Well guys, you can officially call me crazy Polishing a turdy - or in this case the D44a - is one of those things one really shouldn't do
Anyways, pinion and carrier bearings are toast and pinion seal is leaking slightly on my D44a. So it's time for a re-build. Due to local laws I can't delete the ABS from my ZJ. Hence I can't swap in a Ford 8.8 - especially so 'cause they cost a lot here. So the easiest option is to upgrade the D44a.
I happened to come across a free D44a axle housing that had it's guts removed. Axle is dead-straight, bearings caps are there, and none of the bearings have spun inside the housing. So it's a good starting point.
Things I'm doing:
1. Fab a truss to reduce housing/ axle tube flex
2. Incorporate some kind of system to protect the underside of the aluminum housing. It gets rock rash pretty damn easily
3. Add an aftermarket diff. cover to reduce housing flex
4. Fab new UCA + panhard mounts, beef up/ modify the LCA + shock mounts
5. Install 4.56 gears; if I can find a cheap (free) open carrier I'll add a lunchbox locker. If not, I'll get the LSD rebuild kit.
After that, it should be strong enough to handle what I use it for. A lot of work? Maybe, but I don't care. At least I get some time spent in the garage instead of working outside on the rain building my house
I have a spare HP D30 in the garage, so I'll do something similar to it: fab a basic truss, add a heavy duty diff. cover, 4.56 gears + Eaton e- locker. I've also had WJ- knuckles and brake parts sitting in my garage for about two years, so they'll be swapped in as well.
Well, how could I stick a standard grill in there, wouldn't look like a niner then
My reasoning was, since I recessed the winch so deep in there and did all the mods in the front I'm not needing the grill as it came from factory. Yeah, hurt a bit doing so, but I tried doing this so the niner looks as good as possible
Just an FYI but its fairly easy to get abs working with an 8.8 (mallcrawlin has a writeup), but if they're too hard to find there then thats cool. Nice to see someone give some love to the aluminum (is it alum-inum, or alu-minium? )
We went snow wheeling yeasterday, it was a lot of fun. Then again, wheeling in winter makes things that little bit harder and way more different, and all sorts of things can happen on the slippery trails.
Which results in this The damn 31" BFG AT (didn't have my own spare tire with me ) made things a lot more difficult, without a front locker I really wasn't moving anywhere after this. Difference in grip was huge between a 32" BFG MT and the AT..
It was left rear that punctured, but I had to swap the smaller AT to the front and my left front to rear, so when I got out of the trail I removed the front DS and drive back home in RWD.. In this case, I wish I had a 242 or 231.. This is the biggest downside of an AWD transfer case.