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Unread 01-17-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
KUJeeper82
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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CJ7 WT Dana 44 & 30 (Re)Build

Ok, so I have a set of Dana 44 and Dana 30 out of a 1986 CJ7 that I'm going to have rebuilt for my 1985 CJ7. They currently are setup with 3.73 axle ratios and I intend to raise this to 4.56 to turn a set of 33" or possibly 35" tires. I got what I felt was a good deal on both ($350) so am figuring to rebuild, regear and possibly lock both without compromising access to my daily driver.

Firstly, I was thinking of sourcing most of the rebuild components from Superior Axle; what is the consensus on Superior Axle Quality??

e.g.
Dana 44:
Ring & Pinion ~ $180
Master Overhaul ~$110

Dana 30:
Ring & Pinion ~$160
Master Overhaul ~$90
(I believe the 3.73 carrier is sufficient for 4.56 Ring and Pinion?)

While this is being done I'm tempted to also replace the axle shafts with some blingy chrome-moly types too. Lifetime warranty...

Chrome-Moly Dana 44 Rear Axle from Superior Axles ~ $360

Regarding Lockers, I'm thinking of an ARB air locker for the D44... ~$750-800? Offset by the lack of a new differential carrier ($50-150?)...

I haven't decided if the D30 is worth locking and upgrading to chrome-moly as well. Suggestions?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Unread 01-17-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
kickingprop
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Houston, TX
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If you're going to lock the front I wouldnt put anything more than a lunchbox into it, just personal preference as its not the strongest axle out there... I just feel like dumping $800 into a locker for the D30 is a waste... But it all depends on how hard you are going to wheel it, etc
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1985 CJ7 Project
Phase One : 5.3L Vortec/4L60E, Moser axles for AMC20, Twin Stick'd Dana300 - Completed
Phase Two: Bedliner, Rollcage, Seats, BESRK Rear Bumper w/ tire swing, Soft Top, and a few other goodies - Mostly Complete
Phase Three: Waggy 44 front, Scout D44 Rear, 4.56's, ARB's (F/R) SOA with YJ Springs, 35x12.50x15 BFG MT - Not Even Close to beginning

Also a mostly rust-free 1970 Scout 800A That I'll get to start working on someday...

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Unread 01-17-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
PERK
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Castro Valley Ca
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you got a good deal on axles, last cj wt 44 I bought out here was 500. and was glad to find it. I have ARB's front and rear with a 30 front and 44 rear,I've only broke front axles, no rears. so, an axle upgrade there would be worth it as far as I'm concerned. I'd put an ARB in the rear (the first one is the biggest outlay with the compressor you want to run and such) then run it for a while and see if you really need a front one. I find that I don't use the front much unless the trail is really rough as the sterring with the front locked is pretty much point and shoot.
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Unread 01-17-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
KUJeeper82
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 244
Thanks for the input guys. Good to hear that the D44 was a good deal, the D30 even has Warn manual lockouts installed too, only issue is that the PO was using them for SOA and moving up to full width D60s... so not a direct bolt in. The width is perfect for my application though and I don't have to mess around with the steering issues of a scout D44 swap.

Regarding the air supply, I was thinking of just getting one supplied by ARB... I haven't decided on the size yet though. Of course I could always convert the AC over to OBA... there's a whole 'nother can of worms though.

Regarding the D30, Superior has a locker & chrome-moly axle kit for ~$1050... The shop is already going to be in there changing the gear ratio (~$400 in labor) so the locker and new axle shafts won't cost much more, whereas if I do it later, after something breaks I'll be out the money to pull the front end apart again.

This rig will be used for mild-medium trails for the next year, but I fully intend to be back near some mountains again in 2 years... that means ROCKS!
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Unread 01-17-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
jeepwhore
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If it were me I'd err on the side of caution. A locked D30 with moly shafts and 35's in the rocks is a ticking time bomb no matter how light your right foot is (of course there will always be someone claiming to be the exception to the rule).

The stronger you make the shafts and hubs, the more likely the gear set will be the weak link. It becomes even more likely when you go to lower gears because the pinion gets smaller the lower the gears get. I run 35's on an open D30 but I also only cruise trails and don't go heavy on the stupid pedal anymore like I did when I was younger and I don't do/enjoy rocks.

So the way I see it you'll eventually be paying to tear it apart twice no matter what you do unless you find something stronger.
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