• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Thinking about a solid axle swap for my truck...


Original_Ranger84

Active Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
4,690
Reaction score
20
Points
38
Location
Homer, Ak/ Anchorage, AK/Fairbanks, AK
Vehicle Year
1984, 1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.8L, 3.0L
Transmission
Manual
Alright so I have a 99' Supercab 3.0L 4x4. I've got a manual trans/t-case, swapped in explorer leafs and an expo 8.8 in the back already. Cranked the t bars but with the addition of the explorer rear end stuff it now sits like 2 - 3" taller then the front again.

Currently i've got the IFS with manual hubs and 31's on my truck but i want to level it out and put a nice set of 33's under it. My goal is to have the frame 5 - 8" taller then stock.

What should i be concidering in regards to a swap and what would the cost be?

I have narrowed it down to a Dana 30 or possibly Dana 44, Decided it would be easier to go leafs. I would like to maintain my 5x4.5 bolt pattern, and get manual hubs.

I mainly plan to use this for only light off roading and trail riding but mostly street and dirt roads. I have access to my colleges machine and welding shops and do have fab skills to a degree.
 


4x4junkie

Forum Staff Member
TRS Forum Moderator
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 19, 2001
Messages
10,736
Reaction score
565
Points
113
Location
So. Calif (SFV)
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9L V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
35x12.50R15
I would not suggest a D30 under a heavy Supercab truck, the small housing and R&P gears really aren't up to supporting that amount of weight (they're heavier up front than many realize, ~2300lbs or so before any winch or bumper is added).

This leaves the D44...
Having both manual hubs and 5x4.5" lug pattern will be difficult to come by. You would need '75-'79 Dodge ½-ton outers and then put a Mile Marker locking hub conversion on it (which I'd be surprised if that conversion is even still available, though I haven't looked).
There's also the TJ Rubicon D44 + Warn hub conversion, however I think I read somewhere the TJ D44 has the same tubes as the D30, so it would have many of the same housing weaknesses (I could be wrong though, you might check into that). The Warn hub conversion for this axle will surely shock your bank account though ($700 ! last I checked some years ago :shok: ).

My suggestion would be: find a D44 from an '80s Jeep Wagoneer (close to RBV width) or from a F-150 (narrow it if desired) and bite the bullet on new wheels and having your rear axle flanges redrilled (or get wheel spacers).


Have you also given thought to simply throwing a body lift on it to fit your 33s on the IFS? (maybe pull a leaf or do some leaf switching from other leaf packs on the rear to bring it back down a little)? With the light trail use you mention, the IFS should do fine, and though this won't get the frame up as high as you wanted, it would save you a lot of cash over an axle swap.
 

UrbanRedneckKid

Active Member
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
2,439
Reaction score
17
Points
38
Age
36
Location
Cass Co, Missouri
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Manual
I would not suggest a D30 under a heavy Supercab truck, the small housing and R&P gears really aren't up to supporting that amount of weight (they're heavier up front than many realize, ~2300lbs or so before any winch or bumper is added.
FYI, a good little tidbit of info...
Dana names their axles by the weight capacities of the housings.

D30= 3,000 lbs
D44= 4,400 lbs
D60= 6,000 lbs

So, as Junkie had stated, a D30 with 2,300 lbs on it is not a good idea. That gives you only 700 lbs of force on the front-end till you reach the housings maximum capacity. It'd be possible to bend the housing while crossing railroad tracks. It'd be like putting a 4,000 lb winch on a 3,500 lb truck...


Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
 

Original_Ranger84

Active Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
4,690
Reaction score
20
Points
38
Location
Homer, Ak/ Anchorage, AK/Fairbanks, AK
Vehicle Year
1984, 1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.8L, 3.0L
Transmission
Manual
Yeah I had actually read Junkies info on another forum or thread.

Being in Alaska a D30 is going to 1000x easier and cheaper to come by. And the other reason I want a D30 is because i can pull one from a newer jeep and keep front abs and swap on manual hubs much easier.

The reason i dont' want a body lift is because i have both the 5 speed and manual T case, i want to maintain the front tow hooks and use of bumpers, and i just hate the look of them. I want to lift it right with either a suspension lift or an axle swap and from what i hear a solid axle is cheaper and more reliable then an 1800$ SL or the 5K i would have to drop on the Dixon bros kit.

I am doing it more for the frame height and wheel travel then just the look. So what are the weak points on the D30? and could they be solved with a truss? I am in engineering school and i could probably design one myself?
 

Original_Ranger84

Active Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
4,690
Reaction score
20
Points
38
Location
Homer, Ak/ Anchorage, AK/Fairbanks, AK
Vehicle Year
1984, 1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.8L, 3.0L
Transmission
Manual
Also to mention I am in need of replacing my wheel bearings, ball joints, tierod ends, brake pads, rotors, and possibly one of the cv axles. By this summer so i figured i could go with the axle and for go the cost of 800 worth of front end parts.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
TRS Event Staff
TRS Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
VAGABOND
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
31,918
Reaction score
16,818
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
You will be lightening the front of your truck too, your front diff and bracketry will transfer from being sprung weight (riding on the springs) to unsprung weight (part of the axle)

The Jeep Wrangler is rated 2200lbs up front, the 2011 Ranger is rated 2800. The front diff and friends will make up a sizable portion of that without taking any suspension capacity differences into account. The Jeep is a lighter CAR and wouldn't need as stiff of a supsension either which would also effect the GVW rating.

http://www.bebo.com/new-cars/2011-ford-ranger/specs/

http://www.cars.com/jeep/wrangler/1999/specifications/

If you are going to keep it a shockish type truck that doesn't really get thrashed on I guess I don't see where the problem is.
 

cdawall

New Member
U.S. Military - Active
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
549
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Ellsworth AFB
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
FYI, a good little tidbit of info...
Dana names their axles by the weight capacities of the housings.

D30= 3,000 lbs
D44= 4,400 lbs
D60= 6,000 lbs

So, as Junkie had stated, a D30 with 2,300 lbs on it is not a good idea. That gives you only 700 lbs of force on the front-end till you reach the housings maximum capacity. It'd be possible to bend the housing while crossing railroad tracks. It'd be like putting a 4,000 lb winch on a 3,500 lb truck...


Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
Holy hell this is completely and utterly wrong...The weight capacity of the housing has nothing to do with the name. I am just going to leave it at that.
 

UrbanRedneckKid

Active Member
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
2,439
Reaction score
17
Points
38
Age
36
Location
Cass Co, Missouri
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Manual
That's what I was told by a Spicer Rep...

What's your knowledge of it...? I'm not opposed to being wrong, I'm only restating info from an assumed reputable source. You can't just call me out and not say why...

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
 

cdawall

New Member
U.S. Military - Active
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
549
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Ellsworth AFB
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
That's what I was told by a Spicer Rep...

What's your knowledge of it...? I'm not opposed to being wrong, I'm only restating info from an assumed reputable source. You can't just call me out and not say why...

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
D30's are only rated for a GAWR of 2650lbs in a JK, D44's vary from 2800lbs-4000lbs (HD model F250's) and D60's vary from 4500lbs to 7200lbs (super 60) not to mention the sheer number of different version of the same axles they are not all rated the same nor are they built the same.
 

UrbanRedneckKid

Active Member
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
2,439
Reaction score
17
Points
38
Age
36
Location
Cass Co, Missouri
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Manual
Hmmm... Interesting

Although GAWR, is a measurement of the whole end of the vehicle...

And spring rates have a whole lot to do with how they are rated too. Like the Jeep for example, has softer springs for ride quality and off-road capability. Therefore it would be on the bump stops well before the maximum weight for the axle was reached.

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
 

cdawall

New Member
U.S. Military - Active
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
549
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Ellsworth AFB
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
Hmmm... Interesting

Although GAWR, is a measurement of the whole end of the vehicle...

And spring rates have a whole lot to do with how they are rated too. Like the Jeep for example, has softer springs for ride quality and off-road capability. Therefore it would be on the bump stops well before the maximum weight for the axle was reached.

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
Gross AXLE weight rating. The stock 8.8" and 7.5" in all rangers is rated the exact same 2750lbs regardless to spring pack installed. It is called the GAWR for a reason it is the rating for the axle it has zilch to do with the vehicle it is under.
 
Last edited:

UrbanRedneckKid

Active Member
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
2,439
Reaction score
17
Points
38
Age
36
Location
Cass Co, Missouri
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Manual
So the smaller housing of the 7.5 is equally as strong as the 8.8...?

That is a rating given to the vehicle as a whole by the vehicle manufacturer, not the axle manufacturer. It is only called an "axle rating" because that's where you measure it from.

The gross rear axle number is a measure of the maximum weight of the truck, payload, fuel, passengers, and tongue weight, that the vehicle can handle safely.

It's a number limited by the strength of the chassis, braking power, tire load ratings, spring rates, and strength of the drivetrain, and stability @ max load.

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
 

cdawall

New Member
U.S. Military - Active
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
549
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Ellsworth AFB
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
So the smaller housing of the 7.5 is equally as strong as the 8.8...?
Doesn't matter load wise they both have the same shafts and bearings. Ring and pinion will only help the transfer of power from motor to wheels it has nothing to do with the load carrying ability of the axle. On the semi floater 7.5 and 8.8" that is carried by and identical set of bearings and 28 spline shafts which bring the GAWR to 2750lbs.

That is a rating given to the vehicle as a whole by the vehicle manufacturer, not the axle manufacturer. It is only called an "axle rating" because that's where you measure it from.
That rating is provided to the manufacturer by the axle manufacturer. Look up the Dana 60 on spicers website with the BOM off of your axle and it will list the same GAWR as is listed on the door of the vehicle it is sitting in.

The gross rear axle number is a measure of the maximum weight of the truck, payload, fuel, passengers, and tongue weight, that the vehicle can handle safely.

It's a number limited by the strength of the chassis, braking power, tire load ratings, spring rates, and strength of the drivetrain, and stability @ max load.

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
That would be GVWR. That is completely different. Gross VEHICLE weight rating takes all of those into effect something that gross AXLE weight ratings do not. All a gross AXLE weight rating takes into account is what the axle can handle without failing hence why its the gross AXLE weight rating and not the gross VEHICLE weight rating.

wiki said:
The gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is the maximum distributed weight that may be supported by an axle of a road vehicle. Typically, GAWR is followed by either the letters FR or RR, which indicate front or rear axles respectively.
wiki said:
The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer[1] including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers.[2] The term is used for motor vehicles and trains.

The weight of a vehicle is influenced by passengers, cargo, even fuel level, so a number of terms are used to express the weight of a vehicle in a designated state. Gross combined weight rating refers to the total mass of a vehicle, including all trailers. GVWR and GCWR both describe a vehicle that is in operation and are used to specify weight limitations and restrictions. Curb weight describes a vehicle which is "parked at the curb" and excludes the weight of any occupants or cargo. Dry weight further excludes the weight of all consumables, such as fuel and oils. Gross trailer weight rating specifies the maximum weight of a trailer and the gross axle weight rating specifies the maximum weight on any particular axle.
Notice how none of the information on GAWR mentions anything about the physical vehicle...
 
Last edited:

4.0B2

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Sep 24, 2009
Messages
10,700
Reaction score
151
Points
63
Location
Walls, MS
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0 v6
Transmission
Automatic
a d30 with manual hub kit is EXPENSIVE... you'd be better off finding a good d44 that has manual hubs from the factory.

I don't have anything against the d30's (if used properly, I've seen them wheeled hard on 37's with minimal damage, but he's a smart driver), just to add manual hubs is expensive....

several people on here are using the d30's with no major issues... it's all in how you drive; and with 33's you'd probably be fine. But remember 33's are a gateway tire; almost everyone ends up on 35's after 33's.

even the "Alloy" kit is $1100
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/alloy-usa-d30-manual-locking-hub-complete-conversion-kit-all-12195.html

there are other options:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-cherokee/750186-dana-30-locking-hubs.html
but you still won't keep your 5x4.5 bolt pattern.
 

cdawall

New Member
U.S. Military - Active
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
549
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Ellsworth AFB
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
a d30 with manual hub kit is EXPENSIVE... you'd be better off finding a good d44 that has manual hubs from the factory.

I don't have anything against the d30's (if used properly, I've seen them wheeled hard on 37's with minimal damage, but he's a smart driver), just to add manual hubs is expensive....

several people on here are using the d30's with no major issues... it's all in how you drive; and with 33's you'd probably be fine. But remember 33's are a gateway tire; almost everyone ends up on 35's after 33's.

even the "Alloy" kit is $1100
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/alloy-usa-d30-manual-locking-hub-complete-conversion-kit-all-12195.html

there are other options:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-cherokee/750186-dana-30-locking-hubs.html
but you still won't keep your 5x4.5 bolt pattern.
The unit bearings are not exactly super weak they handle a lot more abuse than the OEM and most aftermarket D35 hubs.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Staff online

Today's birthdays

Member & Vendor Upgrades

For a small yearly donation, you can support this forum and receive a 'Supporting Member' banner, or become a 'Supporting Vendor' and promote your products here. Click the banner to find out how.

Latest posts

Truck of The Month


Yotaismygame
February Truck of The Month

Recently Featured

Want to see your truck here? Share your photos and details in the forum.

Follow TRS On Instagram

TRS Events

Check Out The TRS Store


Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Sponsored Ad


Amazon Deals

Top