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Building a Bumper?Ruffstuff Axle Simple Swap Kit!~Artec JK 1 TON SWAP~

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Unread 09-14-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
Falcon_CMH
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My new 1980 CJ-7 rebuild thread, all help appreciated

Hi my name is Charlie. This is my first thread and post. I recently bought a 1980 CJ7 with a rebuilt 304, tranny, and transfer case. It has a rusty tub and body but the frame is good. I am planning on the following upgrades unless you all teach me more than I have learned from my research so far:

Rocky Road Spring over Axle Conversion with new Wrangler springs w/Bilstien shocks (possible air lift too)
Big Daddy Off Road Tie Rod and drag link
Hydraulic Clutch conversion
Fuel Injection
Blower (wish list)
Nitro (wish list)
ARB air front and rear lockers
Power Brakes
Bondo and more Bondo (Maybe a new tub and body panels still up in the air here ant thoughts?)
Re-upholstered seats
Ignition upgrades (Pulstar plugs, Granatelli Spark Plug Wires, MSD Ignition Control, MSD Power Blaster Coil, MSD Distributor)
Ram Air Box Cold Air Intake
Dual Blue Optima D31M Batteries deep cell & starting
Warn 8-9K Winch
York 210 AC conversion to compressor
Brice Thompson Aluminum Radiator and electric fan upgrade
And a bunch of Accessories: Lights, CB, Bumpers, Retractable Nerf bars, Mist system, Push button ignition/security, Roll bar covers/pads, etc.

My current issue is with the front and rear axles. I have a chance to buy a 1986 CJ7 Dana 44 rear axle. Which I understand is a wide track axle. I want a wide track CJ7 with SOA having Dana 44s front and rear when I am all done. But I am confused on the front end I need. I researched and people seem to recommend the Dana 44 from a Wagoneer 1975-1979, which is a narrow track, for the easiest upgrade. Obviously I will have to mod/fab whatever I get for the front but what is the easiest one to start with to end up with my desired configuration? Does anyone here have something for sale?

I am also looking for Ford T18 transmission and what mods are needed with my Dana 300 for that. I think Nova has a kit but it seems really expensive.


Last edited by Falcon_CMH; 09-14-2011 at 06:33 PM..
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Unread 09-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
BriansCJ
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Check out axle widths.
A CJ Widetrack is still narrower than a FSJ narrowtrack.

And I would skip the RR SOA kit. If your building custom axles, just mount the perches SOA.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 03:19 PM   #3
Falcon_CMH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriansCJ View Post
Check out axle widths.
A CJ Widetrack is still narrower than a FSJ narrowtrack.

And I would skip the RR SOA kit. If your building custom axles, just mount the perches SOA.
Thanks for the advice. So do I just need to cut the driver side to match the length of the CJ and I am good?

And if its just the perches needing to be re-located for SOA I need to move the front ones anyway so doing the rear to won't be to much extra work.

I am mechanically inclined but this will be my first time trying out fabrication but I have always wanted to learn.

Thanks again for the advice I really appreciate it. I have learned a ton out here researching members like yours posts.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention I already replaced the alternator with a Duralast 94 amp from AutoZone. The original alternator was dead and was jury rigged on the engine with a single bolt mounting and screw out tightener. I bought the correct mounting kit on E-Bay I got lucky it was there but it cost as much as the alternator. I also replaced the rear main bearing seal it was leaking oil there pretty good now its not. It was kind of a pita to get the oil pan off I ended up notching the motor mount to remove tha pan seemed the easiest way from my research.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
bamasteeler
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Why not find a Dana 30 widetrack for the front? If you pick up a widetrack for the rear just find one for the front.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
mopar346
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Toyota axles, for some reason I don't think they are a popular conversation but they have a lot going for them.

Oh yea, welcome to the forum.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
Falcon_CMH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamasteeler View Post
Why not find a Dana 30 widetrack for the front? If you pick up a widetrack for the rear just find one for the front.
I just "want" Dana 44s all around for the SOA so I can climb some wicked sick stuff and not break anything and the Dana 60s seemed too big the 44s seemed the right size/strength combination. Maybe you can shed more light/info on the wide track Dana 30 other than a more simple install?

Oh and from a member above(BriansCJ) and another thread I am dropping the Rocky Road SOA and going with parts using OME heavy springs all around.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar346 View Post
Toyota axles, for some reason I don't think they are a popular conversation but they have a lot going for them.

Oh yea, welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the welcome, do you have more specific info on the Toyota axles and their prices? I'll go do some research now.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #9
chris78cj7
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before you order the shocks get the f250 shock mount towers for the front.. it lets you run a lot longer of a shock without all the work of adding hoops.. also add a ladder bar for the rear SOA has a tendecy to snap the u-joints at the rear... might want to consider a ford 8.8 i know the lug pattern doesnt match but you can easily add a hp reverse cut dana 30 from a cherokee then reverse the t-case to the driver side and would be much stronger. you can get a 8.8 with 4:10 junk yard in good shape for under 200 with a limited slip. or just say screw it and get the 14 bolt ff for the rear and dana 60 for the front.. thats how i would do it if i did it again.. also you can get spring perches cheap from a number of places like a-z fabication, ballistic , m.o.r.e lots of places really not worth re-using the old ones. its such a pain to cut them off.... i also reversed the front shackle on my jeep and pushed it out all the way to the front of the frame. use the yj springs better flex and they are almost flat since you are adding 4.5 iches of lift dont need anymore.. good luck and welcome to the forum.. chris
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Unread 09-14-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris78cj7 View Post
before you order the shocks get the f250 shock mount towers for the front.. it lets you run a lot longer of a shock without all the work of adding hoops.. also add a ladder bar for the rear SOA has a tendecy to snap the u-joints at the rear... might want to consider a ford 8.8 i know the lug pattern doesnt match but you can easily add a hp reverse cut dana 30 from a cherokee then reverse the t-case to the driver side and would be much stronger. you can get a 8.8 with 4:10 junk yard in good shape for under 200 with a limited slip. or just say screw it and get the 14 bolt ff for the rear and dana 60 for the front.. thats how i would do it if i did it again.. also you can get spring perches cheap from a number of places like a-z fabication, ballistic , m.o.r.e lots of places really not worth re-using the old ones. its such a pain to cut them off.... i also reversed the front shackle on my jeep and pushed it out all the way to the front of the frame. use the yj springs better flex and they are almost flat since you are adding 4.5 iches of lift dont need anymore.. good luck and welcome to the forum.. chris
Thanks man for the welcome and info. I saw the shock mount towers you mentioned in another thread and sounds like a great idea done. Also I saw some home made ladders didn't realize they were needed but with great advice from members like you I am adding them for sure.

I have seen the ford 8.8 recomended but you lost me on the "14 bolt ff"?

As far as the Dana 60 goes I read they got hung on rocks while climbing is that a real issue or not?

The flat YJs have been recommended in other SOAs and I want the minimum lift so I think Rocky Road sells those used or new, parts where I live are hard to find its mostly flat land here.

Also I haven't bought anything yet and now will not until I get through with all the help from you all I obviously have a ton to learn still. The month or so online research just isn't enouh personal posts/help is so much better/more

Last edited by Falcon_CMH; 09-14-2011 at 09:45 PM..
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Unread 09-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #11
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I found this thread that doesn't recommend the Ford 8.8 for the CJ: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/fo...-83-cj7-85793/
Also this one talks down about it: http://forums.off-road.com/jeep-shor...d-8-8-cj7.html

But this thread has some great info and suggests the "superior kit and eliminate c-clips and get chromo shafts" and get the dual lug pattern roters at http://www.teraflex.biz/rear-brake-r...ern.html#first

But here comes my ignorance the Super88 kit makes the axle even wider woof can they just be cut?

Man now I am confused but very interested in the Ford 8.8s

I also looked at the 14 bolt FFs man seems a little too much for driving normal which I really want it as a short distance driver too.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 03:34 PM   #12
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Already met a member with CJ Rear Wheel Caps that I am buying what a great forum/place. He is bringing his daughter to a visit to a college south of my city and will even be meeting me great guy!
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Unread 09-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #13
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Looks like the guy is backing out on selling me the Dana 44 he won't return emails unfortunate buy maybe not. Gonna look for the Ford 8.8 now.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 02:16 PM   #14
joes1982CJ
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you never said what size tires you plan on running. i have had 4 jeeps currently own 3,one has 14bolt rear 60 front 40in tires atlas etc etc.

another bone stock cj7 and a scrambler regeared lifted etc.i honestly think i have more fun in my near stock jeep scrambler 4"lift 33" tires regeared stock axles.

i have a few buddies running stock axles amc20 dana 30 with 35" tires. they go everywhere (within reason) i go with my big jeep. if you drive it like a normal person and dont get crazy you will be fine with the stock axles, we all know the amc housing is the weak link but i havent seen any fail in my years jeeping, i know its possible but its not as common. the ring and pinion is extreemly stout, i prefer them over a dana 44 anyday and with a truss your dialed.

my point here is dont rule out your stock axles.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 02:19 PM   #15
letchcore
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Forget SOA. Its overrated and a total PITA and way more expensive than SUA. I personally have done both many times. Steering issues with SOA will cost you at least $600 to do right. If you use a waggy D44 up front it is already set up for the SUA. The amount of lift you need depends on tire size you want to run. SUA with the Rubicon express 4.5in lift you can run 35's. Trim the body for TJ flares and you can run 37's and be way more stable than SOA. If you want a real off road Jeep low COG is key.
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