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  #1  
Old 12-30-1999, 07:16 PM
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Default Solid axle swap shop

Check out the following website www.foothilloffroad.com. The shop performs solid axle swaps for Toyotas. For any of you that
currently have solid axles, let me know what think of their process, price, etc. The basic swap for a toyota is $3000. I would imagine
they would do a swap for a nissan, maybe charge more if the required work is a little different.

Would it be better to go with a dana 44 instead of the toyota axle. Would the dana 44 cost more?

Thanks for any feedback.

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  #2  
Old 12-31-1999, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

For anyone that is interested, I sent an email to foothilloffroad.com regarding doing a swap on a nissan and got the following reply:

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 21:26:24 -0800
From: Tom Grancey <foothil@foothilloffroad.com>
To: andrew cooledge <cool_edge_a@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Solid Axle swap for a Nissan

Others have asked this same question. We've done a bit of research, and
the work
involved seems to be more than they are willing to pursue, so we
haven't
actually
done one yet.. The biggest challenge is the construction at the front
of
the frame. The
width is different in front of and behind the axle, so there's some
brackets and braces
required to build it out. If I recall correctly, there's some steering
issues as well, such
as relocation of the steering gear, pitman arm, and drag link setups.
Bottom line is
it could be done, but is probably more expensive that most people are
willing to spend.
We estimated it to be a $5,000 project.

Thanks for your interest,
Tom Grancey
Foothill Offroad
-------------------------------
andrew cooledge wrote:

> >From your website, I know that you specialize in
> Toyotas. Have you/would you do it for a nissan?
>
> Thanks

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  #3  
Old 12-31-1999, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

The Frame "WIDTH" is not a concern, the only MINOR concern with the frame is the soft arch in the front. If you look at most IFS equiped vehicles the front frame arch's have alot less arch as opposed to most solid axle equiped vehicles. This does make restrict the amount of travel up front, but can be corrected with a little extra work playing with the steering box location and linkages. I myself didn't want or should I say have the extra cash & time to start playing around again. With being the only swap I new of for my truck at the time I had no other references or examples to learn from, it was all done by scratch? I know that if you go with Leafs up front that will save you some money on the swap.
Did that quote for $5000.00 included parts or was it just labor? I don't know of any Toy axles with the dif on the drivers side, so unless your swapping motors etc to, I'd stick with the Dana, and not just the Early Bronco's have what you need but some of the old Jeeps have the right ones as well, CJ's I think???
Basically aside from modifying the crossmember to accomodate the radius arms the only other area of concern is the oil pan, which depending on how high you want to go may need to be knotched out to clear the dif.

You know, after all the babbling It just occured to me that the frame might need modifications for width if they were talking leaf-spring set-up??? This I'm am not sure of since I went coils, so if they we're refering to leafs then I'll shut-up now until I've consulted my Fabrication & Mechanical GOD???




Chris J.
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]It's not the Biggest, but at least I use it![img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-31-1999, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

Here is the easy way to get leaf springs up front:


And here is the real thing in place:


Sure this is on my Toyota, but the idea is the same. This solves the lack of arch in the frame since you are lowering the spring mounting points. This also gets you about 3-4" of lift built in - and lets you run flatter leaf springs for a better ride.
To apply this to other vehicles, simply adjust the overall width for the width of your axle spring perches, and adjust the width of where the spring eye mounts to work with the springs width you chose. You can see more here:
http://www.tennessee4x4.com/toyota/crossmem.htm

David
Davids 4x4 Page
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  #5  
Old 12-31-1999, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

Thanks for the information Chris and David. I think the $5000 price tag was for everything, parts and labor.
David, you've got a pretty nice website.

For now, I quess I'll live with the IFS.

Andy

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  #6  
Old 12-31-1999, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

Foothills does a Toyota for $3000 and really all things considered, $5000 is not out of order for a Nissan--- especially for the first
few--until they know what they are doing. But in my opinion 5K is too much $$$ on an old Truck---
I did it my self for about $1000. I paid $200 for an axle out of a 1980 Toy--- why a 1980? cause the gear ratio was the same
as my Nissan 720's 4.38 to 1-- And if I used a Bronco Dana 44-- I would have to trade ratios and spend $$$.
Here in Denver there are a couple of Yota only yards-- so I collected parts there with ease--- . I had them cutt off
all the hangers and shakels-- and got a driveline and lifted springs-- I spent $500 more in mounting parts(springs, driveline etc
over the cost of the solid axle itself. I did not have a cutting torch-- I got robbed and lost it. So I cut off the Nissan IFS & hangers
with a drill motor and friction saw. Also a big thing if you do it yourself-- have lots and lots of wooden blocks to block-up the butchered
Nissan carcus---so you have easy access (safe too) as you work on it. And man after you start wacking-away on your old IFS
you'll wonder it you are just nutts and have distroyed a good Truck-- its a doozy of a job. Not to brag-- but it takes self-confidence
and guts--- and faith-- I confess that the anxiety caused me symptoms of impotance for a few weeks.

I did this deed to my 720 this past summer. I started by bugging the Hell out of Toy owners who did it first--- I used Toy swaps as a guide
---but the swap is NOT quite as easy as a Toy-- only
due to frame differences. ( and when you do not have examples to copy-- it is alway harder too). How you mount it to the frame
affects caster alignment and lift---- and it is hard to judge how it will turn-out on a Nissan -- cause the frame is not only narrower--
but arched differently too--- and shorter in the front.
It seems that the IFS Toy frame is not much different from the old solid axle Toy frames-- so the
adaption is a natural one. On the Nissan you have to adapt the solid axle to a frame narrowerand the frame rails are at different
elevations where the hangers mount. I messed with this geometry-- and finally made an approximation. And to this day,
until my Truck is smogged and street legal, I will not know for sure about the caster allignment until I drive it on the street and
see now it tracks. I may have to put shims under the spring pads, or cut and lower/raise the front spring hangers to realign.
But such adjustments are minor-- but important.

David above shows a very simular method that I used for the front end.

I used a 3x3 1/4 inch thick angle Iron for the front hangers. I made measurements and welded my front hangers on the angle Iron
before mounting(welding) the angle to the front of my Nissan frame. The frame is narrower on the Nissan, but the front angle
iron hanger mounting solves that problem with ease.

On a 720 the rear shakel hanger must also mount out-board and below the frame. I made brackets for the hangers and custom hangers.
This was a complex task. I had to find heavy steel tubing the same I.D. as the spring bushings and build the brackets to hold the tubing.
I ended-up honing slightly smaller tubing to fit the bushings.

When working with a Nissan, using Toyota front axle springs , due to the shape of the Nissan Frame (720 atleast) the Spring hangers
and shakel hangers seem to mount easiest being located below the frame. On a Toyota the rear shakels mounts through a hole
in the frame. On a Nissan swap it is easiest to build a bracket below( and outboard) the frame rails--- which automatically gives you about 3-4 inches
of lift. Likewise, the front hangers(on an angle iron) are also mounted in a low-than stock Toy position--- providing lift.
And ofcourse getting more than 3 inches of lift is one reason for swapping a solid front axle into a Nissan.

No doubt it is easier to put a Toy soild axle in a Toy than into a Nissan.

If you have a HardBody or Pathfinder a Bronco Dana 44 is better, due to T-case location.
On a 720 the T-case is centered and divorced( and further back) so either a Dana or Toyota can be used.

On the 720 you will be running the new front driveline at compound angle---(this seems really freaky) but since the divorced T-case is so far back
and the front driveline sooooo Looong it works just fine. For the front driveline, I recommend building a driveline out of
both a Toyota front driveline and an extra Nissan Rear driveline. The Nissan rear driveline U-joint is well suited to run at a compound angle too.
What you do is get an extra rear T-case output flange (cause it is big to fit the rear driveline flange) and replace the T-case front flange with that extra rear one.

The front splines and seals in the Nissan divorced case allow the flange swap. This Toy front/Nissan rear new driveline makes a nice cheap
but heavy front driveline.

On a Toyota solid axle swap doing crossover steering is the way to go. Otherwise you have to use a Toyota
Banana type steering and steering gear.


My truck has been out of service with engine/tranny swaps and the biggest challenge SMOGGING the swap with Fuel Injection.


I will make an effort to get good pics of my Truck and post them.

I know of a couple of others who used to post on 0ff-road.com who went Toyota solid too-- but never actually
saw pics of the swap.

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  #7  
Old 12-31-1999, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Solid axle swap shop

I wonder if a guy took a full size dana 44 and took the long axle side off and replaced it with another short axle from another setup or had a shop cut down the long side to match the short side if the total width would be narrow enough for a 720? If it is then that would be sweet as it would allow the differential to be in the middle. Anyways, just a thought.

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