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Unread 09-01-2005, 09:09 AM   #1
E_ROCK
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Waggy D44 axle swap - YJ

The first step is to cut all the stuff you don’t need off the old axle. Actually the first step was to rebuild the axle with new bearings, install ARBs, 4.88 gears, rear disk brake conversion kit, install new flattop knuckle with highsteer arms, and install a SYE, but I don’t have any picture of that stuff so we will start here. This is my buddy doing some handy work with the plasma cutter. After cutting you need to grind everything down to make a smother surface for welding on new perches. I used Mopar perches since they are cheap and have good quality.



After grinding everything down, you have to set up your rear pinion angle. I don’t have any pictures of this either, but it is not biggie. Install you springs and have your new U-bolts and plates ready. (Side note – get beefy U-bolts custom made like 5/8” dia and plates at least 1/2" thick plates). Center you axle under the vehicle by measuring distance from the springs to end of axle on both sides in multiple spots on your springs. Put your new perches on the axle tube and drop the springs on them (lower the vehicle so all the weight is on the springs). Install your U-bolts and plates, but don’t tighten the u-bolts so tight that the axle can’t rotate. Put a floor jack under the pinion and move it to the desired pinion angle. I have a CV rear drive shaft, so I pointed mine just a touch under the transfer case yoke. Check and recheck all your measurements and angles because after the next step there it is hard to go back. Tighten your U-bolts and tack weld the perches. Remove the U-bolts and the axle. Finish the weld and reinstall the axle. Here is a look at the rear when after that is done.



The next step is to install some sort of traction bar so the rear axle doesn’t get axle wrap. I made a custom cross member out of 2”x2”x 3/16” tube. I bent angles in the tube to allow my transfer case to be removed. It hangs down a little low but no lower than my skid plate. The traction bar that was used was a MORE. The traction bar has mounting brackets provided that weld to the axle tube.
The cross member that holds the traction bar mount.



The frame tie in for the cross member.



The traction bar from MORE.



Next I made a custom upper shock mount by doing another cross member. It spans the width of the frame right my the gas tank. It is really fun welding this one in! I waited to put the shock tabs and bump stops until I got the front axle in. If you wait you can test the articulation to see where your problems interferences will be.
The shock mount cross member.



Here is the finished rear with shock tabs welded in. Hook up your brakes, axle breather tubes.


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Unread 09-01-2005, 09:10 AM   #2
E_ROCK
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Now for the front
The front axle has a little more to it but not much. Same procedure cut off everything you don’t need and grind everything smooth. Put your springs on and center your axle under the vehicle. Put your perches, plates, and U-bolts on. Now here is the tricky question, front pinion angle. In the front there is going to be three choices you can face. 1) you can make your castor correct but have a pinion that points really low 2) have a better pinion angle but have poor castor 3)cut and rotator your knuckle, but have to pay money to do this. Castor is important because this is what makes your vehicle drive straight down the highway and it also makes your steering wheel re-center after completing a corner. I choose number two because I was a little tight on money and I only drive my jeep to get to trails. I set my jeep up to have 4 degrees of positive castor (instead of the desired negative 5 degrees). This basically ruined my castor but angle my pinion up toward the T-case more. My jeep really does drive that bad, but it could be better.

Here is a picture of the front


Hook up your steering, brakes, and axle


Almost done pictures!!





Next is to set up your shocks and bumpstops. Here is the best way I found to check for placement. If you have an engine crane use it to pick up one tire at time. Plus garage wheeling is fun! I used shock tabs that you can get at any custom 4-wheeling shop.



The last step is measuring your drive shaft lengths and installing them.


All done!
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Unread 09-03-2005, 07:31 AM   #3
ncjeepinyj
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Sweet set up, looks great. Have you had a chance to test it out yet? What i am mainly wondering about is the shock setup. My jeep is sprung over already and i need to do something to relocate the lower shock mounts. I seem to catch them on rocks alot and have one slightly bent. Just wondering how you like your setup so far.
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Unread 09-06-2005, 07:35 AM   #4
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncjeepinyj
Sweet set up, looks great. Have you had a chance to test it out yet? What i am mainly wondering about is the shock setup. My jeep is sprung over already and i need to do something to relocate the lower shock mounts. I seem to catch them on rocks alot and have one slightly bent. Just wondering how you like your setup so far.
Yep, I have been running all summer. If you already didn't notice I just used the shock tabs and welded them to the top of the axle tube. You lose out on some shock travel but it is the easiest place I found for them. I love my set up so far except I need to fender trim and I want more stuff. Since I have been on bigger rocks I really want hydro-assist steering and a 4:1 TC.

Jeep testing









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Unread 09-06-2005, 01:37 PM   #5
phil92YJ
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I am looking to put a D44 in my 92 YJ, can you tell me what year you got your D44 out of. Does "Waggy" mean the Jeep Wagoneer? Thanks
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Unread 09-08-2005, 09:06 AM   #6
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil92YJ
I am looking to put a D44 in my 92 YJ, can you tell me what year you got your D44 out of. Does "Waggy" mean the Jeep Wagoneer? Thanks
You cannot use any Wagoneer Pre-1980 because they all had passenger side drops. Stay away from any 83-85 because these fronts came with a vacuum disconnect.

In 1980-1986, wagoneer came with a D44 front and a AMC20 rear. The AMC20 in wagoneer is not the same AMC20 that came in CJs. It a more heavy duty than the CJ model and has one piece axle shafts. This axle are a good choice also. Only problems is that locker choice is limited and you can on get up to 4:88 gears for them.

From 1987 to 1991, the wagoneer’s and cherokee’s have both D44 front and rear. The J-10 also have D44, but wider. J-20 have a D44 up front and D60 rear.
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Unread 09-30-2005, 03:45 PM   #7
Ryno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelson
You cannot use any Wagoneer Pre-1980 because they all had passenger side drops. Stay away from any 83-85 because these fronts came with a vacuum disconnect.

In 1980-1986, wagoneer came with a D44 front and a AMC20 rear. The AMC20 in wagoneer is not the same AMC20 that came in CJs. It a more heavy duty than the CJ model and has one piece axle shafts. This axle are a good choice also. Only problems is that locker choice is limited and you can on get up to 4:88 gears for them.

From 1987 to 1991, the wagoneer’s and cherokee’s have both D44 front and rear. The J-10 also have D44, but wider. J-20 have a D44 up front and D60 rear.
So are the 87-91 Wagoneer's the best bet for donor D44s? Do all the 4x4 Cherokees from those years have the same axles?

Nice rig, by the way! Thanks for sharing the build-up.
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Unread 09-30-2005, 08:35 PM   #8
Muddy Tj Zack
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I have an 87 wagoneer and im thinkin of doin the same thing. how much wider is the waggy axles? And how much was the Disk brake kit, i like that. and how much did u spend not including the axle lockers and gears....thanks for the info in advance
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Unread 10-03-2005, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryno
So are the 87-91 Wagoneer's the best bet for donor D44s? Do all the 4x4 Cherokees from those years have the same axles?

Nice rig, by the way! Thanks for sharing the build-up.
Looks like they are slightly different axle, but I don't know why.

605325 JEEP 44 REAR 1987-93 1/2 XJ METRIC TON TRUCK, XJ HD TRUCK
605329 JEEP 44 REAR 1987-92 GRAND WAGONEER
605330 JEEP 44 REAR 1987-88 J10 PICKUP

Here is where I got the bill of material info. This is our website.

http://www.rockfrogs.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=57
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Unread 10-03-2005, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddy Tj Zack
I have an 87 wagoneer and im thinkin of doin the same thing. how much wider is the waggy axles? And how much was the Disk brake kit, i like that. and how much did u spend not including the axle lockers and gears....thanks for the info in advance
The wagoneer axle was small by one inch on a YJ. I don't know if there is any differance in axle width between TJs and YJs. It measured 59" WMS-WMS. My D35 measured 60".

I ended up getting wheel spaces to bump everything out to 62". My 13.5" tires were touching my leaf springs. I think if a person stayed with 12.5" it would be better.

I got the disk brake kit from TSM. The kit was about 230 bucks without capliers. It think the prices went up on all the kits.

http://www.tsmmfg.com/

I have a detailed spreadsheet with all my costs. I don't have it with me at work. I will get you the cost info later.
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Unread 10-20-2005, 04:43 PM   #11
lilgreenjeepyj
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A couple questions for you.

1) Any close ups of the driverside front perch work? How did you get it all together and did you use the mopar perches in the front too? Any arm spacers to clear the springs?

2) How do you like the lift springs? Im thinking of going with flat springs and running 35's.

3) How far did you point the pinion up in the front? Im hoping to put the new perches on parallel to the old ones. The pinion will be low, but then I should have decent castor?

Thanks for the writeup.
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Unread 10-21-2005, 07:59 AM   #12
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgreenjeepyj
A couple questions for you.

1) Any close ups of the driverside front perch work? How did you get it all together and did you use the mopar perches in the front too? Any arm spacers to clear the springs?

2) How do you like the lift springs? Im thinking of going with flat springs and running 35's.

3) How far did you point the pinion up in the front? Im hoping to put the new perches on parallel to the old ones. The pinion will be low, but then I should have decent castor?

Thanks for the writeup.
1) Arm spacers were needed to clear the springs. Since I choose to go with positive caster, I needed even more than someone who went with negative caster (correct caster).





2) I like the lift springs. I wanted 36" tires was I needed a little more. If you stay 35" and finder trim, you can use a stock height spring.

3) I am not sure how high I rotated my pinion up. I just made sure the castor was what I wanted. If I were to do it again, I would do 5 degree negative caster. You may have a lower hanging pinion, but you jeep will drive better. Mine is not bad, but I know it can be better. I think this winter if I get time, I will try and cut and rotate my knuckles to negative castor.
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Unread 10-21-2005, 09:34 PM   #13
lilgreenjeepyj
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Thanks, any other words of advice? How well has the rear 44 held up to 36's?
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Unread 07-15-2009, 07:05 PM   #14
WVYJ
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What knuckles & high steer are you using
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Unread 07-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #15
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVYJ View Post
What knuckles & high steer are you using
The knuckle are from a '70ish waggy D44.

The arm, spacer, and stud kit are from Poison Sypder.

Some more pictures and an updated overall pictures





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