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Old November 5th, 2016, 12:06 PM   #1
JohnnyJ
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Default Further neglect of the 1975 Wagoneer - buggy first

I bought my Wagoneer in 1997. It was my first 4x4 and I bought it so that me and my friends could go camping and have room for our gear since we all drove econoboxes. That fall I ended up moving to Germany for 18 months and it went into storage.

When I got back I rebuilt the AMC 360 with the help of a friend, and we did enough maintenance on the rest to get it on the road. Over the next few years it got a 4" lift and went from 31s and then 35s when I put a 3" body lift. We did some wheeling with it and eventually I put it on 33 Stampers from my old Wrangler.

In around 2005 it was parked due to lack of time and using any spare time on my Wrangler. A few years later we stole the drive train for the TREC Wagoneer, and it has sat since.

Over the summer I got out of racing, bought a RZR and drug this back in the shop. I'm thinking I want to get it back on the road and trails.









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Old November 5th, 2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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So here's a picture of it back in 2000. Engine was rebuilt and had Projection 4Di on it. The axles had 4.10s installed with a Detroit Locker in back and QuadraTrac had been rebuilt.

The Wagoneer has no drive train at this time since I sold off the AMC 360/TH400/QuadraTrac when we scrapped the TREC Wag. The 3" body lift and 4" lift springs are on it, but I don't want to use either.

So things I have sitting around are:
- Original Dana 44 axles with 4.10 and rear Detroit
- 37" Maxxis Trepador radials
- Dana 300
- 1978 Ford F-250 rear Dana 60

Things I want to do:
- Keep it low, fender trimming over lift
- Build new frame, since this frame has cracks and rust and isn't boxed
- 3-link & panhard front, 4-link rear, coil springs or coil overs
- move gas tank to back of frame, under body
- Engine will be Gen3 or 4 GM V8 and auto transmission with OD

Up in the air:
- Adapt to Dana 300 or use factory GM truck take out transfer case
- Use Dana 44s or build up bigger wider axles (slight lean 44s to start)
- Run the 37s or run smaller (heavy lean toward 37s)

Plans for now are Michigan type wheeling, something I can take my wife and kids with me. It won't be a dedicated rock crawler, but a highway capable, trail machine that can get through (small) rocks, snow, mud, whatever. Think Drummond Island, Snofari, blue trails at R&V, Silver Lake, etc.

What are your thoughts? Am I going to be blowing up axles and transfer cases with a Wag with 5.3 on 37s?
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Old November 5th, 2016, 01:12 PM   #3
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That thing is awesome. I believe you know what will happen to Dana 44's on something that heavy with 37's and 300+ hp. 05+ super duty 60's are stupid cheap and would likely live fine stock and should help it drive nice.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #4
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Yeah, I think I know you're right. Just making sure I haven't been living in the 60s 60s 60s world too long. But looking at axle shafts, they are tiny.

If I do upgrade axles, my thought is to build them to around "Wide Track" width to keep it looking Full Size Jeep-ish. Might need to adjust depending on wheel choice as many 17" wheels have more backspace than 15s.

'74-75 Wagoneer frnt-59" rr-57.5"
'76-80 Cherokee Chief 2 dr. frnt-65.4" rr-62.3"

Maybe I need to start looking for the super duty, and thinking about chopping down the rear. I had a semi-float 60 in the back of my TJ for a long time and it held up well. I think that would be the route I'd go if I narrow the f250 axle.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 03:05 PM   #5
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Super duty will have a sterling in the rear which is what is in the rear of my rig. 35 spline shafts, 10.5" ring gear, and tremendous clearance / shape.....it easily slides over stuff that hangs up 14 bolt rigs....even ones with bigger tires and full shave kits. Car-part.com shows numerous fronts near you in the 300$ range for complete axle.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 03:56 PM   #6
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If you have a spare rear 44 I would be interested in it

Ford 60 rear and dodge front 60 with the 300, keeps it a tad narrower
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Old November 5th, 2016, 04:48 PM   #7
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Default Return of the 1975 Wagoneer

If you are wheeling it, Dana 44's ain't gonna hack it. But if you are just doing a Restomod it will be fine, as you know the body will be trashed to, if you try to wheel it.

If you are going to "build" 44s it ain't with it....there is a pair of tons on the marketplace for 600$
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Old November 5th, 2016, 05:29 PM   #8
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You know my vote

Shave 4" on passenger side, drop in a dodge/Chevy shaft. 67.5" wms, add some deep wheels and boom.

Frdtrkmnrich has some axles for sale.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 05:30 PM   #9
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I'm excited to see your build. Always like these old jeeps and the old pickups to (think tremors) lol.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #10
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Interested to see where this goes. I've been looking at a couple waggys.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheapThrillB2 View Post
You know my vote

Shave 4" on passenger side, drop in a dodge/Chevy shaft. 67.5" wms, add some deep wheels and boom.

Frdtrkmnrich has some axles for sale.
Same. You know the drill. Do it part way and then build it bigger. Or just go bigger now.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 08:20 PM   #12
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I'd link it with tons, keep it on 35-37s, GM 6.0L and call it good.
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Old November 15th, 2016, 09:11 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments. I'm chewing on it now, and working on the game plan. Lots of stuff to go and find.
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Old November 15th, 2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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If you are linking it, you may as well go with a Super Duty front end, and whatever rear you choose. 37's will make a nice driveable rig that is big enough for everything you want to do. For a drivable wheeler, the chaincase you get with the donor engine/trans will be fine and have the drivers drop to match the SD front end. Keep the 300 under the bench in case you find some great desire to do front digs later on.

If you were sticking with leaves, my suggestions would probably be different.

A 60 probably isn't "needed", but you'll be money ahead with a SD 60. The other "good" option is a D44HD with RCV's. You'll have the same initial buy in price, but only need to buy one inner shaft to shorten the SD 60, vs a full set of RCV's and hubs. For a drivable cruiser, the simpler U-joint shafts will be easier to maintain.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 01:58 PM   #15
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I found a 2005 Dana 60 through car-part and went to pick it up this morning. Sadly they had mis-tagged the axle. Will have to keep looking. I've been keeping an eye out for a reasonable engine/trans/t-case deal.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 05:48 PM   #16
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Interested to watch this build.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 05:57 PM   #17
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Frdtrkmnrich still has a few sixties available
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:13 PM   #18
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Sweet Wagneer.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:53 PM   #19
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drop down to 35s, keep the d44s and leaves.
it is a cheap simple option.
ditch the body lift, trim a little, done.
just an option not mentioned here.

either way, enjoy!
cool rig!
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Old December 4th, 2016, 02:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyJ View Post
I found a 2005 Dana 60 through car-part and went to pick it up this morning. Sadly they had mis-tagged the axle. Will have to keep looking. I've been keeping an eye out for a reasonable engine/trans/t-case deal.


I got a set of 5 tons, still in the crate, interested?
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