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Unread 05-27-2009, 06:15 AM   #1
bluesman423
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NE OKlahoma
Posts: 60
Dana 30 build?

I am sure this topic has been discussed but I can't find it when I search.

After seeing my CJ5 a friend's son purchased an 84 CJ7. He wants to take it with me when I go four wheeling and it has a 258, four speed and Dana 30 in the front with 3.54 gears. His tires are 31 X 10.50 mud tires. The trails will be rocks, hills and general four wheeling at Disney, Oklahoma.

The reason I ask this question is someone he knows told him they run 35s on the rocks in a CJ. The 30 "has modifications". This seems a little like a tall tale to me.

What can be done to make a Dana 30 stronger? What can it handle in the way of tire size after modifications?

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Unread 05-27-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
BriansCJ
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Super 30 kit with locker maybe

http://www.quadratec.com/products/16120_452.htm
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Unread 05-27-2009, 07:21 AM   #3
gmakra
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Well a Dana 30 gets a bad rap and while its not a truly stout axle it is stronger than some give credit for. It is a full floating axle and can be beefed a bit with the kit mentioned up above. But by the time you put in the kit plus a R&P and misc costs you may have better spent your money.

35s on a Dana 30 is probably stretching it a bit and any shock loading could cause some serious damage to the axle.

So the question is now financial
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Unread 05-27-2009, 07:53 AM   #4
bluesman423
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WOW!

I am not going to have near that much in my Dana 44 by the time I get it in.

Think I'll show Aaron this thread and maybe he will change his mind. I don't want to turn the kid away from four wheeling but I just don't think he will be able to handle most of the trails at Disney with his current setup.

Maybe he'll ride with me or maybe dad, one of my two best friends, will go too and get the bug. Then dad can pony up the bucks for a father-son thing.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
twoleos617
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im in the same boat...D30, 2.73, stock axles.
after talking with the guys here, it was suggested to me (since we're all on a budget) to do gears, locker, tires. then come back to the axles.
yes, there's always the option to swap out to a D44. i guess it depends on if you can come up with the cash and/or parts and which option makes more finacial sense and also which makes more sense based on your driving style
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Unread 05-27-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
Happy Joe
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The Dana 30 is not weak; I run 35s successfully in a narrow track front.
That said, however, I found that I need medium traction tires (BFG 12.50 mud tires) and careful driving to preserve the axles and joints (they do not play well with 33x14" wide boggers on rocks and really hate 35x16" wide boggers).
Other mods that contributes to longevity are the addition of 6 bolt hubs & lockouts (the 5 bolt lockouts are weaker), proper gearing (helps prevent hammering the obstacles to get over), an ARB and a relatively compliant suspension (keeps the tires on the ground better).

Conservative, careful driving can make the D30 last well past its rated tire size limits (but it does take some of the fun out of wheeling).
35s really deserve a D44 front...

I say give the kid a chance... 31x10.50s should be fine for the axle and 3.54 gears are not as bad as many.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by Happy Joe; 05-27-2009 at 09:27 AM..
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Unread 05-27-2009, 09:20 AM   #7
my73CJ
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I happen to run 35 x 15.5 and have broken my axel in my 30, however a lot has to be said about how you drive. Best thing is to go 4 wheeling, don't go crazy and have a good time, if you snap an axel then replace it with a high alloy one and keep on going. You can over think all this upgrade stuff but wheel it and if it brakes then go with the upgrade.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
bluesman423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Joe View Post
Other mods that contributes to longevity are the addition of 6 bolt hubs & lockouts (the 5 bolt lockouts are weaker)

Enjoy!
Are you referring to the hubs and Warn lockouts on my Dana 30 (78 CJ5)? They mount with six bolts. If so, I will just give him the hubs off my front end. It is coming out today to make room for my 44 when it is ready. Will the parts interchange work between his 84 CJ& and my 78 CJ5?

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
Happy Joe
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Quote:
Are you referring to the hubs and Warn lockouts on my Dana 30 (78 CJ5)?
Yes, I'm not certain when Jeep went to the cheap breakaway front 5 bolt lockouts but they were the first piece to fail on my 81. The early 6 bolt lockouts are much better.
Note; verify that the hubs have flat machined backs on the flanges to mount disk brake rotors, some early drum brake hubs need to be machined flat to keep the rotors from wobbling. Any place with a brake lathe (to turn drums or rotors) can cut them flat if necessary.

The 84 rotors may be different If your rotors are the thick style and his are the thin type he will need to keep his old rotors otherwise the swap is a bolt on.

Enjoy!
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Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
79-CJ-7
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Unless your serious about wheeling, stay witht the 30 until it breaks and if you dont want it to break then stay off the skinny pedal. you buddy will be fine with his rig. have him air down to 12-15 psi and go slow in low range. he can make it though a whole lot more then you give him credit for.
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Unread 05-27-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
78treehugger
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I have a stock dana 30 out of my old 1978 CJ 5. I run 35x12.50 Super Swamper LTBs. I do anything that I come across on the trail. I am consevative with the throttle however. If I start to bounce I reposition. We don't have alot of rocks in IN like some places though. If you are easy with the stupid pedal and pick your lines wisely I think you can make a dana 30 last with 35's. I carry an extra set of axle shafts with me just in case though. I know I am maxing my axle out and TRY to drive accordingly. I have only been wheeling for a few years and I try alot of things but I also know to keep a level head. I wheel with a guy who wheels 32"s Super Swampers witha dana 27 front end and goes all over the place. Go smooth and easy. Plus crawling looks better than beating your rig to get through something imho. I also think it matter what terrain. Rocks can mean multiple types. Boulder, rip rap, shale, ect. Not multiple rocks but some of the mild tuff we do.

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1980 CJ 7--3" Black Diamond, 1" body, locked both ends, 4.56, 35x12.50x15 SS LTB, "family" cage

It's easier to get forgiveness than permision.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
79-CJ-7
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Hey tree hugger how about some pics of that cage?
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Unread 05-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #13
78treehugger
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I found this pic.
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1980 CJ 7--3" Black Diamond, 1" body, locked both ends, 4.56, 35x12.50x15 SS LTB, "family" cage

It's easier to get forgiveness than permision.
Salad is what food eats!!!
http://emptypocketsoffroad.org/
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Unread 05-29-2009, 06:01 PM   #14
mylittlecj5
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I have a pretty built 360 in my CJ5, and I run 35x12.50 Swampers on the stock Dana 30 axle.
While I spent a lot of time in the mud (racing), I am now getting into the rock crawling here in OK. But I will still keep the 30 underneath until it dies a painful death on a trail somewhere. Just depends on the driver if the front axle will survive.
Personally I am NOT easy on the skinny pedal especially in a mud pit. And I have only broken 1 axle u-joint in all that time.
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