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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I did it. After reading all the posts about the CJ axles with open steering knuckles. I bought a wide track front axle with discs brakes, 3.31 gears and locking hubs. The axle housing is very clean almost no rust, cost $500. I am now cleaning it up and painting the outside so it looks nice and clean.

My question: I plan to take the locking hubs apart and inspect the inside, is there anything in particular that I should look for?

The axle is going in a 68 Jeepster with a Saginaw steering box. I have all the tie rods for the new one. My Jeep has a D27A with a locker, cast aluminum cover, locking hubs and disk brakes. It looks like the discs on the D27A (a retrofit kit I bought long ago) are identical to the ones on the "new" D30 axle. The discs on the 27A have all of one mile on them and I plan on putting them on the D30.

 

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So you had a D27 with disc brakes, a nice cover, and a locker, and you paid $500 for a D30????? Why?? Seems like you are down grading. here... What are you doing for the rear axle? The D30 will turn better being a wide track if you have big tires.

John
48 CJ-2A, 49 Willys truck, 70 Jeepster Commando, 89 Wrangler, 98 4x4 Tacoma
 

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John are you saying that going from a closed nuckle D27 to an wide track open D30 is downgrading? Could you elaborate?

Tom
69 Jeepster
89 Suburban 4wd
00 Expedition 4wd

 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
John,
I'm running Goodyear Wranglers 9R15LT's the tire is about 29 1/2 inches in diameter.

In the rear I have a D44 with disc brakes. You folks had helped me with the disc brake installation in the D44 as this was the subject of a number of my posts earlier this year (would never do it again).

So what's this about down-grading? The Jeep should look sharp with the wider front end and the sharper turning radius will help.

Just figured out that the aluminum differential cover on the D27 will also fit on the D30. Took the cover off the D30 and it is indeed a 3.31 ratio just like the tag said. If the brakes lines, calipers etc all match up this as the potential of being the first easy swap ever; however my experience with any project on the Jeepster can be summed up with the words "Doing it the hard way".
Ed Z

 

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I'm wondering, is the Dana 30 locking hub assembly bolted to the rotor hub assembly with 5 or 6 bolts? I do not remember what year it was changed, but usually the Dana 30 locking hub assembly of the Wide Track was a 5 bolt design. I would hope you have the 6 bolt locking hub design on your Dana 30. It might be possible to swap to the 6 bolt design of your upgraded Dana 27A locking hub, if the Dana 27A has a 6 bolt design locking hub assembly.
dave

 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dave,
Err, you are right. Make that 5-bolts for the D30 to the 6-bolts on the D27. I guess that defaults back to my "Do it the hard way". Or I guess I have the option of staying with the set up on the D30. I just thought I would get lucky and not have to bleed the brakes and all that nonsense.

But wait, is it possible that the caliper on the D27 will just bolt up to the rotor on the D30, they appear to be the same thickness?
Ed Z

 

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I have the 6 bolt on my wide track Dana 30. The swap is possible, but I'm not sure. I think I got the hub assemblies off something else. Call Dynatrak or Currie, or your local knowledgeable Off Road shop, somebody should be able to tell you.

Tom
69 Jeepster
89 Suburban 4wd
00 Expedition 4wd

 

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It is a simple swap out. Just need early disc brake hubs ans than install the larger wheel bearings and races in the hub. I did this with no problems.

AJC founder and president
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your replies. Does anyone know of a web site that will show me an exploded view of the D30 locking hub with disc brakes? I understand that one has 5-bolts and the other has 6-bolts but I am not sure I understand the differnce in what is inside the D27 hubs with disc brakes (conversion from drums) and the hubs on the D30 with disc brakes. From the outside the calipers and rotors on the D27 and D30 look identical. I made the conversion years ago and can not remember how the hub and the axle go together.


 

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Drowngrading because you now have an open diff and are out $500. I see no advantages to the D30 that the D27 does not have. You could get a $100 waggy D44 with 3.31 gears shortened to wide track, have stronger 1/2 ton internal hubs, and put in a luch box locker for that price. More beef, same money, it would bolt in the same too. Bulletproof up to 35" tires, and a good axle up to 38" tires. $.02

John
48 CJ-2A, 49 Willys truck, 70 Jeepster Commando, 89 Wrangler, 98 4x4 Tacoma
 

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let me see, a physcially smaller (ring gear, axle tubes, yoke, axle shafts, and a hooey non-turning closed knuckle design) is somehow just as good as its successor, the D30. i'll have to remember that, next time i trip over a broken D 27.

toad
3-72' commando wagons
72' half-cab
01' f-250 4x4, super cab, longbed, V-10
artic cat 300 4x4
01' kawasaki KLX 300R
92' kawasaki X-2
 

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I have yet to see a D30 outlast a D27. With small 29" tires the 27 will last longer maintence wise. Closed knuckles can be great, your u-joint is always lubed, and it keeps all the muck out much better than a D30. That is why you see closed knuckle D44's and D60's as well. Hooey hell, it was designed like that for a reason.

I will remember your "great D30" the next time I trip over a busted D30 on a real trail.....

John
48 CJ-2A, 49 Willys truck, 70 Jeepster Commando, 89 Wrangler, 98 4x4 Tacoma
 

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Yeah toad, the D27 must be the funk since AMC put them under the front everything they made for like 15 years. Oops! Sorry, that WAS the D30!

Speaking of hooey, did you find my "chrome" tow hooks in your rig? I'll need to weld them on soon! ;)

Caver Dave
'68 Jeepster SW
225 & 3spd
Vintage Jeeps(ters) have Character,
new Jeeps just have payments.
 

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ya, i found them. i don't know why they did'nt fall out again, they were in the floor. i hate to dissagree with you, but they still put D 30s in jeeps, thats what almost 30 years. somebody better tell jeep there screwing up!

toad
3-72' commando wagons
72' half-cab
01' f-250 4x4, super cab, longbed, V-10
artic cat 300 4x4
01' kawasaki KLX 300R
92' kawasaki X-2
 

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I know they're (Daimler-Chrysler) still using D30s in the new stuff. I was just saying AMC used them in Jeepsters, Commandos, Wagoneers, Cherokees, Commanches, & CJs for the better part of 15-16 years AFTER they ditched the 27.
Yeah, it's hard to believe they didn't fly out and slide into the ditch!

Caver Dave
'68 Jeepster SW
225 & 3spd
Vintage Jeeps(ters) have Character,
new Jeeps just have payments.
 

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Ed, I will need a little time to find and post an affordable option for your Dana 30 6 bolt locking hub assembly upgrade. I have several different parts catalogs. I am thinking that the hub bearings for both 5 and 6 bolt hubs are the same. I also know that Warn Industries makes a 6 blot locking hub conversion which is expensive. I'm sure there is a used parts alternative to converting to a 6 bolt locking hub assembly.

My personal opinion, the wide track Dana 30 is an excellent upgrade for a Jeepster. I also know that Six States Distributing here in Portland Oregon has lots of used parts available for Dana axles. It's quite possible to upgrade your Dana 30 to a 6 bolt locking hub assembly with good used parts. I've had good luck and good service from Six States here in Portland Oregon. I think the key to my luck with parts request with Six States is knowing what make model and year vehicle I need the parts from to get the upgrade completed.
I'll post back with my research,
dave

 

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Yep, they must be screwing up, notice they also used a M20 rear (AKA: Grenade) and a D35, even a C-clip version of the 35!! So yep, you are right, DC does not know jack about axles, and that is why they dropped the D27. Must be an AMC thing.......Notice that any heavy duty application does not use a D30. 1/4 ton crap. Also notice that the DC D30 is a way different axle, vac. disconnect and reverse cut. Such a great axle for theose jeeps, goes well with a crap t-case like the NP231 and a crap tranny like the AX-5 or peugot too right? Can I get a 2.8L V-6 with that?


John
48 CJ-2A, 49 Willys truck, 70 Jeepster Commando, 89 Wrangler, 98 4x4 Tacoma
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dave,
Thanks, I will watch for your post.

John, I don't know a great deal about the durability of the D27 but I do remember the old Toyota Jeeps had closed knuckles on them and I remember those devels would take one hell of a beating. Did the old army 3/4 ton trucks have a closed knuckle? I used to work for a while in the back country in the Philippines and the only thing that would get a Toyota Jeep (Land Cruiser) unstuck was an old army 3/4 ton.

For me the D30 means a tighter turning radius and I think the wider axle looks better on the Jeepster. I have two D27's one in storage and one on the Jeep and the wrecking yard did not even want the D27 that is in storage for free.

 

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5/4 TON Jeep trucks even used closed knuckles. That is not a typo, 5/4 ton! ROCKWELL 2.5 ton axle are closed knuckle. Not hooey one bit like I said before. Toyota Jeep? That just sounds wrong. /wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif FJ40 would be a better way of saying that. The toyotas would not have Dana axles, but wagoneers had them. They do take a beating, I never broke mine with 33" tires, I have seen them handle 35" tires too. I have a D30 in storage, the D27's get used!

I agree, for a wider axle and a tighter turning radius the D30 is a good swap, but if you are going to pay so much money for it you might as well get a D44. Now a $100 D30 on the other hand.....Swap it in! Or there are always 60's 60's 60's!!

John
48 CJ-2A, 49 Willys truck, 70 Jeepster Commando, 89 Wrangler, 98 4x4 Tacoma
 
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