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great axle setups

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by rusmannx, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    i just don't know that much about what attributes are associated with what kind of axles.
    as for me, i'm trying to get sprung over, disk brakes, and lower gears.
    for the SOA i would run 36's, unless i felt like my axles could handle 38's.

    i'm hoping you veterans can give some advice and help with the pros and cons on this topic.
    also: i would rather spend the money up front and have a more solid setup, then spend the time and money fixing the setup that didn't quite hold up.

    for starters lets assume the above mentioned mods.
    lets also assume stock engine, tans, and tcase.
    and finally, lets assume there will be some narrowing of the new axles.

    i'm hoping we can address the following characteristics.

    1. strength: what kind of loads (larger tires, lower gears, terrain)
    2. weight and clearance
    3. accessibility (parts: OEM and aftermarket)
    4. what will be the weak link
    5. the setup you do have VS. the setup you wish you had (front and rear)
     
  2. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    there are no "great" axle setups, only a combination of advantages and disadvantages.

    IMO, for most Cruiserheads, stock axles with minor upgrades are perfect.
    - Rear: keep stock, weld spiders and add rear discs ($200)
    - Front: Aussielocker - ~$200, Longfields - ~$400, balance stock. (assuming you have a 76+ front disc already in there, otherwise add in ~$200 for minitruck discs)

    This will give you easy of replacement parts, the knowledge that your buddies and you can share spares, a minimal up front costs, very good ground clearance, lighter weight, interchangable center sections, good gearing availability, and you can run 36-38.5 tires with few concerns....I've beaten mine hard with this exact setup on 38.5 tires and am very pleased.

    D60 is the next logical upgrade. $1500 up front for stock front/rear axles. Another $1000 in lockers. Another $1000 in shafts and CTM's. HEAVY axles, not nearly the clearance of a Cruiser axle, custom offset rear and custom narrowing of shafts mean when/if you break, you are done unless you want the added expense of carrying the spare parts. 38.5 tire minimum, 42 very possible to keep ground clearance.

    Then you get into Mog and Volvo portals....even more expense.

    At BHCC, in the 4b stage on Hal Johns, I was the 3rd vehicle to successfully navigate a very tough section....first rig had 38.5's on stock axles, next rig is Nolens on 42's, then two minitrucks on 38.5s where the wheelbase killed them and they winched off, then me with the 38.5's. Rig behind me was a minitruck-buggy with D60 Mosers and 38.5 tires. Busted a DS rear 1.5" 35 spline chromo Moser fullfloat shaft. 2 year old shaft. My rears are 1974/77 originals.

    He was done for the weekend...I had spare shafts for mine at camp, and could have changed them if needed.

    IMO, unless you want to compete, stick with stock and keep spare parts at camp.
     
  3. cruiserrg

    cruiserrg

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    OK, I will give a try. Feel free to add or modify to these as necessary:

    Front axles:

    Stock Land Cruiser Axles Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 33" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: Lighter axle with good clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Newer Birfs (longs, newfields, smurfs) will add strength and can handle moderate to heavy wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage. Add in over 38" tires and a V8 possibility of destruction goes up.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the Birf, or lockout. With aftermarket Birf it will be the inner axle or lockout(except asins).
    Pros: Available and cheap, good clearance and aftermarket support.
    Cons: Inner axles are getting harder to find. Stock coarse spline Pinion is weak. Need some Upgrades to handle above a 33" tire with little breakage.

    Dana 44 Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 33" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: Lighter axle with good clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: CTM ujoints will add strength and can handle moderate to heavy wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage, but need custom inner high-grade steel axles to be effective. Add in over 38" tires and a V8 possibility of destruction goes up.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the ujoint, axleshafts, and balljoints. With aftermarket Ujoints and axles it will be the lockout or possibly the pinion.
    Pros: Available and cheap, fairly good clearance and great aftermarket support.
    Cons: Has Ball Joint axles which break too easily. Need some Upgrades to handle above a 33" tire with little breakage.

    Dana 60 Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with less clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: CTM ujoints will add strength and can handle moderate to heavy wheeling up to a 42-44" tire with little breakage, but need custom inner high-grade steel axles to be effective and need D70(35spline outers). Add in over 44" tires and a Big Block V8 possibility of destruction goes up.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the outer stub shaft(30spline). With aftermarket Ujoints and axles it will be nearly indestructible, probably differential would be the weak link or other drivetrain parts.
    Pros: Great aftermarket support, and can be built Very Strong
    Cons: Expensive

    Volvo C303 Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with a lot clearance (portal)
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: High strength birf available and custom machined detroit will increase strength. No portal box upgrades that I know of that would handle over a 42 effectively without stripping portal gear. Though some suppliers are working on.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the factory locker spline. With aftermarket birfs and custom Detroit it will be the portal reduction gear.
    Pros: Great Clearance due to the portals, and lighter than other portal axles.
    Cons: Expensive, Very Hard to locate (Importing) and little aftermarket support. Moderate vehicle modification to fit properly.
    Measurements:
    WMS to WMS: ~70"
    Axles Splines: Inner 27 spline
    Ring Gear Dia: 8"
    Pinion Offset: 6.25" from center to pass side
    Tube Dia: 3.25" square tube
    Portal Drop: 4.5"

    Unimog 404 Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavy axle with the most clearance (portal)
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: High strength inner axles available will increase strength of smaller diameter short side inner axle. No portal box upgrades that I know of that would handle over a 44" effectively without busting portal gear reduction box. Look to 406/416 axles for slightly more beefy portal boxes, or U1300 axles for tires over 46".
    4. weaklink: In all forms of 404 axle the portal reduction box will be the weak link.
    Pros: Awesome Clearance due to the portals, and great turning radius, high pinion
    Cons: Expensive, harder to locate than some axles, no aftermarket upgrade for the portal box. Heavy vehicle and axle modification to fit properly.
    Measurements:
    WMS to WMS: 69" Front, 68" Rear
    Axles Splines: Inner 8 spline
    Ring Gear Dia: 9"
    Pinion Offset: 3.75" from center to drivers side in front, pass side in rear
    Tube Dia: Tapered Double wall tube
    Portal Drop: 4 3/8th"


    Rockwell 2.5 Ton Front Axles (ujoint style):
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: massively heavy axle with less clearance.
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: High strength inner axles available require custom spiders or Detroit will allow for tire up to 53" or more.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the factory 16 spline axle shafts. With aftermarket axles and detroit these will be nearly indestructible even with 53s and a Big Block, I would guess the pinion would go or the rest of the drivetrain.
    Pros: Cheap, high pinions
    Cons: Very Heavy and tall axle (top loader). Moderate vehicle modification to fit properly.


    These are just a few. If I get a chance and some research I may add measurements on clearance, gears available, and other stuff. Just need more time.

    OH and question 5. I run Unimog 404 axles, narrowed with pinion conversions, disc brakes and custom inner axles. I like what I have, but would like to improve them slightly to lessen the weight on the next vehicle I build.
     
  4. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    wow.
    you should have woody put that whole thing in tech or something.
     
  5. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    when Rubie's done, it will be :D
     
  6. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    great.
    i just love how things evolve in this place.
     
  7. dinkleberry

    dinkleberry

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  8. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    wow, they seem to think that ford 9" is the better way to go over a D60.
    i thought they were pretty even in all or most aspects.
    i guess i'll have to look into this some more.

    do all ford 1tons run 9's front and rear?
     
  9. cruiserrg

    cruiserrg

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    Rear axles:

    Stock Land Cruiser Axles Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: Lighter axle with good clearance
    3. Upgrades: Fine Spline Pinion available to strengthen this weak spot. Also factory full floaters available to increase load capacity and remove the c-clips.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form course spline pinions and c-clips.
    Pros: Available and cheap, good clearance.
    Cons: C-Clip axles and weak pinions.

    Dana 44 Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 35" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: Lighter axle with good clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Non-C-clip axles
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the axles themselves and the c-clips if used.
    Pros: Available and cheap, fairly good clearance and great aftermarket support.
    Cons: Weak Axle Shafts and no full floaters

    Ford 9" Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage. Note large 31 spline truck axles
    2. weight and clearance: Lighter axle with good clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Just about everything
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the axles themselves.
    Pros: Available and cheap, fairly good clearance and Awesome aftermarket support.
    Cons: Stock form no full floaters, and low pinon puts driveshafts in harms way.

    Dana 60 Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage. Note 30 Spline
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with less clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Larger 35 spline axles can be added for greater strength but must bore out the spindle.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the 30 spline axle shafts. Some but rare Dana 60s came with 35 spline 1.5 dia shafts and are much stronger.
    Pros: Cheap, Great aftermarket support, Full Floater
    Cons: Weak axle shafts

    GM 14 Bolt Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with less clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Axles are great stock and only need a Detroit Locker.
    4. what will be the weak link: No real weak link in these axle
    Pros: Cheap, Full Floater
    Cons: Heavy, Poor clearance, Not many gearing options, or locker choices

    Dana 70 Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with less clearance
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Axles are great stock and only need a locker.
    4. what will be the weak link: No real weak link in these axles.
    Pros: Cheap, Godd aftermarket support, Full Floater
    Cons: Heavy and poor clearance

    Volvo C303 Rear Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 38" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavier axle with a lot clearance (portal)
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: Custom machined detroit will increase strength. No portal box upgrades that I know of that would handle over a 42 effectively without stripping portal gear. Though some suppliers are working on.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the factory locker spline. With custom Detroit it will be the portal reduction gear.
    Pros: Great Clearance due to the portals, and lighter than other portal axles.
    Cons: Expensive, Very Hard to locate (Importing) and little aftermarket support. Moderate vehicle modification to fit properly.
    Measurements:
    WMS to WMS: ~70"
    Axles Splines: Inner 27 spline
    Ring Gear Dia: 8"
    Pinion Offset: 6.25" from center to pass side
    Tube Dia: 3.25" square tube
    Portal Drop: 4.5"

    Unimog 404 Front Axles:
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: heavy axle with the most clearance (portal)
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: High strength inner axles available will increase strength of smaller diameter short side inner axle. No portal box upgrades that I know of that would handle over a 44" effectively without busting portal gear reduction box. Look to 406/416 axles for slightly more beefy portal boxes, or U1300 axles for tires over 46".
    4. weaklink: In all forms of 404 axle the portal reduction box will be the weak link.
    Pros: Awesome Clearance due to the portals, and great turning radius, high pinion
    Cons: Expensive, harder to locate than some axles, no aftermarket upgrade for the portal box. Heavy vehicle and axle modification to fit properly.
    Measurements:
    WMS to WMS: 69" Front, 68" Rear
    Axles Splines: Inner 8 spline
    Ring Gear Dia: 9"
    Pinion Offset: 3.75" from center to drivers side in front, pass side in rear
    Tube Dia: Tapered Double wall tube
    Portal Drop: 4 3/8th"


    Rockwell 2.5 Ton Rear Axles (ujoint style):
    1. strength: in stock form can handle moderate wheeling up to a 44" tire with little breakage.
    2. weight and clearance: massively heavy axle with less clearance.
    3. aftermarket Upgrades: High strength inner axles available require custom spiders or Detroit will allow for tire up to 53" or more.
    4. what will be the weak link: In stock form the factory 16 spline axle shafts. With aftermarket axles and detroit these will be nearly indestructible even with 53s and a Big Block, I would guess the pinion would go or the rest of the drivetrain.
    Pros: Cheap, high pinions
    Cons: Very Heavy and tall axle (top loader). Moderate vehicle modification to fit properly.
     
  10. Xltbeast

    Xltbeast

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    I no this is super old but i just joined and im a die hard ford fan just got turned on to the LC. No ford one tons came with nine inch. all had 60's in the rear and front. 3/4 ton had 60 in the rear most d44's in front some had d60's. Nine inch is good for light vehicles but when put under a full size rig with tires bigger than a 36 they will fail if you wheel hard.
     
  11. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    Welcome.


    Perhaps if left in a 'stock' configuration...28 or 31 spline....


    But with all the modifications that are available, including forged yokes, nodular cases, a larger pinion bearing housing, and then 35 or 40 spline carriers, I have to respectfully disagree with you here. There have been too many used and abused for too long for this to be a valid statement.


    Have seen way too many 9's beat on to even begin to doubt the worthiness of them. Their only real negative would be the low pinion.



    To each thier own...


    :beer:


    -Steve
     
  12. FJ_Dave

    FJ_Dave

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    I think the 9" has it's uses, but the housing is weak, racecars dont multiply the torque like crawlers do. I doubt the housings would hold up to a V-8 38"+ tires, and 100+ to 1 gearing. Just my .02
     
  13. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Only the car 9" housings are weak.

    Besides, they easuly can be retubed with something beefy for very little money.

    40 spline 9" axles are amazingly strong.
     
  14. tdygtrdy

    tdygtrdy

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    Can u get 73" 30 spline axles shafts in a 68" 10 spline axle housing?