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#1 05-26-2011 08:44:40

retep
Newbie
From: Buffalo NY
Registered: 03-14-2009
Posts: 12

rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

I was going to replace the unit bearings on my '91 today. After about an
hour of prep I worked on it for only 15 minutes and had to stop. The
passenger brake caliper was held on with one of those crappy grade -3
bolts you can find in any store. It was too long so it had about 8
washers on it too. The other caliper bolts was a different size. It
looks like it was actually a nice strong bolt, but it to was too long so
it has some washers. From the looks of the threads in the caliper bracket
it looks like someone did a crappy job of taping it to make this bolt fit.

As pissed as I am at whoever did this hack job, I am pissed at myself for
not catching this earlier and driving for so long with unsafe brakes. I
checked the thickness of the pads by just looking at them. From now on
every 'new' vehicle I get I will do a more thourgh job of checking the
brakes.

Since the caliper bracket is part of the axle, I need to replace the whole
axle. I have an extra hi-pinion non-disco d30 from a 1989 XJ that has the
bolt on caliper brackets. I was going to build this axle up with bigger
calipers and brakes (WJ?), bigger stock u-joints, 4.88 gears, locker and
beefy diff cover. Was thinking about doing beefy steering and cromo axle
shafts too. All of this was going to be done over the next year and then
put into the XJ when I lifted it and put in the d44. But now I have to
replace the front axle in there now so I can keep driving it. So my
question is should I build it up the way I want it now, but not be able to
use 4wd (the rear will still have 3.55)? Should I build up everything
that I can short of regearing it so there is less to do in the future? Or
should I just put it in there now, as is, and replace only the things that
need replacing (i.e. ball joints or unit bearing if bad)? I have a Jetta
as a daily driver, but it would be nice to have the Jeep for the SoCalXJ
BBQ and maybe a run on Clegghorn and a camping trip or 2.

A related question is how easy is it to check if a housing is straight?
It looks sraight to me, but it that straight enough? Can I take a dirty
axle full of fluid to someone and have them check if its straight? For
less than $50?

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05-26-2011 08:44:40

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Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

#2 05-26-2011 08:51:24

sucram
Rookie
Registered: 02-20-2010
Posts: 99

Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

Why don't you just swap the knuckle over from the other axle you have? No need to replace the whole axle. You might want to do both sides so the calipers are the same though.

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#3 05-26-2011 22:36:26

laddie
Helper
Registered: 02-07-2009
Posts: 17

Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

I missed why you needed to replace the whole axle?   If the caliper or the knuckles are damaged, just get new knuckles from car-parts.com.   

Its easier to get the whole axle done at the same time but if you plan on a lunchbox locker up front, you can regear whenever you want and put the locker in later.    Obviously if the gear ratios are different, you'd need to pull the front driveshaft.   

If you want excellent brakes and beefy steering you can do the WJ conversion but its a bit of work.   Otherwise, you could spend some dollars for the Vanco setup with OTK steering.

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#4 05-26-2011 22:39:40

big
Rookie
Registered: 09-27-2008
Posts: 55

Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

Man, that sucks that the knuckles are shot!

I don't know - I've done both (installed gears in a D30 while it was under the truck and on the bench) and it just depends on how long you are going to wait to put 4.88's in the rear and whether you need 4wd between now and then.

There are definately pro's to having the axle on the bench when you do it. Makes it easier and quicker to get all your measurments, remove and install the bearings & seals and all that. Cleaning it is a breeze too cause you can dump it over if you sit it on saw horses while working on it.

But doing it in the rig isn't all that difficult either if you know what you are doing. Just makes it a bit more time consuming and your hunched over under the jeep for a long period of time. I removed all the steering parts to get them out of way to make it easier to get in there.

Have you done gears before?

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05-26-2011 22:39:40

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Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

#5 06-10-2011 10:05:46

retep
Newbie
From: Buffalo NY
Registered: 03-14-2009
Posts: 12

Re: rebuilding a d30 housing, regear now or later

I spent some time with my D30 today fixing the broken air line to the ARB.

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