International Full Size Jeep Association

International Full Size Jeep Association (
-   Suspension and Steering (
-   -   FSJ Dana 44 - SOA (spring over axle) Steering Solutions (

Tad 10-29-2006 09:57 AM

FSJ Dana 44 - SOA (spring over axle) Steering Solutions
FSJ Dana 44 - SOA (spring over axle) Steering Solutions

I’m making this post because we seem to be asked the same question on a reasonably regular basis. It will be a sticky for a bit, then it will get archived.

The topic is pretty clear, Dana 44 - SOA Steering Solutions:
It’s that simple, but I am going to impose a few conditions which I feel are simple, efficient and will help members find needed information faster.

Pictures are mandatory.
I would think uploading them here and using them as attachments would be fine, off site hosting is fine also, please keep the image size reasonable (someplace about 500 pixels wide) and keep backup copies.

I’d like it to be clean and simple.
Rig and Axle Type:
(wag, chero, JTruck, NT or WT if applicable, swapped axle, D44 or 10-Bolt, let’s leave the D60’s for another post)
(cross-over or full high-steering, bent drag link, etc.)
(list as much contact information as possible, name, phone, links, email, etc)
Parts Used:
(list only the parts needed for the steering here)
(try and break it down by pieces if you can please)
(try to list the order in which you did things along with any special tools required)
(this is where you should list other items you used or had to modify- brake lines, perches, drive shafts, cross members, shocks, how you dealt with leveling the rear, etc)

Please feel free to add comments about drivability, ease of installation, etc.
Do not add comments about other folks rigs, parts, prices, etc. This post is meant to be informative, not declarative. Folks can use their own common sense to make their own decisions about those things.

I think it would be nice if vendors wanted to post their products or services here, please invite them if you can, but it must be kept to the topic, nothing else.

For this post that is, I'm open to them, but I think it's pretty clear above.
Some folks are going to want to post "see my link here", try it, I'll look through it, there are some really great sites out there. I would lke it to be detailed enough so that members can make an informed decision.
Anything OT at all gets deleted.


Please note I am editing this as we progress to keep the content related to steering.

LINKS TO VENDORS: (WA) (Dothan, AL) (Auburn, CA) (??, IA) (Auburn, CA) (Springfield, OR) (Firestone, CO) (Locust, NC) (Orangevale, CA) (Auburn, CA) (Pleasant Hill, CA) (Wyandotte, MI) (Sheridan, CO) (Portland, OR) (Killen, AL) (Tulsa, OK) (Midland, MI) (Colorado Springs, CO) (Tucson, AZ) (Ramsey, MN)

Note 1:
That is just a list above, it's just there to save some search time.
Some of these vendors offer products made by others, I tried to narrow it down but I'm sure I missed a few. If you think I should add someone, please let me know.
Neither myself or IFSJA is offering any endorsment of products or specific vendors. You should contact the vendor and fully discuss what your intentions are.

Note 2:
These are dead links that have been removed from the above list. If you find a valid link for these companies, or anyone you think should be added, please let me know via PM. (West Jordan, UT) (Wheat Ridge, CO)


Dmntxn77 10-30-2006 07:15 PM

**This is a copy and paste from my post back in May 05, I will post more details as I dig them up**

I finally installed my high steer setup. I got my stuff from a guy that I found on ebay. He has a shop in Colorado, and will customize almost any setup that you want. After several converstions with him, I found out that he often makes arms and spacers for Parts Mike.

What I got for only $340 including shipping:
2 machined flat top knuckles
2 one inch spacers
1 3/4" regular arm with 1 TRE hole
1 3/4" long arm with 2 TRE holes
2 sets of studs, cones, and washers

** Edit to clear up a few questions that I have received **

1) No, that is not the proper nut installed on the TRE's. I reused my old TRE's when I did this mod, and when I removed them, I stripped out the nuts. At the time of the pic, I had not replaced them with the proper castle nut. Although, I did drive on and off-road the way it is in the pics, and checked for proper torque almost daily, and it never backed off. However, I DO NOT recomend doing yours this way, because it IS NOT the proper hardware.

2) Yes, my cone washers are properly torqued. I do not know why they stick up higher than others. The are installed properly, and I never found any play in my arms, nor did the nuts ever back-off the washer.

3) No, I do not think that my temporary fix on the tie-rod is dangerous. I cut out 3"s, then I sliced a section of .25 wall tube (IIRC) lengthwise. I then placed the tube halfs on each side of the tie rod and clamped it tight. Next, I laid a weld bead all the way down the seam on each side of the tube, bonding it to the tie-rod. I then wraped a bead all the way around each end of the tube. This tie-rod held up to numerous off-road trips, and several hundered miles on road, and it never developed any cracks or showed any signs of failure. It was never intended as a permant fix, but it held up so well that I put my custom tie-rod/draglink plans on long term hold...

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Here is how it looks. You can see the wheel clearance issues that I had before with 3.75" backspacing. It did not rub, but it was really close.
Well, after looking at the pics, I guess you cant tell how close it was, or is, for that matter, you will just have to trust me [img]smile.gif[/img] The lower arm on the knuckle is half way inside the wheel.

I kept my DPA and it gives me great DR to TR angle. My TR ended up being 3"s too long, so I had to cut and collar it to fit. Someday I plan to get a custom TR and DR, but havent decided yet. The same guy I bought the rest of the stuff from said he will only charge me about $150 including shipping for both arms.

A couple more things to add:

Yes, he will do the 10 degree correction for an addition $10 per arm, but I opted to go without because, (1) I am cheap, (2) I have never heard of anyone having problems without it. Some of my pics wont download, but you guys get the idea...

Yes, he has 1" arms. They are the same price as the 3/4" long/short arm combo. But, he does not have long 1" arms.

And... I know you all love my "Y" pipe fix ;) Can you say REDNECK :D

Here is the info for my parts guy:

Ask for Paul at:
Rocky Mountain Machine

fulsizjeep 11-07-2006 02:24 PM

Will the flat top knuckles fit on my axel without mods? I am considering using them in the repairs as well just in case I ever decide to go SOA with this rig.

Tad 11-08-2006 05:34 AM


Originally Posted by fulsizjeep
...Will the flat top knuckles fit on my axel without mods? I am considering using them in the repairs as well just in case I ever decide to go SOA with this rig.

Yes, that's where the later FSJ SOA rigs get their flat tops from, (also GM 44's from about the same era).

fulsizjeep 11-08-2006 05:54 AM

I have access to a 82 J10 D44. If I find a set of HD44 hubs and calipers from a J20 donor or something, will these flat tops also fit that set up or do I need the knuckles that go with the HD44 hubs and calipers?

Tad 11-08-2006 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by fulsizjeep
...I have access to a 82 J10 D44. If I find a set of HD44 hubs and calipers from a J20 donor or something, will these flat tops also fit that set up or do I need the knuckles that go with the HD44 hubs and calipers?

Yes they will fit just fine.
Save the flat tops for the wider 8-lug setup, build it on the side as time and $$ permit, slap it under there SOA with a 14-Bolt for the rear when you are ready.

rustywagoneers_com 11-08-2006 07:43 AM

I will post up a few pics and comments regarding sky's 'low' arms on a GM 44 when i can be home for an evening. (that hasn't happened in a while) but i was avoiding posting without doing the whole deal...

so, now i am just so you know that there is interest, and that input is on the way.


Casey 11-08-2006 10:38 AM

The axles under my Cherokee came from my 1974 J-10. From the factory with open knuckles and drum brakes up front. When I decided to use them I also decided to swap in the later FSJ disc brakes. Then came the decision to do the SOA.
After doing some research and with some help from Tad (and reading lots of threads by RJ44, Scotty and others) I gave Parts Mike a call. On his website he points out the difference in the flat top knuckles in regards to drum or disc brakes. This concerned me a bit so I purchased a set of disc brake flat top knuckles from jeepguyp that he had listed in the for sale section.
I looked at the pics on PMP's website and clearly the drum brake knuckle shown is not like the ones on my '74 J-10 front. I did however notice that the spindle bolts were clocked differently. The drum knuckle was off a bit from the disc knuckle. After some bolting together and fitting I decided to use the knuckles on my axle and make the discs work. Which they did. The caliper is rotated down closer to the centerline of the axle, but not too far to make bleeding a problem.
I sent the knuckles to California in a USPS flat rate box.
I waited about two weeks (Mike was at SEMA) and I paid PMP $550(including shipping).

Here is what I got.
Mill, drill and tap of two knuckles
2 steering arms with correction
2 1" spacers (they go between the knuckle and arms to provide clearance over the leaf springs)
1 steering arm stud kit installed, w/6 studs, conical washers, and nuts (be sure to get the 1" longer studs for the spacers)
4 ball joints installed
1 spindle stud kit, w/12 studs installed

After I bolted it on I still had to get the draglink dealt with. It was now too long. The only n/t draglink I had at the time was bent so I took mine to a local shop, Chris Durham Motorsports, he cut and rethreaded my stock draglink for $45.
The after...

I am still in need of an upgrade in the form of a new heavy duty tierod/ draglink. My stock pieces are up and out of the way but not tough enough for an aired down 37" Swamper against a rock. I bent the last set up running a 34" LTB. :banghead:

All total I have $660 in my high steer, when I include the price of the knuckles I bought but did not use.

IMHO it was well worth the $$$ and effort to have that stuff tucked up there out of harms way.

I probably jinxed myself with that comment

fulsizjeep 11-08-2006 11:53 AM

Nice Casey. Thanks! I like this thread!

So now that I have a little attention here, I have never done ball joints on one of these. I have them set aside at NAPA for Friday pickup.

2 questions:
Do I need anything beside a vice and hammer to get them out?
Do they need to be pressed in or can I do this myself?

chr1s 11-08-2006 01:07 PM


Originally Posted by fulsizjeep
Do they need to be pressed in or can I do this myself?


posted on FSJN a ways back

fulsizjeep 11-08-2006 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by chr1s

Thank You! :thumbsup:
I guess I haven't been over the FSJN for a while... :o

edit: WOW! That tool is pricey!!!! I am renting one from Autozone. They are good for something I reckon...

Tad 11-09-2006 05:24 AM


Right Knuckle and Spacer

Left Knuckle

4" Drop Pitman Arm

Stock Length Studs

Reamer for Drop Pitman Arm

Rig and Axle Type:
1970 Wagoneer, HD44 from late '70's J20

Full High Steering - No Assist

Part Mike Parts - DPA was a parts trade, possibly from BJ's OffRoad

Parts Used:
Parts Mike:
PM1001K - SUPER ARM KIT WITH CORRECTION (2 ARMS with mounting hardware).
Parts Mike:
Custom tie rod and draglink with 7/8-18 TREs, nuts and 1.125" x .188" wall DOM tube.
BJ's OffRoad:
4" Drop Pitman Arm
BJ's OffRoad;
Stainless Brake Lines, 8-10"

Super arms and Hardware = $259.00
Tie Rod Ends, Tie Rod and Drag link = $259.00
Drop Pitman Arm = $75.00
Brake Lines = $110.00
Flat Top Mill, drill and Tap = $60 (machinist in PHX, no longer exists)
Total = $753.00 (some shipping charges also but not much)

Knuckles were done first, studs installed, arms installed, then cones and nuts torqued to spec (110 ft/lbs). Axle reinstalled, then tie rod installed and adjusted to match toe in of the original tie rod.

The reamer pictured above was used to taper the DPA to match the larger tie rod ends, if you do this, be patient and go slow, it will chatter.
This entire axle was gone through with the exception of the gears, so there were many other items purchased (bearings, seals, axle joints, rotors, spindle studs, Warn hubs, etc.)
Brakes did work marginally with the original booster and master cylinder, I upgraded to a disc brake MC from a mid 80's Chevy van (had to trim the rod), they are fine, I did not swap out the booster or proportioning valve, hydroboost is on my to-do list.
I did require a 1/4" spacer between the left arm and the knuckle, the issue was that the tie rod jam nut would just hit the spring, I was able to retain the stock length studs.

When I started collection parts (3+ years ago) there were not many vendors or options then, search carefully. Prices are lower now and there are many other vendors to choose from.

If you do this SOA/Axle Swap on an older FSJ (drum brake, D27 or D30 rig) I suggest you read this 1970 Wagoneer - It's Time it will get you prepped for potential issues.

Kenall 11-09-2006 12:23 PM

Why does it always look like the steer arms put the tie rod closer to the dif tubes than the OE holes in the knuckles?:confused:

Dmntxn77 11-09-2006 08:51 PM


Originally Posted by Kenall
Why does it always look like the steer arms put the tie rod closer to the dif tubes than the OE holes in the knuckles?:confused:

It is just the angle of the pic... The new arms are angled in so they will clear the wheels, and the factory arms are straight. So, unless a photo is taken directly above or below the arms, the camera plays tricks...

Heep80 11-26-2006 10:13 PM

I will stand by watching this topic. since i have been accepted to nursing school.. and have to sell my toyota.. might start tricking out my j truck even more now.

Heep80 11-26-2006 10:14 PM

i will watch this topic now, since i have to sell my toyota and have been accepted to the nursing program.. what better way to trick out my J truck.

Casey 12-05-2006 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by Dmntxn77
It is just the angle of the pic... The new arms are angled in so they will clear the wheels, and the factory arms are straight. So, unless a photo is taken directly above or below the arms, the camera plays tricks...

Dmntxn77 12-06-2006 07:17 PM

Well, I guess I stand corrected... I guess some arm ARE shorter.. Mine were not. Personally, I would not want shorter arms, it seems as though they would put more stress on the steering box due to the loss of mechanical advantage.

malodin 12-30-2006 11:00 PM

if you would like me to move this to a seperat topic i will

Hi guys, i love the information but have a few questions.

1. ive got a 1977 hdd44 from a chevy k20. I do not know the names of the parts very well so bare with me. its got a crescent shaped thing that bolts to the steering nuckle that the steering box ties to via a rod about 1 foot maybe 1.5ft. and only one side of the axle is flat top (the one with the crescent shaped thing)

what i need to know is how to efficiently and cheaply install it into my jeep. i want to swap the whole axle that way i am soa. however i cannot afford the cost of those high steer arms and all that. is there a way that i can use a combination of the stuff i got on my fsj and the chevy to make it work right?

any help would be appreciated as im dead in the water and cannot afford the high steer setup.

p.s. on the plus side i got the 14ff in with only minimal stretching of the leaf springs it looks good under there.

soon it will be 401/th400/d300 14ff and hd44 front

Crazy_Jeepman 12-30-2006 11:16 PM

No you will not be able to use that "crescent shaped thing" (Steering arm) Chevy steering box being on the outside of the frame is able to utilize that by running a drag link straight back to that, but FSJ's with the steering box inside the frame can't. Best think you can do is remove the steering arm. Then have the pass knuckle machined for 1 steering arm and then have a drag link made to run from your pitman arm to the new steering arm, Leave the Chevy center link in the original steering arm position, this would be called Cross Over Steering. When you feel you want to go to full high steer you just buy another steering arm and it will bolt up to the already studded drivers side knuckle, then all you would need is a custom center link and have your drag link shortened.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.