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When I did my full float conversion I designed a spacer that fit between the housing and spindle. This let me make the rear axle wider and use an unmodified front axle spindle. I run a dana 30 front and the axles are now the same width.
 

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Discussion Starter #62 (Edited)
I hear you on the axle options and width concerns. I think the CJ's with the open knuckle d30 still have the same (narrow) rear track width as yours (correct me if I'm wrong!) The narrow/stock d44 with the right rims perfectly tuck a 31" into the rear wheel well on my flatty (though mine do rub on the inner fender a bit). I'm not sure this would hold true with a wider axle maybe others will chime in.

If you look at what mieser did with his FF conversion he made his spindle adapter wide enough to match the track width of the stock CJ d30.
I thought for sure that the CJ5 axles were a few inches wider than the CJ2A/3A/3B axles.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
I meant larger than 31. I don't have a rational reason to say that though. The 31x9.5 swamps fit perfect on a stock flatty and work great. They are good riding and balance good and have good traction even with the continuous tread down the middle. I just see the 32x10.5 or 33/34" options and think they look better and would give a little more clearance. I tried miesers old 32x10.5 radial swampers on my 2a and they definitely rubbed--but he ran them for years when his MB had stock springs. His wheels did have a little more backspacing than the rims I'm running.
I've got a nice set of 35s hanging around the garage, but I think they're overkill for the little flatty.

 

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Discussion Starter #64
On a separate topic, I have an M416 trailer that I had been building for a JK project. I might dial it back a little bit to match the 3B. Unfortunately, I have 8 35" BFG Mud Terrains mounted on matching JK rims and I've already sandblasted and painted the trailer to match the JK that I no longer own. I don't think yellow is in the cards for the Willys though. I'm leaning towards white or orange.

 

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Early pre 1972 cj5 stuff is basically same width as flatty stuff. When they changed to the dana 30 open knuckle front the axles got about 3 inches wider.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Early pre 1972 cj5 stuff is basically same width as flatty stuff. When they changed to the dana 30 open knuckle front the axles got about 3 inches wider.
Thanks! I'm rereading the Rango thread right now for like the 3rd time. I didn't realize I was in the presence of a celebrity. I love that build! All recommendations are greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I was planning to mock them up for a look at the very least. I think they might be a bit over the top and the axles will definitely need replacing, but I do get a bit of a woody over builds like this.

 

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Discussion Starter #69
I wonder...

What would it take to squeeze 32s under the 3B? Any ideas about lift? Spacers? Would the Dana 25 up front hold up? Would I even need the overdrive at that point? I really only need to do about 50mph to get any of the places that I want to go.
 

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I wonder...

What would it take to squeeze 32s under the 3B? Any ideas about lift? Spacers? Would the Dana 25 up front hold up? Would I even need the overdrive at that point? I really only need to do about 50mph to get any of the places that I want to go.
It just depends how much little stuff you want to do. I ran 32s of my flatty for years before rebuilding it. The stock flat fenders don't have a ton of uptravel, especially with old springs, and the frame flexes a lot. The most annoying thing was the turning radius with narrow wheels and too much backspacing.

Moving the rear axle back slightly would be the best place to start. The front of the tire needs a little more room in the front.

Beyond that, your imagination is the only real limit. I am basically run a 35" tire with little to no lift on my 'Rango' build, it might be lowered a little bit even. To do this I had to move a lot of stuff around, but the simple version is that I raised the front fenders, raised the rear wheel tubs, opened up the rear wheel opening, the front axle was pushed about 3" forward, and the rear axle moved back about 2". To make this very low stance work right I made sure to make room for 4.5" of uptravel from ride height, and I tucked the belly up as close to the bottom of the frame as practical.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
I had a tcase mounted emerg brake bind in reverse long ago...just a thought, it was a chevy
I had considered that, but my expectation would be that it would bind with the Jeep up on the stands just the same as in the driveway. Nothing is out of the question though. I'll see when I drop the rear drive shaft and try driving it around with just the front axle engaged. The e-brake will still be in place and spinning.

I appreciate the input though. I certainly haven't solved it yet.
 

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My reluctance to invest much in my current D44 is mostly about the front axle. At some point, I'd like to go to an open knuckle D30 or maybe a built D44 and I want my axles to be the same width. I'd hate to throw too much at this rear axle only to retire it later.
I have a friend in Belchertown that has a D30 with 5:38 gears and a Lock-rite for sale. Short money. Bolt right up to the 3B.

PM me if you have interest. He also does gear work on the side.
 

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I had 35's on my A1 when it first went together and they were WAY too much. The 33 10.5 are perfect IMO for my jeep with 3"black diamond springs.

I just did the open knuckle Dana 30 front on my A1 as well and I HIGHLY recommend that mod. Wish I had done it sooner. I have a TruTrac in mine and it is really interesting how transparent it is.

Great trip with your daughter BTW! Tons of great memories with my own 13 year old and jeep adventures at the farm.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Apparently, there's a narrow track D30 available in my general neighborhood (thanks Nofender). However, there are no steering knuckles, spindles, or hubs included. I'm thinking that this might be an opportunity to score a later model wide track D30 with disc brakes and swap over all the necessary parts, but I'm really not sure what the compatibility is between the early NT D30 and later offerings. For instance, I assume the NT is a kingpin axle, but I have no idea when D30s went to ball joints or away from locking hubs. Should I consider piecing together a D30 or should I just hold out for a complete unit?
 

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Apparently, there's a narrow track D30 available in my general neighborhood (thanks Nofender). However, there are no steering knuckles, spindles, or hubs included. I'm thinking that this might be an opportunity to score a later model wide track D30 with disc brakes and swap over all the necessary parts, but I'm really not sure what the compatibility is between the early NT D30 and later offerings. For instance, I assume the NT is a kingpin axle, but I have no idea when D30s went to ball joints or away from locking hubs. Should I consider piecing together a D30 or should I just hold out for a complete unit?
The open style inner knuckles are the same on early CJ stuff, and related to D44 inner knuckles also. They changed once they went to unit bearings on the YJ Dana 30 in 1987.

From the spindles out on your D25/27 is mostly the same also.

There are lots of ways to combine stuff....
 

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My housing was a disc brake housing from an 79-83 narrow track vehicle. I think I gave $50 for it. I bought all the other parts from a guy who had swapped discs onto his '73. But all that stuff is compatible as Mieser says on all the 30's.

The drum axle stubs are different than the discs and obviously the wide track inners are different than the NT stuff, but everything else interchangeable IME.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Out the door by 7:30 this morning. It's Black Friday and I'm going shopping, but not to any of those big box department stores to fight over Chinese televisions or the latest video game system. No, I'm hunting for far more valuable and elusive quarry...Jeep parts.

Now, I've written entire essays dedicated to my love of Craigslist treasure. Not so much the items I find, but the hunt, the trek, and the interesting characters I've met along the way. Today was no exception. I met a great Jeep guy and all around gearhead by the name of Bill Barnes who just happened to have a narrow track Dana 30 front axle with 5.38 gears and a freshly installed Lock-Right locker. We had communicated back and forth over Thanksgiving and agreed to meet at his house this morning at 9:00. Despite initial delays associated with fresh snow and timid Subaru drivers in Savoy and Windsor, I made the journey to his house in just under an hour and a half.

Like any good gearhead, he was already in the garage waiting for me. To my surprise, he had the axle in a stand with the dif cover off so that he could show me the condition of all the internals and to give me some background on the axle. This guy was a class act. No dickering over price for me. It was worth the price of admission just to meet this guy. Once the deal on the axle was struck, we moved onto a guided tour of his CJ-5, his Corvette, and an old Ariens that he had just tuned up. We only spent 5 minutes on the axle and then easily another hour on life and the love of all things mechanical. We threw the little axle in the back of my 4Runner, making my 14' trailer superfluous, and parted as newfound friends. Another perfect Craigslist hunt.

So here's my new future front axle...which I absolutely did not need, but I'm looking forward to scrounging around for the rest of the parts to make it complete...disc brake knuckles, spindles, hubs, etc.



P.S. Thanks Andy V!!!
 

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Nice find! :)

I never seem to find good used parts for cheap or even reasonable prices. Here in Los Angeles everyone things their old parts are made of gold.... :mad3:


Or maybe I just don't have the patience to look for long enough, haha
 
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