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Mr. Personality
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Discussion Starter #1
Time for my S-120 to go under the knife.. I've had this truck for close to a year and have only got to drive it around the neighborhood once! I've spent countless hours looking for parts for the weak factory axles with no luck.. its time to get this thing road worthy.



It has a Black Diamond 240cid 6 cyl. , T-98 4 speed trans, Np-200 t-case, small closed knuckle 44 front and FA-10 rear axles. All factory original. The engine runs good and will be kept for now, but a 3-53 Detroit or 4bt Cummins will be taking its place eventually.







After trying to find brake and axle parts for this truck for months, I've given up on keeping the original axles in the truck. Brake drums are impossible to find, and I need at least 3 replaced. The Dana 44 front axle also needs kingpin rebuilds and 1 spindle. All 4 wheel cylinders need replaced along with the shoes and hardware. Add to the fact that everything on the 44 front is tiny and weak.. axle tubes, shafts, steering arms. The large x huge 6 lug wheel pattern leaves me with few wheel options.

Enough back story.. time to get some work done. :flipoff2:
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I decided I wanted to upgrade to some true 1 ton axles while still keeping it looking mechanically vintage. I decided on a Dana 70B closed knuckle, drum brake front to replace the puny Dana 44 front. In the picture I have the Spindles and hubs/drums back on just to measure the WMS, backing plates are off already.



As far as I can tell, it is out of a late 60's - early 70's dodge W300. The pass. side spring perch is cast into the housing, tie rod behind the axle, and has a cool set of Selectro locking hubs.







The pinion yoke is huge, looks comparable to a 1410 just eyeballing it.

 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The axle shafts are Tracta Joint type, not u-joint. Very cool design although I have heard they are weaker than u-joints. I've heard about these things for years, but never actually had a chance to see and handle them. I have no plans on changing them out as this truck wont see any hardcore offroading.

The inner shafts are 1.5" 35 spline at the carrier, and neck down to 1.3" in the middle. Outer shafts are 1.375" 21 spline.

Driver side axle shaft assy.



Tracta Joint assembled



Disassembled

 

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"All Weeee Drive!"
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12,033 Posts
That front is beefy & I get it the "looking original" theme, but I think that parts for can be found, but I'm guessing they will be $$$ (just a guess).

Don't closed knuckles only have about 2/3s the turning radius of open knuckle axles?

If I were you, I'd try & find a D44/14B from a Chevy donor tuck...
Not sure what is entailed with a swap, but maybe the Chevy 205 as well.
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The WMS of the stock Dana 44 is 66.5". The Dana 70 is 68.375". The factory wheels have 4.5" backspacing. I plan on using unmodified Hummer H1 wheels, which are 7" backspaced. The D44 measured 19.250" from the center of the pass. spring perch to the pass. wms.. the 70 measures 17.80". So I need to lengthen the short side of the 70 so that my wms to perch distance will be correct and I wont have to change my spring mounts on the frame.



So I need to add 1.450" to the short side just to get the axle correctly positioned when in the truck. I also need to account for the Hummer rims, so I need to add 2.5" extra to make up for additional 2.5" of b/s on the hummer rims. I'll be adding 3.95" to the short side, and nothing to the long side, which will put me at a total 72" wms-wms, and keep the wheels in approx the same location as original in the wheel wells. If I did the math right, I shouldnt have to modify the long side tube at all, just relocate the spring perch.

I'm going to have a piece of tubing machined as a spacer. It will be about 7.5" long total. 3.7" long and same as the OD of the axle tubes in the middle, reduced down on each end to fit and sleeve into the ID of the factory tubes. The 3.7" length gives me the room to leave a .125" root spacing on each side to assure good penetration between the sleeve and factory tube.

The pass. axle shaft will need attention too as it is going to be almost 4" too short now. I've got a plan for that though, and I'm sure most people are going to tell me it wont work. Well get to that when we get to that :D
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That front is beefy & I get it the "looking original" theme, but I think that parts for can be found, but I'm guessing they will be $$$ (just a guess).

Don't closed knuckles only have about 2/3s the turning radius of open knuckle axles?

If I were you, I'd try & find a D44/14B from a Chevy donor tuck...
Not sure what is entailed with a swap, but maybe the Chevy 205 as well.
Parts are available, some are expensive, some are normal. Not sure on the turning radius, but it wont be any worse than stock :D

Negative on the D44 / 14 bolt... I'm not going to go through the work of swapping, just to end up with another 44 in there. I'm not a fan of 14 bolts either. I have an old Eaton HO72 rear that will more than likely be swapped in place of the FA-10 that is in there. If I dont use that for some reason, I'll go with a D70 rear. The Np-200 that is in the truck will stay, it's the older brother of the 205 and just as strong.
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Made some progress today.

Got the pass. side stripped down and cleaned and cut the old shock mount off. Then blued the tube and scribed my cut and reference lines.





Cut the tube close to the pumpkin to give enough room on both sides for the sleeve.



Prepped and cleaned all the parts. Beveled the tubes and spacer.

 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I went over to Croft Machine in the Woodlands and had the sleeve turned down to ~2.800" on each end to fit the I.D. of the original axle tubes. The middle 3.70" section was left to fit the I.D. of the 3.5" O.D. spacer.



Sleeve before pressing into the housing



Mocked up before welding.. 1/8" gap between tubes to get good root penetration.



Root pass completed







Got too late to finish the fill and cap tonight.. should have it done in a day or two. Then pull the old 44 out and put the 70 in its place.
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
lemme guess, chamfer and butt welding, then sleeving the axle shaft with DOM and welding?
Yup.. exactly. I dont see why it wouldnt work. Just gotta make sure the sleeve sits far enough towards the outside so that it isnt rubbing the inner seal.

Gotta drive to OK today, so I wont get a chance to fawk with it again till Friday afternoon.. I should have the axle bolted up in the truck by Sunday at the latest.

I'm not going to use the Eaton rear that my buddy has.. I'll probably end up scouring the PNP's Monday for a 70 rear.
 

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Mr. Personality
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Discussion Starter #11
Got the pass. side finshed up today.. looks like I'm going to have to take 1/2" off the drivers side, which will give me a 71.5" WMS to WMS. Going to get another sleeve turned in the morning. Should have all that wrapped up and the dr. side spring perch relocated by tomorrow. Hopefully it wont rain and I can get it in the truck.

Anyone know of any sources for the 70 front closed knuckle seals? I could reuse these, but I'd rather replace them while I'm neck deep in this thing.
 

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Got the pass. side finshed up today.. looks like I'm going to have to take 1/2" off the drivers side, which will give me a 71.5" WMS to WMS. Going to get another sleeve turned in the morning. Should have all that wrapped up and the dr. side spring perch relocated by tomorrow. Hopefully it wont rain and I can get it in the truck.

Anyone know of any sources for the 70 front closed knuckle seals? I could reuse these, but I'd rather replace them while I'm neck deep in this thing.

Take your BOM number to Dana. The axle looks like it came out from under a mid 70s Power Wagon.

Before you spend anymore money on it, what tire size you going to run?

I have the same axle, heavily modified under the rear of my Scout.
 

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Mr. Personality
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Discussion Starter #13
Take your BOM number to Dana. The axle looks like it came out from under a mid 70s Power Wagon.

Before you spend anymore money on it, what tire size you going to run?

I have the same axle, heavily modified under the rear of my Scout.
I tried pulling the BOM up on the Dana expert site, but it didnt find anything.

The absolute biggest tire I will probably ever run would be 38".. probably between a 34-36" tire for now though.

Do you have a write up on your rear axle? Any pictures of the setup?
 

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I tried pulling the BOM up on the Dana expert site, but it didnt find anything.

The absolute biggest tire I will probably ever run would be 38".. probably between a 34-36" tire for now though.

Do you have a write up on your rear axle? Any pictures of the setup?


Goto to a Dana supplier. Someone like Truck Parts Specialist here in Denver.

No write up.

I'll warn you up front. The selectros are JUNK. They EXPLODE VIOLENTLY. No, there are no other lockouts. You will have to run hub flanges.

When you get tired of pulling your spindle bolts threads out, you'll be changing it over to 9, 1/2" studs.
Yes, I know it uses 5, 1/2" bolts now.

When you get sick of replacing the stock shafts, if you can find replacements, your going to change it over to standard 35 spline u-joint shafts or Longfield CVs like me.
 

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Mr. Personality
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10,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Goto to a Dana supplier. Someone like Truck Parts Specialist here in Denver.

No write up.

I'll warn you up front. The selectros are JUNK. They EXPLODE VIOLENTLY. No, there are no other lockouts. You will have to run hub flanges.

When you get tired of pulling your spindle bolts threads out, you'll be changing it over to 9, 1/2" studs.
Yes, I know it uses 5, 1/2" bolts now.

When you get sick of replacing the stock shafts, if you can find replacements, your going to change it over to standard 35 spline u-joint shafts or Longfield CVs like me.
Thanks for the info. I'll try the local Dana place tomorrow.

This truck is not going to see any hardcore wheelin anytime soon. I wont say never, because I cant say for sure that at some point it wont turn into a crawler. ;)

I'll run the selectros and tracta-joints as long as they'll stay together. I was already thinking about the hub issue though, and came to the same conclusion.. making my own drive flanges.
 

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Cool to see someone building up an old IH pickup. My dad's gotan old R120 sitting in the shop that I've always thought would be cool to make a light wheeling/camping rig out of. He started the 4x4 swap on it 20 some odd years ago, and it's never been finished up.
 

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I like what you're doing. I want to see that old truck finished so I'll be watching this thread. Keep up the good work!
 

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The absolute biggest tire I will probably ever run would be 38".. probably between a 34-36" tire for now though.

LIAR!!! :flipoff2:
I wish I had a Nickel for every-time I heard that!
I see 44" tires in your future! :p


It is great to see something different being built.:smokin:


If you're planning on extending the axle shafts by welding in a section of 4350 or whatever, forget it. It will snap like a twig. A small twig at that. You WILL be running custom length u-joint shafts shortly.

So before you go any further, are you ready to do that? If not, save your money until you are ready.


See that bell? It has to be bored out to accept a 1 1/2" shaft too. It is extremely hard and tough. Removing the bushing in it will not give you enough clearance. It has to be bored out.
 

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Mr. Personality
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I like what you're doing. I want to see that old truck finished so I'll be watching this thread. Keep up the good work!
Thanks!

LIAR!!! :flipoff2:
I wish I had a Nickel for every-time I heard that!
I see 44" tires in your future! :p


It is great to see something different being built.:smokin:
:laughing: :laughing:

I cant say it wont happen... but I have a Jeep on 42's for the hardcore stuff, so I may be able to keep myself from turning this into a total offroad crawler for the time being :D


If you're planning on extending the axle shafts by welding in a section of 4350 or whatever, forget it. It will snap like a twig. A small twig at that. You WILL be running custom length u-joint shafts shortly.

So before you go any further, are you ready to do that? If not, save your money until you are ready.
Yeah, I was planning on welding in a section and sleeving over the top of it to get the short inner back to the right length. I get the impression that you have tried this before? You think it will be that weak?


See that bell? It has to be bored out to accept a 1 1/2" shaft too. It is extremely hard and tough.
How did you go about boring yours out? What about the bronze support sleeve that is pressed into the bell? I'm guessing you just did away with that?

Thanks for all the info/help! :beer:
 

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Removing the bronze bushing won't give you enough clearance. It still will be under 1.500 with the bushing removed.

I have welded all sorts of parts together. When you break and still want to run, you'll try anything. I have been very successful welding leaf springs together and they holding.

Welded all sorts of axle shafts. They last about 5-10 minutes during light wheeling. Enough to drive on, but not wheel on.

My welding skills are good enough to install and repair steel Roller Coaster track. Boilers in 150 year old steam engines, Train cars for Steel Coasters too. I was certified up to 3/4", all position structural at one time. Never had a weld that didn't pass X-ray NDT and destructive testing. :smokin:

I welded on the 1st steel Corkscrew Coaster. It was at Knotts Berry and then Moved to N. ID. My kids used to ride it everyday and so did I every morning. So, obviously the welds had to be perfect.
 
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