I Do This For The Glory
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
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Re: $1500 for upgrade
You could do it for an axle swap. I swapped in D44's front and rear from a Scout II, with 4.10's and added Lockrights, all for under the $1,500 price tag, including new driveshafts. They'd be 2" wider per side than your stock axles and a lot stronger. Finding them would take some work, but it could be done.
Axles, $250 (any more than that and it'd be a ripoff)
Rebuild kit $200 (new u-joints, seals, bearings, if needed)
Lockers $450 (Lockrights, install them yourself)
Driveshafts $200 (both cut and balanced with new u-joints, I used Grand Wagon long slip)
Brake lines $60 (front only)
Brakes $100 (all new pads and shoes)
Spring move $50 (for the front, do it yourself, very easy, I have writeup)
Perches $20 (new, for the rear)
Caster $100 (at a machine shop, or do it yourself)
Total: About $1,430. Give or take some money. This is doing it yourself, but it's not rocket science and rebuilding a Dana 44 is very easy. It'd be a lot stronger than your current setup, parts are cheap, and you could upgrade to ARB's or Detroits later on, until then you'd still be locked. I had the axles already, and did all my own work, so I know it can be done.
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled!
GM151/SM465/NP205 twinstick/7" Lift/33" Swampers/REP 8000/RS9000's/Scout II D44's F&R w/4.10's & Lockrights