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Discussion Starter #1
ok, i have a 97 2wd CC 3.9L that im getting back from a friend (was going to sell it to him but decided i wanted it to get crazy with it) and i've decided to do a solid axle swap and make it 4x4. im looking for proven parts to swap in and want to know what the best is to use for the front axle and transfer case. me and a buddy already know we are going to fabricat the front and rear suspension and going all coil-over with a 4-link, getting rid of the leafs in the rear. just looking for info as to what is best to use for a donor. ive noticed alot of the sas guys using a 79 ford f-250 and was wondering if that was the best or the cheap/easy to find setup to run. any info would be great.

Thanks.

Edit: i chop this thing up and make it a serious rock crawler that is still somewhat street legal. and i will take pics during to whole process to post up here.
 

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not to sound stupid but wtf is a ftw? also i noticed that alot of the guys doing the swap are using dana 60's. i know the jeep cherokee uses a hp dana 30 and the TJ uses a lp dana 30. would either of those make a good donor?
for the win
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
ahhh ok, i wasnt sure if it was something dealing with the dana 30 or not. anyone know other donor vehicles that have a HP dana 30 up front that would be good, i know i could research it and find them all eventually but that still wouldnt tell me what would be better to use. especially since i thought about it after i left the last post and im not so sure that a jeep front end being between 2 to 4 inches shorter wms-wms would even properly clear the frame on our trucks and i would really like to be able to turn at full lock if needed
 

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Chevy SUCKS!!!!!!!
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No the Dana 30 would be a pathetic axle to choose lol. They aren't strong enough for 33" tires most of the time, which completely defeats the purpose of a SAS in the first place. The 79 Ford axles are the same width as the Dakota stock pieces, they are easy and cheap to find in most cases, and the Dana 44 is perfectly strong enough with the right parts for up to 37-38" tires with a good driver, 35" tires with a hammer head/lead foot driver lol. The Dana 44 is also not overly heavy or bulky, and will keep a good amount of ground clearance intact. If you can find one though, and can afford it when you find it, imo the holy grail of junkyard front axles is the late 70s Ford HP Dana 60. They are nearly bulletproof right out of the box in most applications, and can handle anything up to 49" tires when built up. The down side imo to going to 1 ton axles is you lose ground clearance, and they are obviously bulkier and heavier, which makes them harder to work with. As far as rear axles go, I'm running a 9" Ford rear with a full spool and 35spl chromolys, it will take a darn good bit of abuse to even think about damaging that setup with less then 40" tires. I chose to stick with 1/2 ton stuff again because of weight, and ground clearance, and the fact that the 9" when built rivals the strength of most 1 ton axles. A lot of guys like the GM 14 bolt for the rear end, but that is about the heaviest, biggest, bulkiest, and is about the worst axle you can possibly choose for ground clearance, but it is strong no doubt. One of the only two or three things Government Motors has ever done right :stirthepo. Imo if you are going with 1 tons, look for a smaller overall axle like the Dana 60 or 70. They are still far stronger then any 1/2 ton axle, and will not hurt you as much in the weight or ground clearance department. Personally I think 1 tons are overkill for a light weight rig like a Dak, and would hurt ground clearance and manueverability because of it more then they are worth in the strength department. 1/2ton axles such as the pair that I chose can be built very strongly, and will handle some serious abuse for a good long while if properly driven. Thats just my .02, take it how you will.:waiting:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No the Dana 30 would be a pathetic axle to choose lol. They aren't strong enough for 33" tires most of the time, which completely defeats the purpose of a SAS in the first place. The 79 Ford axles are the same width as the Dakota stock pieces, they are easy and cheap to find in most cases, and the Dana 44 is perfectly strong enough with the right parts for up to 37-38" tires with a good driver, 35" tires with a hammer head/lead foot driver lol. The Dana 44 is also not overly heavy or bulky, and will keep a good amount of ground clearance intact. If you can find one though, and can afford it when you find it, imo the holy grail of junkyard front axles is the late 70s Ford HP Dana 60. They are nearly bulletproof right out of the box in most applications, and can handle anything up to 49" tires when built up. The down side imo to going to 1 ton axles is you lose ground clearance, and they are obviously bulkier and heavier, which makes them harder to work with. As far as rear axles go, I'm running a 9" Ford rear with a full spool and 35spl chromolys, it will take a darn good bit of abuse to even think about damaging that setup with less then 40" tires. I chose to stick with 1/2 ton stuff again because of weight, and ground clearance, and the fact that the 9" when built rivals the strength of most 1 ton axles. A lot of guys like the GM 14 bolt for the rear end, but that is about the heaviest, biggest, bulkiest, and is about the worst axle you can possibly choose for ground clearance, but it is strong no doubt. One of the only two or three things Government Motors has ever done right :stirthepo. Imo if you are going with 1 tons, look for a smaller overall axle like the Dana 60 or 70. They are still far stronger then any 1/2 ton axle, and will not hurt you as much in the weight or ground clearance department. Personally I think 1 tons are overkill for a light weight rig like a Dak, and would hurt ground clearance and manueverability because of it more then they are worth in the strength department. 1/2ton axles such as the pair that I chose can be built very strongly, and will handle some serious abuse for a good long while if properly driven. Thats just my .02, take it how you will.:waiting:
Thanks kotakid, that is about the best peice of advice i have seen. very good explanations and everything. i think ill go with the dana 44. there is actually a really nice group of junkyards here in MD called crazy rays, $1 to get in and the prices are cheap as hell. if i cant find something at one of their yards im just SOL and should quit while im ahead. ive noticed alot of guys on here using the 79 ford f250 parts and had no idea why anyone would want to use ford parts on our beautiful dodges, thanks for the info on that one as well. i plan on using this thing just about everywhere i can go, whether it be rausch creek in pa or green ridge out here in md. again thanks man for all the info and everything, i cant wait to get this started.
 

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Chevy SUCKS!!!!!!!
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The F-250 D44 came with better outers and better brakes then the 1/2 ton D44s, the 3/4 ton D44 is also setup for leaf springs, the 1/2 ton D44 is setup for Radius arms and coil springs. The other obvious difference is the 1/2 tons are 5x5.5 lug pattern for the wheels and the 3/4 tons are 8x6.5. So keep that in mind when trying to find a pair of axles for your project, there are a bunch of good axles that share both of those lug patterns.
 

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X2 on the D44, I have the 79F250 axle, and every replacement part is way cheaper then if you had the D60.

Dont forget, you'll have to fabricate a new front cross member, and remove the old front one. We have to do this because us 2wd guys have no place to mount a steering box otherwise.

Do you 4wd guys have a front sump or rear sump, on your engine oil pan?
 

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I can answer that. Ford>Dodge, hands down, all day, everyday.
What about the pinto:jester: The Ford TTB? (Twin Traction Beam)
All car company's make mistakes, I think it's wrong to judge a car company as "best" based on a whole. It all comes down to consumers intended purpose, preference, COST, and reliability, which car company's struggle to balance out today.

Yes, I am going to use a ford axle under my Dakota, why? because it's the best D44 ever made IMHO, does this make ford better the dodge in my eyes? NO!

you could argue that the Chevy 350 could be the cheapest, and easiest small block to modify; thus making Chevy the "best"

you could also argue that Dodge was the only company to make a small/midsized V8 pickup for twenty years; making Dodge the "best"

It doesn't matter who's "best", why must we put so much emphasis on competition? Shouldn't you buy a car because YOU like it?
 

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Chevy SUCKS!!!!!!!
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Hey don't be hatin on the Ford Twin-I-Beam fronts lol, I like my Bronco although I would like to have a solid D44 in the front of it lol. Not sure how the Twin-I-Beam is gonna like the 38s I'm gonna stuff under her Sat lol, but I'm gonna find out Sun afternoon lol.


 

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Hey don't be hatin on the Ford Twin-I-Beam fronts lol, I like my Bronco although I would like to have a solid D44 in the front of it lol. Not sure how the Twin-I-Beam is gonna like the 38s I'm gonna stuff under her Sat lol, but I'm gonna find out Sun afternoon lol.
Cool bronco, Lol, not hating, I just think it's flawed because it need lots of maintenance to maintain correct alignment and reduce tire wear, it's hard to keep up if you're not a fix it yourself person.
My dad has an 94 F-250 2wd work truck, Heavy duty, full floater, But the front end seems to eat through swing arm bushings all the time, we're going to replace them with the urethane one's and see how it works out. The rubber bushings go every 30k or so and cause the front tires to have some negative camber, eating through tires faster, all in all it's a PITA ass to mess with IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i wasnt talking crap about ford, hell i used to like em. but once i had my first dak i fell in love with it. 1997 3.9L cc beast. it had 150,xxx when i bought it and i beat the daylights out of it literally for 3 years. it now has 234,xxx and it still runs after beating it into small trees out at my friends farm to make the trails to jumping it at 70mph over train tracks. out of everything i have EVER owned it is the most sturdy, durable vehicle i personally have ever seen. thats the truck that im using for the sas and planning on eventually also doing a motor replacement with some mods.
 

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Cool bronco, Lol, not hating, I just think it's flawed because it need lots of maintenance to maintain correct alignment and reduce tire wear, it's hard to keep up if you're not a fix it yourself person.
My dad has an 94 F-250 2wd work truck, Heavy duty, full floater, But the front end seems to eat through swing arm bushings all the time, we're going to replace them with the urethane one's and see how it works out. The rubber bushings go every 30k or so and cause the front tires to have some negative camber, eating through tires faster, all in all it's a PITA ass to mess with IMHO.
Yea lol, I was just messin. The Twin-I-beams kinda suck lol, they eat tires like theres no tomorrow, the alignment is highly ride height sensitive and can be a PITA to get set sometimes, there is entirely too many weak spots in the front axleshafts lol, and the bushings do kinda suck. I'm gonna need to change the radius arm bushings in mine soon I think. Its ok, its still cool and cheap to fix.:drive:
 
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