D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2001, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
Can't Get Enough
RickB's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Erie, Pa
Posts: 1,125
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

I have the chance to pick up a '77 Waggie D44 front axle for cheap. I know that the swap is a lot of work and money for the shortening, gears, new bearings and seals, etc. My question is, will the D44 swap be that much better than getting the D30 axles from Warn that have the larger u-joints? Those of you who did a D44 swap, how much money did you end up spending on the swap? I do a lot of street driving with some moderate off roading. There are no rocks around here, so rockclimbing is not a concern. I'm running a stock 258 with 36" tires on a '80 CJ7.

80 CJ7
RickB is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2001, 03:01 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

I probably have about $1100 in my front dana 44 swap, that includes, buying axle itself $250, new gears, new carrier, LockRight, new bearings and races on outers, new Warn Hubs, and the labor to install the gears and locker, but the rest of the work I did myself. I dont know what the Warn Axles cost but I love that dana 44 under the front, if you do go that way make sure you grab the steering off of the Waggy, I was able to use the tie rod, drag link, and pitman arm off the Waggy, but I have a YJ and I may have a bumpsteer problem when I get this thing on the road, cant say for sure yet. Being that you have a CJ I think that you will have to mount your springs outboard the frame but you need to check with a CJ guy for sure. Hope this helps.


I do the same thing every weekend, its just the location where I do it that changes!
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2001, 11:30 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

I have been running the Warns in my 30 for a while now, doing fairly hardcore rockcrawling, they hold up great. If you do bust a steering u-joint the axle is usually fine you can just replace the u-joint. Stock axles it usually takes out the yokes as well. This is true of the 44 stock axles as well. The Warn alloy axles for the 30 are stronger than stock 44 axles. I am building a narrowed 44 front for my CJ, but it will have alloy axle shafts not the stockers. If hardcore is not in your future, the Warn axles could be all you ever need. I myself am going to a 44 for a stronger ring and pinion, personally the Warn shafts for the 30 have proven to be plenty stout.

September 11, 2001- We will not forget! We will not forgive!
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2001, 06:37 AM
I Do This For The Glory
JEEPN's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
Posts: 7,958
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

There are 2 failure points on the D30 axle. The first is the smaller 260 U-joint (the D44's use a 297, about 30% stronger), the second is the 7.125" ring gear (d44's use an 8.5" ring gear).

Upgrading to the warn shafts will, I have heard, get you to the larger U-joints, but the smaller ring gear remains. I have heard you can have it cryo'ed to add some strength, but I don't know the amount of strength or the cost.

The shafts themselves never fail, or at least I have never heard of them failing, and I have seen a lot of toasted D30's. The D30 uses a 1.13" 27 spline shaft, whereas the D44 uses a 1.31" 30 spline shafts, considerably larger and more splines.

You could upgrade the shafts, but then you might strip the teeth off the ring gear like an ear of corn (see picture), which is even worse. This guy was running 34" Swampers behind a T-176 with the 258. Yes, he wheels it hard and you can see the Lockright, but I'd still hate to have it happen. No rock around here, it's the dirt hills with ocasional rocks thrown in for good measure that breaks everything, or the mud in the spring.

I'd swap to a D44 if the cost were about the same. Outboarding the springs is easy, cheap, and removeable (at least my writeup is), but having a shaft cut down shouldn't be a TON of money, it should be around $350 extra at the most.

This is one I saw last night, it's a D30 with chewed spider gears. I had to get a pic. There is something to be said for SIZE.

Winter Harbor, Maine
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled, It's a Jeep, Chevy, IHC kinda thing!
'88.5 Zuki, 7" Lift, Locked, Swamped, Rolled, and just generally broken in right!
JEEPN is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2001, 05:39 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

JEEPN, where can I find your write up on outboarding the springs? Have looked around a lot, heard about it a lot, but can't find anything that shows me how.



83CJ7 still limping along but getting better daily.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2001, 12:58 AM
Old Hand
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 900
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

Here is a site with some good pics:

http://www.dreamwater.com/ironpines/...ardsprings.htm this is someone on the bbs, I can't remember who.

Jeepn sent me his write up too.

I did it on a waggy d44 and it wasn't hard, but took me some time. I was surprised how many holes I ended up making with my drill press to line up all th pieces. I too made mine removable.

While beefing up the d30 can be effective, if you are going to start spending some real money, figure out where you will end up and then build to that end. For many the d30 is fine. For some it's a d44 or d60. I think it depends on how you are going to use it. Do others running similar set-ups and trails to you break 30s? If not, it should be fine. If you have 37 inch tires running on rocks, it will probably cost more in the long run to go underpowered.

4.6 Stroker Scrambler
raymo is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2001, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 4,282
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: D44 swap vs. Warn axle shafts for D30

Do it once and do it right. What ratio does the d44 have? What ratio is your rear? Are you also planning on swapping rear axles? I would say get the waggy d44 front then save up cash and either get a d44 or HD AMC 20 rear axle and some 6 bolt wheels and do the swap all at once, you might also want to go spring over while you are at it do a soa. You could probably sell your lift and get yj springs and some steering correction kit. Or you could do it in stages. Defientally do the swap though.


97 TJ

Wheel it or drive a minny van

Jeeper99xj is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome