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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to figure out a new way to make a 9" front end for my Ford ranger. The main goal of this project is for it to be Light weight and strong enough to hold 900 HP with 40" tires spinning 90 MPH without spending $1000.00's of dollars.

My idea's so far are:

Using 35 spline Dana 60 front axles. Aluminum center section. This is where the problem comes in. I dont want to transplant the Heavy D60 knuckles and spindles... to a lightweight setup and lose everything I just gained.

Any ideas?????
 

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Do you plan to run a Currie high pinion reverse cut center? As for your axles, why not use a D44 stub shaft, knuckle and spindle from a mid-70s 3/4 ton? You could have your inner axle u-joint saddles cut to work with the smaller 297X (I think) u-joint of the D44, and then use some of the cryo treated solid u-joints and stub shafts. This would probably be as strong as the stock D60 stuff and once again your locking hub would be the weak link, as it should be. Or, you could forget the cryo treated stuff and just use some of those "fused" hubs that are on the market now that are designed to break before the D44 stub shaft and u-joint.

One more idea, completely off the wall, is to find a Uni axle and cut the gear boxes off the end and graft them onto the 9. There's some off-road company (Avalanche Eng, maybe?) that has one. The last retail price I saw on one was about $10K, but if you were willing and able to do the machine work/fabrication/welding yourself then you could do it almost as cheap as the 9/D44/D60 monstrosity I described above.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alcatraz95 said:
Do you plan to run a Currie high pinion reverse cut center? As for your axles, why not use a D44 stub shaft, knuckle and spindle from a mid-70s 3/4 ton? You could have your inner axle u-joint saddles cut to work with the smaller 297X (I think) u-joint of the D44, and then use some of the cryo treated solid u-joints and stub shafts. This would probably be as strong as the stock D60 stuff and once again your locking hub would be the weak link, as it should be. Or, you could forget the cryo treated stuff and just use some of those "fused" hubs that are on the market now that are designed to break before the D44 stub shaft and u-joint.

One more idea, completely off the wall, is to find a Uni axle and cut the gear boxes off the end and graft them onto the 9. There's some off-road company (Avalanche Eng, maybe?) that has one. The last retail price I saw on one was about $10K, but if you were willing and able to do the machine work/fabrication/welding yourself then you could do it almost as cheap as the 9/D44/D60 monstrosity I described above.


I never thought of using D60 inner and d44 outer, good idea. The only problem i see with that is how you get the D60 inner to clear the D44 ball joints inside the knuckle. Im afraid there just insnt enough phyiscal space inthere for them. I run the Warn Chromoly axles now in my D44 stuff with succces using the Hub fusses as you described.

As for the uni-axle idea there are rules in our association that prohibit you from using Planetarty or drop drive axles. It has to be a solid straight front axle type.

Good idea thou, keep them coming....
 

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If you have your axle made to use the smaller U-joint, ball joint clearance shouldn't be a problem. All Moser (or whoever builds your axles) will want to know is diameter, spline count, length and size of u-joint. With that being the case, you could take and cut the ends off (from about 2-3in inside of the knuckle) of a D44 and then, using a custom inner shaft, just weld them onto the 9in housing. That's why I mentioned the Currie center. No one else makes a reverse rotation pumpkin for the 9in. If you run a low pinion with a reverse cut, you're going to run into oiling problems with the pinion bearing.

Are you planning a closed or open knuckle? I've read that the closed keeps dirt out better. However, the way I see it, with the closed, once it's in there, it's not getting out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alcatraz95 said:
If you have your axle made to use the smaller U-joint, ball joint clearance shouldn't be a problem. All Moser (or whoever builds your axles) will want to know is diameter, spline count, length and size of u-joint. With that being the case, you could take and cut the ends off (from about 2-3in inside of the knuckle) of a D44 and then, using a custom inner shaft, just weld them onto the 9in housing. That's why I mentioned the Currie center. No one else makes a reverse rotation pumpkin for the 9in. If you run a low pinion with a reverse cut, you're going to run into oiling problems with the pinion bearing.

Are you planning a closed or open knuckle? I've read that the closed keeps dirt out better. However, the way I see it, with the closed, once it's in there, it's not getting out.
I am trying to do this without the use of custom axles is the only thing. As for the oiling problems It will only see 150 feet of track at a time and I can probably just over fill the case to aid in splash lub of the pinion bearing. I was planning on using open knuckle. Roger on the currie center section, but there again its pretty high dollar.

Im thinking about taking a stock D60 inner axle and cut off the u-joint end and graft a D44 U-joint end on the end of it, by tongue and grove machining of both pieces with a center pilot bushing deal and then weld it. That way the weld is not being used to drive the axle as much.
 

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Ok, I've seen some company (can't remember who) who does the cryo treating and offers axles and u-joints machined from 300M. They also offer a splined axle and yoke that is held together with a roll pin or circle clip. Why not have your inner axle (AFAIK, all front D60s are 35spl from carrier to stub shaft) splined to fit one of those splined yokes. You'd only be out the cost of splining the shaft and buying the yoke (they probably make a standard one as well). Then you wouldn't have to weld on the axle at all (I cringe at the prospect of that!)

I think you're right. You should be OK just overfilling a little. That Currie is expensive. I looked at using one in a solid axle conversion on a Big Bronco...I could've bought another Bronce by the time I bought Currie's assembly! :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea I know what company your talking about.....

That would be a good option I think.

thanks jon
 

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i will share what i have learned about d44 and d60s in the event it may help:

D44 part are stout for what they are, but i have broke a number of them playing in my 79 F250. I am talking shafts, hubs, spindles knuckels, R&P's, and bent housings. This was with 37" boggers and some deep gears and moderate horsepower (and yes under serious abuse in places deer couldn't even go). I can't imagine how 44 shafts and outers are going to survive 40" tires and 900 HP.

A d60 housing stripped to the ears and housing weighs about 210, so a 9" center section alone will buy some pretty good weight savings, more so if it's aluminum. I have also grown to despise ball joints and mud. they are not rebuildable and they pack with mud in one trip. With 60 outers you can go with King pins, which are completely rebuildable and cleanable.

you could also use a pinion disk brake and save the weight of one rotor and caliper. A spool up front can save weight as well if you are in sloppy mud, steering is tough on hard dirt with a spool up front.

The other nice thing about staying with stock style parts is you can always go to NAPA and get american made u-joints and bearing and such off the shelf. i know there are other ways, and the things that were mentioned may work for you as well, but i like simple, easy, and stout.

one more positive with D60's is you can easily upgrade to D70 stube shafts which are 35 spline. You are probably aware of this but dedenbare (or somethin like that) makes very nice king pin ears and knuckles for D60s
 

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Good advice cammer.

Here is my experience from rockcrawling and UROC racing. Even with a mild setup, we have never been able to make a 44 live. Even with Moser stuff and then with Warn chrome moly axles and the one piece joints like CTMS and Longfields. I have spent enough money on D44 stuff to build a custom 60!

If you could make them live in a racing environment, you would see a lot of them because they are cheaper!

We did a 609 for our comp buggy. Front and rear steer. Follow the link in my Sig line.
Deddenbear inner and outer knuckles, and Sunray Engineering 9 inch center and tubes.
We run a Strange 35 spline aluminum center in the front and Nodular iron Strange in the rear.
The aluminum centers do not live long in the rear when you are launching on rock with the whole weight of the rig on the rear and super low gears . I believe the aluminum housing "flex's" enough to let the gears eat each other. We ran Superior custom alloy shafts and chrome moly joints.

You can do this set up your self. Use a late model 9 housing, retube it and use the D60 knuckles etc. The Deddenbear knuckles can be ordered in different tube sizes, but they are heavier tha a stock 60 knuckle.
If you use a detroit in the 9 center section, USE A 35 SPLINE setup!

If you use smaller shafts and smaller joints, when you break the shaft or joint under power, the resulting shock load WILL KILL your Detroit! Expensive lesson. I have saw 4 killed this way. A 35 Spline Detroit is not neccesarily stronger ,but their will be LESS chance of a major shock load from breakage if you use the heavier shafts and joints.

The 9 can be modified to oil upside down! Our buggy has had no problems. Have not had to use a HIGH 9 yet.

OR you could just do a good old D60. Hard to beat! Just use some good shafts and joints and be done with it.

You can get used axles, New shafts, and great service from Doug (High honda) at Extreme Axle sales. http://www.extremeaxlesales.com/index.asp

He is a great guy to get parts from and has the BEST prices on shafts, joints, and D60 Hardware.

If you spent the money to get the horsepower, you HAVE to spend a little on the front axle!

I agree with Cammer on the Kingpin setup. I like them awful well.
 

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Thanks guys for the web sites. :D
I have been wanting to keep the 9" in my Bronco and transplant a Dana 60. Being able to keep the same bolt pattern on the wheels.
The guy at extreme axle helped me with a blank wheel hub so I can drill it to the 5x6. :idea:
And the HI9! man that is great for any off roading I can get into.
And there are great Ideas for later builds!!! :!:
 

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D-44 won't last. Period.

If you are going to run 44's, why are you worried about the weight of a D-60? 44's are freakin heavy. IMO, you have to pay to play. If you just want a show truck, sure, don't mess with it, but if you want to use & abuse it, 60's are the only way to go.

John.
 

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I see 3800 plus lbs prostock trucks running 1000 -1250 plus horsepower to 2400 lbs rails w/ big boy injected blower motors, most them guys all run 44 fronts w/hard axles and there are even a few that run jeep 30"s. We run a 44 w/cut 38 & 40's behind an 532 A-headed BBF 800- 900 hp and see no problem. You might check a few other options if your breaking 44's. If you snow plowing mud or not enough motor and not runnining enough lead you may run into problems :wink:
 

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jon if you can get the weight to transfer back and keep the front end up you will have no problem with a 44 front. or for that matter a 30 front works fine so far for us keep the front end light its what breaks the parts not the power light tires help too.get it light and just let the front dance in the air and you wont break anything in the front lol . brad
 

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it truely does depend on your application. It all comes down to traction. If there is very little of it you will get away with a D44 for a while. But if during one of those times when you have the wheel speed way up and are high in the torque band you start to get traction she's going to come apart.

if you have around 900 lb-ft of torque 4.88 gears and 2:1 low range T-case your single wheel torque will be as follows:
900*2*4.88/4=2196 lb-ft to each wheel
(after it splits torque through the T-case) this also assumes you are locked front and rear and in 4th gear. This is mearly an example, but it gives you an idea of the forces involved.

don't get me wrong, i understand the D60 route can very expensive and if you can't go that way at the time then you do what you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The Main reason I want to do this 9" front end is because I believe I can make it lighter than a D44 which I currently have and stronger than the D44 with the D60 inner axles.

Brad is right, if you can get the weight to transfer to the back a D44 will last with 40's. The weak spot in my D44 is the Joints. If I spent some money on the CTM joints the weak spot would probably be the hubs next.

Weight kills frontend parts in the type of Mud racing we do. I put the truck on a serious diet so Maybe I should just run it the way it is and see if I have any problems.

It weighed 4000 pds with me in it last time I weighed it. 466, iron heads with C6, NP205 Full bodied 87 ranger, D44 front and 9" rear. with 40" boggers in back and 40" monster mudders in front

now it has 512 with Alum heads Powerglide,208 (that weighs 48pds), and a completly gutted body, Cut 40" bogger in rear and cut 40 mudders in the front.

Im hoping it will weigh no more than 3100 with me in it.

Jon
 
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