Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Closed knuckle D70
A buddy is planning to put a flat-fender Power Wagon back into service - make it safe and functional but not historically correct.
Among other things he's worried about the reliability of the D70 front axel, particularly the closed knuckles which he fears will trap mud and wear out the U-joints. Also he would like to put disk brakes on it.
Until he mentioned the disk brakes I was steering him towards replacing the seals around the knuckle balls and letting it go. Doing a brake conversion makes me think that he might be better off looking for a newer axel, off something like a power company bucket truck.
So, what's so bad about the closed knuckle axels? How often does a D70 or Rockwell passenger-side drop front axel turn up? And how pricey are they when you can find one?
I spent several weeks prowling junk yards around here and never saw anything heavier than a 44. But then I didn't go to any yards specializing in heavy trucks.