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Old December 9th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #1
Jeeptj1999
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So you wanna run a cool front axle?????

You want to impress your muscle car Dad? You tired of hearing dana 60/dana 44 b.s.? You can't handle the $4k price tags? Theres clearly only one option, build your own "This ain't your mama's nine inch" axle. This is a pretty easy thing to do once you have the concept, but a few things are needed:

Axle jig
Welder (both machine and ability)
Grinder/cutoff wheel
BFH
Lathe or machinist friend or a blueprint and a few hundred bucks.

The axle jig is basicly a series of plugs with matching center holes and outter Dia's for your aplication. There around $400 online or you can build one yourself or pay to have one built.

Step 1.

Obtain a "Banjo" style or "early" style 9" housing and cut the ends (they will be oval) so the long side is a tad less then 3" As the first pic shows, you can try to save the housing as far as removing the old tube at the weld, but it's not needed, I only did this side to show a hot rod guy how to remove it.


The edges of the housing are marked to be scalloped but I was done cutting stuff at this point. This is needed since it's hard to sqweeze a seal in there big enough for a 35 spline 1.5" shaft. We will talk seals later.

If you managed to snag a big bearing 9" housing with the 9/16th studs there worth $40-$50 to a hotrod guy on ebay

I scavenged some yokes from a 3/4ton dana 44, they had the 2.750" bore I was looking for and they were pretty much free. There not terribly hard to remove, you cut along the edge of the weld while touching the yoke and eyeball it deeper then the tube. Btw, this is where the BFH comes in to play.

It looks like i'm going to use some 8.8 outter seals as my inner seals. There right to fit a 1.5" shaft and have a 2" o.d. and the cheap/easy to find.


I'm using 3" o.d. 1/2" wall tube, turning the i.d. of each end to 2.5" and deep enough for the seal, then i'll make four 2.5" o.d. plugs for my jig, the o.d. of the yoke end will be 2.750" and 7/8 long to accomadate the ford yoke. I'll get a print and machine the tubes next week, i'll post the print and an estimite to get it machined if you weren't able to do it yourself. I'll prolly run 35 spline inners, CTM's, dana 44 alloy outters and such. I had a few reasons for running 44 outter stuff but you can run 60's outters. One reason was 60 outter stuff is $$$$$$ and won't match my rear bolt pattern. I'm about $20 into this so far, which is good cause I want to run the HI-9 third to the tune of $1800, so I gotta cut corners where I can!

Last edited by Jeeptj1999; December 9th, 2005 at 07:43 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #2
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If it were me (and it's not) I would spend the $$ on the 60 outers and skip the hi9 setup for now (save the $$ till later)

The big problem with front axles is u-joint size. IMHO there is no reason to run a strong R&P and huge shafts if your still running a smaller outer and 297 joints.

That said if I ever get a bug up my @$$ to build a custom front it will be with my d44 with 60 outers. I can make d44 gears last all day...
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyevil
I ever get a bug up my @$$ to build a custom front it will be with my d44 with 60 outers. I can make d44 gears last all day...

Then unless spending an exorberant amount of money on the D44 35 spline stuff, how would you get those bigget Ujoints? Would a bigger ujoint on a smaller D44 shaft be of any benifit? I have not broke a joint, but have broke some shafts.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:43 PM   #4
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I plan on doing this for my MJ. Got a D44 housing for $15 and I've got a buddy from work that's going to help me retube it. I'm pretty psyched about it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyevil

That said if I ever get a bug up my @$$ to build a custom front it will be with my d44 with 60 outers. I can make d44 gears last all day...
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn
Then unless spending an exorberant amount of money on the D44 35 spline stuff, how would you get those bigget Ujoints? Would a bigger ujoint on a smaller D44 shaft be of any benifit? I have not broke a joint, but have broke some shafts.
Your talking with a d60 outer swap? You would need to swap the inner and outer C, then cut down some stock (or aftermarket) d60 shafts to fit your tube lenghts. Since D60 inners are 35 spline you would need a 35 spline locker for your d44.... that would be the biggest cost (if you got a good deal on knuckles and innner C's) in the whole project.

You would get the clearance of a d44, and the strength of d60 shafts.

Don't get me wrong Kevin, I think it's a cool idea... I would just hate to see you do all the work and still break shafts.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #6
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grrrrr be a man.





















not sure why, but thought it fit.

Be man, run mog outers :tonka:
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Old December 10th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #7
Jeeptj1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyevil
Your talking with a d60 outer swap? You would need to swap the inner and outer C, then cut down some stock (or aftermarket) d60 shafts to fit your tube lenghts. Since D60 inners are 35 spline you would need a 35 spline locker for your d44.... that would be the biggest cost (if you got a good deal on knuckles and innner C's) in the whole project.

You would get the clearance of a d44, and the strength of d60 shafts.

Don't get me wrong Kevin, I think it's a cool idea... I would just hate to see you do all the work and still break shafts.
At JCR you know as well as me there 100 ways to build a axle and a 100 reasons to do it a certain way. I feel a dana 44 would be strong enough for me, but I like the 9" gears so darn much I just had to use em. If I use CTM's and alloy outters i'll be pretty strong for me I think. I got a 4cyl and I drive it everywhere I go, I don't wheel to break stuff just yet.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #8
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Installment #2!

Made the 4 pucks to line everything up on my already built jig.


Finished the lathe work on my 3" o.d. 1/2" wall tube


Scallopped the end of the tube on the housing.


Wish i could say fitting it was easy, but it wasn't, it was fit, grind, repeat.


I ended up getting both side ready for weld but cut the night short and actually left the garage.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:25 PM   #9
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How tight of a fit will the coil buckets be on the short side?

It's hard to tell in the pic, but it looks like it might be tight.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:07 PM   #10
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Time for updates !
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 11:46 AM   #11
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Looks cool. I've never seen someone try and tube their own 9".

I'm kinda with monkey evil on the why d44 outer thing. I wonder about the cost breakdown.

If you plan on running CTMs, then you'll need good shafts or you'll just ruin the shafts and maybe even the joints. Quick online search shows superior d44 shafts are about $300-350/side and CTMs are about $400/set. So that's about $1000 in shafts and joints. There might be some discounting there, but then there should be for parts to build it with d60 outers, too.

A used d60 can be found for less than a grand. Even running stock 35-inners and 30 spline outers you should be at least as strong as your D44 with the bling, and you have an upgrade path if you choose.

As for costs, unless you get a d60 with neck-down axles, you can shorten the d60 axles down to the width you want for about $100.

Rebuild costs of d44 outers and d60 outers is probably negligible, and the cost of a 31, 33, or 35 spline locker for your hi-9 is the same.

And for bolt-pattern, you can shave d60 hubs down to fit 5x5.5 or 6x5.5, no problem. It looks like you enjoy the building part of it, so you might enjoy that part.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyJ
Looks cool. I've never seen someone try and tube their own 9".

I'm kinda with monkey evil on the why d44 outer thing. I wonder about the cost breakdown.

If you plan on running CTMs, then you'll need good shafts or you'll just ruin the shafts and maybe even the joints. Quick online search shows superior d44 shafts are about $300-350/side and CTMs are about $400/set. So that's about $1000 in shafts and joints. There might be some discounting there, but then there should be for parts to build it with d60 outers, too.

A used d60 can be found for less than a grand. Even running stock 35-inners and 30 spline outers you should be at least as strong as your D44 with the bling, and you have an upgrade path if you choose.

As for costs, unless you get a d60 with neck-down axles, you can shorten the d60 axles down to the width you want for about $100.

Rebuild costs of d44 outers and d60 outers is probably negligible, and the cost of a 31, 33, or 35 spline locker for your hi-9 is the same.

And for bolt-pattern, you can shave d60 hubs down to fit 5x5.5 or 6x5.5, no problem. It looks like you enjoy the building part of it, so you might enjoy that part.
I work at a 4x4 shop so everything is discounted qiute a bit, not free but geverally a solid 25% off. Dana 44 outters are pretty well free or nearly, I cant get a discount on a $1000 dana 60 or the 60 hubs to run 6 lug and so on. I like the 9" center and likely won't need the dana 60 strength. Theres a few dana 60/9" builds on Pirate if someone wanted to go that way. I have the housing built, the hi-steer dana 44 knuckles, brackets and a few other things and I have spent $40, so i'm doing ok so far.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #13
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Just for information, you can turn down the stock d60 hubs to run 6-lug pattern. My front d60 is 5x5.5 and a friend turned it down on his lathe at work.

As for cheap to free outers, would those be stock alloy or Warn/Supperior type shafts? If they are the 4340 type, then that's understandable, but if not, I was under the impression that running non alloy shafts with a CTM would void the warranty.

Not trying to be an ass, but I was at the d44 or d60 crossroads a few years ago, and when I figured what it would cost for the hard parts to build the d44 to handle larger tires (warn/superior shafts & ctms) plus the normal parts (gears, detroit) the price wasn't really much different.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #14
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I was thinking you could turn the hubs down but without the hard parts I wasn't sure. As far as the outters I'm thinking i'll machine them myself but its all in the material. I'm trying to figure out the exact combination. I planned on hardening them after machining but don't have the ability to induction harden them, only flame hardening. Theres so many variables in building a front axle, the rear was much simpler.
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