Axle Upgrade And Locker Advice


chaz.t0

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Hi all, am new here. Have owned my TJ for about 8 months now and have just started to build it up. I am looking at regear/lockers next. I have read a million different things and found so many different opinions online, so figured I'd state my specific case here for some specific help...

I run 33x12.5" tires at the moment. I would like to eventually run 35s (the RIGHT WAY) for some more-moderate off-roading. I also do daily drive the Jeep. Is it worth building the axles I have (Dana 30/35, stock 3.07 gears), or I was thinking about upgrading to a rear 44. As far as keeping it budget friendly, what do you recommend? Also what brand lockers? I for sure want to do just a selectable in the rear (for now)...

Thanks in advance.
 

Fouledplugs

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Hi all, am new here. Have owned my TJ for about 8 months now and have just started to build it up. I am looking at regear/lockers next. I have read a million different things and found so many different opinions online, so figured I'd state my specific case here for some specific help...

I run 33x12.5" tires at the moment. I would like to eventually run 35s (the RIGHT WAY) for some more-moderate off-roading. I also do daily drive the Jeep. Is it worth building the axles I have (Dana 30/35, stock 3.07 gears), or I was thinking about upgrading to a rear 44. As far as keeping it budget friendly, what do you recommend? Also what brand lockers? I for sure want to do just a selectable in the rear (for now)...

Thanks in advance.
Depends on how cheap you can get used TJ/LJ rear Dana 44 for.

If you cant find one cheap, youre in the majority.

The Dana 35 rear can be built to handle 35’s without issue. A super 35 is the go to for 35’s. A super 35 consist of a 30 spline locker and bigger 30 spline chromoly shafts.

A re-gear should also be considered if going to 35’s. Dont be fooled in thinking otherwise.
grimjeeper will be your best friend.

The front Dana 30 build advice follows closely to what works for the rear Dana 35.

If you can find a used TJ/LJ Rubicon front Dana 44 cheap, buy it. You’ll be in the majority here as well, they are not cheap.

Otherwise, the Dana 30 front can be built to handle 35’s too. A Super 30 upgrade uses a 30 spline locker, 30 spline chromoly shafts w/ 1350 u-joints and full circle snap rings.
 

L J

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Welcome to the site. 🍻


I would like to eventually run 35s (the RIGHT WAY) for some more-moderate off-roading.
As far as keeping it budget friendly, what do you recommend?

Not running 35s. 🧐

You can easily spend $10,000 to run 35s the "right way".

You'll need either the budget to do it at once or the patience to build it up over time or both.

Here's some reading to get some idea of what's involved: https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/so-you-want-to-run-35-tires-on-your-tj.2428/
 
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Westtown Willy

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I run 33x12.5" tires at the moment. I would like to eventually run 35s (the RIGHT WAY) for some more-moderate off-roading.
You can accomplish moderate off-roading with a stock or slightly built TJ so with the 33s you have you can already do more than moderate off-roading. You’re 18 years old, maybe focus on building your off-roading skills, that will get you far further than a click up in tire size. Don’t just keep hitting it with a bigger hammer, learn how to use the very capable one you already have.
 

Bigfoot15

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May 4, 2021
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Simcoe Ontario
I hope this helps you decide which model and what to watch for. 2 months ago I purchased my first Rubicon. 2006 TJ, Dana 44 axels. Differential air lockers did not work. I fixed the front air pump (blown circuit board trace) and bought a used Kia air pump for the rear. Original was full of mud, water and oil. Both pumps tested to 5psi, all good. Then found that the rear differential actuator was ceased up. I worked it while applying pump pressure and freed it up to work intermittently. Front actuator just blows air right through it. Again, I can crimp the air line in the diff and the pump turns off at 5 PSI, no leaks in the lines. So for the past 3 weeks I've been scouring the planet for new or used air actuators made by Crown Automotive PN 52104611AA. I've contacted dozens of parts providers on-line and I've also talked to Crown and found that they intend to build a batch of lockers in August of 2021. I'm now considering switching the lockers to electric. Good news, I really enjoy my TJ. I've got 100 acres of farm, forest, trails, dunes and streams. I'm in it almost daily... can't wait for all 4 wheels to pull me up places I can't do with 3 wheels. Anyone out there with a spare air locker(s) please contact me. zoradp@kwic.com

20210421_102228.jpg
 
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Ephry73

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I believe the issue is space. How large is the front 44 and 30 Ox Locker diff cover?

The rear might impact the tank skid in up-travel.
I don't know if I believe that the Ox cover is much bigger than say the ARB one. I haven't measured. I was looking into the Dana 35 and just make it a Super.

For my needs and future plans that will be more than ok. The front will get upgraded shafts and locker as well. Not immediately, but it is in the plans. The reason why the Ox appeals to me is simple, no kinked hoses, no electrical issues. if it fails, I can run it open and fix that later.
 

Rubicon88

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Anyone opposed to Ox lockers here? The mechanical aspect of them appeals to me.
The OX...
It's the only selectable locker I have no experience with installing and or using.

That said in theory the OX "should" be the most reliable of the bunch. I stress the word "should"

ARB you've got the compressorand a switch to make it work.

Eaton you've got electric and a switch to make it work.

The OX...
You've got a cable. That's it.

As I say it "SHOULD" be the most fail safe of the bunch in theory but I don't have first hand experience with that particular unit.
 
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Jerry Bransford

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Mrholland

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I'm an OX fan. I have them front and rear on my LJ. I opted for electric actuated. If the actuator or cable ever fails, there's a back up, "drive away lock" that can either be installed or removed from where the cable would normally be to lock/unlock the diff.

Electric made more sense to me because I didn't want to cut the tub to install the manual levers. I've also read that the manual levers are a lil more tricky to adjust. Using the actuator eliminated the above concerns, however it did create another point of failure.

The current cables offered for the OX are an upgraded cable from what was previously offered and are of better quality.

The OX actuators are neg triggered and can be wired up to an sPod if you choose.
 
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Westtown Willy

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Once you factor in the cost of an air compressor
That part was a wash for me, probably for many, given that it’s a multi-purpose object - who doesn’t want onboard air when off road…

and additional hassle of install for the ARB
that’s the installer’s problem :ROFLMAO:

but seriously, most are getting these things done professionally so any additional hassle isn’t really a factor. I suppose if you're doing the install yourself that would certainly be a consideration.

I don’t know enough about all the other lockers out there to weigh in on w/n ARB is better, as good, or worse for that matter than the others, what I have observed over the years however leads me to believe that when faced with choosing a locker many folks put an inordinate amount of worry into the ‘air’ component of ARB lockers as though it’s some super complicated & delicate mechanism that’s likely to fail. In reality it’s a pretty simple if not elegant design & extremely reliable/durable. At least that’s been my experience and my in-person observation of others with them.
 
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Vasq

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OX seems like the biggest risk. What if the cable breaks in line someplace? does it have a plan B?