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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I decided to build a new front end a couple of years ago when my Dana 30 came up bent housing (imagine that.) I'd been collecting parts for the better part of a year and finally started doing some actual work on the thing a little over a year ago. Just finished the hydraulics for the steering two weeks ago.

The first purchase for the project was a pair of end forgings I found on craigslist. One had about 4 inches of tube and the other had a good sixteen inches still in it. I paid $100 for the pair.




The tube had to be extracted from the end forgings so I could turn the ends down an eighth. The Dana 60 tube is 3 1/8" and the Currie housing center I bought accepts three inch tube for four inches. So after cutting the tube as close to the end forging as I could and then grinding out the weld as much as I felt comfortable with. I cut the tube with a sawzall and knocked the chunks out until the whole end forging was devoid of tube. It took three cuts altogether per tube.

Here are pictures for the first section. The second section removed was about 100 degrees around the circumference. As I would pound on the section of tube with hammer and chisel, I would grind a little more of the weld away each time. This way I removed as little material as possible from the end forging. The things are so hefty, I probably could have just ground the hell out of them in the first place but whatever.










 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are the tubes after they've been machined for insertion into the housing. They still haven't been cut to length yet. The long side tube I picked up from Trevor at S&N. He was even kind enough to meet me in Bothell on a Saturday while his fiancee and her mother were shopping for wedding stuff. Otherwise it would have been a long haul to get my ass from Issaquah to Smokey Point during their shop hours. Thanks Trevor!

The second picture shows the end machined for the standard Dana 60 axle seal.

Machining costs: $100. Wish I had a big lathe or large mill but even if I did I wouldn't have the space in the garage for them.




 

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Discussion Starter #3
Speaking of which:




$11.95 for the pair on ebay
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After figuring the length of tube for each side given a goal of 62" WMS-WMS the tube was cut to length and fitted back into the end forgings. Well...

The short side went OK, The long side I had to take to a guy with a press and give him $20 for the push. He put it in a 60 ton press and said, "That thing took some work but it's done."

As for the short side, I first smoothed up any rough edges left from the welds and bevelled the end forging and tube slightly to help with getting things started. The tube went in the freezer overnight. The end forging went in the oven at 450 degrees for an hour. I put the two together and started hammering. Once I stopped getting any progress I was here:






This left me about 5/8" to go. Here's what I came up with:




It's 3/16 angle, a couple of pieces of 1/4" plate and some 1/2" rod. Torque the nuts, pound on the thing, torque the nuts, pound on the thing... You get the idea.


I couldn't fit the long side tube in the freezer so I clearanced the inside of the end forging with a file and finished both it and the outside of the tube with some emery, baked the end forging again and pounded away. I think I got about half way compared to the short side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After adding the Currie HD housing ($245) to the mix, here's the bare housing tacked to the tubes.

 

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After figuring the length of tube for each side given a goal of 62" WMS-WMS the tube was cut to length and fitted back into the end forgings.
I've actually kicked this idea around for years.

What's the lengths of the tubes that you came up with?
 

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Nice work, I'll be watching.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I had no target price when I started collecting parts. I tried my best to keep overall cost down by using eBay and such but my real goal was a 609 at 62" wms. In fact, I'm going to use this thread to accumulate parts, labor, and costs to give me a final number. Just a guess at this point - I'd say I have around $3500-$4000 into it - but that's just a guess and doesn't include incidentals like grinding wheels, miscellaneous hardware, etc.

Tube lengths: Including the four inches of recess into the center housing the toal lengths came out to 5.625 for the short side and 21 [ originally written: 19.75 ] for the long side. Final WMS - WMS came out at 61.75. The lost .25 happened when pressing the tube to far into the end forgings. Fortunately I waited until the housing was complete before measuring for shafts...
 

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Hmm. . . . You just gave me a reason to keep my rear 9" housing sittin at my dads house. Thanks for the thread. Looking forward to the end result.

(I am taking a seat in your class and taking detailed notes. Subscribed)
 

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Hmm. . . . You just gave me a reason to keep my rear 9" housing sittin at my dads house. Thanks for the thread. Looking forward to the end result.
that is exactly what i want to do, my only concern is that i wont have enough axle tube on the full width rear to use it as an offset full width front.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
that is exactly what i want to do, my only concern is that i wont have enough axle tube on the full width rear to use it as an offset full width front.
IIRC, the tubes on most existing nines are 3" OD and I think they're a thinner wall also. A stock 60 end forging takes 3.125 OD tubes and stock tube is 1/2" wall.

I wouldn't use the stock nine tube if it wasn't 3.125 OD. I would imagine that adding a .0625 wall sleeve to the last two inches for pressing into the end forging would be a nightmare not to mention the reduced tube thickness and loss of related strength.
 

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IIRC, the tubes on most existing nines are 3" OD and I think they're a thinner wall also. A stock 60 end forging takes 3.125 OD tubes and stock tube is 1/2" wall.

I wouldn't use the stock nine tube if it wasn't 3.125 OD. I would imagine that adding a .0625 wall sleeve to the last two inches for pressing into the end forging would be a nightmare not to mention the reduced tube thickness and loss of related strength.
oh i hear ya,

if i used it the whole deal would get a pretty beefy truss. metal is cheap compared to the price of a 60 housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Here's a list of the rest of the parts, minus a few incidentals like brake pads which I lost track of along the way, that went into the axle assembly:

  • Third member and pinion support (used, ebay) $ 69.90
  • New 1350 yoke $ 75.00
  • 4.57 Yukon gears $ 129
  • Gear installation kit $ 59.99

  • Dodge knuckles (used, ebay) $ 185
  • Two kingpin rebuild kits with lower kingpins $ 178
  • Two New spindles (DANA 700013) $ 178
  • Spindle bearings and seals $ 26.95
  • New Hubs ( 5 x 5.5 ) $ 378
  • Wheel bearings and hub seals $ 90
  • New Warn lock-outs ( #11690 ) $ 158.99

  • Stub shafts $69.99 + $85
  • Spicer 5-806X u-joints $ 39.95
  • Custom 4340 Dutchman inners $ 350
  • 1st gen ARB ( RD55B ) ( ebay, new ) $465

  • Caliper brackets, Six States ( SE SS7009B ) $ 90
  • Rebuilt Calipers $ 36
  • Powerslot rotors ( 8306PSL/PSR ) $ 162
  • machining for rotor bore $35

Total on these parts: 2861.77


Add in previous parts:
  • End forgings $ 100
  • Extra tube $45
  • Tube machining $100
  • Seals $11.95
  • Housing $ 205.95 <- updated

Total on these parts: 462.90

Grand total: $ 3324.67



The only thing I had to do at this point besides put the pieces together was measure for the inner shafts before I could order them. I put the tape to the end of the splines on the ARB, measured to the line between the upper and lower kingpins, added the length of spline inside the ARB and then subtracted 1/2". I can't seem to find those measurements right now but if I run across them I'll edit this post with them.



Here's some pix with all the above parts...














 

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What brake brackets are those? It looks like the bolt on after the spindle like the factory brackets do. I am looking for something like that to ditch my huge heavy D60 brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What brake brackets are those? It looks like the bolt on after the spindle like the factory brackets do. I am looking for something like that to ditch my huge heavy D60 brakes.
Six states has some on ebay right now. Type in "dana 60 caliper brackets" in the search bar and you'll see em.

I purchased them from a different vendor for the purpose of running the chev 1/2 ton caliper on my 5x5.5 setup
 

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Less expensive!
No lubrication problems.
No RC 8.8 gears.
The pinion actually sits higher in relation to the axle than the Dana 30.
Guess I would figure in Driver Drop I would want a HP . Especially with all the work you went through putting this bitch together.
 
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