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Old 04-15-2017, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 97 Tj axle swap

We have just added 97' Jeep TJ Inline to the family. Here are the specs.
6 cylinder.
4" Rubicon Express Extreme Duty Long Arm Kit,
33x12.5 BFG Mud terrains,
brand new soft top, soft windows and hard windows,
on board air,
410 gears,
rear locker,
12000 lb. Winch,
Cobra CB,
Bilstein Shocks,
Smittybilt rock crawler front bumper,
Smittybilt rock crawler back bumper, w/tire carrier,
Smittybilt rock crawler XRC armor rock sliders,
RE 1898-175 Rubicon Express Driveshaft.

Now our first big upgrade will be axle as we are running a D35 on 33 with a locker, and will probably break it soon as we get out just about once or twice a week.

We are looking at ford 8.8, D44 and I am dreaming about a D60...
with all thing in consideration. i.e. easy of install, Cash to shell out. What is my best option????
Thank you
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If staying with 36" or lower tires go for the 8.8... if considering going taller then go d60...

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Old 04-15-2017, 10:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you Jorge Meza
the biggest we will go is 35 as it is my DD until my baby girl starts to drive ... This is going to be her first car/jeep in about 10 years.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Seems to me you might be more concerned with the 30 up front ?

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Old 04-16-2017, 07:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Seems to me you might be more concerned with the 30 up front ?

Honestly I would be far more concerned about the rear d35 considering it is powered far more often than the front is.


8.8 out of an explorer with disc brakes is an awesome axle to swap in. I would not consider anything else unless it bolts in.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you can find a Rubicon Dana 44, it's a easy bolt in and comes with 4:10s stock and an air locker. Rear driveshaft need to be shortened about 1-1/2 inches and the residual valve will need to be removed from the master for the disc brakes.

Same for a regular late TJ 44 except it will have 3.73's so a gear change would be needed. They often have trac-loc diffs.

Ford 8.8's will need an expensive bracket kit and they are a little narrower than the stock TJ axle and the offset of the diff is slightly different. You can find them with 4:10s and a trac-lok. There are some with drum brakes, on which the parking brake function is better than discs, if that's important.

XJ/MJ 44's are another option, they have the proper track width and diff offset but you would need the bracket kit and a gear change. They also come with bigger drum brakes than the D35.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ford 8.8 is 1" or so narrower (maybe 1 1/2") it makes handling better on tight trails
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Honestly I would be far more concerned about the rear d35 considering it is powered far more often than the front is.


8.8 out of an explorer with disc brakes is an awesome axle to swap in. I would not consider anything else unless it bolts in.


I would agree .
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I just got a quote from a local shop that will do Dana 44 swap front and rear and 4:56 gears
If I want arb it around 8497
If I want e lockers it's about 9300?????!

Are these good prices or are the walking me over to the barrel????
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Too much imo... you can find a matching pair of Rubicon TJ D44 factory locked for less than halg of what that shop is estimating...

Or buy a matching pair of Rubicon JK D44, put the Artec conversion truss systems for TJ for the same price range (again less than half the price they are estimating for you)...

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Old 04-20-2017, 09:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So I set my eyes on D44 front and rear, (are jk better that tj axles) as for locker I am. Heading two school of though, the first being you need ARB/ Eton (kind of thinking e locker because I already have on board air) front and rear.
The second being save $$$ on the front and go with a Detroit or something like that?


Help me out people. I want to do it right the first time!

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Old 04-20-2017, 10:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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as for locker I am. Heading two school of though, the first being you need ARB/ Eton (kind of thinking e locker because I already have on board air) front and rear.
I'm assuming you meant arb? The "e" in e-locker means electic locker. If you already have on board air than arb would be the way to go if you can afford it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yes I was
Is one locker better than the other and why?
Also I cant get a straight answer on this ???
But will any year TJ axle fit in to a 97 tj ???

Last edited by Wombatbrigade; 04-22-2017 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes I was
Is one locker better than the other and why?
Also I cant get a straight answer on this ???
But will any year TJ axle fit in to a 97 tj ???
Air Locker makes the strongest selectable locker, if that's what you meant.
If you could only have one axle locked, the rear is the one I'd choose.

Yes. They will all fit but driveshaft lengths will vary.

Last edited by Kickin'Chicken; 04-23-2017 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What's a good price for a ford 8.8 from a junkyard by good I mean fair
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Car-part.com

Prices varies too much by region.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I paid $100 for mine. Got a great deal on it
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I paid 150. 9000 is insane... I would turn 360 degrees and walk away from that shop.

I think, in total, I had about 1600 into my 8.8 when it was all said and done with lockers, gears, brackets, etc.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well this sh!t happened last night to my wife on her way home.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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But from ashes we will rebuild it stronger , butter. Ford 8.8 stock shaft, Artec truss, black magic flip caliper bracket and brakes , Rubicon ebrake Detroit locker and and currently at 513 but will be regarded to 410 for freeway commute.. the plan is to go with a dubbler or atlas transfer case to get the low gear...
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:03 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger4.0 View Post
Ford 8.8 is 1" or so narrower (maybe 1 1/2") it makes handling better on tight trails
WTF ?????


To the OP Get a 44 out of another TJ and gear it
For what your doing its the best and least costly option

That 8.8 above, prob has as much coin into it than just doin a 60
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Been there, done that with the 8.8. It has a strong ring and pinion, but everything else about it is horrible. Low clearance and weak axle flanges and it's still going to cost a lot to get one swapped.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:35 AM   #24 (permalink)
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We thought about going with the d60.
But I think the d60 hangs lower.
Yes it's a bit stronger.... but really not by that much.....
Keep in mind not going pass 35'.
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