FJ60 Portal Axle Swap

Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
370
Hey, Doing some research into portal axles for my 1983 FJ60. I have done a budget lift with stock spring packs. I added 4 springs to the back and 2 springs to the front, and rancho shocks all around. (not too shabby for a few inches, 33" tires, and a $60 lift!) Now I want more ground clearance without raising my center of gravity. I understand that Portal Axles will give me about 5" more at the differential, as well as coming with lockers front and rear and reduction boxes at the wheel! Hot Damn!

Now I am looking into putting it on Portal Axles out of a Unimog or Volvo or something. Anyone know of what setup is best? I am looking to do as little cutting and welding as possible, and would like to be able to do 60 mph on the highway when finished. I am considering either Unimog 404's or Volvo axles out of a C303. Any suggestions are appreciated. I want to have a good plan before I start buying stuff.

-Don

Oh yeah, and I still want to keep this on a 'reasonable' budget. This is my 'Budget Cruiser' project, and I've managed to build a sick truck for less than $5,000.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,536
Location
The Greatland
Website
www.facebook.com
IIRC from the last time I looked at prices, plan on spending that much again for those axles. :(

You'll have to run some fairly tall tires to see a comfortable 60 mph cruise speed with the gearing in Volvos or Mogs.

The truck will go up. So will CG.


Mark...
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
370
Yeah, truck up cg up, makes sense. seems like less than with big lift springs? I thought about dual t cases, or an overdrive box. I hear that some cruisers came equipped with a stock 'Brownie box'. I can't remember if it is a gear reduction or overdrive box.

I have a 4 speed from a 79 fj40 and was thinking about looking into trading it for some of the parts.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
370
by the way, I am a landscaper in the Seattle area and will do trade work for Cruiser parts / work on my cruiser.

pm me if you are interested.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
5,061
Location
Abbeville, SC
If you are on a budget a SOA would make alot more sense for you. Portals would probably be a great deal at $5K for just the axles. Not all the fab work, etc that you will have to do or have done.
Search on here and pirate for portal's you should find more info than you want to scare you if you want this to be a budget build.


But hey if you do it I will certainly follow the thread :) Nothing like watching people spend the $ I dotn have on thier cruiser.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,536
Location
The Greatland
Website
www.facebook.com
Yeah, truck up cg up, makes sense. seems like less than with big lift springs? I thought about dual t cases, or an overdrive box. I hear that some cruisers came equipped with a stock 'Brownie box'. I can't remember if it is a gear reduction or overdrive box.

I have a 4 speed from a 79 fj40 and was thinking about looking into trading it for some of the parts.


You realize that dual T/Cs will give you steeper gearing, not taller, right. No Cruisers came stock with an overdrive unit installed. The "Brownie" is basically the same as a Ranger O/D. The Ranger is conversion sometimes done in conjunction with a V8 swap.

A '79 fourspeed has a value of a couple hundred dollars when swapping.


Mark...
 

lowenbrau

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
3,885
Location
Rockyview County AB
You realize that dual T/Cs will give you steeper gearing, not taller, right.
Mark...

Rob of Exaxt axle used a 203 reduction section and a "halfer" rather than a "doubler" to make his Mog equipped Blazer run on the highway.

This project is a non starter for someone who has a small budget and doesn't want to weld. The Volvo axles are as close to bolt in as you can get but with 7.5:1 it'll take a lot of $ to speed the truck up to highway speeds.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,691
Location
calgary
i think the highest geared axle you can get is 5.99 in the volvos, but they are the closest to an easy install, so youd need 40" tires to have a close to stock ratio.
But ive seen these axles go for $4k and under for a pair.
TiredIron in the 80's section did this swap and was selling his rig at one point. he also has a build up to give you an idea of whats involved.
 

Mace

rock scientist..
Staff member
s-Moderator
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
Messages
21,633
Location
Las Vegas
Somewhere around 40" tires would be perfect.

Volvo portals are the best choice for wht you are considering but it is gonna cost a lot more than 5K..

Heck, you will have over 2K in rims and tires alone..
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,691
Location
calgary
consider $: gears front+back, arb lockers front and back,longfields, install kit and bearings, compressor, Upgrade front brakes, upgrade rear brakes, big ass lift springs or SOA.
Compare to the price of volvo axels, where you gain 5ish" clearance at diffs and probally dont need taller springs. Add up the $ to upgrade your stock axels and then consider pros and cons of going portals from the start.
Tires and rims are going to be $$, but if your planning on lifting and running larger rubber anyways...


Also with a 40" tire your gonna want to either go high enough to clear em with more lift, or chop a bit of sheet metal.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,691
Location
calgary
arent the pinz's independant all the way around, do you mean to swap in pinz end at the knuckles? 3.73 X2 = 7.46 gearing, sounds more like a mog ratio.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
1,702
Location
DC
I think the mog axles are offset in the rear as well. If I remember from other posts, you will need to swap Transfer cases as well. Is the pumpkin up front in about the right spot too (or left spot I suppose..)??
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
87
Location
Alaska
I was seriously considering this with a 91-92 FJ80 a la tired-iron but came across the 60 instead.

Anyways figure $4k for a set of axles plus shipping then the only real hard part is the drivelines and the wheels. That's assuming you are ok with the Volvo drum brakes, it gets pretty spendy (though wheel selection gets better) when you convert to disks...

Here is the only cruiser I am aware of on portals, who later pulled them off for a more highway friendly setup IIRC:
https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=65178&highlight=c303
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=214232

I’m sure there are others though.

I was running the numbers pretty hard and it was a “little” more expensive for the portals than building up cruiser axles and getting 6” of lift in an 80. I bet it would be a lot more $ for portals in a 60 though…
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,691
Location
calgary
i believe the diff is on the proper side on the volvo axels to match stock drivetrain, whereas the mog axles are centered, so would better match a chev powertrain.

The volvo's have cable lockers, if you compare selectable locker that comes with the volvo to getting a set on a cruiser (im guessing just under $1500) then what youre paying for volvo axels seems a little less. add 5 or 6 hunred for gears, the same again for longfields, the same again for rear disc conversion, and up to$1K for 5 inch lift to match the volvos, and a couple hundred for 4runner brakes in the front, it seems pretty close to match what you get with volvo. aside from the extra 5" clearance at the diff.
however it looks like disc conversion is pricey on the volvos.

It seems like the best place to get a set of volvos is to keep checking pirate for sale axles sectionn and i think portal tek might have a set laying around, does anyone else know where to buy c303 axles??
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom