“Everyone knows that sooner or later they’re going to bend their stock axle housings,” says Jeep specialist Jay Barnett. That is exactly what happened to the stock axles on Jay’s 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited.
This is a common problem amongst Jeepers, as stock axle housings can rarely survive the wear and tear subjected to them by the average offroader. A bent axle housing can chew up a Jeep’s carrier, spider gears, lockers, wheel bearings and brakes. In other words: it is not an issue to be trifled with.
Jay’s bent axles and the resulting tire tilt were becoming a serious risk to his JK’s health, so he finally decided it was time for an upgrade. He runs 35-inch Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 tires, so he needed a tough axle to match.
Jay took his Jeep to be fitted with G2’s new CORE 44 axle housing in both the front and rear of his Jeep. The CORE 44 features a complete housing redesign, which is built specifically for the sort of hard wheeling Jay puts his Jeep through.
While there, he also upgraded his gear ratio, drastically improving his ability to crawl up and down steep inclines. His installation was fully customized to his brand of wheeling, with adjustable control arm mounts built right into the axles, allowing for no-hassle alignments.
“I’m amazed, the difference is astonishing,” he says, “The CORE 44’s really address all of the weaknesses of the factory housings to prevent any failures.”
The CORE 44 axle housings are completely American-made and built tough. The housing is cast from ductile iron for strength against impact. They utilize the latest generation high pinion Dana 44 gear design and feature massive, forged inner C’s to resist bending as well as integrated skid plates on lower control arm mounts.
All of the brackets are laser-cut and CNC-formed from 3/8-inch steel and all other potential weak points have been located and reinforced. They also have ribs for additional strength, which function as skid plates for even more protection and gussets for increased support to the pinion shaft and reduced chance of gear deflection under a heavy load.
Jay also enjoys the thoughtful perks G2 has included in their new housings, such as a dipstick to directly check the axle’s fluids, the ARB air locker option, the inclusion of a G-lock adjustable spanner nut for setting the back lash and carrier bearing preload and the housing’s easy installation with factory mounting points.
Recently, the difference for Jay’s Jeep became extremely noticeable when he took his JK out for a week at Moab.
“I ran for nearly a whole week on full tires-I didn’t air down until a day or two before we left, when we took on some 7-8 level trails,” he says, “but it handled the 5-6 level trails beautifully at 36 psi.”
Jay recommends the CORE 44’s to every Jeeper, whether as an upgrade from stock or as a replacement for bent or broken axle housings. The original 44’s on the JKs are notoriously weak and slapped together as “good enough,” but the CORE 44’s are built to address all of those weaknesses and then some.