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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 12:48 PM
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-SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

I know that the subject of axles has been around for a long time and I apologize. I did a search for axle help and have more questions than answers now.

My AMC 20 went into self destruct mode yesterday and not sure exactly what's happening with it, but oil every where and horrible grinding noises from the dif and left axle shaft near the hub. (axle/hub started first) Needless to say it's undriveable at this point which is bad because it leaves only the wifes XJ for me to beat up.

On to the need for your collective help - I should begin this by saying that I have financial constraints before I fix this thing around $500 max and that's waiting until after the first of the year. In time, I wanted to put a Dana60 rear in my CJ and if it's possible now ($$$), I need to know exactly what to look for at the boneyards (Chevy probably, higher spline count preferable) but I need the details. Can this be done with cutdown, resplining and the what not's with my budget?

Should I just grit my teeth and get the one piece axle shafts (maybe R&P if it grenaded) for the 20 and put the 60 swap on the future things to do list?

Last but not least, there is a CJ same year as mine at the boneyard with a AMC20 that was in good shape (not sure of the gear ratio) that I could probably get for really cheap. It would be doing what goes against my better judgement buying it, but might save me enough to make the 60 swap more forseable in the next year.

I'm in need of any and all advice on this because it's my daily driver as well as weekend fun (was anyway) and anything would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the lengthy post.

BentMetal

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 01:37 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

first thing you need to do... is tear apart that amc20 and see exactly what is wrong.. if its just a shaft.. it makes a big difference in things...

two.. you say you are looking at a d60 upgrade... why and what for? are questions needed to be addressed here.. if you are planning to stick with 36" or smaller tires.. what size engine? what type of wheeling do you do?

these things all come into play here..
if you are staying with decent sized tires.. running a I6 or stock v8... doing mostly mud.. your amc 20 will be plenty.. so a one piece axle upgrade might be best all around..
one thing i will say is.. if you truely are wanting/needing bigger axles.. to do both of them at the same time.. so.. you might just want to pick up that axle at the boneyard for cheap.. till you get the funds/axles and whatnot for your axle swap...
there are way to many variables here... the biggest one will be yourself.. since its your call.. so ask yourself.. where you want to be next year.. what do you see in your future? then give us as many details as possible..
for a cheap rear axle i would look at the cab and chassis trucks for a 14 bolt.. to address that issue also.. but then its 8 lug.. and huge compared to your front axle..

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 03:39 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

Yeah, what jeepgod said. One other thing, an axle swap is a LOT of work, is it something you are prepared to tackle at this time? And yes a 60 is HUGE, you will definitely lack ground clearance with anything smaller than 38" tires. If you are bound and determined to do a swap, how about a Ford 9 or 8.8?

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 05:53 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

I have two 9" with large bearings and 31 spline and I also have a 60 not sure on what spline it is but if you are interested I will pull it apart and find out. I have promised one of the 9" to kerryp so he will have first pick. Just let me know

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 10:06 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

Thanks for the replies. My plan was to start with the engine and tranny and then when I had all the goods (suspension, drive train and tires at same time).

I have a rebuilt 350 in a family members garage and a 302 at my disposal. I've been looking for a tranny and that was going to be the next purchase and then the motor mounts, AA/Novak and Painless kits to do that job at one time. I might add, that once I accumulated everything I needed for the job, the Jeep was no longer going to be my daily driver and take up semi-permanent residence in the garage.

After the engine and tranny, I wanted to start on the suspension, axles and tires (as a package) by getting the pieces and parts and doing it at the same time. Tire wise, I would like to get into 36's or possibly 38's. I haven't put a lot of time into either because that part of my buildup is down the road.

As for offroad driving, it's mostly desert stuff right now, with what I would call pebble crawling thrown in here and there. Eventually, with time and experience, I would like to graduate into more serious rock crawling and all around offroading. Experience being the biggest key factor and I wanted my Jeep to grow along with the experience level. What I don't want is a "hey look at my cool big Jeep" but rather a solid Jeep that I can build in stages as money and need dictate.

I've learned a lot from everyone here at the board even though I don't post often, I read daily. The do's and don't(s), what works and what doesn't. In the end, the hope is that I don't make mistakes in the direction I'm going that will cost me more to correct than doing it right the first time.

Thanks for any more info.. Believe it or not, I'm basing my decision and what you guys think is the right way for me to go at this point.

BentMetal

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 11:58 AM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

well it sounds like you have a pretty good plan.. another question would be how wide do you want to go? i myself dont like the full width axles of full size trucks... alittle too wide for my taste.. right now i am running wagoneer axles at full width.. and think they are about perfect.. wide.. but not too wide..
mine are around 63" wide from wheel mount to wheel mount.. since i converted my front to 5 lug.. it added about an inch to inch and half to the actual stock width.. then i cut the rear to match...
i would wiegh heavily on what type of wheelin you will be doing.. if you are not hitting the rocks hard.. then i dont see a need for really large axles.. even with the larger tires.. so an amc20/d44 would be great.. you have to keep in mind the wieght of these axles.. and tires.. will have a negative effect on your springs and steering components..
anyways.. im babbling.. if you are not going to do alot of rock crawling.. i dont see a need for the super duper axles.. i know plenty of people with d44's with 36's.. even 38's.. that hold up.. depending on driving style.. i wouldnt push past 36's with a d44 front.. in rock crawling.. just my opinion..
i might look into a wagoneer.. for some axles.. one problem with that.. is you will need a pre 80 for the front axle.. and a post 80 for the rear.. since most of those older ones had the quadratrac tranny setup.. but they have solid axles in them.. 80-86 rears will be amc20's.. with one piece shafts.. thicker tubes than the cj version.. 86-91 will have d44 rears.. and your pre 80's will be d44.. but like i said most will be offset..
for larger axles.. look at a cab and chassis truck/motorhome/utility truck what have you for a rear axle.. they are in the 63" wide ball park.. and are mostly 14 bolts.. or d70's.. some d60's.. but keep in mind a d60 has axle shafts equal to a d44.. you are just getting a larger ring and pinion.. and in most cases a full floater.. is it really that much better? thats the 64 cent question..
for a front look at a chevy front d60.. if you can find them.. but unless you want to run full width.. you will have to shorten them.. dont know of any narrow versions out there..
well ill get off the soap box.. and let someone else chime in..

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 12:37 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

Well not to sound too pesimistic, but I think you have the plan backwards. For me, I'd say do the axle/suspention before the engine/tranny swap. Why, because you wont run the risk of having too much engine for the rest of the Jeep. Also, you might find that if you set your gears up righ,t the straight 6 is enough power (is there such a thing). A cheap and realiable would be a pair of wagoneer dana 44's with 4.56 gears and 35's, with a I6 pushing it all. And for a tranny, I'd recomend a ford T-18 converted to match your dana300. Now if you find you "need" the 350 or 302 then you have the tranny to back it up. with sane driving the axles will hold up fine. If not the font can be upgraded to a HD44 (8 bolt) and a matching 60 can be put in back. My choice for rear dana 60's is ford 3/4 ton vans, narrower than the trucks. Just my $.02.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 02:00 PM
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

I'm going to the boneyard to check out a couple things today. They had an older waggie with the offset rear 44 earlier in the week that I'm sure is still there. I may pick that up for the front if the price is right. As for the rear axle, I'll look and see what they have that may be in the budget. I may even get the 20 off the other CJ and use it until budget, time and experience dictate the need to get into a 60.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 12:40 AM
 
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Re: -SOS- Need help - Jeep Axle Broken

I'd say probably 1 piece shafts in your axle should work untill you bump up to 38's. Getting the junk yard m20 and figuring out what else you want to do would also be a good idea. It's up to you but having a 60 rear and a d30 front just isn't the best mix and you will have to deal with an 8 lug rear and a 5 lug front.

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