So you have decided to regear your Jeep Wrangler. This tutorial will be for the TJ or LJ Jeep Wrangler owners. These are the years from 1997-2006. If your Wrangler is of another year you can still learn from this tutorial but some things might be different.

Before you start you will need to find out what axles you have. The parts are slightly different on different axles. I will be showing how to regear the dana 30 in the front and the dana 44 in the rear. The front dana 30 is pretty standard on all stock Wranglers. You may have a different rear axle though. The dana 35 is the other likely rear axle. I will be showing how to regear the dana 44.

Now you will need to decide what gears to use. This decision will be based on a few different factors. If you have an automatic transmission you will want deeper gearing than if you have a manual. This means if you have an automatic you will want maybe 4:88 and for the same setup but with manual you would want 3:73 gears.

Usually we get deeper gearing when we get larger tires. In my example I am going from the stock tires to 33 inch tires and later to 35's. The stock gears for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited model is 3:73 ratio. Since I have an automatic transmission I will be going to the 4:88 ratio. If you have a manual transmission you will need to choose a ratio that is not as deep for the same size tire.

The last factor is the axle model. There is a limit to how deep you can go depending on the axle. The dana 30 front axle has a limit of 4:88 gear ratio. The dana 44 has a limit of 5:89. Since the front and rear need to be the same I can only go as deep as 4:88. If you have the dana 35 you can only go as deep as 4:88 in the rear.

I have decided to go with the 4:88 gearing for the front and rear. Now I need to decide what parts to get. I need to make sure I get the right parts to fit my Jeep Wrangler. There are still options depending on the drivetrain of my Jeep and therefore I need to make sure I get the correct ring and pinion for the front and rear.

I have decided to swap a dana 30 from a 1998 Jeep Cherokee I found at the junkyard. Here are the benefits of using a Cherokee dana 30. With this setup I need to get the Cherokee version with is a reverse cut dana 30 4:88 ratio ring and pinion set. I also need to get a master install kit. This install kit includes all the shims and bearings and seals I will need to install a new ring and pinion.

For the rear I will need to get dana 44 ring and pinion with the 4:88 ratio. The rear axle will also need its own master install kit. The install kits are specific to the axle you are installing so make sure you choose the right master install kit.

Here is a list of all the parts so far and approximate prices:

  • Front Locker - Eaton E-locker (Dana30) for $750
  • Rear Locker - Eaton E-locker (Dana44) for $740
  • 4:88 d30 short shaft gears - USA Standard for $170
  • 4:88 d44 gears - Yukons for $250 or USA Standard for $170
  • or 4:88 d35 gears - Yukons for $230 or USA Standard for $170
  • Master install kit for d30 - Yukon: $180 or USA Standard: $120
  • Master install kit for d44 - Yukon: $210 or USA Standard: $135
  • Master install kit for d35 - Yukon: $205 or USA Standard: $120
This will give you just an idea of about how much they will cost. There are many other brands out there. There are also other ways you can do this

Next thing you will have to do to prepare for a regear would be to get all the tools needed. There are some special tools that are needed to regear a differential and there really isn't any way around it. They are inexpensive compared to how much you would end up spending to have somebody else do your gears. There is only one tool that you will either want to rent or just go to an auto shop and pay to use theirs.

Here are some of the tools you will need:

  • Torque Wrenches - a large ft/lb wrench and an inch/lb(dial style)
  • Bearing removal tool - this may be rented or used at an auto shop. I just bought one and sold it when I was done.
  • Dial indicator with magnetic base - fairly cheap item
  • A caliper for measuring the shim stack