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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking to build a new front axle for my built XJ. Have read all the threads and this is the current thought...basically D44 center with Ford SD F350 D60 unit bearing outers.

Use Currie D44 HP RockJock housing and 3" tubes 63"WMS, use JK44 R+P 8.9", 4.88s using 37" MTRs on 9x17", Ford D60 inner C, ball joints, Currie Ford F350 knuckles, high steer and 35 spline Unit bearings and outer stubs, 1480 U joints and all F350 brakes and rotors. 1350 yoke, Hydro assist, 35 spline inner shafts, Diff- ? either ARB or OX 35 spline.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Diff thoughts... Would like a LSD 35 spline but none are made. I bought a used D44 TrueTrac and was going to take it apart and see if I can get the gear spline enlarged to 1.5" for the 35 spline and get it Broached for 35 spline and then open up the carrier for 1.5" axles. The area under the bearing is quite thick and should accept boring and then the D44 bearing pressed on. I read that ARB uses a different bearing with a larger ID to save strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tires and rims, 8x170 pattern, F350 calipers and rotors. Rest is a clean slate.

Been going round and round on this axle. Originally thought Fab9 and Hi-9 but the Fab9 housing is quite large and will not stuff and clear very well and would require like 8" lift which is not what I want. I want lift about 4.5-5" and using Notch flares.
 

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Originally thought Fab9 and Hi-9 but the Fab9 housing is quite large and will not stuff and clear very well and would require like 8" lift which is not what I want. I want lift about 4.5-5" and using Notch flares.
Where are you getting your measurements from? you are only talking .1 difference between an 8.9 ring gear and a 9" ring gear. Most "fab" 9" housings leave VERY little room around the ring gear.

I HAVE NOT MEASURED..........but I highly doubt that the 8.9 Dana 44 center section is smaller than a "fab" 9" center .

Edit: Read "fab" 9" as spidertrax. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I mean the outside of the Fab 9 housing is physically too big for an XJ unless I lift it 8". Same with a D60 housing. Want to use the D44 housing because of it's smaller external dimensions and will 'stuff' higher without hitting the suspension or engine.
Nothing to do with ring gear size.
 

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Correct me if im wrong but it would seem to me that you'd be making the r&p weak point. 9in works great with bigger shafts outers due to a thick ring gear and extra pinion support. D44 center wouldn't have that benefit
 

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Looking to build a new front axle for my built XJ. Have read all the threads and this is the current thought...basically D44 center with Ford SD F350 D60 unit bearing outers.

Use Currie D44 HP RockJock housing and 3" tubes 63"WMS, use JK44 R+P 8.9", 4.88s using 37" MTRs on 9x17", Ford D60 inner C, ball joints, Currie Ford F350 knuckles, high steer and 35 spline Unit bearings and outer stubs, 1480 U joints and all F350 brakes and rotors. 1350 yoke, Hydro assist, 35 spline inner shafts, Diff- ? either ARB or OX 35 spline.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Diff thoughts... Would like a LSD 35 spline but none are made. I bought a used D44 TrueTrac and was going to take it apart and see if I can get the gear spline enlarged to 1.5" for the 35 spline and get it Broached for 35 spline and then open up the carrier for 1.5" axles. The area under the bearing is quite thick and should accept boring and then the D44 bearing pressed on. I read that ARB uses a different bearing with a larger ID to save strength.
This is the exact axle I had contemplated building. I talked with a number of axle builders and was told this is a pretty solid route for a strong, cheap axle. Otherwise the better option is to just run a JK D44 with RCV's/chromos and call it day. That axle will handle 37's by itself.

The reason I didn't go this route (I narrowed a SD HPD60 and put kingpin outers on instead) is because the only way to get 35 spline shafts for a D44 is with an ARB and I'm not dishing out $1K for an ARB. So putting hte big outers on is pointless without the 35 spline inners.

If you're not going with an ARB then you're better off using a 9" center section for the 35 spline ability. The 9" will cost you more, but will be far more versatile.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's what I was thinking. Originally was going to build a Fab9/Hi9 for front and rear with SD60outers but was talked out of the it by one of the 'oldtimers' at Currie who raced and has lots of Jeepspeed and Cherokee experience. Fab9 just doesn't fit up in a XJ very well.

I am tired of the weak outers. XJ ball joints, unit bearings and U joints. Even JK outers is not much of an upgrade. Now the SD D60 outers are all huge. No breaking any of these parts. And the small XJ/JK calipers are BS at best. The SD calipers are huge.

After bending and breaking R+P on stock D30, My last build was a 'super' 30 with sleeves, trussed, 4.56 Yukon, CM shafts and early XJ outer knuckles and 13.25" rotors and '13 Durango calipers on 35s and it finally stops.
This next build will have bigger tires 37s and way more HP with a M112 SC and forged engine, expecting 500HP/600TQ. Hence a bigger axle.

Front ? SD D60 ball joint unit bearing outers and C, and RJ D44 center with JK8.9" and 35spline shafts.
Rear ? RJ D60 or D70 with F350 unit bearings full float 35 shafts and F350 brakes.
Really want something strong but with less weight.
 

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That's what I was thinking. Originally was going to build a Fab9/Hi9 for front and rear with SD60outers but was talked out of the it by one of the 'oldtimers' at Currie who raced and has lots of Jeepspeed and Cherokee experience. Fab9 just doesn't fit up in a XJ very well.

I am tired of the weak outers. XJ ball joints, unit bearings and U joints. Even JK outers is not much of an upgrade. Now the SD D60 outers are all huge. No breaking any of these parts. And the small XJ/JK calipers are BS at best. The SD calipers are huge.

After bending and breaking R+P on stock D30, My last build was a 'super' 30 with sleeves, trussed, 4.56 Yukon, CM shafts and early XJ outer knuckles and 13.25" rotors and '13 Durango calipers on 35s and it finally stops.
This next build will have bigger tires 37s and way more HP with a M112 SC and forged engine, expecting 500HP/600TQ. Hence a bigger axle.

Front ? SD D60 ball joint unit bearing outers and C, and RJ D44 center with JK8.9" and 35spline shafts.
Rear ? RJ D60 or D70 with F350 unit bearings full float 35 shafts and F350 brakes.
Really want something strong but with less weight.
A fabricated 9" housing is incredibly easy to package under an XJ... I'm not sure where you're getting that from. It's just as easy as a D44 if not easier.

SD outers are going to be heavy, so I'd use a 3" OD tube from the fabbed housing and a lighweight truss to keep everything straight. You'll be able to fit 35 spline shafts in that, get the huge brakes, huge inner's on out, and you can redrill the hubs for 8x6.5".

If money wasn't an option, or an extreme hindrance for me, I'd be building a front axle just like what I mentioned with a similar rear using Sterling outers. You'll save a few hundred pounds using the smaller diameter tube and fabricated housings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Part or the issue with the Fab9 housing is the actual housing width and having room for the spring perches between the housing and the inner Cs. Narrowest WMS with Fab9 with spring perches is like 64" or 65" which is wider than I wanted.
3" tubes are the plan.
Original plan was using Fab9 and Hi9 front and rear. You can even get the Fab9 with a 10" ring gear.
It's a tough balance weight, strength, width and money.
 

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Wait, you're putting leaves up front with an axle like that?? Well shit, just put a narrowed D60 up front and call it a day.... No sense in dropping all that money on an axle like that and not linking it in my opinion...

BUT if this is really the route you want to go, then you could build the spring perch into the side of the housing like what's done with a D60. That'll give you the room you want and the WMS.
 

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Ah, gotcha, coil buckets. Regardless, you can build those into the housing too. It raises the height of the bucket off the tube a bit (all depends on where the diff is) but that's not a huge deal and is something you'll have to contend with with most any other axle.
 

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Mine is low pinion chevy 44 with jk gears, but I used a 50 open carrier and turned down 60 side gears. Opened up the ID for the shafts to slide through. Boom. 35 spline 44.
I looked into doing exactly that but the thin wall left on the carrier made me nervous. I believe it ends up only 0.120" thick?

Action Fab also did this, but I'm not sure how much wheeling has been done with it.
 

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Why go through all that trouble and money to build a bastard axle when you can just shorten a D60 and be done with it? Stronger and cheaper. Plus less custom parts.
 

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I don't really remember the dimensions but it wasn't really worry some to me when I saw it in hand.

Danny, same reason I didn't put a chevy 350 in something. Color outside the lines sometimes.
 

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Why go through all that trouble and money to build a bastard axle when you can just shorten a D60 and be done with it? Stronger and cheaper. Plus less custom parts.
size, weight, it's not a cookie cutter, parts are cheaper (arguably), it's not much more work than narrowing a D60.... Ton's of reasons.
 
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