Purchasing new axles, I'd like some input please

City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#1
Hi guys.

I'd appreciate some of your collective ideas on the new axles I'm ordering from east coast gear.

I've got an 81 cj8 with narrow axles, 3" lift, 302 and dana. no I'm ordering new front and rear axles for it once i figure out exactly what i want.

Originally, I planned to simply order wide tack width axles with the Eaton E lockers, 3.08 gears, disc all round. Now I'm thinking of doing their 60.5" width to get a bit more width, stability and to make sure my tyres never rub in a turn (I've got a new AGR box waiting to go in too). I'm also liking the look of the wider flares....

I'd love your collective thoughts please and Any pics of your Jeeps with 60" axles.

Thanks in anticipation of your time.

Josh
 
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City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#3
I thought about that. Right now with the sm465, I never use first. With 3.08, I'll use it like any other gear.

My plan over the next year is to buy a 2006 wrangler with the manual 6 speed and put that whole drive train in my Scrambler, then scrap the wrangler and sell my 302. From what I've read, the 06 wrangler came with the 3.08 and 3.31 as well unless ordered with auto (3.73) or Rubicon (4.11).

I live in Florida now, so my New Mexico wheeling days are behind me. I'll tow it up to North Carolina in the summers after I'm done with the frame off but mostly it's just a fair weather day-tripper and play vehicle, so cruising comfortably is critical. I don't see ever running larger than 32×11.50×15 and I love having low rpm on the highway.

I May go 3.31, which is nearly what it has now (3.54 currently, near as i can tell), but even that's too low to use first. I spent years with 4.11 and 3.73 in my Land Cruisers and envied the Jeep guys being able to get higher gears.

Really I'm just wondering whether the 60 5" axles will be too wide. I put FJ60 axles under my last FJ40 and loved the stance. I'm thinking that may be how my Scrambler will look with the 60.5" axles. I'd love to see a picture of how it would look. Obviously I've seen what the wide track looks like and it's very appealing. Would 4 more inches be overkill?
 
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rubclt

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Charlotte
State
NC
#4
Building a CJ8 with TDK frame and Teraflex coil springs with East Coast Gear axles that have JK brakes and hubs cut to TJ width, lockers and 4:10. Hemi 5.7 and 545RFE with 4:1 transfer case. It also changes front axle drop. I also have to run JK wheels, lots of 17” takeoffs. The wheel in photo is not final wheel. Trust this helps E518475A-50A8-4F2D-8F12-43F5B05646F6.jpeg 3BBF5CF3-10AE-4DEC-B455-7BF03249838C.jpeg CD98A2E9-EBCC-4EF0-806E-68ED01D5C781.jpeg A4040D64-977D-458E-9ED4-4E6C57E04945.jpeg
 
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#5
Beautiful, thank you. So your axles are 61.5" wide, yes? do you have any photos looking down the side to see how far out the rubber sticks?

I thought about going with TJ bolt pattern but I want front locking hubs. Have you been happy with East Coast gear? I'm really impressed with them so far.
 
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rubclt

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Charlotte
State
NC
#6
The top photo is before we cut inner fenders around spring, shock tower so it leans a little. The Hemi is a mock-up motor, new crate version will be in final build. The Jeep is back a part, frame Powercoated and dropping in new driveline before tub goes back on so I cannot send current photos.

I like East Coast Gear, the flat paint they used on axles did not match my build so we took apart and powder coat housings... 9CB15698-E162-4303-A4E4-ACA68C9F9373.jpeg C949291F-C662-4916-BF03-158AA8258D8D.jpeg 9CB15698-E162-4303-A4E4-ACA68C9F9373.jpeg C949291F-C662-4916-BF03-158AA8258D8D.jpeg
 
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#7
That's perfect, thank you. I'm going to do the 60.5" axles; love that look you've got there. I'd love to do coils like you but my frame is absolutely perfect so I'd feel too badly modifying it.

Now to think a bit more about gearing.... I want to do the final order by the end of this month so I'm ready to finish her up during the really hot months.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#9
So you're ordering axles for a Scrambler with a Dana 300 with plans to swap in a 4.0 drivetrain (BTW, I would not go with a 2005-6 due to the potential for OPDA/cam issues) Are you adapting the D300 to the 6-speed to keep the same tcase drop?

What size tires? I feel like you're definitely going to want to regear from 3.08 with that swap. I have an '05 Rubicon LJ and the 4.10 gears in it were pretty good with the stock tires and ok with 35s. I can't imagine any situation where 3.08 would be acceptable :shrug:
 

rubclt

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Charlotte
State
NC
#11
Bigwalton makes good point. New front axle drop, pumpkin on driver or passenger side needs to be determined with driveline and transfer case selection.
 
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#12
If i could figure out a relatively easy way to put a 5 speed behind my 302 and keep the centred rear diff, I'd seriously consider that. I'm looking into an NV4500 adapter, but what transfer case to use? I've always gone with Chevy swaps (my daily driver is a Silverado, my last engine swap was to a 5.7 vortec with the Toyota H55 behind it) and the Ford is a bit foreign to me. This engine i have was a crate engine with 8000 miles on it now. It runs like a champ.... but it's a Ford.

I've thought about keeping it, whacking fuel injection on it and sorting out a 5 speed , but a drive line swap seems a far simpler option.
I swapped a full diesel drive train out of a newer Land Cruiser into an 81 BJ42 years ago and it was fantastic. I'm sort of thinking that's what i want to do here, although I'm not as familiar with the Jeep stuff yet. Is the 06 4.0/ NSG370 combo not good? I'm not impressed with only a .84 overdrive, which is obviously why they stuck the 3.07 axles under it.

Doing more research, I'm inclined to agree that i should steepen up the gearing a bit. I'm thinking 3.55, which is what i currently have. I have 32x11.50×15 BFG A/Ts and don't plan to go any taller.

If i could sort out a painless way to put an nv4500 in there with the .73 overdrive, I'd happily go 3.73 or maybe even 4.11 (though I'm not sure that crown gear would be strong enough for such low gears ).

Has anyone any ideas about nv4500/ transfer case options?

You guys can see why i haven't ordered the axles yet.....i am not really certain what i need just yet
 
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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#13
What about a ZF S5-42 5-speed? Nearly identical ratios to the coveted NV4500, but bolts straight to your SBF. Might even consider using the 351w that will likely come attached to it if sourced from an F250/350. They are a little more tricky to find than the NV, but would likely be leaps and bounds cheaper than an NV plus adapter. The gasser ZFs are internal slave, so it should easily accommodate left or right hand drop, and I am fairly certain there are 31 spline inputs available for the D300.
 
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#15
Doing a bit of research siting at the airport since my first flight was cancelled, looks like my Dana should be adaptable to fit behind an NV4500. Now to sort out a bell housing, etc to put that behind my 302.

I love the ZF idea. Any idea what year 250 that came from? Did they ever put the Dana behind it? I wonder if i could convert to an external clutch slave... not a fan of the internal I ones. Find one on eBay out of a 2wd. Do i need one from a 4wd in order to put the transfer case on the back?

Next thing to think about, should i simply pull the 302 and put a 5.7 vortec in its place..... i loved my last vortec. That could be the best option. On the other hand, then i need to do new motor mounts, etc. Where now i can simply put a new bell housing BB I and be done with it.

I'd really like to keep my Dana 300 to avoid having to change too much of the driveline. Otherwise I'd put an H55f with a split Toyota transfer case and offset the rear diff.

Thoughts?
 
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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#18
Doing a bit of research siting at the airport since my first flight was cancelled, looks like my Dana should be adaptable to fit behind an NV4500. Now to sort out a bell housing, etc to put that behind my 302.

I love the ZF idea. Any idea what year 250 that came from? Did they ever put the Dana behind it? I wonder if i could convert to an external clutch slave... not a fan of the internal I ones.

Next thing to think about, should i simply pull the 302 and put a 5.7 vortec in its place..... i loved my last vortec. That could be the best option. On the other hand, then i need to do new motor mounts, etc. Where now i can simply put a new bell housing BB I and be done with it.

Thoughts?
The ZF S5-42 was from 1987 to 1995. Most prominent in the F250 and F350s with 5.8L/351w engines. The 460/7.3 transmissions are different, and often the close ratio versions. They are round 6 bolt pattern with 31 spline, and generally had NP208 or BW1356 t-cases, both driver drop aluminum chain drive. I do not believe there is any way to easily convert to external slave since it is integral bellhousing without any throwout fork provisions. The 460/7.3 versions did have external slave, oddly enough for some reason, but again are completely different front cases for big block and International pattern.

If you are set on NV4500 and EFI, it's really kind of silly not to go ahead and do LS swap at the same time...in my humble opinion. I hate to jump on the LS bandwagon, but there really isn't an easier, cheaper or more reliable EFI v8 platform. Converting the SBF to true port sequential EFI would be cool too, but you end up throwing decent money at a glorified TBI setup, even more money at standalone true sequential, or time and money at cobbling the Explorer GT40P style setup to emulate Ford's version of the LS. These are just my opinions based on the research I did deciding what platform to chase, and I'm historically a Ford guy.
 
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
#19
Thank you for all this. Great information. I was hoping to do a fairly simple swap, but it's looking more like another complex one....

I'll start looking for a Chevy drive train i guess. Then just adapt the Dana to the NV. if i stick with that plan then at least i can order my axles now. NV allows me to go 3.73, dana keeps the diffs where they are.

So, an engine swap it is. Now to find the Vortec/NV4500 combo....
 
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