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Old 01-18-2018, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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404 portal boxes or gears??

Iím trying to get some feed back and see what yaíll think. While I've seen a lot of discussion on the billet portal boxes, but are there any other options to gain more strength out of the 404 setup? I haven't been able to find much out there on this topic so i bring the question up here.

As we know, the 404 portal boxes can break under high stress/load. Now, please correct me if I'm wrong; but isnít most of the portal box breakage caused by how the portal gears are cut and the gears trying to push apart from one another under the high load/stress when wheeling or hitting a bump?

The fix for this, is to upgrade to those sexy billet portal boxes.

But those cost between $3-4k if I'm not mistaken for a full set of 4.

Would it be more cost effective and/or possibly just as strong of a solution to find a machine shop/manufacture that makes gears, and have them make a set of straight cut gears for the portal box? This should alleviate the gears from pushing apart and be similar to that of the 406 and bigger portal boxes. And possibly for those that have the need/desire, to have them change the gear ratio. Which depends on the size of the gears in the portal box and if they'll clear the box.

Obviously, finding the machine shop/manufacture would be one potential issue. Two, what would the cost be to have a set built?

I'm just looking at this as another possible solution for us to be able to strengthen our setups.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've been wheeling buggies with 404's in them for 13 years and in my experience if you set your wheels up right the portals are no longer the weak point.

Wheel offset is what kills them.

If you run a rim that is minimum 18" diameter you can get the backspacing similar to the stock mog wheels and it takes so much load off the box (leverage load that they can't handle).

I make my wheels up so that the face of the beadlock ring sits flush with the face of the big hub bolt. With this setup big impacts will bend the wheel and/or the axle housing before the box fails and overzealous throttle input/shock load will strip the teeth off the ring gear or break inner axle/steering joint parts before the boxes flex enough to let the portal gears fail.

A lot of these axles are 50+ years old now, and a lot of them have been beaten pretty hard so every axle will be different, but in my experience the right wheel setup will easily keep the boxes alive long enough for other parts upstream to fail.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for that info! I did read about the wheel back spacing issue before but completely forgot about it.

It definitely sounds like the billet portal boxes are a better investment vs the straight cut gears.

I'll definitely be keeping this in mind as right now, i'm trying to keep mine close but I'm running a set of H1 Humvee wheels and have a 2" wheel spacer as well to allow the tires room to clear the Blue Torch Fab high steer arms as well as the inner bed/4 link bars at full steering lock. I intend to recenter the wheels to get rid of the wheel spacer down the road but that still won't bring the outer bead as close to the axle bolt as you described.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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74weld and branikmotorsports makes aftermarket boxes. Also for those interested 74weld also sell portal gears for the 404 geared at 1.55. This substantially reduces the final ratio to 5.48 if I remember correctly. They are supporting rigs going to KOH so the stuff is strong. The catch is if you buy the gears you have to buy their second gen aluminum portal box to itíll fix. It ainít cheap but Iíd imagine it would be as tough as you can get. Or just purchase their gen 1 boxes and keep your gears.

In my opinion all that stuff is bucket list items. I personally feel it would be more cost effective to just purchase a set of used axles and you have all the spares you need. Keep your wheels and your portal boxes tight and have a spare for the off chance.
Then again if you got the money...
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for the info.

That's honestly where i'm at right now. I've got another set of axles for spare parts but i wasn't sure if it would be something worth while to get the portal boxes down the road. At this point (my rig isn't finished yet), i don't even know if i'll have an issue with portal boxes breaking.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Seems like most breaks in portal boxes I’ve read about are related to bolts working loose between the boxes and the backing plates. Once those bolts get loose, the loading of the gears acts like a slide hammer and destroys the casting...

I always thought it would be smart money to drill and wirewrap all the bolts once they are correctly torqued down. That’s what I plan to do, even though I have the bling CNC portal boxes.

If you want a numerically lower axle ratio...just go Mog-9. Moving to the Ford axle addresses the other weak point on a stock 404 housing which is the mechanical locking collar setup. You can do an ARB or whatever you like best at that point.

Just a thought.

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Last edited by Greg72; 01-25-2018 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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74weld and branikmotorsports makes aftermarket boxes. Also for those interested 74weld also sell portal gears for the 404 geared at 1.55. This substantially reduces the final ratio to 5.48 if I remember correctly. They are supporting rigs going to KOH so the stuff is strong. The catch is if you buy the gears you have to buy their second gen aluminum portal box to it’ll fix. It ain’t cheap but I’d imagine it would be as tough as you can get. Or just purchase their gen 1 boxes and keep your gears.

In my opinion all that stuff is bucket list items. I personally feel it would be more cost effective to just purchase a set of used axles and you have all the spares you need. Keep your wheels and your portal boxes tight and have a spare for the off chance.
Then again if you got the money...
The gears are definitely stronger. (9310 material) The gear ratio allows a wide variety of differential options for over all final drive ratio. They are also straight cut gears and not helical cut. They use different bearings as well because like you said, the stock gears use the needle bearings because of the thrust. These use from what I remember, double row bearings similar to whats in a tcase. Also, all that stuff fits in the boxes he's made and I believe would fit in a stock box too. If you buy his 1.55 gears, you HAVE TO purchase his 2nd gen hubs, not boxes. These gears use pins instead of splines to connect the hub to the gear. A new hub bolt and locking collar slides over the bolt and all the pins to keep everything together. All very strong stuff.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just a thought.

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Tried PMing you again but your inbox is full.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tried PMing you again but your inbox is full.
Yep. My blue star expired a while back and I never bothered to renew....

What's the question?



-G
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep. My blue star expired a while back and I never bothered to renew....

What's the question?
-G
I know we spoke before about the plates on your portal boxes. Do you know if that friend still has that file by chance?
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I know we spoke before about the plates on your portal boxes. Do you know if that friend still has that file by chance?
Doubtful.

I havenít spoken with him in years...


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Old 03-21-2018, 02:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The gears are definitely stronger. (9310 material) The gear ratio allows a wide variety of differential options for over all final drive ratio. They are also straight cut gears and not helical cut. They use different bearings as well because like you said, the stock gears use the needle bearings because of the thrust. These use from what I remember, double row bearings similar to whats in a tcase. Also, all that stuff fits in the boxes he's made and I believe would fit in a stock box too. If you buy his 1.55 gears, you HAVE TO purchase his 2nd gen hubs, not boxes. These gears use pins instead of splines to connect the hub to the gear. A new hub bolt and locking collar slides over the bolt and all the pins to keep everything together. All very strong stuff.
Kyle, I don't think you can use the 1.55 gears in a stock mog box, material would have to removed from the already weak boxes.

My understanding is if you already have his 1st gen aluminum boxes and you want the upgraded gears he will modify/machine your boxes for no cost when you purchase the gears. Pretty sure you are right on the gears needing to use the 2nd gen portal hubs.

One of the upgrades you can try that helped stuff live included replacing the stamped steel seal housing / bearing retainer in the backing plate with a billet piece. This stops the bearing from moving the stamped retainer and keeps the gears in full engagement.

The 50 year old mog gears will break when you run the billet boxes, billet seal retainers, and proper 7" bs wheels w/ 500+ horsepower. There will always be a weak link and we are just moving it around.

New gears and boxes are badass BTW
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kyle, I don't think you can use the 1.55 gears in a stock mog box, material would have to removed from the already weak boxes.

My understanding is if you already have his 1st gen aluminum boxes and you want the upgraded gears he will modify/machine your boxes for no cost when you purchase the gears. Pretty sure you are right on the gears needing to use the 2nd gen portal hubs.

The 50 year old mog gears will break when you run the billet boxes, billet seal retainers, and proper 7" bs wheels w/ 500+ horsepower. There will always be a weak link and we are just moving it around.

New gears and boxes are badass BTW
I thought the boxes material was thickened outward, not inward. Maybe both? I do not know so ill just state that. It seems like your working backwards designing the box and then having to remove material from it if you want the new gears. Though the 1.55's could have been more than likely an after thought?? Im not sure there. I thought the gears were designed to fit stock and his new boxes but only 2nd gen hubs. He can chime in on this subject.

What wheels are we speaking of here? Any examples of 7" wheels? That seems like a lot. I know it would greatly help but am not familiar with any 7" BS wheels. My assumption of 5.75-6" BS was the norm and helped the scrub and king pins live much better.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ok so lots of info here...most of it correct.

1. The boxes we make will fit either factory gears or our 1.55 ratio. The aluminum boxes carry a lifetime warranty. You will never hurt them.
2. The 1.55 ratio is a SHIT TON stronger due to material, heat treating, cryo, tooth form, contact ratio, size, spline tear out, and the list goes on. BUT and this is a big but! If you are just crawling I don't think you need to buy the 1.55 ratio. I have been messing with portals for 7+ years and the gears don't break in crawlers. The 4110 material that the OEM gears are made out of is hard...it doesn't like shock load, but can handle torque load (if this makes sense)
3. If you run our gears you have to run our Gen 2 hubs, but they are sooo much better anyways.

You can find pics of all this stuff on my IG page. We are working on a new site and will have it updated shortly. In the meantime you can always email me questions

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Old 03-22-2018, 03:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I should mention that the 1.55 gears are .300 wider than the factory gear. We do this by slightly modifying our Gen 1 boxes...if you have a Gen 1 box and buy our 1.55 gears I will modify you boxes free of charge.

Putting a 1.55 ratio in the factory box is possible but kinda pointless IMO as the 1.55 is really designed for racing or for someone that wants a better R&P option
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Ok so lots of info here...most of it correct.

1. The boxes we make will fit either factory gears or our 1.55 ratio. The aluminum boxes carry a lifetime warranty. You will never hurt them.
2. The 1.55 ratio is a SHIT TON stronger due to material, heat treating, cryo, tooth form, contact ratio, size, spline tear out, and the list goes on. BUT and this is a big but! If you are just crawling I don't think you need to buy the 1.55 ratio. I have been messing with portals for 7+ years and the gears don't break in crawlers. The 4110 material that the OEM gears are made out of is hard...it doesn't like shock load, but can handle torque load (if this makes sense)
3. If you run our gears you have to run our Gen 2 hubs, but they are sooo much better anyways.

You can find pics of all this stuff on my IG page. We are working on a new site and will have it updated shortly. In the meantime you can always email me questions

[email protected]
Thank you for the information!! Would you mind PM'ing me what the boxes cost?
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thank you for the information!! Would you mind PM'ing me what the boxes cost?

Boxes are 850 and in stock
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Boxes are 850 and in stock
Thanks, i bought your boxes and 300m CTM stub shafts last year!
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been wheeling buggies with 404's in them for 13 years and in my experience if you set your wheels up right the portals are no longer the weak point.
I'm about 13 years into my 404's also. Low HP, but 6000+ lb
FS Bronco on 43 SX stickies, no box breakage.

I recently rolled hard and bent the crap out of one of my Staz
(double thick centers) rims. It bent hard about the center also, not sure
what you have to do to break one of those 404 portals, but even that didn't.

This is how far rim bent.

http://luxjo.supermotors.net/GREEN_D...229_172350.mp4

http://luxjo.supermotors.net/GREEN_D...229_172439.mp4
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow, that wheel is definitely bent! haha How much back spacing are you running?
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm about 13 years into my 404's also. Low HP, but 6000+ lb
FS Bronco on 43 SX stickies, no box breakage.

I recently rolled hard and bent the crap out of one of my Staz
(double thick centers) rims. It bent hard about the center also, not sure
what you have to do to break one of those 404 portals, but even that didn't.

This is how far rim bent.

http://luxjo.supermotors.net/GREEN_D...229_172350.mp4

http://luxjo.supermotors.net/GREEN_D...229_172439.mp4
Yeah, that looks real similar to what happens to me.

Check your axle housing - mine have tended to buckle and kink slightly just behind where the end flange is welded on after a big hit like that.
Quick straighten out and a little gusset and all is good again.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:11 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Wow, that wheel is definitely bent! haha How much back spacing are you running?
About 6, as much as I Staz could get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendleburger View Post
Yeah, that looks real similar to what happens to me.

Check your axle housing - mine have tended to buckle and kink slightly just behind where the end flange is welded on after a big hit like that.
Quick straighten out and a little gusset and all is good again.
Far as I can tell, no damage anywhere on the mogs.
Did find 3 body mounts completely broken today though.
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