I've got a '65 (I think its a ball style) can I retrofit '70's birf. style into my existing housing or do I have to change the whole axle housing? Still has drums and probably will for the next year or two. If it matters its on a 45LWB.
I have the same situation with my '66. I have been told that there is not enough room in the old axle housing to accomodate the Birfield joints.
I want to convert to disc brakes and that, too is not practical with the old axles either. The chances of me finding a '76 or later disc brake axle (close to home so the freight won't kill me) are pretty slim. I'm thinking I will pick up a Birfield/drum front axle, drag it home and put it up on some jack stands, and as time and money allow, convert it to disc, rebuild knuckles, seals etc. Then swap it out.
I had this same problem with my ball joint style 68 axle. I did a mini disk swap on mine. The biggest problem with converting the axle to birfields is the inner axle seal. The ball joint style had a brass bushing type seal that I pulled out and then I found a seal that fit just right. You have to grind the knuckle a bit to get the birfield to fit in correctly. In the long run it probably would have been easier to get a later axle but it turned out to be fairly cheap, I did the whole thing for about $200. The other thing you have to do is get a fine spline third member and inner axles so that it all matches up with the mini birfs.
So I need a '69 or later front axle, then do the mini conversion? I assume a Birf is good unless it has grenaded, heh? Where did you get your conversion parts for the disc swap? I don't want to cut my firewall support so I'm thinking of doing the S 10 dual MC install. What MC did you use?
Now that I read this it sounds like a pop quiz!
If you have a 68 or later axle it makes things a lot easier. My 68 axle still had ball joints so that was my major confliction. If you already have an axle that has birfs then you are way better off. All you have to do then is get a fine spline 3rd member and inner axles then you do the mini swap. It is a pretty easy swap compared to all the other things I have done on my cruiser. I bought an 83 mini truck for a $300, stripped the front axle, sold the PS and tranny, and kept the tcase for a later dual case setup. I sold the PS and tranny for $200 so in actuality I only paid $100 for my discs. I used the MC from the mini and bought the adapter to the firewall from Wardens for $95, which requires no cutting. I know that came out kind of jumbled so if you have any more questions let me know. Good luck.
I'm going to check with the guy here locally who has three drive trains. If he has one that requires the least changing, that's what I'll go with. So I need to swap third members?
I have no Idea what years of parts he has, but I'll try to find out this week.
Would you email me with the part # for the seal?
It will be tons easier if you can get a axle that already has birfs because then you don't have to worry about the inner axle seal. I am not sure what year they went to fine spline 3rd's, but if you get one that is course spline you will have to swap it out for fine spline. I will get you the part number when I get home from school.