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Unread 10-13-2003, 09:23 PM   #1
jjbtj
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Dana 30 to Dana 44 axle swap

Will the front axle (Dana 44 - housing, differential & axles only) from a 2003 Rubicon TJ, replace, without modifications or other replacement parts, the existing front axle (Dana 30) on an X series TJ. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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Unread 10-13-2003, 09:52 PM   #2
DLoweinc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbtj
Will the front axle (Dana 44 - housing, differential & axles only) from a 2003 Rubicon TJ, replace, without modifications or other replacement parts, the existing front axle (Dana 30) on an X series TJ. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
I'm pretty sure it would, I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't.

I replaced my front dana 30 with a HP dana 30 from an XJ and it worked fine.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 10:02 PM   #3
Big Grand
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Why would you put a Rubi 44 in your TJ? Your not gaining any strength besides having a slightly bigger R&P.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 10:35 PM   #4
jjbtj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Grand
Why would you put a Rubi 44 in your TJ? Your not gaining any strength besides having a slightly bigger R&P.
The Rubicon axle includes the locking differential. To date, my research indicates the Dana 44 axle to be a larger and more durable axle than the Dana 30.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 07:05 AM   #5
Jami
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You might need to get the track bar off of a rubi depending on how much kift you have. It has a deeper bend in it to accomodate for the larger housing when the jeep is flexed.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 08:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Grand
Why would you put a Rubi 44 in your TJ? Your not gaining any strength besides having a slightly bigger R&P.

Not true. The axle shaft is bigger in diameter (1.31") and 30 spline.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 10:13 AM   #7
Electric Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbtj
Will the front axle (Dana 44 - housing, differential & axles only) from a 2003 Rubicon TJ, replace, without modifications or other replacement parts, the existing front axle (Dana 30) on an X series TJ. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Replacing a standard TJ D30 axle with a Rubicon TJ D44 front axle will require a few minor modifications, but nothing serious or difficult. I've actually helped a friend do this exact thing. Practically everything fits perfectly: your existing D30 coil springs, shocks, sway bar links (or quick discos), upper and lower control arms, brake lines, and the tie rod/drag link assembly all work without any modification whatsoever.

Two things that might cause minor problems are the track bar and the driveshaft.

As for the track bar, I don't know for certain if the factory D30 one will fit because my friend has a R.E. adjustable track bar (which fit perfectly with no modification whatsoever). If you do havve problems with the factory track bar, then rest assured that the aftermarket R.E. adjustable track bar works perfectly (and it's a good idea to have one if you have a significant amount of lift, anyways, so it's not goin to be "wasted" money).

For the driveshaft, you have to realize that the pinion is longer on the D44 compared to the D30, so you technically need to shorten your front driveshaft. HOWEVER, the one that I helped replace was on a TJ with 3.5" of suspension lift, so that more than made up for the difference in pinion length, so we didn't have to do anything to the front driveshaft. I would think that if you have any appreciable amount of lift on your Jeep you shouldn't have to worry about the front driveshaft.

NOW HAVING SAID ALL THAT.....

I gotta agree with a lot of other folks around here and say that upgrading to a Rubicon front D44 isn't necessarily the smartest thing in the world to do. It's a relatively light-duty D44 which re-uses a LOT of standard TJ D30 parts. Heck the entire OUTER assemblies (u-joint, stub shaft, unit bearing/hub, outer knuckle, brakes, etc) are identical to the D30, so there's no strength gain there. And the axle housing is the same size/thickness as a D30, so there's no strength gain there either. Pretty much the only things you gain with a Rubicon D44 are:

- Factory Rubicon air locker (which will require you to have air)
- Larger inner shafts (which aren't a usual D30 breakage point)
- Larger ring-&-pinon gears (which technically allow for deeper gears)

So if you want a front D44 for more gearing choices, then it might sound like a good idea...BUT unfortunately the Rubi D44 is a bit different than a standard D44, so you are limited to the "new" Rubi D44 gears available on the market which will work with the factory air locker, and at this time the deepest gears you can get are 4.88, which in case you didn't know is also as deep as you can go on a standard front D30....so there's no advantage in gearing at all, unless you're willing to completely ditch the factory air locker.

Honestly, I came *extremely* close to buying a new Rubicon D44 front axle when I totally trashed my stock D30 housing, but after a LOT of research and hands-on evaluation, I decided that I would be much better off just sticking with another D30 instead. There just weren't any really compelling reasons (upgraded strength, deeper gearing options, etc) to spend any money on a Rubi D44 compared to beefing up a D30.

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Unread 10-14-2003, 03:06 PM   #8
Big Grand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igofshn
Not true. The axle shaft is bigger in diameter (1.31") and 30 spline.
Yeah ok, but your not getting any bigger knuckles, brakes or anything that much stronger than a d-30. Just seems dumb to swap in a Rubi 44.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Grand
Yeah ok, but your not getting any bigger knuckles, brakes or anything that much stronger than a d-30. Just seems dumb to swap in a Rubi 44.
Pardon me for possibly asking a dumb question, but how do you beef up a d-30 so you can add lockers and 35's? I know that I want to put lockers on my TJ, not 100% sure of the 35's but probably will at some point.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 03:22 PM   #10
igofshn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSilva
Pardon me for possibly asking a dumb question, but how do you beef up a d-30 so you can add lockers and 35's? I know that I want to put lockers on my TJ, not 100% sure of the 35's but probably will at some point.

Your 30 will handle 35's and a locker. I run a stock 30 with a full Detroit. I haven't had any problems.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 03:32 PM   #11
AirborneSilva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igofshn
Your 30 will handle 35's and a locker. I run a stock 30 with a full Detroit. I haven't had any problems.
Thanks, I hear so much about axel strength and running lockers and or 35's. So then I would just have to change the rear to a d-44 or would one of those kits to beef up the d-35 work ok.

Sorry to hijack the thread, I have been wondering about these things and felt this was the perfect time to ask....
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Unread 10-14-2003, 06:21 PM   #12
Big Grand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSilva
Pardon me for possibly asking a dumb question, but how do you beef up a d-30 so you can add lockers and 35's? I know that I want to put lockers on my TJ, not 100% sure of the 35's but probably will at some point.
I swapped in a HP30, which is 30% stonger over the standard LP 30. I put in 4.88's, ARB and I just ordered up some Warn shafts that will be filled with CTM joints. You wont have any problems running 35's on a 30. Just keep spare shafts and joints.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 06:30 PM   #13
jjbtj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Grand
Yeah ok, but your not getting any bigger knuckles, brakes or anything that much stronger than a d-30. Just seems dumb to swap in a Rubi 44.
I appreciate each reply posted in response to my original inquiry.
It is not my intention to remove/replace a perfectly good Dana 30 axle system. I am intrested in installing 4.88 gearing and a locking (controlled) differential. The existing housing is damaged and requires replacement. Because I can purchase a new Rubicon 44 housing, locking differential including controls and the axles for what it would cost to purchase a new Dana 30 housing and locking differential, I posed the question in an attempt to avoid purchasing parts that will not interchange with the original Dana 30 system. Again, thanks for the input.
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Unread 10-14-2003, 07:46 PM   #14
rkutzner
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Superior has beefier axles for the D30...
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Unread 10-15-2003, 11:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbtj
I appreciate each reply posted in response to my original inquiry.
It is not my intention to remove/replace a perfectly good Dana 30 axle system. I am intrested in installing 4.88 gearing and a locking (controlled) differential. The existing housing is damaged and requires replacement. Because I can purchase a new Rubicon 44 housing, locking differential including controls and the axles for what it would cost to purchase a new Dana 30 housing and locking differential, I posed the question in an attempt to avoid purchasing parts that will not interchange with the original Dana 30 system. Again, thanks for the input.
So you're kinda in the same boat that I was once. I bent my D30 housing and when I went to buy a new one, I found out it was actually CHEAPER to get a Rubi D44 front instead. But once I did the research (and discovered the weaknesses in the Rubi D44) I figured it's be smarter to get a used D30 instead.

FWIW, in this area a good used complete TJ D30 costs $1000 at a junkyard, but only about $300 from people in the local wheelin' community (clubs, local forums, etc).
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