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Old 10-17-2019, 06:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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front axle builds

So the high steer thread got me thinking... maybe even opened my mind a bit I'll be diving into a front axle build very soon(within the next year) I'm using a junkyard 08 sd. Seeing some of the ingenuity that others have come up with to build custom fronts, i was hoping some of you who have built fully custom fronts would like to post up your builds. Fronts only though. If you've pressed tubes and C's, what was your process? What tools did you utilize? Be honest about the investment too if you don't mind. Brand or type of axle doesn't really matter. It could be fully custom 14 bolt, Dana 30 or who knows. Post up. Im hoping this thread will become a good resource to go to when looking for answers on how you guys accomplish this. Tell us what worked, what didn't, how long it took and whatever other information you can give. Some of you are absolute God damned geniuses when it comes to this shit. Explain good Ackerman and how to achieve it. I honestly still doubt fully understand it. If your axle is fully custom bling, post it. The data will be priceless once gathered in one spot. If you know of threads, post links. Post pictures, if you can't, PM me. I'll give you my email addy, and you can send pics to me. I'll post them for you. This could be a good thing for sure. I searched a bit, and there's not really a lot of info on how to custom build a front... even if it's not fully custom, post up. You might be able to explain why and what you compromised on to make it work.

Im gonna call out @jsawduste first since his axle sounds pretty bad ass and I'd like to see and hear about it.
@Bebop next. Custom building from junkyard pieces is right up my alley and want the info on process.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All the info is already on the board. That's where I learned everything.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's mine mentioned in the other thread. HP44 center, 35 spline ARB, D50 gears using a Jana 54 kit, 99-04 Super Duty axle tubes/knuckles. D60 center wouldn't fit where I needed it to, that's why I used the 44 center.

Start with a crusty HP44, cut off tubes leaving ~3" or so. This one was used in a leaf-sprung rig before, that's why the ribs are cut the way they are. Oh well.



Take two SD60's (or 50's, same outers), chop up.





Using both of the long-side tubes, cut to the desired lengths. Bore the ends to fit over the D44 tubes.





I drilled some plug weld holes, pressed the tubes on the center, and welded the holes as well as the circumference of the tube-to-center joint. No pics, but here's a "finished" pic showing the D50 4.89's and ARB also.



I also machined the unit bearings for 5x150 lug pattern, sized to fit 14" Tundra rotors, and made brake caliper brackets to use Land Cruiser calipers.





Cut/resplined both long side SD60 shafts to fit.



I did all this to SAS a 2002 Land Cruiser. It matches width and bolt pattern of the stock rear axle, and the diff fits between the frame and engine to keep the ride height lower than it would be otherwise. (plus high pinion and passenger side drop axle)
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bebop View Post
All the info is already on the board. That's where I learned everything.
It is, but the search here sucks. I was hoping to put most of the knowledge into one thread so future builders such as myself have an easy to read and find resource to help out. There isn't a thread dedicated to only front axle builds, so searching through old ass threads with really no pics and no good way to search is kind of time consuming. Plus there's tons of misinformation

Im hoping this gains a bit of traction. Plus any tech anyone can add to this will be valuable considering the board is dying since the tech it's going away to Facebook pictures.... and nut swinging.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you want to keep the thread managed with a recap of the infos in the first post, I see how it could be beneficial.

Otherwise, if it turns like the SD60 one, the info is buried into the rest of the posts.

At some point I'll have to build a few more axles and I'll share my process (nothing ground breaking) and pics.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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@I Lean great start! You made what you had work for your build. That's what this board is supposed to be about, sharing info, and of course talking shit!
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Originally Posted by 03f350
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bebop
Lost my phone and my pics a few months ago.

Lost all my buggy build pics etc.

But I pressed my tubes after seeing how Tim Cameron did this axle for Will Stewart.





d.
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Originally Posted by Bebop View Post
Torch the plug welds out of long side of one housing and short side of another one.
Install housings in the press and press out the tubes.
Heat the housing that had the short side removed while you're cooling the long side tube on the housing end.
Slide them together and weld the plug welds.

Now you have an axle with 2 long sides.

Cut the C's and remove the left over tube.
Cut the tubes to desired length.
Clean up the tube ends
Heat the C's
Slide/Wack them on the tubes while making sure your caster is how you want
Weld C's



Edit : Cutting the tubes to length before the pressing operations makes it waaaaay easier to fit the housing in the press. But I wrote the list to give an idea of the concept.
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fwiw you can also lay the HF press down on the ground and the jack will still work, if you dont want to try stacking it up on something


Thank you
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sterlingfire View Post
It is, but the search here sucks.
I found just searching google and concentrating on only the pirate results nets a hella better search results that only using pirate search. I know you got a D60 but here's my D44 build. F250, 1/2" tubes.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...-44-my-yj.html
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mine is unique and I haven't had too many issues with it. The only real problems I had were the seals which is why I went with traditional D60 inner axle seals in the end. I still used a SealsIt and Spidertrax style initially but they don't last long IMO.

Eaton H072 center, 5.14 factory gears, 14B 30 spline locker, custom splined USA made chromo inner shafts, Dodge unit bearing D60 outers. The Dodge knuckles have decently high steering arms and I made double shear brackets for them. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. Giant ring gear, triple pinion bearing, pinion itself is huge. It's a mid-pinion so the drivelines are out of the way for the most part.

Here's a few shots as I was building it. It should give some ideas about the Dodge knuckle setup too. I'd make another one as long as I could find more of the 5.14 gears. There has been one 14B ARB that's been modified to fit in these H072 thirds but I lost the pics. Overall it's beefier than any 9" setup I've seen and I've only seen 1 set of gears tore up in these axles. It was in a mud drag diesel truck pushing high HP and had dozens of runs on it.

I've also designed a couple fabricated housings for these and Blazerboy on here even put one together from a RuffStuff housing a while back. Very cool axles.

Massive Eaton pinions


Housings picked up and ready to cut down


Dodge UB knuckles (pre-01 I believe)


Housing with Cs pressed on. I used 1/8" spacers and pressed the C onto the housing with heat and a HF 20t press that I extended.


Alignment pucks used. I had some plates that were put on the knuckles and measured 100 times.


Been ripping it around for a few years now. 1000+ miles offroad and a few hundred on-road. I used 3 degree camber bushings and it does well with the DE hydro assist setup.

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Old 10-17-2019, 02:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I found just searching google and concentrating on only the pirate results nets a hella better search results that only using pirate search. I know you got a D60 but here's my D44 build. F250, 1/2" tubes.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...-44-my-yj.html
Sweet, I'll check it out.
This thread is for everyone, not just me. Plenty of people want to build them, just no real idea where to start or what methods to use. It's not Dana 60 specific since all front axles are basically the same when it comes to how they work and are put together.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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@gtxracer that's awesome. Ho front looks very nice. Glad it's working out for you. This is exactly the kind of stuff i was hoping this thread would turn out.

There's more out there, come on guys!
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's a quick video on retubing a D44 that I enjoyed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pa8WypFsxE

If you prefer the video media and visuals help then check it out.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ackermann, steering angles, and arm length are an important factors to decide on for the high steer setup.

I chose parallel arms with no Ackermann effect so both tires would turn at the max angle for tighter turning in the rocks. Trade off is tire scrub on flat traction surfaces. But I'm not building for pavement use.

Double shearing off the stock lower eye as a tie rod pivot is going to keep the stock Ackermann and not turn the outside tire all the way and if that's the only tire making contact you get less effective steering angle. Using a bolt on arm with no pivot point drilled yet is an easy way to set it up as needed. Some arms might only have a narrow area to drill so Ackermann might only be parallel or set to the allowable drill area. If you're road driving enough you might want to use a high steer arm with more area or a location that allows for Ackermann.

The hydraulic cylinder and high steer arm length need to match so the total ram travel is used and the knuckle steering stops are almost touching at max angle. I ended up with 5.54" arm and a 8" travel cylinder with 45 degrees at both tires.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2fAa1UH...on_share_sheet

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The height of the high steer also determines the loading of the ball joints.

I went extra high to get the tie rods and cylinder up out of the rocks. This puts all the steering load in line with the upper ball joints. In stock form the steering load is down lower and centered between the upper and lower ball joints which better distributes the steering load.

With the high steer pivots up higher and closer to the upper ball joints, the tie rods can also take some vertical weight load off the knuckle ball joints when not steering. It would act as having two upper ball joints when no steering load is applied. This is beneficial for high G's or gravity loading when landing from a fall or jump.

I don't know what type of load is breaking upper ball joints or if its even an issue, but height of the steering arm does have an effect.
Great info here!
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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fwiw you can also lay the HF press down on the ground and the jack will still work, if you dont want to try stacking it up on something
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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fwiw you can also lay the HF press down on the ground and the jack will still work, if you dont want to try stacking it up on something
Fucking genius !!!!
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Fucking genius !!!!
you can do it with the pipe bender too
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gene...l#post44649152

The seals it vs crane seal thread for 14 bolt builds

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gene...e-housing.html

Great discussion on how to build an axle trying to decide if an alignment bar is enough, or if you need to jig the axle down to prevent warp


https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...dth-axles.html

Another great discussion about building fronts

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/chev...will-work.html

Good read on independent fronts, not that it is really relevant but still a good read
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Ultimate cheap, strong, and light junkyard axle. Dodge unit bearing shit welded to 9s

181204_131431_zps79grnymy.jpg.html][/URL]

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Old 10-18-2019, 08:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Some good ideas in this thread!! Those SD Hi steer arms are sweet. I'm using that idea.

Adam how has the stock housing held up? I was thinking about using them front and rear on my next build but their strength was worrying me.

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Ultimate cheap, strong, and light junkyard axle. Dodge unit bearing shit welded to 9s

181204_131431_zps79grnymy.jpg.html][/URL]

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Old 10-18-2019, 05:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Itís been holding up fine so far. The stock housing is in the rear. I figured a rear steer axle still counts for this thread.

I still havenít heard of anyone breaking a dodge UB stub either.

Key points to the dodge axle- stock high steer, no need to buy hubs, and 8x6.5.

I havenít confirmed yet, but Iím pretty sure the ball joint eliminators will work too.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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This is the front axle I am building for my buggy. Its a '94 Ford F-350 ball joint 60 with 2002 Super Duty knuckles. I like unit bearings because of the simplicity and I don't like fawking around with grease. Other parts on the build include Artec hydro mount, custom brackets, Grizzly locker w/ 5.38 Yukon gears, RCV shafts, Branik unit bearings redrilled for 8 on 6.5 bolt pattern, Weaver Fab high steer arms with some custom machining to enable double-shear, and Yukon hardcore locking hubs.

















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Old 10-19-2019, 06:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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This is the front axle I am building for my buggy. Its a '94 Ford F-350 ball joint 60 with 2002 Super Duty knuckles. I like unit bearings because of the simplicity and I don't like fawking around with grease. Other parts on the build include Artec hydro mount, custom brackets, Grizzly locker w/ 5.38 Yukon gears, RCV shafts, Branik unit bearings redrilled for 8 on 6.5 bolt pattern, Weaver Fab high steer arms with some custom machining to enable double-shear, and Yukon hardcore locking hubs.

















That's a good looking setup. How did you press the tubes, or did you cut outers off and push the new ones on? How did you get the tube out of the sd outers? Looks like you'll have an incredibly strong axle!
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:36 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Itís been holding up fine so far. The stock housing is in the rear. I figured a rear steer axle still counts for this thread.

I still havenít heard of anyone breaking a dodge UB stub either.

Key points to the dodge axle- stock high steer, no need to buy hubs, and 8x6.5.

I havenít confirmed yet, but Iím pretty sure the ball joint eliminators will work too.
I can't believe I've never seen any of this anywhere. This is the epitome of a junkyard build! Thank you
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I still havenít heard of anyone breaking a dodge UB stub either.
Didn't Fred Williams break one trying to rock bounce a hacked up 2nd gen?
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:40 AM   #25 (permalink)
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This is the front axle I am building for my buggy. Its a '94 Ford F-350 ball joint 60 with 2002 Super Duty knuckles. I like unit bearings because of the simplicity and I don't like fawking around with grease. Other parts on the build include Artec hydro mount, custom brackets, Grizzly locker w/ 5.38 Yukon gears, RCV shafts, Branik unit bearings redrilled for 8 on 6.5 bolt pattern, Weaver Fab high steer arms with some custom machining to enable double-shear, and Yukon hardcore locking hubs.

















Wondering why 99-04 outers if your keeping it 8 lug? 05+ stuff is bigger and already 35 spline. And why not just use the whole 99-04 housing? Not knocking just wanting to understand the logic.
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