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Old 02-28-2011, 09:29 PM
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Did some towing! - Axle upgrade question!



So i towed about 3500 pounds of waste metal from a restaurant i have been helping my dad renovate. Deal was if i find a trailer and haul it away, i could keep the profits from recycling the metal! I got away with $392 for about 6 hours of hauling this mess out of the restaurant and driving it to MCR recycling in Utah. So on the scale fully loaded, my vehicle with trailer etc weighed just over 10,000 pounds. Emptied was around 7k. It towed pretty well! With the cargo i never exceeded 40 mph because of iffy suspension, but otherwise my brakes worked well and the power from the 360 got the job done! Just thought i would share about my successful day.

Also i got to thinking about the strength of my rear axle. Its the AMC 20 HD and im wondering if it would be worth my time to swap in a dana 44 from a similar year wagoneer. Assuming i check the gearing etc, it should bolt right in correct? Thanks for your time!
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:32 PM
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There is vertially no upgrade from swapping are 20s to a 44...some will argue the 20 is stronger as it has a larger ring and pinion size
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:48 PM
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The AMC 20 is not the same as in CJ's and to other than the CJ crowd the D44 is the most over rated axle on the planet. If you're really concerned about towing swap the fluid out for a syn gear lube in the 75w-145 range. If you can live with the crap gearing in an 83 you have no issues.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:28 PM
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Wow good to know, i come from the cj crowd to wagoneer crowd. Will just keep the original euipment up to spec then!
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:29 PM
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7k seems a bit heavy with an empty trailer. Theres no real upgrade in swapping to a 44. Our AMC20 axles do not have the flawed design as the baby jeeps do. Sound like suspension is where you need to start your upgrdes
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:50 PM
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maybe closer to 6k. not sure i didnt get an accurate empty weight because there was still a lot of stainless steel and aluminum to sorted in another area still in the trailer.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:31 AM
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About the only weakness of the AMC20 in the FSJ is that the tubes aren't welded. They're only pressed in to the center section. Even towing, it's not that big of a deal. If you care, you can weld them (or have them welded).

The only way to actually upgrade the rear is to swap in a GM 12 or 14 bolt, Dana 60+ or a Ford 9" or Sterling. None would really be worth the cost unless you were beating the snot out of your wag.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
you can weld them (or have them welded).
Yep, the guys who used to chase coyotes in our area would bring their Chevs to me to have me weld the 10bolt and 44 front end tubes to the housings as they tended to break the plug welds loose while bajaing across the prairie. They weld up fine w/ 70k series low/high.
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