARB, SOA & MORE steering on my HPD30 (all given to me as a gift for returning from the Persian Gulf in one piece) - so a relative inexpensive (at the time) Warn kit & buying the CTM's from the guy who designed them for crazy cheap, was a good way to go for me.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
satchmoe
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thank you for sharing your knowledge and info. Why is it a lot of guys say the hub conversion is a waste of time and money and to just go with a 1 peice axle from a xj/tj?
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Unread 10-24-2009, 03:53 PM   #11
Joe Dillard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmoe View Post
thank you for sharing your knowledge and info. Why is it a lot of guys say the hub conversion is a waste of time and money and to just go with a 1 peice axle from a xj/tj?
Folks say what they say for various reasons.

I will say this though - if you wish to play where I like to play (think Hammers/Johnson Valley), swapping TJ/XJ shafts into a YJ's HPD30 is going to give you very minimal gains & you'll be swapping out axle shafts & ujoints WAY too often. If you get lucky, you might be okay for a couple of the *easier trails* but who wants to go to JV to run the easier stuff?

This place has become MUCH harder than it was a few years ago. Folks tend to bring 40+" tires & often a heavy foot with them here & then you have to follow. We are not into the habit of stacking lots of rocks unless it can not be avoided due to carnage or some other unusual circumstance like falling off the trail. Then before going to the next obsticle a few feet or inches away, we destack. This place is brutally tough & most folks avoid it like the plague due to it's extream difficulty level & unforgiving character.

I am qualifying my responce to my experiance, where I wheel on a fairly regular basis.

It's rare to see anybody even attempt to try to run with us who has stock TJ/XJ shaft/ujoints in their rig. We highly advise against it and if you decide to go anyway, there's a huge chance you will be spending all weekend fixing your busted up rig and quickly run out of spare parts. Your body panels will also quickly become rock magnets, and belly clearance is your best friend.

Thing to remember is: pretty much nobody will be running stock TJ/XJ D30 or YJ parts. We sure don't bring spares for 'em, we are more concerned with our own junk holding up, not what we know will not hold-up, by years of experiance running these trails on a regular basis.

Go to this thread & look at all the pics & you'll see what I mean. There are only a few trails I have not done yet - Backdoor & Resolution being a couple of them.

Johnson Valley Picture Post - Pirate4x4.Com Bulletin Board
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Unread 10-24-2009, 11:07 PM   #12
Jakemd98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmoe View Post
doing a locking hub conversion would essentially eliminate the stock axle vacuum disconnect correct?
any good links to any sites where anyone has done this?
thank you all for the info
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmoe View Post
thank you for sharing your knowledge and info. Why is it a lot of guys say the hub conversion is a waste of time and money and to just go with a 1 peice axle from a xj/tj?
because your question was referring to eliminating the vacuum disconnect, not 'should i put a warn hub kit in'.

Really for me the main benefit of a manual hub is so when you do break something internal (D30 ring gear ) you can unlock the hubs and drive home with out your front axle locking up on you and causing a bad situation.

Putting that kind of money into a D30 is ok, but unless you already have a lot invested in it like the above poster then save up for a 44 or 60 or 609. I blew up my ring gear and never once had a u-joint break on me. Shoot out of all the D30 carnage i have seen around here (believe me there has been a lot) not one failure has been a u-joint, even when we are in a place like URE and someone shows up with a bad u-joint before the trip even starts.

No trying to knock what joe was saying, but really i dont see the benefits out-weighing the expense in this case. Because before you know it you will have $2-3k tied up in that axle and at the end of the day it will still be a D30. My grand wagoneer axle build will be in the 3k area once i purchase a locker and build my steering.... my build went over budget, but i put all new parts in it and it works beautifully. You could throw a grand wagoneer axle in the front of a YJ fairly easily due to the leaf-springs. I would almost bet you could do it for around $1500 open differential, new gears, and warn manual hubs... To me that seems like a better rout to go.

Ok well sorry i wrote so much, and no offense to you Joe. I love the D30, it's a strong little axle with great clearance, but like i said above at the end of the day it's still a D30.
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Last edited by Jakemd98; 10-25-2009 at 03:56 PM..
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Unread 10-24-2009, 11:58 PM   #13
lonepunker
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dude not even worth it. do what i did and put a tj one piece axle. you will always be locked in. when I bought my yj whomever had it before me did that warn conversion and the lockouts were burnt up by the time i got it.
it wasnt worth the hassle, and not worth the $250 for the lockouts that inevetably you will have to replace.
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Unread 10-25-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
Truth
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Hub fuses are the way to go, and I think that's basically Joe's point. (and congrats on comin home home ok)
I have to wheel on the cheap, so rather than buy some expensive add on stuff I would have to use an axle that has hubs stock. That way I can readily get cheap replacements. New, used, or beefier aftermarket parts.

I still have my factory 30, and have broken my fair share of shafts and ujoints. Spares can be had at a boneyard, and I can usually get them for $20 each.
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