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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 04:34 PM
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Axles

Maybe this has been discussed, but why can't a person use the front D44 from a pre-88 Chevy for their Jeep if they're going SOA? Can't you just narrow it to fit the width that you need and put different spring perches on it? How about the 1-ton D60's w/passenger offset from the older Dodge W30? I guess I'm at a loss as to why these axles aren't finding their way under more Jeeps with SOA setups... Is cost the factor that keeps these conversions from happening? Most of the local mechanics/salvage yards around here are pretty much stumped when I ask them about it.... Anyone? TIA...Bret

'56 CJ-5, 283, t-90/d18, 27/44, 2.5"(soon), 33's(soon), cage.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 05:02 PM
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Re: Axles

I have heard that the cost of finding a axle assembly, disassembling, cutting and welding the housing, cutting the axle shafts and having them splined will rapidly approach the cost of a prefitted axle housing with axles. Not to mention, most us do it yourselfers dont have the proper equipment to cut, align, and weld the housings ourselves.
Mizu

post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 05:37 PM
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Re: Axles

I have to agree with Mizu. If the tubes are not exactly lined up with the center pumpkin, you will wear out the splines where the insert with the carrier in no time. Additionally, the length of the tubes has to be exact....case in point...the tollerance on an AMC 20 axle is .040 on both sides. Do you think you can cut and weld to that tollerance? I know I can't. I'm lucky to get my welds to even hold.

A good question to ask yourself is "what is my time worth?". I think you will find that it is almost always cheaper to buy it ready made.....funny how that works.....I guess that 'doesn't' explain why I keep making my own stuff. To be honest though, I would't try that one myself....or at least, not yet.

John......southern CA
84CJ7, 3"lift, 32"BFG, 4.10's, ARB Locker, Solid Axle's, Durabak, York Air
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 06:07 PM
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Re: Axles

what you are describing is the best way to build a housing for spring over, but you have to do a lot of work to make them work. most of your big housing builders use these housings when you mention spring over because it is much easier to set up for the right angles. the problem with trying this at home is most of us do not have the jigs and equipment to do this right.


dan
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 06:50 PM
 
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Re: Axles

the Chevy 44 is a PITA to prepare for a CJ from everything Ive seen.

Id give anything to have 0.040 tolerance daily to work with!
try 0.002 most of the time!, on a 38.890 inch diameter part, flat to within 0.005 and round to with in 0.015


its just so much work you would be time/$$ ahead starting with a different axle.
you can find a wagoneer axle for dirt money and its easy from there...




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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 07:01 PM
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Re: Axles

yes it can be done at home.. Elusive has done it several times. and i once.. but we have access to a hobby shop on base that has many different tools.. what holds most people back is just that.. proper tools.. to set this up. you can grind off the knuckles with a grinder.. takes awhile.. but it can be done.. you can even cut the tube.. and you can send the axle shaft off to get cut and replined for under a $100.. the problem comes into welding the knuckles back on at the proper angle.. you need a level and a protractor for that.. then weld them back on.. i guess its just alot of work... and most people would rather have it in a box.. like their food..

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 07:03 PM
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Re: Axles

yes.. and the other very popular alternative, the scout 44, already has 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern. actually, i belive most people could cut down their own axles.. it's really not that hard. setting up caster angle requiresa a little skill, but it's nothing a carefull day of measurment wont cure... i set everything up, then had it welded.. I'm NO welder!.. the chevy dana 44 has a MUCH thicker tube than most other dana 44's, and it allready has the flat spot on top of the steering knuckle....if i did it again, I'd use a dana 60 front

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 08:51 PM
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Re: Axles

I have done this twice, and both time they came out perfect, and was very easy. The one under my '83 CJ-7 now has an early Chevy Dana 44 with both sides cut, mostly so I could dial the caster in. I shortened the short side to use the Wagoneer's inner axle shaft, which was about 1 3/8 inchs shorter. (purchased new for $35) From there I measured from the center bolt hole in the cast part of the housing over to where I was going to locate my other perch.(the distance of my frame), I believe that it was about 271/2 inches. From there I measured from the short side center bolt hole out, and mathced that distance on the long side. This side I had the inner axle shaft sent out and re-splined. Both outer ball joint flanges were only tacked wielded to the tube with a good guess for caster. When I was all done, I put the Jeep on the alignment rack, took caster readings, which were 61/2 degrees positive on the right, so I wielded it completly around, and cut the tack wield on the left side, and hammered it to 61/4 degrees positive, and re-wielded it. I used Chevy knuckles with flat tops for the high clearance steering, and ford rotors. I am using M.O.R.E.'S SRS kit and stock Wrangler springs. The only problem I ran into, was the forward, aft location of the axle. It could be about 1 inch more forward, which would give me better fender clearance, and line the pitman arm to the high clearance knuckle perfectly. Tomorrow I pick up my custom reversed wrapped springs from Rocky Mountain Spring.($135 ea) which have a relocated center bolt. I did this 2 years ago and had no problems. Many thanks to Jeepskates website for the knowledge and great info!

I have another axle I completed about 3 months ago for my new project. It is basically the same thing, but uses newer Chevy Dana 44 knuckles (light wielght 3/4 ton) with the larger brakes and the 8 lug wheels. I am trying to match the reverse grind Dana 60 center section I picked up from a '99 Ford F-350. I am running into a problem trying to get the 35 spline axles to go through the '73 Dana 60 Chevy spindles, which I used for the tubes. I wanted to use 13 inch drums, but may have to revert to semi-float to make it work. My new project is just a collection of parts I aquired, you know, a '98 5.2 Magnum, 3,000 mile NV-4500, Dana 300 4-1, perfect condition '86 CJ-7 frame. Any suggestions?

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 09:33 PM
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Re: Axles

<font color=purple>Don't '99 F350's have Dana 50 fronts? '97 & down are 60, as are '99 & up 450/550, but '99 & up 250/350 should be 50 fronts - or can you special order the 60?</font color=purple>

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2000, 09:55 PM
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Re: Axles

?? Definatly a 60 or a 61. I got it for free from a local yard. The owner says that it came from a '99 F-350 wrecker. No gears or carrier in the housing, which was bent back about 3/4 inch on the long side. Spent a long time cutting the tubes from the housing, never want to do that again! I had an old 60 from a 3/4 ton Chevy rear that the outside diameter of the tube was the same size, so I chop sawed through the housing to get the proper length. A friend gave me a set of reverse grind 3.54 gears from his 60 and they set up properly. I planned on buying ($275) 4.56 gears, and wanted to make sure that there wasn't a problem with the housing, so I set them up, and it went ok. The Detroit is available in 30 and 35 spline ($475) and I didn't buy them yet, as I am trying to figure how to do it. Dana only makes 3.54 and 4.10 gears for the reverse 60. I thought that the 50, 51 stuff was only in the ttc independent front, this is a beam axle. I do have the id tag, can you help me identify it? Randy's says that their ring and pinion will fit eather the 60 or the 61 housing. At those prices, I would hate to mess up!

p.s. anybody need a straight cut 4.11 set for a Dana 60, with an open carrier with a spun carrier bearing? free, you pay shipping.

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