Budget Friendly Axle Upgrade-ish - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Towny72
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Budget Friendly Axle Upgrade-ish

Background.

4.0L
AX15 5spd
3:07s
33" tires


I knew I was going to be under geared and now after a good trail run its pretty clear. I like to go low and slow over and through obstacles.

So now life as always is in the way, but for good reasons..
I got a pretty limited budget when it comes to axles so I was thinking.

Get a set of 4:10s from a salvage yard out of a 2.5l ($200)
Toss a lunch box in the front end. ($300)
maybe get a solid passenger side shaft as well at the salvage yard.($100)
I guess then the expense of adding selectable hubs worth it or not. ($1500)
might as well say U-joints, seals, ball joints, Band-Aids. ($300)

So for simple math I am looking at roughly $2500 to do the swap.

Is that worth it, or am I throwing good money after bad?


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post #2 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 04:00 PM
bruinjeeper
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i'd try the 4.10 D30 and 8.8 with 4.10s. If you can swing it in your neck of the woods.

If you can do the above:

TJ shafts for both driver and passenger (they allow you to use the 760x u joints). If this matters to you.

I loved my vac disco though, right up until i got rid of it. If you go this route, and your front driveshaft is not up to snuff (imbalanceable, worn) - you're looking at a new front driveshaft to go along with your new rear driveshaft to mate to your 8.8.

It adds up quickly eh? lol
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post #3 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Towny72
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A big reason I thought to keep a D35 rear end for now was cost savings. I can still use my newish double cardan rear shaft, swap over the new brake parts from the current rear axle, at most some new seals and put it under my jeep.

The front is what has me scratching my head.

I guess if I were to upgrade a D30 now with TJ shafts, warn hubs, even some good ball joints it would be ready to simply swap out gears and install a real locker if and when the rear were to get replaced.


Anybody have experience with a lunch box in the front on tight trails? Seems a lot in this part of the world is winding tight forested trails

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post #4 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 04:32 PM
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At $2500, you could probably get a set of waggy axles and be better off from the get go. Assuming you can't get that, I'd skip the selectable hubs entirely without a doubt. If you end up with a D44 front and it has selectable hubs then so be it but adding that to a D30 is pointless because that's far from the weakest link. Any reduction in drag will break even at best over 10-20 years but it'll probably even up costing you money even if the hubs were free.

I agree on getting an 8.8 with 4.10's...in fact, get one with a limited slip diff. On www.car-part.com, the limited slip is usually labeled as "locker". A lot better than nothing and basically a free upgrade compared to axles without it in the junkyard.

For gears... If you can get the entire 4.10 front D30 axle out of the junkyard for under $300, I'd say it's worth it. Otherwise, just buy the gears new and set them up. It's not much more expensive to just buy new. You could probably get new gears for around $250 with bearings and all.

I agree with getting a late model XJ or YJ front passenger shaft. They're usually under $100 but you'll need a new diff seal kit as well. It's not that the CAD is bad, it's just that it's one more thing to go wrong. As said before, the 760 u-joints are stronger which is a nice bonus so getting the driver side isn't a bad idea either. You'd have spares if you really needed them this way as well.
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post #5 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towny72 View Post
A big reason I thought to keep a D35 rear end for now was cost savings. I can still use my newish double cardan rear shaft, swap over the new brake parts from the current rear axle, at most some new seals and put it under my jeep.

The front is what has me scratching my head.

I guess if I were to upgrade a D30 now with TJ shafts, warn hubs, even some good ball joints it would be ready to simply swap out gears and install a real locker if and when the rear were to get replaced.


Anybody have experience with a lunch box in the front on tight trails? Seems a lot in this part of the world is winding tight forested trails
I had an aussie for a while and never had any issue with steering. Personally I would not bother with locking hubs. I always carried a spare unit bearing and if a shaft got destroyed put that on to drive out or home.

where are you located. I have a 30/35 4:10 set in my yard now after doing a swap. no idea what he wants for them

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post #6 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 04:36 PM
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A mechanical locker up front is always a bit of a pain in the butt offroad in tight twisty trails. Doesn't matter if it's a Grizzly, Detroit, or lunchbox. If there is power to the front driveshaft, a mechanical locker is locked. In 2wd, you shouldn't notice it though.

I'm very curious on your logic though. You want to save money but seem dead set on the locking hubs. What's the reasoning behind this?
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post #7 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 05:59 PM
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LockRight in my 84 CJ-7 D30 and in my 00 XJ D30. No problems in the woods, or on the rocks in Moab.

Installing locking hubs is not worth the cost, for that kind of money you could be 1/2 way or more to installing a D44 front, and the hubs will be included for free.

Axles cost about $200 - $300 each to ship.

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post #8 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
Towny72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post

I'm very curious on your logic though. You want to save money but seem dead set on the locking hubs. What's the reasoning behind this?
The only reason was to eliminate spinning the drive shaft if I also upgraded to the TJ shafts.

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post #9 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 07:06 PM
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I'll echo what Waternut said, I'd be looking for Waggy axles etc before dropping the money to buy selectable hubs for a D30. I don't think it's worth it on the D30 and I do think it'd be throwing money away.

I wouldn't and didn't worry at all about the driveshaft spinning when I went to one piece shafts in the D30. Also ran a Aussie for quite a while in it with zero issue, but like mentioned it can be a bugger on the trail trying to get it to turn when bound up but that can be dealt with.

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post #10 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 07:08 PM
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I love the CAD system. It is very effective and realistically, how many guys have had D30 mechanical failures in the CAD area other than the vacuum harness which is about 95% of the actual problem? Probably some but not many.

Mechanical hubs are less reliable than the CAD system. Damn. Special tools to work on them were tools I bought really early in my career (40ish years ago)because they broke all the time. You can only do so much with the design. They are super expensive and just not worth it IMO.

Last thought. Who wants to jump out after you are buried as5 deep in whatever to lock in the hubs? Not me.

I personally would run the CAD or spend the money to balance a front drive shaft before I would pay for locking hubs.

Btw. A front drive shaft can be balanced with hose clamps and patience. Move them fore and aft on a driveshaft and rotate them around. Make reference marks. It only takes one time up to highway speed to notice an improvement or worsening of the condition. Balancing a shaft is not very expensive if you have a local driveline shop that is worth its weight in salt. Not everybody has that. Call around. You may be surprised.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #11 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 08:01 PM
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I am not sure you can even buy selectable hubs kits for the 30 any more.
I know Warn does not make them anymore. Maybe Mile Marker. Then if you break something you are stuck ordering it from them.
Been there done that do not waste your money. The only good thing is having serviceable wheel bearings.
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post #12 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
Towny72
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Taking a step back.

So the idea of the selectable hubs was one of two reasons.... Upgrade to TJ shafts to eliminate the CAD and thus to keep the drive shaft from spinning along with the Tcase.
Yukon makes a selectable hub kit for the YJ D30 still, but wow the cost of the kit is more then a ARB air locker!!

So that step back.... The idea of the lunchbox was to save money over the cost of a air locker... Fast forward maybe not!
Keeping the CAD and running a air locker looks to be cheaper then the original plan.

So keep the YJ shafts over TJs or am I over thinking having the DS and Tcase always turning?

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post #13 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towny72 View Post
Taking a step back.

So the idea of the selectable hubs was one of two reasons.... Upgrade to TJ shafts to eliminate the CAD and thus to keep the drive shaft from spinning along with the Tcase.
Yukon makes a selectable hub kit for the YJ D30 still, but wow the cost of the kit is more then a ARB air locker!!

So that step back.... The idea of the lunchbox was to save money over the cost of a air locker... Fast forward maybe not!
Keeping the CAD and running a air locker looks to be cheaper then the original plan.

So keep the YJ shafts over TJs or am I over thinking having the DS and Tcase always turning?
Situation
1. You are on a budget
2. You want 4.10 gears
3. You are already running a 30-35 set up
4. You want a locker up front

Solution
1. Buy a used set of YJ 30-35 axles with 4.10 gears
2. Ensure your CAD is in good shape
3. Save up and buy an Auto-Locker for the front
4. Keep the CAD up front and the auto-locker will not be an issue on the streets.

Unless you are wheeling it hard, the 30-35 will last no issue. If you eventually end up wheeling hardcore and break either axle, you have justification for spending the coin on an upgrade.
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post #14 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 09:41 PM
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I think you're overthinking the front DS spinning. It's really not a problem. The TJ's and later XJ's run with the front DS spinning for their whole life without an issue and they basically run the same NP231. I realized my front driveshaft wasn't balanced when I couldn't see anything in the rearview mirror. Turns out my DS actually wobbled heavily and had huge runout. I ran it for a few weeks like that before I realized what was going on.
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post #15 of 84 Old 07-12-2021, 09:56 PM
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Yeah, what Luuca said except running an autolocker on the streets doesn't cause any issues. You're in 2WD on the street. Like Waternut, I found out I needed a new front shaft because mine was bent. Had no idea it was bent until I did the CAD delete and Aussie install.

I'll also echo what everyone else has said. You already have selectable hubs (the CAD system). A lot of us get rid of the CAD for various reasons. Why would you swap your current selectable hub system for a much more expensive, much more complicated one??
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