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locating a front axle

Discussion in 'Offroad Drivelines' started by CmdrPopNFresh, May 28, 2009.

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  1. CmdrPopNFresh

    CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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    hey guys. im running into a little confusion on my part. im trying to locate a front axle to start building for an sas project....heres my problem...whats the donor vehicle i need to look for?

    im looking for something already narrow so that limits me alot.....i just really dont want to be stuck with axle shafts that are some weird size that il have to get made every time i need a spare.

    im going with leaf springs

    so im thinking this leaves me with early bronco or a d30. is that right? or can i find a d44 in a wrangler somewhere? im leaning more towards a d30 because of all the aftermarket support.

    now before i get flooded with opinions on why i shouldnt do this or dont even think about that....i just need to know where to find what i need......i dont have a ton of technical info on jeeps and im not too schooled in the options they offered in certain years but i know what i want.

    so what years jeeps (or other vehicle) can i find a suitable 30 or 44 for what im trying to accomplish?
     
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  3. kert0307

    kert0307 Well-Known Member

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    Early broncos use radius arms and coils.
     
  4. CmdrPopNFresh

    CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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    i know but i could cut all that off and weld on some spring perches right?
     
  5. kert0307

    kert0307 Well-Known Member

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    Ya, but it would be easier to leave the arms and coils on it and run that setup because your TTB already has arm and coil buckets
     
  6. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    The best Dana 30 for a Leaf Spring Setup would be one out of a Jeep YJ. 1987-1996 Wranglers. They are already setup for leafs, are the right width and have the same wheel bolt pattern as your exploder. They are also Low pinion which sacrifices a little on strength for a front axle, but will be nice for driveshaft/ y pipe clearance. I would shoot for the late Dana 30s (1993 and later I believe?) to be sure to get axle shafts with 5-760X Ujoints and a non vaccuum disconnect passenger side shaft. You can tell those that are disco because they have an odd casting with a cover over it about midway down the passenger axle tube.

    I would look on local 4x4 websites. Maybe look for a guy with a built and ask if he knows someone with one?? They are not too hard to come by here.
     
  7. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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  8. CmdrPopNFresh

    CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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    wow thanks! that was exactly the information i was looking for! so do jeeps have locking hubs or are they always engaged? i thought i heard that they are just locked.

    and thanks for the links tbars. ive been looking over both of those the last couple days and have an idea of what im going to do....now i just need to find my parts. it looks like i might be moving back to california before this winter so il have to stock up before i go or look for stuff out there and have a buddy go pick it up.
     
  9. james t

    james t Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Staying narrow, the (by far) easiest/best way to go would be the nearly bolt in radius arm/coil EB D44 swap shown above.
     
  10. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    agreed- thats why I did mine that way- not sure I would call it " nearly bolt in"- you do have to do a ton of drilling for all the bolts and to do it right you need to do some pretty major welding, cutng a building-OK maybe IZwack has raised the bar on "substantial fabricating".

    I do totally agree the EB style setup makes the most sense in a 1st gen- the frame is designed for a radus arm setup, no need to build a big front crossmember to house the front leaf mounts, approach angle, travel, ride, etc. I can see the case for leafs in a second gen, but I like my setup so much that I would do a second gen the same way.

    but he says he wants a leaf sprung dana 30:dunno:

    To answer the question yes- sort of. Dana 30s have a unit bearing style wheel bearings. It is non serviceable and it does not incorporate locking hubs. So a jeep really doesn't have hubs or spindles just a unit bearing. The front axle shafts do spin all the time, but with an open diff the driveshaft does not. In my mind it is made out to be a much bigger deal than it really is. Mileage is pretty neglegable, wear is neglegable, I would say the only real issue is running a non selecatable locker with it. I know a ton of guys with jeeps running lockers and 35s on stocker 30s with no issues. The locker is really the breaking point in my opinion with the 30s. If you run an selectable locker and you are well behaved you can get by fine with 35s. Run a detroit or get a little aggressive with an selectable locker and the ujoints will become your fuse. The 44 shares the same ujoints and I found its breaking point with 34s and a locker. I ran 37s and wheeled the junk out of mine with no issues until I locked it up again- now I gots the chromo shafts.
     
  11. CmdrPopNFresh

    CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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    my main reasoning for considering a 30 is the huge aftermarket support and the availability.....im having a heck of a time finding an eb 44. and ive always been fond of leaf springs...i dont know why.
     
  12. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    Go for it man! It is definately doable. You could consider a narrow Dana 44 from a 70s jeep wagoneer. They are plentiful and leaf sprung. I think Izwack runs one.
     
  13. dkchrist

    dkchrist Well-Known Member

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    I think he has a 60 now but another thing the YJ 30's are actually high pinion (best option for the front) and are as stated very well supported. If you are not set on that you could find a '77 and earlier (please correct me if I am wrong) F150 welded on C's and convert it to leaves using a shorter common axle length (i.e long side of a EB or Wagoneer).

    If you have the money you can by a new JK axle from mopar for around 1400 locker installed and redrill the rear but the issue is that axle would be linked.

    There are a ton of options. The sky is the limit.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  14. CmdrPopNFresh

    CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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    thanks for the new info guys! i didnt know that about the wagoneer axle....i thought those were wider than an explorer...good to know! im still thinking a 30 is going to be my choice. guess il have to check out some other off road forums to find one since d30s wont exactly be plentifull around here:p:
     
  15. 33exploder

    33exploder New Member

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    :DCmdrpopnfresh,
    dude the '1st gen wire schematic', this is what i'm looking for, real data.
    Your right it was kinda weird to down load but well worth it.
     
  16. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    I think the narrow track Wagoneer axles are 61" wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface and the explorer rears are like 58.5 wms to wms- so you would be good.
     
  17. RangerX

    RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Yeah, check out RockRanger's build thread. He used a Wagoneer axle.
     
  18. 99rangerxltsas

    99rangerxltsas New Member

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    i used eb axels just cut off the all the shit i was not going to need coil and radius arm mounts but it was going on a 99 ranger no coil buckets and it was easyer for me first time for a sas
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    also im not done yet so dont know how it drives. i hear coils are way better for flex alittle more $$ but you get what you pay for
     
    Last edited: June 3, 2009
  19. sn0border88

    sn0border88 Master Apprentice Elite Explorer

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    You seem like you need to do some more research, your only reasoning for going with a leaf sprung 30 is because " you just always liked it" and 30's have a lot of aftermarket support. Both good and true facts, but this is something that deserves to have a little more thought put into it to ensure your acually going to achieve what you want.

    You said you didnt want opinions on what to do or what not to do (although I dont know why) so I wont give any. But do yourself a favor and atleast put some effort into it.
     
  20. trj360

    trj360 Well-Known Member

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    All YJ D30s are high pinion.
     
  21. SVO42

    SVO42 Active Member

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    x2 on the Waggy axle.

    You want to look for a Jeep Wagoneer or Cherokee (SJ, NOT XJ) ('80-'83) or Grand Wagoneer ('84-91). The Cherokees could have either the "narrow track" Dana 44 or "wide track" D44. The NTs are about 61" WMS-WMS and the WTs are about 66-67". They are both low-pinion designs set up for leaf springs with a driver's side diff. FSJs '79 and older are passenger-drop.

    FYI, I'm using 4" lift springs (leaves) for a FSJ from BJ's Offroad for my build. I'll be using them spring-over instead of spring-under (under is stock for the front of FSJs). I'm shooting to fit ~40" tires.

    IMO, don't waste your time on a D30. I'm going straight from the D35 TTB to a Dana 60. :p: (Sterling in the rear) Everyone I have talked to that did a D44 swap and then swapped in a D60 has said that they wished they had gone straight to the 60 in the first place.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     

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