Gear Swap Questions

Daved1999

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I have a 2018 JLU Sahara. Dana 30 front Dana 44 rear with 3.43s, 6 speed manual, running 35" tires. I want to change to 4.56 gears. I've read it's good to remove the ring gear spacer on the rear and replace with a thick ring gear. Can this be done on the front as well or, can I only use a thin gear set? Will I still be able to use my current carrier with the 4.54s? I only have 22,000 miles with very little use of 4X4. Would I need to purchase a full rebuild kit or, just gear sets with and extra pinion bearings and crush sleeve? I'd like to hear from those who have already done this if possible. Thanks
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I have a 2018 JLU Sahara. Dana 30 front Dana 44 rear with 3.43s, 6 speed manual, running 35" tires. I want to change to 4.56 gears. I've read it's good to remove the ring gear spacer on the rear and replace with a thick ring gear. Can this be done on the front as well or, can I only use a thin gear set? Will I still be able to use my current carrier with the 4.54s?
I'm going to defer the questions on the thick/thin gears with the JL since I haven't done enough research to know off the top of my head. Someone else can answer better than I can.

I only have 22,000 miles with very little use of 4X4. Would I need to purchase a full rebuild kit or, just gear sets with and extra pinion bearings and crush sleeve? I'd like to hear from those who have already done this if possible. Thanks
It is possible to reuse the bearings off of the pinion and carrier. However, it's rarely a good idea to do so. Pulling bearings off to swap them over can result in damage to those bearings, even with a good puller. Most shops won't guarantee any work if you do pull the bearings and reuse them.

It's better to start over with new bearings from a master install kit. That way the shop will provide a full guarantee of the work they do. Given that the install kits are under 10% of the total cost of the job, I wouldn't hesitate to put some new quality Timkin or Koyo bearings in the axles.
 

word302

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If you’re going to go through the effort for new gears, why change trying to reuse the bearings. There are no thick/thin gears/spacers on these gear sets. Yes you can reuse your carrier. Where do you live? If it’s anywhere that’s not flat I highly recommend 4.88 gears for 35” tires with the 6sp manual.
 
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Daved1999

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If you’re going to go through the effort for new gears, why change trying to reuse the bearings. There are no thick/thin gears/spacers on these gear sets. Yes you can reuse your carrier. Where do you live? If it’s anywhere that’s not flat I highly recommend 4.88 gears for 35” tires with the 6sp manual.
Thanks for your response. I discovered that I do not need to change carrier on the JLs as you stated. I live in a mostly flat area but, I would like the gear change for 2 reasons. 1st, 6th gear is useless until I get up around 80 mph and, it still loses power if there is a headwind or going up hills. 2nd, I'd like to have better performance off road. I have seen multiple responses suggesting the removal of the spacer on the 44 and using a thick gear set. I've also seen the thick gear set offered for the 44.
 

word302

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Thanks for your response. I discovered that I do not need to change carrier on the JLs as you stated. I live in a mostly flat area but, I would like the gear change for 2 reasons. 1st, 6th gear is useless until I get up around 80 mph and, it still loses power if there is a headwind or going up hills. 2nd, I'd like to have better performance off road. I have seen multiple responses suggesting the removal of the spacer on the 44 and using a thick gear set. I've also seen the thick gear set offered for the 44.
There is no spacer on the JL. There is no thick or thin gear option for the JL. I run 5.13s, 37s and the 6spd. Love it but I’m in the northwest where it’s not flat anywhere.
 
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Daved1999

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There is no spacer on the JL. There is no thick or thin gear option for the JL. I run 5.13s, 37s and the 6spd. Love it but I’m in the northwest where it’s not flat anywhere.
Cool! Great to know there is no spacer. I believe I have all the info I need now. Thanks guys
 
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