Stock axles work great within factory parameters, but when you throw power-adders, larger tires, and extreme wheeling into the mix, stock axles can buckle under the pressure. In the golden days before ABS and stability control systems, swapping out your stock axle set for a robust set of 1-ton axle assemblies was often as easy as taking a trip to the local junkyard and spending a little time in the fab shop. Now if you want heavy-duty axles under your modern 4x4, without a sea of dash lights, you’ll likely need a bit of aftermarket help.
No matter whether your old Toyota needs a new 8-inch housing or you’re ready to convert your workhorse into a mega-mudder on Rockwells, a great selection of companies can ship new in-the-crate axle assemblies to your door.
To help you with your axle upgrade quest, we’ve assembled a list of the top axle assembly manufacturers and axle housing providers. While some companies require you to reuse factory equipment from your old axles, many on our list offer direct replacement and upgraded housings that simple bolt in place of your stock axles—no fabrication needed.
The Goods: High-clearance CRD 60 axles and Tera 44 replacement housings. Jeep Wrangler YJ, TJ, JK, and XJ model applications available along with a complete line of suspension and steering components.
Cool Stuff: Replacement front axlehousing for the ’07 to current Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JK. These heavy-duty housings have larger axletubes along with beefier axle Cs. The bolt-in axles also allow you to reuse the Rubicon’s factory outers, axleshafts, and differential internals.
Information: TeraFlex, 801.288.2585, www.teraflex.biz
The Goods: Complete and partial Dana 44, Rock Jock 60, Rock Jock 70, and 9-inch axle assemblies. Currie offers multiple vehicle applications from Jeep Wranglers to fullsize pickups.
Cool Stuff: Complete bolt-in Nissan Titan rear axle available in a 60 or a 9-inch.
Information: Currie Enterprises, 714. 982.5300, www.currieenterprises.com
The Goods: Custom 9-inch housing with 31⁄2x0.250-wall 4130 tubes. Full-float design with hub-centric race caps. Axles can be optioned with heat-treated 300M 35- or 40-spline shafts.
Cool Stuff: Complete line of long-travel suspension components, fabrication parts, and drivetrain upgrades.
Information: Camburg Off Road Engineering, 714.848.8880, www.camburg.com
The Goods: From Trail Series Dana 44s and 60s to the company’s now legendary Pro Rock 60 and newly released Pro Rock 80, Dynatrac offers bolt-in semi- and full-float axle assemblies for virtually all Jeep applications and has a number of other complete units for such brands as Hummer, Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. High-strength ball joints, hubs, diff covers, and housings can be purchased separately.
Cool Stuff: Heavy-duty IFS centersections, bolt-on four-gear portal boxes, and Pro Rock 80 are all relatively fresh additions to the Dynatrac family.
Information: Dynatrac, 714.596.4461, www.dynatrac.com
Red River Parts & Equipment
The Goods: New, still-in-the-crate, and used 21⁄2-ton Rockwells. As one of the largest military surplus parts providers in the U.S., Red River has countless in-the-box drivetrain military parts, including H1 portals.
Cool Stuff: Everything military under the sun, including complete 5-ton trucks.
Information: Red River Parts & Equipment, 903.547.2226, www.redriverparts.com
The Goods: Tri-County converts junkyard jewels to bolt-in brawn. From Ford to Dana series axles, the company welcomes build requests and will cut, fit, and machine any of the popular axles to your vehicle’s specs.
Cool Stuff: Full-install shop that can build everything from axles to an entirely custom 4x4.
Information: Tri-County Gear, 909.623.3373, www.tricountygear.com
The Goods: Complete and partial axlehousings ranging from the light-duty Dana 30 to the massive Dana 80. Currently the dealer network is still being set up, but sources say that steering, brake, and bracket options are being considered.
Cool Stuff: OE axles from the most recognized name in the axle world.
Information: Dana Holding Corp., www.spicerparts.com
Solid Axle Industries
The Goods: Complete and partial high- and low-pinion 44s, and high-pinion 60 axle assemblies. Front and rear bolt-in units for the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee models are available. Most axles can be optioned with either a semi- or full-float configuration. A full line of diff covers and axle accessories can be purchased separately.
Cool Stuff: SpynTec bearing conversion for ’07 to current Jeep Wrangler JKs. The SpynTec kit replaces the Jeep’s front unit bearings with a custom spindle and hub unit that is serviceable. New rotors are provided with the kit, but you will need to change your front wheel bolt pattern from 5-on-5 to 5-on-51⁄2.
Information: Solid Axle Industries, 888.290.AXLE, www.solidaxle.com