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Solid Dana 44 swap done

Well, after two weekends, a couple of nights, and a lot of head scratching, my 44 solid axle swap is done. Kind of.

It's not as high tech as Ricks because I used factory radius arms, but there were nearly no fabrication costs involved either since all the work was done by me at home in the garage. The only thing sent out was the long side axle to Moser to be resplined.

I still have some things I'd like to improve on, the radius arm crossmember and bracket is first but that will all come in time.

Initial impressions are very good, I'm happy I did it. I have some bump steer I have to work out, I know whats wrong, I just have to figure out how I want to fix it.

Here's a short list of what I have and what I did, and remember, it was all done at home in the garage. *Note* I have access to a machine shop to fab what I need to and get cut offs and new scrap metal from a shop I deal with for my job. They build rock crushing equipment.

-Dana 44 form a 79 F150. Sectioned and sleeved, narrowed 8 inches. 58 inch track width.
-Rebuilt the axle with all new components, ball joints, ujoints, bearings, 4.88 gears and a Lock right.
-Fabbed a radius arm crossmember, used 3/4"x 6" plate (thats what was available) spaced it down from the frame with 2 1/4" square tube for converter clearance. Cut the old radius arm crossmember for the actual mounting tabs, welded and braced them to the crossmember. This is plenty strong enough but I'd like to make something that looks a little better.
-Got a steering setup from performance unlimited www.performanceunlimited.com and set it up over the steering knuckles. It's a rod end type of linkage.
-Cut the stock ford trackbar, buttwelded and sleeved it.
-Used a 6x6x3/4" plate to mount the trackbar to the frame. Drilled it to the steering gearbox pattern and bolted it through the frame to the gearbox. The frame is boxed in this area.
-Used the 4" trailmaster coils I've always had on the ranger and fabbed a set of adapters to mount them to the radius arms. The adapters gave me 2" of additional lift. Also made a set of these for Riffman for when he swaps his out.
-regeared the rear end to 4.88 as well, already had a locker in the rear.
-At the present time I'm running the smaller bolt pattern on the rear cause I ran out of funding to buy new axles, but that will be the first thing addressed as funds become available.

The truck now sits about two inches higher in the front than the rear so I'm working on a buggy spring set up to even it up and help my flex. You need all the help you can get with a 126" WB.

I welcome any and all questions, I'll do everything I can to answer them.

Heres a couple pics and the link in my sig goes to more.

View


View
 


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Brian1

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Wow!! Looks really good Kampy!
Does Moser do good work and are they a fair price for cutting and re-splining axles? I am going to be narrowing 2 axles soon and I will have to have 3 re-splined and shortened.
 




Kampy

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Brian, I think they do good work, this is the first thing I had them do but the fit and finish was perfect. I sent them the shaft and told them how much to whack off. I had it back in a week and that was with shipping both ways, I live fairly close though. Cost was $50 plus shipping.
 




FMExplorer

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Kampy,
Looks great! I love the look of a solid axle on the Explorer. Let me ask you one question - how long did you have the axle on before the 2nd pic above? The first pic looks brand new - the 2nd looks like you have been putting it through a "testing" period :)

Jon
 




go off road

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Hey that looks great how is it out on the road ? Solid axels are cool off road
 




Kampy

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In the 2nd pic it had about 50 miles on it, none off road, just slop spray from the road into the quarry I work at. Haven't done any offroad with it yet, it handles fine on road, it's tighter feeling than the old TTB setup it had.

Took it for a shakedown run to Andre's house today for the NoIEC get together, and all was fine. Planning to fine tune it this week and flex her a little to check for bugs.
 




aphsu92XLT

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what did you do with the .....

What did you do to solve the problem of the u-joint? I have a 79 axle that I'm putting in and the ujoint length for the axle is 4", and the driveshaft is only 3 1/4"?? I've looked for adapter joints, but haven't found any yet.

aphsu92XLT
92 XLT(obviously)
 




Kampy

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The u-joint is a piece of cake, go to your local NAPA store, tell them you need a 353 u-joint and hand them $15.00, you'll walk away with a new ujoint and some change.
 




bluethunder

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what kind/size tires are you going to run kampy?
 




Kampy

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Planning on 35's at a minimum or 36's if I can find what I want for a decent price.
 




Rick

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Very nice Kampy, looks great! Add some more photos when you get them.

I assume the mismatch in angle between your steering rod and your trackbar is what is causing the bump steer. I have heard that that angle is critical to eliminating bump steer.

Can't wait to wheel with you and Riff at the Badlands!!
 




Kampy

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Thanks Rick.
Yes, the problem with the bump steer is the difference in angles, hopefully I can get that solved this weekend. There are more pictures in my photopoint acct which can be accessed thru my signature link, I didn't want to post a bunch here and chew up alot of bandwidth. I can't wait to get back to attica also, it's been driving me nuts, man what a long winter!
 




tiessen

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Well, I ramped my new solid axle setup on the weekend. I still have a few bugs to work out but it ramped 900 on a 20 degree (I was running 10.5" tires not really aired down either). But I think that's respectable anyways. I'm running basically the same setup as Kampy, except I have factory steering and factory radius arm brackets, oh and I think my axle stayed a bit wider - I only cut 6 3/8" out. That brought the axle to early bronco specs so if I need to replace the inner R axle shaft that's cut I can buy a Warn stock replacement (nothing custom).

Cheers

Dale

ps. If you want real articulation, you have to wrist a radius arm. Some guy with an EB ramped 1120 on the weekend. Told me without the wristed radius arm, his truck ramped less than 1000.
 




Kampy

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Dale, glad to hear from you. I wish this long ranger would ramp 900, don't think that will ever happen.

I would have used the factory radius arm brackets but I didn't have them, I think you made a good choice, The steering was junk on the old 44 and new stuff from moog was almost as much as this setup so I decided to go with it.

I think at the present time my springs limit my travel more than the R arms, I have stiff old 4" lift trailmaster springs and they really don't flex too well, I was looking at Rick's pics last night and I see he's cheating, it looks like his are setup to drop the springs out of the spring pockets on top for added flex. I'm going to have to look into that a little farther.

Do you have any info on the wristed arms? Riffman and I talked about it a while ago but I was never able to find anything on it.
 




leebo

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Before he post......just don't ask what that setup is called. I'm not too sure if it's ok for the board.....HEHEHE

I must say....I can't wait to see this rig. I'll keep you updated if I head back.
 




riffman

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well todd....you ready for work this weekend? got my stuff...so ill be up there...

a guy down here mentioned somthing to me about the wristed arms, and they are supposed to do great! so im doing a little research on them too....you can make the wristed arms out of the stock bronco ones...so who knows...maybe a possibility down the road...
 




riffman

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tiessen

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Very easy to do the wristed radius arm thing yourself. No need to pay a big price. Do a search on the 'net and you'll find tons of links.

http://www.greatnorthern.net/~fearme/tech/page2.html

Cheers

Dale

ps. When I talked to James Duff, they told me their coils with stock radius arms will do 12" of travel. Same coils with a wristed arm with do 17". Wow is what I said...
 




rpenner54

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The reason Coby's arms are so much $$$ is its his first run so he wants to gain some $$ back and them dudes are NOT going to break EVER. :) Plus they are upgradable to the hydrolic kind I think thats what he was saying. Basically someday there will be a kit that pulls the pin for you and it will be activated on the dash. Or so the plans go as I have heard. His bronco is trick. Its been in one of the mags listed under Shelby powered EB. Or something like that.
 


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tiessen

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I agree, those arms are trick. But what I'm saying is that you don't have to pay that much or do something that trick to get the same results. The James Duff radius arms are similar to the Coby ones. With a wristed arm, you only have to do 1 side, usually the passenger side by convention.

Cheers

Dale
 




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