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Unread 10-20-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
4by4junkie
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Best CJ7 Rear Axle Swap

Hi,

After doing research on rear disk break conversion for my CJ7 rear drums, I came to the conclusion that a axle swap was more economical.

What is the best axle to get? I want disk breaks, a stronger axle then the amc 20 and good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions? Vehicle? Year?

Thanks

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Unread 10-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #2
Double AA
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The Ford 8.8 is affordable, available with disc brakes and the strength is about on par with a D44. Keep in mind, any axle swap will cost a lot more than brakes alone when you figure in re gearing. You'll also have to weld spring mounts on the new axle.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 10:15 PM   #3
jeeperman19
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An 8.8 may be similar in strength to a dana 44......but it has c clips if you ever break a shaft your wheel can fall off
I'd say a 44 out of a cj or a ford9"
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Unread 10-20-2009, 10:53 PM   #4
Double AA
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Both the 44 and 9" would be better choices but not as "economical" as an 8.8, which can be pick up for ~ $250.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 11:21 PM   #5
jeeperman19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4by4junkie View Post
Hi,

After doing research on rear disk break conversion for my CJ7 rear drums, I came to the conclusion that a axle swap was more economical.

What is the best axle to get? I want disk breaks, a stronger axle then the amc 20 and good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions? Vehicle? Year?

Thanks
What is your definition of economy........what is your budget for a new rear?
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Unread 10-20-2009, 11:37 PM   #6
smoothop
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A Dana 60 is the only axle worth upgrading to if you are going to ditch your AMC 20....Dana 44 is not worth the swap....You could do Suzuki disc brakes with your AMC 20. An AMC 20 can be made to be as strong as a Dana 44 with some economical mods. You have to decide if you want to throw money into an almost worthless AMC 20 (resale wise) or start with a better base that will allow you to upgrade as your Jeep progresses. Personally I would go with a Dana 60 of some sort and build from there, as it will allow you more options and stronger upgrades in the future.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
Tortured
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If you are good at fabrication I would suggest looking in junk yards for Rubicon axels front and rear. I'm sure you can pick them up fairly cheap and they come standard with lockers. You will need to move the pumpkin on the front axel to the drivers side, that's where the fabrication part comes in. If I was building another jeep that is what I would do.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 07:39 AM   #8
kickingprop
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the c-clip issue with the 8.8 isnt that big of a deal if you are going with a disc brake 8.8....in the event of c-clip breakage you still have the caliper and rotor to hold the axle in. The 8.8 is slightly stronger than the Dana 44, they are EVERYWHERE, have good aftermarket support and come in a variety of gear ratios, often with a LSD!

But I think its more economical to just beef up the AMC20 as most any axle swap you do will be wider than your current axles and cause a noticeable offset between the front and rear axle widths.

Disc brake conversion, one piece shafts, and welding/trussing will make your AMC20 stronger than any Dana 44 (as well as c-clip 8.8's) and they will take a lot of beating.

I'd go that route
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Unread 10-21-2009, 08:14 AM   #9
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So has anyone considered that the 8.8 is about 8" wider than the AMC 20 that the '81 CJ in question has in it?
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Unread 10-21-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
kickingprop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
So has anyone considered that the 8.8 is about 8" wider than the AMC 20 that the '81 CJ in question has in it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickingprop View Post
But I think its more economical to just beef up the AMC20 as most any axle swap you do will be wider than your current axles and cause a noticeable offset between the front and rear axle widths.
I mentioned the width in the previous post...and yes the width difference is going to be VERY noticeable between a NT D30 and an 8.8. Thats why I recommended beeffing up the AMC20
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1985 CJ7 Project
Phase One : 5.3L Vortec/4L60E, Moser axles for AMC20, Twin Stick'd Dana300 - Completed
Phase Two: Bedliner, Rollcage, Seats, BESRK Rear Bumper w/ tire swing, Soft Top, and a few other goodies - Mostly Complete
Phase Three: Waggy 44 front, Scout D44 Rear, 4.56's, ARB's (F/R) SOA with YJ Springs, 35x12.50x15 BFG MT - Not Even Close to beginning

Also a mostly rust-free 1970 Scout 800A That I'll get to start working on someday...

Quote:
Chrome won't get you home...BUT Rattle Can Black may just get you back"
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Unread 10-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #11
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How about that the 8.8 application that would even be an acceptable width for a CJ (the Explorer) is the wrong bolt pattern?
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Unread 10-21-2009, 11:02 AM   #12
4by4junkie
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Thanks for the great responses,

Sounds like upgrading the AMC 20 is the most economical way to go. I Definitely don't want wider axles.

Anyone have a link or some information on DB conversions or beefing up the axle upgrades for my AMC 20?
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Unread 10-21-2009, 11:13 AM   #13
kickingprop
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do a search on here...there are quite a few writeups on the web using 300Z rotors and suzuki calipers or something like that...

Keep in mind that when you do the upgrade to rear discs you'll need a new proportioning valve and possibly new Booster/MC setup as well. once again...quite a few threads on this already

I recommend moser 1pc axles for that part of the upgrade.

the moderator BESRK also makes Truss kits for the AMC20 that are pretty beefy as well. I know quite a few people on here have them.
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1985 CJ7 Project
Phase One : 5.3L Vortec/4L60E, Moser axles for AMC20, Twin Stick'd Dana300 - Completed
Phase Two: Bedliner, Rollcage, Seats, BESRK Rear Bumper w/ tire swing, Soft Top, and a few other goodies - Mostly Complete
Phase Three: Waggy 44 front, Scout D44 Rear, 4.56's, ARB's (F/R) SOA with YJ Springs, 35x12.50x15 BFG MT - Not Even Close to beginning

Also a mostly rust-free 1970 Scout 800A That I'll get to start working on someday...

Quote:
Chrome won't get you home...BUT Rattle Can Black may just get you back"
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortured View Post
If you are good at fabrication I would suggest looking in junk yards for Rubicon axels front and rear. I'm sure you can pick them up fairly cheap and they come standard with lockers. You will need to move the pumpkin on the front axel to the drivers side, that's where the fabrication part comes in. If I was building another jeep that is what I would do.
"moving the pumpkin" is well beyond the average fabricator. Plus rubi axles are setup for coil springs not leaf springs. Also, you need the pumpkin on the passenger side, not drivers. And lastly they are not found exactly cheap anywhere I have seen. Not the way to go if you ask me.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #15
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85 cj7 with and 8.8 out of an explorer with 5x4.5 to 5 on 5.5 adapters and 15x10 wheels with 13.50 wide tires,just for reference.Its wide.


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