Wider Axles on a CJ8

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#1
Hi guys,

Does anyone have experience with the handling differences of axles wider than stock? Im running 32-33" tires. Say 2-4" overall wider, or so. I already have 1983 "Wide Track". It would seem the jeep would be more "Stable"? Maybe even better for towing. Maybe look a little cooler (if they weren't "too" wide)? Any drawbacks?

Then if sticking with stock axles, I imagine wheel spaces could be an option. I've heard of the potential drawback of extra wear on the bearings. Would 1" spacers make any noticeable handling difference?
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#2
I'm in your situation right now. I did wheel spacers.. I'm not worried about the extra wear on the bearings at 2k miles per year.... I'm worried about forgetting to check torque on the studs inside the wheel spacers.

I'm passively shopping for new axles.. the back seems easy (d44 from Izuzu). The front is a bit harder.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#3
I'm in your situation right now. I did wheel spacers.. I'm not worried about the extra wear on the bearings at 2k miles per year.... I'm worried about forgetting to check torque on the studs inside the wheel spacers.

I'm passively shopping for new axles.. the back seems easy (d44 from Izuzu). The front is a bit harder.
J-truck front narrowed 4” on the long side, or a Waggy front and outboard the springs.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#4
I'm in your situation right now. I did wheel spacers.. I'm not worried about the extra wear on the bearings at 2k miles per year.... I'm worried about forgetting to check torque on the studs inside the wheel spacers.

I'm passively shopping for new axles.. the back seems easy (d44 from Izuzu). The front is a bit harder.
How easy is the rear swap from the Izuzu? what does it require?
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#6
I have narrow tracks with 1.25" spacers which puts it pretty close to wide tracks, but I'd much rather prefer straight wide tracks. Don't know that I'd want to go wider than that, though.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#7
I have narrow tracks with 1.25" spacers which puts it pretty close to wide tracks, but I'd much rather prefer straight wide tracks. Don't know that I'd want to go wider than that, though.
Gotcha. What year is your Scrambler? I assume the narrow track years (81-82?) have the same body width?

If I swap out and sell my wide-track AMC20/1-pc axles (3.31) would you be interested?
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#8
Gotcha. What year is your Scrambler? I assume the narrow track years (81-82?) have the same body width?

If I swap out and sell my wide-track AMC20/1-pc axles (3.31) would you be interested?
It's an 81, and yes the body width is all the same. At this stage, I'm at a plateau with my axles, and going with AMC 20 would probably be a step backwards. I've got a narrow Dana 44 in the rear now and both axles were recently rebuilt and regeared. I'd be passively looking for a Dana 30 front/44 rear in wide track lengths and 3.73 gears, probably along the lines of what @tower210 is doing.
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#9
If you go with full size axle in the front you'll need to outboard the front springs to keep the axle centered. (or cut the driver side). The Isuzu rear 44 will have a different bolt pattern (6-lug), so you need to address that somehow). I'd be tempted to use a Ford 8.8" from an Explorer before the Isuzu 44 (same bolt pattern issue, but a little stronger than a D44 when done).
 

CJ8Rockcrawler

The FABLED 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
#10
I believe the Isuzu Dana 44 is the same 6 lug bolt pattern as the Wagoneer front 44. If I had known it at the time I did my axles, I would have gone that route.

I have a Scout Dana 44 rear and Wagoneer 44 front with the Ford 5 lug hub conversion.
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#11
Kind of a toss up between doing the Ford 5-lug conversion for the front or buying new wheels.
 

dmorolli

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Sterling Heights
State
MI
#13
I run an isuzu 44 rear which also gets you rear disc, for the front I used a 79 cherokee chief wide track cut down 4 inches on long side. This axle does not have to be outboarded because of pinion placement, also you can use a stock 82 waggy axle on long side instead of have axle custom cut. Both axles have the same 6 lug bolt pattern.
 

CJ8Rockcrawler

The FABLED 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
#14
Kind of a toss up between doing the Ford 5-lug conversion for the front or buying new wheels.
For me, I replaced the rear axle several years before the front, so the conversion made sense on the front axle, but you're right, you have either option when you're doing both axles at once.

I kept the Waggy axle full width and outboard the springs.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#15
I run an isuzu 44 rear which also gets you rear disc, for the front I used a 79 cherokee chief wide track cut down 4 inches on long side. This axle does not have to be outboarded because of pinion placement, also you can use a stock 82 waggy axle on long side instead of have axle custom cut. Both axles have the same 6 lug bolt pattern.
The Izuzu CAN get you rear disc... Base models had drums and 4.56 gears... I would love the 4.56 gears (matches what I have); but want discs...
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#16
I run an isuzu 44 rear which also gets you rear disc, for the front I used a 79 cherokee chief wide track cut down 4 inches on long side. This axle does not have to be outboarded because of pinion placement, also you can use a stock 82 waggy axle on long side instead of have axle custom cut. Both axles have the same 6 lug bolt pattern.
This is a question I have had for a while... So there is a 44 front that will work without outboarding springs? I have a shackle reversal (pivots in front; shackles in back) and it would make outboarding really tough... Is the 79 Chief Wide just a little longer on the short side than the J10s and others?
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#19
And how does it do on snow/ice?
I like the true trac. Does fine unless I pick a rear wheel completely up. I'm sure it's not as good a Detroit Locker

My DD is an Audi Allroad; so I don't need the jeep in the gunk...

I don't like my top/don't like salt/rust....so mine hasn't seen ice/snow on a road in 4 years...even then only maybe twice since I built it... Given that information; I'm not likely the best person to answer that.

I hear they do fine. My local shop recommends them for that use if you can't afford / find a selectable for the back. I just put one in the back of my sons WJ. I'll know by next year how well that does...
 

dmorolli

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Sterling Heights
State
MI
#20
This is a question I have had for a while... So there is a 44 front that will work without outboarding springs? I have a shackle reversal (pivots in front; shackles in back) and it would make outboarding really tough... Is the 79 Chief Wide just a little longer on the short side than the J10s and others?
This is a question I have had for a while... So there is a 44 front that will work without outboarding springs? I have a shackle reversal (pivots in front; shackles in back) and it would make outboarding really tough... Is the 79 Chief Wide just a little longer on the short side than the J10s and others?
It is a few inches longer on short side which eliminates the need to outboard. J10 front axle is the same,

https://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/transmission-drivetrain/154-0904-junkyard-axle-guide/
 
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