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Options to switch to driver's side t-case in early Wagoneer?

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  • Options to switch to driver's side t-case in early Wagoneer?

    I've got a '69 Wagoneer and I keep scheming about ways to ditch the front D27.

    Arguably, the most straightforward way to do it is a D44 from a '74-79 Narrow-track Cherokee or Wagoneer. While they're around...it's a pretty specific part that doesn't exactly grow on trees (easiest way for me to get one is buy a beater and part it out). Also, still need to swap to 5-lug locking hubs and deal with a bit of spring perch miss-match.

    I'm not planning on really beating on this thing, so a D30 from a YJ or TJ would actually work just fine for me. Then again, various Rubicon axles start to look attractive too...

    ...but I'd need to swap to a driver's side drop case to use those. Which would be a nice chance to get lower than the D20's 2:1 low range anyway.

    Is there any driver-drop transfer case (preferably with a lower low range) that'll bolt to the TH400 that's in my Wagoneer, but doesn't require a $400 adapter from Novak/AA/etc?
    '69 Wagoneer, pretty much stock.
    If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you crap, don't make a beverage out of it
    hooniverse.com

  • #2
    If you're not hard core wheeling it with huge tires the D27 will hold up fine, If you think a D30 is an upgrade(slightly) look for a donor 70-73 Wag. Bolt-in and odds are fair to good it'll already be geared to match your existing 67 rear. D30 wag axle likely won't be much cheaper than a 74-79 D44 but if you don't have to swap R&P's you'll save bucks there. You or a shop can convert your D20 to a lower LO ratio but if a $400 adapter is a deal breaker you won't like the price of a Lo gear conversion either. You could check into the cost/possibility of swapping in an NP208 from a Chev but it won't be a bolt-in. Point being once you start dealing with lower gearing for the TC or axles you're getting into the realm of freeing up some money. If you're not hard core wheeling it and you maintain/service your stuff I'd just run the stock 67 stuff. If you wanna play and wheel with the big boys then ya gotta pay the dues.
    joe
    "Don't mind me. I'm just here for the alibi"

    Comment


    • #3
      Mmm ... I would not consider a Wagoneer Dana 30 swap as an upgrade. A Dana 30 Wagoneer axle is as much of a cigar butt as the 27. There's no great advantage to it, other than a slight increase in housing and gear size, and higher spline count. The brakes are the same 11"x2" Bendix drums, and it's the same closed knuckle design as the 27. The knuckles and spindles are identical. You should be able to get one for scrap prices though, if you can find one.

      If you really want to upgrade, I think the Wagoneer Dana 44 is the only axle that makes sense for you. It's the right width, stronger, open knuckles for less maintenance and better turning radius, disk brakes, the right drop... seems worth the premium you may have to pay. Or be happy with the 27 and convert to disk brakes.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by joe
        If you're not hard core wheeling it with huge tires the D27 will hold up fine
        100% agree in terms of strength
        ...but the other side of the coin that I left out was the sorry state of my D27. I needs seals and kingpin rebuilds. Other two counts against it are lack of gearing options (would like to go from 3.31 to 3.55 or 3.73) and that I'd like to upgrade to disc brakes. When I run the numbers for "just keep the D27, but make it all right", it's high 3-digits as well.

        I have no illusions of getting out of this for really cheap, just trying to see what options are out there.
        '69 Wagoneer, pretty much stock.
        If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you crap, don't make a beverage out of it
        hooniverse.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mad_science
          100% agree in terms of strength
          ...but the other side of the coin that I left out was the sorry state of my D27. I needs seals and kingpin rebuilds. Other two counts against it are lack of gearing options (would like to go from 3.31 to 3.55 or 3.73) and that I'd like to upgrade to disc brakes. When I run the numbers for "just keep the D27, but make it all right", it's high 3-digits as well.

          I have no illusions of getting out of this for really cheap, just trying to see what options are out there.
          It seems like every Jeep that has closed knuckles and was not owned by an enthusiast needs the knuckles gone through. JMO - the open knuckles are a big, big upgrade - much less maintenance, more durable, tighter turning circle... and you get disk brakes usually.

          3.54s were used in the Cherokees and J10s, so a narrow-track Cherokee is a possible donor with one of your target ratios. I think anything deeper would be limited to the optional 4.09s that the 258 NT Cherokee could have. Those are pretty scarce though.

          Have you talked to J&W near Sacramento? They probably have a pair of axles for you. They won't be cheap, but it would save the time and effort of looking for a donor vehicle. Realize that the NT 44/44 axles are sought after for CJs... if you buy a pair of axles, you'll upgrade the tapered rear axle too. Easiest route is likely 6-lug wheels.
          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
            My most likely way forward is the NTD44 or a Scout D44 with the caster corrected. I'd rather keep the 5-lugs because I also have a 5x5.5" Bantam T3-C trailer with that lug pattern.

            To answer my own question (slow day at work), it looks like an NP241 from a late-80s 3/4 ton Chevy would be the closest/easiest option to switch sides and keep my TH400. Gotta get the right adapter (NP208), but it's a $2-digit OEM unit rather than a $3-digit aftermarket.
            '69 Wagoneer, pretty much stock.
            If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you crap, don't make a beverage out of it
            hooniverse.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mad_science
              To answer my own question (slow day at work), it looks like an NP241 from a late-80s 3/4 ton Chevy would be the closest/easiest option to switch sides and keep my TH400. Gotta get the right adapter (NP208), but it's a $2-digit OEM unit rather than a $3-digit aftermarket.
              Not really. NP241C was passenger side front output in 1988-91. I know because I have one, it cost me $550 rebuilt, the stock GM TH400-to-NP241 adapter was $50 plus the machinist fees to have it de-clocked. The output shaft was another $100 IIRC. And then you have to disassemble the entire TH400 to get the GM output shaft in its new AMC TH400 home. And I still have to build a custom, angled mount-foot for the tranny mount...and get new front and rear driveshafts made...and build a shift linkage. The main problem is the NP241 was designed to be hanging the front output shaft almost 45* down from the centerline of the input/rear output. That kind of angle wont work with an FSJ. all said and done its gonna be well over the $1000 mark. http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=170198

              honestly: Keep the Dana20. Swap axles from a 1974-78 Wagoneer. 3.54:1 ratios in most of them if they had the Quadratrac...and 99% of them did.
              Last edited by Tinkerjeep; 08-04-2014, 10:57 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mad_science
                My most likely way forward is the NTD44 or a Scout D44 with the caster corrected. I'd rather keep the 5-lugs because I also have a 5x5.5" Bantam T3-C trailer with that lug pattern.

                To answer my own question (slow day at work), it looks like an NP241 from a late-80s 3/4 ton Chevy would be the closest/easiest option to switch sides and keep my TH400. Gotta get the right adapter (NP208), but it's a $2-digit OEM unit rather than a $3-digit aftermarket.
                Mmm. Talk to some people in the know before you spend any money on Scout axles. Jeepers have been adapting the Scout front 44 to CJs for a long time, and I believe it is narrower than the Wagoneer. Plus it has those goofy zero-caster knuckles, and the steering arm is hugely long. Make sure you can get all the parts you'll need - often a problem with the Binder stuff. Again, if I were set on doing this, I would plunk down the extra cash to get the best parts for the job (you know what those are). IMO that would put me way ahead, compared to the alternatives. Often the popular approach is popular for a reason.

                I would not spend any money regearing a D44 tapered rear axle. Instead, I'd search for a 69ish-73 Wagoneer flanged 5-lug rear, and build that. Put a good posi in it like a PowrLock, or a selectable locker, and pick your ratio. Convert to rear disks if you want to go fancy. Then use your '74-79 Wagoneer/NTCherokee open 44 front axle with disk brakes and 5-lug Ford hubs - ideally with 3.54 gears - and be proud.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tinkerjeep
                  honestly: Keep the Dana20. Swap axles from a 1974-78 Wagoneer. 3.54:1 ratios in most of them if they had the Quadratrac...and 99% of them did.
                  I forgot you wanted to keep your 5-lugs. Yeah you can then swap Ford outers on your fronts but then the 74-79 Wag rear axle will be 6-lug. Just get some 6-lug wheels, man. If you are really running your decision making process based on the Jeep's wheel lugs matching your trailer's wheel lugs...you might want to rethink your priorities.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    An option for lower t/c gears, guys used to take the older pre-72 bronco 20 guts out and put into the jeep case. IIRC had to do some relief grinds inside the jeep case. Gets you to 2.46 low instead of the 2.0. But the old bronco cases are getting to be made of unobtanium.

                    Going to a driver drop front you are going to have work to do on the tranny tunnel to get room for the case.
                    Last edited by goldhammer; 08-15-2014, 04:40 PM.
                    Art
                    ASE Master Collision Tech
                    "Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

                    88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

                    Member: FSJ Prissy Restoration Assoc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goldhammer
                      Going to a driver drop front you are going to have work to do not the tranny tunnel to get room for the case.
                      And likely change your exhaust routing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why on earth would IH not put any caster on their front axles?
                        1969 M715 6x6
                        1963 J300 Swivel frame

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Caster or Camber?

                          Both are said to alter handling...neutral camber and caster allow for neutral handling.

                          Less caster will allow the front end to wander, but be simpler to steer off road.

                          Less camber will allow sharper turning but will not be as easy to re-center the steering.

                          Toe-in also allows more strait and stable driving, but neutral allows more responsive steering.

                          I think that's right. I haven't messed with it for a while.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I delved into this quite a bit for my '73 J4000 before I decided to go J20 axles (I got the rear done and was getting ready to do the front 5 years later when I flipped it)
                            I already had a D44 front, but I wanted disc brakes so I picked up a Bronco for parts. Note: Do NOT bother trying to swap brakes and knuckle from a TTB front (post '80) 1/2 ton pickup is the same 5 on 5.5" pattern so you can swap the knuckles out for the open knuckle Jeep D44 front.
                            Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Zero caster, IIRC. Yeah, how can that work?

                              More here - http://www.jeeptech.com/convaxle/ihscout/d44f.html

                              Apparently fine if you are willing to rotate the knuckles.
                              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

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