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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Previous owner of my truck ran it into a tree, so the front end is just not right. It’s eating up wheel bearings like mad among other things. So browsing the Nextdoor app, I can across a kid selling a d44 front and a 9” rear, both with arb air lockers, 4.56’s, leafs, disk brakes, 35” boggers on steelies for $300. Got them for $200 as I wasn’t sure about the 44 since it’s from a ‘78 wagoneer with a passenger drop diff. So I chopped the axle, sleeved it and swapped sides, so now it’s a driver drop. I don’t have a shop, so I’m doing the conversion in my driveway which is on a hill so that adds all kinds of challenges. I got the rear axle in yesterday, but had to order reproduction Cadillac calipers with an external parking brake bc the taco is a 6spd manual. After about 84 trips to Napa, I was able to get the brake lines figured out bc the metric system is ridiculous and nobody makes parts for what I’m doing. I now need to lengthen my driveshaft so heading to pick n pull today for another driveshaft to sleeve and make it strong. Yes I know I should order a custom shaft, but $300-400 is out of my range. Im doing this on a budget and keeping it as simple as possible, so I’m going to run leaf’s up front as I don’t have the $ for tubing and joints and all that. I got the perches welded on the 44, a used steering box and pitman arm from PNP off a 95 ifs 4runner, shock hoops, misc parts from slag factory and ruffstuff. I’m trying to figure out steering bc the knuckles are not flat tops and a spring over setup I’m pretty sure interferes with the leaves. I can’t find flat tops anywhere that don’t break the bank ($300+). I’ve figured out the hangers as best I can before starting to hack out the ifs, but a lot of that will come after stuff is out of the way. I’ll try to take pics and update as things progress, but it’ll hopefully be happening over the next few weeks. Here’s some pics of my “shop” and the axles as purchased. I’ll try to keep y’all posted as I go along. I’m sure I’ll have questions too.
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The trips to the auto parts store, that is the real struggle.
This is pretty cool. Seems like you got a pretty good deal on the axles. What is your plan on the front.
You have done serious work to the front axle already just swapping tubes!
How much shit rolls down the driveway into the street, funny but not funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got the axle under the rear, driveshaft lengthened, and the brakes buttoned up. Test drive revealed a mad wobble from the pinion angle. Since I had already welded the perches on I had to yank it back out and chop them off. Repositioned it with the perches loose and made sure angle was good then welded them back up. Wobble is gone, but brakes are hella squishy. Got a brake bleeder contraption from harbor freight and it sucks, and not in a good way. Gonna keep fiddlin with it. And yes, the hill sucks, worst is the rear axle on the floor jack taking off. I’m hoping to start the front next week, but we’ll see. I’ll try to get some other pics too
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I cleared a space in my side yard which is flatter to start on the front. Got it secured on blocks and jack stands and got to work. I bought a plasma cutter off Amazon for $200 and got an impact gun on Black Friday from lowes and am now wondering why it took me so long to get these things. The impact gun made short work of all the nuts and bolts of the suspension and the plasma torch cut the metal like butter. Torched out the cross members and the strut towers in a matter of hours vs the days and mountains of frustration an angle grinder with cut off wheels would have taken me. I’m not a professional by any means, so there was still some clean up needed with the grinder to get the frame clean. It rained all day Saturday (11/27/21), so didn’t get anything done. Luckily I had scavenged a pop up canopy from my church’s dumpster and with 3 small bolts it was functional and kept my “shop” mostly dry. Today I ground the rest of the welds off and started figuring how the steering box will mount. I need to grab some 1/8” plate tomorrow to make some frame braces and some 2x2 to make a crossmember between the motor mounts because I’m sure the engineers put the one I chopped out there for a reason. Here’s some pictures of the progress
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