Trail Gear knuckle ball gussets

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Apr 22, 2010
Suffolk, VA
I have two kits from Marlin and I really like Marlin and they are great guys to work with however a friend has the trail gear kit and honestly I kinda wished I would have gone that route. I like how the trail gear supports both sides of the shocks vs. the marlin supports one side. I also heard stories about the marlin kit hitting on the felt protectors when turned so I trimmed about 3/8" off just incase and it still barely hit. I MAY BE responsible and I MAY have screwed up in my placement but I really dont think so..... The trail gear seemed to end shorter and did not have near as close of a chance of hitting...... Again this is not intended to disc Marlin their stuff is great but it is intended to answer your question honestly.
Well I read the same things you talk about so I guess I'll with the TG stuff. Just wanted to make sure they'd work and there wasn't something I'm overlooking like different knuckle ball profiles, etc.
Sorry I meant to mention that all was the same but I got side tracked! oops Basically on that particular part you cant go wrong either way.
I can do that. I searched on this forum and interestingly I found very few posts mentioning gussets on the knuckle ball. Guess it's not that popular, or something new to market, or my search skill suck. I figured since I have the whole axle removed and completely torn apart, might as well do this too. The hardest and most time consumping part of this process is honestly cleaning and degreasing all of this stuff. It's taking forever and I've used probably 20 cans of brake cleaner. I think tomorrow I'll use simple green and my pressure washer to clean the axle housing. I'm rebuilding the whole thing and adding Longfields, I only want to be in here once and be done.

I'll now have more $ sunk in to this axle than I do in the rest of the whole vehicle. I hope I'm not polishing a turd here.
If you wish to see the marlin kit you can find pics in the pickup forum here on mud in my build thread 1980 Beater Build. I really recommend purchasing a turbo nozzle for your pressure washer they are around 30-40 dollars (otherwise referred to as a whirly bird) and it will do a really nice job and save you a lot of cans of brake cleaner.
Post some pics if you go this route, I have been thinking about the tg gussets.

Stopping in the middle of working to take pics is kind of difficult, I really forgot until the end. So maybe this will help. The fit with no problem. In hindsight I probably didn't need to ground the original shock mount smooth, it could just be lopped off close and left. The top gusset was an easy fit, minimal clearancing. I did have to slightly grind it down on the knuckle ball end to keep the wiper retainer from hitting but it wasn't much.

When I was done the u bolts for the stabilizer shock bracket wouldn't work anymore, so I had to modify the bracket and then just welded it onto the housing as close as I could get it to its original position. I probably don't even need that stabilizer, never tried driving without it. But I didn't want to find later I wanted it and have weld that bracket on laying on my back, it was easy to do now. So all in all I think this will be a pretty stout front axle for me. Weak spot is probably going to be that Aussie locker, but there's no more cabbage left for that department right now.
The steering stop plates were very time consuming and a PITA. I've got about 30 hours in this thing between removal, cleaning, welding, reinstalling, etc.
I did get one of those front weld on skids, had to modify and tweak the bend to get it on there. Weld a little, hammer it a little, repeat.
I can't take all the credit for it, my friend Paul C was a major factor in how this turned out. I was just going to stick shafts in it, but the knuckles needed rebuilding so when it came out, I went all out.

After cleaning up and regreasing the Aisin hubs, they work great now.






Thanks for the pics, I like the looks of this TG product installed, compaired to the Marlin kit. Having the shock supported on both sides rather than just one seems better to me. When my axle starts to leak and needs a new seal, I am going to do this to mine...Nice job. I'll give you :clap::clap: for that. It's a good thing you haad that thing bungeed down to the jack stand so it didn't get away from ya.
:flipoff2: on the bungies, they held it mostly but it fell off the jack stands once or twice on me. :rolleyes:
I run the Trail Gear knuckle ball stuff on my front axle as well....and also use their minitruck housing truss...that took a little modification to work on a FJ40 housing, but it DID work...

And yes, you are polishing a turd ;) But I've busted an awful lot of stuff on my rig and the front axle has by and large held up fine....took a few years of hard driving on 37's to junk a Longfield, and I now run 39's on the latest-greatest Longfield stuff. I run NO steering stops tho, Trail Tear sixshooter knuckles, 4x4 Labs arms with a behind-axle hydro assist setup. Something has to break :)

finally broke a front coarse pinion in March...

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom