PDA

View Full Version : front diff upgrade for a 1990 cherokee question


cherokeeinprogess
10-31-2008, 10:49 PM
I put in a 8.8 rear diff in the cherokee for better strength over the dana 35. now the front diff is needing work so i am looking to upgrade from the dana 30 to atleast a 44. So i am wanting to know what veihicals diffs will match my bolt pattern and width so i dont got to carry two spares.

mUD uCKeR
11-01-2008, 09:00 AM
Generally speaking the dana 30 in the cherokee's aren't that bad. Even a lot of guys with TJ's will swap them in because of the High pinion over low pinion, which has a stronger contact on the pinion, and a little higher driveshaft location on the diff.
Other then upgrading what you have with new alloy shafts ect... You're only real option for something bolt on would be a Rubicon Dana 44 front, but to be honest, it uses the same size everything from the knuckle out, including the axle shaft, and the axle shaft U-joint... This tends to be the weak link in the diff anyways.
The next thing up from that would be a real Dana 44 with the right size hubs, but smallest wheel lug pattern for these is a 5 on 5.5 that came on the fords, and some dodge 1/2 ton trucks. So your wheels won't match anymore as the jeep cherokee, TJ, YJ, ect... uses a 5 on 4.5.
It's not a simple upgrade either, because it will require welding new link brackets, and coil buckets ect. And the dana 44's aren't really worth the dollars and all the work in my mind.
So... depending on tire size... And keep in mind this is only my opinion, and others may feel differently... I would run anything up to 35" tire on the stock Dana 30, if you started breaking it... upgrade the shafts and stuff... I would go up to a 37" on a bling Dana 30, alloy shafts, cryo the gears... whatever you felt necessary... anything over the 37" tire mark... and maybe 37" if you couldn't keep the Dana 30 together, i would jump straight into a Dana 60... Anything less then 37" tires and the dana 60 will hook on everything... Even 37's it might be a pain.

Take it for what it's worth, and do a ton of reasearch yourself if you want to save as much money as possible and only do it once.

cherokeeinprogess
11-01-2008, 03:04 PM
Thank you for your insite guess its time do do a little research :)

knox
11-01-2008, 07:47 PM
what tire size are you running? i agree, no need if 35's or less, its a pretty good little axle....

cherokeeinprogess
11-02-2008, 09:01 AM
what tire size are you running? i agree, no need if 35's or less, its a pretty good little axle....

33's

nbrowser
11-02-2008, 10:24 AM
Ah yeah I've heard good things about the lil D30 in the front end of an XJ, it's not all that weak so to say and the high pinion on it leads to better gear contact and thusly strength, I know if I ever do an axle in my '89 XJ Pioneer it'll be the rear one that gets swapped, no need to screw with the front.....yet.

Justin_B
11-02-2008, 05:08 PM
Im actaully going to be doing a front axle swap on the front of my grand cherokee, swaping the low pinion out to a high pinion 30, im only going to be running 33's aswell.

D-Ass
11-02-2008, 06:16 PM
the only people that complain about how week the 30 is are the same people that try to put 44's or rock clime. as long as you arn't doing any thing stupid a 30 will be a great axle

[cheers]

Nutbar
11-03-2008, 01:44 AM
The dana 30 is a turd, the old CJ one was barely OK, the later 30s hardly stand up to stock abuse my advice to anyone with a little jeep is don't waste any money trying to build one they are not worth it they are to small to ever have any real strength the tubes are weak the ball joints are pathetic and the unit bearings are a complete joke the worst tragedy out there is that they have so much aftermarket support for such a piece of shit.

Oh and by the way I have been working on these things for more than 20 yrs so I do have a little hands on experience

Moondog
11-03-2008, 06:42 AM
[iagree] You guys might just want to listen to Mikey.

cherokeeinprogess
11-03-2008, 06:38 PM
Nutbar do you have any recomendations on a axle to use?
remember i would like to stick to the same bolt pattern 2 spares is a hassle

Moondog
11-03-2008, 08:00 PM
I was going to swap the axles on my XJ Mikey recomended an 8.8 rear and a dana 44 out of a 1980's 2 door wagoneer for the front then change the bolt pattern on the 8.8 to match the 44. PM Mikey I am sure that I he will gladly help you out.

Nutbar
11-03-2008, 10:50 PM
Other than TJ Rubicon frt diff there is no upgrades for a frt diff with the same bolt pattern

just run a 1980-1991 4dr Wagoneer frt diff and change axle shafts or run wheel adaptors in the rear to match bolt patterns

Happypants
11-03-2008, 11:00 PM
if your only going with 33`s, then get yourself some grand cherokee axleshafts and call it done, right now im still running a d30 with zj shafts and 36" tires, and anyone who has wheeled with me knows im not soft on the skinny pedal either its been over a year and the only thing i have had to replace so far is a tie rod and hub bearings, im swapping to d44`s from a waggy once my sisters truck is finished only cause i want to lock the front, with 33`s and a lunch box locker, you should be ok, even spend the $ and get alloy shafts and stronger u-joints, lotsa ppl rag on them but there not a bad axle for what its worth,

heep recently did a d44/8.8 swap using a waggy d44 in the front, he had to get spacers made to equal the back out to the front he also had the bolt patten changed,

BudgetXJ
11-04-2008, 03:17 PM
Seems pretty common to just stick with the 30 up front unless you're gonna go fullsize. From what I've read on naxja, etc. you can beat on them pretty good. A fairly inexpensive upgrade is to replace the axleshafts with ones from a 96 and up xj because they have the bigger u joints (297x's I believe). I think that they are the same as the ones used in most d44's too.

Nutbar
11-04-2008, 05:43 PM
Yup . . . sure . . . stick with the 30s guys they are great[16]

great if you like to do your ball joints and unit bearings on a VERY regular basis

Oh yeah and don't forget to waste all your money on cromo axle shafts and U joint upgrades so you can be not nearly as strong as a D44 and spent twice as much money only to find out that you should have swapped a 44

jeepxj89
11-04-2008, 06:55 PM
i agree with mikey. wheelin with any tires over 33" and your balljoints and wheelbearings will have to be done monthly. if you want an easy swap, throw a hp d44 from a 79 bronco in there. make a crossmember, sleeve the stud on the end of the arm with some tube and weld a rubi joint to it.

nothing beats a true full floating wheelbearing setup, and the 44 has way larger inner C's and balljoints that if greased regularly and installed properly will last you a long time.

Happypants
11-04-2008, 07:22 PM
Yup . . . sure . . . stick with the 30s guys they are great[16]

great if you like to do your ball joints and unit bearings on a VERY regular basis

Oh yeah and don't forget to waste all your money on cromo axle shafts and U joint upgrades so you can be not nearly as strong as a D44 and spent twice as much money only to find out that you should have swapped a 44

lol got the 44`s sittin in the shop, just gotta weld the inners back on and there going in,

davey73
11-17-2008, 10:39 AM
hey mikey im gonna put a dana 30 under your christmas tree...how u doin?i still got come by and get driveshaft of you.

FZJ80
11-24-2008, 10:13 PM
What if i said i could build you a Longfield equiped 60 series Cruiser axle for your Jeep.
With the drop on the correct side.
The ony drawback would be a six bolt front......or make that a five bolt rear.

Mr Vic
11-26-2008, 02:40 PM
i got a d44 housing from an 83 cherokee up for sale. pm me if your interested.. it is housing, inner axles and knuckles.