Join Date: Oct 2001
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
SAS D44 vs 60, leaf or coil?
I'm not ready to do this yet. But I am (and have been) seriously thinking about it for the future. I know what I want to do. Go D44 with Leafs. My reasoning revolves around the basics, cost. I see Biggie Truck has a highpinion D44 from an '79 F150, complete hub to hub for $150. Now, if he happened to be closer, I would probably snatch that up. I am told my gearing and ARB will swap over. If true, I would have my axle, with the gearing and locker ready to go. The driveshaft should be a bolt on. Not sure about the hubs and spindle. I would actually like to be able to mount my ABS sensor and toner on to this new axle. That would probably require a bit of work. Before popping under the truck, I would upgrade the shafts to Warn Alloy ($300?)and use the stockers as spares. I would also maybe get a pair of CTM's ($300). I would think that would be a pretty good setup for my plan of continuing to use 35's. Any opinion here? I just can't see going 60 in my case. The added money needed not only for the axle, but for the locker, well.....
Now, the big question:
coil vs. leaf suspension. What I am after is simplicity and strength. I reviewed (again) Brian Soderblum's D44/coil install, and it seems overly complicated with all the trackbar and radius arm BS. Leafs I feel can work on the newer Broncos with "accordian" front boxed frame section. I took a few basic measurments and one could run leafs all the way up and connecting to the front flat part of the frame (boxed)in front of that rippled section. One could always reinforce that area. It might actually get reinforced through a winch mount attached there. At the rear, where the current radius arm attaches to the frame, would be apx. 59-62" in total length, with the axle roughly in the middle of that. The shackle would be mounted at the back, so it would be wise to move the axle forward of it's current position. The leaf presents the challenge of attachment to the frame where it won't obstruct the tires. The frame also appears to not be just a simple straight line through this area, but curves in or out in a couple places. This would be the biggest hurdle though. No track bar, no radius arms. Steering, well, not sure if problems might be enountered there with a spring over setup. I would not think so. Maybe this would be more difficult because the D44's usually were under coil setups? Opinions?
I think most folks generally feel that coils ride smoother. I think either suspension option will produce equally good results off-road. To me, it just seems that the leaf idea is the easier to fab up, if any of this could be considered easy [img]images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]