Broken Axle Project

Posted on July 14, 2019

It all started on April 21, 2018 on the way to Crown King…

PowerTrax locker, Dana 35, the slightest resistance and “snap”. Luckily my brother and a few good friends were there and disassembled the rear while I hitched a ride back to the house to retrieve the spare… yes, I had a spare and no it wasn’t in the Jeep – lesson learned. After several hours, and a little toothpaste to hold it together, we were back in business and made it to Crown King just after dark.

Fast forward a few months…

I decided that this wasn’t going to happen to me again and planned a few upgrades. The plan was to do D60’s, but I couldn’t pass up a set of D44’s I found on Craigslist. They were from a Wagoneer, had ARB lockers, came with the compressor and other goodies.

Several months passed while I gathered parts before I started working on the axle mounts…

Cut off the old mounts and prepped for the new truss.

Minor adjustments with the grinder, a little welding, some paint and viola…

and it bolted right in 🙂 Well, not really. I didn’t want anything hanging below the axles (control arms, shock mounts, etc) which meant the rear axle needed to move back about 1.5″ – cool

The part you don’t see is the rear gas tank skid plate modification to allow the 1.5″ rear stretch and the heavy duty diff cover to clear.

On to the front…

Since I was this far into it, I decide to move the front axle forward as much as I could without causing too many problems. Ended up about 1.5″ forward stretch.

There’s a million little things that needed to be done…

  • New rear drums, shoes, pistons.
  • New seals, vent and air lines, etc.
  • New rear track bar – custom
  • Outboard rear shocks (for ground clearance), french in upper mounts and fab new lower mounts
  • Rebuild front hubs
  • New rotors, calipers, pad, brake lines, vent and air lines for the front
  • New tie rod and drag link with new heim joints
  • New pitman arm and steering gear
  • Cut off the old front track bar mount a fab a new one
  • New track bar and heim joints
  • Fab new steering stabilizer mount
  • Upgrade 7/16″ wheel studs to 1/2″
  • Mount the compressor and wire the switches
  • Order new driveshafts
  • Remount the rear flares about 1″ aft so the tires are centered in the wheel opening.
  • etc

Oh, and you can’t have 35″ tires on ARB locked Dana 44’s without upgrading the transfer case. So I stuffed in a NP241OR with 4:1 low range with a Barnes 2″ drop skid plate.

She rolls and drives and stops and has awesome low range!

Test drive