Dana 30 for a wagon?


Precision Fit
Oct 16, 2009
Kuna, Idaho
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
  2. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
I'm working on a 55 wagon and wanted to up-grade the front differential. Not wanting to spend the big bucks on a Scout 44, I'm considering a Dana 30 from a early CJ. Will keep the 4:88 ratio to match the stock rear 44. Is this a good choice and has anyone made this modification. Got this info from JP Magazine

81 1/2-'86 Jeep CJ Wide-Track Dana 30

Differential Location: Passenger side
Lug Pattern: 5-on-5.5
Good For: Slight strength upgrade for '41-'71 CJs and more width (56 inches wide) for '41-'81 CJs running up to 33-inch tires
Pros: Fairly common, factory disc brakes, bolt-in swap for some CJs, lots of aftermarket upgrades available
Cons: Spring-under housing, weak locking hubs, weak U-joints
Identified By: 5-bolt locking hubs, Dana 30 diff cove

I like the idea of keeping same bolt pattern, spring under, disk brakes, and open knuckle. Won't be doing any heavy duty off roading, and this looks like the easiest install. Thanks for any info.
Sounds good on paper. Couple questions though spring mounts/perches same size? Same locations on axle for correct spring line up? Any change to pinion angle?
Dana 30 is an OK axle, just don't turn too tight in 4WD.

The turning radius of that open knuckle will be one hell of an improvement. I've looked into this a lot, and the problem I came across was how to get the tie rod connected to the bellcrank. All of the people that have swapped in the CJ Dana 30 have gone with the Saginaw steering box, also available on the later CJ. The spring perches will likely be different. They went wide track in 1981 or 1983, I forget, where the axle is wider. I can measure and compare the spring perches from the Dana 30 on my CJ and my original Dana 25 on my wagon, but mine is a later CJ wide track axle.

After all my research I decided to stick with the Dana 25 to keep the stock steering. For me, it would be too much trouble to go with the Saginaw steering gearbox, and I'd lose too much originality.
Thanks for the reply,this was the kind of information I was looking for. On my truck, I used a 44 from a scout and the steering box. Mounted the steering box on the frame rail, same position as the scout, worked out very well and doesn't show from outside the vehicle. I like the turning radius and tracking. What I was wondering was backing plate to backing plate length between the 25 and a 30. I plan on having to move the spring perches.