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Baseline 4x4 Lifetime Warranty 4340 Chromoly Axle Shaft KiClayton Off Road WJ Long Arm Kits!Clayton Off Road - JK Prototype Gas Tank Skid

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Unread 11-18-2013, 09:45 PM   #5836
Sundowner
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Now, this is a productive discussion we've got going on. Here's a bit of coverage of the teardown, thus far; specifically, the portion of the axle that prompted the discussion...

Pictured: Have I mentioned the part about hating rust?




That's what I found after I popped the knuckles off; the ball joints literally fell apart, which made it easy. The bearing surfaces themselves aren't in bad shape and since the C's really aren't a tragically-weak part of the setup I could probably go the smart and simple route and simply run these as they are after a bit of paint and rust stabilization...but I am here to tell you, gentlemen - and ladies - that I am NOT one to take the smart and simple route. As long as I'm already going to have this housing with Mark the UberWelder for a bit of tube-to-pumpkin work and since there would be a LOT of fill-in welding to do to make these areas presentable again, it makes sense to me to simply eradicate this problem entirely. I'm not on a schedule and therefore not in a caps-crunch, so a pair of new C's is money well-spent in my book. As to what particular C's those will be...well, that's still up in the air. I'm honestly not really considering 60 outers; they're mondo-expensive and I don't need them, and I'm nowhere near the point of having to make a decision about them anyway. I'm barely finished with removing the last of the old radius arms.

Pictured: This was a fun ten minutes.




I'm still not very good with a grinder, but even with my ineptitude a thin cut-off wheel made short work of the rusted-in bolts on the coil buckets and radius arm mounts; I soaked everything in penetrating oil and then hit the bolts with an impact and didn't manage to budge ANY of them, so they all got forcibly removed...which left me with a much cleaner housing.

Pictured: I still need to chop those wedges off, though.




Taking off the differential cover was simple, too; the RTV was dried to the point of complete non-adhesion so the cover basically fell off when the last bolt was pulled out. The internals actually don't look as bad as I expected, excerpting the mouse nest, of course. You can see part of it under the backside of the ring gear.

Pictured: I don't like mice that much, either.




That pretty much brings us to current. I'm hoping that I can get the wedges cut off in the next day or so, but I'm going to see if I can find a good tutorial on how to do it before I start; the wedges are really close together and I don't want to cut into the tube itself accidentally. I figure I can start at the high side of the weld and slice in diagonally, and then maybe score the weld on the opposite side and pry/break the wedge loose. Suggestions are welcome.

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Unread 11-18-2013, 10:21 PM   #5837
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You've got the right idea, cut diagonally into the weld, smack with large hammer. If the weld doesn't break, cut a little deeper, smack with large hammer, repeat again if necessary. If you end up cutting into the tube a little it's not a big deal, fill with weld and grind it smooth.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 04:15 AM   #5838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jankoid View Post
Correct, but the problem is that you can't find 30 spline stubs anywhere anymore. Warn used to make them, but they no longer make shafts. RCV uses 30 spline stubs with their CV shafts, but those are expensive. Breaking a 19 spline chromo is gonna be a tough task on 35s/37s anyway, they are still bigger than a 27 spline d30 stub.
Well, that's good to know. No wonder I haven't been able to find anything on the 30 spline 44 stubs. 19 spline was the way I was leaning on my build because I couldn't find the 30, makes that decision easy now.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #5839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno6102 View Post

Well, that's good to know. No wonder I haven't been able to find anything on the 30 spline 44 stubs. 19 spline was the way I was leaning on my build because I couldn't find the 30, makes that decision easy now.
For most situations, I'm inclined to think that the 19-spline stuff will be more than adequate, providing that one is keeping their tire size under 37". That's not really a tested opinion, but rather one that I've developed after seeing what usually breaks on HP44's, and why. So far, the ball joints seem to be the biggest weak link; the housing, knuckles and internals don't really worry me.

If anyone has suggestions about a build list or links to especially informative build threads, post away.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 10:07 AM   #5840
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post

For most situations, I'm inclined to think that the 19-spline stuff will be more than adequate, providing that one is keeping their tire size under 37". That's not really a tested opinion, but rather one that I've developed after seeing what usually breaks on HP44's, and why. So far, the ball joints seem to be the biggest weak link; the housing, knuckles and internals don't really worry me.

If anyone has suggestions about a build list or links to especially informative build threads, post away.
I wouldn't call the ball joints a weak point, I've never seen one fail on a 44. The only breakage I've ever seen in 44s with chromos is the lockout hubs, and they take a good bit of effort to break. They make a very good fuse, as they are easy to replace, they don't stop you from making it off the trail, and are cheap. Warm premiums are only $100 I think with a lifetime replacement warranty.
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Unread 11-20-2013, 05:39 AM   #5841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jankoid View Post
I wouldn't call the ball joints a weak point, I've never seen one fail on a 44. The only breakage I've ever seen in 44s with chromos is the lockout hubs, and they take a good bit of effort to break. They make a very good fuse, as they are easy to replace, they don't stop you from making it off the trail, and are cheap. Warm premiums are only $100 I think with a lifetime replacement warranty.
I think of the ball joints more as a wear item, and in the 44 with a larger tire they seem to wear faster than they might, elsewhere; again, though, that's just my consensus after reading HP44 builds for a few days, now.
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Unread 11-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #5842
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If the wedges are cast, they will throw out redish sparks with a cut off wheel, while the steel axle tubes will give off a brighter, almost white spark...so you just cut until the color changes.
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Unread 11-20-2013, 07:30 PM   #5843
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
You've got the right idea, cut diagonally into the weld, smack with large hammer. If the weld doesn't break, cut a little deeper, smack with large hammer, repeat again if necessary. If you end up cutting into the tube a little it's not a big deal, fill with weld and grind it smooth.
That's a good plan of action; the welds look HUGE but also kind of shallow...like they're all on the surface. Also, if anyone can fix my screw-ups, it will be Mark; he's really just that good. Hopefully I can get the housing to him sooner rather than later and then post up some axle-welding porn; my only "hurdle" at this point is just getting the housing ready to work on, later. When it's cleaned up, repaired and strengthened I can get a coat of primer or something on it, and then work at my leisure. Speaking of which...anyone have suggestions on a case spreader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01LimitedXJ View Post
If the wedges are cast, they will throw out redish sparks with a cut off wheel, while the steel axle tubes will give off a brighter, almost white spark...so you just cut until the color changes.
Hey, that's a good tip! Thanks!
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Unread 11-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #5844
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I happened to stumble upon your horse tailor in west branch, Michigan :-)

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Unread 11-20-2013, 11:28 PM   #5845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
Speaking of which...anyone have suggestions on a case spreader?
Why do you feel you need one? If I was setting up gears everyday it might make life a little easier, but you can do the job just as well without one.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 05:39 AM   #5846
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Originally Posted by ashland82391 View Post
I happened to stumble upon your horse tailor in west branch, Michigan :-)
Nice. If I ever feel the need to transport my cataphracts, I'm going to have to get one of those.

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Why do you feel you need one? If I was setting up gears everyday it might make life a little easier, but you can do the job just as well without one.
With my luck I'll probably screw something up trying to pry stuff apart and/or pound it back into place. Since I've never done it before, I sort of defaulted to the "anything to make it easier" approach; what's your preferred method?
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Unread 11-21-2013, 05:50 AM   #5847
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I know a lot of people put it in the freezer the night before. Not sure if that helps putting it in or just putting the ring gear onto the carrier.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 06:51 AM   #5848
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I can't find the thread but I'm sure Mike will inform you a few tricks. I plan on regearing when I get bigger axles as well
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Unread 11-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #5849
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During setup, I'll use enough total shims under the carrier (left shims and right shims) that is is somewhat difficult to get the carrier in and pull it out. Just enough that there is no sided to side play but not so much that I can't remove the carrier still by yanking on it without a pry bar. Then, after I get the pattern perfect and while still using setup bearings, I add an equal amount of shim to both sides, maybe .005-.010 and test fit it one last time, It should take some persuasion with a large rubber mallet to get the carrier fully seated, and will take careful use of a pry bar to pop it back out (protect the sealing surface of the diff cover if you're prying against it).

If the pattern and backlash did not change and i'm satisfied with how difficult it was to get the carrier in and pull it out, I'll move onto installing the fresh bearings for final install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zjones1994 View Post
I know a lot of people put it in the freezer the night before. Not sure if that helps putting it in or just putting the ring gear onto the carrier.
If you freeze the carrier for an hour or so and toss the ring gear in the over at 400* until you need welding gloves to grab it, the ring gear drops right into place on the carrier. Just make sure the temperature has equalized between them before putting final torque on the ring gear bolts with red loctite.

This trick also works great for installing the final bearings if you don't have a press. Toss the carrier in the freezer and heat the bearings up in the oven and they will drop right on. I like to tap the bearing to make sure it's fully seated as it cools and tightens around the carrier. That happen pretty quick so make sure it gets seated fully as soon as you drop it onto the carrier. Also, don't forget to add your final shim stack under the bearing before you install them or you will be looking for someone with a Yukon style bearing puller
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Unread 11-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #5850
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It's pretty difficult to get the proper preload needed on new carrier bearings without a case spreader. It's more important on a D30, but can be as important on a bigger diff if you are beating on it. Problem is, when the bearings break in the preload goes down and can increase ring gear deflection. That's why when you remove a used carrier if often just falls out. That's not proper preload. I suppose you can try to re shim it after it breaks in?
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