Join Date: Apr 2001
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Re: 5 bolt hub options
adding to what Will said...
you can swap wheel hubs and 6 bolt locking hubs from any disc brake NT D30 (1977-1981). These are cheap ($20-$40 used). These are stronger than the 5 bolt locking hubs currently on your Jeep. These will accept Warn Premium locking hubs when/if you break the OEs. I think the OE style wheel hubs (for 6 bolt locking) are about $50 ea new.
Advantage is better strength than what is currently on w/o breaking the budget
Disatvantage is the bolts can still work loose.
Replacing bolts can help but 5 bolt hubs are still not as strong.
Tapping to larger size could be problem because now the casting is thinner. Also, what Will said about bolts not breaking when tight. If you tap, be sure to use a press so the studs will be perpendicular.
The 5 bolt hubs on your WT axle were made by Warn. These are mostly the same "std hubs" you can buy today.
Warn only offers their "Premium" hubs in 6 bolt form. These are typically what people will 'upgrade' to.
Internal spline hubs are different breed.
Wether or not the 5 bolt locking hubs will hold up depends on tire size, engine size, driving habits, weight of right foot, etc etc etc.
IMHO - 100% worth time, effort and money to upgrade to 6 bolt locking hubs. Wether or not to convert to internal (Warn kit) is your call... but you kinda already said that would be out of budget.
I did the 6 bolt conversion to my WT D30 and never had problem. But I used 31" tires and open front diff... so not really apples to apples.