Another CJ Axle Swap Question - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
mamllc
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Another CJ Axle Swap Question

I just got a 76 CJ5, still all original 304/4speed. Not quite sure what I want to do with it, just thinking out loud and wanting to get my ducks in a row before I start spending money. I am pretty sure I want disc brakes on the front and may want to go to 35" tires. Do the 74-9 Wagoneer front Dana 44s all have disc brakes on them? My thinking is that I could shorten the Wagoneer front but keep the hubs/brakes as is. Moser says they can make one piece axles for the AMC 20 with the 6 lug pattern to match the Wagoneer front for about $100 over the cost of the regular one piece axle. This seems like it would be cheaper and easier than swapping parts on the front to match the 5 lug rear. How compatible are the 44 steering parts with the CJ? The sheet metal on this Jeep is rough already so I am hoping that I can make whatever tire clearance I need by lifting the body and trimming the wheel wells, hoping to avoid as many steering mods as possible. What are the limits of the D30 I have in the front now? I know I can get better axles for it but I don't want to start putting money into it just to end up replacing it.

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 08:37 AM
texasdave
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I know 79 Waggies had discs. To solve the lug pattern I got a Dana 44 rear axle out of a Isuzu Trooper. Honda passports also have them and are six lug. You may have to regear to match the ratio. Another advantage is they have rear disc breaks
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 08:56 AM
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Any Waggie front 44 will have disc brakes. Steering will have to be custom made when you shorten it, but that's easy.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
mamllc
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Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
I know 79 Waggies had discs. To solve the lug pattern I got a Dana 44 rear axle out of a Isuzu Trooper. Honda passports also have them and are six lug. You may have to regear to match the ratio. Another advantage is they have rear disc breaks
Have to total up the parts and see what they cost. The 20 with axles and a truss (which I can make) is said to be as good as a 44, with the added advantage of already being in place. Disc brakes on the back would be OK, not sure how far I'd be willing to go to get them though.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CSP View Post
Any Waggie front 44 will have disc brakes. Steering will have to be custom made when you shorten it, but that's easy.
Good news on the brakes. "that's easy" you say. OK, can't be the nastiest pit I've ever blindly jumped into.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 11:29 AM
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With the Isuzu rear end all you have to do is move the spring perches. Pretty cheap in junk yards.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
With the Isuzu rear end all you have to do is move the spring perches. Pretty cheap in junk yards.
Worth checking into. Do you know what the width is on that rear?
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mamllc View Post
Worth checking into. Do you know what the width is on that rear?
I can tell you it matches the Waggy D44 perfectly and the disc brakes are sweet. But you gotta get one out of a 96 or 97. Those two years are the best match to the Waggy D44 width wise. Earlier ones, too narrow. Later ones too wide, plus later ones gears don't swap to D44 front. Pinion gear different length.

Two minor drawbacks worth mentioning about the Isuzu D44 is it has thin wall tubes, would be prone to bending if any serious abuse was planned. Easily fixed with a truss to strengthen.

Only other thing worth mentioning is most came with 4.30 gear ratio, which is not bad if you're running 33's. What's bad is if you ever want to buy a new set of gears. Big money for that ratio. It's not sold much in the aftermarket, so the price is sky high. If you are comfortable swapping gears around, pickup an extra set of junkyard Isuzu D44 4.30 gears (97 or earlier versions). They will fit the Waggy D44 front axle perfectly. Did it to my Dad's last winter. Paid $100 for used good gears and it worked out great.

"Societies that lose the cohesion needed for concerted, collective action collapse, either by failing to meet an external threat or from internal conflicts."


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post #9 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TIPPEDITOVER View Post
I can tell you it matches the Waggy D44 perfectly and the disc brakes are sweet. But you gotta get one out of a 96 or 97. Those two years are the best match to the Waggy D44 width wise. Earlier ones, too narrow. Later ones too wide, plus later ones gears don't swap to D44 front. Pinion gear different length.

Two minor drawbacks worth mentioning about the Isuzu D44 is it has thin wall tubes, would be prone to bending if any serious abuse was planned. Easily fixed with a truss to strengthen.

Only other thing worth mentioning is most came with 4.30 gear ratio, which is not bad if you're running 33's. What's bad is if you ever want to buy a new set of gears. Big money for that ratio. It's not sold much in the aftermarket, so the price is sky high. If you are comfortable swapping gears around, pickup an extra set of junkyard Isuzu D44 4.30 gears (97 or earlier versions). They will fit the Waggy D44 front axle perfectly. Did it to my Dad's last winter. Paid $100 for used good gears and it worked out great.
Would the earlier, pre 96 axles have better tubes/gears, and how would the width compare to my original CJ axles?
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 12:14 PM
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Oh and worth mentioning about the Isuzu D44, they all used the 3.73 and down carrier. They installed "thick cut" 4.30 gears to make it work. They beauty is those same "thick cut" 4.30 gears fit any 3.73 and down D44 carrier, which is most likely the type of carrier your future Waggy D44 will have.

Because the Waggy D44 is low pinion config the Isuzu 4.30's fit perfect and as an added bonus used 4.30 gears will drive fwd on the coast side, which was lightly worn in in their previous life in the Rodeo.

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post #11 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mamllc View Post
Would the earlier, pre 96 axles have better tubes/gears, and how would the width compare to my original CJ axles?
They all had thin wall tubes. The width of the earlier ones will still be considerably wider than your original CJ axles, plus the lug pattern is different. The lug pattern matches the Waggy D44 though.

"Societies that lose the cohesion needed for concerted, collective action collapse, either by failing to meet an external threat or from internal conflicts."


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post #12 of 16 Old 09-16-2015, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIPPEDITOVER
They all had thin wall tubes. The width of the earlier ones will still be considerably wider than your original CJ axles, plus the lug pattern is different. The lug pattern matches the Waggy D44 though.
Tipped, I disagree with the thin wall tubes. My Isuzu 44 that I narrowed +- 3" to match my narrowed by 4" GM 10 bolt. Had the same tube thickness as the Dana 44 front I just narrowed.

What you don't want is the later Isuze/Honda 44 with the aluminum case.

The nice thing about the Isuzu/Honda 44 is the in the rotor hat E-brake. I was able to use factory CJ cables with slight modification to work the E-brake

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-17-2015, 11:22 AM
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I can't remember the exact circumstances that gave me the impression they had thin tubes. I saw something during the build of my Fathers axle and it made me wonder if it would be good enough.

I vaguely remember the Isuzu's tubes to be around 3/16" thick. I suppose that's good enough. My Dad hasn't had any issues with his and it's been through some pretty tough situations. We left it the way it came out of the Rodeo.

OP, some other tidbits, the 95 and prior ones measure 57.5" wms to wms. That is 7" wider overall than your stock narrow-track AMC20 rear. So no, it's not a good match to your original D30 front axle, besides for the issue of lug pattern mismatch. One other thing I remembered is you have to replace the driveshaft yoke because the stock Isuzu one is a flat 4 bolt style that isn't desirable. That's easy to do.

"Societies that lose the cohesion needed for concerted, collective action collapse, either by failing to meet an external threat or from internal conflicts."


Shaun

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1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 all stock daily driver - SOLD
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-18-2015, 12:43 PM
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Here's a thought, I have the Waggy / Rodeo combo myself and love it, but if all you want are disc brakes, they were an option starting in '76 and standard on '77+ so it should be just a matter of getting the oem stuff from NAPA and changing out the drums for rotors on front and "Bobs your Uncle".


Just be careful because once you start going down that mod path it is a deep, expensive hole that you wont want to climb out of All I wanted to do was put alloy axles in my 20 which turned into D44s front and back, air locker and truetrac, then added a proper spring over lift..... and ..... and.... it just never ends. But it is a fun sickness, welcome to club.

With a great Jeep comes an empty wallet.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-18-2015, 01:06 PM
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Standard on a '77 is not true. Early '77s had drums, late year '77s have disc. Here is what I drew up for a guy that wants to convert to disc.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/cj...grade-3400114/
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