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Old 04-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Waggy -- Looking to Move to Jeep

I'm looking at a 1979 Wagoneer. I'm a soon-to-be-former owner of a Land Rover Discovery and have some questions...hope not to be flamed too badly! I built up the Disco (suspension lift / tires / etc.) and am not afraid of a wrench, and would be working with some fabricators for things like bumpers, sliders, etc.
  • If it's solid front axle, which Dana is it if it's stock?
  • How easy are axle upgrades on these?
  • Is this thing a dog with the 360 V8?
  • How available are parts?
  • Can anyone refer me to a build or two so I can see what can be done to them?

Thanks,


Andy

EDIT: OK, so I see it's a Dana 44 in the front, and probably (per the FAQ) an "AMC 20" in the rear. I also see it's probably the BW 1339 1-or 2-speed transfercase with quadra-trac (it's an autobox). The other questions remain, along with:

- How quickly can I get away from the AMC20 rear, and
- How worthwhile is buying a truck with no low range? Or is the 1-speed transfercase a viscuous coupling like on a Range Rover?
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Last edited by ProsQtor; 04-26-2008 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well the 79 waggy is a nice easy choice, but to find more info on build ups and what not check out IFSJA.org

http://www.ifsja.org/index.html

Best of luck and enjoy your new jeep..
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well

Is this thing a dog with the 360 V8?
360 is a good motor. Wouldn't call it a dog, but not fast either. First thing I'd do is swap on a TBI setup from a Chevy 350.

There are part time conversions with low ranges floating around for the quadratrac. Basically does away with the differential, and puts in a locker. Installing a lowrange is no big deal.

Parts are available and or easily swapable. A good many things aren't actually made by jeep. Alternator is ford or chevy usually. Lots fun swapping things on.

I thought 79 would have a Dana 44. The 20 and 44 are easy to tell apart. The 20 isn't a horrible axle in FSJ trim. It is a bit different than the CJ version.

44


20

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Old 04-27-2008, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looking at your pics, and the pics of the truck, it's a D44. Thanks!

Also, according to the owner the rear has been locked, which I hope means the part-time and low-range conversion has been done.

Am I correct, then, in assuming if it's quadra-tech there is no low range? How do these things wheel without low range?
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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my first rig was a 79 wagoneer, d44 front and rear, the bt 1339 lasted 3 trips to the trail before chain gave out. Back to shop, pick up a 78 cherokee, 200 bucks w/ no motor, it had t18 and d20 transfer. it worked great. You can find these rigs all over for real cheap for parts trucks.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProsQtor View Post
Looking at your pics, and the pics of the truck, it's a D44. Thanks!

Also, according to the owner the rear has been locked, which I hope means the part-time and low-range conversion has been done.

Am I correct, then, in assuming if it's quadra-tech there is no low range? How do these things wheel without low range?
lots of qtrac info here
http://www.jeeptech.com/xfer/qtrac.html
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Most waggy's of that year were a th400 auto with one of two quadratrac x-fers: one had a low range & one did not. The x-fer acts like a differential. It was one of the earliest very usable full-time street x-fers, but is still a 35 year old design. Many have been upgraded with a "part-time" kit that allows you to use lock-outs on the front.

Yours is a D44 rear, off-set to the passnger side. AMC Model 20's were not used in Full Sized Jeeps (FSJ's). From '80 through '85 they did use a Model 23 that had one piece axles and some other minor differences. Hey, it may be picky but one is right and one is not.

Locked can mean many things. It can mean that their was a nice locker like a detroit or ARB was installed, a drop-in locker was installed, the spiders were welded, or to some people it has a limited slip. None of these mods would rewuire a low-range or part-time kit. Find out for sure what is meant by "locked." The folks at IFSJA are very willing to help out. Although I am far from an expert, feel free to drop me a line if there is something I might be able to help you with.

A few waggy's were sticks with a D20 x-fer. This was much more common in the Cherokees & trucks, though. Waggy's are referred to as "narrow track" with the Cherokees and trucks having wider axles.

If you need to go to heavier axles, CHEVY & DODGE psd axles are pretty easy swaps. D44's are pretty decent, though.

The 360 is as good as any engine of its era. That era is gone. Nothing from then ran, stopped, or turned like more modern stuff does. Plan on updating if you require modern specs.

Look for frame rot on the driver's side by the gas tank.

This design started in 1963, IIRC, and remained remarkably unchanged until its demise in 1991.

www.IFSJA.org specializes in FSJ's & has a wealth of knowledge about them available including good as new reto's to serious modifications. Places like www.bjsoffroad.com specialize in parts for them.

I

Last edited by a360chief; 04-27-2008 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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FSJs are great jeeps. Yours should be dana 44s front and rear. Offset in the back and passenger side drop in the front. There are lots of parts for them.
http://www.bjsoffroad.com/ These guys sell lots of parts, from lifts, bumpers and resto parts. If the 360 runs good they can be great motors. Just about everything has been swapped in.
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