help out with axle change out

hootyone67

Gear Grinder
Apr 4, 2010
14
Willys Model
Willys Year:
any suggestions on an easy axle swap out, ive got chevy running gear now but its drum brakes and i want to convert to discs, have no idea what they came out of but i want to swap the front and rear axles out with newer ones, it currently is set up with a 350 chevy and four spd. any help will be greatly appreciated,,, thanks Russell[galleryimage][/galleryimage][attachment=1:2kcnzlh1]5r.jpg[/attachment:2kcnzlh1]
 

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silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
Ignore my other post then about the pictures. That looks like a standard Dana 25 front axle, so you can go with 71-78 GM disc brake backing plates and calipers off a 1/2 ton or lighter-duty 3/4 ton 4x4 Chevy or GMC truck. There's a post on here on the conversion. You have to modify the knuckle a little bit and you probably will need to do some work on the brake plumbing. If you use the original single chamber master cylinder you'll want to remove the residual pressure valve in it, and then plumb in-line residual pressure valves (2 pounds to the front discs, 10 pounds to the rear drums).

If you did not want to use the stock Dana 25 (it's a pretty weak axle if you're running a SBC), then you could swap to about anything. You may want to check on here for some people that have asked about axle swaps. I think there's a few candidates that have a similar width.
 

SavageSun Willys

Sharpest Tool
Jan 7, 2010
214
Scottsdale, AZ
Willys Model
Willys Year:
The direction I would go: For ease of finding and strength I would look to the Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear that can be plucked from SOO many Jeep Wranglers from '97 thru today.

Good width, easy to convert to flat springs or for the more handy do the coils they come with.

5/4.5 bolt pattern and if you get '03 and up disk brakes all the way around. Good set up with TONS of anti-slip, OEM and after market components. Abundance of gear ratios from 3.07 - 5.38> available. Units with the D44 rear axle will be 3.73 or 4.10 and a OEM anti slip generally.


ASSUMING you are building for on/off road use, nothing too extreme. That set up will handle most small block 300/300 HP/Torque combo's. However if your needs are greater then tons of upgraded axles/u joints etc to handle up to about 400/400 and up to about 37" tires.

I have run these for years with 37's and a Supercharged 4.0L engine with no issues and LOTS of off road time...but I am not an abuser. 12 trips to Moab in my rig on those axles running the most difficult trails.

If you NEED more then go with Dana 60 f/r setup. 500/500 and up to 42 in tires... ;)
 

hootyone67

Gear Grinder
Apr 4, 2010
14
Willys Model
Willys Year:
thanks for the tips , think il go with the jeep axles and found a brake booster and peddle kit in jegs may try to change that to
 

SavageSun Willys

Sharpest Tool
Jan 7, 2010
214
Scottsdale, AZ
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Consider parts off an '04 or later Jeep Wrangler. About the same weight and most parts are HD in nature for the Jeep crowd.

I will be doing '03 Wrangler frame, axles, brakes etc under my 55 wagon.
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
What are you looking to do with the wagon anyways? I guess that's a better question to ask. If you're just driving around town you can just keep the stock front axle and go with something else in the rear. I'd have a hard time recommending newer Jeep axles if you're doing any serious off-roading with that SBC. I have friends with stock lifted TJ Rubicons that are constantly breaking and bending steering components. Their front Dana 44 also has smaller Dana 30 tubes and knuckles I believe. It would be easier to swap in the AMC20/Dana 44 rear and Dana 30 front from an AMC (1976-1986) CJ since they will be set up for leaf springs. The rear out of a CJ will most likely be the AMC20, but if you upgrade to 1-piece axles it will be stronger than a Dana 44, except for the smaller axle tubes. I think I remember measuring my CJ axles to be about the same width as my wagon, give or take several inches. Just remember the older 1981- CJs were narrow track, mine that I compared are the newer wide track. For any serious off-roading, the Dana 30 will not last long with SBC power. The axle shafts, knuckles, and axle U-joints are just too weak for anything major. I've seen knuckles broken off the axle housing at the ball joints many times on the Dana 30.

Also, pricing on older CJ axles will be much more desirable. In my area, I've seen axle pairs sell for as little as $100 for complete front and rear axle assemblies.
 

hootyone67

Gear Grinder
Apr 4, 2010
14
Willys Model
Willys Year:
awesome info guys , keep it coming , my build is with my son its his wagon , and we all no how we were when we were his age, so im going to build it as stout as i can afford, so the heavier stuff will be what im lookin for, i just hope since hes helping with the work he will take better care of it .
 

SavageSun Willys

Sharpest Tool
Jan 7, 2010
214
Scottsdale, AZ
Willys Model
Willys Year:
hootyone67 said:
awesome info guys , keep it coming , my build is with my son its his wagon , and we all no how we were when we were his age, so im going to build it as stout as i can afford, so the heavier stuff will be what im lookin for, i just hope since hes helping with the work he will take better care of it .
OK, gotcha, you son will be driving. While this does not change my recommendation except to go with D 44's front and rear then drive it till he snaps an axle then replace with ChroMo's.

Unless your SBC is juiced beyond about 300/300 the D44's are fully capable of handling DD and off road use, but abuse will break them as will abuse break anything out there. But be good for him as they are easy to repair, parts are plentiful and cheap enough that a young kid can afford but it will cut into his date expenses. Teach him a few lessons about taking care of and using his right foot with a light touch... ;)
 

54 pickup

Bigger Hammer
Jan 20, 2010
50
Norway
Willys Model
Willys Year:
SavageSun Willys said:
The direction I would go: For ease of finding and strength I would look to the Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear that can be plucked from SOO many Jeep Wranglers from '97 thru today.
The pumpkin on a D30 is on the oposite side of what it is on the D25/27, how to sort that out? New transfer?
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
54 pickup said:
[quote="SavageSun Willys":100btzel]The direction I would go: For ease of finding and strength I would look to the Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear that can be plucked from SOO many Jeep Wranglers from '97 thru today.
The pumpkin on a D30 is on the oposite side of what it is on the D25/27, how to sort that out? New transfer?[/quote:100btzel]

A CJ Dana 30 is a better bet. It will have the passenger side pumpkin and will already be set up for leaf springs. Not to mention it will have manual locking hubs. I personally prefer manual hubs. If you ever break a front axle shaft in a YJ or TJ Dana 30 you're likely going home on a flatbed. If you break an axle shaft on a CJ Dana 30, simply unlock the hubs and you can drive a million miles. Because the TJ front axle shafts are always turning, this also means additional maintenance on the axle seals and bearings, and the TJ bearings are much more costly as well.
 

SavageSun Willys

Sharpest Tool
Jan 7, 2010
214
Scottsdale, AZ
Willys Model
Willys Year:
silicond17 said:
54 pickup said:
[quote="SavageSun Willys":suj2epkt]The direction I would go: For ease of finding and strength I would look to the Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear that can be plucked from SOO many Jeep Wranglers from '97 thru today.
The pumpkin on a D30 is on the oposite side of what it is on the D25/27, how to sort that out? New transfer?
A CJ Dana 30 is a better bet. It will have the passenger side pumpkin and will already be set up for leaf springs. Not to mention it will have manual locking hubs. I personally prefer manual hubs. If you ever break a front axle shaft in a YJ or TJ Dana 30 you're likely going home on a flatbed. If you break an axle shaft on a CJ Dana 30, simply unlock the hubs and you can drive a million miles. Because the TJ front axle shafts are always turning, this also means additional maintenance on the axle seals and bearings, and the TJ bearings are much more costly as well.[/quote:suj2epkt]
GOOD point...I rarely think in terms of leaf springs... ;)
 
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