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  #1  
Old November 21st, 2009, 20:16
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Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

After almost a year I finally got back to building this axle this weekend. The reason for the build it to put 35's on my XJ with 4.88's (I might try 4.56's), get the maximum clearance under the axle possible and NOT have it break in the rocks. I dont do mud unless I have to drive through it to get to the rocks. I want to keep my XJ as low as possible and maximize clearance underneath by tucking everything up as much as possible.
I looked at building a D44 and a D60 (sitting on a front 79 F350 SRW D60) but I decided to build the D30 up.

Here is why:
1) On 35's a D30 has as much clearance under it as a D60 on 40's
2) With the WJ outers I get the improved braking expected from a D44 swap.
3) The sleeved and trussed Dana 30 weighs less than the D44 and A LOT less than a D60.


This build is pretty much a copy of what Cal did, though with a few minor details changed. One not so minor change was my decision to slit the sleeve from one end to another so it would slide over the axle a lot easier. I spent a lot of time (4-5 hrs) belt and hand sanding the tubes along with cleaning up burrs in the sleeves after drilling to make sure it all fit tight. Even with this I am really happy I slit the sleeve. The slit will be welded up.

The first step was to strip the donor D30. Here is a thread from last winter on cutting free the inner C's. http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=979657

Anyhow here is the desired end state, XJ on 35's. Nothing new here, but it sure looks better on 35(s) than on 31's.


Last night I welded up the nicks in the axle tube. Preheat with propane, weld with a Miller 110V, wrap in rags, weld on the other end, gring the first side, grind the second side, and repeat until its all smooth and clean.

I test fitted the C's. They went on much easier (5lb hammer) after using a cylinder hone to remove just a few thousandths from the inner diameter of the C's.

When the C's were cut off the cut went deeper into the C in some places than in others. I spent a lot of time cutting the tubing so it would butt up against the axle center section AND be within 1/4 inch or less of the C's all the way around. This should allow for a great weld between the C and sleeve and the center section and the C.

I cut a lot of 1" dia rossette weld hols in the Sleeve. I want the sleeve to stiffen the tubes in torsion, the truss takes care of bending.

Here are a couple pics of the axle with the C's and the sleeves tacked on.



Sunday I go over to a friends house and use his 220V MIG to burn it all in. Then its on to the Truss.

The big decsion I have to make for the truss is should I keep it one piece over the top of the center section (cutting off the cast upper control arm mount on the DS) or should I build the truss in a left and right side, keep the cast upper mount and rely on the welding of the truss to the center section to provide all the rigidity. I am leaning towards leaving the cast upper mount in place, building the truss as a LH/RH pair and welding them to the sleeves and center section. Comments & ideas welcome on this.

John
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  #2  
Old November 21st, 2009, 20:22
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

Its still a d30. small ball joints and unit bearings.
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  #3  
Old November 21st, 2009, 20:37
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

True, very true. I dont think that the ball joints or the unit bearings will be a limiting factor. They will need to be replaced more frequently than they were on 31's (never vs every 12 -18 mo) but so far the axles (2?) built this way (sleeve, truss welded to the center section, WJ outers, 30 spline inner/outer) has been pretty good (no failures).

Time will tell if its a fools errand, obviously I dont this it is or I would be building the 60 I have sitting next to the house.

John
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Old November 21st, 2009, 20:58
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosigma View Post
True, very true. I dont think that the ball joints or the unit bearings will be a limiting factor. They will need to be replaced more frequently than they were on 31's (never vs every 12 -18 mo) but so far the axles (2?) built this way (sleeve, truss welded to the center section, WJ outers, 30 spline inner/outer) has been pretty good (no failures).

Time will tell if its a fools errand, obviously I dont this it is or I would be building the 60 I have sitting next to the house.

John
I think it's a good idea and I am excited to see the outcome. I have thought about building a 44 or something but I like the clearance and weight of my 30 vs. the 44. I am running 4.88's in mine, aussie, TNT truss, WJ steering/brakes, alloy shafts, 760's, trussed C's, u-bolt yoke, etc. and so far in the last 2 years or so haven't broke once on this setup with 33s. I used to break stock shafts all the time on 31s. I would feel comfortable running mine with 35's, although I would like to swap out my Yukon alloys for something else.

Again, looks like it's gonna be a nice build. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old November 21st, 2009, 21:47
TomMcD TomMcD is offline
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

Subscribed, will be following with interest to see how this works longer term.
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  #6  
Old November 21st, 2009, 21:56
Muddy Beast Muddy Beast is offline
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

So I'm curious, are the 30spline alloy shafts going to be as strong as if they were alloy shafts in a D44? All this reinforcing of the axle reminds me I've never personally seen anything directly related to the axle housing cause break-age, it's normally the shafts.

~Scott
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  #7  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 18:20
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

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Originally Posted by Muddy Beast View Post
All this reinforcing of the axle reminds me I've never personally seen anything directly related to the axle housing cause break-age, it's normally the shafts.

~Scott
Really? It's not that hard to bend/break stuff on a stock 30. I bent the tubes up on both sides in my old d30. The inner C's tend to bend after hard use as well (esp. at the top). I definitely would not say on a d30 that it's normally the shafts that break either. I'd say it's usually the u-joints, which takes out the shaft when it goes.

So, you can run bomb-proof u joints (CTM, etc.) but then this tends to put the 'weak link' in the ring and pinion. So one of the benefits of beefing up the housing is it adds rigidity and removes flex/deflection which is one of the main causes of the ring and pinion breaking.

So with a housing that is sleeved and trussed, the tubes won't bend up and the whole housing is much more rigid which helps to keep the ring and pinion intact. Now add a set of alloy shafts, nice u-joints, a good locker, WJ brakes/steering and you got a pretty nice axle for 33s to 35s IMHO.
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  #8  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 18:33
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

I love my budddies Hobart 220V mig. Ran .035 wire and C02.

Got the sleeves welded on. Filled in all the rosette welds and stitched the seams. Used a lot of propane to preheat and to keep heat in side of the tube opposite where I was welding. I alternated rosettes welds welding one side then rotating the axle 180 deg and weld on the other side. I started welding in the middle of tubes and worked out to the end and the center section, sort of like torquing a cylinder head to try and keep it from warping. It looked straight when I started and it looks straight now that I am done.

I cut a gap of 1/4 inch (v notch) between the sleeve and the C. I then welded the C to the axle tube building it up on multiple passes unti the valley was filled and the sleeve welded to the C as well. I then came back on several passes and built up a fillet between the C and sleeve.

The differential made a couple of really frightening "Crink-Crink" sounds while it was cooling down, sort of like a hot exhaust manifold on a cold day. I can find any cracks, I sure hope none got strarted.

Here are the pics. Next job will be the truss and the gussets for the C's.

John
Long Side Plug Welds


Short side Axle tube welded to the C on the inside (outboard) of the C


Long Side Seam


Short Side C to outer tube
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  #9  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 19:02
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

I killed a 4.56 yukon ring gear on a HP 30 with 33"s so I hope you are really lite on the go pedal.

p.s. I'm swapping in a HP 44 out of a 79 f250 to fix it
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  #10  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 19:37
srmitchell srmitchell is offline
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

Looks like a good build.

I want to do stuff like this to my hp, but I have 1/8th of the fab skills.

Nice job!
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  #11  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 19:38
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

I am definitely not easy on the go pedal. I have been wheeling on 31's, keeping up with guys on 35's mostly due to lots of skids, underbelly plating and no fear of damage. I have picked up a lot of bad "use momentum" habits. Should be interesting.

John
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 20:16
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

good work! can not wait to see the outcome! naysayers beware - this is going to be a tough axle once finished... should be overkill for 35's imho
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  #13  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 22:56
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

Quote:
Originally Posted by POLAR_JEEP_04 View Post
I killed a 4.56 yukon ring gear on a HP 30 with 33"s so I hope you are really lite on the go pedal.

p.s. I'm swapping in a HP 44 out of a 79 f250 to fix it
I did this, but on 35's and my solution is similar.

-Alex
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 23:12
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Shomsky462 Shomsky462 is offline
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

ive had 35's on my 30, Yukon 4.88's, aussie locked with alloy shafts, for a little over two years. ran the rubicon on it twice, been to JV a lot and plenty of other wheeling trips. never broken anything until just recently my dumb ass drunk friend was going insanely too fast in the woops and brought the pinion into the down pipe, grenaded the diff and ripped off a lower CA mount.
i am fairly light on the pedal though, if i cant crawl it or a very light bump doesnt do it then forget it.
so take it for what its worth...
but if your gonna go through all that trouble, just get a 44 especially if you have access to a welder... just my $.02

-Shomsky
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:44
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Re: Dana 30 Build: Sleeve, Truss etc.... for 35's

I won't be a nay-sayer as the only broken D30s I've seen have had stock carriers with lockrites/aussies in them (there was one who had 37s with an ARB and a Ford 5.0L...I don't think it counts lol).

That said, I WILL be curious to see how it holds up. I heard Cal's similar setup took quite the abuse.
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