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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, the really right way to do it is order up a ruffstuff housing but I am resourceful, enjoy a challenge, and most of all...cheap

This axle lives under my buggy, for the last 7 years I have been running 2" wheel spacers and hating every second of it. The scrub radius sucks, makes it is hard to steer, grabs the wheel out of my hands when hitting stuff, and as I find my self driving faster in the desert and rocks I know it is hard on stuff like trunions and steering studs.

Time to fix it and add a little more width. Going 3" wider on each side which will put me 61.5 hub to hub with no wheel spacers or IFS hub bullshit.

This build is happening live so updates will trickle in throughout the weekend, I will get you guys caught up to where I am right now in the next few posts.
 

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Started by getting an 1.5" solid stainless bar and making pucks for the third and knuckle balls. This will allow me to ensure that my housing is straight as I put it together. I made the diff pucks with both 80mm and 83mm OD so they can be used in 4cyl, v6, HP, and LC 9.5" thirds
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Next up was the housing wideners. The stock housing is just over 3 1/6", I could not find any material that size but I did find a chunk of 3 1/8" x.380 DOM which is close enough. Turning it was a too much to ask of my little lathe so I had them done by the machinest that makes some of my other parts. They are turned down on one end to fit in the housing and bored on the other for the knuckle ball to press in
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After a shit ton of Plasma cutting and grinding I finally got my old lower link mounts, shock mounts, knuckle gussets, and steering stops cut off.

Next up was cutting the knuckle balls off, measured 1/2 in and cut 3/16 deep then smacked out with a long piece of tube through the opposite side of the housing

Took the grinder and threw a chamfer on the end of the housing and the knuckle ball. Also cleaned up the inside of the housing where the ball presses in, Toyota had left a bunch of sharp shit just barely hanging on.
 

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Last night I pulled my arb pulled out of my third, installed the alignment bar pucks, and put it in the housing so I could see how straight things are.....problem, not sure if it was bent when I got it or if it warped when I was welding on my truss but either way it was bent and needed to get fixed.

I figure if heat can bend a housing it can straighten it to. Took the cutoff wheel and slit the lower truss so I could get a good hot weld on the bottom of the housing then another one to weld the truss back together. Did this twice and it helped but did not get me all the way.

I designed the housing wideners to be a light press fit into the housing which means you really don't even need an alignment bar if the housing is straight. This also meant that I could not make up the difference to get it straight at that joint so I did a little grinder work and opened up some adjustability. Now I can put together a straight housing using the alignment bar.
 

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Seeing as I had to deal with the tie rod anyway I took the opportunity to upgrade from fj80 joints and 1 1/4" tube to ruffstuff 7/8" heims, safety misalignments top and bottom, 3/4" bolts, and 1 1/5" x .250" tube. Probably overkill considering it goes behind the axle above the HP third but I will probably go full hydro eventually with a single ended ram mounted to it.
 

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And here is where I am right now. Getting ready to set caster and burn it together. More pics coming soon
 

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This won't really apply to most of you but I set my axle up with the max caster my steering would allow. I failed to measure things before I took it apart but I pretty much had no caster before so this will be an improvement. One other advantage to the new tie rod is it sits higher which means I can have more caster before it hits the top of the third. Set it up with 1/8" clearance at it's lowest spot in the steering travel.
 

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You should sell those machined pieces of tube for the price of name brand wheel spacers:)
Agreed. I wonder how long it will be before TG comes out with their new "mini-truck axle widening kit". It won't be cheaper than their wheel spacers, but it will be a hell of a lot better option than their rock assault housings.
 

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Back to the axle, got it all welded up. The long side which was bent bad came out pretty damn good all things considered. The short side came out pretty much perfect. Second pic is of the long (worst) side, I could not be bothered to measure it but it can't be more than 1/64" off center which is probably better than when it left the factory.

Still more to come so check back in if you are following.

.
 

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You should sell those machined pieces of tube for the price of name brand wheel spacers:)
no joke :smokin:
Agreed. I wonder how long it will be before TG comes out with their new "mini-truck axle widening kit". It won't be cheaper than their wheel spacers, but it will be a hell of a lot better option than their rock assault housings.
I have thought about offering them for sale. If the interest is there I could offer them in one or two standard widths and also custom widths. I would have to nail down exact pricing but I can tell you that one side would be cheaper than wheel spacers and two would be a little more...plus you would need custom inner shafts.
 

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Agreed. I wonder how long it will be before TG comes out with their new "mini-truck axle widening kit". It won't be cheaper than their wheel spacers, but it will be a hell of a lot better option than their rock assault housings.
Ahh, the ripe smell of sarcasm and insincerity. If you want this in "kit form" ruff stuff may be a better option for ya.
 

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This is good tech, I dig it!

I started a similar project a while ago. Instead of spacers though, I wanted to cut all the old tube and truss out and replace with new 3.25 x 0.25wall tubing. More work, but more strength. If you didn't have the truss on the top would you have wanted to cut out the tube instead of making the 3" wideners?

In the end though its a ton of work and a ruff stuff housing is stronger and really not that expensive.

Out of curiosity, how did you weld up the ends? One continous weld around each joint, or did you stagger welds here and there and let it cool in between?

Kevo
 

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Ahh, the ripe smell of sarcasm and insincerity. If you want this in "kit form" ruff stuff may be a better option for ya.
You're right about the sarcasm. You're wrong about the insincerity. I think a kit would be a great option for indigent Toyota owners who can't imagine ever being able to afford a Ruff Stuff or Diamond axle. I'm sure $150 for a kit would sell.
 

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You're right about the sarcasm. You're wrong about the insincerity. I think a kit would be a great option for indigent Toyota owners who can't imagine ever being able to afford a Ruff Stuff or Diamond axle. I'm sure $150 for a kit would sell.
If you can't afford the ruff stuff/diamond how are you gonna pay for the alignment jig @~$550 w assorted pucks?
 
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