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Narrowing axles

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by matrock78, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. Apr 18, 2014
    matrock78

    matrock78 New Member

    Auburn California
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Has anyone narrowed a rear Dana 44 before?

    I have seen front 44's done and it looks doable at home (except the axle shafts, that's a farm it out deal to me.) I have wagoneer 44's for my 67 cj5 and I'm not sure ill like the 8 inches extra width. I was considering narrowing front and rear 4 inches to bring the tires in a touch. Or does anyone know if I could get some deeper (or shallower) rims to bring the tires in without cutting the axles.

    I've got 33's on it now and they stick out a bit so I wouldn't mind keeping the slightly wider stance.
    I've tried seeing if there are any pictures to compare but it's hard to find jeeps with just 33's on wagoneer axles.

    My build plan so far it to keep the jeep looking lightly modified but very capable. Kinda like duffer's jeep( although his jeep is seriously out of my fab skills arena). I like the subtle mods rather than a huge stretch and giant tires.

    Thanks
     
  2. Apr 18, 2014
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    I'm not much help in the experience department but am in the process of building a high pinion D44 for the 3B with the intent of only running 33's. For 33-12.5's and shallow backspacing, you still need about 54" WMS/WMS to keep the tires off the springs at full lock. The wide track CJ axles are 56" WMS/WMS and that opens the door to potentially using off-the-shelf aftermarket axle shafts which would be a big plus.

    I purchased a length of 1.25" hardened hydraulic cylinder rod and machined pucks to keep the alignment in check while I put this together. From reading about everything I could find on this, it doesn't appear to be rocket science. I couldn't even find any data on factory housing runout so have to believe it isn't extremely critical as long as it doesn't load the side gears/seals.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2014
    matrock78

    matrock78 New Member

    Auburn California
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    I had a similar thought that I could just torch/cut/drill out the plug weld on the center section to get the tubes out then shorten them to what ever width I may need. I like the idea to use the hydraulic cylinder rod for alignment. I might steal that idea.
     
  4. Apr 19, 2014
    tymbom

    tymbom Member

    Siskiyou Co.
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    814
    8 inches sounds like alot if its all stacked on one side, but 4 inches per side isn't as bad. Thats the same width as a ferd 9in from a Early Bronco. There are wheels out there with 5in and 4.5in backspacing. I would rather run off the shelf parts and not mess with it. Of course, I'm planning on running a ferd 9in out an Early Bronco in my Jeep. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  5. Apr 19, 2014
    supertrooper

    supertrooper Member

    moreno valley, ca
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    726
    I watch a vid on youtube of dynatrac building a prorock 44 axle and it looks like taking the tubes out and pressing them back definitely isnt a diy deal. I would just have dutchman narrow it. They charge 120 for the rear and 55 each to shorten and respline the shafts
     
  6. Apr 19, 2014
    matrock78

    matrock78 New Member

    Auburn California
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    I would do the Dutchman route but shipping to them would break the bank I think. But it would be done right.
     
  7. Apr 20, 2014
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    12,529
    One thing most people forget, supporting the carrier (pumpkin) so it doesn't crush/distort when the tubes are pressed back in...
     
  8. Apr 20, 2014
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,427
    I have been successful many times in the past by cutting the weld off around the knuckle, then knocking "C" off. There is a flat part machined on top of it where the ball joint nut goes. Use this for a reference point, keep the same angle between this point and your axle tube and you will be fine. It's not really critical as the c shaped inner knuckle takes up so much real estate on the axle tube that it pretty much sets itself as it is pressed or hammered on. I bought a set of shims to go between the spindle and knuckle when I built my first axle, and I have never used them yet, so this method works pretty well. The rear axle bearing seat is easy. Just keep it 90degrees to the axle tube and all is good. Good luck.
     
  9. Apr 20, 2014
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    12,529
    There's more to the rear than just keeping the housing ends 90* to the tubes. The ends need to be in line with the centerline if the carrier so the shafts run true and don't side load the side gears, carrier bearings, and axle bearings. That's why Duffer used the rod and machined pucks to center everything up. You'd be amazed how often you go to line things up for welding and find the ends do not line perfectly back up with the tubes. Either because the tubes have a slight bend or the carrier is distorted. We use pucks in the carrier bearing saddles and jig the ends from that to ensure the axleshafts will run true after welding.
     
  10. Apr 20, 2014
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member

    Northern California
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,784
    Nick is correct............the ends are the last thing to go on..........If properly jigged up with a fixture that has a shaft running through the center line the ends really don't have much say in where they end up at the end in respect to the Tube. Its Important to grind , cut the respective joint out there so there is zero clearance between the two mating surfaces...........Once slipped on you do not want the weld to move that part around. Of course it should be tacked in 4 places and the center line shaft should always remain movable and fluid..........some ends are different and do have receiver cavities for tubes the method may change depending on the type of rear end being narrowed.
     
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