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Author Topic: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...  (Read 4803 times)

RockWoRM

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Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« on: October 18, 2016, 06:55:04 PM »

Thinking about possible upgrades

Opinions welcomed.

For those of you who do not know, I am running 37's on my LJ Rubicon w/rubi D44's. Both have alloy shafts and are geared 5.13. Bought it this way. Many folk on other forums are of the opinion I am living on borrowed time regardless. Most say Rubi 44's will not hold up to 37's over the long haul and I should move back down to 35's. So I am in a kind of dilemma. After wheeling in Moab and having done a couple trails locally... I really love having 37's... that loveable bastid child size!  :biggrin:

As most, I don't have a lot of cash laying around. Definitely cannot afford Currie/Dynatrac axles... expecially both. But I have some. I was thinking about simply sleeveing both axles and maybe gusseting the front C's? That is until I happened upon this...

http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-6865173-dana-60-tj-rear-bolt-in-axle-assembly-semi-float-5x4-5-5x5-5.html

The main thing that caught my eye (along with the price), was that it is semi-float and can be had in 5 on 4.5! I didn't know you could do that to a 60. I would not have to buy new wheels!  :2thumbsup:

I crunched the numbers... and it 'appears' I could get a brand new rear 60 fully built with 35 spline alloys and locker of my choice, ready to bolt in for about $3500.oo  Is it just me of does that not sound too bad?? I'm not sure I could do that from scratch, plus I'm not sure I know enough about coil/arm geometry to weld it myself?
Since that is about all I can afford right now (that's included selling the rear Rubi D44) I was thinking of just sleeve trussing and gusseting the front for now and run it that way for awhile. That way I can beat on the rear and at least not have to worry about it and run with the front open as much as possible.

What do you guys think? Should I just stick to first option and sleeve/truss both and just run it. Or maybe even do nothing and just run it? Or go down to 35's and just run it? Or do the above? Or something else??


Randy    :cheers2:








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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

Sccafire

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 07:20:24 PM »

Start with the front axle. The Rubicon front Dana 44 is a center 44 with 30 outers. The rear is a full 44. I also have looked into this while I had mine. You can sleeve it/ go to RCV axles/put Dana 44 inner C on it. For 3,500 you might be able to get a Prorock 44 from Dynatrac. I know wheels are not in the budget but 5X4.5 is not that good either. Switching to 6X5.5 is better.
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Scott

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 09:17:48 PM »

I say rock the current set up.  So many people talk crap but how many are actually having consistent failures.  Also how many times could you repair those axles before you are anywhere close to what it's going to cost to switch them out?  Obviously no one wants to be broke on the trail, but me personally I would keep running them with routine maintenance and knowing how to wheel I'm betting you would be just fine
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timatoe

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 10:30:40 PM »

I'd run it as is. 

If you're going to put money in it, I'd do like Scott said and do the front first.
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RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 08:18:39 AM »

Even tho the rear 44 is full 44... I've always heard they still have weak tubes just like the front. I hav'nt been able to find a sleeve kit for the rear. Do they make one? All I can find are trusses ($500ish) that require cutting off mounts and re-welding. Not sure I want to get into that for the cost and labor? That is why I thought the built 60 sounded good.
As far as the front, I would need to learn more about doing the C's. Have no idea how involved that would be. The Jeep also has the HD Currie Link Steering... so would changing C's change the knuckles too and would I have to change steering TRE's? IF so, would I then be spending money there, also?
I have always thought the RCV axles looked awesome, but for a D44, they only warranty them up to 35's, IIRC.
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

Sccafire

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 09:20:20 AM »

Everybody I talked to about the rear just stated to upgrade the shafts. Inner C replacement would require cutting off the old and welding on new C's. Reid Racing flat top knuckles and inner C's would be the best choice. At that point you would go with a 1ton hi-steer setup. The Currie setup would no longer be used and go in the trash where it should be anyway.

Do you still have the factory power steering set-up? As in pump and box.

As for the Warranty they have a "no questions asked" policy. You break it They will replace it.

Here is a link to their catalog.
http://www.rcvperformance.com/pdf/rcv_jeep_catalog.pdf
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 09:32:47 AM by Sccafire »
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Scott

timatoe

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 09:38:48 AM »

I forget the guys name now that we wheeled with in Moab, that lives in Alaska??  Anyhow, he runs RCV's so he'd be able to give you some first hand knowledge on that.

Another option on the axles would be give WFO a call and see what they'd build you one for.  Maybe a better deal, maybe not.  Essentially they're taking a full width 60, cutting it down, adding bracketry and custom length and drilled shafts.  Doug had them work a 44 for him.
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norcal_chris

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 11:44:11 AM »

My .02.
Run 35s reliably with no issues with what you have now

Spend 5k or so and run 37s. (Side note). I've been able to wheel everywhere are 37 can go on a 35

Spend 5-7k and build a set of tons and run 40s. 

You can wail on rubi 44s pretty good on 35s and have. I issues.  Look at kevin (silvrflxr ).

IMO building a 44 to run a slightly taller tire is major diminishing returns.   

Devils advocate here too:  say you spend that cash on those axles. Run 37s. Then you get the bug and want a taller tire.  Then you are stuck with either breaking a lot , selling the axles at a huge loss, or doing it all over again.

Most of you guys don't wheel the same as me, but reliability is %100 my goal and I don't want my components anywhere near their limit. 
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Ruined a perfectly good jeep.

Screaming Bear

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 12:30:37 PM »

I vote run it as is. I've seen how you drive Randy. You fineness your way quite nicely without beating on the equipment. (just don't slip like I did on Moab Rim - pop)
See you there ? ? ?
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51 CJ3-A, 4.3 TBI Chevy, SM420, Dana 18TC, 30/44 Full Floaters, Yukon Front Axle and Hubs, rear drive flanges, Detroit Fr / E-Locker Rr, 4.27:1 Gears, 74:1, HD steering / 4 wheel disk brakes, Viair 550C, 100% LED - VisionX headlights, Rigid Light-bar, DOT Fogs, Grote tail, Soft Top and Heater, 35"KM-2's, 3" up, no articulation - it works

RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 03:18:47 PM »

Everybody I talked to about the rear just stated to upgrade the shafts.

Do you still have the factory power steering set-up? As in pump and box.



Already have alloy shafts.
Yes, steering is all stock and wanders a bit on highway. No BS, just seems like too much play. I'm thinking box or sector shafts/joints??
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 03:25:52 PM »

I forget the guys name now that we wheeled with in Moab, that lives in Alaska??
That would be Will. Just chatted with him the other day. He went back to Moab a couple/3 weeks ago. He said a JK Rubi guy in his group on 37's bent his rear 44. Another guy in a TJ on 33's broke a ring gear tooth on his rear D44. All this was on Cliffhanger! I'm having second thoughts about that trail! lol. This is one reason I'm contemplating going bigger.  :eek:
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 03:35:05 PM »

My .02.
Devils advocate here too:  say you spend that cash on those axles. Run 37s. Then you get the bug and want a taller tire.  Then you are stuck with either breaking a lot , selling the axles at a huge loss, or doing it all over again.
Doubt I'd ever want taller. I can hardly climb into the dumb thing as it sits now! lol. And I really wasn't thinking of beefing or spending $$ on the rear 44 unless I could do a inexpensive truss. But even if I did want taller... do you not think a 35 spline alloy 60 rear could handle bigger?? Kinda why I was looking at it. It is drilled for 4.5 and 5.5 lug pattern. Lets say if I ever wanted/afforded a front 60 in the future, can it not be set for 5 x 5.5? I honestly do not know?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 03:42:54 PM by RockWoRM »
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 03:41:31 PM »

I vote run it as is. I've seen how you drive Randy. You fineness your way quite nicely without beating on the equipment. (just don't slip like I did on Moab Rim - pop)
See you there ? ? ?
Well, this last time over, didn't get too crazy, but was sure luv'n the clearance of the 37's! Did'nt touch anything underneath... one little bumper bump (and didn't break the steering column either! hehe) and that was it all week.
Wanna go... working on details.  :smokin:
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

timatoe

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2016, 09:49:17 PM »

Doubt I'd ever want taller. I can hardly climb into the dumb thing as it sits now! lol. And I really wasn't thinking of beefing or spending $$ on the rear 44 unless I could do a inexpensive truss. But even if I did want taller... do you not think a 35 spline alloy 60 rear could handle bigger?? Kinda why I was looking at it. It is drilled for 4.5 and 5.5 lug pattern. Lets say if I ever wanted/afforded a front 60 in the future, can it not be set for 5 x 5.5? I honestly do not know?

You may be able to get a front D60 on 6 lug, but I doubt 5 on 5.5 would be big enough for the hubs to go through.
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Skorch

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2016, 03:52:42 AM »

http://www.solidaxle.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=17&idcategory=11. 
Dana 60 semi float 35 spline alloy shafts will easily hold up to 37's.  You can go RCV front shafts but the ring gear will be the weak spot.  The Tj/Lj front 44 is no where near the ring gear strength of the Jk.  Mark
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 06:02:49 PM by Skorch »
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timatoe

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 08:01:01 AM »

Well, there you go 5 on 5.5 front hubs.
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timatoe

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2016, 09:47:34 PM »

So just saw this today on another thread over on JF.  Kit to put JK 44 gears into earlier housings.

http://www.jantz4x4.com//jantz.php?p=detail&pro=jana_k4

Just thought you might be interested in the option.
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RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 08:01:58 AM »

That is interesting as heck, Tim. Wish I knew how to do gears, tho.  :flipoff:
I was thinking about doing the front sleeve kit and the C's as Scott suggested, Leonard says he can do the C's (he did them on his D60)... but as this article states, you're still stuck with stock strength R & P.  :shaking:
I need to do some more research, but I believe that is basically what the new CORE axles are doing. Taking a 3" tube housing and adding beefy C's and ball joints and JK gears and making it TJ size. 44% stronger can't hurt. But to my knowledge you keep stock knuckles, brakes and steering... and about $4,600.oo to boot.

Seems no matter how ya slice it you're looking at 10K for better axles. Ugh!! Don't have near that kind of scratch.
I guess I can run it as is or do my original plan of going back down to 35's and get the shorter springs.  Then I'll be back to smashing crap on the rocks like all the rest of you! :laughing:
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB

amcguy

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2016, 10:36:50 AM »

Just my two cents as I am debating the whole axle upgrade versus replacement on my JK now because I need to address the front 44 axle weakness and would like to upgrade from 35s to 37s or 38s in the future.

The Rubicon 44 front and rear gears are the new generation 44s and are actually very close to the 60s in strength.  The outer tube sixe and inner Cs are the real problem.  For the cost of sleeving, adding a truss, adding gussets to the inner Cs, you can buy A Terraflex HD 44 housing which is already loaded with your gear choice and ARB locker.  In my opinion Terraflex offers top quality equipment at reasonable overall cost.  Investing in upgrading the Rubicon or regular LJ 44 does not pencil out to be a good investment, at least for me.

The Rubicon 44 rear is actually a bigger tube and stronger housing overall.  Having WFO add a truss and upgrading the axles, either stock size or moving to 35 spline might be a more cost effective option.  However you don't get the high pinion that a 60 would offer, but you don't have to change wheels to 5.5 centers either.

Its all about tradeoffs and cost.  Check out the Terraflex axles options, you should be pleased.

Greydon

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RockWoRM

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Re: Upgrading my Rubicon LJ...
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2016, 05:00:50 PM »




Its all about tradeoffs and cost.  Check out the Terraflex axles options, you should be pleased.

Greydon


Could'nt find any Tera 44's for TJ/LJ. Only 60's and we are back to the $7K range for fronts and about $4.5K for rears??
I sounds as if the Tera 44 is similar to the CORE 44... a beefy housing stuffed w/JK gears. The CORE 44 for the TJ/LJ front would be around $5K.
Do you have different info?
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'05 LJR, 4.0, HT, AC, 6sp, 5.13 D44's, Alloy shafts, RC long arm w/6" MC dual rate coils, All MC armor, Warn 9.5, OEM front bumper, Rockhard rear swing out, ProComp bolt in int. cage. CB
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