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Ready To Run Crate Axles For Your 4x4 - Beef in a Box

Posted in Product Reviews on April 21, 2015
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You’ve lifted your 4x4, slapped on bigger tires, added weight in the form of body armor, recovery gear and so on, and maybe you’ve added a bit more power or have completed an engine swap. Yet you expect your stock axle assemblies to remain intact? Most factory 4x4 axle assemblies can handle some minor increases in tire diameter, gearing, power, and weight, but the combination of all of these factors is often too much for the stock parts. The good news is that there are now more aftermarket axle manufacturers than ever for assembling brand-new bolt-in replacement axle assemblies for many different 4x4s. Some of these companies specialize in offering aftermarket axles for a hassle-free installation that even shade-tree garage mechanics can perform with common hand tools, other companies offer complete heavy-duty axle assemblies that you can modify to suit your suspension and chassis needs.

Boyce Equipment
Are you an abusive driver behind the wheel of a heavy 4x4 rolling on 44-inch or bigger tires? If so, Boyce Equipment just might have the brand-new military surplus axles for you. That is if you can do a little fabrication and adapting. The AxleTech 4000 axles feature massive planetary hubs and other giant parts that absorb all the punishment you can dish out. They are rated for up to 19,800 pounds and come with air brakes and an air-actuated locker. In most cases the air brakes are unusable, but driveshaft, steering, brakes, and other aftermarket parts are available to help swap the AxleTech 4000 axles into almost anything. Gear ratios range from 4.35:1 to 13.74:1, although the Boyce Equipment axles feature a combined axle ratio of 6.86:1. Maximum steer angles up to 42 degrees are possible depending on ’shaft assemblies and knuckles.
Information: Boyce Equipment
800/748-4269, boyceequipment.com

Currie Enterprises
Currie Enterprises began by reworking wrecking-yard Ford 9-inch axles for golf carts and hot rods in 1959. The company now offers a multitude of all-new, bolt-in-ready front and rear axle assemblies, as well as axles for custom applications. These assemblies include the Ford 9-inch, RockJock 44, 60, 70, and F9 axlehousings, among others. The latest from Currie is the Ford F-150 Raptor F9 replacement axle which is a completely bolt-in deal for those that need significantly more beef out back. The Currie Raptor F9 replacement axle features huge 4-inch axletubes welded to a plate-steel Currie F9 housing. The internals are made up of 4140 chromoly floater spindles, 35-spline 4340 chromoly full-floating axleshafts, billet-steel floater hubs with all bearings and hardware, 4340 heat-treated chromoly 35-spline drive plates, and anodized billet aluminum drive flange caps. The leaf spring pads, shock mounts, and all tabs are already welded in place. New U-bolts, U-bolt plates, nuts, and washers are included. The Currie F9 Raptor replacement axle retains all of the factory Ford brake equipment including the rotors, calipers, backing plates, and ABS.
Information: Currie Enterprises
714/982-5298, currieenterprises.com

Dynatrac
Dynatrac has the ability to turn any of its heavy-duty, high-clearance ProRock 44, 60, or 80 axles (among others) into a bolt-in front or rear application for your 4x4. The most popular has been the JK Wrangler ProRock 44 Unlimited front axlehousing, and for good reason. Lifted ’07-current JK Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Jeeps with 35-inch and bigger tires have a tendency to bend and sometimes even break the stock front axlehousing. A bent housing can lead to all kinds of handling problems, and a broken one can lead to an expensive tow back to civilization. Designed and built specifically for lifted JKs, the ProRock 44 Unlimited features huge 3-inch-diameter axletubes pressed into heavy-duty end forgings and the heavy-duty high-clearance nodular iron centersection. Steering caster is increased to retain proper steering angles on JKs lifted from 21⁄2 to 6 inches. All of the suspension brackets are 50 percent thicker than stock, and the shock mounts have been moved to provide better shock-to-frame clearance under full articulation. It’s a direct bolt-in that’s made in the USA and retains your factory brakes, knuckles, axleshafts, gears, and Rubicon electric locker. Non-Rubicon applications are offered with your choice of gearing, differential, and inner axleshafts.
Information: Dynatrac
714/596-4461, dynatrac.com

G2 Axle & Gear
If you need a bolt-in axle upgrade and have a Jeep JK, TJ, XJ, or MJ, then G2 Axle & Gear has front and rear Core 44 and upgraded Dana 44 axle assemblies just for you. The Core 44 axlehousings are designed for the ’07-current Jeep JK Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. They are engineered to be a direct replacement for the stock JK Dana 30 or JK Dana 44 and will accept stock JK Rubicon Dana 44 gears, axleshafts, and electric Tru-Lok lockers. The Core 44 includes heavy-duty forged inner C ends and 3-inch, 0.250-wall axletubes to prevent bending. The Core 44 are also available as complete assemblies with your choice of gear ratio and locker. All brackets are designed around stock mounting points and are laser cut and CNC formed from 1⁄4-inch-thick steel. The Core 44 features a unique adjuster nut system that does away with shims to set backlash and carrier bearing preload.
Information: G2 Axle & Gear
310/900-2687, g2axle.com

Gearhart Engineering
Looking for some of the strongest enthusiast 4x4 axles on the planet? Check out the Gearheart Engineering 2.5 Ton Hybrid Axles. These hybrid axles address the two problem areas of a stock 21⁄2-ton Rockwell axle in abusive conditions: the axleshafts and the spindles. These smaller, often problematic parts are replaced with monstrous 5-ton components. The Gearhart Engineering 2.5 Ton Hybrid Axle features 21⁄8-inch-diameter, 16-spline 5-ton axleshafts with huge 1850-series U-joints. You can also upgrade to two-piece 21⁄8-inch-diameter, 16-spline or 23⁄8-inch, 46-spline 4340 alloy ’shafts with even larger Gearhart Engineering Exclusive U-joints. The axles come with a standard 10-on-11.25 bolt circle but are available with stock 21⁄2-ton 6-bolt hubs. Options include lightweight aluminum hubs, fully welded housing instead of bolted knuckle, welded axle truss, Rezeppa-style CV joints, and a F106 faceloader gear section.
Information: Gearhart Engineering
269/278-6945, gearharteng.com

LeTech
Mercedes Benz G-Wagon fans can get a lift kit, lower gearing, bigger brakes, and stronger axle assemblies in one shot with the LeTech Portal Axle Conversion Kit. These portal axles are designed to bolt right into your G-Wagon and offer nearly 6 inches of lift (150mm) without changing any suspension geometry. The 1.7:1 gearing in the portal boxes improves torque to the wheels and helps reduce stress on the drivetrain components further up the line. Ground clearance is boosted to 17 inches. Options include drilled front and rear brake rotors, six-piston front brake calipers, beadlock wheels, and wider fiberglass fender flares. The portals and internal parts are designed and manufactured in Germany.
Information: LeTech
702/767-9773, letechusa.com

Mopar
Mopar has several bolt-in upgraded axle assemblies for the ’07-’15 Jeep JK Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. If you’re looking for deeper gearing and a locker for your Wrangler JK, Mopar offers replacement Rubicon axle assemblies that can be bolted into any JK. These new factory Jeep Rubicon front and rear axle assemblies come complete with housings, ’shafts, brakes, 4.10 gears, and Tru-Lok electric selectable locking differentials. All that is required for a complete installation is the wiring harness and switch pod, both of which are available from Mopar. The JK crate axles can be easily modified for use in other Jeeps. For those looking for a little more beef than the stock Rubicon axle assemblies, Mopar offers front and rear high-clearance Dana 60 crate axle assemblies that bolt into the ’07-’14 Wrangler. Each Mopar Dana 60 is fully assembled and includes wheel-speed sensors and an electric locker that work with the factory JK wiring. The axles feature an integrated upper control arm mount, a Jeep-branded heavy-duty cast-iron differential cover, 4340 chromoly 35-spline axleshafts, and Ram 3500 1-ton brakes. To ease installation, these axles retain the production steering linkage. You have your choice of 4.88 or 5.38 gears.
Information: Mopar
mopar.com

Dana
Dana no longer offers axle assemblies to only vehicle manufacturers. Now you can buy several different Dana axle assemblies from your local Dana dealer. The near-complete axle assemblies include everything from the lightweight Dana 30 to the huge Dana 80 available in current-model 4x4s. The latest Dana offerings include the complete bolt-in ready Ultimate Dana 60 front and rear axle assemblies for the ’07-’15 Jeep Wrangler JK. The Ultimate Dana 60 axles feature improved ground clearance, wheel-speed sensors, and an electric locker that works with the factory JK wiring. The front axles come with massive SPL-70 U-joints, SAE-4340 nickel chromoly 35-spline axleshafts, and Warn 35-spline locking hubs. The rearend features full-floating SAE-4340 nickel chromoly 35-spline axleshafts. All Ultimate Dana 60 axles include a heavy-duty nodular-iron differential cover, 3.5-inch-diameter axletubes, 1-ton brakes with dual-piston calipers, and an 8-on-6.5 wheel bolt pattern. You have your choice of 4.88 or 5.38 gears.
Information: Dana
800/621-8084, crateaxle.com

TeraFlex
TeraFlex offers several different bolt-in axle upgrades for the Jeep JK, TJ, XJ, MJ, and YJ. The Tera30 and Tera44 beef up the weak areas of your factory front axle. They feature 3.25-inch, 0.250-wall DOM axletubes for superior strength. The inner knuckles are forged with an increase in thickness over stock to eliminate ball joint separation. Replacement housings include a heavy duty axlehousing, tubes, axle brackets, and forged inner knuckles. Pre-installed inner seals and upper control arm bushings make the upgrade seamless. Your existing internal components, outer knuckle assemblies, and brakes are transferred to the new housing. Those looking for an even beefier bolt-in upgrade can steer into the Tera CRD60. The JK Tera CRD60 includes JK-specific heavy-duty bearing pockets, which are designed for use with the factory JK rear brake system including the backing plates, parking brake assemblies, speed sensors, rotors, and calipers. All brackets are CAD-designed and CNC laser-cut and formed, jig-aligned, and welded. A Triple Stage UV powdercoat protects the axle from rust and corrosion. The Tera CRD60 rear axles are available in 5-on-5 semi-float or 8-on-6.5 full-float bolt patterns. Full-float axles can be ordered with the larger Dana Super 60 ring-and-pinion gearsets for extreme duty applications. Front JK Tera60 applications are also available.
Information: TeraFlex
801/713-3314, teraflex.biz

Torq Motorsports
The Torq Motorsports crate axle line is designed to work with either the Super-14 or Torq-14 dropout-style third member. Both of these third members are based on the venerable GM 14-bolt. The aluminum Super-14 is a premier race differential case designed to meet the needs of the most hardcore racers. The Torq-14 is for the hardcore recreational wheeler. The nodular iron Torq-14 is designed to utilize the 14-bolt pinion support, shims, and adjuster nuts. Both third member dropouts accept standard 14-bolt gearsets, bearing sets, and carriers. Standard crate axles are built around a CNC cut and formed fabricated axlehousing with 31⁄2 or 4-inch axletube options. The axlehousings are manufactured from your choice of top-grade domestic steel or chromoly and can be MIG or TIG welded together. Complete bolt-in front and rear axle assemblies are available for the Jeep Wrangler JK. Options include full-floating and semi-floating assemblies, 40-spline axleshaft and locker packages, and brakes up to 16 inches in diameter. Also available is the Torq Resurrection Kit, which allows a current 14-bolt owner to gut their single-rear-wheel 14-bolt axle and reinstall these components into a Torq-14 third member and fabricated axlehousing. The Resurrection Kit is lighter than a traditional 14-bolt housing and provides more ground clearance. All of the Torq products are made in the USA.
Information: Torq Motorsports
801/298-1008, torqaxle.com

Trail-Gear
Toyota solid axle fans can now enjoy the availability of complete all-new, bolt-in Trail-Gear Rock Assault axle assemblies. The front and rear axle assemblies are available for several different models of Toyota 4x4s in both right and left drop housings. Multiple widths and suspension configurations are also available. The assemblies feature your choice of a high- or low-pinion third member with gear ratios that range from 4.88:1 to 5.29:1. Traction-adding differential options include Detroit Locker, ARB Air Locker, Yukon Grizzly Locker, or Yukon Zip Locker. The Rock Assault housings feature new front knuckle balls forged from 1035 steel, making them much stronger than stock. The axletubes have been offset above the housing centerline, so the inner axles ride near the bottom of the axletubes rather than in the center. The result is an increase of 3⁄8-inch of ground clearance under the axletubes. The axletubes are made from massive 3-inch-diameter, 5⁄16-inch-thick 1020 DOM tubing. The shaved heavy-duty centersection is press-formed from 1⁄4-inch-thick plate steel to provide 3⁄4-inch of additional ground clearance under the differential. The differential mounting surface is made from 1⁄2-inch-thick plate steel to ensure the studs cannot pull out, even under heavy loads. Each housing is precision-alignment checked using 3D digital imaging equipment to ensure it is 100 percent straight and true. Trail-Gear also offers a complete bolt-in Rock Assault rear axle for the ’86-’95 Suzuki Samurai, as well as bare Rock Assault Ford 9-inch front and rear housings for fabricators.
Information: Trail-Gear
877/4X4-TOYS, trail-gear.com

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