OK, I thought you were going down closer to TJ width. 65" is a nice width on a TJ and still lets you run a nice amount of backspacing (4-5") while still being plenty wide, stable and providing room for stuff. If you're sticking with springs and shocks, that'll work great.
More than likely sticking with springs & shocks. This whole build up is going to be expensive enough without adding $2,000 in Kings or ORI's.
That's another benefit of scrapping the 8.8. With spacers the widest I could really go with it would be 62.5".
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the fact that I need to weld on new spring pads to this front D44 axle allow me to push it forward slightly. Which would give me a small front stretch, but also allow me to pass the track bar past the coil spring for better steering geometry? Any recommendations on who to look at for coil buckets to achieve this?
Ruffstuff has some. You'll just need to figure out where things go, where it all clears, and put the axle as far forward as you can while everything clears. You can figure out 'stretch' in the end once you've got it all situated.
Ok, need to tap into some axle expertise. It was mentioned by someone that I can upsize the spline count, & I assume stub diameter, of the outers on this 1979 F250 D44. I've been researching for days & the only thing I come up with is swapping everything from the Inner C out, to D60 crap & running a 35 spline carrier. That's just nonsense.
~65" WMS is what I'm going to go with. Actual stock shaft length available drives the exact width.
To leave the pinion about where it is, I can run axles 33.19" & 17.1", which should give me a wms of 64.91".
The centerline of the pinion is 1/4" farther off center than the D30, but seeing as how the housing is larger, I'd like to push it further driver by maybe a 1/2" or so.
To do this I can run axles 33.91" & 16.5", which should give me a wms of 65.03".
I've started disassembly, so we're starting head down this very long road.
An update on the bumper. I've got the main bumper wrap piece bent & it fits over the frame rails great. I need to do minimal notching to get it on around the steering gear & my gear skid. All holes are marked. Waiting on them to burn me some new D ring mounts & fairlead plate so I can mock those up & then it's time to drill & burn everything in. Going to add a bull bar similar to the one Jay put on the Mallcrawler to protect the winch.
Here are some teaser shots. Still working on the end profile, but will be something like this. the D-ring mounts will be recessed through the bumper & burned in on both sides. The fairlead plate will "T" into the small bull bar winch guard on the sides to help give the plate more rigidity.
Did some more brain storming on the front axle this weekend.
Talking with my axle guru. The 30 spline stub shafts will need to be custom turned from Chromoly inners.
We also talked about brakes a bit. With the dual piston ford calipers that are stock on this axle, I'd likely need to upgrade the master cylinder to push enough fluid. These guys, Blackbird Custom Trucks, make caliper brackets to run Chevy brakes on the Ford 3/4 ton D44 axle & others. The chevy calipers are single piston & should work with the Jeep master cylinder nicely.
I've been messing around with disassembly of the axle when I get a spare couple minutes. Can't for the life of me figure out how to get that damned lock washer off that goes between the two spindle nuts. I'm going to try this next .
Bumper: I have all the pieces in my possession, but haven't touched it. I'll be pretty busy for the next three week working on finishing the upstairs of my house. One man, drywall, prime, custom trim, & paint three large bedrooms after working 8 hours at my full time job. This sucks, but it's all an integral part of finishing my house, which gets me an appraisal, which will hopefully get me lots of $$$$$ to build a new 40'x40' shop.
Axle: I finally got the lock rings off the spindles & the hubs removed. From the looks of the rust on the spindle bolts & nuts, I thought they would have put up a bit more of a fight, but they came of pretty easy with a 1/2" breaker bar. So spindles were removed as well as the axle shafts. Tried to slide the spindle over the inner shafts & it's a no go. It stops at the bearing race surface. I'll have to get the spindles bored slightly larger to be able to run the custom 30 splined outers. Next is going to be tackling getting the ball joints out. Then I can get the passenger knuckle to Branik & have that machined for high steer & get the axle housing to Huck so he can start working on narrowing it.
Danno, are you keeping the jeep in "wheelable" condition during this transformation? When do you want to head to BL again?
Yep. I'll build both axles & mothball them until I get everything together for the front & rear stretches, then set her on jack stands & knock it all out probably winter 2014/15. I'm looking at a hefty chunk of change for everything I'm doing with this go round, so it'll take quite a while to put together. Donations are welcome. PayPal accepted!
As far as wheeling, the house has me busy until early August at the very soonest.