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So this is my build thread for moving my axle forward. My axle is already a long arm suspension kit, but I want the axle to move forward about 3-4 inches. Sure I could lift it a couple more inches, but that would raise my center of gravity. doing this will also increase my approach angle!
My goal is to run 38 or 40 inch tires with only 6 inches of lift.

I have already done a LOT to the dodge dana60 axle already. If I knew it would have costed so much I would have bought a ford HP d60 in the first place. But here I am with a beefed up dodge dana 60 front.
Here is what I have done on my build already:

  1. new spicer u joints
  2. CAD drive axle shaft eliminator kit (one shaft now)
  3. Spyntech lock out hub conversion with 35 spline chromoly outer stub shafts, milemarker lockout hubs.
  4. THUREN heim joint crossover steering.
  5. D I C K cepek 6 inch lift. These DP have a REDICULOUS amount of down travel! I had to put straps on em to keep them compressed for removal!!!

Stage 1:
to build a bumper that left a lot of room for the axle to move forward-DONE

Stage 2:
remove axle, truss it, gusset as needed, move spring pad backwards-IN PROCESS

Stage 3:
find some big tires!

Stage 4:
find a heavier duty rear end.

Progress Pics coming soon!
THUREN arms. comment please Big Grin
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Broken teeth on pitman arm. possible source of clunking sound, two sections were found missing:
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newly installed Thuren arms. but shortly removed with the axle due to moving the axle forward project
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Bumper pics as promised. built this a while back!
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Axle removal and before fabrication pics:
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tools! I got some new ones! They should help out IMMENSELY at this point! hehe
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Bucket to be moved yet:
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ABOUT 4 inches forward!
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some reference points to view before and keep in mind:
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the driver side all cut up and some reference points... yeah the pics suck, and so does my camera phone!
Ill have to appoint my girlfriend to take the pictures from now on. Big Grin
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---------- Post added at 10:12 pm ---------- Previous post was at 10:03 pm ----------

[/COLOR]So in order to get to the buckets with a torch and cutting disc I removed the plastic sound dampener. I dont think ill be using this again. I could care less.
Just to get a few things done while i was at it I welded up all the old bucket remains to the frame for added support... probably nothing to make a difference, but it gave me an opportunity to re-familiarize myself with the welder. Cool

extra weight and less to worry about! anyway in the process of cutting out the inner fender to make room for the new coil bucket placement, I accidentally cut into the wire harness..six wires ate it...:myself:
this was remedied with butt connectors and electrical tape. I plugged the battery into the truck and went through all the bells and whistles, everything checked out and I taped her all back up.

hopefully tomorrow I can take the knowledge I learned today and cut out the other bucket a little quicker now that I have a "method".
I will be making brackets to weld up on the coil buckets, and eventually weld them to the frame. with gussets of course!

so tomorrow I will be making bucket brackets. hehe. I like saying that! has a cool sound to it.
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This fabrication thing is taking a lot of work!!! especially in a cramped area under the wheel well!!
oh well, halfway done with the buckets now! Big Grin[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 10:44 pm ---------- Previous post was at 10:43 pm ----------

[/COLOR]and yes my welding needs some work, it is also very uncomfortable under there
Buckets are done, and gusseted. I was just about to put the axle back under the dodge and remembered I was going to truss the darn thing.
Is it necessary to truss the bottom too? I am not opposed to it, but Ill do it while the axle is out from under the truck. I ran out of time today, spent about 10 hours working on it, would have gone longer but I have a noise curfew. :mad:
Anyway, here are pictures to look at! Cool

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so today I got it the pieces welded up that you see above. I used 1/8" 7018 rod to weld it all up, I ran about 130-140 amps, Not sure what I really ran but it was hot enough. (my welder is old and I dial in to what is needed).
It rained 3 times while i was working on it so i had a couple of hours where I was just standing around in the garage looking at the axle waiting :thumbsdown: for it to stop.

I ended up welding the tubes to the differential just because everything was off. I am curious to see if i burned up any seals in the housing.... :whistle:
I am not TOO worried about them though, because if there are leaks, I will just put in my new MAD 4wheel axle tube seals while the axles are out.

I didnt get pictures yet, but tomorrow I should have the top plate welded on and the coil bucket welded on. I SUPPOSE I should truss the other side too... I just wanna get this trussing out of the way and get the axle back under. I should have pics up tomorrow when I finish the trussing. HOPEFULLY is the key word.
axle welded together and trussed- good news.
no pictures- bad news.
cell phone on the fritz- bad news.

just have to weld up the radius arms and I am good to go.
anyone want to lend a hand rolling this thing in place? these front axles are a PITA to put in place.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 10:57 pm ---------- Previous post was at 10:55 pm ----------

[/COLOR]just discovered that the new coil bucket location on the axle is going to lift the dodge 2 inches.
so, I finally got a working phone and took some pictures with it. But I did not get a cable to upload the pictures!! Sad

The project is still going on! I finished gusseting some brackets on the axle today - this took forever because I ran out of 1/8" rod and had to weld with 3/32" rod. that sucks big time!! especially when welding on stuff 1/4" or larger.
So after the axle bracket gusseting, I moved the axle underneath the truck (PITA), discovered one of my front wheels is bent somehow. oblong or egg shaped (take your pick). so... that made it a little difficult to push under the truck. the wheel makes a nice annoying squeaky sound everytime the "short" side rubs on the caliper bracket.

I then started fabricating a new track bar mount and bolted it up. Part of the bracket bolts into the steering box bolts on the outside of the frame, i decided to torque down the steering box bolts and found one was mysteriously loose. weird. I wonder if someone was trying to steal it when it was at my apartment for a month!? I specifically remember hitting those bolts with an air gun and got them pretty tight.

Anyway, the track bar bracket is in and all I need to do now is: lengthen the radius arms, and put all the steering stuff back in!

oh, and take the driveline down to youngs gear to lengthen it... ugh.. not looking forward to that bill.

I just got the radius arms welded up and installed. I hope I got the lengths correct!! I made them a little bit longer just to push the axle forward a little further. I ended up welding a tube on the lower arms inside and then welded a sleeve on top of them, just to be safe. the uppers were a different diameter tube, so I had to find a different tube/pipe/whatever. I looked and looked and finally found my old track bar. .. yep. solid steel. worked for me! so I cut it into sections to provide a gap/reinforcement for the extension. .. well. I got 3 right and 1 wrong, but all the right length!! my extension/radius arm on the passenger side is up high instead of down low.:doh:

Other than that it took much longer to install the arms because I had to maneuver the axle, and the truck so that the holes would line up. 4 bolt holes, 4 hours. I think it took so long because I had to keep getting up and adjusting EVERYTHING many many times. (this is why I never made the meeting today. I will make next month)

So I am still working on the picture issue. so pics are coming just.. not now Big Grin you all have to wait!:nopics:

---------- Post added at 10:24 pm ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 pm ----------

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Full Droop.
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Sizing up the new location for my track bar:
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Radius arm welding pics:
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Sitting on suspension (DONE!):
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I thought I got a finished pic of the track arm bracket. but oh well. the VERY first pic is one of the bracket, but I did some modifications shortly after the pic.
no pics on this update, seems I broke the camera again.:pbbt:
but, I did get some major things done in the last few days:
front axle back together (the differential took some special effort and a backlash dial tool), ARB RE-sealed up, shocks installed, everything re-greased and mud cleaned, started cutting into the front bumper for the winch mount.

Things to do: get new brake lines made/install, secure springs to axle better(make bracket), lengthen front driveline, lift the rear end so the truck sits level.

some bad news for me but some good news for someone else- I ordered some MAD 4wd axle OUTER tube seals. These are about $40-50 i think. they worked for my chevy axle, but the axle tube for my dodge is TOO big. So I cannot use em. Ill post on the for sale board. $20 for the set.
track bar finished:
[Image: 07-17-11_2258.jpg]

First attempt:
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the pitman arm hit the track bar, had to relocate, move the mount location:
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Installed (see first pic)

got some time today to weld up the diff cover. Started out by tack welding the cover to a flat plate so it did not warp when welded.

I welded 1/2" plate up the middle and braced and gusseted the rest with 1/4" plate. I like the turn out Smile
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I started on my rear end today, I cut a square hole in the bottom of the "hangar bucket". I do not like how the square part of the bucket limits the movement of the hangar. I am thinking about cutting out the bottom entirely and bracing the hangar's mount with some gusseting.

I was however thinking about flipping my springs around (front to back) in order to move my rear axle backwards. this would be to give a better angle of decent/approach in the rear. however, this would require a different length of a driveline- which I am not too excited about having one made at this time. I think this idea will follow through at a later date.if I flipped the springs,
I would be moving the axle back 4 inches. would there be Any other problems with this? I cant think of any or havent found anything negative about it.

I decided to trim up the bed rocker a little in the rear, just a straight cut. I will have to put a tack weld on the bar that braced the panel I cut off though.

I tried to mount up my extended brake lines today but the shop forgot to put in a brace, so a twig that caught the brake line could rip out/bend/break the line at its weakest point. I cut up and bent the original brake line brackets that mount to the axle to provide some limitation of movement [Image: smile.gif]. I took a picture but I am still fighting with my camera phone to get it to transfer pictures. [Image: pissed.gif][Image: pissed.gif]

sorry for the crappy update. just words today.
I got my shackle flip brackets done today! Welded em up in place and out of position, I wanted to make sure I didnt miss anything or make a measurement mistake by welding it on the bench. I just started welding again this year and I have improved so much from what I started at. I guess I was rusty. anyway a couple pics of the shackle: (I got a new phone that takes pics, crappy ones at that though)
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I was just about to mount up the axle but remembered that I am swapping in a 14 bolt here soon (hopefully within the next week or so). But I wanted to explore the new set up and discovered that my shackle flip had moved my axle forward. so far forward that the rear driveline was up against the transfer case.

So I flipped the springs around like i mentioned in the previous update. Great... the driveline is too long now. .. it must be barely poking its tip into the t-case. So I have TWO drivelines to lengthen. doh! 4 total counting my buggy. I am thinking about giving high angle driveline in California a jingle soon. maybe order up some brake line E-brake brackets for my dodge AND blazer while I am at it.

I noticed that the e brake line was a bit tight, I noticed this when It became extremely difficult to put the axle and springs together.

I also took back my front brake lines due to the flimsy build the first time around. I got em back from Ak Rubber and I am amazed at the customer service they have here at Alaska Rubber and Rigging. Awesome place to get arctic hoses for anything! even brake lines like i mentioned.

when I flipped the springs, the stock blocks and shim were discovered to actually benefit my rear pinion angle by turning them around backwards. The pinion angle is straight now! with the block and shims facing the original position the pinion angle was aimed way too high.


So not a whole lot of progress today, but a lot learned about what I need to do to make this project get on the move.

here is the weak brake line I mentioned. and the fix following after:
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This is about where it sits now. Waiting for an evening when I can wrench on it again. gotta keep going to actual work :whistle:

This is the shackle flip before I made my own brackets. I had a '94dodge in 2003 that I had some guy do a shackle flip like this to my 94dodge. I did not know any better back then... hardly knew how to turn a wrench! Now that I look back at it. the guy was a ********. the shackle flip limited the shackle travel IMMENSELY, and I had to have my rear driveline shortened. Im going the other way this time around.
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and here is a start on body modifications, many more to come!
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Well, This is how it will sit:
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rear driveline angle:
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LONGER driveshaft needed!! :pbbt:
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finished everything up today except the drivelines.
I ended up welding the new e-brake cable mount and cutting the wire line to make room for the bridged gap due to moving the axle backwards.
The front driveline needs to be 35" long and the rear needs to be lengthened 3.75 inches. I think that I may be able to no have an entire rear driveshaft re-made because the dual cardian joint will provide that length and some more. The driveline may actually have to be shortened this saves some money! :grinpimp:

drivelines ready to go!
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final spring setup. When I swap in a 14 bolt I will use the new 5/8" u-bolts I picked up today.
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E brake setup. used 2 cable clamps on each side, just in case one slips and I loose one side on the trail, I will have a spare one on the other side that didnt rip off. Other than that they are both holding the cable,
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It may not make too much a difference in this application, but you may want to turn your cable clamps around. Just remember "never saddle a dead horse".

I am assuming the first cable will actually take all of the load in the direction of the pull.
which ones? there are four!
I only saw the two furthest away from the spring. I can't make out the details in the ones closest to the spring. Just look at the link I posted and you'll understand. I wonder if a ferrel would work better in this application? It's not as bulky and would have less chance of hanging up on anything.
I just looked at the site. it wasnt popping up yesterday. and I understand what they are talking about.

Other than Ebrake discussion (I know that can get super exciting! haha) I got my front driveline back today for the 01 dodge from Youngs. not as bad as I thought it was going to be. On the bad news, Young's cannot do the rear driveline, so I gave jess a call at high angle driveline and he quoted me on a new rear driveline WITH a CV up at the rear output.
it will come to about $480 ish I think + shipping.. I was almost to that amount but I had to buy a new buzz box welder today. the old one took a poop.

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Good right up here Peter. Just wish I could see the pics. About the only time I'm on a computer is at work and can't view photobucket from here. I've looked at a few of the pics on my phone but not the same.
brake converstion to a 14 bolt i picked up/traded Kevin for my old dana 80 axle. I converted the ebrakes to work for me here! I basically swapped all the brake goodies from my old dana 60 to this 14 bolt
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I welded the tubes to the diff tonight before I had to go to class, will connect the brake lines back up tomorrow and cinch them down with zip ties n such. and then try to reach jesse at high angle driveline for ordering a driveline.

Called muffler city as well (anchorage) looking for some beefy tires. around 42 inches is what I am going for. on 16 inch wheels.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 07:52 pm ---------- Previous post was at 07:50 pm ----------

[/COLOR]ditched my front bumper too. ended up with this bad boy:
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called Jesse at high angle driveline. getting a tricked out rear driveline for running the 42's I will be swapping in when they get up here. no beadlocks yet. I would like to get some stazworks in the future, or maybe Ole could get a set for me if he has any Smile But as for now I will be running my old Mickey Thompson classic II wheels.
new tires! 42x14 -16 Iroks
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Where's the Like button?
Looks cool. Gonna need to trim bed sides & tube to match the brush guard.
Nice, so when are you planning to install the 5.38 gears?

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