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  1. #1
    New JK Freak
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    Sport axle upgrade to Rubicon axles

    Well my fellow JK freaks i finally did it. I found a set of Dana 44 Rubicon axles sleeved and gusseted with 5.38 gears, e-lockers, Chromoly shafts, Reid high steer knuckles, LCA and EVO skids, Rock Krawler HD tie rod, PSC and Teraflex diff covers, Power stop discs and pads with between 10 to 20,000 miles on em for $4000. I am pumped, can't wait to get em installed and hit the trails. My question to you all is, I want to hook my lockers up to the factory indicator lights in the dash, does anyone know how I can accomplish this. I have a set of rocker switches down by my shift knob installed for the actuator but I want to hook the indicator to the dash lights. Also will i have to reprogram the computer to recognise the lockers as well as the new gears? My 2016 sport jku has a D30 frt and D44 rear with 3.73 gears and no lockers. Do I have existing relays to wire the lockers to? Need some of your knowledge guys give me a shout out please.

  2. #2
    No one special ShutterBug's Avatar
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    09-08-2013
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    I wouldn't waste a second on trying to get the dash lights wired to the indicators. That's all part of the canbus system and you'll likely never get it to work. All of that is integrated in the computer. I can't envision that without a complete Rubicon wiring harness that you would ever get that functioning.

    I wired mine to a pair of LEDs on the dash. Ground comes from the locker indicator switch, positive comes from the battery directly.

    2014 Black JK Sport-icon - My "Lil' Mule"
    JCR Offroad | Rock Krawler | Barnes 4WD | Artec | RCV | Ten Factory
    My Build Thread

  3. #3
    New JK Freak
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    Thanks Shutterbug for the reply. Tell me did you get an alignment after you did the swap and did you have to reprogram computer for the gear change?

  4. #4
    No one special ShutterBug's Avatar
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    I did get an alignment, but honestly, I doubt I will ever pay for one again. Aligning the JK is just too easy. Being a solid axle, there's not a lot to adjust. Stock, the only things you can adjust are the tie rod and the drag link. Adjusting the drag link is easier with an AEV ProCal and for the tie rod, all you need is a tape measure and some chalk. If you have an adjustable track bar, again, pretty easy to do with just a tape measure,

    Now, if you have adjustable control arms, you want to get the pinion angle as right as possible (magnetic angle gauge helps here) and make sure the thrust angle is right (both left and right arms are the same length). Again, a tape measure works here.

    If you don't have the time, or would rather not, a good alignment shop can do this stuff for you. But you'll want to find one that knows something about Jeeps and aftermarket suspensions. The average Goodyear won't have a clue.

    I used the AEV ProCal to adjust the speedo for the gear change. If you have an automatic, this is more necessary as it affects the shift points. If you have a stick, it's not necessary unless you want the speedometer to be accurate. I didn't do the adjustment until after I went to 35s. Never needed it at 33s.

    2014 Black JK Sport-icon - My "Lil' Mule"
    JCR Offroad | Rock Krawler | Barnes 4WD | Artec | RCV | Ten Factory
    My Build Thread

  5. #5
    New JK Freak
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    Great info Shutterbug thank you so much for this. I have a Hypertech speedometer calibrator that they gave me when my Rubicon Express 3.5" lift was installed as well as the 35" tires. Anything you can tell me regarding my specific set up that I should be aware of as far as alignment and or install? Also what do you mean by pinion angle being as right as possible? Can you elaborate please. My control arms both upper and lower are not adjustable.
    Last edited by cwi; 03-09-2018 at 04:13 PM.

  6. #6
    No one special ShutterBug's Avatar
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    right = correct.

    Once you lift the Jeep, it affects the caster angle of the axles. If you don't do anything about that, the steering will have a "flighty" feel to it. One way to fix that is with adjustable control arms and you can dial it in the way you like. The other way is with geometry correction brackets. Either of these will also change the pinion angle (the angle of the yoke between the differential and the driveshaft). If the caster is "perfect," the pinion angle might be too steep. If the pinion angle is "perfect," then the caster will likely be off. You need to find the happy medium where the steering feels right and the driveshaft has reasonable alignment. Geometry correction brackets are ideal for someone that doesn't off road much or doesn't do big rocks. I don't like them, they hang down below the frame too much.

    Anything you do to the suspension of a Jeep will affect other parts of the steering geometry. You need to be aware of what those changes are and how they affect steering or ride quality. There is no magic bullet. You can do things to mitigate issues, but they also come with a cost in either $$$ or other side effects.

    The only way to get it "perfect" is to pretty much replace everything from axle housings to suspension brackets, springs and control arms for ones designed for lifted vehicles. That kind of solution is currently out of my budgetary constraints. Maybe one day. I still have a couple of mechanical modifications I want to make to my Jeep (hydro assist steering and 4:1 transfer case). After that, I'll look into what it will take to convert to more of a long arm lift. Who knows.

    2014 Black JK Sport-icon - My "Lil' Mule"
    JCR Offroad | Rock Krawler | Barnes 4WD | Artec | RCV | Ten Factory
    My Build Thread

  7. #7
    New JK Freak
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    Wow that was a lot to digest. I was hoping that since my jeep rides very nice now, and i'm swapping in dana 44 Rubicon axles that should just bolt right in as far as mounting brackets, that as long as I leave everything where it is that's adjustable such as ( tie rod, track bar, sway bar, drag link ) and my control arms aren't adjustable anyway so they will be the same. Everything should be good to go, my camber, caster and pinion angle should stay the same. Maybe have to mess with my toe set a little because i do have a different tie rod. Am I way off base here or what.

  8. #8
    New JK Freak
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    Those are two more mods I also want to make in the future. (hydro-assist and 4:1 transfer case)

  9. #9
    No one special ShutterBug's Avatar
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    The Rubicon axles should bolt right up. My drag link and tie rod were the only things that needed adjusting after the swap. Partly because I used a different drag link and had to swap over my tie rod.

    2014 Black JK Sport-icon - My "Lil' Mule"
    JCR Offroad | Rock Krawler | Barnes 4WD | Artec | RCV | Ten Factory
    My Build Thread

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