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Thread: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

  1. #1
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    Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Since we can use all the info we can get with these old Jeeps I figure I will ask a few questions I have been throwing around and we can discuss them and others can look in the future if they are looking for the same info.

    I am wondering what axles f/r will work best for 35-37" tires on a 70's CJ-5. I have been thinking of using ScoutII dana44's f/r since I can get them cheap and they're strong and not too wide. I was also thinking of using a ford9" and dana44 front. Who has done these types of swaps and how much time and money were invested? I just want to think about multiple options before I go invest in some parts.

  2. #2
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    I will start with that I have a Dana 44 front from a full size jeep and a corp 12 bolt rear with a Detroit locker. I plan to run 37" tires in the future.

    What follows is opinion. Many will say they run 37s on vehicles with Dana 44s or less. The clock is ticking on them. They will spend more money than you in the long run if you make the right decisions now.

    That being said if you are a serious wheeler (I am) my current axles are not up to the task of 37" tires and serious off roading. Even less up to the task if you have lockers of any type on both ends.

    With my set up I would go 35's at the most and would upgrade to Corp 14 bolt in the rear, and a Dana 60 in the front before going to 37s or bigger.

    Understand you have Jeep disease. In time you will go to at least the 37s and 99% chance something bigger.

    The scout axles are OK up to 35" tires. If these are early 70's axles and I remember right they have a caster of zero. Will have to cut off the ends and reset to proper caster for your particular Jeep and your planned lift. In other words even if free, in the end not cheap and will not hold up to your planned build.

    The ford nine in the rear is a good choice for strength if properly done. Also it won't hang down as much as a Dana 60 or Corp 14 bolt.

    JP magazine on line has spoken to this a few times as to strengths of different axles and which will stand up to what size tires.

    Or if you want an answer you can count on just ask the guys at Desert Fab. They have given me advise that saved me a ton on my build, and they do great work. I already has the Dana 44 front and 12 rear before I started picking their brains.

    If I had your Jeep I would go trussed for nine in the rear, and maybe a built Dana 44 in the front. Better yet a Dana 60 with high steer conversion.
    Last edited by TRobertsRN; 05-22-2009 at 09:31 PM.
    Tom Roberts, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Jeep Nut
    53 Willys Pickup, 59 Willys Wagon, 83 Diesel 4x4 Suburban, 93 Bronco, 4x4 S-10.
    I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Morgan, for your type of wheeling, 44's frt and rear would be perfect.

    Though building axles vary person to person with tastes of brands, gear selection, locker selection etc.


    Adam
    Adam

  4. #4
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Honestly, I'm not really going to wheel the CJ hard at all...just trips to the lake and camping with a very likely V8 swap in the future...and I want it to be reliable and a wider trac width than the NT axles provide. I could build the stock axles up but I will always worry, it's just my nature. I want it to be an all around FUN trail machine that is faster and more capable than I could have ever hoped for when I bought it. It's never going to be an extreme wheeler with a 84" wheelbase but it could be an amazing, fun, worry free 4x4. Something that can drive itself anywhere, anytime. I've got a '63 Scout that is a total beater and already has a Chevy V8 drivetrain and 100" wheelbase, I'm gonna do a 14 bolt rear 60 front on that sucker and trash it. I'm building that as we speak so don't think of my Jeep as my primary 4x4.

    When I really think about it I see 35's and a healthy V8 in the future, but no real hardcore wheeling. Perhaps that makes dana44's a good choice. I fear the rear dana44 would get ruined with 300hp, a 9" wouldn't. What would be a good donor front dana44 with appropriate caster and a good donor for a 9" rear that isn't too wide. I figure with all the $$$ I put into my TJ I could have put a V8 and axles into my CJ and still had money to buy another Scout. This time I am going to do this right.

    Edit: Keep in mind I blew the r&p on my dana35 after 9 months coming home from work on 31's and I blew a front axle shaft on my TJ just going to the lake on 33's so I have bad luck and like the confidence big axles provide, no locker either time...
    Last edited by CaptainMorgan; 05-22-2009 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    full track axles 60's

  6. #6
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    how are the scout axels do they fit well

  7. #7

    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    I have done the scout swap on two different cj-5's.IMO they are the perfect width,about 60" if I remember right.The down side is the spring perch is cast in the center section so you pretty much have to outboard the springs.The outer stubs are older dana 30 size so I would agree with the 35''unless you go chromo.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    I might just go the Scout II route since those things get practically thrown away in Scout world...the front axle will be the toughest part, I really don't want to outboard the front springs. I would have to see this done on a rig that wasn't hillbilly rigged before consider it for my own Jeep.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Dana 44's out of a 74 to I think it is early 89's full size jeep has an open knuckle front dana 44 with disk brakes that is stronger than a small size jeep Dana 44 and of a good woder stance than what you have. So look for a J-truck, Wagon, or Cherokee from then.

    Scout would let you keep same 5 bolt pattern you have now. Full Size Jeep is a 6 bolt same as chevy of same era.

    If you are planning a high steer conversion might want to go right to a chevy front axle that came with the flat knuckles already.
    Tom Roberts, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Jeep Nut
    53 Willys Pickup, 59 Willys Wagon, 83 Diesel 4x4 Suburban, 93 Bronco, 4x4 S-10.
    I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Well, it looks like I need to find a waggy for my axles and my engine then. Perfect. If I can get 90% of the parts I need form one truck it would make things simple.

  11. #11
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Here is a J-10

    Not sure if still had 44s then.

    Worth a call.

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/cto/1135811198.html
    Tom Roberts, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Jeep Nut
    53 Willys Pickup, 59 Willys Wagon, 83 Diesel 4x4 Suburban, 93 Bronco, 4x4 S-10.
    I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Cherokee that I know is Dana 44 front and rear with automatic transmission TH400 and Quadratrac transfer.

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/cto/1183882439.html
    Tom Roberts, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Jeep Nut
    53 Willys Pickup, 59 Willys Wagon, 83 Diesel 4x4 Suburban, 93 Bronco, 4x4 S-10.
    I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Another option you might not feel so guilty about parting out once you get what you want.

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/1146686085.html
    Tom Roberts, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Jeep Nut
    53 Willys Pickup, 59 Willys Wagon, 83 Diesel 4x4 Suburban, 93 Bronco, 4x4 S-10.
    I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    my cj had scout ll axelswith cromos but i wheel hard and kept braking them. so i put a 9in in the rear and plan on a 60 in the front soon.i have found the old scout ll's are hard to find parts for . just my .02.
    350 howell inj dana 44 front with arb and cromos 9in in rear with a spool dana 300 tera low 4:1 sm420 with 456 gears and 39.5s swampers 4 linked all around.oh yeh it was a cj7.it was a jeepthing but all that s**t broke http://www.alloffroadaz.com/index.php

  15. #15
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    Re: Best axle swap for CJ-5.

    Quote Originally Posted by blazerv10 View Post
    .i have found the old scout ll's are hard to find parts for . just my .02.
    After owning 2 scouts and joining the local Scout clubs it isn't so hard, they're almost free. But I think the waggy option is better for now.

    Thanks guys, I like the numerous responses.

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