Advice Needed - LJ Upgrades - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
fursphere
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Advice Needed - LJ Upgrades

Need some help folks. I'm probably just way overthinking this, but that's what I do...

I've got two Jeeps. '93 XJ and an '04 TJU / "LJ". The XJ is on 35s, Dana44 front and rear, 7.5" long arm lift, highly modified. The LJ is closer to stock. Dana 30 Front, Dana 44 rear, 4" lift on 33s. The XJ has been modified to a 5x5.5" wheel bolt pattern. (CJ bolt pattern). LJ is the stock 5x4.5" bolt pattern. I'm trying to get them both in shape for Moab (and beyond) next year. I'll be driving the XJ, wife will be driving the LJ. We've got two younger boys that will be going with us.

The Dana 30 on the front of the LJ is always on my mind as a weak link. I don't wheel the thing hard (mostly just deep backwoods exploring right now), but I feel the 33x12.5x15 tires are already kind of the limit on that axle. But the 33s are starting the wear out, and I have a full set of almost brand new BFG KO2 ATs 35x12.5x16 tires I'd love to put on the LJ. Except they're the 5x5.5" bolt pattern. (terrible problem to have right? lol). I would love to have both jeeps on the same tire size / bolt pattern just to make things easy on the trail - should the need arise. We're also planning on building an adventure trailer to pull behind the rigs on family adventure, and having that match tire size / bolt pattern would be ideal down the road.

So the options I've come up with for the Wrangler

1) Wheel adapters to convert the 5x4.5 to 5x5.5 bolt pattern and run the 35s, hope the Dana 30 doesn't blow up
2) Buy new wheels for the BFGs in the 5x4.5" bolt pattern for the stock Wrangler
3) Assuming the stars align in a few months, upgrade the LJ to a Dana 44 (ProRock maybe?), with the 5x5.5" bolt pattern, then buy new shafts for the rear Dana 44. (basically the "go big or go home" option)
4) I could put some money into the Dana 30 (axle sleeves, gussets on the knuckels, etc) to add some strength, but my gut tells me that's just delaying the inevitable.
5) Something I haven't thought of yet?

I need to re gear the LJ as it is right now (stock 3.73 gears aren't great with the 33s in the hills), so I'm hesitant to pay to have the Dana 30 re geared as I may end up swapping it for a Dana 44 later anyway. (I can do a lot of work myself, but re gearing axles is something I haven't tackled yet)


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post #2 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 08:02 AM
NotURMailman
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The TJ Dana 30 doesn't need sleeves or gussets to run 35s.
The problem with the 30 and the 35s is the shafts / u-joints.
Why not re-gear for the 35s, get some chromloy shaft and put the tires on some wheels with the right bolt pattern?


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post #3 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotURMailman View Post
The TJ Dana 30 doesn't need sleeves or gussets to run 35s.
The problem with the 30 and the 35s is the shafts / u-joints.
Why not re-gear for the 35s, get some chromloy shaft and put the tires on some wheels with the right bolt pattern?
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
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post #4 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 08:29 AM
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may want to go with a different tire as well. the only 35x12.5x16 bfg ko2 that i can find are 315/75r16 which is an E-Load and far too stiff for a TJ


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post #5 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 08:32 AM
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Brakes:
http://www.shop.blackmagicbrakes.com...-BBK-OS16M.htm

Shafts:
http://www.rcvperformance.com/produc...aspx?sku=CVJ30

Wheels:
https://www.4wd.com/p/pro-comp-serie...BKBQ-7069-6865

Or, you can go with cheaper u-joint style chromo shafts.

And you could even try Centric rotors and BMB pads.

And there are plenty of (more expensive) wheel options.

All depends how much you want to spend.

The point is that the D30 will be fine with a few mods...


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post #6 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 08:34 AM
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If I had a set of almost brand new 35s I'd run them even if they were E load rated. Drop the PIS and ride them until they're worn out...


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post #7 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:03 AM
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I'm poor and enjoy all of my Jeeps. Quality wheel adapters/spacers made in the USA are only $70 for all 4. PM me if you need a full set.

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Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Why also would he need a rare as hen's teeth Dana 44 out of another TJ which will eventually lead to him swapping in a POS 8.8 because he can't find one?
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post #8 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotURMailman View Post
If I had a set of almost brand new 35s I'd run them even if they were E load rated. Drop the PIS and ride them until they're worn out...
How bad is the "Actual" difference in ride quality? I have the MTR-K 245's and it still rides exactly like a Jeep. SO MUCH better than stock since my Zone 4.25" lift and new shocks. I'm on the fence of buying 15" wheels and c rated tires or keeping my 16" Rubi wheels (I like them) and paying a little more NOT to buy crap black steel wheels (that's all I can afford).

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Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Why also would he need a rare as hen's teeth Dana 44 out of another TJ which will eventually lead to him swapping in a POS 8.8 because he can't find one?
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post #9 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
may want to go with a different tire as well. the only 35x12.5x16 bfg ko2 that i can find are 315/75r16 which is an E-Load and far too stiff for a TJ
I ran them on my XJ on a trip to Oregon. About 1300 miles round trip. Little stiff, but not horrible. Significantly better ride than the Goodyear Wranglers M/T tires I normally run on the XJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotURMailman View Post
If I had a set of almost brand new 35s I'd run them even if they were E load rated. Drop the PIS and ride them until they're worn out...
I bought them to have a second set of tires for the XJ. One normal wheeling, one for mud/snow. Then I bought the Wrangler.... lol

Thanks for the links.

So.. shafts + brakes upgrades / knuckles + wheels = $2700 Then about $600+ to get the D30 re geared, it'll be around $3300 (without adding a locker, if I wanted to do that). I had thought I priced out a D44 for around $3800 for a complete assembled axle. (could be wrong...). Not arguing one way or the other, just doing the math.

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post #10 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:32 AM
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IF it were me...toss that LP Dana 30 and grab a HP30 from an XJ (dime a dozen at wreckers). Regear that and run 35s with 5 x 4.5 bolt pattern. The reverse rotation gears are stronger. 97+ XJs used the bigger Ujoint (760x I believe). It is usually the caps that end up spinning , stretching the ears and failing before you break shafts. So you can always tack them in OR grind to fit a full circle clip.

I ran a HP30 , regeared to 4.88 with NO Truss , NO Chromos , Aussie locked on 36s for 6 years. Broke a total of 3 shafts / ujoints with that setup. Once I upgraded to bigger/stronger ujoints I only broke 1 after a cable wrapped around my passenger tire stopping it dead in its tracks.

2006 LJR...the madness begins again
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post #11 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
I wish I could get an honest opinion on 315 75 16 ride quality and just 35x12.50x15 tires. I love my wheels but tire prices are crazy high for anything over a 15" wheel.

I'm guessing it's like running 35's. NOBODY knows $H!T other than opinions.
gf's jeep runs a bit smoother on bumps with 33x12.5x15 MTRs c load and a zone combo using hydro shocks than mine on 315/75r16 duratracs e load and fox shocks.

its not horrible, but i'll likely be buying another set of rims to get away from the e loads when the time comes.

ride quality is highly subjective but sidewall flex at low psi is where ive seen the biggest difference between c load and e load
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post #12 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
I wish I could get an honest opinion on 315 75 16 ride quality and just 35x12.50x15 tires. I love my wheels but tire prices are crazy high for anything over a 15" wheel.

I'm guessing it's like running 35's. NOBODY knows $H!T other than opinions.
My BFG KO2s are a bit stiff on the road, but overall were smooth on the 500 mile road trip. XJ is 7.5" RE lift. But they are smoother than the Goodyear Wrangler M/Ts I also run. So while that probably doesn't answer your question, its the best I can do.
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post #13 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fursphere View Post
So.. shafts + brakes upgrades / knuckles + wheels = $2700 Then about $600+ to get the D30 re geared, it'll be around $3300 (without adding a locker, if I wanted to do that). I had thought I priced out a D44 for around $3800 for a complete assembled axle. (could be wrong...). Not arguing one way or the other, just doing the math.
What D44? They are not all created equal and that price sounds low to me for any of the ones I'd run. And to compare all in cost if going that route, don't you need to add in anything you would do to the rear (i.e. shafts).

As far as building the D30 (and I do like the HP30 option), I'd run Revolution alloys with JK u-joints rather than RCVs which would save a little I think. Also, on the brakes while I am a big fan of the Vanco kits a lot of people are satisfied with going to Black Magic pads as an interim upgrade.
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post #14 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
What D44? They are not all created equal and that price sounds low to me for any of the ones I'd run. And to compare all in cost if going that route, don't you need to add in anything you would do to the rear (i.e. shafts).
I think I was looking at the DynaTrac ProRock 44 last night. But I think you're right. Its probably closer to $4800... which at that price, I should start looking for a complete rig with a Dana 44 and just swap it.

I keep forgetting to remind myself that I got super lucky on the XJ I bought. lol

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post #15 of 43 Old 09-21-2017, 10:37 AM
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Those bolt in axle assemblies probably aren't going to have improved brakes.
And you can definitely save by getting u-joint style chromo shaft instead of RCV shafts.


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