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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having my dana 44's front and rear rebuilt for my frame off restoration project 2003 rubicon and was torn between 4.56's or 4.88's. I had a 4.6 stroker engine built by Chad at Golen Engines for it pushing 327 torque and 291 hp. Gonna run 35's. Unfortunately I live on Long Island so there will be little to none off roading just some beach for night fishing and the occasional logging trail upstate. And ofcourse New York snow. Mostly road driving so I don't want to be screaming the revs too high, also keepin mind the massive increase in power over a stock engine with the stroker. What do ya'll think 4.56 or 4.88 thanks
 

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4:88’s with 35” rubber brings your gear ratio basically back to stock.
I’d suggest you take a long look at 5:13’s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
4:88’s with 35” rubber brings your gear ratio basically back to stock.
I’d suggest you take a long look at 5:13’s.
I figured with the extra power of that stroker motor that might be OK because I really like the way it drove when it was in stock form being a Rubicon with 410s. From your response I take it you would think 456s are totally out of the question? And by the way I don’t think I mentioned it in my first post but it is a five speed manual transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also was wondering if there was a particular brand of gear sets and axles that some of you experienced TJ owners like . I spoke with a few aftermarket off-road shops here on Long Island and they suggest either Yukon or Alloy uSA and then I found an old timer who has been doing just differentials in everything from race cars to 4 Wheel Dr. and he says he would never put aftermarket garbage in a vehicle he cared about he only uses OEM stuff. I said yeah but...... Then he cut me off and said yeah but nothing you put 170,000 miles on that OEM stuff and I drive my jeep like it’s a British sports car and it’s still not broken I’m just re-gearing it because I’m doing a restoration.I’m curious to what some of you experienced jeep owners thoughts are on that
 

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Personal opinion only;
4:88’s with a manual should be a good combo with 35” rubber. No, I wouldn’t do 4:56.
Yukon or Revolution are good gear sets. I have CHA and have had no issues. No idea who makes the OEM gears for the ‘03 Rubicon. Maybe Dana although I’m not sure they still are in that business. Decent quality gear sets set up properly should last a long time. Also would suggest that whoever does your gears supplies them.
Don’t forget axle shaft and brake upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm struggling with this. If I go into 4 different shops here on long island I get 4 completely different answers. some of the older seemingly more experienced guys tell me that if my axles aren't broke then don't replace them. This is going to be a 95% street driven jeep with the occasional beach run for night fishing and snow in the winter months and maybe the occasional logging trail upstate. Unfortunately I can't find an honest shop here in wonderful New York to do the work. I'v had one shop try to double charge me on parts in his estimate another try to tell me that aftermarket was all trash and he only uses oem then realized oem wasn't available for my dana's then changed his tune and said well aftermarket is great stuff now. One shop says alloy usa is all made in the USA when it's easy to know they are made in india. Another shop says never use Yukon because it's gonna be very noisy. I'm thinking of trying to rebuild these myself with the help and guidance of youtube. Or just open up the wallet and drop 10K on a set of currie 44's. After long discussions with myself (ha ha) I may just try to replace the seals and leave everything else as is. I really didn't mind the way it drove with the stock gearing even with the 35's. Just didn't use 5th much if ever. Nothing was broken just leaking a bit. Sorry for the long post just confused and frustrated. thanks for your advice
 

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www.danaaftermarket.com
Dana still makes stuff, they even have a dealer network listed.
Axle internals last a long time. Bearings and seals can fail but unless they have been treated roughly ring and pinions are pretty tough.
Do your seals and try it. you can always spend money on a regear or completes later.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Makes sense. Just thought because they are out of the rig??? (I might as well syndrome) started poking at me. I think after a few youtube vids I watched then going in the garage and staring at them for a few hours I'm gonna give it a go. I'm going with 35's simply because of the look and stance it has. Installing a full complete rubicon express 3.5 short arm super flex kit. Rubicon express steering and adj front and rear trackbars. I think I'll go with 4.56 gears even though most suggest 4.88 keep in mind its a stroked engine now pushing 328 trq and 281 hp. I drove it for the last 107,000 miles with the stock 4.10 and 35's. I kinda liked the way it drove around town and a few exits on the hwy. Obviously 5th gear is pretty much useless but other than that I was ok with it. Just figured with the increased power 4.56's might be just right?
 

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May I ask why you think you will be okay with not being able to use 5th gear? It seems different gearing may change that. Are 4.88 more expensive or harder to install. I'm not passing judgement on your decision. I'm asking to educate myself. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not ok without using 5th. I figured I WOULD be able to use it again with the increased power from the new stroker engine. I wasn't able to use it with the stock tired engine so i just learned to settle for that and guess I just got used to it after 107,000 mi. As far as gears are concerned I just don't want to be over revving around town or find myself shifting every 2 seconds. I never rock crawl or offroad it here on Long Island so I didn't think I needed 4.88"s Install and price is the same.
 

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The TJ/LJ guys I know swear that 4.88 with a manual transmission and 37" tires is the perfect set up for driving around town and off roading a couple time a year. That's without any engine work. Maybe you should see if you can find someone with a similar set up to your plan and get a test drive in their Jeep.
 

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Here's some food for thought:

Current set up with 35" rubber, 4.10 stock gearing:
2350 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
1850 rpm @.78 (5th gear), 60 mph

Going to 4.56 gearing, 35" rubber:
2600 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
2050 rpm @ .78 (5th gear), 60 mph

Going to 4.88 gearing, 35" rubber:
2850 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
2200 rpm @ .78 (5th gear), 60 mph
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's some food for thought:

Current set up with 35" rubber, 4.10 stock gearing:
2350 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
1850 rpm @.78 (5th gear), 60 mph

Going to 4.56 gearing, 35" rubber:
2600 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
2050 rpm @ .78 (5th gear), 60 mph

Going to 4.88 gearing, 35" rubber:
2850 rpm @ 1.00 (4th gear), 60 mph
2200 rpm @ .78 (5th gear), 60 mph
I'm so confused at this point. What rpm do I want to be running at on the hwy. I think I'm stuck with 4.10's because there are no reputable shops around here qualified to do a gear change. unless I try to do this myself. Nothing is broken now just leaking a bit of fluid from the seals. I might just do seals and leave the 4.10,s
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gear lash doesn't seem to difficult after watching more than a few videos. or am I kidding myself?
 

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I'm so confused at this point. What rpm do I want to be running at on the hwy. I think I'm stuck with 4.10's because there are no reputable shops around here qualified to do a gear change. unless I try to do this myself. Nothing is broken now just leaking a bit of fluid from the seals. I might just do seals and leave the 4.10,s
I'm also on Long Island. There are 3 shops I'm considering to regear my Jeep. Goonie's Garage in Holtsville, Evan's 4x4 I think is in Deer Park, and TNT Monster Trucks in Ronkonkoma. They all have great reputations and are involved in some of the local offroad groups. I know you said you talked to some shops, but you didn't mention which ones. There have been more opening up recently and some of the tuners and stereo shops have started advertising 4x4 work. The 3 I listed are worth a call if you haven't tried them already.
 

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If you’re stuck with 4.10’s you already know what you’re dealing with. With the extra torque of the stroker you’ll probably be able to run 5 th gear on a flat freeway. Strokers make more torque at a lower rpm which will be an advantage for you.
Point I was trying to make is the 4.88 gears will bring you back to basically stock 4.10 gearing with 35” rubber. Now you are running about 2350 rpm at 60 in 4th gear and with 4.88’s you will run about 2200 at 60 in 5th gear.
2300-2700 rpm on highway is a good engine rpm range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't think it was cool to name shops that I was disappointed with. I'm not here for that. I think I'm gonna try to do this gear swap and seal change myself. Just contemplating what ratio to go with. I think I'll take a chance and go with 4.88's eventhough my gut tells me not to. my gut tells me to use 4.56's but i figured if the 88's rev to high for me I could always go to a 37in tire. I have 35's now that need replacing so I can drive it with those before buying new ones. I'm just a bit nervous because I got alot of feedback indicating that the rubicon dana 44's are a bit more difficult to work with than most axles because of the type of lockers????? With no reputable shops in the area I dont have much choice now.
 

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I think you're picking the right course. Post pics of the install!
 
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