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Unread 10-21-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
ciphershort
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Axle Advice for 35s on Non-Rubicon JKU

I'm looking to finally re-gear my JK and do 35s. I should have the cash saved up in a few months. I've recently discovered an awesome drivetrain shop that's a medium drive from my city and so I've been talking to the guy there and he doesn't advocate doing 5.13s and 35s on a stock D30. He says the pinion is too small and could lead to a failure under the added stress of 35s. I've read up on this a bit and it seems to be a debatable topic depending on the type of wheeling you do.

After further conversation with this guy, he recommended beefing up the D30 with trusses and gussets. Then, if I wanted a front locker, putting in chromoly shafts. He's offered to do the gear install for $1175 and then an extra $550 for the axle reinforcement. I probably won't have the cash to do lockers at the same time so those would come later. My main question to everyone is...do I really need to beef up the D30 to run 35s? I know it will depend on the type of wheeling I do and to answer that, I want to be able to do medium trails. Nothing extreme.

Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks!



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Unread 10-21-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
duneslider
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It will cost you big time to do the locker in the front later.

You can put the nitro pound in sleeves in yourself and I bet you can find a fellow jeeper to help you weld the gussets on.

I am not a hardcore guy and I have 5.13's and a yukon zip air locker in my d30 and I haven't had any problems. I would be really hesitant to really pound on the d30 with 5.13's. I someday may upgrade to tougher axles but right now it isn't really needed for what I do.

You could always do a lockrite in the front and save money and do it yourself.

A lot of guys like limited slips in the front too.
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Unread 10-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #3
ciphershort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duneslider View Post
It will cost you big time to do the locker in the front later.

You can put the nitro pound in sleeves in yourself and I bet you can find a fellow jeeper to help you weld the gussets on.

I am not a hardcore guy and I have 5.13's and a yukon zip air locker in my d30 and I haven't had any problems. I would be really hesitant to really pound on the d30 with 5.13's. I someday may upgrade to tougher axles but right now it isn't really needed for what I do.

You could always do a lockrite in the front and save money and do it yourself.

A lot of guys like limited slips in the front too.
Thanks for the response. Honestly, I'm a complete newb when it comes to differentials. I think I'd almost rather have a shop do the axle reinforcement that way I know it is done correctly. I'm slowly learning the wrenching ways but this would be a bit more than I could chew I think. I see you have the TF sleeves and gussets for your D30. Did you put those on prior to your 35s? As for the lockers, yeah...I may save up and do them at the same time just to be done with it. The shop gave me a great price on the lockers and only $150 extra to install them when they do everything else. It's just a big chunk all at once. But after that it would be done which would be nice. I've looked into the limited slip but I really like the idea of a selectable locker. I'm probably going to go with the Eaton E-locker and just wire it up.
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Unread 10-21-2014, 02:51 PM   #4
duneslider
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I actually bought my axle built from a guy who was upgrading. So, I got the d30 with sleeves, gussets, 5.13's, drag link flip and air locker for $1500 and then sold my stock d30 for $300. Worked out to be a good deal for me.

The nitro sleeves don't have to be welded in, maybe see if you shop would install them while they do the locker and gears. It shouldn't take them very long to do it and the sleeves are pretty cheap.

I am still hesitant to spend a lot of money on a d30. I felt I got a pretty good deal and it was worth it. If you are serious about offroading it may not be worth spending several grand on a d30, you would be better served to save a little more and get a d44.

I don't use my lockers very often and the front doesn't get used much.
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Unread 10-22-2014, 04:40 AM   #5
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I just sold my TJ which was mildly built, but I made the mistake of spending money on my stock axles: Dana 30 with ARB with 4.56 and Dana 35 with Detroit Posilock in addition to other things that I had done like synergy ball joints, aluminum diff covers F/R, RR crossover steering, RE track bar and axle seals...anyhow, point is if you were to add all those things up you'd know I spent close to the same an assembled axle would cost.....oh not to mention $900 on ARB install and regear.
Point is, no, don't spend money on the dana 30, if you really want to lock it till you upgrade it, do a lunchbox like lock rite.
I have a JKU 30/44 and will not touch the front until its really to be replaced in its entirety.
Good luck
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Unread 10-22-2014, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naplesjeeper View Post
I just sold my TJ which was mildly built, but I made the mistake of spending money on my stock axles: Dana 30 with ARB with 4.56 and Dana 35 with Detroit Posilock in addition to other things that I had done like synergy ball joints, aluminum diff covers F/R, RR crossover steering, RE track bar and axle seals...anyhow, point is if you were to add all those things up you'd know I spent close to the same an assembled axle would cost.....oh not to mention $900 on ARB install and regear.
Point is, no, don't spend money on the dana 30, if you really want to lock it till you upgrade it, do a lunchbox like lock rite.
I have a JKU 30/44 and will not touch the front until its really to be replaced in its entirety.
Good luck
Believe me, I've tossed this around in my head. The only thing is...every assembled axle I've found is stupid expensive. Granted they are built to withstand a beating but I'm not sure it would be worth it for the wheeling I plan to do. Is there a good axle assembly out there that won't break the bank?
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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
RockyClymer
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I run 35s on my D30 and have for almost 6 years. Sleeved and gusseted, RCV axles, 4.88 Yukon gears and ARB locker. I broke the front ring gear two years ago from a real dumb *** mistake on my part trying to help another guy out...just an expensive lesson on my part. Under hard off road riding and crawling no problems at all. Just don't pull someone out in reverse gear...lol
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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
ciphershort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyClymer View Post
I run 35s on my D30 and have for almost 6 years. Sleeved and gusseted, RCV axles, 4.88 Yukon gears and ARB locker. I broke the front ring gear two years ago from a real dumb *** mistake on my part trying to help another guy out...just an expensive lesson on my part. Under hard off road riding and crawling no problems at all. Just don't pull someone out in reverse gear...lol
Well it's good to hear that! Maybe I'll just sleeve and gusset the D30 and then if I care to get more hardcore in the future, get a new front axle assembly then. I'll keep the reverse thing in mind though haha.
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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:56 AM   #9
duneslider
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You can add a lunch box locker in the d30 at a later time without it costing a fortune. I rarely need to use my front locker. I only have one because I bought someones used built axle.

I do believe the d30 is stronger than most give it credit for but it has its limitations. As long as you are aware of those and know when to ease up and ask for a strap or spool out the winch you will be fine.

I am not afraid to ask for a tug, or to back up and take the bypass. I have been getting more confident/aggressive but I still am cautious.
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Unread 10-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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My opinion is just that, an opinion. If you believe you're going to wheel hard enough to require sleeving and gusseting a D30, then you are already asking too much from the D30. Pinion gear deflection is what breaks the ring gear teeth on Dana axles. Sleeves and gussets can't fix that. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys with built D30's regret putting money into them. Some of them wheel easier trails after they break the first time, but the majority of them move to a stronger axle model.
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Unread 10-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #11
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I agree that throwing lots of money at a D30 is like flushing it down the toilet. You'll never get your money's worth out of mods to it.

Still, the JK D30 is a better unit than any D30 before it and plenty of people put 35"s on em without exploding. I'd run it without mods until you break it then upgrade to (at least) a D44 ... if nothing else the fear of breaking it will force you to take it easy.
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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duneslider View Post
You can add a lunch box locker in the d30 at a later time without it costing a fortune. I rarely need to use my front locker. I only have one because I bought someones used built axle.

I do believe the d30 is stronger than most give it credit for but it has its limitations. As long as you are aware of those and know when to ease up and ask for a strap or spool out the winch you will be fine.

I am not afraid to ask for a tug, or to back up and take the bypass. I have been getting more confident/aggressive but I still am cautious.
I have to agree with duneslider. Know your limitations and work with them. Even the D44 has limitations.

If you are considering a locker, have it installed when you do the gear change. Pay now or pay twice later...

As for the Nitro no-weld sleeves, it will take the shop a couple of days to install them. I know, as I have them in mine. To do it easily/properly, you need to cool them with dry ice for a day (to shrink them a little). Then it takes some serious pounding with a LARGE (16 lb) sledge hammer.
Then a trip to the nearest bar, and some serious drinking to overcome the muscle aches. LOL! I was seriously sore after slinging that sledge hammer. On the flip side, the no-weld sleeves are stronger than the weld-in type (the drilling of holes and the welding actually weakens the axle a little).
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Unread 10-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #13
duneslider
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I keep hearing these stories of the issues with the nitro sleeves, I wonder if the axle is already bent before the install. On my buddies we drove then in without trouble with a 32oz ball peen hammer. They slid right in to the knurling and tapped right in. Go figure!
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Unread 10-23-2014, 02:46 AM   #14
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sleeves aren't worth the upgrade unless your pre running or bouncing on your axle a lot. they do not help with torque/bindage breakage. The first thing to go on your D30 will be the stock U joints, the splines on the axle shafts, or the pinion gear (minus a C bending).

Personally, I would not lock the front D30 with or without axle shafts. I definately wouldn't lock it if I re-geared to 5.13s (talking about your pinion shredding).

Save your cash on the front locker and go ahead with a re-gear to 4.88s, axle shafts, and some C re-enforcement gussets. If you a re doing any wheeling that you would need a truss, you should get a bigger axle. I also recommend axle tube seals to keep all the dirt and muck out of the tube (it will save you inner axle seals down the road and is a cheap upgrade).
The money you saved on a front locker will more than supply you with the cash to get rear axle shafts for your D44. Shoot- id put a rear locker in the jeep before a front lock anyway. Point being, you'll have your axle shafts front and rear, and learn how to wheel like a champ without lockers, so when you get your locker/s you will be unstoppable!

Sure, lockers are a pretty awesome tool, but so is a winch.
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Unread 10-23-2014, 02:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphershort View Post
Believe me, I've tossed this around in my head. The only thing is...every assembled axle I've found is stupid expensive. Granted they are built to withstand a beating but I'm not sure it would be worth it for the wheeling I plan to do. Is there a good axle assembly out there that won't break the bank?
G2 is price competitive but I'm sure dynatrac and tera have reasons whey they are more expensive. If I were to pay 4K fora built preassembled new front axle, I wouldn't waste the cash on a D44. Like they said, It also has its limitations. Hell, the only real great thing it has over a 30 (stock) is more splines= thicker shafts.
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