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Unread 08-18-2014, 05:22 PM   #1
JDP010
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New Jeeper - help with 3.07 to 3.73 gear or axle swap

Hello - I'm new to Jeeps. I picked up an '03 4.0 TJ that has mis-matched gears. 3.07 in a D30 front. I want to swap it to 3.73 to match the D44 rear.

Anyone capable of helping me with the gear swap if I buy new gears/carrier/bearings. Just looking to save money over the $830-1130 estimates I have. I don't have the tools/knowledge for a gear job but would be interested in paying a knowledgeable weekend jeep mechanic for his time.

Alternatively, anyone have a D30 front axle from a TJ/XJ that I could buy for an axle swap I can do myself. Seems like this might be the more affordable option as 3.73 D30s seem like almost a throwaway part for many guys.

Any comments on which route I should go? Mostly just a street driver that I want to be semi-capable for deer/elk hunting. Nothing too intense. No lift.

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Unread 08-19-2014, 10:24 AM   #2
sirhk100
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I doubt you're going to find anyone here that does their own gear swaps. I could be wrong but...


Watch the classified thread, that's most likely where you're going to find a axle come up for grabs. That and craigslist. I've seen them for dirt cheap on there quite a few times recently as we were considering purchasing one for work reasons.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
ksturgio
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I've been thinking about doing mine in my truck. Doesn't seem that hard I think the possibility of running a diff scares most people off.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
B0nez
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I agree with sirhk100; not many shadetree mechanics like us (ksturgio excluded) are comfortable with gear swaps. I personally am scared to death of not getting the right amount of shims in and the backlash aligned properly (or whatever all that stuff is) and end up toasting my differential. All that being said, I have heard of people doing it successfully in their garages so don't give up!

If you are going to do an axle swap, I would get a matching D44 - it is substantially stronger and will be a much better platform down the road should you decide to do anything more.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
ksturgio
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I always figured it was this great mystery and involved a bunch of specialty tools and expertise, have you ever watched a video of someone doing it? Not much to it. After getting a couple of quotes, doing it myself will pay for lockers.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
B0nez
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I call that argument invalid: I have also seen videos of XGame contestants.. just because it LOOKS easy, doesn't mean that it IS easy.

That's just me though, I am paranoid about screwing something expensive up. It could be really easy after all. I guess the best thing to do is talk to someone who does it and ask them.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
ksturgio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B0nez
I call that argument invalid: I have also seen videos of XGame contestants.. just because it LOOKS easy, doesn't mean that it IS easy. That's just me though, I am paranoid about screwing something expensive up. It could be really easy after all. I guess the best thing to do is talk to someone who does it and ask them.
wuss. I say watch a credible video and decide whether you think you can do it or not. First time I rebuilt a motor I thought I was WAY over my head. If you take your time and double check your work you'll be fine.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #8
sirhk100
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Put it this way... Diffs are all different so I'm only judging on my one first hand experience. I was the "helper" back in high school of my Dad and a family friend doing the gears in our old CJ7 which was a AMC20 rear and I don't even remember what was up front. Maybe a 30? It involved a press and a lot of on and off press attempts till the shim selection was right to get the backlash and teeth pattern correct. I know the guys that do it a lot usually have some machined down bearings and part so they can do a mock setup without having to deal with the press on and off exercise we jumped thru and then once it's all setup, they pull off the mock up parts and do the final press on assembly. That's my one and only experience and that was probably 20 years ago so maybe things are different but... This shade tree mechanic doesn't have a press so...


Trust me, I'm down to dive in and try a lot of things myself hands on. I think you guys probably know this. Heck, I remember when rebuilding a set of motorcycle forks was like this scary black magic. Same with truck shocks... Then I did it once and laughed at how easy it was. Gears may be the same honestly but from my memory, I don't think I'm setup to do it.


Go for it, how much is a ring/pinion gear? They're not that much... I don't think any damage done from a bad setup is really catastrophic typically assuming you had it at least close. I think they just wear out insanely fast when not setup perfect for the most part.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 03:58 PM   #9
B0nez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksturgio
wuss. I say watch a credible video and decide whether you think you can do it or not. First time I rebuilt a motor I thought I was WAY over my head. If you take your time and double check your work you'll be fine.
Haha guilty as charged my friend. I've watched videos and someone credible do it in person and I personally wouldn't do it for myself, but I would totally try doing yours for you :P
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Unread 08-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #10
ksturgio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B0nez
Haha guilty as charged my friend. I've watched videos and someone credible do it in person and I personally wouldn't do it for myself, but I would totally try doing yours for you :P
hahaha. I'll take some video for you of me doing it.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 11:22 PM   #11
sirhk100
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I have a grinder and welder, we can fix it if we mess it up!
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Unread 08-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #12
222Doc
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Its not hard just must be right. specialty tools will be needed as well. If watching was doing I should be a lawyer with all the shows i have watched and play the guitar like SRV.......
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