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Unread 05-22-2003, 09:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 58
Gears Gears Gears!

So my jeep broke down last summer because the Automatic transmission went. I saved up and bought a parts jeep and swapped it to a manual tranny. The engine runs great 258--T5 d300. The problem comes with the axles. Seeing as i run 33's I really need to gear down. Additionally I think that the auto was geared much lower than stock manuals. I talked to parts places and they said you need to change the carrier to switch gears from 2.73 up to 4.56.. big shift... I cant even hit 4th gear on the highway. I think 4.11 or 4.56 are the way to go. I dont to much driving on the highways and i want to make it a weekend trail jeep. I think i want 4.56's . My question is are there popular axle swaps for the CJ because I have heard that the model 20 and model 30 are not known for being the best in terms of ruggedness. . Another question is if i get 4.56's and lockers for my current setup, dont they only sell them for the axles that are in there right now? Would you have to buy a complterly different setup if you wanted to change the axle size ... number of splines. IM looking for a solid axle that I can depend on.. but not too expensive... The parts place quoted me 1400 for the gears lockers and kit to install it. somehow i feel like I might be better off finding something out of another vehicle.Dana 44 or dana 60 Any suggestions on what to look for? Are there any pickups or suvs that i could borrow axles from at a junk yard?

'85 CJ7 Rebuilt 258/T5/Dana 300 Mopar MPI fuel Injuection kit - 35" Pro Comp X-Terrains,one piece rear axle, 4.56 gears, Tracloc rear, Detroit Nospin front, 2" Full-Traction Shackle Reversal, 1" body lift, 2.5" Sky Jacker lift

'05 Jeep "Willys" ~stock... daily driver
Jwhit is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2003, 10:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Rural Valley, Pa
Posts: 55
cant help alot but the model 20 w/one peice axles is heaver than the 9" ford rear end.
AMC 360 bored 30 over
2 over cam, high rise intake, EB carb
T 18 trany, Dana 20 transfer
one peice axels
35" M/T's
crf is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-23-2003, 03:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sandy, UT
Posts: 502
I can offer a little help here. I still don't know if I can answer all of your questions.

I had a 3.54 ratio stock in my CJ I have a three speed TF 999 auto and the D300 T-case. I put on 33" tires and knew the ratio needed to be changed. I put it off for a few years, but changed it to 4.56's anticipating my switching to 35" tires. As it sits now I absolutely love the 4.56's even on the highway. I run about 70-75 mph(as near as I can tell with the speedo not accurate) and I turn out about 3400 rpms. I know I will drop some more rpm if I change to 35"s but I love the 4.56 and 33" combo so much I may keep it right there. The crawl ratio is great for everything I do offroad. I have the D30 up front and the M20 in the rear. I have never had a problem in the rear even with the two piece shafts, but because I didn't want to be broke down on the side of a trail I went to the one piece shafts. I considered swapping to a D44 rear as I had access to a free one out of a TJ, but felt that wasn't really an upgrade-if I had access to a D60 that would be a different story though. From my limited experience and observations the M20 should be adequate unless you get into severe hard core wheeling and/or competition. As for the D30 up front, I have a lockrite there and love it, but on two different trips when I really got on the gas pedal I ended up with broken axle u-joints which ruined the inner shafts. No big deal as they are easy to change and I had a spare set of inexpensive shafts(thanks ebay) already assembled with U-joints so I just swapped them trailside. Now I am thinking to fix this problem I either need to let up on the go pedal a little, or keep the front wheels from hopping and breaking the joints, or go to stronger components. Right now I am looking at the Warn premium axle shafts with the 297 joint or the 760 joint. I figure that my joint is the weak point and the larger joints will either keep me going or show me a new weak spot. I suppose a D44 up front wouldn't be a bad route to go if your just starting out. A D60 front would be golden! I guess you have to weigh your needs and expectaions against your wallet. If it's a recrational weekend trail runner keep it as it is or maybe go to a 44 up front. If your looking for severe duty use you better keep your eye out for a pair of 60's. Just my humble opinion and $.02 worth.

Good luck and happy Jeeping!
Former CJ'er
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