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Wicked Windsor's D44 Swap

WickedWindsor

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351 powered, 1991 XLT 4x4
Took 4 months but 1/2 that time was waiting for more $ to come in to finish up.

Again with mods, I had to go the unbeaten path to see what works and what doesn't. Fortunately for me, this worked out well with no kinks I can think of.

- Low Pinion Dana 44 from 2001 Dodge Ram shortened to use Wagoneer left & right inner shafts with stock Ram outer shafts.

The good

- Stock Ram Dual piston calipers 12" rotors
- Chrome moly inner axle shafts
- Low pinion chunk with great clearance to frame
- Sealed hubs, 4x4 on demand, no more regreasing bearings, nut torquing etc.
- Custom Radius arm design allowing me to unbolt passenger upper arm for 3 link radius arm or wristed arm setup for more articulation.

The Bad

- Sealed hubs, no more manual lockouts & driveshaft rotates full time (I don't care).

The ugly

- Another expensive mod that was not necessary.

I need to get it on the RTI ramp. This was as high as I could get it unsafely for now.
a01.jpg


Track bar is stock TJ rear, Tie rod is '95 Ram, Drag link is '96 E150, all 1" diameter stock!
a02.jpg
a03.jpg


Ballistic Fabrication to the rescue!


What the 2001 Dodge RAM axle looked like when I got it home from the wreckers 71 1/4" WMS to WMS !!!!!!!!!!!!


After I shortened it cutting off inner "C's" and rewelding back on. Made block off plate since I'm not using CAD, I have one piece inner shaft!


Brackets on and ready to go



2" - 1/4" wall DOM Lower links
1 3/4" - 1/4" wall DOM upper links
Ballistic joints on frame end


Tranny and link mount
a04.jpg
 
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RangerX

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Great write-up!
What rear axle is that, a 2nd Gen 8.8?
What TTB coils are those? I don't get what you mean by reversing them...
 

CountryBoy78

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Looks like a nice setup.
What gear ratio are you running in the front and rear?
 

WickedWindsor

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Great write-up!
What rear axle is that, a 2nd Gen 8.8?
What TTB coils are those? I don't get what you mean by reversing them...
'97 8.8 with 4.10 stock gears
Reversing them by turning them end over end, or bottom to top. The bottom would be secured and the top would slide over a round tube which can also serve as a bump stop. I'm going to see how much true flex I can get first. To be honest at this point, I'm happy with the way it is.
Coils are Skyjacker 4" lift.

Track Bar bracket


In place checking flex for obstructions and freedom of movement





TTB springs...Yup, I know, Why right? I plan to reverse them in the future like a Jeep so they drop up to 4" on droop. I just love the way they ride!


Dual piston caliper. My 15" wheels clear these fine too!
 
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WickedWindsor

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Looks like a nice setup.
What gear ratio are you running in the front and rear?
Thanks, 4.10 gears. Perfect for 33's and my 351 engine.



Here's where it gets interesting! I used the stock Ram master cylinder on my truck that is almost a bolt-in!!!!!
Since it has bigger brakes, I wanted sufficient braking power, makes sense to use master that the calipers were designed for.
How close to a bolt-in is it? It physically bolts right up to the stock booster and has the exact same booster bore diameter as well. The thread sizes are same as my '91 Ex master as well. What needs to be modified is the booster rod end length. It needed to be shortened by 1/4" so I screwed it all the way in and used a grinder to take the tip off the bolt down to the hex part (sorry, no pics taken).
Brakes work awesome! They seem to work great so far with the now installed rear discs too.




F250 shock towers

Also relocated brake lines to behind shocks reusing my extended brake lines I had before - same banjo size as Ram calipers.


 
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WickedWindsor

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One other thing I did was reuse the stock '91 front driveshaft and swap the front spline yoke on it with the spline yoke off of a rear '95 Sport shaft. This gave me 1330 yoke to match my axle and shaft length was perfect for my 1356 xfer case. The stock shaft would be too long for stock xfer case and Dana 44 though.

I also took the double cardan apart to clearance it for better droop angle.

Spidertrax wheel adapters for rear to 5x5.5" to match front

Adapted stock emergency brake cables to new rear disc emergecy brakes. Use what you got baby, this works well!

Rust is next to go!!!

Basically just got finished so I have yet to give her a good test but everything seems solid and it rides real nice, can't wait to get her off-road!
 
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Slowlyvverot

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sweet swap...interesting to see you use a dodge 44 though. why did you choose that over a ford 44?
 

WickedWindsor

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sweet swap...interesting to see you use a dodge 44 though. why did you choose that over a ford 44?
Availability, hubs & brakes. All a plus in my book.
 

chad551

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Was that axle made for a leaf spring setup? My reason is my wagoneer axle was a leaf setup and I want to make a linked setup like yours. So I can asuume the ballistic fab parts fit on the axle, without grinding down the leaf pads on the drivers sdie where it is part of the diff housing. Also do you have any measurements for your long arms you made? Rubicon Express arms are way to pricey for that small of DOM.
 

DB_1

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WickedWindsor

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Was that axle made for a leaf spring setup? My reason is my wagoneer axle was a leaf setup and I want to make a linked setup like yours. So I can asuume the ballistic fab parts fit on the axle, without grinding down the leaf pads on the drivers sdie where it is part of the diff housing. Also do you have any measurements for your long arms you made? Rubicon Express arms are way to pricey for that small of DOM.
I can measure the width of space I have between the diff and inner C this weekend for you. I did cut about 1/2" off the drivers cast housing for the little extra I needed.
I'll also measure My DOM for you as well. I got all my DOM for under $80 at my local metal supply.
 

WickedWindsor

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I am wondering if I would have enough room to get those Ballistic fab mounts and not have any rubbing issues.

I've got 4" to the inner C weld and 4 1/4" to the inner C (weld is 1/4" thick.
My Ballistic fab brackets are 3" from outside edge to outside edge wide.
Also to consider, I angled my brackets so the control arms would angle in as they get closer to the frame. I think this is the propper way to mount the brackets. I've seen people mount axle brackets perpendicular to the axle but to me that puts too much side load stress on them.
You can kind of see the angle and where I mounted them here.



As far as rubbing goes, I have slight rubbing at full lock on the lower arms but I am going to install steering stops soon to prevent that.

Lower control arms - 30" bolt eye to bolt eye
Upper control arms - 15.5" bolt eye to bolt eye
 
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KingstonX

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Awww Very nice build :) I hope to be doing mine soon aswell doing the research now :p I like how your Y-links look
 

chad551

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Thanks for the help and dimensions. I think I am going to redo my setup like yours. I am wondering of I make my lower links longer if that will get more flex. For some reason I was thinking the extended radius arms were around 40"-46" long?
 

yostyexplorer94

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WickedWindsor

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Thanks for the help and dimensions. I think I am going to redo my setup like yours. I am wondering of I make my lower links longer if that will get more flex. For some reason I was thinking the extended radius arms were around 40"-46" long?
I guess it depends on what you want it to do.
I set up mine so I can remove a hitch pin on the rear of the upper passenger control arm for trail and flex. I leave the pin in place on the street for more controlled stopping and strength. Longer links will allow the axle to not rotate as much when flexing which will allow more flex with all links attached as well. With longer links, you will want to mount them inward and closer to eachother at the frame end for more tire clearance.
 

Turdle

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I also took the double cardan apart to clearance it for better droop angle.
OK, I have not heard of this. Enlighten me please? Mine binds at droop and I would like to improve it a bit
 

WickedWindsor

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OK, I have not heard of this. Enlighten me please? Mine binds at droop and I would like to improve it a bit
I used this article for reference before I did mine and worked great for info. It is a Toyota shaft but the principle is the same.

Driveshaft CV Modification for Increased Angle

This is basically all that needs to be done,




Once you start grinding bits off & test fitting them as you go, you'll start to see exactly where you need to "fine tune" the work to get as much angle as you can get.
 
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Join the Elite Explorers for $20.

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