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March 17, 2015 - Before Moab Easter Jeep Safari:
There are a lot of rumors and hearsay around the internet about the Dana 30 being a fragile axle. While the stock housing can be an issue there are also stated concerns about the center section. For this reason we took one of our Tera30 axle housings, loaded it with an air locker and 4.56 gears and strapped some 37’s onto it to do some torture testing. The Jeep will be wheeled hard on some of the hardest trails in Moab at EJS to see if the rumors are truth or fiction. What do you think - bust or hero in disguise?
April 8, 2015 - After Moab:
The axle ran Moab Rim (with infamous obstacles such as the Z turn and the Devil’s Crack, Steel Bender, Metal Masher, Flat Iron Mesa (with Tilt a Whirl) and 7 Mile Rim without a single peep to be heard from the axle. It got bashed into rocks and thrown down desert roads at high speeds and the axle performed flawlessly. Obviously if enough effort is put into breaking anything, one can achieve that goal. But if you have a JK with a front 30 and are looking to upgrade on a budget for strength and peace of mind, consider our HD Tera30 housing, also available for JK's with 4" and more of lift with additional caster built in. We have increased the tube diameter, thickness, as well as the inner C size to match that of our awesome D44 replacement housings to give you real world reliability and comfort out on the trail. Sleeve and gusset kits will do the job, assuming they are installed correctly, but a new housing takes the worry out of it.
Jacob, from TeraFlex technical support, was the driver of this vehicle and includes some additional insights:
"This test is to prove that a locked 30 can be run reasonably and is a viable option if you want the peace of mind and you're on a tight budget. The steering on it is stock, as are the ball joints (we were out of TeraFlex ball joints when we assembled it). The larger 4.56 gears in theory make the ring and pinion weaker due to the small pinion and contact patch. As far as testing a 30 that has sleeve and gussets, it has been done. I ran mine for 2 years open with sleeves and gussets with 37's and the wife ran her's in a very similar fashion for 3 years. But as stated in the article, the sleeves and trusses still have weak points especially if installed incorrectly. The nice thing is that we, TeraFlex, offer an axle housing that is priced cheaper than a stick housing. So, should yours fail, you can get one of ours for a better price than OEM and drop it right in with the existing components you have. Not everyone can afford a 60, and in my case I couldn't afford the upgrade to a 44."
So, what was your bet?