Prepping for a trip to Valley Hybrid and looking for knuckles and disc brake outters

Discussion in 'NV- Battle Born Cruisers of Northern Nevada' started by Tony_Farson, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Okay, so before I go searching all over the US I figured I'd ask here first. I have been talking with Georg down at Valley Hybrids and am planning to take my transmission, transfer case, and axle assemblies to him for rebuild and upgrade. He suggested a few things to me and I am now trying to figure out how to proceed.

    He suggested I swap out my knuckles for 81-85 mini truck or 88-90 FJ62 knuckles and disc brake outters in order to fit beefier steering components to go with my saginaw power steering and move my 35" BFGs. He also said that the brake setup is better and parts are easier to come by.

    Does anyone have some they're willing to sell or know of someone relatively close who might have them?

    I am also trying to decide whether to go stick with my semi-float in the back, try to find a stock full float or go with the Front Range Offroad conversion kit with the RCV shafts. Georg suggested I avoid the Front Range kit because it is proprietary and parts only come from one source. I was hoping to have him install the Harrop lockers front and rear but I can only do that with a full float. Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
  2. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    Agree that the knuckles/hubs '80 and up are a better solution. It does not need to be from an FJ62 as the FJ60 parts are the same and work the same.

    The mini-truck brake rotors are not vented and thus less desirable. They will work though.

    For the rear, a FF 80 axle can be cut down and made to work perfectly. To me, that would be a nice upgrade, and you'd get disc brakes at the same time.

    Harrops are great. I have them on several trucks. Tested and approved. But you will need to fit a FF rear axle. And I think the 68 axle is the weaker coarse spline version, so good to upgrade that anyway.

    Good luck. Easy to spend a whole bunch of cash here so decide on a budget first, then dive in.
     
  3. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Thanks for the input! I should have mentioned that I have front and rear axle assemblies from a 78 FJ40, so they are fine spline. I had planned to just rebuild them both and do the ff conversion from Front Range and a disc brake conversion on the rear. I was just going to rebuild the factory brakes up front and toss on a booster or hydroboost.

    I already have the saginaw power steering kit and was eyeballing the Crossover steering kit from Ruffstuff to toughen up the rest of the steering. That was when Georg suggested the new knuckles for a million different reasons. He threw a lot at me and my head is spinning :confused:, but I know he knows infinitely more than I do... he's probably forgotten more than I know... about all of this, so want to defer to his suggestions. So now I am on the hunt for newer knuckles and hubs from a 60/62 or mini truck.
     
  4. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    Yep.. Unfortunately, the 76-78 is a small pattern knuckle and the 79+ is the larger pattern with larger studs and so better. Georg is giving you good advice.

    I don't know anything about the Front Range FF conversion, but I do have an aversion for custom/proprietary parts if you can avoid them. I just happen to like the 80 series rear axle. It's versatile and not a difficult conversion. I've done 2 in my driveway so not rocket science.

    Doing the front first is not a bad plan. I don't have parts for you but they are around and Georg may have them to sell. Any 60/62 series will be a good donor and they are not that hard to find.

    There is nothing bad about the Semi-float rear. So if you don't want to swap it there is an ARB locker that will work pefectly. But I'd cut down an 80 axle before I'd do an aftermarket conversion to FF. @Fast Eddy did this and it turned out well. I run my swaps full width so not exactly the same. I think @Fast Eddy just cut down the passenger side, so there's only 1 custom length inner axle.
     
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  5. lelandEOD

    lelandEOD SILVER Star

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    FYI,
    I did the same thing. I converted my birfs to fine spline and ground the housings to accept mini truck knuckles and backing plates. I went with FJ62 discs, 3rd Gen V6 4Runner calipers and pads., and Aisin hubs.
     
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  6. Krusty Krab

    Krusty Krab

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    I think that is good advice from Georg. I have the same conversion. I suspect those mini truck knuckles are like gold but harder to find. I have seen where you can buy after market ones. Not sure if disc brakes will hook to those.
     
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  7. Krusty Krab

    Krusty Krab

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    Trail gear has some mini truck ones with 6 stud steering arms. But then you would still need rotors and calipers and maybe spindles. $$$
     
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  8. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Thanks! Do you know anyone who's got a pile of 80 axles? :)


    Thanks Lee! That sounds like what Georg was saying too.


    I saw those too. Georg said they are setup just for hi-steer and not stock steering setups. I would have happily purchased them otherwise.

    I asked Georg what he would do for my axle setup as well as trans and case if I just dropped them off and handed him $15K I haven't heard back yet. He said he wouldn't want to do an SOA on stock axles and I'd hate to not use these 78 assemblies since I drove all the way to Texas to get them (and the trans, case, and engine). I honestly just want this thing running and better than stock reliable on the trail. I can do and will do more upgrades later. I really don't care that much about the knuckle and steering upgrade unless it is a deal breaker for achieve better than stock trail worthiness.
     
  9. gregnash

    gregnash Anal Retentive Analyst SILVER Star

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    @Tony_Farson dont know if you are interested in the work but there is a 1985 Toyota Pickup down here in carson at the picknpull. Looks like it has been here since the end of October so may be fairly picked over. But would be worth a shot on the knuckles.
     
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  10. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy

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    Yup. My custom side was made by Bobby Long (RIP) while he was still around. It's splined on both ends with a drive plate. The long side is a stocker, so if one side breaks, it will be that one, and I have a spare (that I don't carry around).

    The e-locker motor - to - leaf spring clearance is tight. I don't remember how much I cut out, but it was 4 1/2 or so inches.

    The 62 axles have a factory gusset that matches the gusset on the long side of the 80 series rear, so bonus.
     
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  11. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Thanks Greg! I'll take a look and see if they have what I need. I'd probably just grab the entire assembly instead of trying to pull the knuckles.
     
  12. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Hey Fast Eddy! Thanks for the info. I found a 94 80 Series rear axle assembly for $450 in Stockton. I'm tempting to pick it up and take to to Georg. I haven't had any luck locating a 60/62 front assembly yet though. :(
     
  13. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    @Cruiserdrew Wait. All I need are the axle shafts or the entire 80 series ff assembly?
     
  14. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy

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    Best things about the 80 conversion are all the great OEM parts: disc brakes and e-brakes., OEM seals, etc. You do have to solve the custom-side axle. As I recall it's possible to make it the right width to use a short-side from a 70-series FF, but I didn't save all the measurements I had when I did it.

    I'm kind of surprised that Georg doesn't have a front end to sell to you.
     
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  15. lelandEOD

    lelandEOD SILVER Star

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    It's not an easy job. I looked into it and decided a -70 series axle was the better solution.
     
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  16. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    You would need a complete axle. And some fab skills. And some details like what master cylinder to run. Georg will have all of that. In fact I know he did one for @MountNGoat

    But the complete axle comes with good stuff. Disc brakes, FF axle, e-brake, etc.

    Call around. I got a clean 80 rear from one of the recycler yards in Rancho Cordova for $300. Car-part.com can help with your search too. I got another really clean one from @Deathvalleypaul so you might contact him.

    But you might want to concentrate your force. Do the front first, then tackle the rear later. WIth regards to getting a 60 or 62 front axle, I'd just get the complete thing. Sell your 78 axle as is and just run the 60/62 axle full width. That works great on a 40, specially offroad.

    Now the 78 has some desirable bits. It's got good 4.11 fine spline pinions, which did not come back until the FJ62s. And the 76-77 had coarse pinions, and the 79-87 had 3.70 gearing which is less desirable in an offroad focused 40. So that's a good pick up depending on the gearing you want to run.

    I'm a big fan of getting it up and running and doing your mods piecemeal in time, but you may feel different.

    But stepping back a bit, what are you really trying to do? The whole project. Because the gearing in the transmission and t-case counts too. Are you building a dedicated offroad 40 or a nice rig to drive around on sunny Saturdays?
     
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  17. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    But lots of different ways to solve this. I'm all about careful focused changes that mostly keep the truck up and running all the time. Then work one project at a time. But if you have $$$ to spend, and want everything done all at once, that's awesome. Give it to Georg and sit back and watch it come together. I have enjoyed dealing with Georg and Valley Hybrids and feel he treats everyone fairly. But big projects, take big time, so be aware.

    But it's nice to have a clear picture of where you want to end up when you're done. And decide where you want to go that you can't go now. Because if you can already go there, there's no need to do anything.

    So what are you interested in, where do you want to go, and how much build do you really need? And your budget is important. $15k will get you a good great off-road focused 40. There are many ways to get there. For instance, you could just use what you have(meaning the later fine spline stuff from the 78s), install ARBs and call it good. Maybe add an Orion and call it great.

    Or, if you really want an off-roader, you'll be $$ ahead looking at transfer case options like the Orion. And suspension options like a spring over.

    It's ok in my view to go a bit at a time. Sort out the front, then sort out the rear. Maybe you want to upgrade to a 4 speed transmission. Or for offroad use, maybe you really want an SM420.

    Where do you want to go in this truck?
     
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  18. whitey45

    whitey45 SILVER Star

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    I have some 60 knuckles, spindles, hubs etc, heading to Stockton tomorrow!
     
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  19. Tony_Farson

    Tony_Farson GOLD Star

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    Thanks for all the info! I really just want to get it moderately trailworthy and roadworthy right now. I would consider a bone stock 40 trailworthy, so anything beyond that is a bonus. I probably will focus on the front. Georg's pitch was to do the knuckle, brake, and hub swap and steering beef up while he was in there since it would be more cost effective to do it all at once. He'll be putting the Harrop up front no matter what and I'll probably do a Detroit style in the SF rear for now along with a disc brake conversion and do a FF in a few years. That way I have money for other important things to make it run right now... The list is loooooong :confused:

    My intent is a street legal trail truck. Not a full on rock crawler, just a trail truck that can handle some riverbeds and the occasional boulder. I won a set of 35x12.5R15 KM2s earlier this year, so I'd like to use them on the 40. I already have a saginaw power steering kit. This is when Georg brought up the knuckles b/c I can use bigger, stronger tie rods and ends to handle the 35" tires. My eventual plan is to use Altas springs on a shackle reversal with 2/5" lift shackles. I Will to take it to a shop with an RTI to take collapse and extended measurements for shocks to optimize travel. Another guy on here was able to get 14" in the rear and 12" over travel up front with the Atlas springs without an SOA and he loved the ride quality. That is my goal.

    I have some 2" pro comp springs @Krusty Krab gave me and I think I'll bolt those up for now with the 2.5" lift shackles (should let me squeeze the 35s) b/c everything I have been reading about the Atlas springs says that pushing the axle(s?) out an inch or so makes for more flex and better ride quality. I'll need to be able to drive or tow it to someone to do that fab work.


    @whitey45 Thanks! Are you saying you'd like to sell them to me or just rubbing my nose in the fact that you already have some? ;) I live in Reno, so if you wanna sell em to me, I can get them from you here or you could drop em at Valley Hybrid and I'd gladly pay you next Tuesday for some parts today!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  20. WILLD420

    WILLD420

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    I think you are putting the cart before the horse. A 40 on 35's will go anywhere you want to take the rig you are building. Yes, it would be nice to have all the cool stuff but the stuff you own is paid for, probably just needs refreshing. Your existing axles are good enough just add lockers. You can even throw a lunchbox locker in the back till you figure out the rest. Gears are much more important than what kind of full floater you want to run. You can figure that out later, the pumpkins interchange. You don't even need 30 spline birfs, a set of 27 spline alloy outers will get you a lot of places since you will be running a selectable locker in front.

    Upgrading steering parts is always a good idea but you can drop cubic dollars quickly on things you don't have to have. Make sure whatever steering you pick will work with your final lift choice.

    You have so much going on with this thing, the last thing you should be doing is over complicating things. Keep it simple, stick with proven things. Yes, you will have to duplicate some efforts but handing someone 15K should get you a built rig, not a drivetrain. You don't need an Orion to run Peavine or Eldorado canyon until you run the rig on some trails and get an idea what you want to do. If you are planning on trail riding and reliability, a slightly upgraded 40 with deep gears and driven conservatively will bring you home every time.

    You never get it right the first time or perfect. Build what you can, then upgrade if you decide to go bigger later. Some will tell you build for the future. That's good advice for an average rig but be realistic. If you are going to run 40" tires, you are going to put tons under it anyway; then a 2f and factory trans, t-case will be ditched too.
     
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