Front axle stretch (1 Viewer)

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Ok, I read an old thread in which Mace (if you're out there Mace please chime in) talked about cutting a front housing, removing the knuckle (is there an inner piece that aligns this???) and welding in a piece of tubing thus "stretching" the housing. I'm on the fence about going to an FJ80 front axle or stretching the one I have. I already have the right gear ratio and Longfields, some money invested there that I would like to not have to spend again. Obviously I would need longer inner axles if I did this. So, if anybody has done this, or can give me pointers, tell me where to get a longer inner axle, how the front housing is constructed and how you cut it, etc. please do! Thanks in advance.
 
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I think I had seen this issue brought up when talking about a cut and turn for a SOA conversion. IIRC you would cut the knuckle the same way you would for the c'n't and instead of just rotating it you would pull it out of the housing, install a spacer (I would think you could only go a 1/2" per side) and then weld it back up. You would align it the same way you would go about setting the caster for the c'n't, measure, measure, measure, cut, measure, measure, measure, weld.
-Bahndo
 
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I think I had seen this issue brought up when talking about a cut and turn for a SOA conversion. IIRC you would cut the knuckle the same way you would for the c'n't and instead of just rotating it you would pull it out of the housing, install a spacer (I would think you could only go a 1/2" per side) and then weld it back up. You would align it the same way you would go about setting the caster for the c'n't, measure, measure, measure, cut, measure, measure, measure, weld.
-Bahndo
I've never done a C&T, but I'm sure I can manage. I'm looking to stretch to a width of 63" WMS to WMS if that would be at all possible.
 

GLTHFJ60

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You can stretch it as much as 2" on each side. There are people who have done it here, I just can't remember who.
 
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PM Freds40 he has the extendo sleves ready to go with some axles The axles are for 30 spline longfields. Odd, I had pmed him about this very thing earlier this morning.


Not sure how you would run the 80 front anyway, unless you swapped in the coil suspension.

I was looking into this awhile back, it appears you may be able to run the 80 front SUA but there dosent apear possible to run it SOA (at the time there was no high steer available for the 80 knuckles)
 
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PM Freds40 he has the extendo sleves ready to go with some axles The axles are for 30 spline longfields. Odd, I had pmed him about this very thing earlier this morning.


Not sure how you would run the 80 front anyway, unless you swapped in the coil suspension.

I was looking into this awhile back, it appears you may be able to run the 80 front SUA but there dosent apear possible to run it SOA (at the time there was no high steer available for the 80 knuckles)
OK, right now I have SOA and I still have the tie rod under the springs (drag link on top) and I'm ok with that; I actually welded a double arm together, sounds spooky, but it hasn't shown any signs of failure since smashing into stuff isn't my way of doing things. I know that the FJ80 axle has the tie rod behind the axle, I think I would need to switch it to the front. I think, (not certain) that I could just swap the arms from one side to the other. Anybody tried that? It's sounding like there is little cost advantage, if any, to stretching my existing housing what with new steering gear, new shafts, sleeves, etc. and my Longfileds are 27 spline, not 30 so I might need to replace those as well if I do a stretch. I can feel my Visa card withering...
 
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OK, right now I have SOA and I still have the tie rod under the springs (drag link on top) and I'm ok with that; I actually welded a double arm together, sounds spooky, but it hasn't shown any signs of failure since smashing into stuff isn't my way of doing things. I know that the FJ80 axle has the tie rod behind the axle, I think I would need to switch it to the front. I think, (not certain) that I could just swap the arms from one side to the other. Anybody tried that? It's sounding like there is little cost advantage, if any, to stretching my existing housing what with new steering gear, new shafts, sleeves, etc. and my Longfileds are 27 spline, not 30 so I might need to replace those as well if I do a stretch. I can feel my Visa card withering...
I sold the 80 front I had, but as I recall the one arm on the 80 has a large hook in it. If I recall correctly switching sides, would cause that hook to interfer with the brakes.

There was a guy in the extreme forum that was trying to use a complete 80 front in his mini truck. As I recall, he spent alot of time, (possible lots of money) and was not successful. I believe the rig ended up getting parted out).

If you have a 80 front already I have the complete 80 series front suspenison I will sell you (cheap)(150.00)(this offer is for anyone)(if you are not far away you could just take the whole front half of the frame.

That place in BC was (OTT?) making 80 series high steer. However when I looked into it.

(please note I may be mistaken with this next statement,best of my recolation)

They wanted to be payed up front, with no given ship date.They may have said or implied it would be several months or more.

(it was implied that they were not really interested in making them anymore)(this is based on a phone convesation I had over a year ago)(details are fuzzy)

I am concidering the spacers from freds40 myself. Just trying to firm up the numbers. (not with him,those are clear)

Its the total cost, I would need 30spline Longfields. And I need to clear up with my fab guy his labor costs.
 
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lcwizard

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Ok, I read an old thread in which Mace (if you're out there Mace please chime in) talked about cutting a front housing, removing the knuckle (is there an inner piece that aligns this???) and welding in a piece of tubing thus "stretching" the housing. I'm on the fence about going to an FJ80 front axle or stretching the one I have. I already have the right gear ratio and Longfields, some money invested there that I would like to not have to spend again. Obviously I would need longer inner axles if I did this. So, if anybody has done this, or can give me pointers, tell me where to get a longer inner axle, how the front housing is constructed and how you cut it, etc. please do! Thanks in advance.
Hi lehi
I do have a set of axle shafts available. They are 30 spline to fit the super-birfs
by bobby long. Your right, it gets pricey. Unfortunately, Bobby's axle manufacturer wants a 20 piece minimum so I chose to go 30 spline ( that's what I wanted for mine ). If you know a machinist the extenders are fairly easy.
The problem is the material. I start with 3 1/4" DOM 1/2" wall. The last time I puchased it it was 38.00 a foot from Tube Service if you buy 20 feet.
My only other choice on longer axle shafts was to go to Front Range Offroad.
They are buying axle shafts from bobby splined only at the birfield, extra long
and cutting and splining the inner spline to whatever length you want.
They were asking about 195.00 each
If you do this you'll need a longer tie rod and relay rod, about 85.00 each.
Total cost before labor... about 600.00 plus the super birfields
 
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Well, after grinding my brain all week, here is what I decided to do. First, the FJ80 front axle is a weird beast indeed. Steering will be next to impossible to do correctly as they use only a two-bolt bearing cap on top of the knuckle, the shafts, birfields, and knuckles are all very different from 60s, so swapping parts isn't going to happen. I already have the correct gears for my ride, and Longfields as well; tossing all that doesn't make sense. So, I paid a visit to Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters on my way home from work last Friday and picked up a 60 front housing. I'm did some measuring, and I will have to extend it a total of six inches to get where I want to be, that is, matching the rear in width and NOT running stupid wheel spacers. Poly Performance will make the custom length shafts for $350 out of the 4340 or whatever that is; they say it will be twice the strength of stock, which I never broke anyway, so I should be fine. The tie rod and drag link will need to be longer also, I might make my own as I have access to the materials. So that's it, I'm going to add three inches to each side as well as larger 4-runner brake calipers and a master cylinder from an FJ80 to drive the four-wheel disk brakes that I have. It's time for trunion bearings and a steering upgrade anyway, and I really should raise the front pinion five degrees, so I will do it all at once and stuff in a complete assembly. I'll try to take pics so everybody can make fun of my redneck engineering! But hey, I have never had a weld fail and I'm not planning on making a weak axle out of this; it will be overkill if anything so stay tuned!
 

Mace

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You could call Brian at Diamond axle and get a custom housing made..

Be super strong..
 

lcwizard

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That's good to know on the poly performance. For 50 extra dollars I don't have to sit on 2500.00 worth of axle shafts. I'm down to a few sets and was considering not running another batch since I've covered my personals projects.
You wouldn't happen to know how long it takes them to do custom. I had to wait four monthes on a set of their 60 full floaters when they ran out last year.
Also, who is their builder. Chromo is a wierd beast. It can just as easily be done wrong as right


Well, after grinding my brain all week, here is what I decided to do. First, the FJ80 front axle is a weird beast indeed. Steering will be next to impossible to do correctly as they use only a two-bolt bearing cap on top of the knuckle, the shafts, birfields, and knuckles are all very different from 60s, so swapping parts isn't going to happen. I already have the correct gears for my ride, and Longfields as well; tossing all that doesn't make sense. So, I paid a visit to Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters on my way home from work last Friday and picked up a 60 front housing. I'm did some measuring, and I will have to extend it a total of six inches to get where I want to be, that is, matching the rear in width and NOT running stupid wheel spacers. Poly Performance will make the custom length shafts for $350 out of the 4340 or whatever that is; they say it will be twice the strength of stock, which I never broke anyway, so I should be fine. The tie rod and drag link will need to be longer also, I might make my own as I have access to the materials. So that's it, I'm going to add three inches to each side as well as larger 4-runner brake calipers and a master cylinder from an FJ80 to drive the four-wheel disk brakes that I have. It's time for trunion bearings and a steering upgrade anyway, and I really should raise the front pinion five degrees, so I will do it all at once and stuff in a complete assembly. I'll try to take pics so everybody can make fun of my redneck engineering! But hey, I have never had a weld fail and I'm not planning on making a weak axle out of this; it will be overkill if anything so stay tuned!
 
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That's good to know on the poly performance. For 50 extra dollars I don't have to sit on 2500.00 worth of axle shafts. I'm down to a few sets and was considering not running another batch since I've covered my personals projects.
You wouldn't happen to know how long it takes them to do custom. I had to wait four monthes on a set of their 60 full floaters when they ran out last year.
Also, who is their builder. Chromo is a wierd beast. It can just as easily be done wrong as right
They said four to six weeks lead time. BTW, what exactly do you have as far as shafts go? I need standard FJ60 (meaning 30/27 spline) plus three inches per side. I bought a set of Longfields to replace my stockers (which were clicking due to thier age) years ago and I got the 27-spline units which I would like to keep in order to keep the cost of this project down.
 

lcwizard

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I had Longfield build two lengthes, a 60 longside + 2 5/8" and a 40/60 short side +2 5/8"
I chose that number because the stock 60 long side is 2 5/8 longer than the stock 40 long side.
A 40 owner could use my short side with an off the shelf Longfield 60 shaft to widen a 40 housing.
A 60 owner would need both of my axles.
A mini truck owner could use my 60 long side and a stock length 40/60 short side.
The idea was to cover as many applications with the option of having backup axles available
in case of breakage.
I had them all made to accept the 30 spline super birfs. I figured since I was spending the money I might as well go big. I have a birf counter in my shop .I've broke 17 stock ones to date since 1984
 
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Well, here she is, an FJ60 front axle housing. I bolted her down to the bench so I could measure the angle of the trunion axis and the spring pads. Then I cut all the brackets off and chopped the housing into three pieces. The junk hanging in the background is wet camping gear. I spent the night up the canyon with my oldest son and a bunch of other Boy Scouts and their fathers. It snowed, so everything needing some air time.

The second pic is $40.00 worth of DOM tubing, 3.25" OD with .25" wall. I don't have a lathe so I can't make them super cool like LClizard's but it will do.
FJ60axle 2.jpg
DSCN2673.jpg
 
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Here we go. I will try to upload the pic of the results here. I added 3 inches per side to a stock housing. I changed all the angles to be what they should for my application, got the pinion pointed up, four degrees of caster, one degree of positive camber, lots of gusseting, Marlin's seals and knckle ball reinforcements, and TG Six Shooter knuckles. The shafts are from Bobby Long to go with the 30-spline Longfields. The springs are new OMEs form Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters to replace the old set that were too soft to hold up my winch. The pics could have been better were it not for a hideous amount of snow and salt on the roads for its maiden voyage.
CIMG0413.jpg
CIMG0417.jpg
CIMG0416.jpg
 

GLTHFJ60

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Love the width!! Have any more pictures of the in-progress pictures?

That non-standard u-bolt configuration has me all messed up though :lol:
 
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Love the width!! Have any more pictures of the in-progress pictures?

That non-standard u-bolt configuration has me all messed up though :lol:
Because I'm a lazy bum, I took exactly zero pictures while it was in progress. Its not as if I didn't have the time, I started this project almost two years ago. Th U-bolts on the passenger side, once you turn the pinion angle up, will no longer go around the tube because the diff part of the housing gets in the way. I'll post some pics of the whole rig tomorrow. The front now matches the rear in width, it rides and handles nicely.
 
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Mace

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so. how much in the end??
Just for the axle that is. I'm wondering if a Diamond axle would have been easier.
 
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so. how much in the end??
Just for the axle that is. I'm wondering if a Diamond axle would have been easier.
You mean how much money? Hmm. I had the Longfields already, Bobby converted them to 30-spline for $60.00 each since he only does custon length shafts in 30-spline. The shafts themselves were $320 shipped. The housing was $75 and the DOM tubing was $40. The rest of the stuff I already had or replaced because I wanted to, not because I needed to, like the Six Shooters. I needed a knuckle rebuild and a cut and turn, so I killed several birds with one stone. The bottom line for things related to just the housing is right about $600 with the little stuff like welding wire, brake lines, etc.
 
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