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Unread 02-20-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
Kastraelie
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posts: 525
Need to rebuild or buy front axle?

I'm slowly educating myself here...

A little background:

Been rebuilding my Jeep from the ground up and have gone through EVERYTHING but the front D30. I took it out for my first drive, and the brakes felt weak, and I noticed that my passenger rotor needed to be replaced. Four days in I have the whole thing apart and it is a MESS!

-Already bought new hubs, old ones were trashed and I couldn't get all the replacement parts.

-Bought new U joints

- On fence about replacing axle shafts...driver's side is severely pitted

- gears are toast. the pinion gear is razor sharp (literally) with chips and the ring is also very worn.

- differential shims are completely toast, with only one in tact

- bearings look good, but side on and off the carrier by hand...shouldn't these be a tight fit that requires a press to remove?


So now I am kinda stuck and want some opinions. I have been researching how to replace the gears myself and set them up. I found this amazing article and it seems like its something I can aspire to.

I've priced out axle shafts, gears, rebuild kit, and tools at $1300. I've already sunk about $600 on the axle so far for other parts (ball joints, rotors, hubs seals, etc)

Since I am doing all this crap I am also thinking I should do a locker of sorts...

- spool versus locker?

I'm not made of money and the Jeep has completely drained me, so a spool is attractive. I drive 80% on the road and 20% on the trail, and I am not a heavy gunner.

My thinking is that I can just unlock my hubs and the Jeep will behave nicely on the street. I don't drive in snow and ice (live on the MS coast afterall) so I don't need high speed 4x4.

Then again for 200$ more I can get a locker...not sure what to get. I just know I can't afford a selectable locker right now.


My final option is just to buy a drop in axle, but I have a narrow track CJ and I haven't found options for this. Any suggestions or links? I have seen some nice looking ones on this forum but I am having trouble now that I need them... xD


TO SUMMARIZE

1. I want to price out and compare Building versus Buying. Where can I buy a drop-in Narrow Track D30 (or comparably $$ option) for my Jeep?

2. Considering I have locking hubs and never use 4H, what is my best option for locking my front axle for under $500?

Thanks a million, as usual...

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Unread 02-20-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
Airborne4X4
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prolly cheaper to have the front diff rebuilt by a reputable shop.. 500 bucks plus or minus

please don't put a spool in the front diff.....drop in an Aussie or a Lockrite, do this when the axle is getting new gears.
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Unread 02-20-2014, 11:17 PM   #3
dg6772
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I have a Spartan locker in mine. It was under 300 bucks and I love it. Basically the same as a lockrite but easier to take back out if necessary.

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Unread 02-20-2014, 11:20 PM   #4
dg6772
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Around me gear set up is pretty spendy. I had the rear in my truck done and that was 800 with a used gear set.

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Unread 02-21-2014, 06:16 AM   #5
82JeepCJ7
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I run a Spartan locker in the front of mine. Love it. If your not in 4wd, you will never notice it.
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Unread 02-21-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
Matt1981CJ7
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Kastraelie,

I've struggled with the same dilemma for a while. I want to re-gear, install one-piece axles, and add a locker. I, too, have narrow-tracks, so finding used axles in the configuration I'm looking for has proven to be a difficult hunt.

I'm leaning towards buying new Currie axles. They're expensive, but they're warranted, and will be a direct bolt-on. I will save the countless hours spent compiling the necessary parts, as well as the time spent re-building (I'm told setting up gears is a lengthy process for a first-timer).

Anyway, I know many can't afford the $3K price tag for Curries, but I thought I'd share why I've justified the expense.

Matt
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Unread 02-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
duffer
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I don't know about elsewhere but around here you can usually find an entire servicable D30 for a couple hundred bucks at most of the real 4x4 shops as they are replaced with 44's or 60's. The hardcore people attach no value to them. Would I spend $1200 on a D30? Not a chance.
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Unread 02-21-2014, 08:16 AM   #8
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duffer View Post
I don't know about elsewhere but around here you can usually find an entire servicable D30 for a couple hundred bucks at most of the real 4x4 shops as they are replaced with 44's or 60's. The hardcore people attach no value to them. Would I spend $1200 on a D30? Not a chance.
The problem is, most of the discarded D30s are a similar setup to what I already have. So, they'd require new gears, axles, a locker, and probably new outers. By the time you add up those expenses, you're well over $1500, and you still have used housings that have had who-knows how much abuse.

When you factor the cost of buying new axles over the lifetime of their use, it's really not a huge expense. It just hurts the wallet a little at the time of purchase.

Just my opinion.

Matt
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Unread 02-21-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
wm69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kastraelie View Post
I'm slowly educating myself here...

A little background:

Been rebuilding my Jeep from the ground up and have gone through EVERYTHING but the front D30. I took it out for my first drive, and the brakes felt weak, and I noticed that my passenger rotor needed to be replaced. Four days in I have the whole thing apart and it is a MESS!

-Already bought new hubs, old ones were trashed and I couldn't get all the replacement parts.

-Bought new U joints

- On fence about replacing axle shafts...driver's side is severely pitted

- gears are toast. the pinion gear is razor sharp (literally) with chips and the ring is also very worn.

- differential shims are completely toast, with only one in tact

- bearings look good, but side on and off the carrier by hand...shouldn't these be a tight fit that requires a press to remove?


So now I am kinda stuck and want some opinions. I have been researching how to replace the gears myself and set them up. I found this amazing article and it seems like its something I can aspire to.

I've priced out axle shafts, gears, rebuild kit, and tools at $1300. I've already sunk about $600 on the axle so far for other parts (ball joints, rotors, hubs seals, etc)

Since I am doing all this crap I am also thinking I should do a locker of sorts...

- spool versus locker?

I'm not made of money and the Jeep has completely drained me, so a spool is attractive. I drive 80% on the road and 20% on the trail, and I am not a heavy gunner.

My thinking is that I can just unlock my hubs and the Jeep will behave nicely on the street. I don't drive in snow and ice (live on the MS coast afterall) so I don't need high speed 4x4.

Then again for 200$ more I can get a locker...not sure what to get. I just know I can't afford a selectable locker right now.


My final option is just to buy a drop in axle, but I have a narrow track CJ and I haven't found options for this. Any suggestions or links? I have seen some nice looking ones on this forum but I am having trouble now that I need them... xD


TO SUMMARIZE

1. I want to price out and compare Building versus Buying. Where can I buy a drop-in Narrow Track D30 (or comparably $$ option) for my Jeep?

2. Considering I have locking hubs and never use 4H, what is my best option for locking my front axle for under $500?

Thanks a million, as usual...
If you want upgraded axles, build them. If you just won't good working look for decent used ones. Narrow Tracs are usually cheap, or even free.

Might also look for a complete set of Widetracs. I've got an extra set of Widetracs in my shop now I got a couple years ago. Plan is to put new bearings and seals in them and swap them out with my existing ones so the Jeep isn't torn down for long.
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85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 02-21-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
Kastraelie
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
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Lots of great advice here. I was considering the Aussie or Spartan, but I guess I was retarded because I thought those were considered spools because they didn't replace the carrier. Doh!


Matt, I agree with all your points regarding an axle assembly. I debated going completely new, or remanufactured until I came across these guys:


http://shop.rp4wd.com/product/axles-5


I spoke to Paul on the phone, who was very pleasant-natured. He quoted me 2200 to ship a narrow track D44 axle with new 4030 chromoly axles, new gears all setup for my application, and the spring perches for my 2.5" springs, and freight shipping to my door. The best part for me was the axle shafts they used were beefy and used larger U joints, but still were 27 splined--so I could reuse my knuckles, hubs, etc (which I have already put $$$ into). I thought 2200 was a great price considering what I would pay to do it myself!


In the end, I think I am going to rebuild my D30 myself. I want the learning experience, and I have done everything myself so far so it would feel cheating to drop something in. I won't save very much money in the grand scheme of things, but I am on a budget and every dollar counts.


(A) Inch-Lb Torque Wrench 46.18
(A) Dial Indicator 35.5
(H) Race&Bearing Drive Kit 33.5
(H) Bearing Separator 29.99
(H)12T Shop Press 142.5
(H) 3lb Dead Blow 9.99
(A) Alloy USA 12139 528.09
(Q) Master Overhaul Kit 109.99
(Q) R&P 4:10 - Ten Factory 139.99
(Q) Extra Pinion Nut 4.99
Aussie Locker 250


That comes to 1330.72 and includes tax for the items I need to buy at HF. I know its going to be a pain in the butt




Thanks guys, your opinions have really helped my decision!
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Unread 02-21-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
dg6772
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Location: Muskegon, Michigan
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Check with friends...I have a couple of close pals with jeeps (as well as other projects) between the three of us there are few small"needed" tools we don't have.

I know how you feel on the diy part. I always look for options,and usually end up doing out myself. I'm planning on regearing a Ford 9" to put in a nova project I'm going to start even though I know a guy who would do it for 80 bucks just for the know how.

Good luck! And remember worst that can happen is........its still broke!

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Unread 02-21-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
Kastraelie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dg6772 View Post
Good luck! And remember worst that can happen is........its still broke!

Dave in Muskegon using JeepForum
Hahaha! But not JUST my Jeep, my wallet too!
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Unread 02-21-2014, 12:46 PM   #13
dg6772
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Oh yeah! Just like a boat

B- bust
O- out
A- another
T- thousand

Sometimes wonder if I should take the same approach as a boat. Best one is a friend who has one. Ha ha
Nah! No excitement that way....

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Unread 02-22-2014, 12:57 PM   #14
Kastraelie
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Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posts: 525
Now I'm just debating whether to drop the axle for the fifth time to rebuilt it or keep it in the heep...


Lots of guys say I will go nuts shimming and adjusting if its in the vehicle, and I usually take good advice but it seems like the diff is easy to get to enough right now.


I just hate lining up those darn U bolts through my RE plates. xD
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Unread 02-22-2014, 01:09 PM   #15
dg6772
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I've never done it myself,but watched my neighbor rebuild a d35 in a yj last year. Didn't seem too bad and he's 58.

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