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Moses,

I am pressing forward with the reverse engineering and documentation of my 85 CJ7. I have run into a snag and hope you can shed some light.

The front axle has been upgraded to a dana 44. The wheel base appears to be the stock wide track CJ of 56" WMS to WMS. Both Inner axles appear to be custom length (28 7/8" and 15 1/2") 30 spline.

Now for the question. The outer axles do not appear to be customized and at first appearance seem to be "CJ" (8.72" 27 Spline) CJ spindle, 6 bolt locking hubs, 6 bolt brake caliper and rotor, and etc, however the outer axles have the larger 1.188" cup size yoke. (5-760X u-joint). Can you identify what vehicle class these outer axles are native too? Through my research, I found a few axles with the larger cup yokes and 27 splines, but I have been unable to positively identify one with the correct length. They are either too long or in most cases do not publish a length. The yoke casting markings are "Spicer", "F36616", and "M5 L866". Google does not hit on these numbers.

Any insight you may have will be appreciated.

William

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William...The usual choice for these axles is either Scout II or Jeep J-truck and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer.  Grand Wagoneer uses a track bar, there would be a remnant scar where the bracket fits the axle housing if the bracket were removed.  J-truck is a possibility.  Scout II is a high likelihood considering the build.

Typically, one side (the long side) front axle tube gets shortened with these retrofit upgrades.  Both Jeep and Scout II have a wider track width than the CJ Jeep.  This should narrow down your search and help I.D. these parts.  Look to Warn and other freewheeling hub manufacturers for outer spline count data and parts interchange.

As a footnote, brake rotors and calipers might be a tip off.  What application are the brake rotors and calipers?  Scout II uses 5-on-5-1/2" bolt circle wheels like the Jeep CJ.  Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and full-size Cherokee often use six-bolt wheels, depending upon model years.  In the disc front brake era, Jeep FSJs are commonly 6-bolt wheel rims.  This is why Scout II open knuckle, disc brake application has been popular as a Dana 44 to Jeep CJ conversion.

Moses 

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Moses,

Thanks for your direction. I have been able to identify that the outer front axle shafts are the same as the 76 - 80 Scout Dana 44 with 27 splines, 5-760X U-Joint and 8.72" long. There maybe other matches out there, but the data is sketchy.

Looks like the front axle housing may have come from a GM vehicle and may explain why both inner axle shafts are custom lengths. The picture (sorry about the bad lighting) shows the U-Bolt grooves are made into the axle housing and indicates to me that this axle housing was made for and a spring over axle configuration such as a 70's GM with Dana 44 front unit.

DSCN1398.JPG

The next picture shows the reinforcement gusset for the end "C" channel. They were even smart enough not to weld it all the way across and to leave enough room for a jack stand.

DSCN1401.JPG

The last picture show the steering gear reinforcement brace and part of the High Steer linkage.

DSCN1402.JPG

William

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William, it looks like a lot of thought went into this build and application.  Your observation about the spring over perches is apt.  I like the high steering linkage for both anti-bump steer (a serious goal on short wheelbase CJs!) and control.  You also have the benefit of very well protected linkage.  The size of the tie-rod tubes and the steering box brace indicate serious off-road intentions.

The only concerns would be basic:  the quality of the axle shaft work, specifically the spline cuts and heat treating on a quality base metal.  Short of discovering the shop that built the custom shafts, you can assume that this was done right by the condition of the splines and integrity of the shafts after service.  Looks good so far!

Moses

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