Swapping a Rubicon Dana 44 Axle into my 2015 JKU Sport

#1
After quite a bit of researching what axle to put in the front of my 2015 JKU Sport to get rid of the slightly tweaked Dana 30 I was running. I decided with the budget I had and the coming across a complete Dana 44 from a Rubicon with the internals that that was the route I would take. Once I got the axle it was disassembled down to a bare housing and I used a wire wheel to take it down to bare metal. I went with the Artec Truss System with the raised track bar mount. The welding of the truss took sometime, but figured it was better to take the time and weld it slowly then to risk bowing the axle tubes by getting them too hot. While doing the truss I decided to do the Duroflex Weld On Axle Bushing Kit, which went on without issue. Once the truss and bushing kit were installed the housing got a fresh rattle can paint job and we installed the new 4.88 gears and the E-Locker into the housing. For now it will run the factory axle shafts, until the budget allows for 35 spline RCVs and a new ARB locker for the front. Since I was going to go Hi-Steer anyways, I went ahead and upgraded to the Reid Knuckles, which raised the tie rod up out of the way more as well. The install went without issue and the only real challenge was getting enough droop out of the front end to allow the 4.5" Dual Rate coils to be able to come out, having just installed the 4 Link long arms made this task even more interesting. The axle has now been in the Jeep for around 3 months and is working great! A couple trips through the Rubicon now and not an issue yet. (Knock on Wood). I hope to add more photos once i find them, but here is the finished product!

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#4
Did you do the weld in 4-link or the bolt on? Picture of the stance?
The 4-Link did require cutting the stock front control arm mounts and welding in the upper front mounts. The lowers are mostly bolt on, but it is suggested to weld the frame sleeve in, so we did that as well. Here is a current photo of how the Jeep sits:

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#5
Who's steering system is that?
The steering is all Metalcloak. It is the new Chromolly tie rod with the heavy duty dog legged tie rod ends. Running the Rocksport steering stabilizer re-located on top of the tie rod to keep from beating it up on the trails.
 

Pthorpe84

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Staff member
#6
The 4-Link did require cutting the stock front control arm mounts and welding in the upper front mounts. The lowers are mostly bolt on, but it is suggested to weld the frame sleeve in, so we did that as well. Here is a current photo of how the Jeep sits:

View attachment 692
Looks very nice [emoji1303]. I have got to get some of this steps that bolt on to the doors. Can't tell you how many times I could have used them.


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Pthorpe84

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Staff member
#7
The steering is all Metalcloak. It is the new Chromolly tie rod with the heavy duty dog legged tie rod ends. Running the Rocksport steering stabilizer re-located on top of the tie rod to keep from beating it up on the trails.
if you don't it will look like a couple of mine![emoji51]



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#13
Did you do that when you did the welds or does the MC long arm kits add naturally push the axle forward?


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There is only one way to weld the bracket on. My arms are actually adjusted out just a bit. There are plenty of threads on the joint to tolerate it. I could easily return it to stock but have never ran into an issue after doing it. If anything helps with approach.
 

Pthorpe84

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#14
There is only one way to weld the bracket on. My arms are actually adjusted out just a bit. There are plenty of threads on the joint to tolerate it. I could easily return it to stock but have never ran into an issue after doing it. If anything helps with approach.
Approach angle is what I was thinking. If and when I get the Lock-n-load, I will give it a go. Are you adjusting the arms at both ends about a half inch out, or putting the load all on one end of the arms?


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Pthorpe84

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#18
I did not. Just the truss. My personal opinion is, if you are still able to bend the axle housing with a truss, the stock 44 housing may just not be meant for you LOL
Point well made lol. I have had a set of sleeves for almost 2 years and all I have used them for is a cheater bar! I might eventually put them in [emoji848]


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Pthorpe84

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Staff member
#20
That's a great looking rig! I just did a D44 swap in my Sahara this week. Went with the JCR Offroad truss



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Very good looking kit and paint scheme.....really brings out the red of the Budweiser![emoji481]


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