Now for the REAL meat and potatoes of my build!
I want to turn this jeep into a sort of jack of all trades, if you will. Capable of rock crawling, mud slinging, and running through sand. Not specializing in any of them... but I would like to be able to handle, to a certain extent, anything thrown in my way.
I figured the best way to do that is to gear down, size up, lift, lock, and gear down (some more). While I find it interesting that my D-35 has officially lasted longer then literally every other piece of my drivetrain save my 4.0, I definately don't want to push my luck. And I already know from experience how shoddy that front CAD can be. The solution? Dana 44s.
I've already had a few people tell me that I might as well just go up to 60's, and they're probably right, but I want to play around and get my own experience. Plus, from the research I've been doing, D44s seem to have a bit more aftermarket support that can make them darn near as tough as 60's (save the semi- vs. full-float factor) for about the same (if not slightly less) price, and retain stock width.
*I would like to state now that while advice if always welcome, I really don't like it when I feel like I'm being told how to build my jeep. I want to be able to say I did things my way, get my own hand on experience, and if it works? Great! If not? Then oh well, back to the drawing board.*
That being said, time to get back on topic! Here are my current goals:
Dana 44 front and rear, stock or close to stock wrangler width. (I have a TJ 44 I'll show you all in a bit, and I'm searching for a Waggy front)
-4.88 EDIT: 02SEP2015 - I have decided to go with 5.13s
-35 spline rear
-30 spline front
-RCV front shafts
-ARB lockers front and rear
-SOA lift w/stock springs (with any other mods needed for this conversion, ie. high steer)
-U bolt style pinion yokes.
37 or 38 M/Ts on 15" wheels.
Possibly bead locks, but that's still up in the air and probably will be until the very end of the project.
The last and most important part of this whole build is that I want to do all the labor myself. That includes setting up the gears, and welding all the perches and brackets, neither of which I've done before (although I've done work with similarly tight tolerances/meticulousness/importance as the gearing). Basically what I'm saying guys, is that this is going to be an interesting journey!