Needing Advice on Front Axle

Wrayturbo

Gear Grinder
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
12
Location
15360
First Name
DAVID
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1961
#1
Hi everyone,

I am in need of some advice. As I explained before in my intro post, I'm a little out of my normal element here. I am staring at the front axle of this Jeep wondering what is the most cost effective thing to do with it. The rear axle is a Dana 44 and I put all new parts on the ends, cleaned her up, and put it in. I figured if it needed seals it's an easy enough one to do while in the vehicle.

This one I'm not so sure what to do. It's a Dana 25 with the snap ring style axle ends. If you look all the way to the bottom of the album, you will see it. It's a little of a mess. It looks like Al's brother at some point in its life dented the diff cover, chipping some of the teeth on the pinion. Front drums make me nervous even with this Jeep's intended purpose. Some of the parts internally were damaged probably from improper installation prior. I'm great with tackling new things and wouldn't be afraid to do something such as setting backlash but would need detailed information on procedures and specifications. I'm not sure if this information is available.
  1. Do I rebuild it?
  2. Do I look for another with discs like a Dana 30 to swap in?
  3. Are there options I'm not thinking about?
If you didn't see my other thread this is a "parade" build and will be used as a sunny day nostalgia jeep. It may never see it locked in 4wd again.. It's a 1961 Jeep with a Ford 289. https://photos.app.goo.gl/QRs1y8j45WjFQi9X2

Thanks!

-Dave
 
Last edited:

FinoCJ

Bigger Hammer
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
134
Location
Denver, CO
First Name
James
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1958
#2
Just my thoughts...D25/27 front ends are often cheaper to replace with another D25/27 than to repair much, especially if you find one to match your gear ratio. I run the oem D27 with 33s on my cj5 and wheel it hard offroad....without a locker its not a huge concern about breaking. I upgraded to 11" drum brakes found on intermediate cj5s (bolt on if you can find the backing plates - they pop up quite often on ecj5.com) and still run the 10" in the rear (10" was standard with v6). The 11" work great for me...but upgrading to discs is an option. If you go the D30 route - many came with the 11" drums in the early to mid-70s, and some in the later 70s started to come with disc brakes...but by the time the disc brakes came around, the gear ratio will most likely need to be changed so factor that into the cost. Also be aware of the later, wide track D30s. The D30 is stronger, has open knuckles that require less maintenance than the closed knuckle 25/27, has a better turning radius, and more aftermarket support with upgrade options (lockers, axle shafts etc).

What works for each person is truly up to you and what your budget is etc....For a street driver mostly in 2wd and not running oversize tires, I'd hesitate to spend the money on a D30 swap. At least around here, you can find D25/27 with 4.88/3.73s for less than $100, or just replace your exiting R&P for about the same. For street driving, upgrading the brakes seems sensible. I'd keep the D25 and run 11" drums, but if discs are the choice, the price of the D25/27 disc brake kit isn't all that different than swapping a D30, so then its up to you. One last thought on the D30 - if your steering hasn't been upgraded from the ross box to a saggy or ford box - then you won't get any of the turn radius benefit of the swap.

If you need some guidance on axle work - I rebuilt my D44 with last spring with a new locker and case. First time, and it went well learning to read the gear pattern, set backlash with shims etc....I would highly suggest videos from metalshaper: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHDVml1xugLuj0oi384tEQ/videos
 

Wrayturbo

Gear Grinder
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
12
Location
15360
First Name
DAVID
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1961
#3
Thank you that was very informative and helpful. I'll absolutely look around for a serviceable 25 or 27.
 

FinoCJ

Bigger Hammer
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
134
Location
Denver, CO
First Name
James
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1958
#4

FinoCJ

Bigger Hammer
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
134
Location
Denver, CO
First Name
James
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1958
#6
I'm South of Pittsburgh PA.
got it - I was wondering if Wray was a reference to Wray, CO and thus it might be interesting piece. My wife is from West Newton, PA a bit SE of Pittsburgh.
I'd suggest posting a WTB add on earlycj5.com (its free like here) - members can't give them away as they upgrade. Don't mean to push you away from or 'compete' with OWF, but just another resource for parts and pieces and knowlege etc - I frequent both here (more for the wagon) and there (more for the cj5).
 

KLankford

Sharpest Tool
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
431
Location
Albany, Wyoming
First Name
Kenny
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1949
#7
Ok looked at the Pix, it a CJ. After constantly chasing weak points on my 27 using it with a snowblower, I finally found a Narrow Track 30 that pretty well bolted in. It is a stronger front axle, parts are more available for it, and I hadn't touched a thing since. No more broken axles, spiders on the 27 while snowblowing.
 

Wrayturbo

Gear Grinder
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
12
Location
15360
First Name
DAVID
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1961
#8
got it - I was wondering if Wray was a reference to Wray, CO and thus it might be interesting piece. My wife is from West Newton, PA a bit SE of Pittsburgh.
I'd suggest posting a WTB add on earlycj5.com (its free like here) - members can't give them away as they upgrade. Don't mean to push you away from or 'compete' with OWF, but just another resource for parts and pieces and knowlege etc - I frequent both here (more for the wagon) and there (more for the cj5).
Solid advice thank you!
 

Wrayturbo

Gear Grinder
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
12
Location
15360
First Name
DAVID
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1961
#9
got it - I was wondering if Wray was a reference to Wray, CO and thus it might be interesting piece. My wife is from West Newton, PA a bit SE of Pittsburgh.
I'd suggest posting a WTB add on earlycj5.com (its free like here) - members can't give them away as they upgrade. Don't mean to push you away from or 'compete' with OWF, but just another resource for parts and pieces and knowlege etc - I frequent both here (more for the wagon) and there (more for the cj5).
For some reason my "captia" verification fails when I try to register for their forum. It says if you have problems message them but it does the same for my message.. Anyone have a tip?
 

FinoCJ

Bigger Hammer
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
134
Location
Denver, CO
First Name
James
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1958
#10
The site got spammed and crashed pretty hard a couple times quite a few years ago, so firewall type stuff got increased a lot and quite a few common email hosts (such as hotmail) are automatically blocked and have to be approved manually....If you pass along your name, username and preferred email contact that you tried to register with (you can PM if you prefer to keep private) - I can get you the info for registering....FWIW I am a 'moderator' on the site - which is kind of odd as I don't really know that much about jeeps or how to run forum software - but apparently I do something useful every once in a while.
 

diggerG

Well Oiled
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
4,256
Location
Wrentham Ma.
First Name
Greg
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1963
#11
For some reason my "captia" verification fails when I try to register for their forum. It says if you have problems message them but it does the same for my message.. Anyone have a tip?
I'm in Mass. and have plenty of axles. when the Steelers play the Pats com on down and get an axle. I'm right around a few corners from Gillette.
And do yourself and the world a favor and throw away those 9' brakes. On 2 Jeeps I put in 11" Bendix and lessened my problems a bunch.
By the way I have family history in your area, 1800 ish. Trying to figure it out.
diggerG
 
Top