re-gear vs axel swap

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surfwagoneer
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re-gear vs axel swap

Post by surfwagoneer » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:44 pm

I'm gonna need to re-gear soon and am in a little debate. Looking for the most cost worthy + biggest bang for my buck. Have dana 44 front and rear. Plan was to re-gear to 3.73 and then hopefully add a detroit truetrac in the rear at the same time. Scanning my local craigslist I've come on a dana 60 rear ff with 3.73's for $250. What dimensions would make it a straight swap? And if I'm going this route why not throw a 44HD or 60 up front that already has 3.73's (again what type of dimensions would I be looking for.) Just thinking out loud and open to any and all advice
89 GW- Rebuilt 360 w RV camshaft, 4 inch Rustys spring lift, 1" body lift, dana 44HD front, 14 bolt rear 3.73's.
78 Cherokee Chief- work in progress

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Tad
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Re: re-gear vs axel swap

Post by Tad » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:23 pm

D60 rear is going to be wider, about 67" WMS which puts your tires an inch or so out past the sheet metal.
Do you know what it's from?
Some Dodges are a bolt in for perch spacing for our Wag/Chero's, 44" perch spacing.
Your bolt in HD44 front would be from a 80's J20 if you want to stay spring under, or from a 78-79 Ford if you want to go spring over (same year and make for a D60). Any of the full width axles are going to put your tires about 1" out past the body.

It requires some decision making.
Do you want to be spring over? (about 6.5" of lift)
That's a lot combined with your existing 4" lift springs and will require a shackle flip in the rear (or installing hangers under the frame).
I don't picture doing full width axles spring under without cutting a lot of sheet metal, works of for the WT folks but it's a lot of trimming on a Wag/GW.

Many of these decisions need to be based on what you want to do with the rig long term.
Beach cruiser, hard core trail rig, tow rig, DD, what size tires, etc.
If you make a list of those items, the long term goal, it will be easier to make decisions and not repeat previous work.
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Topic author
surfwagoneer
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:09 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: re-gear vs axel swap

Post by surfwagoneer » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:15 pm

I'll be staying with the current lift plus about another 1". I'll be putting on xj fender flares. Gonna try the rugged ridge offroad ones, I think there 6". This is a DD, beach and occasional offroading (uwharrie is not to far from me.) I'm not sure what the dana 60 is from, haven't called the guy yet, just brainstorming at this point. I would love to one day swap in a 4bt but realistically since I just did a full rebuild I don't think it will ever happen. So that being said with the current lift +1 or 2", fender flares and 33" tires I think the wider axle would work fine. Guess I'm just going to have to price things out and see what is the most realistic. The axle swap isn't a must, just weighing options at this point.
89 GW- Rebuilt 360 w RV camshaft, 4 inch Rustys spring lift, 1" body lift, dana 44HD front, 14 bolt rear 3.73's.
78 Cherokee Chief- work in progress


csuengr
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Re: re-gear vs axel swap

Post by csuengr » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:28 pm

One thing to consider, there is no such thing as a bolt in axle swap. A $250 D60 could end up costing $700 by the time you get all the little stuff fixed. The front is even worse. You would also have to get new tires and wheels.
1977 Cherokee S, Ford 5.0, 5 speed, BW 1356, 33 x 10.50 BFG's. No longer my DD.
2007 Mercury Milan, 2.3L, 5-speed, now my DD. 29 mpg average.

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