Axle Swap!

Heyppl

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Will a Gladiator Dana 44 rear axle with lockers fit my Sahara JLU?





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JLUin818

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also if the gladiators are like the wranglers, the rubicons have wider axles. so your rear wheels would be sitting out past your front wheels.
 

MeanMrWolf

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No

Suspension links are different.
You can get links to adapt the Gladiator tubes to the JL now, or shortly. The 4xe uses the JT axels.
 
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Petey

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You can get links to adapt the Gladiator tubes to the JL now, or shortly. The 4xe uses the JL axels.
what about the connection points to the shocks.. from what I heard they mount on the opposite site of the axle.
 

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what about the connection points to the shocks.. from what I heard they mount on the opposite site of the axle.
I suspect it’s all available, or will be shortly. Like I said, the 4xe uses the JT tubes and shafts. So wait for wrecker 4xe parts to start showing up, or hit up a friendly parts department and bug them for the part numbers.

EDIT: noticed my original post said JL axels, it should, have read JT.
 

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Everything is possible with time, money, tools, skillset and determination. All are required. If one is missing, then no.
 

CaJLMetalHead

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I did that.. I installed Gladiator Rubicon axles on my JLU Sport.. unless you are going to do it yourself and you get the axles for a killer price.. it is not worth the effort... I can post more info and photos if you want..... but.. from experience..I say just way JL Rubicon axles... it is a direct swap... a lot less hassle ...
 

CaJLMetalHead

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You can get links to adapt the Gladiator tubes to the JL now, or shortly. The 4xe uses the JT axels.
I don't know about now.. but when I modified the rear Gladiator axles to fit my JLU Sport about 6 months ago there were no JL upper rear axles for Dana 44s (M220) on the market.. I had to buy 1 ton upper axles from Artec and adapt them (pain in the ass since Dana 44 are 3.15 '' in diameter and 1 tons are 3.5'' ) .. for the lower brackets I used CavFab... really beefy brackets.. but strangely enough it had no sway bar brackets.. I had to build my own...
 

Arterius2

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I don't know about now.. but when I modified the rear Gladiator axles to fit my JLU Sport about 6 months ago there were no JL upper rear axles for Dana 44s (M220) on the market.. I had to buy 1 ton upper axles from Artec and adapt them (pain in the ass since Dana 44 are 3.15 '' in diameter and 1 tons are 3.5'' ) .. for the lower brackets I used CavFab... really beefy brackets.. but strangely enough it had no sway bar brackets.. I had to build my own...
How much time did you spend doing that?
 

CaJLMetalHead

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How much time did you spend doing that?
a couple months... removing the upper and lower brackets is a very tedious process... plasma torch recommended but I did not have one that worked properly at that moment.... so... 7 inch angle grinder abrasive discs.. Sawzall... air tools... Dremel... lots of cutting and grinding.. modifying the 1 ton brackets required finesse ... the fact the brackets did not seat flushed on the axle tube required constant angle measuring and readjusting .. I also removed the differential from the housing .. and.. the Glatiator rear axles backing plate (where the bearing is housed and the wheel / brake mounts ) is different.. on the JL Rubicon is a cast piece ... Gladiator is also Cast... but it is bigger / longer.. which means the upper bracket seats on it.. so I had to modify the bracket to contour it to the shape of the cast steel... and well... I had to preheat the whole thing and carefully weld it and then monitor the temperature and hit it with a torch to maintain similar temps... when it cooled down to 200F I wrapped it in heat-resistant fiberglass to let it cool down overnight..

ohh.. I forgot.. the banjo bolt attaches on the caliper at a total different angle.. I spent like 3 days trying to devise a way to properly reroute the brake line so it does not hit the sway bar... not fun
 

CaJLMetalHead

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Here is a pic of the brackets... notice how the outer side of the upper brackets seats on the cast piece.. that is not the case on the Rubicon Axles since the cast piece is shorter.... I guess Dana made the cast piece stronger as part of making the Gladiator Max Tow capacity

1616557726820.png
 

CaJLMetalHead

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as Notorius said " Everything is possible with time, money, tools, skillset and determination "

Here is the axle once completely built... upper brackets are 1 ton Artec for JLs ... lower bracket is CavFab... quality stuff .. notice the lower bracket has no sway bar brackets.. no idea why CavFab did not include them.. I modified the ones that came from the Artec kit and welded them once I had the axle installed on the rig..

1616558032024.png



In order to find the right location and angles for the brackets I first used the stock JL Sport axle... used masking tape on the floor.. I used a laser lever to mark the location of the brackets on the floor.. measured the angles of the brackets.. and then replaced the stock axle for the JT axle in the same spot and used the laser and digital angle measurement tool precisely locate the brackets.. even then one lower bracket was off and I had to cut off the spot welds and use the arms to relocate.. FUN!!!!

Removing the diff without damaging the housing requires precision .. no alcohol allowed !!!

1616558847104.png


1616558868805.png



Rerouting the brake lines required a lot of cutting of brackets.. making new ones.. trial and error for a couple days... this step was definitely not fun!

1616559072230.png
 
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MeanMrWolf

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I don't know about now.. but when I modified the rear Gladiator axles to fit my JLU Sport about 6 months ago there were no JL upper rear axles for Dana 44s (M220) on the market.. I had to buy 1 ton upper axles from Artec and adapt them (pain in the ass since Dana 44 are 3.15 '' in diameter and 1 tons are 3.5'' ) .. for the lower brackets I used CavFab... really beefy brackets.. but strangely enough it had no sway bar brackets.. I had to build my own...
Yup, things are changing, with the use of the JT axels for the 4xe, so I suspect we will start seeing the parts show up, or eventually, the M220 axels will all use the JT variant to reduce part counts and costs.
 

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