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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I volunteered to write the FAQ on this subject as it is pretty tough to find good info on what to expect stuffing a Chevy D60 under a TJ… especially with the stock 4.0. Everybody says to just find a 78-79 Ford D60 as it is practically the perfect fit for under a TJ. I got a really good deal on a pair of built axles(Chevy D60 and D70HD) and wanted to start building NOW.

Now knowing what I know and all the crap I’ve had to go through, I would say that “everybody” is right… the right axle is worth the wait. If you are reading this BEFORE buying an axle I strongly recommend going for a Ford axle as it will save you a LOT of time and will fit without as much trouble. If you are a cheap ass looking to fit 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag by using a retardedly easy-to-find D60 and have lots of gearing options(HP D60s can only go to 5.38 IIRC, LP can go to 7.17) and have a Chevy 60 either sitting around or available for cheap then read on.

From reading some posts and looking around under my Jeep I knew that clearance near the starter would be a big issue. If you want an ultra low COG rig then without changing your engine it will be kinda hard to do. Also you will need to do a lot of raising of the front frame section for drag link clearance:





You can see that frame clearance to the drag link will be tough to do, and nearly impossible to do a proper high steer as everything will hit at full flex. I had to run my drag link BELOW the high steer arm.



The radiator is very low and would surely get taken out if I left it like that.. these mockup pics are BEFORE I did the body lift(and motor mount lift… more on that later).

You need to be careful how far forward you stretch the axle in relation to how far you can physically move the steering box and make sure your drag link will clear the pumpkin when turned and articulated and whatnot. Note I have the stock pitman arm in those pics… I would later find out that a longer one is needed to get full turning radias. I am now using Wagoneer pitman arm. It is over an inch longer and gets you full turning radius.

Depending on what you plan on running on your front suspension and steering setup(full hydro vs hydro assist or coilovers vs coils) stuff can be tight. I chose the worst combination due to cost (coil springs and hydro assist) so in that case you need a ton of room for stuff to fit.

I decided to utilize a premade set of brackets from Ballistic Fab to obtain a bit of stretch up front and mount my 3-link up there. If you are in the same boat as me then you’ll need to fit a LCA mount, a shock mount, a coil mount, and a track bar mount all on a 4” wide piece of tube on the passenger side.

Here are the brackets I am talking about… this is how they are meant to go:



Here is how they ended up:



We will get to the track bar and shock mounts later, that will be the basis everything though.

The axle that I used was 65” WMS with the normal SRW hubs… you will find out real fast that you need to inboard the LCAs at the frame or else your tires will hit. My wheels only have 3.5” of BS so that is kinda pushing it, no more clearance there.

Here you can see how far in they are:



Don’t go TOO far in though or else you’ll need to worry about your driveshaft getting into the LCA mount. Depending on what t-case you use it may be harder(I used a D300 t-case clocked up nearly flat… I believe an Atlas has a further offset front driveshaft). You can also see the very simple UCA… that was the easiest part of the whole swap!

Here is a pic with the t-case installed to see how close I really cut it:



This is a pic with the t-case installed and prior to the motor mount lift to get an idea of how close the driveshaft would be to the starter area:



Keep in mind the front end turned out to sit an inch or so higher than that once the springs were put in… Just note that you can plan on a stupid-skinny front driveshaft. Mine will be getting build hopefully in the next couple weeks so I can add some real pics of that soon.

Here is how the UCA is connected to the frame, I chose to do it similar to the PolyPerformance 3-link kit. The 3.0” Ballistic joint upper can handle the angle in my configuration, just make sure you check and double check how much travel you need before burning everything in:





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Discussion Starter #2
...

The track bar is a big pain to make fit as well, what I did was order one from Ruff Stuff Specialties, extended it a bit more, and notched to be welded to the 2 tabs for the LCA mount.









As it was being put together everything got welded from the inside and out. The only thing that hasn’t been welded up yet is where the track bar butts up against the center section. I haven’t gotten around to it yet but will get that welded by a friend with a stick welder and the proper welding rods.

With everything assembled… you can see how much the body lift helps with clearance… radiator appears to be MUCH safer now:





Here is the way I mounted the shocks:



For the time being the top is still going to the stock mount. The springs and shocks are both leftovers from my 3” Full Traction lift kit. The shocks only have 10” of travel. When I get around to it, a shock hoop will be built and I will consider relocating the lower shock mount to the inner C. Not sure just yet.

It wasn’t until everything was together that I realized just how bad the turning radius would be… I ended up cutting off my original trackbar mount at the frame and moved it further back to allow a longer pitman arm…



Of course you should try and keep the track bar and drag link the same length and the same angle, or as close to it as possible to keep bump-steer away. Mine is slightly off, I will correct it with a custom pitman arm or space it down at the high-steer arm and make a double shear mount to take stress off of it.



This is my first shot at writing this so hopefully it's clear enough... feel free to PM me suggestions for reorganizing if you think it needs it, I want this thread to be strictly about Chevy D60s under a TJ.
 

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My Chevy 60 didn't have near the problems yours did. But I stuffed in a V8 at the same time so I didn't have any of the limitations around the stock drive train. Plus... track bars suck. :flipoff2: and I ditched the stock steering setup cause I was stretched out about a foot in the front.







 

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You can grind off some of the bellhousing just under the starter if you need to. Also a one inch motor lift helps in driveline clearance. Turn the bolt around that connects the pitman arm and the draglink if you are running into interference there. High steering arms help with draglink angle and stresses.

It looks good, keep the pics coming. I got my d60 chevy front for a song and dance, but I agree with you on the Ford axles.

Oh, and be sure to have the oil channels baffled if you run more than 10 degrees on the pinion or you might freeze up the outer pinion bearings like I did (on the highway).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can grind off some of the bellhousing just under the starter if you need to. Also a one inch motor lift helps in driveline clearance. Turn the bolt around that connects the pitman arm and the draglink if you are running into interference there. High steering arms help with draglink angle and stresses.

It looks good, keep the pics coming. I got my d60 chevy front for a song and dance, but I agree with you on the Ford axles.

Oh, and be sure to have the oil channels baffled if you run more than 10 degrees on the pinion or you might freeze up the outer pinion bearings like I did (on the highway).
I'm running drive flanges and going to be building a front driveshaft myself, so chances are it won't be able to go very fast and be balanced. I just want it to be able to go 25-30mph in 4wd.

Good info for others that may need to know so.

My Chevy 60 didn't have near the problems yours did. But I stuffed in a V8 at the same time so I didn't have any of the limitations around the stock drive train. Plus... track bars suck. :flipoff2: and I ditched the stock steering setup cause I was stretched out about a foot in the front.
Yeah... I really wish I could afford to put an LS1 based motor in there, but that's not in the $$ right now... and I'll wait til the 4.0 dies. So quite a while away.

Nice tech, but get someone to reweld all those brackets.
Thanks, and they will be(again). I believe that I took another pass at all of the ones I could. I'm still going to get Eddie(BESRK) to go over a lot of things just in case.


Keep the info coming guys!
 

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I'm in the process of putting a narrowed Chevy 60 in the front of a YJ. From what I am seeing it isn't going to be that difficult. I currently have the bottom of the frame rails set at 20" and it doesn't look like the drive shaft issue is going to be a big deal. You would have the drag link issues on a ford 60. The only minor issue I see at this point that is a problem with the chevy axle is the drive shaft, which I don't think I'll have an issue with, all of the other problems I see my self having I would have whether I was running a ford axle or a chevy axle!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in the process of putting a narrowed Chevy 60 in the front of a YJ. From what I am seeing it isn't going to be that difficult. I currently have the bottom of the frame rails set at 20" and it doesn't look like the drive shaft issue is going to be a big deal. You would have the drag link issues on a ford 60. The only minor issue I see at this point that is a problem with the chevy axle is the drive shaft, which I don't think I'll have an issue with, all of the other problems I see my self having I would have whether I was running a ford axle or a chevy axle!
If you're going with leaf springs that will make everything easier of course... I WAS going to leaves up front and a 4-link rear but the factory spring pad that is cast into the diff was screwed up pretty badly. I could have eliminated the track bar, have no issues with fitment of shocks, and at the very most build a traction bar for the front.
 

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Lots of great info here and with your info/build thread, I went with the Ford axle. Yeah it cost me about $300 more but in the long run I think it'll be much easier to adapt in my TJ than the GM60.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Bleh, just linked someone to this link... figured I should at least update it..

Driveshaft in, you can see the clearance issues with the inboarded LCA bracket(which is needed to clear the tires turning):








I found out that the driveshaft DID hit that bracket when I actually wheeled it, shaved another 1/4" off of it and it's good to go.




It's still a horrible idea:flipoff2:
 

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Running one in mine as well. Full build is in the sig but here are some random tips for it.

The Jeep was built to sit as low as possible. Measured out to a 1" drop over stock TJ.


As far as driveshaft clearance goes. Currently I am running a regular 1310 to 1350 driveshaft that is 1.75" diameter. I am also running a 231 crawl box with a D300 on the rear. Everything fits but is tight. The DS just clears the transmission as the axle drops and has plenty of room on the frame side (3 link with the upper on the driver side). The plan over the winter is to actually ditch the crawl box. Then depending how everything fits I may go to a 2 piece from shaft. If I kept the crawl box I would definately need a 2 piece shaft up front to keep all the clearances.

To solve track-bar issues with the frame, I decided to just easily re-do the front frame so that it remained straight at it's highest section. Because of the stretch and low height, the axle was almost hitting the stock frame at ride height.


Also built a little halo around the axle to mount the ram for the steering as well as the trac-bar. Kept the mount low enough to clear the frame as well as pumpkin and steering.
 

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It's a pain in the ass when you want to do it with airbags, double ended high steer, hydro assist, and a proper 3-link on a CJ7







 

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It's a pain in the ass when you want to do it with airbags, double ended high steer, hydro assist, and a proper 3-link on a CJ7

Pretty sure due to the title of this thread, " FAQ: Fitting a Chevy D60 under the front of a TJ," that that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of conversation here. Just a thought:shaking:
 

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Pretty sure due to the title of this thread, " FAQ: Fitting a Chevy D60 under the front of a TJ," that that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of conversation here. Just a thought:shaking:
I guess I don't see where there is much difference. :shaking:
 

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I guess I don't see where there is much difference. :shaking:
Bingo!

Where is the huge difference? The ONLY diference is the frame width on a CJ is 4" narrower. It's a bigger pain in the ass!
 

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There is a difference. In a TJ, we are taking a vehicle that was originally equipped with a driver's side drop axle and putting in a passenger drop axle. The drivetrain was not designed for this as the motor is offset to the passenger side and the starter area gets very cramped.

If we included CJ's and YJ's in this thread, anyone who put a chevy 60 in and just bolted it to the stock leafsprings would be included.

We can keep arguing but I think it's a cool thread because not too many people have done this, and many ask about it due to finding the passenger drop axles cheaper



Bingo!

Where is the huge difference? The ONLY diference is the frame width on a CJ is 4" narrower. It's a bigger pain in the ass!
 
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