I think the stock hubs are the fuse as is (IV broken several sets); you can bump to bigger unjoint chromos for far less than rcvs (I did).. most guys upgrade to 6 bolt warns; and I think they are still the fuse..... pretty sure @mysunnshine is running a 44 or 60 front.....but #37s-are-the-new-33s
I'm running a Dana 44 with external splined hubs. The problem with U-joints is the rotational speed when they are not in a straight line. When the yokes egg shape and then implode, it tents to send that shock wave thru the inner shaft into the carrier/gears which tends to hurt them too.
Thanks. I've never broken a front axle or u-joint (yet) but considering going to front locker. I do like the idea of it being CV, smoother operation. Is it true that a locker (when locked) and turning a sharp angle would put extra stress on these joints?
Anytime a differential is "locked", it puts an increased load on any type of axle shaft, front or rear, vs an open differential.
I am sure the "CV" style joint will be smoother when the wheels are turned then a conventional U-joint.
With regular u-joints in the front axle shafts, hubs locked/four wheel drive engaged, on hard packed ground, you will "feel" the u-joint angularity issue through the steering wheel. If you take out the rear driveshaft and drive around in four wheel drive high, it is not "smooth" like a front wheel drive car. That, to me, is the benefit of the CV over the u-joint shaft.
I like the idea of the RCV shafts, and the increased smoothness when turning. For me, the cost/benefit just is not worth it. I have only ever broken one front axle u-joint, in a stock Dana 30 shaft, and that was being real stupid.
For me, and my driving style, the Dana 44 sized u-joint front shafts work great. I also have selectable lockers front and rear, which puts less stress on the drive train compared to a full time auto locker. Your mileage may vary
But, like "mysunshine" said, when a front axle shaft/joint fails, that shock can cause differential damage, especially on a smaller differential, like a Dana 30, compared to say a Dana 60.
I keep spare front shafts, actually the original front axle shafts with new u-joints installed in them. I have not had to use them yet
I have not really researched the "RCV PIA Install" issue, but that does not sound like a fun/easy trail repair
Dana 30 Jeep CJ 82-86 Wide Track Chromolly Axle Kit
For Use With 27 Spline Carrier
Inner and Outer Chromolly Axles
Alloy Chromolly U-Joints
Full Circle Snap Rings
10 Year Warranty On Axle Shafts
3 Year Warranty On U-Joint
Do ya'll think this is necessary with just 33's and slightly modified 258 with 4.0L head MPI? I'm not too heavy on the gas pedal. But once there's a selectable locked upfront I'd want the rest of the axle to be strong enough..
Not sure if its necessary; depends on that one day that you're wheeling where it's extra slippery and you can't make it to the top of a trail you normally knock out...... do you lock-it and give it a little more?
There is no way I would ever consider putting that much money into a Dana 30. I installed an Aussie locker in mine (lunchbox locker). It works great and was cheap. The way I relieve a lot of stress is by using a twin stick. Most of the time I'm on the trails I stay in 2wd low which can only be done with the twin stick. It makes tight turns much easier and you aren't banging around in front. Plus the Dana 300 shifts much easier with the twin stick over the single shifter.
I go back and forth on weather or not to try to rebuild my original front and rear axles, or spend on new ones.
I had been leaning on just ordering new Dana 44 front and rear axles, but from what I can tell, I wouldn't be able to use the original chrome wheel center caps up front, and I really love that OE look.
Plus, I don't plan on more than a 2 inch lift, maybe even no lift, and either 30 x 9.5, or at most, 31 x 10.5 tires. I don't expect to really push anything off road either.
I am now leaning more towards trying to rebuild my Dana 30 front, and 86' CJ Dana 44 rear. I will probably just rebuild and re-gear both to 3.73.
My other concern is weight. I am concerned about exceeding the GVWR, and if that would come back to bite me at some point. Especially considering my modest use.