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Old February 7th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default Front Axle for TJ

What are everyones opinions on an axle for the TJ?

We are going with an 8.8 for the rear and keeping the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern.

I'm thinking a HP D44 for the front. But the way it sounds it will need to be cut down a bit because the donor vehicles are late 70's F-150. Am I right?

Any other suggestions? I'd like to run 35's or 36's and have a little bit more insurance that its going to drive home at the end of the day than the D30 gives.

Thanks
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
What are everyones opinions on an axle for the TJ?

We are going with an 8.8 for the rear and keeping the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern.

I'm thinking a HP D44 for the front. But the way it sounds it will need to be cut down a bit because the donor vehicles are late 70's F-150. Am I right?

Any other suggestions? I'd like to run 35's or 36's and have a little bit more insurance that its going to drive home at the end of the day than the D30 gives.

Thanks
Keeping the 5 on 4.5 BP is a PITA.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #3
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Hmm, its tough. Dana 44s are kinda such middle ground. Just like 36s are kind of that touchy middle size tire.


Myself, I only suffered one breakage on my CJ dana 30, that was due to improper maintenence(water got in the diff and froze it solid, carrier broke in several pieces in my driveway loading the trailer). I'm sure I would have broken it though, soon enough. 34s and 35s, locked.

Seems like people are getting away with 35s on the 30. You aren't really beefing up the U-joints with a 44. Stock 44 shafts are probably same strength as aftermarket 30 shafts.


Hmm...

I know, not helpful...
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyevil
Keeping the 5 on 4.5 BP is a PITA.
I guess I could redrill the rear shafts and go with a 5 on 5.5

What do most folks do for the front that have the 8.8 in the rear?
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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Where did you get the 8.8? I want to start poking around for one. Brackets?
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Old February 7th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
I guess I could redrill the rear shafts and go with a 5 on 5.5

What do most folks do for the front that have the 8.8 in the rear?
If you don't already have the 8.8. I would (and did) use 44's front and rear.

If you already have the 8.8 then you can get some custom shafts, or redrill your current ones I guess.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #7
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I've got a set of gears and i'm picking up the housing tommorow.

What dana 44's are driver drop? I'd like a reverse cut one, i think thats where the late 70's fords come in.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
I've got a set of gears and i'm picking up the housing tommorow.

What dana 44's are driver drop? I'd like a reverse cut one, i think thats where the late 70's fords come in.
The common HP d44 would be the 79 Ford ones... but they are quite a bit wider than an explorer 8.8.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #9
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but the 79 fords have the bummer cast piece. if you want high pinion then check out mr.n\\\\\\\\\\'s article.

Easiest would be 80-91 Wagoneer for driver's drop. There's a few years to skip to avoid the vacuum switched axle (82-83 or thereabouts). A matching set of Wag axles would potentially make life easier. Late 86-91 would have D44s front and rear with driver's drop.

Even the 80-86 FSJ AMC 20 isn't a bad axle, unless the CJ version, it comes stock with one piece shafts. I think you are limited to 4.88 gears with a 20 though.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #10
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I seem to remember seeing 5.13 gears on AMC sites, but I can't remember where it was I saw it. I believe is was an AMC car site, not a wheeling site.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #11
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Yeah, 5.13s were out there I think for the AMC20. I can't seem to find anyone selling now, not listed with Randy's, DTS, or Reider. With Jeeps, since the 5.13 gearset wasn't available with the dana 30, they probably didn't sell many.

But a 5.13 is available for a Dana 44...

would be a bit much, probably for 35s...
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #12
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Early Bronco's, I believe 72/73-77(can't remember what year they switched from d30) had D44 fronts about the same width as a 8.8. But they aren't HP. And the c-bushings aren't cast into them.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadhouse
Early Bronco's, I believe 72/73-77(can't remember what year they switched from d30) had D44 fronts about the same width as a 8.8. But they aren't HP. And the c-bushings aren't cast into them.
c-bushings?
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
c-bushings?

where the ford stock radius arms attach to the axle.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
c-bushings?
The radius arm axle bushings are "C-shaped". The axle has two triangle wedges welded the axle tubes. The radius arms bolt to the frame on a bracket near the t-case skid plate. The end that attaches to the axle is is two-piece, with both pieces having a "C" shape. Each "C" receives it's own bushing. Depending on which size lift you have, depends on the which caster-correcting degree the bushing will have built in. EB D44's were used from '72-'77. '72-75 had factory drum brakes, '76-77 had disc. All years are ~61" WMS-WMS, and all years use 260x u-joints which are the same size as CJ and 87-94 YJ.

You could look for a pre-77 F100 housing. It has welded radius arm mounts, thick tubes, high pinion.... but it comes down to how much you want to spend.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 05:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornfed
You could look for a pre-77 F100 housing. It has welded radius arm mounts, thick tubes, high pinion.... but it comes down to how much you want to spend.
What makes this route costly? Availability?
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
What makes this route costly? Availability?
Some think they're scarce, but they're out there. Drum models can be had for dirt cheap and discs are an easy upgrade. Plan on spending $50-200 for a housing & shafts.

Some of the questions you'll need to answer for a budget swag are:
-narrow or full width?
-TJ suspension links or Ford radius arms suspension
-bolt pattern
-will you REALLY need aftermarket shafts and/or UJ's
-DIY install or professional install
-gears, lockers, master bearing kit
-recovering some of the investment from selling the D30.

Like the mechanic asked MadMax, "speed is a question of money. how fast do you want to go?"
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornfed
Some of the questions you'll need to answer for a budget swag are:
-narrow or full width?
-TJ suspension links or Ford radius arms suspension
-bolt pattern
-will you REALLY need aftermarket shafts and/or UJ's
-DIY install or professional install
-gears, lockers, master bearing kit
-recovering some of the investment from selling the D30.
Probably go narrow width. If i go that route I'll have to cut down the axle and get some different shafts. That shouldn't be that big of a deal as long as i cut it to the length of a common narrow width D44 so i can use those shafts rigth?

I hadn't thought about a different suspension. Any thoughts on what would be more beneficial? The TJ suspension will require welding on the axle, but everything from there up is stock. A little more work now though would be worth rewards in the long run.

I'll start with stock shafts for now and when they break or if they break i'll replace them with aftermarkets.

I'll have the gears set up professionall, or as close as KillerB is, hehe. I might outsource cutting down the axle just to make sure its nice and straight...i don't have a jig soo... I'll weld and make my own brackets.

I'll go with 4.56 gears and probably an electric locker if they are available. If not i'll go with an ARB.

What is a D30 worth? $.05?

Thanks for all the info. Sorry for answering questions with questions, but i'm not very good at finding things between stock and overkill.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
Thanks for all the info. Sorry for answering questions with questions, but i'm not very good at finding things between stock and overkill.
No problem. As far as the narrowed shaft, you could find that common lenght shaft you'd need, or you could pay Moser Engineering or Badlands Machine shop
~$70 to cut down a shaft. If you go that route, get another shaft cut for a spare. Cutting down a shaft is nice because it eliminates the tapered area D44 shafts have just before the splines where breakage commonly occurs.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #20
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www.drivetraindirect.com
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