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 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?

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testrat
Walks The Walk
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 12:33 am

I have decided to replace stock gears with 5.38's. Hope I like them. Thou 99.9% will be street/hiway use. Need to check funds, but would it be wise to replace at least the front axles with the "chromoly" axles while things are apart? Granted, I won't be in 4wd very often, but, I am also considering getting a sno-plow to use with this thing. I'm figuring the rear are much easier to replace and if that were to happen, I could do it. Fronts - I could I think, but time involved I'm guessing is much longer, and I really don't have the time. Thoughts? Thanks....
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 12:34 am

Rebel off road?
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 9:01 am

Testrat,

Here's my advice:

I strongly recommend that you consider RCV axles up front. RCV's are a birfield style axle and have no bind and are much stronger than stock. https://www.rcvperformance.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=43 RCV offers an unconditional replacement guarantee too.

If you're considering a snowplow up front, over all else I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend that you further reinforce the front axle as a whole and not just the axle shafts. The D44 is good but with the added weight and strain of the plow and undercarriage for the plow setup, you'll be pushing things hard.

You MUST add C gussets. Furthermore, while things are apart, at least do inner sleeves. Rockslide Engineering (R-Se), Poly performance and a whole host of others offer those things and more. The D44 housing is weak and needs this reinforcement. Some people are bending axle housings just running on the street with larger tires like yours.

On my d44, I have RCV's (~$1K), lower control arm skids (~$40), R-Se's sleeves, c gussets and external sleeve ($319), and a Poison Spyder diff cover (~$110). See http://www.rockslideengineering.com/servlet/the-14/R-dsh-SE-Bombshell-Kit/Detail for the Rock Slide Engineering Bombshell kit (Sleeves, gussets, external sleeve). There are plenty of D44 front axle builds over on JKowners and most do this or something similar. REMEMBER - AT AN ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM YOU NEED C GUSSETS AND SLEEVES.

I do know a thing or two about plowing as I'm originally from up North. When I lived there I had a snowplowing business. Although you won't plow as often as we did up north, it will still play hell on everything up front. If I were you, I would avoid putting a plow on a rig as nice as yours. It really wears things out fast. I bet you'll eat balljoints like crazy too.

Besides adding the upgrades to the axle itself, I highly recommend that you upgrade your tie rod with a Poly Performance HD tie rod. http://www.polyperformance.com/shop/Poly-Performance-Jeep-JK-Chromoly-Tie-Rod-p-16403.html
You should also flip the drag link and get the Poly HD drag link. http://www.polyperformance.com/shop/Poly-Performance-Jeep-JK-High-Steer-Drag-Link-Kit-p-16410.html
The flipped drag link requires you to ream the hole on the knuckle. The reamer is $99 but if you're on JKowners, we have a reamer that's free to use. All you need to do is put your name in the thread once you have your stuff and the last person will send it to you. See http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13936&highlight=reamer+free Besides, if you're not on JKowners, you should be a member there too. There are lots of helpful threads and its a good supplement to your membership here. There might be a JKO member close to you that can help you with the build. It's not rocket science but it takes some time. If you can weld, you've got this licked. Just pull the axle and go to it. Then, you can reassemble it and ship it off to the gear shop and have things done. I would do the gears AFTER the axle build as the heat from welding can destroy the axle seals if you're not careful. Mine were okay but we were careful in how much heat we applied. Basically you need to work on one side and then go to the other side, wait and then weld a little more.

I hope I didn't scare you off of your snowplow thoughts but I want you to have the "full scoop" before you delve into something and realize that a whole bunch of other stuff is needed to reliably run it.

Take care,

Tim
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Mr.RonGilbert
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 9:04 am

Can't say it any better than Tim did...

Cheap insurance for that front 44.

At a minimum a set of Ten Factory chromies.... they also have a "you twist we replace" warranty.
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Deacon
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 10:45 am

thebigtman wrote:
See http://www.rockslideengineering.com/servlet/the-14/R-dsh-SE-Bombshell-Kit/Detail for the Rock Slide Engineering Bombshell kit (Sleeves, gussets, external sleeve).
That's actually really cool. Do you know if that only fits JK30's and JK44's or if it'll also fit a TJ30?
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 10:49 am

Hmmm, I'm not sure how the spring seats and control arm mounts differ from the JK to the TJ 30/44. R-Se was pretty easy to talk to so I would give them a call and pick their brain.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 6:29 pm

Cool! Of course here in ne Okla, we don't get much snow - usually. Mostly wanting to clear out from in front of my store, down the street to the main highway (1 block) for better access. And do Mom's drive. Is about 75~100 ft long, and is on the highway, so state "dams-up" the entrance way. Have been using a DIXON riding mower for years to do both, just takes time. And a single stage sno-blower when gets 4~6" or more deep. Isn't often. Not really planning to move snow for hire, as I have a bussiness to run. Bit might a little. But I will chase down the links and do the beefing up. Weld.... Well, lets see. I have a Lincoln 350 square-wave Tig, a small Miller Mig that I have flux core wire in, a Miller XMT-350 CC/CV Power Source, with S-12 ? 4-roller feed mig addon. Also picked up a Hypertherm brand I think - small plazma cutter - will do " plate, a Webb milling machine and small South bend lathe (both used of coarse). And a few other "things". No tube bender - yet. ** Anyway... I think I can handle the welding and other stuff. Just never worked on 4WD. Got the Rubicon for the "heavy" front axle. And/or can be upgraded. As opposed to the d35 axle. Was wondering if and how much it might need beefed up for sno-plow work - even light duty work. Replys are a big help. And I didn't know about the JK Owners forum, just the "thread" on this site. Will seek it out. Thanks....


Last edited by testrat on Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 6:55 pm

I think you've got the welding aspect covered!!!

If you need any specific info other than what I provided above, feel free to pm me, call, send smoke signals, whatever.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 7:29 pm

Oh-Oh-Oh - I am already signed up on JK-Owners Forum - just forgot about it!!! doh!


Last edited by testrat on Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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testrat
Walks The Walk
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:04 pm

Do I need to beef up the rear axle housing? Internal sleeve, external gussets? Gonna have to budget some of this for future upgrades. Thinkin' about re-gearing the rear now, so I can pull the trailer as I need now, get the needed parts needed to beef up the front in the next - say 3 months, then do the whole front end at once - axle housing, axles, gears, maybe steering links. I don't need the front drive till this winter anyway. And I have the info on wiring the "lockers" to come on with a toggle switch, so can "lock" the rears if wanted/needed. Will get gears (5.38's I guess) for front and back now. **** I see "thick" gears listed - I am guessing I don't want them? And with <10k in the Rubi - install kit only? I just can't get too much info....!! And gota do it right!
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Dutchboy101
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:23 pm

Make sure to do both the gears in the front and rear at the same time!!!!
You cannot run 4.10's in the front and 5.13's in the rear.
Unless you drop the front driveshaft, but that is not recommended, as it can do damage on other components.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:37 pm

Dutchboy101 wrote:
Make sure to do both the gears in the front and rear at the same time!!!!
You cannot run 4.10's in the front and 5.13's in the rear.
Unless you drop the front driveshaft, but that is not recommended, as it can do damage on other components.

Hmm... Was thinking as long as didn't engage 4wd, wouldn't matter. Perhaps it's a transfer case thing then? Hadn't thought it wouldn't matter if was in 2wd only. Thanks...
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 8:42 pm

Ok, just ordered the "bomb shell kit" for the D44. To do the axle housing beefing up, I'm guessing I need to take the axle housing out? Or would be easiest to do? And as stated above - install, weld as needed first, then do the gears.
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Sat 26 Jun 2010, 12:53 am

The rear should be fine the way it is. You could install chromoly axle shafts but you will probably be fine.

Regarding the front, yes, remove the axle. It's much easier to grind, weld, curse and drink beer with it out from under the Jeep. Plus it's a good foot rest for when you and your buddies are having a cold beverage. You'll only need the install kits for the gears. You won't need the full meal deal as your bearings should be fine.

I wanted to pass along another piece of advice for the sleeves you purchased. I would tig weld the sleeves on the outer portion. It's probably overkill but it will ensure they stay put. You'll have holes drilled in the housing to secure the sleeves with rosette welds but tig'ing the ends is a nice touch. Plus, it seals them up so nothing can get down the housing between it and the sleeve.
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testrat
Walks The Walk
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Sat 26 Jun 2010, 4:17 pm

I had planed on mig welding the outter "clam-shell's?" in place. Could Tig as I have a 2-torch setup on the Lincoln. Flip 2 ball valves (coolant/gas) and move the quick connect power feed to the one I'm gona use. Takes about 10 seconds to switch from the small to big (350amp I think) torch. I think there is a thread on JK Owners a guy did on the install. Don't think the link was here to find it. Need to go there again as look over some more. Kinda looked loke he used flux core of stick on it. But, where I was going with this is - he supported housing on jack stands, and attached log chain to each end with a 20ton jack to "pre-load"/straighten the system to eleminate or correct a "smiley-face" axle assy. {I hope I explained that right} So, I was considering pre-loading things just a bit (1/8" maybe?) to compensate for expected warpage from welding. Course, will help to stager welds, and do 1 to 2" at a time - keeping the temp down.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Sat 26 Jun 2010, 8:59 pm

Found the thread on jk owners on installing the bombshell kit again.

Building the Ultimate JK 44 Front End

http://www.jkowners.com/tech/axle/index.php

If anyone is interested....
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Sun 27 Jun 2010, 10:22 pm

Testrat,

I did not preload mine. However, we did heat it up pretty good before we started. We checked for warps/bends prior to heating/welding and then after it was through. I had no issues. Just take your time. You will be good.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Wed 30 Jun 2010, 12:17 am

Besides the 35mm socket for the axle nut, any suggestions on dropping out the front dana? Mainly with the front knuckles? Since I have never even seen such before. I do a lot of mechanical work. Know I have the ability, just don't like going in blind. Guess I need to see if there is a Chilton or Hayes book?

I have ordered 5.38 gears, with cryo treatmant and the ultimate axle kit. Looks like will be here Friday. Lookin to get the front Dana out this weekend, and get it gutted (except pumpkin)... Not sure when the bomb shell kit will be here, think by friday too.

What gear oil do I need to use for breaking in of the new gears? Or for full time use?

Thanks..
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martij3
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Wed 30 Jun 2010, 1:36 am

I didn't use any special gear oil for the first 500 miles. When I changed the oil at 500, I went to royal purple.
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SBC_Tim aka thebigtman
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Wed 30 Jun 2010, 8:32 am

You shouldn't have to worry about the knuckles with what you're doing. Are you removing them for something else? The shafts can be replaced without removing the knuckles. See Phil D's writeup here. http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11217
As far as the other stuff we discussed, it can be done without anymore disassembly. Hell, you could do it with the axle under the Jeep but I think it's a lot easier to do it with it removed.

Taking the front axle out is easy peasy. Disconnect drag link, sway bar links, drive shaft, 2 lower control arms, 2 upper control arms, elec. locker connection, breather tube, wheel sensors, brake lines at calipers, shocks...oh what else am I missing. It's pretty self explanatory once you get in there. Either leave the tires on or put something beneath each rotor to make the roll out easier.

When you get the diff's regeared, take it easy on them for a while. I've been told that you should drive them for a short period to heat them up, then let them cool down completely. Do this again a few times. Change diff oil at 500 miles like martij3 mentioned. After that, you should be golden.
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Wed 30 Jun 2010, 9:38 pm

Thanks guys. I am about 5 miles a bit - to work, drive 1 mile or less to go to lunch, except Fridays, is about 3~4 miles. All city driving. I suppose that will work for warming them up, then letting them cool? So, I suppose I need to drive around about a week at least before pulling a trailer? Wide enough to put a car on, single 3200# torsion axle, 12ft long. Use it to pickup/deliver Lawnmowers - I run a repair shop. Big enough I can get several on it at once, don't make so many trips back to the store to load/unload. So, not a heavy load, bit the drop gate is one hell-of-a-drag. Not so bad around town, but quite a brick wall down the highway.

Good to know the knuckles don't need to come off. Will check out the link link as soon at I finish this reply.

May take the front at least in and have the gears put in while out. Leave the drive shaft off and drive the JK in to have the rears done. OR - may just take the rear out also and pull out the axles, and just haul it down too. Might save some of that $$$$ stuff. Thing is, the guy I wanted to do the gears - just sold his shop, and is starting teaching at a Christian School. One of few people I know I can trust to do the job right. {Just called him on the cell, left message, maybe he will suggest someone.}

Oh, should I drive in 4wd Hi to work the fronts also during the breakin time? Or just not worry about it and let them go for couple thousand miles, then change oil?

85~90# oil or 90~140# oil? New gears may state what to run?

***** Golden is nice...... Cheaper too I'd bet....
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testrat
Walks The Walk
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Sun 04 Jul 2010, 11:48 pm

Well, got the front axle assy out yesterday. Today - got the inner sleeves in and welded in place. Been fitting the outer sleeves - as they weren't clearanced for the sway bar tabs. Clamped them in the milling machine vise, milled them out/off where needed. And all good. Been takin' pics too. need to figure out where to post them so can link to them here.
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Mon 05 Jul 2010, 12:04 am

Photobucket is your friend.

http://photobucket.com/
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testrat
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Number of posts : 105
Age : 63
Location : Bartlesville, Okla
Rig : 2008 4Dr Rubicon Auto
specs. : Dick Cepeck Crusher Tires and Wheels, 5.38 Gears, Bomb Shell kit and C-gussets, Tom Woods 1350 drive shafts
Registration date : 2010-05-14

PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Mon 05 Jul 2010, 9:39 am

As Tony the Tiger (used to ?) say.. GGGRREEAATTT! Will look into it.
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PostSubject: Re: 2008Rubicon If I do gears, do front axles too?   Mon 05 Jul 2010, 1:00 pm

.


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