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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help!

I finally sold a 4 wheeler and my wife is letting me have about $1,000 to put in the Jeep. I want to end up with a SOA and better gears.(currently 3:31). I want to do the gears now. I have a D30/D44. I do not want to put $500 parts/labor to re gear the d30. I figure I will end up with 35" tires someday and want the thing to be tough. I have thought through a few scenarios: 1.-Buy a couple 3/4 ton chevy axles (already 4:10's), leave the width and get some 8" backspaced rims and some 6-8" flares and try to be legal. I would leave the lug pattern at 8. 2.-Buy the same axles, cut the houseing myself and pay to have the shafts shortened and re-splined. 3.-Buy a front wagoneer, keep the d44 and re-gear. 4.-Buy a ford 8.8 and a front wagoneer, leave them wide and re-gear. I am flexible with the gearing. I could get by with 4:10 to 4:56 if I found one that was already geared. I am also flexible with the width.- in fact I would like to go an inch or two wider. I could obviously sell my d44 to offset costs if I don't keep it. If anyone in Utah (or close) could help me find something, I would greatly appreciate it.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 12:17 PM
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Re: Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help!

1. You'll have 6" or more of hub sticking out to get caught on everything.
3. You'll have to match wheel patterns too.
4. You'll have to match wheel patterns too.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 12:40 PM
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Re: Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help

How is your driving habits? If you tend to break stuff and are hard on the jeep, then get the new axles. If you want a tough jeep, but dont romp the gas pedal all the time, dont rock crawl on the steepest inclines, then you could keep the dana 30. It gets a bad rap. People either brake them or keep them for years. It all depends on your driving style. There are many people out there with a dana 30 in front and run 35 inch tires and even bigger tires. I know a guy who runs 38s with a stock dana 30 and he gets on it hard ,and it has held up real good for him. Has had the setup for years. Even runs a V8. When is the date for the 35's? Maybe you can get yor stock axles and regear them and sell them later to upgrade to larger axle. There is always somebody looking for sset up axles, and if they have better gears, then you can get more for them. Also if you get differnt axles out of the junk yard, you also have to expect to rebuild the brakes, all the bearings, knucles bearing, reservice it all. It can add up more than what it would cost to just regear you current axles. I decided to go disc brake on my older dana 27 instead of going to a dana 30. I run 34 inch tires and get on it pretty good at times, and it has held up. I had access to a couple of free dana 30s but they would have to be rebuilt from drum to drum because they were laying around. Just something to think about.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 01:10 PM
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Re: Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help

My Jeep came with a 304. I bought it at 90k miles. When it got to 150k miles, I swapped in a 360. Now it is at 193k miles. Three years ago I swapped the narrow dana 30 for a widetrac dana 30, lifted the jeep and put on 33" tires. Two years ago I swapped in 4.10 gears and lockrights. The automatic probably helps the drivetrain stay together. I'm not easy on it but it has surprised me. Everytime out I expect to break something in the front but haven't so far.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 03:00 PM
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Re: Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help!

IMO, here's a better idea. Keep the axles and the 3.31s and go with a 4:1 kit in the t-case. Do the math. I'm assuming you have a T4 or T5 trans, so I'll use the 1st gear from those to show you what I mean. If you go with the 4.56 gears you will have a final crawl ratio of 48:1 (4.03 x 2.62 x 4.56), but if you go with the 4:1 kit and keep the 3.31s you will have a final crawl ratio of 53:1 (4.03 x 4 x 3.31). And then, later on for not much money you can do a granny low trans swap, an SM465 with a 6.54:1 1st is easy, machine the bellhousing and bearing retainer and buy the t-case adapter, giving you now a final crawl ratio of 86:1! BTW, the 4:1 kit can be purchased for under $700 and it is easy to do yourself.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 05:03 PM
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Re: Best to upgrade CJ gears for $1K. Please help!

Brad has a good idea there, one definitely worth looking into.

I also agree the D30 has gotten a bad rap (or is it wrap, pun intended). I have a friend that had broken about everything you can on a D30, and he keeps upgrading it. The last time he went out he actually broke the cross shaft in the Lockright, I guess that was the weak point. He is now running Ward HD shafts, hubs, cryo'd gears, and he had beefed the housing. He is running Q78 Swampers, and beats on it so hard he actually snapped both rear spring packs off just behind the rear axle one trip up the local mountain. The body he made himself out of 1/8" steel, and it weighs 4,500 lbs. He is running a FI 258 that's been hopped up a lot (he's a mechanic), so there is no lack of power.

I'm not saying I like the D30, because I swapped it out on the Scrambler for a D44, I'm just relating what can be done with one to get it to hold and not break.
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