Axle question

rydin4life

Gear Grinder
Jun 18, 2010
7
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hello, everyone. I am still in the beginning stages of restoring a 1960 pickup. I do not have any real mechanical background but I decided I would dive right in and buy a project truck and learn as I go. Anyways, it would be nice to keep the stock axles but this thing is geared like a tractor. Buying axles with a different gear ratio would be cheaper than finding an overdrive unit. Wagoneers and FSJ trucks are impossible to find around here but I know those all have a passenger side differential just like my truck. Does anybody know if I could get away with a centered differential axle? It doesn't look like the driveshaft angle would be that extreme but again I am no mechanic. Thanks everyone!
 
A center diff is not a problem. Willys did that for several years. The later ones had a Dana 44 with center diff. If you stay with willys parts the rear of the trucks are wider than the rear of wagons.
 
Thank you cnsay, now could anyone recommend what set of axles to use that could handle 34 or 35 inch tall tires? Thanks again!
 
Brian, Chris,
I did some checking after reading the reply. While Willys did use a center diff in later years, they did not do so with the D-18 xfer case. Now, I have seen some conversions where folks have used the centered 44 rear axle with the D-18 and it does work. My opinion though is that you will have increased u-Joint wear, especially if you are going to taller tires and a lift. Also, If you are going higher in to the sky you might think about lengthening your drive shaft. Even more so if it's cantered to the side.
Just something to think about.
Steve
 
rydin4life said:
Thank you cnsay, now could anyone recommend what set of axles to use that could handle 34 or 35 inch tall tires? Thanks again!

D44s will handle 35" tires.

I'm going to stick my neck out (just the tiniest bit) and say you're going to have some driveshaft issues, even if just an annoying vibration and excessive u-joint wear. It has something to do with the U-joints operating on two different planes with different angles. I don't pretend to understand it, but I have experienced it on lifted vehicles, especially where the pinion angle has been changed and the pinion and t-case output shaft are no longer on the same plane.

And yes, you should probably plan on the cost of having a driveline service shop build a custom shaft for you.
 
aquawilly54 said:
Brian, Chris,
I did some checking after reading the reply. While Willys did use a center diff in later years, they did not do so with the D-18 xfer case. Now, I have seen some conversions where folks have used the centered 44 rear axle with the D-18 and it does work. My opinion though is that you will have increased u-Joint wear, especially if you are going to taller tires and a lift. Also, If you are going higher in to the sky you might think about lengthening your drive shaft. Even more so if it's cantered to the side.
Just something to think about.
Steve


They used the D-18 transfer case all the way until the end of production around 1964. They used center diff axles for at least the last few years. My 1962 wagon and 1963 wagon have the drive shaft going over and down.
 

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rydin4life said:
Thank you cnsay, now could anyone recommend what set of axles to use that could handle 34 or 35 inch tall tires? Thanks again!

A 1960 truck should have a Dana 44 rear axle, but it will have a Dana 25 front axle that may not be up to running big tires if you actually leave the pavement with them.
 
I believe the maximum angle in most sitiations is 7 degrees.If the driveshaft angles down and to one side ,that's fine so long as both joints are the same angle.So you need to fiddle with the rear axle pinion angle up or own to get it right.Might require a mock up using length of small diameter pipe (copper plumbing pipe or electrical conduit) from the center of the rear axle to the center of the tranfercase output,then measure the angles
I've seen some severe U joint angles are street driven 4x4's,but it doesn't mean it correct or safe.
 
You said you were restoring the pickup so keep her stock. An OD is great and in the long run will be cheaper than a new drive system ...and it only takes about 30 minutes to install. And it's really cool to tell everyone you've got 12 forward gears and 4 revese gears! I run 31"ers on my 56 pickup with no lift kit and no worry about axles, drive shafts, clutch, etc. I'll take on the newest jeep off road anyday. But if your're looking for that big $X$, 6 seconds to 60 sounds like your headed in the right direction.

Tom
 
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