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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Looking for some input.

Last weekend I busted my drivers front u joint. Not exactly sure when, but I do remember one tight climb out of the creek at full lock and thinking that the situation wasn't good. I didn't discover it until cleaning up the Jeep on Sunday. Initially I thought I would be able to just throw a couple new caps and retainers on it and go but after looking at it closer, one cap is missing but the other basically blew the end off the cap. This means that I will have to pull the shafts out in order to get the busted cap out.

So, back on point. Since I have to pull the shaft, I'm contemplating doing a complete swap of both shafts to something a little stronger since they are available for the same price or cheaper than stock type replacements. On the plus side, swapping would give me a spare set to keep or sell if I wanted. On the down side, am I moving the failure point to something else other than the u joint? Seems to be much cheaper and easier to change out the joint than to bust a pinion or gear. On the other hand, I don't seem to hear a lot about busted RP in Jeeps, so maybe I'm just overthinking it or just not listening.

My future plans are to put this thing on tons at some point, but that's not going to happen for at least 4-5 years and it is my daily driver. In the mean time, I do plan to keep wheeling each month or so but I don't want to keep fixing the same parts every month either. Of course, I can swap a lot of $5 or even $20 U joints before even coming close to the cost of new shafts.

Anyhow, looking for opinions.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:08 pm 
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I would run a good quality joint it is very rare that you break a joint without breaking an axle shaft so if you put a cheap joint in and it breaks you probably taking the axle out with it.

I'll am almost willing to bet that the shaft that spit the joint has a stretched ear. If that is the case you're going to be looking at at least a stock replacement shaft.

Running stock shaft it doesn't really matter how expensive the U joint is I would gamble you will break the shaft before you break a ring and pinion but anything can happen. 35 are pushing the limits of a Dana 30 no matter how much money you throw at it. Going with an aftermarket shaft will move the weak point to the ring and pinion. Butt that ring and pinion could hold for a really long time. Bill ran a 30 for several years of 35 and aftermarket shaft I think he blew 4 ring and pinion but the jeep was getting used almost every single weekend and it was running different types of trails then I have seen you run so far


I would recommend just replacing the joint with a Spicer joint and calling it done.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Good point Donnie, your comment about a spread or damaged ear is one of the reasons I'm thinking about putting in new shafts. Plus, I'm having to drive it until I can get time to replace the joint. While I'm not using 4wd, it can't be good having that thing flop around in there. The yoke that popped the caps is the outer stub shaft and they are $80 on Rockauto. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:50 pm 
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Its a dana 30 it doesnt have lock outs so its spinning all the time and beating the ears to death, save time and money and get chromos, if ur front is open u will be fine but if locked just keep wheels straight when flogging it and ur r&p will be fine, plus u can resale d30 chromos and recoop most ur funds when u go tons, id bet that inner and outter is pretty tweaked by now, sounds like ur gonna stick around so upgrade broken parts


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:02 am 
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I'd be hesitant dropping much money into the d30..... I would recommend you replace with a factory replacement for now....maybe a nicer spicer one. If you keep having problems you consider other options. Being open I'd hope you wouldn't have too much problems with it....


By the way I have a prorock44 frt that I maybe able to make you a fair deal on. ;)



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:30 am 
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I broke 5 dana 30 ring and pinions 2 without chromolys and 3 with chromolys lol but i was running 36s and beat the crap out of it if you go chromolys buy yukon they are lifetime warranty no questions asked

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:59 pm 
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Keep an eye out on the forums for somebody selling some used RCVs.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:07 pm 
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Just for sake of conversation, and because ZJman said same..... What does a set of used RCVs go for? How much is too much?


I know value is in the eye of the beholder, but there is always a fair market value.....Also to note RCV does not transfer warranty with owner, some people see this as a negative. I do not, because I know they are the best...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:00 pm 
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I wouldnt waste money on rcv for a dana 30 however i did order them for my dana 44 and they was 1400

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:10 pm 
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I'd buy them for a 30 before I would for a 44. I think they would let a r&p in a 30 live longer buy not letting loose and not binding itself up and transferring the load to the ring and pinion. If you buy a 44 to swap in and then buy a set of RCVs you could have put tons in.

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