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1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport - Built To Last

Posted in How To on January 3, 2012
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Most factory axles have one deficiency or another and for the most part, bolt-on parts can’t eradicate these issues. Some of the issues are axle tube and/or knuckle related, some are housing related, some are internal issues, and some fall in the all-of-the-above category. Luckily, however, all of these axle related maladies are easily remedied by Dynatrac via installation of one of its performance-built Pro Rock 44 and Pro Rock 60 bolt-in axle assemblies.

With a fresh coat of Dynatrac’s signature black gloss paint a JK ProRock 44 awaits shipment at Dynatrac in Huntington Beach, California. The ProRock 44 we’ll install in our 1997 Jeep Cherokee will look very similar only slightly narrower. The unit shown features Dynatrac’s heavy-duty suspension brackets and Pro Series differential cover.

We have used Dynatrac’s Pro Rock 60 assembly in both TJ and JK applications and have also installed Pro Rock 44s in various JK applications, all to exceptional results. This time our goal was to build a competent front assembly to reside at the front of our family fun adventure rig, a 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport four-door 2WD that we’re converting to 4WD. You can expect to see more articles about this particular 4x4 convert in upcoming issues.

For JK owners the best part about the Pro Rock 44 assembly is that it permits re-use of stock or aftermarket JK Dana 44F parts, including locker, gears, inner and outer axle shafts, knuckles, hub bearings, and brakes. It is also compatible with XJ and TJ Dana 30 and Dana 44 outer axle shafts, knuckles, hub bearings, and brakes. The TJ/XJ Pro Rock 44 assembly requires a new locker (Dana 44F, 3.73 and down), ring and pinion (JK Rubicon style), and new inner axle shafts.

Whether a factory Dana 44 or a factory Dana 30 (shown), Jeep TJ and XJ front axles used the same knuckles and 2.5-inch x 1/4-inch-wall axle tubes. The axle tubes are the bigger deficiency and surprisingly Jeep did not correct this issue with the Next Generation Danna 44F used in Jeep JK models, which also is equipped with 2.5-inch x 1/4-inch-wall axle tubes.

Dynatrac manufactures its own specially designed housings, knuckles, spindles, housing ends, wheel hubs, brake mounting brackets, spring and suspension mounts, axle retainers, axle shafts, and tube assemblies. All castings are 100-percent made in the USA and offer well-engineered factory fit and function across a wide range of 4x4 applications.

Dynatrac axles are available in all popular wheel bolt patterns, including, but not limited to: 5 x 4.5 (YJ, TJ, and XJ); 5 x 4.75 (GM); 5 x 5.0 (JK, GM); 5 x 5.5 (Ford, Jeep), 5 x 6.5 (Landrover), 6 x 5.5 (GM, Toyota); 8 x 6.5 (Ford, GM, Chrysler); and 8 x 170 mm (Ford Super Duty).

All of the hardware used throughout every Dynatrac axle assembly is U.S.-sourced Grade 8 quality. Dynatrac uses genuine Dana/Spicer or Precision Gear ring and pinion sets and also offers a wide range of differential and upgrade options with every axle it builds.

Here are the basic components that make up a Dynatrac ProRock 44 axle assembly. Shown are the Dynatrac ProRock 44 housing, Dynatrac Pro Series end forgings (C’s), Dynatrac 3-inch x 5/16-inch-wall axle tubes, and Dynatrac heavy-duty suspension brackets.

You’ll see more of our Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle assembly in an upcoming issue as we carry out its installation in our 1997 Jeep Cherokee. For now, check out the photos and captions to get a behind the scenes look at the construction of a ProRock axle assembly.

PhotosView Slideshow

The Dana 60 Option
For those seeking even more axle girth for their Jeeps or 4x4s, Dynatrac offers it ProRock 60 assembly that is built in similar fashion to the Pro Rock 44. Increased strength is the chief benefit but users can also reap rewards from Dynatrac’s Dana 60 upgrade options, including its Stub-Hub conversion kit and DynaLoc locking hubs.

Dana 60 stub hub kit

The Dynatrac Stub-Hub conversion kit creates a shorter hub profile to decrease side interference with rocks and other obstacles. The kit creates an extra 2.388 inches of clearance per side, allowing the hub face to sit almost flush with wheel edge (depending on wheel back spacing). The kit includes new spindles made from chromoly steel forgings and new wheel hubs made from nodular castings. Five- and six-lug kits are available with and without brake assemblies. Eight-lug hubs re-use stock GM, Ford, and Dodge brake assemblies.

Dynatrac DynaLoc hubs are said to be three-times stronger than other Dana 60 locking hubs. Made in the USA, DynaLoc hubs feature heat-treated, chromoly steel gears with a unique tooth design that won’t disengage under high torque load. The low profile knob takes just an 1/8th of a turn to engage and the stainless steel bezel resists impacts and scrapes. Bolt-on kits are available to fit 30- and 35-spline axle shafts for most popular trucks equipped with Dana 60 front axles.

PhotosView Slideshow
1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport Built To Last completed Pro Rock 44 Axle Photo 34877288 This is what a Pro Rock 44 axle looks like prior to shipment. It’s ready to bolt in to any JK, TJ, or XJ and will provide lasting assurance against breakage for many years to come. The Pro Rock 44 is ready to receive your stock or aftermarket JK Dana 44F parts, including locker, gears, inner and outer axle shafts, knuckles, hub bearings, and brakes. It is also compatible with XJ and TJ Dana 30 and Dana 44 outer axle shafts, knuckles, hub bearings, and brakes. The TJ/XJ ProRock 44 housing requires a new locker (3.73 and down), ring and pinion (JK Rubicon/Dana 44F), and custom length inner axle shafts. All of these parts and more are available through Dynatrac.


Huntington Beach, CA 92647

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