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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For many years I was a Jeep guy (XJ) and felt the 14 bolt was too much for a full body Jeep......and still feel that way to a certain extent. I have built quit a few semi float 35 spline Dana 60s for fellow jeepers that have held up flawlessly to what ever abuse these guys have put them through.....on up to 40" tires.

Fast forward 7 years and an incredible buddy of mine was unable to finish a buggy rebuild project and I purchased the project from him. This buggy over all was equipped well and came equipped with a 14 bolt rear axle....something I had considered replacing early on once I had the buggy.

I have put sooooo much heart and energy in this buggy and it has become a very capable rig.....far more capable than it's driver. Many components have been upgraded and 'fixed' to the tune of 300m and other premier parts. The one thing that has remained constant was the rear 14 bolt with STOCK SHAFTS on 42" stickies.....



I am relatively close to the Hammers and consider it my 'back yard' since I am out there so often. My regular wheeling groups (URF/Benders) focus on the more challenging trails and putting the cars through their paces. I even hit the back door challenge a few times with even a top place of 8th place at one point......on STOCK SHAFTS!



My 14 bolt has an Artec truss on it along with a pinion guard (and tie in piece). After the few years of constant neglect and beating.......I am totally convinced this axle is a 'install and forget' axle! I can't think of any other axle on the market (other than maybe a Dynatrac Dana 80) that can take the bull shit this axle has gone through. I don't want any other axle at this point!



I know.....a lot of background info but I am now committed to keep this axle in my buggy. The only negative to this axle is weight.....and quite a bit of it.

Pirate and interweb searches on actual 14 bolt weight seem to vary significantly.....specially if the axle came out of a 3/4 ton (2.5" pads) or 1 ton (3" pads). I am highly motivated to get these weights figured out at some point (more on this later).

My axle, like most 14 bolts with disc brake conversions, use 1978 front rotors and the traditional Chevy 1/2 ton 7.06" (eye-to-eye) single piston calipers. This has driven me nuts from early on as no one needs front vented rotors on a rear axle.....total overkill and very heavy.....but how heavy?

In doing research, Scott at Sun Fire off-road has come up with an aluminum hub and brake solution that looked viable for my rig. I spoke with Scott and was unable to come up with an actual weight savings by going with their $1100 hub/brake system. One came up on the Pirate classifieds and I jumped on it......I guess I would find out.

GM 14 Bolt Aluminum Hub Kit ***FREE SHIPPING*** Call for Pricing - SunFire Off-Road

The parts came in and......wow! They were uber blinging.....way too nice for my vehicle.



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The kit from Sunfire Off-Road comes with most of what one needs:

Two alloy hubs with studs pressed in
Two Wilwood 3/8” 11.75” rotors
Two Wilwood Forged Narrow Dynalite Calipers
Two pair of Wilwood brake pads (Scott spec's a 'trail friendly' pad for this set up part number: 150-8850K)
Two ¼” caliper brackets
Sixteen rotor bolts
Four Caliper bolts
Two large C-Clips



In addition to this kit, one will need the following:

Two Outer Bearings - LM104949
Two Outer Races - LM104911
Two Inner Bearings - 387AS
Two Inner Races - 382A
Two Hub Seals - 2081

Kits that come with al these parts are available:

GM 14 Bolt Wheel Bearing Kit

I also needed a pair of simple brake lines (made by my buddy)....my set up looked better with a 45 degree on one end and straight on the other.



A pair of right angle NPT to -3 AN fittings (I chose alloy since the calipers were alloy anyhow)



I have a CNC Dual Master cylinder set up.......CNC recommended a 2 pound Residual Pressure Valve to be used with this setup. They also suggested a 3/4" bore master cylinder for these calipers used on the rear (luckily I already had a 3/4")





You will need to keep and reuse the keyed washer from the existing 14 bolt hub set up.



Additionally I acquired a gasket to assemble with my shafts



Additional pics:





 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Brackets are 1/4" think





Overall, these hubs are pretty nice.

Compared to a stock 14 bolt……they appear spot on









Machine work is great......up to the lockring place holder



These are made out of 6061 aluminum.....and very pretty.





Studs are more than long enough for alloy wheels
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have some decent scales at the office so I grabbed a complete side of each set up and weighed it all.....



60.9 pounds for this one side (121.8 pounds both sides)



19.7 pounds for this one side (39.4 pounds both sides)

As you can see.......the weight savings is an astounding 82.4 pounds!

It is my hope to EDIT this once I can get my hands on a complete 14 bolt (with drums) and weigh it overall and weigh one side of the brakes to provide decent weight savings overall
 

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Nice bling! I'm glad to see someone try and this kit. I for one would be stoked to know the actual weight savings. Please weight each of the parts and let us know.

Edit* nevermind thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Assembly......

I greased up the bearings as I normally would pack them then placed it into the hub. Then I pressed the race into the hub.



I then fought the C-clip into place (it is nice and thick.....very stubborn)



I used a tool to push the C-clip into place





I pushed the bearing from the other side to make certain the race was seated against the C-clip.



I then pressed in the other race, placed the bearing in it's position, then pressed the new seal in place

 

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Discussion Starter #8
After I assembled the hub(s), I then put the rotor on.

I spoke with Scott at Sunfire and he said to tighten the rotor bolts to 'just good'......being a detailed oriented geek, I wished for a torque spec. These bolts are 5/16" (just like bead lock bolts).

I Googled and found this chart.....dunno how accurate it is but I felt ok using it. This said max was 18 ft/lb



I also chose to use lock tite......but since this was a rotor I chose high temperature. I do not know if this is needed but I figured why not.....



Probably too much but.....



And then torqued to 18 foot/lbs



These rotor bolts had holes for safety wire and since I had the wire and tool.....



Why not! I don't know if this looks right or not but it should do something to resist the bolts from backing out.

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Once the hub was complete......I cleaned up the spindle in preparation of the new hub





Placed the hub on the spindle.....then added the flat keyed washer (off the old hub set up) to only discover that my new Dana 60 lock nut tool did not fit.



I chose to use the same spindle nuts as my front 60......so I only needed one tool. But my existing tool had a lip on it so I needed one without the lip.

Turns out I found one close to working.......





It required some grinding.......

The tabs had to get thinner


Better....


Then I ground down the overall curved sides.....


way better...



Now back to making progress

 

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Discussion Starter #10


The next step was to bleed the brakes and see where the caliper bracket needed to be.

Had to zip tie the rotor to prevent it from twisting and the caliper in place.





These calipers have 4 bleed screws but you only have to bleed the two facing up.

I noted where the caliper bracket needed to be positioned and the brackets didn't seem to have the right curve it needed for my set up



I ground it down to fit



Wire brushed the area



Next I connected the caliper to the caliper bracket with the supplied bolts. I then had my buddy sit in the buggy and hold the brake pedal to keep the position of the caliper/caliper bracket in place while I chose an angle to position it all at and tack it into place........then I welded it one inch at a time on both sides to make sure I don't warp it too bad.



Painted it and assembled......





 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
After assembling the D60 double lock nut set up, it was time to put the shaft in.

I used the gasket I had ordered and assembled.







In reviewing Bill Vista's 14 bolt bible, it was said to torque the shaft bolts to 110 ft/lbs. I cross referenced this against the alloy torque chart and with the 1/2 coarse bolts, the maximum torque for the aluminum, it states no 75 ft/lb is max......I risked it and went with the fine thread max torque at 90 ft/lb and no locktite.



I will take the torque wrench to the lake bed and check these bolts to see if they loosen after the first couple of runs.

Unfortunately, the gasket didn't seal the gear oil in after sitting for a few days.....


I chose to take it apart and reassemble using the Right Stuff



Now it is holding :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Now that it is assembled I have a few final thoughts......
  • Time will tell but I am a little nervous about the 1/4" caliper brackets.....I have seen some thicker brackets bent on the trail so these have me concerned. If the brackets fail, I worry the rotor will take out the hub(s).....I have installed a rear brake ball valve in case all hell beaks loose and I need to limp back.
  • The axle shaft bolts threading into the aluminum at 90 ft/lbs I will have to watch carefully......may be a non-issue but this axle is (in my mind) a 'I don't give a fuck' rear end so until it proves itself, I will keep an eye on it.
  • The kit goes together well.....and looks great. No complaints to the quality. Scott claims that these kits have finished KOH and that they are holding up.
  • Weight savings.....holy shit! 82.4 pounds is nothing to be shy of. Scott offers a front D60 hub kit which should net more than the rear axle weight savings!
  • Installation was overall pretty simple.....just need beer and a buddy to apply a brake pedal a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
After some time, I finally got my hands on a complete 14 bolt axle to weight......and a Dana 60 :D

The 14bolt was a 1973-1991 SRW with a 67.5 WMS. It has 37 5/8" and 31 5/8" shafts and brake drums with 2.5" in brake pads so I think this was out of a 3/4 ton. This has 1/2" thick tubes with a 3 3/8" diameter. (Note: This is the same axle I currently have in my buggy)





Got it on the pallet scale at the office:





That is 425 pounds with gear oil in it!

I emptied the gear oil out and wiped all the crap I could out of there and then tossed it back on the scale.





That is 416 pounds without gear oil in it!

Like I weighed the other brake/hub setups on here, I took off a complete side and tossed it on the scale



An amazing 85 pounds each side!!! 170 pounds total.....more on that later.

As a comparison, I thought I would use a Dana 60 to get a perspective on things. This is a Dana 60 I converted from full float 30 spline, to Semi Float 35 spline, detroit locker, explorer disc brakes, 3.125" diameter tubes with a thickness of 3/8", 1310 yolk, ruff stuff diff cover, with gear oil and I accidently left the lug nuts and strap on :rolleyes:



That is 259 pounds.....not bad actually.
 

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After the few years of constant neglect and beating.......I am totally convinced this axle is a 'install and forget' axle! I can't think of any other axle on the market (other than maybe a Dynatrac Dana 80) that can take the bull shit this axle has gone through. I don't want any other axle at this point!
i couldnt agree more, ive had my 14b in the rear for over 5 yrs and ive broken just about everything on my rig because i drive like a complete retard and that 14b with stock shafts 5.38 gears and an ARB has worked flawlessly. im astonished at the abuse and the list of other parts that have broken yet it hasnt even flinched, knowing bobby tanners 800 hp 22 second back door winning run was done on 14b axles also makes me smile :grinpimp:

great write up you did, very detailed and love how many pics you posted, never can have too many pics :smokin:
 

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Your safety wiring is all wrong. A little research will set you right and get it working as it should.
 

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Pirate and interweb searches on actual 14 bolt weight seem to vary significantly.....specially if the axle came out of a 3/4 ton (2.5" pads) or 1 ton (1" pads). I am highly motivated to get these weights figured out at some point (more on this later).
Just a small typo you may want to address. I don't think any of them came with 1" pads. From what I have found the average weight is about 500lbs
 

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Now that it is assembled I have a few final thoughts......
  • Time will tell but I am a little nervous about the 1/4" caliper brackets.....I have seen some thicker brackets bent on the trail so these have me concerned. If the brackets fail, I worry the rotor will take out the hub(s).....I have installed a rear brake ball valve in case all hell beaks loose and I need to limp back.


  • If the brackets bend, it will be from something hitting them and not from brake torque and as you well know, if it can be bent, JV will find a way to do it. You've done what you can with the ball valve so quit worrying about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Your safety wiring is all wrong. A little research will set you right and get it working as it should.
Thanks.....I will do some digging into that.

Just a small typo you may want to address. I don't think any of them came with 1" pads. From what I have found the average weight is about 500lbs
Thanks! It was late and I missed that.... :shaking:

If the brackets bend, it will be from something hitting them and not from brake torque and as you well know, if it can be bent, JV will find a way to do it. You've done what you can with the ball valve so quit worrying about it.
Thanks Blaine :)
 
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