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Unread 07-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
Ro11s
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lift or lockers opinions/suggestions

So to start off, this is my first post ever and I have some back story for everyone first before they think my questions are stupid and to do research. Lol

First off I am not to mechanically inclined. I can do a few things on my own, pretty much anything that uses bolts, wires and fuses. Welding and custom fab involving metal manipulation isn't there yet, but hopefully one day they will be.

My intent is to learn new traits as I build and soon my jeep will be at a point of a very capable crawler that will get to and from trails on its own power. Later down the road I will have a different dd and my jeep will be parked. Budget it not unlimited and like I said, skill set is lacking for now. I have friends that do welding and whatnot but aren't comfortable doing work on my rig until they do work on theirs first.

I currently have a 99 sahara with d44/d30 with 3.73s and the rear has factory LSD. Upgrades are 33 km2s, 1.5 wheel spacers front and rear, bumpers, sliders, winch, CB and KC day lighters.

My goal is a LCG crawler on 37s. I'm a believer in buying high end parts that last, but obviously looking for best overall deals. I'm thinking (and my plan has changed 4 times already and could change again) is Clayton 4 inch lift (possibly stretched and smaller springs.) skids all around, 37 tires, sturdy axles, caged, and all around a beast. For tires i will probably step to 35s first and build up as I can to handle 37s. I live in Oregon and we have coverage laws so comp cut is it of the question. Thinking metal cloaks or true highline, still undecided. I want to concur moab, Rubicon and harder. I easy on the gas and low and slow is my goal.

Now that is done, here's my question and its pretty loaded:

Lift or lockers. Now ive done research and to run 35s even on a d30 front isn't recommended. G2 dana 44 are pretty much a build 30 and iffy for 37s. I want axles to be a little wider than stock width for stability, just not convinced on full size axles with little backspacing.

I've read that 78-80 ford d60s are a great option. I woukd have to have a shop do the swap then slowly dump money into them with arb lockers, gears and so on. I've for axles on CL for a pretty Pennie.

On the flip side I've also looked into some Currie axles and can order them fully built and "bolt in" for a pretty dollar or 8k of them give or take depending on options. But my buddies and I can drop those in pretty easy.

Plan C is I do a Clayton lift, regear my D44/d30 and push 35s hoping nothing major breaks. (Not too worried about the 44, just the 30) if i do the stretch i need a new tank and will needs custom exhaust work and so many more things that will jack the price up to a hefty bill. I'm hesitant on dumping money into axles that will be swapped out down the road.

Sorry for the 15 page book on my situation, but being first post I needed to get out that starting out a shop will be involved, give a general idea on my goals and wheeling. If u need more info from me let me know. And for the record I've been researching for about 3-4 months but needs suggestions one what is the first better step.

I'm mainly looking for suggestions for my situation, pros/con's to it. I know there's a bunch on this forum with different info, but most everyone has the ability to do their own fab work.

Any info/suggestions/tips are much appreciated.

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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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Also everything I do I'm building for the future. I don't want to spend money on the same upgrades over and over. I understand that with my skills or lack there of, things will be spendy now, but I'm shooting for long term.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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What is the time frame for your build? I'm trying to figure out if it is even worth stepping to 35's or just going all the way in one shot. If 37's are say 5 years away then sure it would work.

A 2 inch budget boost and lockers will get you much further down the trail then a 4 inch lift and 35's. You are definitely looking at it the right way trying to plan out your build before getting too deep into it.
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I like the arms, they are a good solution, but they really aren't worth the effort for the average person and you already see the BS that goes on over bushings VS JJ's, the crap that would go on over J arms would be epic.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Time table is realistically looking around 8-10 years. Juggling saving for house and jeep but once in a house there's a lot more $$$ for jeep. Lol and definitely as I can do more fab on my own I won't have to put up shop costs.

I've heard lift and open diff's will get you nowhere slow, but also flex is needed with or without lockers. So for a noob here its a coin toss. But either way I go its looking like an all in, go big or go home situation to get things done right.

A thought I have is if I do the ford axles I can learn to rebuild it in time, add parts as I go and not be so up front in costs. But that prolongs everything being out in and if I screw up I start over. My buddies have never gear an axle, locked an axle or done custom brackets so its a fairly big risk to do all that on a current DD for right now. But with a prebuilt assembly it's buy an axle with gears, ARB and everything at once. Prices are faily close to the same in the long run, is pay a little more for the the luxury of "bolt in" d60s. So again another coin toss.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ro11s View Post
I've heard lift and open diff's will get you nowhere slow
Don't understand this. Lockers are awesome there is no question about it, but a well built jeep driven by somebody who is paying attention and knows what they are doing is very capable even without.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
CZDiesel
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^^^^ This! Even a stock Jeep would amaze most where it can go. I'd say take a look at your real needs and upgrade them first. If you have bushings or joints or steering components worn and needing replacing then do those and upgrade every time you replace the worn out part.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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If your goal is 37s, build to 37s. Do you plan on stretching at all?
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Unread 07-29-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Don't understand this. Lockers are awesome there is no question about it, but a well built jeep driven by somebody who is paying attention and knows what they are doing is very capable even without.
I'm getting better with reading my lines and positioning myself to get up obstacles with my current set up. But I'm getting to the point of wanting to do harder than what my jeep is currently built for. My little LSD is doing OK, but its not doing great. I want to jump my tire size up for more axle clearance and looking for the best next step whether is starting to build a set of axles slowly, buying some prebuilts, or regearing my current axles and lifting.

Tyvanwie, I do want to stretch, but its one of those things that would rack up a bill with the extras to stretch like tank, corner guards with flares and so on. So its either do a lift and stretch, or start with axles with my current t lift and jump to 35s or 37s.

Looking for the next best step that will put me put me in a better situation to try harder
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Unread 07-29-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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I'm thinking maybe I should have labeled this thread axles or lift. That would have been more accurate. Lesson learned. Lol
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Unread 07-29-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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Well I will throw another thing at you as I have been contemplating something along the same lines. I was actually pricing out the G2 front 44 with ARB and the Rear Rock Jock 60 Semi float version they have. This would be a little better for handling the 37 inch tires since they are a little bit of a bastard size. I wouldn't even consider buying completely a completely new 44 in the rear axle if the end game was 37's. Now do keep in mind I am looking at this from a stand point of selling my stock rubicon axles and ending up with a rear 60/gears/arb's for the same price as re doing mine. It will take more leg work on my part(driving to the border and back etc), but should end up with the results I want.

At the end of the day no matter which way you go in order to put in bigger axles you are going to need something better then stock to connect them together. The route I have gone is double adjustable control arms with Johnny Joints, so that when I change my suspension I can just get longer arm tubes to connect the dots and I haven't wasted money on a complete arm. I would try to keep that in mind on your build plan.

Something else you could consider since the jeep is currently a DD is buying a junk yard high pinion dana 30 out of a cherokee. The control arm and track bar mounts are the exact same, but you can put a locker and gears into it to gain experience. Once you are comfortable with doing it with something outside your truck then you can re gear the rear to match and it will handle the 35's no problem. As long as you don't bent the axle tubes on it then you will have a pretty decent resale value with a hp 30 front/44 rear should you decide that 1 ton axles are the end game.
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I like the arms, they are a good solution, but they really aren't worth the effort for the average person and you already see the BS that goes on over bushings VS JJ's, the crap that would go on over J arms would be epic.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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Would the g2 d44 handle a 37 tire? I've read left and right that they are strong enough for a 35 and that was about max, and I'm planning to do some hard core trails once my jeep can handle them. That partly why I was thinking 60 up front too. A d44 would help keep the cost down a bit more.

I based my prices for a d60 f&r off of east coast gear supply site and could do both fully built for about 10k, or do mild builds for 8k depending on lockers and other additional parts.
Considering CL has d60 housing for 1000, then add gears, locker shafts etc it would add up over time. If they are full size than probably trimming too. Possibly getting rims for the lug patter rather and an adapter.

Maybe I'm over thinking everything, maybe its all a little easier than I make it out to be. And maybe having axles laying in my garage being built slowly may be better off in the long run. Lol
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Unread 07-29-2013, 04:44 PM   #12
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Easy maybe not, but maybe you are too focused on the final build then what is going to keep you happy between then and there.

It really all depends on the nut behind the wheel if the 44 is going to stand a chance. My build plan for my 44 was RCV axle shafts, JK Ring and Pinion, a small truss and gusset the c's. I figure unit bearings are going to be a disposable item unless I convert to the Wagoneer outers. I have found so far that the cheap unit bearings last just as long as the expensive ones with the abuse I put them through. My plan differs a little bit from yours in that I can milk the front 44 with the Rubi locker until I re gear. You need something to get you by for now without wasting money.

From the sounds of things you have just about out grown your current setup, so if your build plan is 37's in 8-10 years then you need to focus on 35's in the next 1-3. Switch out the front axle to a high pinion 30 and build it yourself when it is off the truck. Then you can re gear the rear 44 to match and possibly lock it at the same time. This will allow you run the 35's no problem and give you something to re-sell when you hit your long term plan of big axles and 37's.
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
I like the arms, they are a good solution, but they really aren't worth the effort for the average person and you already see the BS that goes on over bushings VS JJ's, the crap that would go on over J arms would be epic.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Yea I think your right about focused on long term. I need to define the line between upgrading the same thing twice and getting from point A to point B to last until i can get to point C. Lol that's mainly why I posted, get people with experience to give a good direction to start. Lol

As I e been reading ur advice and writing my books on here, I'm definitely going with axles to at least get to 35s for now. Then I'll figure out what to do for d60s.

Now is the Cherokee hp30 really that much better than the lp30 I have now? Obviously better drive line angles and clearance is good, but is that the only benefit? Not like it would be a bad idea to have a spare axle to practice on first without taking my rig off the road for long if I screw things up. Lol

Aren't the Jk R&P larger than the tj? I was looking into jk axle swap too because the axles as a whole are wider, thicker and R&P were larger.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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The other benefit from the high pinion 30 is that you are now using the stronger side of the ring gear. I mainly put it out there because you are currently using your jeep as a DD like me. If you want to learn how to do it yourself and save the money then you mide as well get some other upgrades while you are at it. My friend and I pulled a high pinion 30 out of a junk yard for $75 including the front drive shaft. I turned around and sold the drive shaft for $25 bucks to someone who toasted theirs on a rock. If you do a junk yard pull on a jeep it is easiest to cut the control arms with a hack saw then undo the control arm bolts.

The JK R&P are a quarter inch bigger then the TJ 44. I have thought about that route too, but there are not as many of those floating around in Canada as in the US.
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
I like the arms, they are a good solution, but they really aren't worth the effort for the average person and you already see the BS that goes on over bushings VS JJ's, the crap that would go on over J arms would be epic.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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I ran stock axles in my jeep for years with a locker (d30 and d35) with 35's waiting for them to break so I could upgrade. The d35 went out so I upgraded to a pretty built 8.8. I'm still running the stock d30 with a locker up front while I save my money for a hp44. Basically what I'm saying is, know your limits and have a light foot.
No, it's not ideal to run 35s on a d30 but if it breaks, oh well, I was planning on upgrading anyway. Just my .02 for that
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