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Wanting a simple 44 front end swap into a '97 XJ.

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Wanting a simple 44 front end swap into a '97 XJ.

Old 03-15-2017, 09:37 PM
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Default Wanting a simple 44 front end swap into a '97 XJ.

Money not being a huge consideration; who do I go to to get something that'll be complete and not needing a lot of fab work to install. I considered a Rubi axle, but would have to re-gear and the lug pattern would be wrong so it doesn't seem to make much sense. Going to run 4.88 or 5.13 and some kind of locker, undecided yet.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:16 PM
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97 to 06 Rubicons have the same lug pattern.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:48 PM
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Ahh, I thought they had the wider pattern of the JK. So is the TJ rubi front a bolt-on? Steering, control arms, U-joint, shocks & springs? If so it's worth a revisit since it would just need re-gearing.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:00 PM
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:46 AM
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A tj rubicon 44 is not a true 44 its a dana 30 with a 44 center in it.Honestly i would not waste my money on a 44 at all,Your dana 30 is good tell 35s if your easy on the gas.Past that is gonna take a huge job to swap axles and for the price you might as well go 1 tons dana 60 front and 14 bolt rear or dana 60 and sterling rear out of a ford super duty.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:09 AM
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Look into g2 axles. They build 44s specific to xjs
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:27 AM
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But also look at the price tag tho
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:06 AM
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Thank you all for helping. I'm sure the answers are already out there, we just can't find it.

I know the Rubi isn't a true 44 but it's a little stronger, has a locker, and has bigger brakes so it seemed like an easy solution. I didn't know it was a LP so that's probably out.

I know the 30 will handle it with smart driving and if it were my Jeep I'd probably run it, this is for my friend and he'd rather throw some money at it once and not worry.

As far as jumping to one tons; that's overkill, heavy, and loosing ground clearance which is the main reason he's switching to 35s.

We looked into G2, Currie, and 4 WheelParts, but couldn't find a clear cut solution. I told him to call them today and ask. I just remembered a shop I went to in Phoenix that does custom stuff, I might search around this area to see if there's someone. I'm sure I could pull off a custom install myself, and would if it were my Jeep, but I'm not gonna experiment on someone else's which is why I'm looking to find a bolt-on. If something breaks or doesn't fit right I don't want that on me. I'll be doing the install with his help so that he learns more about his Jeep and how everything works.

I guess the next logical question would be; can the 30 be built up adequately? I don't know where the weak link is in a 30. If some better axles and/or other upgrades would bring it into 44ish level strength that might be the way to go. It currently has 32" tires and 3.55 gears, if there's a level of upgrade that would keep the same relative strength with 35s and 4.88ish gearing that should get the job done. I think 5.13 would be the best choice but I recall there being a breaking point in gear ratio where the pinion gear size, or maybe something else, becomes a concern. Not sure if that happens at 4.56, 4.88, 5.13, or maybe I'm just wrong about that. (?)

Last edited by '90Cherokee; 03-16-2017 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:15 AM
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Are you looking for bolt in ready or can you do a little fab work?

HPD44 from a Ford are pretty simple swap to do if you keep the radius arm setup.
You'll have to convert to 5x5.5 bolt pattern but that's easy to do in the rear with spacers.

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f58/79...-build-195610/
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by '90Cherokee View Post
I guess the next logical question would be; can the 30 be built up adequately? I don't know where the weak link is in a 30. If some better axles and/or other upgrades would bring it into 44ish level strength that might be the way to go. It currently has 32" tires and 3.55 gears, if there's a level of upgrade that would keep the same relative strength with 35s and 4.88ish gearing that should get the job done. I think 5.13 would be the best choice but I recall there being a breaking point in gear ratio where the pinion gear size, or maybe something else, becomes a concern. Not sure if that happens at 4.56, 4.88, 5.13, or maybe I'm just wrong about that. (?)

4.56 is the correct gear choice if you want to avoid breaking the pinion. 4.88 increases your risk of breaking by a lot if you're going to start rock crawling. larger ring gear really is the only benefit of going to dana 44 (besides locking hubs if you're into that sort of thing). People forget that the D30 shares the same size ujoint as ALL DANA 44's. Making this axle a real dud of an upgrade, which is really unfortunate for people who swap this axle in the hopes of running 37" tires.


if you're interested in rock crawling a D44 or any situation that involves wheel speed, plan for RCV axles. end of story


the D30 can absolutely be built up to handle some heavy wheeling without breaking. but the best part is, you can swap a shaft in 30min with hand tools if something ever goes wrong. The D44 is going to take you way longer to tear down

Originally Posted by Desertfox1023 View Post
if you keep the radius arm setup.


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Old 03-16-2017, 11:41 AM
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:18 PM
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If you have your heart set on a bolt in 44, these are hard to beat. Youre definitely going to be paying for it, but ECGS does great work.

http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-239...-assembly.html
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:10 AM
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The tj dana 44 is weak the jk rubicon 44 is better but you kinda need to swap the rear with it also because of the lug pattern and the wider width.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:49 AM
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If you end up going the new crate axle route check out Currie. I know lots of guys, both JK guys and Ultra 4 guys, who run Currie because they are simply the best, at least for Dana 60s and 70s. Though I have never seen anyone run a Currie Dana 44, I would assume they would be built to be the best 44s out there. You can also call Currie up and have the axles built however you would like them.

Another option to look at would be a Rubicon D44. I know Artec Industries makes a "JK to TJ" front axle swap kit. However, you would want to swap both front and rear if you went the JK axle route because of the change in width and lug pattern, like andrewmp6 said.

Artec JK2TJ kit:
http://www.artecindustries.com/JK2TJ_Front_Swap_Kit
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:13 AM
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Like said the tj rubicon 44 bolts in but uses the same knuckles and out as the dana 30.The jk rubicon 44 is fully different and has a bigger ring and pinion then a standard 44,But its no where a bolt in swap and is pricey to find used unless you get lucky.
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