Front Dana60/44 Hybrid DIY Conversion planning discussion (Fushion 4x4)

Front Dana60/44 Hybrid DIY Conversion planning discussion (Fushion 4x4)

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  1. #1
    JK Junkie Rednroll's Avatar
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    Default Front Dana60/44 Hybrid DIY Conversion planning discussion (Fushion 4x4)

    I currently have the stock Dana30 and like many eventually would like to upgrade. I'm currently on a, when it breaks then it's time to upgrade approach. I'm planning for when/if that occurs

    I keep looking at the prices of our JK front axle upgrade options. Dynatrac PR44, Spicer Ultimate D44, Currie, Mopar, Stock Rubi Dana 44 swap, etc, etc, etc. There's tons of discussion on this forum for all those different "upgrade" front axle options. There's one thing they have in common which keeps many of us from just doing them. They ALL have a relatively high price tag of admission!!!

    When I say high price, I think anything over $2K for completing a front axle swap and the amount of upgrade you're getting in return really just seems very non proportionate. Currently, there just doesn't seem to be any good value "bang for the buck" front axle swap options in my opinion and you're left with digging deep for your hobby, or trussing and other options to try and strengthen that front Dana 30 if you can't justify throwing $4K+ into a hobby. That's where I'm at with all this and I know I'm not alone. It's a hobby, one which that I can't justify spending $4K+ into swapping a front axle. I rather go on Craigs List and purchase $200 front Dana 30 take-offs and just replace them, if it breaks. The JK is our DD and we are the weekend warriors who just want to get out there, have some fun offroad and not have to worry we're going to do any major damage that's going to cost us big money to repair and a lot of down time without our DD to get to work. Such is the case with replacing a broken front axle. If there was a <$2K HD front axle aftermarket upgrade option, I'm sure this would be a easier decision for many of us. I hate to say it, but it seems to me this front HD axle market really could use a "Made in China" option if no one else can provide one for less than $4K. I'm certain many weekend warriors like myself would buy it, if it existed.

    Of all the options out there, I have been mostly leaning towards the Fushion 4x4 Dana60/44 Hybrid. It seems like a decent value option comparatively speaking. Strength of a Dana 60, while not having to change a bunch of additional items such as wheels, to mount a D60 under your JK. However, $4300 is the price of admission. Very similarly priced as all the other aftermarket complete drop-in, new Dana 44 HD options which are priced high enough to push you into considering a D60 anyways. From my understanding, what Fusion 4x4 does is they use a Sterling Superduty Dana 60 junkyard Ford F150 front axle and then do all the necessary mod conversions, so it can be used as a JK drop-in front axle swap while being able to re-use a majority of your JK's brakes, wheels, etc.

    https://www.fusion4x4.com/online-sto...bled-p81616624


    This then put me on the investigation path of reading this write-up by FOURWHEELER magazine, to get some insights as to what it would take for me to mod my own Superduty D60 front axle to do the same.
    Jeep Wrangler JK Junkyard Dana 60 Axle Swap - Part 1

    When I read it, I thought...."Welding on control arm brackets and getting proper location for caster, is going to be outside of my DIY capabilities where I'm going to need some pro help."

    Which then got me looking back at the Fusion 4x4 Dana60/44 Hybrid where I then ran across this Fushion 4x4 product. A Superduty D60 conversion kit for our JKs!!!
    https://www.fusion4x4.com/online-sto...Kits-p81616675


    Which now brings me here seeking advise from the experts to get a better understanding of what else I may be overlooking and may need parts wise and any additional DIY work I may need to take into consideration.

    Here's my current simplification of what I think needs to be done in the mod/parts department.
    - Junkyard Superduty Dana60 front axle (will need to shop around). Estimate Price=$500
    - MOD: Axle length shortened. JK WMS=65.5", SuperDuty (SD) WMS=69.25". So I have to cut the SD tubes to meet the JK axle length.
    - Axle mounting Brackets: (TB, upper/lower control arms, Sway Bars, Spring, shock mounts )= Fusion 4x4 SD conversion kit. Price=$415
    - Driveshaft connection: Will need a JK 1310 Yoke. Need to find this. Fusion 4x4 includes one with their Dana60/44 Hybrid axle. Price=???
    - MOD: Ball Joints and C's: Ream SD C's to fit JK aftermarket HD Ball Joints. Leaning towards the TF HD Ball joints currently.Price=$200
    - Brakes, Rotors, Hub: Re-use JK Dana 30 parts. I have the Mopar BBK installed.
    - MOD: Axle Shafts. Since the tube length needs to be shortened on the SD D60 axle, so will the axle shafts. Unsure what my options are, mod SD shafts? replacement option?
    - Gears, Lockers/LSDs: My plan is to re-gear to 4.56 or 4.88 and add Truetrac LSDs front and rear. I currently, have 3.73 gears. If I can find a SD D60 with 3.73 gears, so I can plan those regear/traction mods at a latter time, that would be preferred.

    Questions for Fushion on conversion kit.
    1. What are the assumptions in regards to the D60 C's? Can JK hub assemblies be fitted to the D60 Cs? Fit with Ford or other hub assembly? Does Fusion sell a C conversion kit as used on their 60/44 converted axle?
    Last edited by Rednroll; 08-06-2017 at 05:15 AM.
    '09 Sahara JKU
    Mods:
    - Mopar BBK, Mopar 2in lift, AEV Front tubeless bumper, skid plate, 12K winch.
    - 315/70/R17 BFG KO2's mounted on DC Gunmetal 7's, TF HD Carrier
    - Ruffstuff HD Tie rod,Synergy HD Draglink,TF Front HD TB,RC X-flex adj front LCA's
    - Katzkin Leather, 7.2 Surround 2800W Infinity Audio System
    My Write-Ups:
    Folding Hitch Cargo Basket with Rear Lighting
    MyGIG RHR (730N) Install
    Android OBD2 Wifi Adapter Setup Guide (No Root)

  2. #2
    JK Jedi TheDirtman's Avatar
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    Setting caster and brackets is no big deal, just put the axle housing on stands and adjust the pinion t where you want your caster to be. The only real drawback to this is that you can't set ideal pinion angles and maintain a good caster number without rotating the C's. It can be done and should be but is a pain in the ass since the C's are pressed on then welded.

    The 44/60 hybrid makes little since as well as you keep the shitty unit bearings and smaller knuckles and don't have the option of high steer arms. Just go with 60 outers as they are a minimal cost increase you in tern get a stronger king pin or ball joints to handle the stresses of a heavier rig with bigger tires.
    If you learned something new today, you had a good day. Please do not email asking me to recommend a lift kit or brand.[SIZE=4]
    If you are new to jeeps check out the link below.
    https://www.jk-forum.com/forums/modi...-lifts-288269/

  3. #3
    JK Junkie Rednroll's Avatar
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    Thanks Dirtman. My thought on this for us weekend warrior hobby types is that most of us run 35s. What we really want are stronger tubes, axle shafts, and C's for those 35s. Then the larger pumpkin for re-gear and traction device options be it lockers or gear driven LSDs. If that means it moves the weakest link of the axle out to the bearings, knuckles and hub, that's ok with me. Those seem like inexpensive replacements.

    It seems what you described would be great if I wanted to move to 37 and larger tires. I definitely don't. That's too much, where I feel that path may justify those $4k axle swap prices.

    Hopefully, I didn't totally miss what you described, since that's very well likely.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 08-05-2017 at 02:49 PM.
    '09 Sahara JKU
    Mods:
    - Mopar BBK, Mopar 2in lift, AEV Front tubeless bumper, skid plate, 12K winch.
    - 315/70/R17 BFG KO2's mounted on DC Gunmetal 7's, TF HD Carrier
    - Ruffstuff HD Tie rod,Synergy HD Draglink,TF Front HD TB,RC X-flex adj front LCA's
    - Katzkin Leather, 7.2 Surround 2800W Infinity Audio System
    My Write-Ups:
    Folding Hitch Cargo Basket with Rear Lighting
    MyGIG RHR (730N) Install
    Android OBD2 Wifi Adapter Setup Guide (No Root)

  4. #4
    JK Junkie Rednroll's Avatar
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    Here's what just pizzes me off about JK axle upgrade options, it's the supply/demand price gouging.

    For example. Even if I wanted to pursue purchasing a Rubi Dana 44 take off, the going price is about $2K and with that $2K investment, I got the same weak tubes and C's. I get a larger pumpkin, slightly stronger shafts, and pinion. For me, that is not worth a $2K price of admission because I still have the weak tubes and C's that I need to be concerned about.

    The problem is that people want it and are willing to pay that much, and it's that demand that drives those prices up so high.

    In comparison, I can go on Craigslist and get most any Dana 60 takeoff from a pickup truck for $200-$500. A stronger axle at 1/10th the cost of a Rubi Dana44 take off. That just doesn't make any sense, but it's that JK market demand and limited supply that allows that to happen. So I feel the solution around that, is to look for alternative solutions outside of the bolt on JK HD axle market and that's what Fusion 4x4 did with their superduty Hybrid 60/44 JK axle conversion. I'm hoping now that they also have a SuperDuty D60 JK conversion kit, that makes pursuing that option even more accessible.

    Seeing take-off axle purchasing options like these in my area on Craigslist are just pizzing me off.

    Complete Dana 60 front axle from a 2001 RAM pickup Truck $200
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/p...239712876.html



    Complete Front and Rear HD Dana 60 axles from a Ford F350 $800
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/p...146059749.html


    Could you even imagine being able to purchase a bolt on 1Ton Dana60 front axle for $200 for our JKs or $800 for a complete set? Everyone would have a set, but instead we're looking at $7K-$13K for the same Dana 60 front axle for our JK and the only thing different is that they can be mounted onto our JK.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 08-05-2017 at 02:45 PM.
    '09 Sahara JKU
    Mods:
    - Mopar BBK, Mopar 2in lift, AEV Front tubeless bumper, skid plate, 12K winch.
    - 315/70/R17 BFG KO2's mounted on DC Gunmetal 7's, TF HD Carrier
    - Ruffstuff HD Tie rod,Synergy HD Draglink,TF Front HD TB,RC X-flex adj front LCA's
    - Katzkin Leather, 7.2 Surround 2800W Infinity Audio System
    My Write-Ups:
    Folding Hitch Cargo Basket with Rear Lighting
    MyGIG RHR (730N) Install
    Android OBD2 Wifi Adapter Setup Guide (No Root)

  5. #5
    JK Super Freak jtphoto JK's Avatar
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    1- So first off the Cs are not weak. The D30 and D44 stock axle tubes will bend at the C weld making people think the C is bent. JK Cs don't bend unless there has been a tremendous hit in which case all your control arm brackets etc will also be bent.

    2- the most cost effective upgrade is the Mopar HD axle with the J8 tubes. If you do your own work you can do this upgrade and swap for $2500 to $3000 depending of course on the locker you choose. D44HD/J8 housing can be had for around $865 at Mopar overstock.com.

    3- no hobby is cheap. I bought a replacement back up camera body a couple years ago, that was $6K.
    Jeff _(OIIIO)_
    08 Black and Khaki JK Sahara Unlimited, Dual Tops, MyGig, D44HD/J8 front diff with OX locker, Trax-Lok Rear D44 Diff,
    3.5" RK front, 2.5 TerraFlex BB rear, PitBull Rocker 37x12.50x17 on ProComp 2635 Xtreme Alloys, AEV Premium w/Smitty X20 12K, Mr Grille Billet grille, Flex-A-Lite 18,000 GVW Transcooler, bushwacker flats.

    www.northridge4x4.ca

  6. #6
    JK Super Freak jtphoto JK's Avatar
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    4- Have you checked what the locker/carriers, axles and gears cost for those D60s. Last I looked they were almost double the price of those for the D44. Home built D60s are definitely not the cheapest way to go.
    Jeff _(OIIIO)_
    08 Black and Khaki JK Sahara Unlimited, Dual Tops, MyGig, D44HD/J8 front diff with OX locker, Trax-Lok Rear D44 Diff,
    3.5" RK front, 2.5 TerraFlex BB rear, PitBull Rocker 37x12.50x17 on ProComp 2635 Xtreme Alloys, AEV Premium w/Smitty X20 12K, Mr Grille Billet grille, Flex-A-Lite 18,000 GVW Transcooler, bushwacker flats.

    www.northridge4x4.ca

  7. #7
    JK Junkie Rednroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtphoto JK View Post
    4- Have you checked what the locker/carriers, axles and gears cost for those D60s. Last I looked they were almost double the price of those for the D44. Home built D60s are definitely not the cheapest way to go.
    Good point. Looking at Fushion 4x4's 60/44 build options, they have an ARB e-locker option that can be added to their Hybrid 60/44 for $660 which I'm assuming includes the install of the locker. So was thinking there should be locker options under that price.


    Carrier, unsure if I would need that but will confirm since I'm planning on looking for a junkyard Dana 60 with 3.73 gears so I won't have to regear right away but still have 4WD. Therefore, I will need to confirm if the same carrier can be used for either 4.56 or 4.88 gears if the SD Dana 60 is starting with 3.73's.

    Gears, need to price those out. Gear selection is included in Fusions $4.3K build, so I don't have a quick reference. My original thought was that gears may cost less since there should be some stock gear replacement options since you can get a Superduty axle with 4.56 gears from the factory. Doing a quick search, I found these 4.56 Spicer gears for a Dana 60 for $275.
    OE DANA SPICER RING AND PINION GEARS - 25127-5X


    I definitely need to price these things out and put a total shopping list together. Like mentioned, I would prefer to do gears/lockers later. I'm actually more interested in finding out if I can find a Detroit Trutrac that is available for the Dana 60 front. However, I'm not opposed to a locker in the front and an LSD in the rear. Just prefer a LSD in the front since I'll use it a lot more for what I do.

    Appreciate the comments, keep them coming. Fushion 4x4 is located about a 15 min drive away from me. Once I get closer to possibly moving forward on this project, I'm going to stop in there to see if they can provide me some more details of what is all involved in using their conversion kit to convert a SD D60 axle and these types of comments I'll add to my list of questions.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 08-05-2017 at 05:20 PM.
    '09 Sahara JKU
    Mods:
    - Mopar BBK, Mopar 2in lift, AEV Front tubeless bumper, skid plate, 12K winch.
    - 315/70/R17 BFG KO2's mounted on DC Gunmetal 7's, TF HD Carrier
    - Ruffstuff HD Tie rod,Synergy HD Draglink,TF Front HD TB,RC X-flex adj front LCA's
    - Katzkin Leather, 7.2 Surround 2800W Infinity Audio System
    My Write-Ups:
    Folding Hitch Cargo Basket with Rear Lighting
    MyGIG RHR (730N) Install
    Android OBD2 Wifi Adapter Setup Guide (No Root)

  8. #8
    JK Super Freak jtphoto JK's Avatar
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    To do the junkyard build from a bare housing you will need carrier or locker, gears, master instal kit, axles, new wheels possibly unless you can find hubs that will work with Jk bolt pattern.

    The cheapest route at inset is buying a set of matching D60 housing front and rear and converting the suspension to fit. Matching up driveshafts may be the challenge.. it's not likely you can find the exact gear ratio D60 to match your factory D44 rear.

    In all honesty, with D60 you are loosing a lot of axle ground clearance and adding a lot of weight for DD and weekend warrior. You would have to run 40" tires to have the same axle clearance as 37s on a D 44.
    Jeff _(OIIIO)_
    08 Black and Khaki JK Sahara Unlimited, Dual Tops, MyGig, D44HD/J8 front diff with OX locker, Trax-Lok Rear D44 Diff,
    3.5" RK front, 2.5 TerraFlex BB rear, PitBull Rocker 37x12.50x17 on ProComp 2635 Xtreme Alloys, AEV Premium w/Smitty X20 12K, Mr Grille Billet grille, Flex-A-Lite 18,000 GVW Transcooler, bushwacker flats.

    www.northridge4x4.ca

  9. #9
    JK Super Freak jtphoto JK's Avatar
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    I priced a TruTrac for a D60 at Summit awhile back ( me and a Buddy were gonna do a couple D76 Janze builds but they were cost prohibitive) $700 approx.
    Jeff _(OIIIO)_
    08 Black and Khaki JK Sahara Unlimited, Dual Tops, MyGig, D44HD/J8 front diff with OX locker, Trax-Lok Rear D44 Diff,
    3.5" RK front, 2.5 TerraFlex BB rear, PitBull Rocker 37x12.50x17 on ProComp 2635 Xtreme Alloys, AEV Premium w/Smitty X20 12K, Mr Grille Billet grille, Flex-A-Lite 18,000 GVW Transcooler, bushwacker flats.

    www.northridge4x4.ca

  10. #10
    JK Junkie Rednroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtphoto JK View Post
    it's not likely you can find the exact gear ratio D60 to match your factory D44 rear.
    I'm not sure what you mean here?

    Here's a set of D60 Superduty axles with 3.73 gears I found on CL that I posted earlier. Isn't 3.73....3.73?
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/p...146059749.html
    '09 Sahara JKU
    Mods:
    - Mopar BBK, Mopar 2in lift, AEV Front tubeless bumper, skid plate, 12K winch.
    - 315/70/R17 BFG KO2's mounted on DC Gunmetal 7's, TF HD Carrier
    - Ruffstuff HD Tie rod,Synergy HD Draglink,TF Front HD TB,RC X-flex adj front LCA's
    - Katzkin Leather, 7.2 Surround 2800W Infinity Audio System
    My Write-Ups:
    Folding Hitch Cargo Basket with Rear Lighting
    MyGIG RHR (730N) Install
    Android OBD2 Wifi Adapter Setup Guide (No Root)

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