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Unread 02-08-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
jskwarek
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Axle advice

Good morning all, need some advice on axles. First, a bit of background. I love modifying vehicles in general, I'm a Mustang guy at heart but a bit burnt out with racing and Mustangs in general. Just sold my last project Mustang to pick up the Jeep. While the Jeep isn't my first one, it's the first one I'm taking seriously. The ongoing joke from those that know me is I buy, mod, sell, repeat. It's an obsession, once I'm done with the build I want to sell and move to the next project.

That being said, here's where I'm at. Plan is to build a LCOG Jeep for mall crawling on the weekends and trail duty. I'm looking at 35" tires and want the ability to climb around in Gilmer or other local parks but I won't be trying to keep up with the big dogs.

Am I stupid for even thinking about a S35 kit? This setup was just being rumored when I got out of Jeeping the first go around and the common thought then was not to put a single penny into a D35. Looking now, it seems that still common thought but then I see some saying that with a Truss and S35 kit they've never had any problems playing in the big rocks with 35" tires.

I don't have the time or energy to build a set of axles right now so it's either I throw in this kit and re-gear or I buy an axle ready to bolt in which looks to be in the neighborhood of $2500-$3000 depending on axle and build.

Thoughts,
Jason

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Unread 02-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
FarmerinVA
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I went through the same confusing research about a year ago. You will get a range of opinions about the S35. While some of the most sober and respectable people do like it, at the end of the day you'll be collecting opinions, not hard facts.

Here are the hard facts that probably make the S35 wrong for you. You say you don't have time to do the work yourself, and if your goal is 35 inch tires and "keeping up with the big dogs," you need to regear, probably to 4.88s if I recall correctly. If you total up the many costs of buying the S35, having a professional install it (which includes installing the locker), and buying the new gears and installing them, you will be very close to the price of a bolt-in, already-geared, no-truss-is-necessary, already-locked by a factory tech, brand-new (or newly reconditioned) stronger solution such as the 8.8 or an aftermarket D44. Do the math and you'll quickly see why the bolt-in solution is so popular.

I did upgrade my D35 by adding chromo shafts and a TrueTrac. But I did all the work myself, I didn't change gearing, I don't intend to go larger than 31" tires, and I have no intention of rock-hopping with the big boys out west. My solution is great for me but it would be a total waste of money for you. I don't think you can go the S35 route economically, based on what you say about your plans.
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My do-it-yourself install thread for a TrueTrac in the rear, upgraded shafts, and a PowerTrax No-Slip in the front:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ex...hafts-1234745/
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Unread 02-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #3
jskwarek
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Thank you for your feedback FarmerinVA. When I say I don't have time or energy to build up a set of axles I mean from scratch. I have the know-how and tools to do gear and carrier swaps, I just don't have the time or energy to pickup an old Ford axle, strip the old mounts and weld on the new mounts. I'd like to get the Jeep trail worthy more sooner than later and I know myself. If I did buy axles to strip and rebuild, I'd still be staring at them in their purchased state a year from now.

However, costs aside, it would be the quickest thing. I could have the new axles, gears and locker in over a 6 pack on a Saturday afternoon. I could R&R the axle in that same amount of time. This is where I start splitting hairs, the D44 and S35 are comparable in strength, but the D35 with S35 would be better ground clearance, point for the D35. For about $500 more than building the D35 I can pick up a G2 D44 axle, with better resell value. Like I said, it'll get built and sold so I can move on with the next project, have to be realistic with myself there. So, point for the D44...

Decisions, decisions... Over the past few days I've had a few opportunities show up on a local Jeep forum. One for a set of Rubi D44's and one for a shaved 9" and D30 with chromo axles and lockers. I'm waiting on information back from both sellers. If I can get either of these deals reasonably I'll be all over them.

Thanks again for the feed back.
Jason
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Unread 02-09-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
jskwarek
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The 9" deal fell through, he got the Jeep sold. I've got two options available right now:

1) Open D30 and 8.8 with limited slip (4.88gears) = $1000
2) Rubi D44's with chromo shafts in front axle and ARB covers on both axles. (5.13gears) w/ factory air lockers and pumps = $3500

Both seem to be pretty good deals, is it worth the extra change to go with the Rubi 44's? For those that run the 8.8, how low does it hang down? I know the 8.8 like the back of my hand, but only in Mustang applications...

Jason
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
FarmerinVA
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I'm way out of my depth here but I don't think (looking at it on paper, not from personal experience) that the Super 35 upgrade and the G2 aftermarket Dana 44 axle are in the same class. The S35 is a 30-spline and has the smaller ring gear and carrier components, and has flex problems. The G2 (or its competitors) is 33-spline and has the larger ring gear and carrier components, making it hugely stronger. If the difference is really just $500 when you total everything up the way you plan to do the work, that's a no-brainer, isn't it? As for resale value, I'm not certain that the Super 35 kit has much at all, while the upgraded 44 has lots.

But that 8.8 deal looks very good, assuming it is bolt-in. I don't run an 8.8 on my Wrangler, buy I have one on my farm's F150 and I've never found differential clearance to be a big factor offroad even on its 31-32" tires, or in any vehicle I've ever run, from trucks to tractors. I understand why it could be, theoretically, but practically it just hasn't been. My impression is that people like to talk about this as an issue, much more than it really is an issue.
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My do-it-yourself install thread for a TrueTrac in the rear, upgraded shafts, and a PowerTrax No-Slip in the front:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ex...hafts-1234745/
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
BILL G
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FarmerinVa if you ever come to Ohio let me know,we will set up a ride and you will see what an issue diff height will make.It can be the difference of making a trail or obstacle and not,Believe me it is an issue.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
FarmerinVA
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Bill G, I'm sure it can be -- that's just a question of math. But how frequently? I'm asking, not debating.

Could you give any sort of metric to it? For example, is it something that you experience (or need to change your driving style to avoid, which is the same thing) on 1/10th of your serious trail runs? 1/50th? And in what conditions and on what size tires? The OP is talking about 35s.

I'm actually curious. When I have run rocks, this just hasn't ever been a problem, even where I suspected it would be, and when I run over ruts and logs (which is my more frequent situation) it's very rarely been an annoyance and never a stopper, and that's on smallish tires. But I'd be interested if you could put a percentage on it. Obviously it would be a guesstimate but it might be valuable nonetheless.
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My do-it-yourself install thread for a TrueTrac in the rear, upgraded shafts, and a PowerTrax No-Slip in the front:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ex...hafts-1234745/
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Unread 02-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
StupendousMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskwarek View Post
The 9" deal fell through, he got the Jeep sold. I've got two options available right now:

1) Open D30 and 8.8 with limited slip (4.88gears) = $1000
2) Rubi D44's with chromo shafts in front axle and ARB covers on both axles. (5.13gears) w/ factory air lockers and pumps = $3500

Both seem to be pretty good deals, is it worth the extra change to go with the Rubi 44's? For those that run the 8.8, how low does it hang down? I know the 8.8 like the back of my hand, but only in Mustang applications...

Jason
5.13 is going to be way too deep for you. Even with a manual tranny. (not sure which one you have) 4.88 is good if you have a manual, auto you want 4.56 (which is where I am trying to go) I just sawped over an auto from a manual and with 4.88 gears i hit 55ish and near 3000 rpms. With a manual it was perfect! I am looking to do the 8.8 and with a super 88 kit, plenty strong for anything and everything I will throw at it with my 35's
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Unread 02-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
jskwarek
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I am manual, and am worried about the 5.13, I was just curious as to whether I should go with the 8.8 and D30 or was the D44 really a better choice in the long run?

Bill G, I'm curious to see your comments on Farmers questions too.

Jason
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Unread 02-10-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskwarek View Post
2) Rubi D44's with chromo shafts in front axle and ARB covers on both axles. (5.13gears) w/ factory air lockers and pumps = $3500
This is going to be your best option. They're ready to bolt in (with the possible exception of the rear pinion accepting a 1330 u-joint), chromoly shafts, and lockers. What are you waiting for? Yes, the gearing will be a little low for 35s. Unless you drive your jeep on the freeway a bunch, it shouldn't bother you.
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Unread 02-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
GrantLasson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskwarek View Post
I am manual, and am worried about the 5.13, I was just curious as to whether I should go with the 8.8 and D30 or was the D44 really a better choice in the long run?
I had a ring gear problem on my rear so I re-geared from 5.13 to 4.56 on 35" tires (manual tx as well). I like the change--I used to skip first gear entirely on the road and almost always in 4 low (4:1 reduction on Rubi). I gained a lifetime warranty from Yukon which they won't offer on anything higher.

I mostly off-road in Moab. If you're not really doing some very difficult terrain, I'd think hard about 5.13s

Grant
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Unread 02-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
pmcjeep
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I went with a 8.8 and hp30 in mine with 4.88s and 35s I havnt had a problem with the 8.8 hanging up on anything. I think it comes down to preference 8.8 and hp30 or dana44 and hp30 would both be good choices.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 08:13 AM   #13
jskwarek
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Thanks for the opinionsI ended up picking up an 8.8 and D30. The D30 is a stock TJ LP but they are both geared with 4.88 gears. I picked them both up, ready to bolt into a TJ for $1000.

Jason
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