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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am swapping a Scout Dana 44 into my TJ and I am cutting the brackets off of my D35 donor housing and re-using them on the Scout Dana 44. I just want to see if anyone has any tips for measuring and placement of the brackets so I can get it right the first time.
Thanks,
Aaron

 

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I just did the same thing to my Scrambler, I used '78 Scout II axles, so I had to move the perches as well, albeit they are leaf sprung and not coils, but the same idea should pertain. I moved the rear perches but left the front intact, I just moved the springs outside the frame, pumpkin got in the way and I didn't want to shorten the axles or have one side 4" longer than the other.
I measured the old axle and got the exact width between the perches, checked them for center against the pumpkin. I had to move the rear perches 1.75" inward on the Scout axles to match the same track as the CJ. I then set up both axles so the perches were level. I then welded a reference tab using 1/4" steel to both sides of the Scout axle so the tabs were inside of where the new perches would be, level, and equidistant from the pumpkin. I then cut the old perches off, measured the remaining distance to the new perches, leveled them, and tack-welded them on. I did not re-use the old perches but bought new ones. I'd cut the old ones off carefully so you can weld them back on. I then checked my measurements and leveling, and fully welded them into place. All in all it was a relatively short procedure, I spent more time measuring and re-measuring to make sure I got everything right. When I was done I cut the reference tabs off and grinded everything down, then painted with Hammerite for a sturdy finish. I hope this helps and your conversion goes well.

JEEPN
'97 TJ Sport
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled!
'71 Commando SC-1
'51 CJ-3A
'47 CJ-2A
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the first thing i would do is to make very careful measurements of your old housing. pick a center point for reference and measure from there. you will also need a magnetic protractor because the angles of all of those brackets will need to be accounted for as well. make a drawing showing more than one plane of the axle for good reference.

when you go to put the brackets on the new axle use the rule "measure three times weld once". dont forget that you may have to take into account the tube diameter difference of the two housings. this really is not that hard to do, but make sure you take your time and it will turn out just fine. you may want to add a little extra material with the brackets. TJs are notorious for tearing the brackets from the housings.

dan

/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.giflet it snow/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will measuring my stock pinion angle on the flat spot of the yolk while the housing is mounted in the Jeep and the with the Jeep on a flat level surface give me and accurate measurement for the swap? Will placing the new housing on a set of jack stands with a block under the pinion holding it at the right angle be adequate for setting up the brackets? If I use adjustable upper control arms will they make up for any screw ups I might make?
Thanks,
Aaron

 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I put a D60 under my TJ. Didn't use any of the brackets off the D35. Made all of them. Reasons are two fold. First the new ones are much heavier and secondly raised the spring platform about an inch or so off the axle for some additional lift. Also put a spring retainer on the platform.
We took rough measurements from the D35. It was laying on the floor for inspection anytime a measurement or question came up, and the brackets were not removed. Main thing we did was position the axle in relation to the rest of the Jeep. Measured from rear axle center to front axle center on both sides, got it lined up, got the pinion aligned properly then welded all the brackets on where they belonged. We let the vehicle tell us where to weld the brackets as opposed to copying the D35. The spring platforms were tacked on prior to overall alignment and set up. Did that by measuring, and fortunately measured correctly the first time. They did not have to be repositioned. If you use a non adjustable track bar (stock) this is the time to set up for whatever suspension lift you want to finally wind up with. You can adjust the axle properly from side to side, then weld the axle end of the track bar wherever it needs to go.
We had the Jeep on a lift then jacked the axle up to the Jeep. Had enough room to walk around under the veh, so it was easy to measure and easy to weld.
Wasn't a difficult job. Making the brackets took longer than attaching the axle.
It has worked out well.

Doug '97 TJ
My Web Site
 

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I first cut all the pearches/shock mounts etc... of old and new axles(they were leaf spring) then i put together without welding the spring pearches at all, i installed everthing including tires and set the jeep on the ground. then loosened the U-bolts and rotated the axles to get the "pinion angle/steering caster" that i wanted then welded the pearches and shock mounts on. I'm not sure if you could do this with coil spring mounts or not.

3/4tonYJ
My Jeep Page
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Doug,
Do you think exactly copying the Dana 35 will work for me? I don't have the resources to do some of the things you did nor do I have the lift I will call "final" yet. I am running 31" MTs with a 1.75" spacer lift right now. I just need to get this thing under there like a stock Dana 44 would be.
Thanks,
Aaron

 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We can talk .001ths (I'm learning to be a machinist) or tape measurements. An example of .001ths: Your rear axle is EXACTLY under your Jeep. Positioned perfectly, in other words. You put the 44 in EXACTLY the same position. The diameter of axle tubes are larger on the 44. If you mount your track bar in exactly the same position, the Jeep body will move to the side a small amount simply because the axle tube is larger. Is this enough to make you want to break out a 6 foot micrometer? /wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif Probably not. If you hadn't noticed it yet, as you lift the Jeep it tends to move sideways over the axles. An adjustable track bar pretty much solves this, but if you are rewelding and rebracketing anyway, only makes sense to set the bracket on the axle so that the stock trackbar will line the axle up properly.
As far as placement of the brackets is concerned a tape measure will work. It may cross your mind to move the bottom control arm brackets up on the axle so that they are not able to be damaged by big rocks etc. Not a good idea. The control arms serve two purposes. They keep the axles from moving in a front to rear manner. Pretty easy to understand that. The second thing they do is limit axle rotation. Brackets are mounted generally in the 12 o'clock / 6 o'clock positions. If you move the bottom bracket into the 3 o'clock position, it will be out of the way of damage, but will not contribute to preventing axle rotation or axle wrap.
The stock spring perches are positioned for a stock axle setup. If you rotate the axle to adjust the drive line angle, the perches are tilted to the rear more than stock. Same is true of the control arm brackets and shock brackets - rotated out of stock position. So, to answere your question, "Do you think exactly copying the Dana 35 will work for me?" Yes, probably will. Would it be better to mount them differnetly to accomodate the lift? Again, yes, probably would be better. Does that mean the wheels will fall off if you don't reposition the brackets? Nope, it'll probably work ok either way, just a little better if it is set up right to start with.
Personally I would rather set the brackets with the axle in its final position. That way you can really put the brackets exactly where they are supposed to be. Might be a little more difficult to do it that way especially if the rig is on the ground. Sure the brackets can be pre welded. After all that's the way you order them from a custom builder, but to me getting the brackets positioned so that they line up just right, aren't cocked at an angle causing a bind in the control arm or whatever else is more important. It's also a very good idea to be able to move the axle through its full range of movement to see if it binds anywhere and stays lined up. Easier to do this with the springs removed.
Have fun. Let us know how it turns out.

Doug '97 TJ
My Web Site
 
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