Dana 30 swap


Cole

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Alright guys, I'm hoping with everyone's experience put together here I can come to a solution. I have a 1989 extended cab with a 3.0, it's a 2wd truck that I fully restored and swapped around 5 or so years ago. I acquired a 1996 jeep grand cherokee with the dana 30. Around 2 years ago I lifted and leveled my ranger 2 inches just to make the stance of the truck much better, but I'm tired of killing my tires because of the twin I beam suspension being so difficult to align and nobody can understand how the adjustable cams are supposed to be set at the alignment shops. I have done some research and found that I guess there is an issue with cross member clearance with the dana 30 and I believe I can use the radius arm mounts from a 78-79 bronco and that's about all I know. The truck will never be used off road or beat, I just want 4x4 for the peace of mind and would prefer not to lift the truck any more than 3" from stock height. I have a fully equipped shop, can fabricate about anything I would need to, and to top it off i am a mechanical engineer so this should be a piece of cake right? Lol. What should I be expecting for all of this such as steering wise and track bar mounts and clearance issues? Any input from you guys is much appreciated, like I said, I dont want an off road truck that'll be lifted crazy, just something that will get me out of wet grass on a slight incline haha.
 


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bobbywalter

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perfect candidate for this swap.
 

bobbywalter

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that said, run a regular style xj long arm, go to ruffstuff for steering and trac-bar componants. likely run the late style transfercase from a sla ranger unless you want awd...then use the explorer stuff.
 

4x4junkie

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I wouldn't recommend throwing a D30 underneath a Supercab truck, the weight of it can bend the thin axle tubes and housing over time. I would suggest use the D44 axle from the same 76-'79 truck you mentioned getting radius arm mounts from, and then narrow it as explained here:
http://therangerstation.com/tech_library/narrowing_a_ford_dana44.shtml

Keeping it within 3" of stock height however isn't possible (especially on a 2WD), there just isn't enough clearance under the engine and it's crossmember to do do.

It is very possible however to align the twin-beam setup for good tire wear, but indeed, as you said, finding someone who can do it correctly can be tough.
I posted this article here awhile back, maybe it can be of help in putting a good alignment on it (it's focused on 4WD axles, but the principles are the same on a 2WD as well):
http://therangerstation.com/Magazine/winter2008/steering_tech.htm

Of course it still would be 2WD, but would at least solve one issue.
 

bobbywalter

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for his stated intentions i disagree totally. 30's are everywhere and easy to match up gear wise....parts are stupid cheap.




there are lower then stock height 4x4 with leaf springs and dana 30. some on this site.


i would rather use a 2002 or so axle from a grand for the better steering and smoothie axleshafts.

i cant see a 89 2wd converted ext cab with stock ranger power-train weighing more on the front then a v8 grand. 4200 ish i would guess... of course the early cherokees were much lighter...the later grands..98 and up exceed 4k so i wonder if they are heavier builds from dana as far as tubes then the earlier d30?...

the late model ifs grands are over 5 k..just like the explorers they are fat bastards....lots of sound deadening:shok:
 

4x4junkie

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Lots of people forget Jeep Cherokees (Grands too) don't have heavy ass frames under them...

A Cherokee weighs about 3500-3600lbs (add maybe another 2-3 hundred for a '90s-vintage Grand) and has pretty close to a 50%-50% weight distribution (so that means about 1750-1900lbs of that weight is up front). A Supercab V6 Ranger in 4WD trim (what the OP stated he wants his to be) ranges between 3600-3900lbs, however the bigger difference here is that 60-65% of it's total weight is over the front axle (so about 2200-2500lbs up front). I have seen examples of these axles tacoed while under Jeeps, so I can only imagine how much faster it would happen with another 400-600lbs of weight bearing down on it.

Maybe if there were no potholes in the streets where you live it'll be fine, but I know here in California (where our doofus governor still apparently can't figure out how to spend $9B in new 12¢/gal. gas tax revenue :annoyed: ) the potholed roads around here would have that D30 'smiling' in probably a few thousand miles.
The smallish R&P gears is yet another of the many issues making the D30 an undesirable choice for RBVs (simply being cheap & plentiful does not automatically make it good).
 

bobbywalter

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the idea you think you have shitty roads amuses me. hell theres roads out there older then myself.. of course there are shitty roads there....but nothing like we have. bent suspension/frames and wasted wheels is normal here. i spend the 800-1000 for wheel protection when the kids get cars or i get a fresh one for the wife and have used it every time.


iirc...i thought it was you and i that researched these and the d35 ifs and d30 had the same rating for load and it was less then 2200 or 2400.....anyway...it could mean a 4.0 auto ext cab was possibly over weight or something...and a v8 with iron heads for sure exceeded it...maybe i am wrong there.

in any case i waaaaay overloaded the poor d35 and blew bearings off it regularly..but that damn things are so easy to work on its not a huge problem if your paying attention.

my 96 cherokee weighed 3700 plus naked/full tank and just a hair under 2 k on front. i dont know what the manufacturer claims...but it was almost identical to the gen 1 explorer but better wt distribution and suspension/axles. the difference between it and the explorer was ridiculous. normal weight for it with me and gear exceeded 5k.


my ranger was 4200 when it was actually a ranger...always front heavy and useless in 2wd.. its 6 k now(spare tire and road tools only)...over 3600 front currently. i know the weight bias intimately...


my kids 2002 grand was 4300 plus...never checked front wt but it exceeded 4300 pounds scaling it at the dump. knowing what the 96 weighed i was a bit surprised. thats 600 pounds.....wow.

her 2015 grand is 5 k. a guy i work with has a hotrod jeep with some aftermarket power stuff.. it is a 2016, it is 5300 pounds. i was shitting when he weighed it....still ran a 12.70 118 mph 13 psi boost. i dont remember the weight bias on it but it was pretty close to 50/50.....of course those are not solid axle rides....i am just saying they only got heavier since 1986....


so i wonder if the 2002 has a heavier axle then a 96. for the 100 bux and a few hours to get one welding a truss to it for the intended purposes isnt a deal breaker.

i have to truss my 60 to go out there on the rocks...or pound it on 5 trails.
 

4x4junkie

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The roads here suck, period. I've no clue what it's like where you are, but around here it's common to have several 2" or (often) deeper potholes 12-24" or more across every mile you go (plus all the bumpiness from umpteen-thousand previously-filled-in potholes & other repairs on a street that needed to be repaved two decades ago). It's bad enough that people trying to veer around them is a hazard in and of itself (forget about on the interstates where the potholes at the edge of the lane (broken concrete) can reach as much as 3-4" deep and several feet across).

I recall the front GAWR on the sticker of a friend's Supercab ('93 4.0L 4x4) being something around 2500-2600lbs (2580 maybe?). It's been some time since I looked up figures for Jeep, but I recall them being a lot less than the Ranger's.
Add in the lack of locking hubs, the small ring & pinion gears... (not sure about the OP's, but many GCs also had CV joints (instead of u-joints) at the knuckles too... is it even hi-pinion?).

I do not know if upgrades were ever made to D30 housings prior to the JK Wrangler hitting the scene... The JK D30 is actually a bit of a different animal (has a 8.8"-sized pinion shaft), I'd feel more comfortable with a JK 30 than any D30 before it. A JK axle would still need to be narrowed like the D44 though, so probably better to just stick with the D44 in the first place).

But if you want to run a D30 under your Supercab truck, then by all means, knock yerself out :)
 

bobbywalter

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yeah..i would knock myself out....and...i would sleep well. d30 with a 4cyl 2wd converted to 4x4 seems like a perfect match.



i like driving around cali compared to mi/oh/pa/west by gawd......actually prefer it sans traffic as....while what you say is true....100 percent....comparatively it is a magic carpet ride.



te 2002 was rated to tow over 5 k. dont recall the door stickers myself as well....


like i said, maybe i am just remembering it incorrectly, but as i recall the 30 and ttb 35 had the exact same load rating.

why is a jk axle too wide? fat flares should fix those...i run a full width 60 down the road.... the cops were checking my shit out at the scio napa a few days back though...but i had the 42's on as well. when the 37's or 35's are on there it dont get too many hassels.... unless i am in pa or ga.


so d30 for this application your a no then? with the fullest of respect i still disagree.



:thefinger::thefinger:<< that is what full respect is




































:thefinger:
 

4x4junkie

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The OP doesn't have a 4-cyl 2WD converted to 4x4 though... He has a (much heavier) 3.0L V6 Supercab truck (I assume his 3.0L is swapped since '91 was actually the first year for the 3.0L).

JK axles are ~65" wide WMS-WMS (about same as a '79 F-150 D44).
 


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