Axle Swap, Or Not...noob Question.

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by Jim Eyster, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Jan 27, 2017
    Jim Eyster

    Jim Eyster New Member

    Central Ohio
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    I’m picking up a (pretty much) stock ’64 CJ5 and would like some opinions on upgrades. The first is disc brakes and I’m looking at 2 paths:

    1. Just add them to the Dana 27. The most tire I can ever imagine is a 31, and I’m not aggressive.

    2. Find a Dana 30 nt with disc brakes ad swap it in.

    What are pros and cons of these options? Power steering would be next, if that has any relevance. Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 27, 2017
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    If you can find a 30 with the correct ratio that's probably your fastest/easiest & perhaps cheapest route. You'll also benefit from a better turning radius.

    It's highly recommended that you go to a dual master cylinder setup at the same time- it's safer & dialing in the correct front/back pressure ratios to avoid one end locking up at the wrong time is easier that way.

    H.
     
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  3. Jan 27, 2017
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

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    11" drum brakes are another option that works well with the factory axles. The main advantage of the 30 is you get the better brakes, tighter turning radius, more strength and durability, and much less maintenance in a single package. The only way you could avoid a gear change for the 30 is if your CJ has 4.27 axles now and you find a '72-75 axle with optional 4.27 gears... which only comes with 11" drums.

    Typically a closed-knuckle Jeep that has not been owned by an enthusiast will need the front axle gone through ... seals, king pin bearings, pre-load, maybe stud repair. If you want to do disks at the same time, you'll get plenty of help here regarding the axle maintenance and the brake upgrade.

    First post! Welcome from Boston!
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  4. Jan 27, 2017
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

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    Welcome. The open knuckle 30, as stated above is probably the best route. If a gear change is out of your budget though, it sounds like the 27 will survive what you do. Either way, the knowledge from the others on this forum is incredible.
     
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  5. Jan 27, 2017
    Posimoto

    Posimoto Hopeless JEEP Addict Sponsor

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    From what it sounds like your use will be, I'd just do the disc brake conversion on the D27. It's a fairly easy conversion. If you can't find what you need here, search the JP Magazine online site. It has a parts list, although I believe you can find everything here that you will need as far as information. As noted above, you may be able to find a D30 with the proper gear ratio, but it isn't likely. When I swapped out my D27 to an early D30 I just swapped the disc brakes over as well. It's easy to swap the GM style discs over to a pre-disc brake D30 if you decide to upgrade later.
     
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  6. Jan 27, 2017
    Jim Eyster

    Jim Eyster New Member

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    Wow, what a great response! Thanks! I think I'll start looking for a D30 and use the D27 as a back up plan. As far as the gear swap on the D30, are they 'plug-n-play' and available, or is there machining to do?
     
  7. Jan 27, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

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    D27 and D30 axles will require different tie rods and drag links and possibly pitman arms when you decide to do the Saginaw mod.
    Power and Manual Saginaw systems will mandate the use of different pitman arms.
    So I'm suggesting you make sure which model axle you want before you start.
     
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  8. Jan 27, 2017
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

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    No machining, just parts replacement. Maybe you don't understand what's involved with a gear change? It's quite advanced for an amateur mechanic. You need new gears and an installation kit, and some special tools. New gears will be about $300, installation kit maybe another $150. A shop could charge you maybe $300 labor if the axle is out of the Jeep, plus the parts. Just to give you an idea of what's involved. Take a look at the TSM for '74 or '76 here Jeep® Parts Manuals online for some more detail. Randy's RANDYS Worldwide | Differentials, Rear End Gears, Axles, Lockers is a good place to look up the parts.
     
  9. Jan 27, 2017
    Jim Eyster

    Jim Eyster New Member

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    How could you tell? lol Thanks, this is a good education. Hopefully it won't turn into a basket case.
     
  10. Jan 27, 2017
    jzeber

    jzeber Sponsor Sponsor

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    I am in the middle of a D30 swap. (thread here) D30 Upgrade
    It is not necessarily cheap to swap a D30 depending on what axle you find. Like was stated above, if you find the correct geared D30 it is much easier and cheaper. I am into my D30 for right around $1,000 and I was able to get some screaming deals on parts. The ARB I picked up normally goes for about what I am into the axle for.
    I am currently running a D27 with disc brakes and it works really well. If you compare the cost of the disc swap to a complete rebuild of a D30 the D27 is the way to go. The only reason I am doing the swap is 1.mentioned above, 2. it was "free" and 3. the possibility of going to 35" tires one day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  11. Feb 15, 2017
    JHot

    JHot New Member

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    I actually finished my Dana 30 swap in my 52 m38a1 last summer. And it's wasn't that big of a problem. I had a shop basically rebuild my axle and regear (5.38)and locker:D. For me I spent about $1200 all together. But one thing you need to look out for is look for a pre 81 Dana 30 narrow track.
     
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  12. Feb 15, 2017
    Focker

    Focker Rust Never Sleeps Staff Member Sponsor

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    As Posimoto mentioned, you can find the disc information on this site. Here's my experience with a parts list.

    Front Disc Brake Tutorial
     
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  13. Feb 15, 2017
    garage gnome

    garage gnome Flat fender guy

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    FWIW, I used the stock steering on my D30 swap.
    It still will not be cheap to swap in the D30. Chances are you will need to do a complete rebuild of that axle too. New axle U joints, new spindle bearings/seals, new hub seals, new pinion seal, and perhaps inner axle seals which are a real joy. Not to mention the cost of swapping out gears. You might need a new case (depending on the ratio), ring and pinion gear and a differential setup kit.

    Personally, I would stick to the D27 if you are not going to be wheeling it really hard. Just slap on some disc or 11" drums and some new parts that tend to wear out and enjoy. I agree with the others, a dual MC is a must!

    Only reason I went with a D30 is that I wanted a "stock" looking flat fender with ox lockers hidden in there. :whistle:
     
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  14. Feb 15, 2017
    Walt Couch

    Walt Couch sidehill Cordele, Ga. Sponsor

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    Welcome from Ga.
     
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  15. Feb 15, 2017
    Jim Eyster

    Jim Eyster New Member

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    Thanks for that. I've been looking hard over the past few weeks and nothing has shown up locally. There have been a few good deals on nearly complete donor vehicles, which might not be s bad way to go. BTW, had a '53 m38a1...loved that jeep!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  16. Feb 15, 2017
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

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    I would not pass by a '72-77 axle with drum brakes. The 11" drum brakes are very effective for that size vehicle, and service parts are plentiful and cheap... we've had many discussions of the relative merits. Indeed, 11" drums on the 27 would also be a big, big upgrade, and bolt-on easy. It seems the 11" backing plates are getting more scarce... but they are out there if you look around.
     
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  17. Feb 15, 2017
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Sponsor Sponsor

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    Welcome from Michigan,
     
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  18. Feb 16, 2017
    Posimoto

    Posimoto Hopeless JEEP Addict Sponsor

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    To piggyback on what timgr said above, it's actually easier to convert an early pre-disc brake D30 to disc brakes than the D27. Essentially using the same parts as the D27 conversion. I've never had the 11" brakes and I'm sure they are much better than the 9" drums, but what about after they are dunked in a creek or other water source. I imagine the 11" brakes aren't much better than the 9" when wet. If running through water isn't in your trail plans then I'd guess the 11" drums would work fine. But, there is a reason that you don't see drum brakes on many vehicles anymore.
     
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  19. Feb 16, 2017
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

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    Posi, regarding the 11s and water.....engaging the brakes while fording water helps keep the water out...at least that's what I do.
     
  20. Feb 16, 2017
    garage gnome

    garage gnome Flat fender guy

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    My 11" drums work fine after going through water. Like stated earlier, the size of the brakes compared to the size of the vehicle is very effective. They do dry out pretty fast.
     
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