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When talking about axle swaps for a Jeep Wrangler, the first word that should come out of any gear heads mouth is Dana. Dana Corp. is one of the most widely used axles on automobiles. Just like any other Jeep upgrade, there are many choices and may become a little frustrating choosing the right one for your rig.
Here are the most common options for Jeep Wrangler’s:
- Dana 30 Front axles come with a 7 1/8″ ring gear diameter and come standard on select models, Sahara and X models. Dana 30 front axles do not come with limited slip or lockers.
- Dana 35 These rear axles come with a 7.56″ ring gear diameter and came standard a few Jeep models for a short time before they were eventually replaced by the Dana 44. As of 2008 an option for Jeep Wrangler JK was a Limited Slip Differential. The Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon model, 2008 and later came standard with both front and rear Dana 44s.
- Dana 44 These axles are a standard off-road equipment, not the toughest on the trail, but for most weekend warriors these axles are a good solution to their needs. Now Dana 44 rear axles come standard since 2008 with an optional electric locking system. From the factory they can come in 3.21, 3.73, and 4.10 gear ratios.
- Dana 60 Coming with a large 9 3/4″ ring gear diameter, these large and durable axles are a must for rock crawlers. Due to their strength they are suggested for rigs with 37″ tires or better. Many manufacturers make variation of this axles. Be sure to do your research on what will work for you the best. Element Jeep Parts plans on having a few more article on this subject.
After choosing what axle is best for your rig, lets talk about re-gearing your axles so that you can achieve the best performance and reduce the strain on the rest of yourÂ drive train. Re-gearing your axle is accomplished by merely switching out your ring & pinion for another one with a different gear ratio. Number 1 rule in changing gear ratios, is to change both front and rear at the same time. Sounds a little basic, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t state the obvious. The rest Â becomes a little more complex, but here are the basics. The lower the gear ratio, you can achieve highway speeds at a lower RPM but you loose low-end torque. Throwing on 37″ tires with a 3.73 gear ratio is not wise.
It will take you 20 miles to get to cruising speeds unless you have a really strong motor. To high of a gear ratio and your engine will run at 4500 RPM doing only 65 MPH, but if you are just using your Jeep JK for the trails it may be where you want to be. Mora
Below is a gear ratio chart, top is the gear ratio, on the left is tire sizel of the story before re-gearing your Jeep, make sure you know all purposes of your rig. If your JK is your daily driver and your toy, Element Jeep Parts suggest the middle of the road. Keep this in mind as well, the higher the ratio, it can take a strong toll on the gas mileage of your Jeep Wrangler.
- Yellow is for just daily drivers, better gas mileage, and higher top speeds
- Orange for the weekend warriors, but still able to drive it around town
- Dark Orange for off road rigs only.
Element Jeep Parts has a wide variety of suspension lift kits. Although some lift kits are more affordable than others, it really boils down to how extreme you get with your Jeep Wrangler JK, what size tires as well as type of fender flares that are installed on your JK.
Most of the 3″ and 4″ complete suspension lift kits can accept up to 35″ tires. Although if you are using the factory fender flares you may have to do some minor trimming.
3″ and 4″ suspension lift kits are a little tougher to install and require more tools as well. 3″ coil spacer kits are available and are easily installed by most novice mechanics. These are kits are great for people who are not planning on doing any off-roading, Coil spacer kits are intended to give your JK a lifted look, additional tire clearance and be more cost effective.
If you are planning on any extreme off-roading please take your time to figure out the best option for you and your rig. If you are planning on rock crawling or any other 4 wheeling that requires any type of twisting Element Jeep Parts recommends that you take a look at a complete long arm kit. Fabtech Suspensions offer long arm kits that include springs, shocks, pitman arm, lower links, track bars, extended links, and transfer kit lowering kit. Buying a complete kit like the one mentioned above is a great way to make sure that all of the parts jive together and your Jeep Wrangler JK can transfer the power to the trail and get the best traction on the trail.
Looking for 37″ tires or bigger? Try a 5″ or 6″ or bigger lift kit. With this large of a lift you may be required to buy new driveshafts. Keep this in mind when you are ordering your lift. It sucks when your equipment doesn’t match up and your ready to go wheeling and your rig is not ready. Also when adding tires over 35″ we suggest regearing your axles. Below are gear ratio analytics that