Originally Posted by SC409
I need some information on my axle swap.
I bought a Dana 44HP out of 79 F150 Crew Cab. There are no cast coil spring perches since it had leaf springs.
The question is hooking the steering to my stock steering box. I'm sure it's not a direct bolt up, so has any one done this, if so what did you do. Pictures would be great.
I'm also trying to decided whether to cut it down or run it wide. I guess that will depend on the back axle. I'm thinking either a Dana 60 or an 8.8 out of the explorer.
Any thoughts or pictures of past builds like this would be appreciated.
One major factor is the steering knuckles you have. Somebody correct me if I am wrong but to the best of my knowledge F150`s never had leaf springs. Which brings me back to the knuckles. Are the hubs 5 lug or 8 lug ? 5 lug would be 1/2 ton (F150) while 8 lug would be 3/4 ton (F250)
A check on Mr. N`s site is worthwhile. He has an article on knuckles and machining for flat tops as part of his web site.
The following comments are prevalent regardless of whether you narrow or run full width. They go against most everything you have heard or read on the `net.
If your YJ will be a trail only rig then disregard my comments below.
If on the other hand your like most folks.....You use you YJ for street and trail..........Then you don`t want a high steer set up. Unless of course you can fab your own Hi Steer arms and run a 17 inch wheel.
Here is why, it is called the Ackerman angle. Read, learn and understand.
To further illustrate the point take a look at the KOH Savvy EMC winning TJ.
Focus on post`s 906 and 925. Do you see that what is likely the best set up TJ in the world DOES NOT have Hi Steer ? The tie rod is at the cast in lower arms of the knuckle !! Why because it is the only way to achieve an acceptable Ackerman angle. John and Gerald Lee had to decide if they wanted a stable well handling rig or a tie rod that was up a few inches. They obviously choose handling and good driving skill over a couple inches of tie rod height.
There are no commercially available hi steer arms that have correct Ackerman. Don`t believe the advertisements and hype. They simply are not available. Most cases you actually end up with reverse Ackerman. Creating an evil handling monster on the street.
Another curse is the inverted T and Y steering linkages.
While a cheap way to make your wheels turn they are the devils curse. There will be folks that say I am full of it for saying that. Those same folks have never driven a correctly set up steering linkage so they have nothing to compare to. Bump steer, poor steering "feel", death wobble to name just a few. Plus NO Ackerman geometry. The tie rod and drag link actually roll on their pivots rather then giving linear steering input.
Here is my set up.
Flat "Astro Van" pitman that uses hi misalignment Chevy TRE`s at the pitman arm and the Hi Steer arm. Wait, you said Hi Steer arms were no good. The DRAG LINK doesn't care where it gets mounted so long as you can achieve as much flatness as you can.. Having it up high flattens the angle out which reduces (among other things) bumpsteer. The key is that I made my own Hi Steer arm that where combined with a Reid knuckle (more on the Reid later) gives me an almost flat drag link. I also drilled the Hi Steer arm so that the drag link TRE is the same center to center distance from the ball joint as the pitman arm. Roughly 6 1/2 inches.
The Reid Dana 44 Knuckle.
Pay particular attention to the next to last feature in the link above.
**Based on the Bronco disc brake knuckle** and fit 1/2 and 3/4 ton brakes
The Bronco cast in TRE arm on the knuckle is shorter/more angled then the longer wheelbase pickup knuckle. Thereby increasing the Ackerman angle for our comparatively similar YJ vs Bronco wheelbases.
So my drag link is mounted on a home made arm and now the tie rod is mounted to the cast in TRE arms on the knuckle. 1.5 OD 1/4 wall DOM tie rod.
I run 37`s so clearance while a consideration is not as critical as someone with a smaller tire. But the big thing is that the YJ handles great. No bump steer, no death wobble and the overall steering action is vastly improved. Anotrher bennie of running 17 inch wheels is that you can use F150 5 lug hubs. Machine a Dodge rotor and fit a Ford F350 1 ton dual piston caliper to your front brakes. Yeah it stops good.
The trade off to all this was a lower tie rod. I can live with it and it seems that many of the top class race folks can and do also.