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Welcome to the Axle info page.  We are working to bring you some good information that will help you with an axle swap and hopefully clear up some popular mis-conceptions.  It's broken down starting with stock widths and then popular axle info.  Any questions, feel free to shoot us an email and we can help you out!  This by far is not an all inclusive guide to all the axles that can be made to fit.  These are probably the most common ones people use with a little more information on why they use them. 

D30 general info: These have great aftermarket support with axle and lockers.  Combine them with 30 spline axles, inner axle sleeves and c-gussets and they become a decent offroad axle that can handle aggressive driving offroad.  The ZJ/TJ/XJ versions have marginal brakes, but an option is to upgrade to WJ dual piston calipers which stop very well with larger tires.  

D35 general info:  These have great aftermarket support with axle and lockers.  They tend to hold up to mild off-road use, but they are very weak overall.  Tend to have the smallest brakes so stopping larger tires will be more work for them.  The weak part of the D35 are the axle tubes and their c-clip axles.  If you break a D35 axle and you have drum brakes, your wheel and what's left of your axle can come right out on the trail. 

D44 general info:  These have great aftermarket support with axle and lockers.  They came from 1/2 ton truck or HD vehicles (wagoneers, cherokee's).  The front low pinion version (FSJ/Dodge/GM/Ford) has a good cost-to-strength ratio and can be easily upgraded in many areas because it has plenty of aftermarket support.  The front high pinion Ford version has a stronger ring/pinion and is more desirable with thicker axle tubes then the stock Rubicon dana 44.  The Rubicon 44 has tremendous aftermarket support and can be built to withstand a lot of aggressive trail riding.  They are a common upgrade for ZJ/XJ/WJ owners looking for a HD axle.  They have better brakes to help stop larger tires then the ZJ/TJ/XJ dana 30.  The downside is they are heavier then the D30 axles.  Also if the donor 44 was harvested from a full width truck, they may need to be cut down to work.

D60 general info:  These have great aftermarket support with axle and lockers.  One of the most HD axles out there as they were used in 3/4 to 1 ton trucks.  They have the largest axles (compared to their Dana 30/44 family) and are meant for extreme trail use.  They typically have better brakes then D44's and D30's.  The downside is they are heavier then the D44  axles and because the housing is larger, you'll loose a little ground clearance.  Another downside is they will not bolt-in, which means you'll have to weld on the correct axle brackets.  Many times they are the wrong width as well, so you may have to modify the width of these to make them fit.

Ford 8.8" and 9" general axle info:  This is a very good upgrade as the aftermarket is plentiful and those axles were found in many applications.  Can be upgraded easily to 40 spline shafts for racing applications.  That means brake conversions are plentiful.  Lastly, they are cheap and easy to find while being very stout axle that is the right width.  The Ford 9" is the king of aftermarket components as it was used in so many vehicles

Stock XJ Cherokee Axle info:
  • Pre-95 Cherokee XJ
    • Front Axle:  Dana 30 with a vaccume disconnect
      • Differential Location:  Drivers side
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  This CAD version was not the most desirable axle due to the vaccume disconnect which was prone to failure.  A Dana 30 from a '95 1/2 or later XJ/ZJ is a common upgrade which eliminates the vaccume disconnect.  If you choose the 95+ XJ D30 it is a a stronger High-pinion version.  Many lockers are available for the D30 axle.
    • Rear Axle:  Dana 35 with c-clips or Chrysler 8.25"
      • Differential Location:  Centered
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines) Chrysler 8.25 - earlier models 27, later models 29
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width: 60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes for D35:  It has a very weak and flexible housing that causes C-clip axle and differential problems. Unfortunately, it has unbelievable aftermarket support despite its weakness. However, consider any upgrades to this axle a Band-Aid for the real problem.
  • 95 1/2+ Cherokee's
    • Front axle:  High pinion D30
      • Differential Location:  Drivers side
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  Stronger the earlier D30's.  Many people upgrade this axle with 30 spline axles and lockers.  The upgrade many times is known as a SUPER 30 kit.  
    • Rear axle:  Dana 35 c-clip OR D44 (rare)
      • Differential Location:  Centered
      • Stock D35 axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes: The Dana44 is a great offroad axle with a large aftermarket and is a good upgrade if available.
Stock ZJ Grand Cherokee Axle info:
  • 93-98 I6 Grand Cherokee's
    • D30 low pinion front axle
      • Differential Location:  Drivers side
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  Stronger the earlier D30's.  Not a bad axle with 33" or smaller tires.  Many people upgrade this axle with 30 spline axles and lockers.  The upgrade many times is known as a SUPER 30 kit.  The u-joints are the main weak point and can be easily upgraded.
    • D35 c-clip rear axle
      • Differential Location:  Centered
      • Stock D35 axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes: It has a very weak and flexible housing that causes C-clip axle and differential problems. Unfortunately, it has unbelievable aftermarket support despite its weakness. However, consider any upgrades to this axle a Band-Aid for the real problem.
  • 93-98 V8 (5.2L or 5.9L) Grand Cherokee's
    • D30 low pinion front axle
      • Differential Location:  Drivers side
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width:  60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  Stronger the earlier D30's.  Not a bad axle with 33" or smaller tires.  Many people upgrade this axle with 30 spline axles and lockers.  The upgrade many times is known as a SUPER 30 kit.  The u-joints are the main weak point and can be easily upgraded.
    • D44a "aluminum center section" rear axle
      • Differential Location:  Centered
      • Stock axle splines:  30
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Width: 60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes for D44a:  The aftermarket is very limited for this axle due to the aluminum center section in the axle.  The center section is very similar to the unit in the corvette.  Many people replace the axle due to the limited gear ratio's available and the extremely limited availability of traction devices.  
  • 99-04 Grand Cherokee WJ
    • Front axle:  High pinion D30
      • Differential Location:  Drivers side
      • Stock axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 5"
      • Width:  65" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  Stronger the earlier D30's.  Many people upgrade this axle with 30 spline axles and lockers.  The upgrade many times is known as a SUPER 30 kit.  Upgrades including inner axle sleeves, chromoly 30 spline axles and c-Gussets make this a respectable front axle.
    • D35 c-clip rear axle
      • Differential Location:  Centered
      • Stock D35 axle splines:  27  (upgradeable to 30 splines)
      • Lug Pattern:  5 on 5"
      • Width:  65" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes: It has a very weak and flexible housing that causes C-clip axle and differential problems. Unfortunately, it has unbelievable aftermarket support despite its weakness. However, consider any upgrades to this axle a Band-Aid for the real problem.
Popular Axle Upgrades:
  • Front Axle upgrades to replace the Dana 30 low pinion (in early XJ's and ZJ's)
    • High pinion D30 out of a 95+ XJ
      • Notes:  This would be a bolt-in!  4 cylinder XJ versions have 4.10 gears!  This also has larger 760 u-joints!
    • 80-91 Wagoneer Narrow-Track Dana 44
      • Differential Location: Drivers side
      • Lug pattern:  6 on 5.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  30 spline is common (upgradeable to 35 spline)
      • Width: 60" from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface
      • Notes:  Right width for XJ or ZJ's, can be converted for 5 on 5.5 or 8 on 6.5" lug pattern, they are relatively cheap and easily found.  Avoid the vacuum disconnect version.
      • Identified by:  stop sign like diff cover, spring-under housing, 60" width
  • Rear axle upgrades to replace the D35 and D44a (in XJ or ZJ's)
    • 93-Up Isuzu Rodeo/Honda passport D44
      • Differential location: Centered
      • Lug pattern:  6 on 5.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  30 spline is common (upgradeable to 35 spline)
      • Width:  58" wide  (2" narrower then XJ or ZJ)
      • Notes:  Many came with 4.30 or 4.56 gears stock and disk brakes
      • Identified by:  sometimes will have cast aluminum diff cover, looks like normal D44, goofy sensor/wire on top of  housing
    • 96+ Ford Explorer 8.8 c-clip axle
      • Differential location: Centered
      • Lug pattern:  5 on 4.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  31 spline is common (upgradeable to 35 spline)
      • Width:  58 1/4" wide  (2" narrower then XJ or ZJ)
      • Notes:  8.8's out of rangers and mustangs will not work, so be careful.  A common upgrade is the Super88 which comes with larger axles.  Very strong with stock axles and many came with limited slip, 4.10 gears, and disk brakes stock.
  • Front axle upgrades for WJ D30's  (65" width axles)
    • 74-79 Cherokee Chief/J-truck Wide-track D44
      • Differential location: Passenger side
      • Lug pattern:  6 on 5.5" and 8 on 6.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  30 spline is common (upgradeable to 35 spline)
      • Width:  66" wide  (1" wider then WJ)
      • Notes: Has HD axle tubes, easy to convert to other lug patterns
    • New Wrangler Rubicon JK axles D44
      • Differential location:  Passenger
      • Lug pattern:  5 on 5.5"
      • Stock axle splines: 30 splines  (with factory e-locker)
      • Width:  66.75" wide  (1.75" wider then factory)
      • Notes:  Comes with factory e-locker, but will need the mounting brackets welded on.  A factory wiring switch can be used for a factory look and function.
  • Rear axle upgrades for WJ D35's (65" width axles"
    • 74-86 F150 and Bronco Ford 9"
      • Differential Location: Centered
      • Lug pattern:  5 on 5.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  31 spline axles (upgradeable to 35/40 spline)
      • Width:  65" wide
      • Notes:  Axles from 2wd vehicles had 28 spline axles, but still can be converted to 35/40 splines. 
      • Identified by: A removable third member and stamped sheet metal housing without removable diff cover.
    •   New Wrangler JK Dana 44
      • Differential Location: Centered
      • Lug pattern:  5 on 5.5"
      • Stock axle splines:  31 spline axles
      • Width:  66.75" wide  (1.75" wider then factory)
      • Notes:  Comes with factory e-locker, but will need all the bracketry welded on to mount in WJ.  Comes with stock 4.10 gears!

If you have any questions about axle upgrades, feel free to email or give us a call.

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