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Should I Upgrade from a GM D44 to GM D60 front axle in my Jeep?

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#1 RareCJ8

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:05 PM

 I did a job for a guy i've known for a long time, he's offered me his D60 from a CUCV, u bolts, plates and already set up for high/cross over and mounts for ram assist, DOM tie-rod and draglink.  The deeper i dig into the idea the more $$$ it gets: Will need to re-gear to 4:88, add an ARB locker; rebuild/bearing/seal kits; king pins he says are good.  Then might as well go to chromo 35 spline outters with new warn hubs.  Sheesh, on paper this is adding up fast. 

 

Will take measurements soon, but hope the spring perches are same and no need to re-do the 'C's or adjust perches (i.e., same width).  Maybe different brake lines.  Will need a beefy front diff cover too.  Looking at Crane, ARB and Dynatrac.  Like the ARB for drain plug and magnetic dip stick.  (but no tapered edge...)

 

While i'm a conservative driver, locked D44 on 37s is the limit.  D60 will add weight over the 44, so i'm making engine work harder...A 60 will offer up some added performance buffer in the rocks...

 

Then try recoup some $ by selling the D44 with 4:88, ARB, Warn premiums, flat top cross over knuckles and rock hard diff cover...

 

tell me why this is a bad idea...

 

mb


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#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:30 AM

If you’re asking for reasons not to do it, RareCJ8, try these:

  1. D60 is way more unsprung weight.
  2. D60 has a lower diff housing/casting and less ground clearance at the diff.
  3. D60 sounds like it will cost a small fortune to set up.
  4. Added weight to the Jeep.
  5. You only use the front axle with the rear pushing, so it receives 50% of the torque; that’s why a D30 will often hold up well with an inline six and 33" tires.
  6. More work for your power steering, though you talk about ram assist, i.e., more $$$.
  7. You'll need more shock damping.
  8. You have a D44; they were fine for a Suburban 2500 4x4 with a V-8 and trailer pulling.  Other ¾-ton trucks worked well with the D44 front.

How does that sound for openers?  There's always the question:  At what point do your axles grossly exceed the frame design of the CJ-8?  Unsprung weight matters.

 

Moses



#3 RareCJ8

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:48 AM

all valid points-- now why is it a GOOD idea? 

 

--added beef

--stronger if I go to 40s (in the cards some day)

 

???

 

???


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#4 RareCJ8

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

upon reflection and serious analysis, think will keep the D44 set up.  the cost to do the swap, (even with a free D60) such as new gears, new ARB, bearings/seals, new diff cover, possible steering stuff, etc etc just does not pan out.  Besides, the current install just plain works.  Sure, there are many reasons to go to the D60 beef, but the cons outweigh the pros...for now.  Still, a part of me says just take it and keep it in reserves for someday...


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#5 lastCJ7

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:55 PM

there are ways to make the Dana 44 as well as the 30 work with big tires. Chromemolly shafts help.


LastCJ7

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86 CJ7,258,T18,Scout300 Dana 44's 3:73's,lockers,8274,fullcage,OBA,Disc,35" tires


#6 RareCJ8

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:46 PM

true, however I have run purly stock D44 (other than the gear set and ARB) over the roughest of trails (Fordyce, Rubicon, etc) with never an issue.  I do not romp on it nor do i mistreat the axle, and in return it has blessed me with a safe drive home every time.  Although 37s are about the limit...


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#7 Moses Ludel

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:09 AM

I'm still on board with the D44 front being more than enough...The added unsprung weight of a D60 plus the decrease in axle clearance at the differential housing would be the deal breaker for me...Like lastCJ7 notes, there are ways to make a 44 bulletproof, which is not a necessity in your case.  You have plenty of front axle now, even when you occasionally use "front axle only" mode with your twin-stick D300 transfer case...Add any more weight to the Jeep Scrambler, and you'll be selling that fresh 4.6L stroker six and swapping in an LS V-8!

 

Moses





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