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Thread: Revolution 5.38 Pinion Blew Up

  1. #1
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    Revolution 5.38 Pinion Blew Up

    I had a 5.38 Revolution gear and pinion put in, about 3 years ago (so it's outside of the warranty!). After some grinding noise that went along with the rotation of the wheels, I popped the rear diff cover to find a lot of metal in there. I put the cover back on, took it to a different shop than the one that installed the gear and had them look to make sure everything was installed properly, it was. They're telling this is what happens when you put a 5.38 in a Dana 44. They're recommending that I drop down to a 4.88 and change the TCase.

    It's an 05 tj rubi with 70,000 miles on it. There are maybe 15,000 miles on the new gears. I've wheeled it maybe twice with the new gears. I mostly wheel in rocks, cause that's what Colorado has. It's on 37 tires. The Dana 44 is original. The first time I heard the noise was on the street, not the trails, so I don't believe the pinion was damaged on the trail (dunno).

    My questions are:
    1) Did I just get unlucky and I should replace the 5.38 with another 5.38?
    2) I live and wheel in Colorado, wouldn't 4.88 be too high? My biggest issue is that I have a manual & I'm attempting to not burn up the clutch in the rocks.
    3) Is it worth replacing the TCase?
    4) Do you agree with going down to a 4.88 & swapping the TCase or should I do something different? Suggestions appreciated!

    Thank you in advance!
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  2. #2
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Revolution 5.38 Pinion Blew Up

    Split the difference. Consider 5.13.

    5.38 pinion in a 44 is small and weak. Failure point.


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  3. #3
    Old Timer jdofmemi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiend View Post
    Split the difference. Consider 5.13.

    5.38 pinion in a 44 is small and weak. Failure point.


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    ☝️Solid advice☝️

    I'm not sure why they would recommend changing the transfer case. If you have a Rubicon, it should already have a 4:1 low range.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiend View Post
    Split the difference. Consider 5.13.

    5.38 pinion in a 44 is small and weak. Failure point.
    That's what I said, but they told me the 5.13 is just slightly larger than the 5.38, that neither of them should be in a Dana 44. That true?

  5. #5
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    5:13's will live in a D44 with 37's no problem
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  6. #6
    Guy with a Red 2-Door cozdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CO_love View Post
    That's what I said, but they told me the 5.13 is just slightly larger than the 5.38, that neither of them should be in a Dana 44. That true?
    5.13 will be larger per say because it has less and bigger teeth than a 5.38 ratio. 5.13 is really the largest you should go in a d44.
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  7. #7
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CO_love View Post
    That's what I said, but they told me the 5.13 is just slightly larger than the 5.38, that neither of them should be in a Dana 44. That true?
    Plenty of people, myself included, have successfully run 5.13s in a 44 with 37s. Unless you’re running a V8 conversion or you lack even a modicum of finesse, it should be fine.


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  9. #9
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    & that's in a tj, not kj? From what I've found the tjs gears are slightly smaller

  10. #10
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Good point. My experience is with a JK, which does have larger gears.


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