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Time for my second Jeep, some questions


Shabs

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A few years ago I had a TJ that I regret selling and now I am in a position to get another one, so doing some research.  My TJ was on D44 with 4.11 gears and 33's, it drove fine (fast off the line and I had no desire to go over 70).  Looking at Jeeps I see that reasonable JKU 2.8's can be gotten for around 20k, which is very appealing.  Question on axles, my intention is to raise and put it on 35's via the AEV route, will the normal axles handle this, or do I need to upgrade?  Google has not been helpful in this regard, so if I need to upgrade, is there somewhere in the UK I can get D44 front and rear geared to 4.56 built?  Any idea roughly on costs?

 

The man math is telling me that JKU Rubi's are around 35k stock, so if I can get a JKU for 20k and re-axle, it will give me the option of going ARB, which I really love the idea of, and likely not cost too much more.

 

I would really love advice

 

to note, the other idea bouncing around is to get an XJ and go a bit mad, but I am trying hard to suppress this nutter idea

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Yeah, Jim’s got a point. JK Rubi gets 4.11 D44s and e-lockers so you don’t have to go ARB. And of course you get the 3.6 V6 rather than the 2.8 diesel. Some of the 2.8s got a higher diff  than Standard, Axle plus pack, I think some special editions got it. If I recall standard gearing was 3.53 , not sure what the axle plus pack was, not more than 4.11. Rubi also gets electronic sway bar disconnect. If you can find a Rubicon in your price range it’s definitely better to go for as a base for modifying.

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8 hours ago, TimC said:

Wait...... did you just say that second hand JKU Rubis are going for £35k stock 😳😳

You can get them cheaper than that,

I only paid a little bit more for a new JL Rubicon, 

There was a couple of JKU Rubicons for sale recently for mid £30k but 1 was already modified with the AEV bits  and the other was an 18 plate JKU Rubicon at a garage.

I did see advertised a modified 2003 TJ Grizzly on FB over the weekend for nearly £12k,

I wish i had kept my 03 Grizzly now which was 3 Wranglers ago i only paid £5K for it and it was in mint condition,

Some of the 2nd hand Wrangler prices are a bit mad.

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As much as I love TJ’s, to do what I want will get expensive. I am a patient guy so can wait around for a JKU Rubi, I have never seen one under 30k though?  I will keep looking. 
 

I actually prefer ARBs to e-lockers, more flexibility and optionality on how to use it and having air onboard is always good. The disconnects are awesome though I agree. 
 

so on axles, is the consensus that the D30 up front on a normal JKU not strong enough for 35’s?

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There isn't a lot of JKU Rubicons about so not many for sale.

The D30 may hold out on 35's for the road and may be if your lucky for some gentle off roading but most would recommend the D44.

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Assuming I want to get a D44 for the front of a JKU, where would I get one. Nothing on eBay and I cannot find anybody that would build them in the UK. Is importing a used one from the US a viable option?

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What about Jeepey they sell upgraded axle shafts,

not sure if they have what you need but definitely worth alook

If not take a look at Morris 4x4 or Quadratec in the US.

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I did look into this a year or two ago. You can get a D44 front axle with e locker from Mopar, your Jeep dealer can give you a price but it’ll be damn expensive. I think I counted this out, the cheaper option being to import a D44 front axle (without locker, but you are thinking ARB anyway) Quadratec or direct from Dana Spicer I think it was about £2.5k new not 2nd hand. A lot of work though. I still think just buy a Rubicon is the best bet. There are two on eBay at the moment for under £25k, one is LHD and both are pre facelift with the old 3.8 V6 which I think is 195HP ?

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A D30 front axle on a TJ or JK can be made a lot stronger by ditching the stock 27-spline shafts for 30-spline replacements. 30-spline shafts usually mean a 30-spline diff and a hub conversion kit or 30sp unit bearings will also be required. Alternatively you could run 30-spline inners and 27-spline outers to keep the stock unit bearings.

 

RCV shafts are a very good upgrade. If I ever damage a 30-spline shaft I will replace them with RCV.


The biggest concern for me running 35" tyres on a built D30 under a heavy Jeep is the small size of the 4.88:1 pinion gear and it only having eight teeth. There are nine on D30 4.56 gears. The teeth on a D44 pinion for the same ratio are a little bigger. I can't remember what the tooth count is, but the root area of the engaged pinion teeth is larger than that of a D30 which means it can handle more torque before failure. I have never witnessed a pinion failure on a modified Jeep, but I have seen a few ring gear failures, a few long shaft failures but many more broken u-joints and busted axle shaft ears. Usually, that's been a combination of big tyres and power delivery during full lock steering.

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