Picked up a matching set of axles out of a '76 Chief. Reading a lot about conversions, etc...and still not sure what way I want to go just yet (outborard vs cut down).
The bigger question is this, can I use the rear axle out of this thing? Both are in good shape, salvaged, matching set with I believe ~3.56 ratio. It was a Quadratrack FSJ, rear diff is offset to pass side. Can I use it?
Alright, took several measurements of both the AMC20 and the Dana44 rear axles to compare how they would fit. This is what I observed:
The AMC20 in my '81 Scrambler is the narrow track type with the differential being somewhat centered but more towards the drivers side. Measuring from the center of the pinion to the end of the axle tube, drivers side measured 22", passenger side 24.5".
The Dana44 from the '76 Cherokee Chief Quadratrack has the differential being clearly on the passenger side. Measuring from the center of the pinion to the end of the axle tube, drivers side measured 33", passenger side 23".
What I gather from this is that unless I get another axle tube and axle shaft from a Chief/Wagoneer to cut down and place on the short side to center the differential, I may not be able to use it.
Guess I should state that the end goal here is to have a centered differential, and not have something crazy expensive and custom. May need to go to the junkyard and find another axle. I would like to keep the 6x5.5 lug bolt pattern and be able to put disk breaks on the rear.
Ditch the Q'trac rear axle, find one from a latter Waggy ('80 to '91) or an Izuzu 44 rear (comes with disks and same 6 lug). Cut down the front, 4" approx, from the long side and you won't have to outboard. Make sure you're running the same gear ratios front and rear. There are plenty of articles on the web for cutting down front 44s. Read this forum thread, it'll help you.... http://www.cj-8.com/forum/showthread...Axle&highlight=
__________________ '81 Scrambler w/ FI 360 AMC, 33x12.50 BFG M/T's, 5" of lift, ARB'd Dana 44's F & R, Dana 300 clocked & twin sticked w/4:1, Warn XD9000i, etc...
2002 Grand Cherokee Limited, 2008 Overland Grand Cherokee, a 1976 CJ-7 in pieces and 3 more off-brand 4x4s............... John N
I just cut down a d44 tonight, no kidding. Eat ur Wheaties, it's not for the timid or faint of heart. The most challenging part was pounding the knuckle back on the tube. If you grind on the axle tube a little it will make the knuckle go on easier. I did it the hard way, as I do most things. I left the tube full diameter, because I wanted that interference fit for strength. If I did it again, I'd lightly grind the tube. I wrapped the tube with used soaking wet socks, shoved some inside as well and used just a little heat to get that knuckle on. Didn't want to mess up the heat treat on the knuckle, but I probably did anyhow. Kept the socks wet, applied a little heat, pounded very hard with BFH and wallah! (after an hour of pounding my azz off) Make sure to get ur caster angles to match too.
For a Chief axle, I would need to take off a bit more than 4" to get it centered correctly. I am still considering out boarding but it would only get me stability and driveshaft room, not bad traits for a future street/trail and everyday driver rig.
I have decided that I would eventually put a diesel in it. My truck ('05 Ram 2500, 4x4, 5.9L Cummins, G56, Thunder Road Edition) and my wife's car (VW TDI Jetta Sport Wagon, manual) are diesel. I am looking at a 4BT, and stock axles would handle it but one could argue that it's not a bad option to upgrade with the work going into it. We have sandy swamps here and if I wanted to rock crawl, I'm driving it there and back (LOL, not likely).
That recommendation of cutting 4" was for the front axle, not the rear. The idea is to avoid outboarding the front axle.
A Cheif has the widetrack axles, which are about 4" wider than narrow track.
The recommendation to cut 4" out of a wide track axle to avoid outboarding, was presented along with using a centered Wagoneer rear axle, which would be narrow track and a good match, width wise, for the narrowed front axle.
To be honest, I lack the skills and tools to perform this. But, I am actually excited to learn. I have the rear axle from the Chief that I can't use to practice on (cutting only) but will probably seek professional assistance with this task.
Now, to find a rear Wagoneer axle ('80-'91) to use. The final step is to locate a frame expert, have a spot that needs attention over the rear passenger axle area.