Jeep Wrangler Axle Swaps and Re-gearing
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.