wagoneer rear diff swap

idahowagon

Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
55
Eagle, Idaho
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I have decided to change the rear diff on my 59 wagon with a wagoneer differential. I have found 2 from mid 60s wagoneers and 2 from later 70s. All of them have the correct offset. We are only going to use the Willy around town for now and wasn't going to use the 4 wheel drive, so I don't have to change the front for now. The 70's have the flanged axle which I understand is stronger but I then have the problem of the 6 lug pattern. For this reason, I was going to use the 60's wagoneer diff because it has the 5 on 5.5 inch pattern. i believe this is a tapered axle and my concern was with this axle.

Will the tapered axle be difficult to remove. Is it like the willys rear hub that is a nightmare to pull. Despite a good puller and heat, I could never get one of my rear drums off my wagon. i didn't want to buy a rear diff that was a nightmare to remove the axles.

Anyone have experience with this axle and how difficult will it be to change the seals and pull the axles? I am a novice mechanic. Thanks for your help.
 

Steelman

Bigger Hammer
Feb 20, 2010
40
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Only thing hold the drum on is the wheel and some friction from the shoes. Then just 4 bolts that hold the axle and backing plate on. You have to go through the hole in the axle flange to get to the bolts. No puller or anything should be needed to get the shafts out.
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
What it may be is that the drum is on the outside of the hub, so to service the brakes you don't need to pull the hub and separate it from the axle. On our original axles, the drum is on the inside of the hub, so for any servicing we have to pull the hub. You can pull the entire assembly out to service the axle's bearings, etc. without separating the hub and axle.

1-piece axle shafts are certainly stronger and the way to go, but if you're running the original powertrain with normal operation, I don't think you're going to really need to worry about breaking the 2-piece axles.
 

idahowagon

Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
55
Eagle, Idaho
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Thanks for the help and suggestions. I am doing this project with my 15 yr old son and it has been challenging to say the least, but we are both enjoying it.
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
Another option for an offset newer axle is the AMC20 used in the later AMC Jeep CJs with the Quadtratrac full-time 4x4. The rear was offset on those models. The AMC20 used 2-piece axle shafts and they get a bad wrap for it, but all in all it's a decently strong axle. I believe that Moser sells a 1-piece axle kit for the QT offset AMC20 as well. When I was buying my 1-piece axles for my AMC20 I remember seeing that model listed. Because nobody ever wants the offset AMC20s, you can typically pick them up for the low price of free!
 

idahowagon

Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
55
Eagle, Idaho
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I found the below information on the CJ AMC 20 axle. It looks like the later CJ's used a smaller brake, is that enough braking power ? It looks like the lug pattern would be correct. I assume I would need to find a wide track CJ for the correct width. Any thoughts. Thanks for your help.


CJ AMC 20

The CJs used two versions of the AMC 20, the narrow track from '76-'81 and the wide track from '82-'86. Both versions use keyed, two piece shaft/hub design and 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern. Supplies of AMC 20s were exhausted in 1986 and some Dana 44s were used instead in the last of the CJ-7s.

From 1976-1978 a larger 11x2" drum brakes was used on the AMC 20. After 1978, a 10x1.75" drum was used.
SJ AMC 20


Model/Version Spring Pads Wheel to Wheel Years
AMC 20/CJ Narrow Track 36" 50.5" '76-'81
AMC 20/CJ Wide Track 36" 54.5" '82-'86
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
It sounded like you were looking for an offset pumpkin axle. Do you just need a standard axle with a centered pumpkin? The narrow track and wide track AMC20 will be centered, but the Quadtratrac models will have the offset AMC20. The brakes should be plenty large enough for use on a wagon. All CJ AMC20 axles will be 5 on 5.5".
 

idahowagon

Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
55
Eagle, Idaho
Willys Model
Willys Year:
You are right about the offset pumpkin. Which years and models of the CJ quadtratrac do I need to look for?? Will the yoke and my old drive shaft fit together or will they need alteration??
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1961
The CJ Quadratrac was from 1976-1979 I believe, and would only be behind the GM Turbo 400 automatic. They were kind of rare, but I've seen more than a couple for sale in my area that they ended up giving away. There's just not much demand for an offset axle.
 
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