G2 AXLE & GEAR part 2

Story & Photos by Trent Riddle
Gears, Differentials and Other Goodies
Photo

G2 offers a wide range of differentials for you to choose from. Here we"ve gathered some of the limited slip and locker options for a Dana 44 differential. From left to right: Eaton Truetrac limited slip, Auburn Gear ECTED locker, Eaton E-locker, ARB Air Locker, OX Locker, Detroit Locker and a full spool.

Last issue we introduced you to the G2 Axle and Gear custom axle program. While this program is mainly targeted at Jeeps, some of the units can be ordered without spring pads installed and be fitted into a wide range of other leaf spring vehicles of similar width.
This month we look at some of the options that G2 offers for the axles they build, but remember these items are not just available for Jeeps, but for just about any axle that can be commonly found in light trucks and SUVs. This means that whether you own a Jeep, Bronco, Scout, Toyota or other trail or street truck, G2 most likely has what you need for your axles. We say most likely because parts for a Russian GAZ or other less common trucks are hard to find any place.

G2 offers a wide range of differential units for you to choose from. For this story, we"ve gathered some of the limited slip and locker options for a Dana 44 differential, such as the: Eaton Truetrac limited slip, Auburn Gear ECTED locker, Eaton E-locker, ARB Air Locker, OX Locker, Detroit Locker and a full spool. Other differential units are available, so if you"re looking for something you don"t see here, call an expert at G2, they"ll do their best to find what you"re looking for.

When it comes to limited slip units, most have a clutch pack. These clutches are subject to wear and over time the clutches can slip and/or grab making engagement less than smooth. The Truetrac was selected for this article because this gear type limited slip is not subject to clutch wear and offers smooth operation throughout its service life. When it comes to lockers, there are manually selectable and automatic units. The Truetrac and Detroit locker function automatically, while the other lockers require driver input to select the locker function. A spool is always locked.

This author has ranked the locker options, in his humble opinion, in order of strength and reliability. Although you may not agree, here is the ranking and why. From low to high (1-7), Truetrac, ECTED, E-locker, ARB, Ox Locker, Detroit Locker and Spool.

The Truetrac was rated #1(lowest) only because it is a limited slip unit, albeit the strongest limited slip on the market. ECTED is #2 because it incorporates clutch packs for the limited slip and these clutches can wear out over time. The E-locker is #3 only because it has not been in the aftermarket for as long as some of the other units and has less applications available. This is however an OEM unit for many GM trucks. The venerable ARB is #4 because like the ECTED and E-locker it requires a switch and activation circuit to engage it, in this case air. This means more potential trouble points that an automatic unit. Ox Locker is #5 because the cable activation system has less potential failure points than electric or air controlled units. The Detroit is #6 because the unit is automatic and not subject to issues with outside activation systems. The spool is #7 only because you are more likely to break an axle than a spool. Every one of these units is well built and for the right application, the perfect choice.

Since the G2 axle housings are standard stocking items and made to drop into your Jeep, the component parts are also a drop in for many stock axle housings. The G2 chromoly axle shafts are a direct fit for stock Jeep axle housings and a great upgrade or replacement for your rig. Currently, front axles are available for Dana 30, 44 and 60 housings, call to check on your application. Rear chromoly axle shafts are also offered and can be ordered with a big spline option for use with upgraded differentials.

On the front gears G2 offers both OEM and a Performance Series of gear sets. A wide range of ratios are available for most common axles and even a few uncommon ones. Gear sets in both standard and reverse rotation are offered. These gears are durable and setup easily.
G2 has their own line of cast steel and aluminum differential covers. While some users prefer steel covers for their superior strength, the aluminum covers provide more protection than the stock units and provide better cooling of the differential fluid. Besides their own line of covers, you can also order a wide range of covers from other manufacturers directly from G2.

You can think of G2 Axle and Gear as a one stop differential parts shop. On this front, they also offer installation kits, bearings, axles seals, U-joints, brake upgrades, Lube Locker gaskets and even Royal Purple fluids — virtually everything you might need for your differential rebuild or upgrade. Take a look at some of what they have to offer here, but if you don"t see, it give the G2 Gear Squad a call, if they don"t have it, they"ll try and find it for you.

G2 offers a wider range of replacement differential covers. Here"s a small sampling of what is available from left to right: thick stamped steel from Dana for Dana 30, cast steel from ARB for Dana 35, cast steel from G2 for Dana 44 and cast aluminum from G2 for Dana 60.

G2 offers a wide selection of gear ratios to suit your needs. Here"s a Dana 30 in 3.73, Dana 44 in 4.09 and Dana 60 in 4.88 ratios. Notice how the pinion gears are all about the same size. As your gear ratio gets lower, (higher numerically) the pinion size decreases. This means that larger tires with low gears should require a carrier size upgrade to maintain the strength ratio you had in stock trim.

Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest differences. Here are three LubeLocker differential gaskets. From the bottom around clockwise: Dana 35, Dana 44 and Dana 30 gaskets. These relatively inexpensive gaskets are thicker than standard and coated on both sides with several silicone beads and are reusable. This makes service on the trail easy, if required, and maintenance at home simpler. They are cheap too, usually priced under $25. Available for many Jeep, Ford, GM and Dodge differentials and some automatic transmissions too.

G2 offers gears in most popular sizes and ratios and even reverse cut gears too. Here"s a Dana 60 gear set comparison with reverse cut on the left.

Gearing is only one part of the upgraded differential equation. G2 also offers stronger than stock chromoly axles. These are standard with the build to order axle assemblies, but can be ordered separately as an upgrade for your stock Jeep.

Whether you are ordering full axle assemblies, replacement front axle sets, or just need a new U-joint, G2 has you covered. Here"s a heavy duty Spicer that is their standard fare, and a CTM U-joint for extreme duty use. The CTM joint is not suitable for street driven rigs as it doesn"t have true roller bearings, but the added cross section allows greatly increased strength for extreme trail use.

Outer axle seals for Dana 30 and 44 front housings. These simple and inexpensive parts help keep mud and other debris out of the axle tubes. Mud runners lover them.

For Jeep owners, G2 offers brake upgrade kits from Stainless Steel Brakes. Here"s the Tri-Power 3-piston front caliper for the JK Wrangler 2007-up. This brake upgrade will improve stopping distance and can be ordered in a variety of anodized colors. Upgrade calipers and kits are available for a wide range of applications.

G2 now offers a rear disc brake kit for Jeep Dana axles. It comes standard with Powerslot rotors for longer life and better braking. This kit works on most Dana 44, and 35 rear axle housings.

If you are considering an ARB differential for your traction aid upgrade, don"t forget the compressor. One compressor will operate one or both of your ARBs and can be used to fill your tires when you need to air up after a day of fun on the trail.

G2 and 4 Wheel Parts offer Royal Purple gear oil for maximum protection. If you are ordering complete axle assemblies, gear and/or locker upgrades for your existing axle or are just staying stock, consider this premium Royal Purple gear oil. Your axles will thank you for it.

For those who are the D.I.Y. type, G2 offers complete gear installation kits.
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