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  • New Axles and Rebuild - D44's - Updates and questions

    Well, I hopped in my lil' truck and drove my butt out to AZ to pick up some parts from a member here, and this is what I returned home with:



    Plans are:

    1. Full rebuild on both axles. Keeping stock gears:
    -Bearings
    -U joints
    -Seals
    -Ball Joints
    -Tie Rod Ends
    -Calipers/Rotors/Pads
    -Wheel Cylinders/Shoes/Hardware/Drums
    -Cleaned up and painted.

    2. Install lunchbox Locker in front end

    3. Instal Manual Hubs in front end

    4. New diff covers, welded steel or cast iron.

    5. Refurbish those stock style steelies, swap over my tires, and mate them to the Dog Dishes

    6. Install the axles and wheels!
    - REAR AXLE IN

    I will update all of this as I go along.

    Basic concept is to have "new" axles going under the truck. I figure i might as well do the work while the axles are out from under the truck and not have to worry about anything in the foreseeable future.

    Any input is helpful. If you have suggestions on something I've missed, or on something I shouldn't bother with, please let me know, I dont claim to know everything or be right all the time, and appreciate constructive input.
    Last edited by Dr. Marneaus; 03-20-2013, 11:46 AM.
    Originally posted by FSJunkie
    Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
    The Mag - The Wag

    The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
    1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

  • #2
    Do you have a quadratrack? That rear axle looks like it is the offset differential design that they ran with the Q-track.

    Not sure if you'll have any issues with that or not. Could foresee some weird vibrations with the U joint angles.

    In my opinion, I would run the lunchbox locker in the back of the truck. If you want a front locker, I would go selectable or nothing. You'll get real tired of the steering effort after a long day of wheeling.

    Otherwise, good luck! Whenever I have an axle out of a truck, and I'm not sure of it's condition, I like to go over all bearings/brakes/steering like you're doing.
    1990 GW:
    Mopar 440/727/229/D44F&R
    10:1, XE250H, DIY TBI. 4.10 locked f/r, SOA/SF, high steer, all the other fancy goodies. Check out my build on FSJNETWORK.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Suddendeath
      Do you have a quadratrack? That rear axle looks like it is the offset differential design that they ran with the Q-track.

      Not sure if you'll have any issues with that or not. Could foresee some weird vibrations with the U joint angles.
      Even the Dana 20 vehicles used a passenger offset rear axle from 1963 through at least 1973 to clear the super wide gas tank. He'll be fine.
      '72 Jeep Wagoneer Custom, 360 V8

      I love how arguements end as soon as Ristow comments. Ristow is right...again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FSJunkie
        Even the Dana 20 vehicles used a passenger offset rear axle from 1963 through at least 1973 to clear the super wide gas tank. He'll be fine.
        This ^

        My 73' rear end is offset passenger side anyway, which doesnt really matter seeing as the drive shaft comes out centered on the tranny anyway. There's a slight angle. However the QT D44 is offset way MORE than the D20 version. (the pre 74 axles are offset something like 3" to clear the gas tank, where as the q-trac axles have the diff way off to the side.

        From my reading, this is still okay. The angle will be a more extreme, but should still work. I have 4" of lift as well, so there will likely be some compound angle in there, even though there already is. I figure absolute worse cast scenario, I can have a new DS with a double cardan joint installed and that should fix some of the issue? If I'm mistaken, please correct me. Or better yet, if somebody has actual experience with this, please let me know.
        Last edited by Dr. Marneaus; 02-25-2013, 02:48 PM.
        Originally posted by FSJunkie
        Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
        The Mag - The Wag

        The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
        1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

        Comment


        • #5
          When did you decide to put a locker in only the front axle? That's a bad idea, IMO.

          If it was mine, and I did the kind of driving you do, I'd put a LSD in the rear and be proud and happy. The factory TracLock will be a big improvement over an open rear axle, and will drive nice. You should be able to find one cheap - Randy's has some hints for rebuilding them. A PowerLock would be better, but is a little more scarce and will cost more.

          Seems like you spend a lot of time on rough two-track trails... a LSD or locker in the rear axle will help hill climbing a lot. A locker in the front will be much less effective, and will make the Jeep harder to drive. The weight transfers to the rear axle when you go uphill, so a LSD in the rear axle is the way to go - unless you want to go up steep hills backwards. That's the only place the factory ever put them.
          Tim Reese
          Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
          Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
          Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
          GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
          ECO Green: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, what do you mean by rebuild? Are you going to set up these axles? If you replace bearings, you'll need to set up the gears as if they were new. I don't think there's any need take the case out out the carrier unless you plan to install different gears or want to change to a different differential type (ie LSD or locking).

            Sorry if I'm sounding overly negative here. The axles will be a big upgrade, esp. with those brakes. And I guess you got the factory caps with the holes in the middle - I have those on my J-10, and the factory ones have a nice rolled edge around the inside of the holes. I guess you've resolved the tire-wheel conflict...
            Last edited by tgreese; 02-25-2013, 02:59 PM.
            Tim Reese
            Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
            Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
            Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
            GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
            ECO Green: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tgreese
              When did you decide to put a locker in only the front axle? That's a bad idea, IMO.

              If it was mine, and I did the kind of driving you do, I'd put a LSD in the rear and be proud and happy. The factory TracLock will be a big improvement over an open rear axle, and will drive nice. You should be able to find one cheap - Randy's has some hints for rebuilding them. A PowerLock would be better, but is a little more scarce and will cost more.

              Seems like you spend a lot of time on rough two-track trails... a LSD or locker in the rear axle will help hill climbing a lot. A locker in the front will be much less effective, and will make the Jeep harder to drive. The weight transfers to the rear axle when you go uphill, so a LSD in the rear axle is the way to go - unless you want to go up steep hills backwards. That's the only place the factory ever put them.
              I'll weigh the options before making any final decisions on the locker. I kind of picked it up on a whim, I can always do it now, later, or get rid of it.

              I've always been told by plenty of XJ and TJ people (the world i used to live in, haha) that an automatic locker up front makes a huge difference.

              In the situation where I have manual hubs in the front, it'll be 100% invisible until I need it. I dont want to make it sound like I never wheel hard, but in A LOT of situations, I'm only in 2wd on my trails, like on those two-tracks. in which situation there will be no ill effects. However, there's soft stuff out here that has bested me in the past, and a locker would help pull through it.

              I'm just going by experiences that I've read from people who have front lockers. I'll keep doing research before i do that part of the work. I'm not sure if you ever have or havent had a locker up front, I know I sure havent, and I know lots of people havent, so I like to look at info from people who HAVE had one.

              I know friends with spools in the rear end that were always told by all their friends (who never have driven with one) "oh thats terrible on the road you're going to hate it," but it turns out to be totally controllable and not nearly as big a deal as people make it out to be.

              So, honestly, the verdict is still out on the locker. I appreciate the info, thats why i'm here!
              Originally posted by FSJunkie
              Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
              The Mag - The Wag

              The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
              1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tgreese
                Also, what do you mean by rebuild? Are you going to set up these axles? If you replace bearings, you'll need to set up the gears as if they were new. I don't think there's any need take the case out out the carrier unless you plan to install different gears or want to change to a different differential type (ie LSD or locking).

                Sorry if I'm sounding overly negative here. The axles will be a big upgrade, esp. with those brakes. And I guess you got the factory caps with the holes in the middle - I have those on my J-10, and the factory ones have a nice rolled edge around the inside of the holes. I guess you've resolved the tire-wheel conflict...
                No worries, toss it all out there!

                I mean rebuild by "replace the normally serviced parts" i dunno, does that make more sense? Aside from the possible locker, I don't plan to touch anything inside the diff. I'm not talking about replacing differential bearings or pinion bearings or anything. I will not be "setting up" the gears.

                When I said bearings, I meant wheel bearings. Guess I should have been more specific.
                Originally posted by FSJunkie
                Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
                The Mag - The Wag

                The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
                1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

                Comment


                • #9
                  I did this swap on my '73, the ONLY issue I had was the pitman arm.
                  I hit/rubbed the tie rod end.

                  I think I reamed out an older style pitman arm to accept the larger TRE.
                  Mine wasn't lifted, so your mileage may vary?

                  Just something to watch for after you get the front axle installed.
                  Tony
                  88 GW, 67 J3000, 07 Magnum SRT8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah

                    Originally posted by tgreese
                    When did you decide to put a locker in only the front axle? That's a bad idea, IMO.

                    If it was mine, and I did the kind of driving you do, I'd put a LSD in the rear and be proud and happy. The factory TracLock will be a big improvement over an open rear axle, and will drive nice. You should be able to find one cheap - Randy's has some hints for rebuilding them. A PowerLock would be better, but is a little more scarce and will cost more.

                    Seems like you spend a lot of time on rough two-track trails... a LSD or locker in the rear axle will help hill climbing a lot. A locker in the front will be much less effective, and will make the Jeep harder to drive. The weight transfers to the rear axle when you go uphill, so a LSD in the rear axle is the way to go - unless you want to go up steep hills backwards. That's the only place the factory ever put them.

                    Sometime he no listen. School of Hard knocks. posi with no Hubs ?????

                    80 Cherokee
                    360 ci 727 with
                    Comp cams 270 h
                    NP208
                    Edlebrock performer intake
                    Holley 4180
                    Msd total multi spark.
                    4" rusty's springs
                    Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

                    If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dr. Marneaus
                      ...

                      I've always been told by plenty of XJ and TJ people (the world i used to live in, haha) that an automatic locker up front makes a huge difference.
                      ...
                      We just had a discussion about this on ECJ5 if you want to read it: http://www.earlycj5.net/forums/showt...-front-vs-rear Geoffrey there is 15 or 16 - but the average age there is pretty old, and we may not understand the issues with newer vehicles... (dissimulating slightly). Also, I wonder if they mean in addition to some LSD/locker in the rear axle? A rear LSD is a very, very common factory option for any vehicle with conventional 4WD.

                      And, these axles are both 44s, and you have a lunchbox locker? Won't it fit in either axle? I think you'd be much better off to install it in the rear axle, if you have the choice. A Wagoneer has a long enough wheelbase that the extra understeer should be controllable. And you don't see a lot of snow and ice there.

                      When I drive my Jeeps and I think I might need 4WD, I just lock the hubs and am done with it. Then they stay locked, until I'm on the highway on my way home. And I use 4WD whenever I'm off the pavement - no reason not to - just point and go. Do you really want to dial the left and right hub in and out depending on the trail conditions?
                      Last edited by tgreese; 02-25-2013, 03:45 PM.
                      Tim Reese
                      Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
                      Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
                      Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
                      GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
                      ECO Green: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by babywag
                        I did this swap on my '73, the ONLY issue I had was the pitman arm.
                        I hit/rubbed the tie rod end.

                        I think I reamed out an older style pitman arm to accept the larger TRE.
                        Mine wasn't lifted, so your mileage may vary?

                        Just something to watch for after you get the front axle installed.
                        I had remembered reading many moons ago that you swapped in later model D44's under your 73, and was going to ask you haha.

                        So, glad to hear the driveline worked out for you.

                        Related question - in the event that there are issues with the rear driveline angle due to my lift, what could be done to fix it? Double cardan?
                        Originally posted by FSJunkie
                        Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
                        The Mag - The Wag

                        The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
                        1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tgreese
                          We just had a discussion about this on ECJ5 if you want to read it: http://www.earlycj5.net/forums/showt...-front-vs-rear Geoffrey there is 15 or 16 - but the average age there is pretty old, and we may not understand the issues with newer vehicles... (dissimulating slightly). Also, I wonder if they mean in addition to some LSD/locker in the rear axle? A rear LSD is a very, very common factory option for any vehicle with conventional 4WD.

                          And, these axles are both 44s, and you have a lunchbox locker? Won't it fit in either axle? I think you'd be much better off to install it in the rear axle, if you have the choice. A Wagoneer has a long enough wheelbase that the extra understeer should be controllable. And you don't see a lot of snow and ice there.

                          When I drive my Jeeps and I think I might need 4WD, I just lock the hubs and am done with it. Then they stay locked, until I'm on the highway on my way home. And I use 4WD whenever I'm off the pavement - no reason not to - just point and go. Do you really want to dial the hubs in and out depending on the trail conditions?
                          Thanks for the link, I'll definitely read through it later.

                          Yes, it works front or rear.

                          I guess different strokes for different folks. I currently just drive until it looks like I'll need 4wd, then hop out, lock em in, and throw it in 4wd. I guess I could start doing the hubs as soon as I hit the trailhead. I dunno? Different driving/wheeling practice is all I guess.

                          I suppose if the advantage of having the front locker when i need it, compared to the disadvantage of the rear locker during daily driving conditions, is greater than the inconvenience of having to get out and change my hubs a few times (if that many) then it makes sense to put it up front, haha.

                          I'll keep reading up and decide when i get there i guess?
                          Originally posted by FSJunkie
                          Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
                          The Mag - The Wag

                          The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
                          1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            put the lunchbox in the rear and buy the gnarliest Ujoint you can afford for the driveshaft attaching to it. What brand did you buy for the lunchbox? I have the Aussie one, and it installed easily and has been a wild improvement. You really dont even need a front locker..I'd install the one you have, wheel it, and decide for yourself if another 1k is needed to install a front selectable one..my money will be on NOT needing it...unless you plan on climbing dry waterfalls and whatnot. The reason lockers dont affect our FSJs daily driving is because we're longer and heavier than most wheeling rigs..worst you're going to notice is chirping and gear chatter, both of which are normal. Rotate your tires more often.

                            If you're going all out..why not do a disc conversion for the rear? You'll need to monkey your MC a little (reach in the hole and pull out the plug) and perhaps add an variable prop valve. You set them up with GM 1/2 ton calipers and pads to match the front basically. You'll be getting your money out of this upgrade more than a front locker.

                            Good luck and glad the trip worked out for ya!
                            1979 Chero S "Sundog" 1979 Chero S "Hammer"
                            1968 327 J3000 1978 J10SWB
                            The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
                            Hunter S. Thompson .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gambler68
                              put the lunchbox in the rear and buy the gnarliest Ujoint you can afford for the driveshaft attaching to it. What brand did you buy for the lunchbox? I have the Aussie one, and it installed easily and has been a wild improvement. You really dont even need a front locker..I'd install the one you have, wheel it, and decide for yourself if another 1k is needed to install a front selectable one..my money will be on NOT needing it...unless you plan on climbing dry waterfalls and whatnot. The reason lockers dont affect our FSJs daily driving is because we're longer and heavier than most wheeling rigs..worst you're going to notice is chirping and gear chatter, both of which are normal. Rotate your tires more often.

                              If you're going all out..why not do a disc conversion for the rear? You'll need to monkey your MC a little (reach in the hole and pull out the plug) and perhaps add an variable prop valve. You set them up with GM 1/2 ton calipers and pads to match the front basically. You'll be getting your money out of this upgrade more than a front locker.

                              Good luck and glad the trip worked out for ya!
                              I figure either way, I can take it back out and swap it or go back to stock or whatv have you, i'll have all the bits and pieces necessary to do that, but I'd like to get the locker right the first time, if it goes in at all.

                              No real desire to do a disc conversion in the rear, and i dont really feel like I'm going all out, just refurbishing the axles I wish my waggy came with from the factory, with factory performance. I dont have the cash or desire to go crazy, hence not really beefing up or re-gearing or anything.
                              Last edited by Dr. Marneaus; 02-25-2013, 04:41 PM.
                              Originally posted by FSJunkie
                              Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.
                              The Mag - The Wag

                              The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
                              1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44

                              Comment

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