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TheTJRod 03-30-2011 04:57 PM

Yet another TJ with D44/9" long arm build
Ok, so I picked up a set of axles from a '74 bronco that were under a YJ. I have a D30/D44 with 33's and want to go to 35's or 37's. I didn't really have to swap the axle I know. But I want it bomb proof and still DD-able. Both axles converted to discs, the rear has weld on brackets. The rear 9 has the oh-so-binging True Hi9 with an ARB and 4.86 gears. Converted to big bearing, and 35 spline MOSER axles. It can handle the 37's with ease with my 4.0L. The front has flat top knuckles with high steer and 1 ton steering, manual lockout hubs, ARB, 4.88 gears and chromo axles. It also can handle the 37's. The guy had 35's and was building a monster engine for it till the storage unit the jeep was stored in caught on fire! Aparently there was a Meth lab next door.. Oh and the front is a LP44, I might or might not source a HP.

My plans are to do a triangulated 4-link in rear and a 3 link with trackbar front with the option of running a 4th link on the street. The rear will stay with coils for now and the front will get ORI struts(already ordered back in January). The 9 has a 1350 yoke and I got a 1350 cv driveshaft with it, I doubt I will use it and go with a 1330 DS instead. The DS I got needs a rebuild and is rusted up. Sadly I already had a SYE kit ordered with a 1310 yoke that I will have to now find a 1330 yoke to keep from having to use 3 different u-joints in the DS.

Anyway, yesterday was the official start of the project as I started to work on cutting off all the brackets. And I got halfway done with grinding down the welds till dinner arrived.

TheTJRod 03-30-2011 05:03 PM

Also I ordered all the mounts for the rear axle and frame to be 4-linked. I want to truss it to make the EB 9" stronger and to make it even easier to weld on the UCA mounts. Looking at Ruff Stuff's medium truss. I want something that fits real tight over the top of the 9". I want one that was actually made for a 9 and not a fits all one.

I am still looking around for suspension links and tubing. I was thinking of getting IronMan4x4 to make some up for me but I need this thing drivable soon after I get out the D44. And actually I already sold it. They are waiting on me now. It is coming out regardless if I am ready or not to hand it over to the new owner.

TheTJRod 04-04-2011 01:23 PM

Been held back because I had to get my Jeep inspected. I really needed to do this before I swapped out the axles. And of course I failed for 3 things. 1. need an alignment(said I had tow out also my steering wheel is at a 90 degree to the right). 2. A fog light is out? who cares. 3. And my Delta quad bars are apparently not DOT approved! I told them it says so on the package it came in but they said they didn't see the right stamping on the lens.

I decided to fix all the problems and not go somewhere else because they didn't say anything about me not having rear fenders, my flush taillights, or comment on my parking brake being weak. Which would be bigger problems.

I shortened my track bar 2" to be able to align my steering wheel correctly and fixed my alignment. I also connected my steering stabilizer that wasn't even connected to my steering, I'm surprised they didn't say anything about that. Found both the power and ground on my fog light were frayed at different points and repaired them. Double checked my headlights and found no DOT stamping on them. The delta's have a built in retaining ring not requiring your stock one and sadly I threw all of it away. I bought retaining rings and headlights just for inspections. The Delta quad bar lights are not DOT but they are certified by Euro standards and for use in right hand drive countries... weird. Will be getting a re-inspection at lunch.

Oh and I finally hooked up this horn I found from a Bronco while rummaging through Pick-a-part a few months ago. The Bronco horn has a lower tone and the dual tone is sounding great. I find it ironic that I picked up this Bronco horn and I am now installing bronco axles in my Jeep. While I was taking the horn I was eying that 9". At least I know where to go for spare parts for the lock out hub that got burned off. Or maybe I should go with the Warn premium hubs that are made out of brass instead of plastic.

Here's a pic to keep it interesting.

TheTJRod 04-12-2011 07:39 PM

Ok, a little update. I got some brackets in on Friday and got the front truss on Monday. I'm still missing the lower frame brackets. The rest of my parts better get here fast.
Oh and I ordered Ruff Stuff's old design at the discount but they sent their new design.. score!

TheTJRod 04-14-2011 09:15 PM

I just spent another few hundred on suspension parts. DOM, treaded inserts, and 8 suspension joints. Got my rear truss and it looks great. It can't be angled and goes on only one way so I am going to weld it on today. The truss is almost exactly what I wanted. The only thing that could make it better would be if the top section came in one piece. The base is 3/8" and the top is 1/4", and since my housing is all steel I can weld it all the way around. It's going to take me hours to weld it on slow enough not to warp the tubes. I also grinded the rest of the welds down smooth and popped the cover off the D44. It looks like it got some heat and the oil is muddy. Also found out I have a 3.5mm ARB air line. Which means it's really good that I checked as I almost bought the wrong connectors. It also means my ARB is either the new version or the line was changed out as the most common line is 3/16" and the less common line of 1/8"

Oh and I saw this at a mall yesterday.

TheTJRod 04-14-2011 09:48 PM

I clamped some scrap to the top plate and tacked it together.

Welded all the outside seams of the base plate, waiting for it to cool to do the inside.

I don't like the skid and thinking about taking it off.

TheTJRod 04-14-2011 11:12 PM

Finished the the base and tacked on the top. Took another break to let it cool.

TheTJRod 04-15-2011 01:18 AM

I'm finally done for the night. I still got some welding to finish on it but it is 1 in the morning... :eek:

TheTJRod 04-20-2011 04:10 PM

I decided to keep the skid. It is beefing up the bottom of the housing and the rear bars will keep me from puncturing the stamped steel rear. Maybe in another few years I'll get a custom made housing to get rid of the 37 year old housing and tubes. Also 3 1/2" x 3/8" thick axle tubes sounds nice.

Anyway, I finished the welding on the truss and got it all sanded down and primered to keep it from rusting.

TheTJRod 04-20-2011 04:14 PM

Got the Jeep on jack stands. Lubed all the bolt. Took off the lower control arms. I always knew my control arms were bad. I took out the control arm and both of the inner sleeves for the bushings just fell right out. I took one inside to get a shot of it with my replacements.

scgeek12 04-20-2011 06:28 PM

i wish i had the tooling / knowledge start an axle swap like this on my TJ, looks like an awsome build so far, GL

TheTJRod 04-20-2011 11:25 PM

Got the old axle out. Things are so much easier when you have help.

Rear D44 finally out and ready to be picked up for more money to work with!

I ordered 6 more joints for the front 3 link. Going with Ruff Stuff's 3/4" heim for the track bar links. Also ordered a 1350 flange for my transfercase as I decided to use the big monster of a drive shaft. A 1350 1-ton from High Angle Driveshafts.

TheTJRod 04-23-2011 10:37 AM

Yesterday I got some more work done.
I'm not going to let 50 degree weather and a constant downpour stop me. I removed the exhaust, both driveshafts, drained the t-case oil and got all but two bolts out. Then headlight beams hit me and a man stepped infront of the light and proclaimed that my pizza had arrived to be continued.

Geno 04-23-2011 10:56 AM

Looks Great! Where did the inverted 9" third member come from? I didnt think they were high pinion in the early Bronco. I ask because I'm putting a 9" in my CJ right now and havnt dont the third member yet. I would love to have the high pinion.
Keep up the good work!

TheTJRod 04-23-2011 11:21 AM

It's a True Hi9, 35 spline, ARB, with 4.86 gears.
All stock 9" are low pinions. There are 2 aftermarket companies making high pinion 9" 3rd members. Currie and True Hi9. Currie's is weaker using the ford 8.8 ring gear. The True Hi9 made after curries(probably why they call them "true hi9") Uses custom made reverse rotation 9" ring and pinions. They also have two thrust bolts to help with the natural deflection of using a reverse rotation in the rear. My ring and pinion is stronger than a D60 anyday; and with my 35 spline shafts I'm not going to break them with any less than 38" tires. Though the true hi9 costs a good bit more. I got mine at a steal of a deal. Also ture hi9 sells complete assemblies only, so before you say the price is outrageous, price up building one fully. It's still more, but it's stronger and better.

Currie Hi9
True Hi9

Geno 04-23-2011 11:42 AM

Got it. Thanks!

TheTJRod 05-06-2011 12:34 PM

Got the t-case out. Installed the SYE and my yoke flange. I got it back in the jeep and all filled up. Now going to get the flat trans skid all cut up and aligned to my tranny mount.

TheTJRod 05-09-2011 12:36 PM

Finally finished with all the grinding of the welds from the old mounts. Also sanded down the skid and trans mount and primed them.

TheTJRod 05-29-2011 07:20 PM

Yea... it's hard to keep up when I am trying to keep a build thread going in like 5 different places. anyway I am going to post what I got over the other threads

Posted on May 23
I got back from a week long work trip this Saturday and very little done due to all the yard work that was waiting from me. The three days before my trip it rained so I couldn't mow before I left. With only 3 weeks of growth my yard looked like a mini jungle. My wife even said the cat was stalking my dog like a jungle cat and even pounced on her(the dog) a few times. It took two full tanks of gas in the lawnmower to get the lawn mowed. Oh and the handle for the self-propelled controller broke the second I turned it on, my front is all hills and the back is some hills with holes all over the place due to damn voles.

Anyway. I got the first of two drivetrain supports on. Had the sides bolted up and test fitted the crossmember a bunch of times and hit it with a grinder till it fit. Tacked it in place, then removed it all for final welding. I can cut up the second one on the table then will have to mount it up under the jeep before I tack it in place to ensure it lines up good enough.

Posted on May 27th
The last two days I did some more. Wednesday I fitted and tacked up the second support for the crossmember. Yesterday I welded it solid and wire brushed it to bare metal.

After I took this pic I shortened the ends to right before the bolt holes and plated them. As I was plating them it got dark and the bugs were going crazy! They were inside my welding masks so I decided to call it a day. Also I don't like using power tools after dark with no garage. I can only piss of my neighbors so much. I put a coat of primer on it to keep it from rusting. Today when I get home I am going to finish any welding I need to do then drill the holes in the skid plate to mount it up to the crossmember. Then paint it all up and then I can get to the axle brackets.

TheTJRod 06-01-2011 05:54 PM

DAMN you weather!!!

TheTJRod 06-01-2011 05:55 PM

Just noticed I missed my update yesterday.

I broke yet another drill. Darn harbor fright drills don't like drilling through 1/4" plate. I went out and got a real drill, a Dewalt, I like that brand. I used a lot of their air and power tools in the navy. Then I broke the drill bit I was using. My biggest drill bit for a 3/8" drill is 1/2", I need either a 9/16" or 5/8" hole since I suck at marking and drilling holes perfectly. I have both of those drill bits but it only fits a 1/2" drill. I already scratched up the drill I just bought so I don't think they will let me exchange it now.

Anyway, I finished the painting on the crossmember. I also modded my exhaust hanger 1/2" higher to clear it. The UFC low profile mount I got last year had me shorten the hangar when I installed it. Started measuring locations for the mounts on the axle. Also had to grind down some high points on the mounts to fit the axle squarely.

Does anyone know where to get measurements of center to center for the axle brackets? Well I really only need it for the coil buckets and shock mounts. I measured the coil buckets at 38" center to center on the frame, but found references to 39" on the axle from

TheTJRod 06-03-2011 11:11 AM

Was trying to reconnect my t-case shifter linkage and that was a real pain. I gave up before I finished. Feel like getting one of those wire shifters. Anyway, I reinstalled the trans mount and new crossmember.

I wanted to feel like I got something done yesterday so I pulled out the welder real fast to weld on a CB antenna mount and that skull I got from ballistic. The axle is still in primer but will be black either semi-gloss or flat and the skull will be silver. Going to paint the skid, control arms and steering silver.

TheTJRod 06-05-2011 10:21 PM

I missed a few again.

Posted June 4th
I got the shifter linkage together but it's not shifting. I'm worried I messed something up when I installed the sye.

I got the bracket measurements and started tacking them on. After this pic I tacked on one LCA bracket before it got too dark.

Oh yea. I also split my finger open with the grinder yesterday. Went to switch the handle to the other side and slipped.

TheTJRod 06-05-2011 10:48 PM

It's really starting to shape up!! The UCA's arn't welded up yet as the angles will be figured when I get the frame mounts on and mock up the control arms. The UCA mount I got has this heavy 1/4" base plate that has holes it it to set the mounts in more exact position and I did tac that in place. I also lightly coated everything in primer as we did have scattered thunderstorms last night. I was busy all day today with things that kept me away from the house and tomorrow I have to mow the lawn again arg. So I will continue on tuesday.

TheTJRod 06-20-2011 04:16 PM

I think my welding is getting better.

TheDoc 06-21-2011 01:33 AM

Practice makes perfect, :dance:

I usually turn off teh grinder to change the handle over, made your mistake once with a new 80grit flap disc on, :doh:

Love the progress reports.

TheTJRod 06-23-2011 09:34 AM

Yea, the finger is pretty much healed but can still see a sliver of scab.

This is the rear LCA mount on the frame. TJ frames are 3/16" box frame, that mount is 1/4". I'm able to weld all the way around it, and the mount has two big holes drilled for a plug weld to the frame too. I am using MIG so it is easier to make a clean looking weld. On the sides of the mount I am going to do a triple pass, The first bead is just to fill in the gap I had. Also I was right to put in a bolt to keep it from pulling apart. I put the bolt in finger tight and had to use a wrench to get it off.

I also got that other axle shaft out with a big slide hammer I rented at autozone. Then pulled the carrier. Damn is that thing heavy! The housing now feels feather light with all that out of it.

Now for a shameless picture of my 35 spline axle compared to the only thing I had around, a D30 shaft.

The gears and the carrier are looking good. The housing did have a little crud in it but I got of everything I could already. Also I knocked out the lower stud to replace it with a bolt and have it act as a drain plug so changing fluid is much easier. (These are before pictures)

I took everything but the housing inside and coated the housing in wd40 and wrapped it in a tarp to keep rust away. My next step is rolling it under and setting the height of the frame to the axle. Then getting angles for the upper arms and welding in those brackets. Then I can mock up the arm length and make them. That will be the end of the rear axle. Other than seeing if I lucked out on the length of the driveshaft I got.

TheTJRod 06-23-2011 09:41 AM

I rolled the axle under the jeep today and got my measurements. Going to throw it in the 4-link calculator and find the optimum position for my UCA mount on the frame. Will be back later today with that.

Also I found a guy that wants to do a swap for my 33" ProComp Xterrains on black steel for his 35" KM2's on chromes. Don't worry I can't even use the chromes as my bolt pattern is different. I got some black steels with the axle that fit, though they are pretty beat up.

TheDoc 06-25-2011 12:28 AM

Looking Good, where did you get the 4 link calculator from is it a web link?

Keep the updates rolling.

TheTJRod 06-25-2011 12:48 AM


Originally Posted by TheDoc
Looking Good, where did you get the 4 link calculator from is it a web link?

Keep the updates rolling.

Don't want to put a direct link to the file but here is where I found it. He also has a 3link with panhard bar calc. Don't have an update yet as plans changed and an opening for a motorcycle class opened up that I went to right after work, got back an hour ago. Stayed up cleaning off the tires for the trade right after the class tomorrow. Got to wake up a 5 for the riding portion for the next 2 days.

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