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Old 10-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default chevy axles under a scout ii

ok, so this is the first time i have taken something of this mechanical magnitude on. i've done superficial cosmetic stuff and suspension but i've never dealt with important mechanical parts on my own with no buddies of immense knowledge to help me...in a new town, so i'll try this on my own...maybe to my demise

here's the lowdown on the equipment and project: i bought a set of axles from under a 1976 chevy k10 4x4 scottsdale (i think it's a corporate 10 bolt front and 12 bolt rear) and my plan is take my often broken dana 44's out from under my 1979 scout ii and swap them. i already did the spring over axle conversion form anythingscout a few years ago and the reverse shackle from ihonlynorth and a sway bar in the rear with cv driveshafts front and rear. i'm also gonna get new alcan springs with 2" lift to replace my 1.5" lift re-arched original springs.

so i think the stuff required for this to be done right will be to:
-take apart the "new" axles and check for worn parts
-i already started taking them apart and don't know how
to separate the brake disc from the hub???
-i also noticed some metal shavings in the differential,
what does that mean, what do i do???
-i'll put new spring perches on them in the right places
-i think i may need new yokes on the differential (if they are called universal joints, shouldn't they be the same?)
-figure out how to attach the steering linkage
-the steering arm of the chevy axles is on the drivers'
side so was gonna try to attach the drop link to my
pitman arm (that may be detrimental, i don't know)
-i don't know what else would need to be done...you're the experts, you tell me

i'm sure i'll have a lot more questions the further i get into this, but i'd appreciate any help you could give. also, i'm kind of a novice so please don't get too techy with you explanations and abbreviations (just treat me like an idiot, you might not be far off).
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

Welcome. And this aint like another 4x forum where they call fun in hashing out people.

Why are ya braking the Dana 44's? beating them up or what?
I have heard of issues with the first shop you mentioned.

Why get rid of the shackle reversal kit? Would not be required to get rid of for the type of axle swap you're looking at doing

Metal shavings in the housing could be a good indication of needing a rebuild.

Yokes and u-joints are two seperate parts that get connected together. Yokes are bolted to the output of transfer case and/or axle housing. U-joints are what's at the ends of the drive shafts that connect to the yokes.

One option is to completely remove both steering knuckles and replace them with flat top knuckles and then go high steer steering linkage
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

The chevy 10b/12b will not be an upgrade from the D-44's.

The 10b is basically a D-44...same size R&P and slightly smaller shafts with the same outers and essentially the same housing strength.

The 12b is a c-clip rear axle with a slighty larger R&P than the D-44/10b and about the same size shafts as the D-44. If you break a c-clip the axle is not retained by anything else and it can slide out wheel/tire/shaft and all. At least with a D-44 it is retained to the housing.

If you really want/need stronger axles look at D-60's front and rear or a 60 front and 14b rear. The chebbie 14 bolt is an ox strong axle and unless you drop it from an airplane chances are you cannot break it. 10.5" ring gear and 1.5" diameter full float shafts...MONSTER housing and tons of aftermarket support. They come in a variety of widths too as they were used in 3/4 and 1 ton trucks/vans/SUV's etc for many many years. it is also CHEAP...you can often buy them for under $200 complete. THe D-60 front is another story and will cost you a mint unless you are lucky. As far as looking for chevy trucks as a resource you can find a 60/14 bolt combo in some military apps for the blazer and full size trucks. and they usually have 4.56 gears in them already. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy the truck (yuck it's a chebbie LOL) and pull the axles and part out the rest.

For the steering I would not use the driver side U-shaped arm. It won't give you the steering you want on or offroad. I have a 10b in the front of my comanche (yeah it's a jeep) and I have a crossover knuckle (passenger side) and this allows the drag link to be above the leaf springs and keeps the tie rod beneath it in the stock location. I can e-mail you pics (or if I've been here long enough I think I can post them in the thread?) You can also get flat top knuckles (both sides) and run a true high steer setup which will put your drag link and tie rod up above the leaf springs. This is a great setup...I ran it for for a while and loved it on and offroad.

Anyway...I am not trying to put down what you want to accomplish. I just don't want to see you in the same boat once you are done swapping in axles that aren't really an improvement over the D-44. The D-44 is a pretty darn stout axle as is front or rear.

I may have overlooked it but what size tire are you running and what type of terrain are you breaking the axles on? ALso...(again I may have overlooked) what are you actually breaking on the D-44's?
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1974 Scout II 345/T-18/D20/D30-44 f/r
1967 M416 1/4 ton trailer
1978 CJ5 304/T150/D20/D30-AMC20 f/r
1987 comanche 4.0L/AW4/D300/10b-14b f/r
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

well, i guess i should describe why i am swapping them out...just remember, i tried to keep you from the long story, but you both insisted.

when i bought the scout from oregon to drive it out to colorado the c-clip that was mentioned broke and the whole axle including brake drum, wheel, tire and all came out and tumbled down the road in the middle of yellowstone. the only mechanic with in an eight hour radius was my only option for the fix and about a year later it happened again on the highway. luckily i recognized the signs and pulled to the side of the highway just in time and it only broke itself loose instead of coming completely out of the housing. so this time i took it to my mechanic and he pointed out that the yellowstone guy only replaced the bearings and not the race. the race was damaged just enough to cause the new bearings to wear out again after about a year and thus the second break. after my guy fixed it, it happened again about 2 blocks away from my house on the way home from my mechanic. upon this inspection he said that more than likely the axle shaft itself was slightly bent when it broke the second time but didn't come completely out because the weight of the truck was on the axle shaft itself. by this time i was getting a little tired of broken rear axles and i bought a pair of axles off craigslist. that was about 3 years ago and now there is grease leaking out of the rear and being slung on the tire which i have noticed is the signs of the end. so instead of merely rebuilding my dana 44's i have been wanting to get a little wider stance so my tires stick out a bit from the fender flares i will one day put on. i don't want to use spacers cause everyone says they're weak and my buddy says deep dish wheels will make it steer like sh*t. i've heard that the chevy wheels will accomplish the wider stance and i can use standard wheels and tires. right now i have 35x12.5x15r and some of the other chevy axles can only go down to 16 rims but my tires are pretty new and rather than let them go to waste i hunted for some chevy's that had 15 rims so i only need new wheels. as for the high steer stuff, i'd love to but the parts mike stuff for the scout conversion is really expensive, are the flattop knuckles cheaper for the chevy's?
also, i'm not getting rid of the reverse chackle and i haven't had any trouble with the front axle ever


truthfully i had a scout in college that i pushed pretty hard on the trail and i rolled it and it caught on fire and blew up...like exploded blew up, melted the tires off the rims. gnarley! also, it had that c clip thing break and the whole thing fell out on the road then too, but after that happened i had them rebuilt with arb air lockers. anywayss, so after that i just have this scout so that it's capable of doing just about anything but in all reality i'm pretty mild these days, more than dirt roads for sure but nothing crazy for this guy. so the dana 60 would be sweet but a.) no dough like that, and b.) it'd never be put to use properly
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

Someone correct me if I'm wrong...but a D-44 does not have c-clips. Unless the scout axles do for some reason?

If you want a wider stacne you can get wider D-44's or run wheels with less backspacing. IE if stock wheels have 5" of backspacing...run wheels with 3.5" of back spacing and it will effectivley give you 3" total wider track width. It will not adversly effect steering unless your steering is bad to start with.

I guess what I am getting at is other than possibly the extra width you want you will be gaining nothing by putting in the chevy axles. And as for chevy wheels giving you more width...there were so many wheels used both stock and aftermarket you may not end up with what you want there either.

There are many...better axle options that will not only increase your width but give you peace of mind having stronger axles ifyou need them.
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1974 Scout II 345/T-18/D20/D30-44 f/r
1967 M416 1/4 ton trailer
1978 CJ5 304/T150/D20/D30-AMC20 f/r
1987 comanche 4.0L/AW4/D300/10b-14b f/r
1995 dodge 3500 cummins
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

Yeah - something doesn't add up - normal Dana 44's do not use c-clips.

But a broken axle shaft can lead to the shaft coming out of the axle and the whole tire passing you by....

The only way to get around this potential problem is to go to full float style axles. You front Dana 44 is already a 'full float' style with a spindle and wheel hub. For a rear you'd need to step up to a Dana 60 or Corp 14 bolt to get a full float axle.

So a Corp 10 bolt and 12 bolt will be no real upgrade in strength over stock Scout II Dana 44's.
We need more details on your current axle failures - I'd guess lack of maintenance, hard abuse and broken shafts, huge tires, something....
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

I have seen D-44's handle fairly abusive driving on 35" tires and I beat the crap out of a set on 33's with full spools front and rear and 4.88 gears in a '98 cherokee and those D-44's had 30 year old shafts and u-joints in them. I'm curious as well.
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1974 Scout II 345/T-18/D20/D30-44 f/r
1967 M416 1/4 ton trailer
1978 CJ5 304/T150/D20/D30-AMC20 f/r
1987 comanche 4.0L/AW4/D300/10b-14b f/r
1995 dodge 3500 cummins
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

alright, so i think i have found out how to separate my hub housing from the brake rotor. it looks like i just need to tap out the studs and they should pop apart. then my next hurdle is pulling out all of the guts of the front axle but where to start? and what to replace? should i replace all the bearings? there is some metal shavings in the differential, do i need to replace the gears? if i replace the gears does the carrier need to be replaced too?

i have also been looking at new wheels and considering offsets. so what i can find out on the internet is that the scout track width is 57.2 and the chevy track with is different from front to rear at 65.75 front to 62.75 rear. what's that all about? will i need to have different offset wheels for the front from the rear to maintain an even width? what wheel would i put the spare on then?

just fyi...it seems that this swap is simply to provide my scout with a wider stance and a more readily available supply of parts to choose from and has nothing to do with the strength of the axles themselves...like i said i won't be taking it on crazy trails, mostly mild to moderate.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

hey i just had a thought about the steering without having to track down special knuckles...what if i rigged up some sort of attachment point on the tie rod that is over on the passenger side? i've seen it before where the tie rod has a hole in it so the drop link can be bolted through it. that way i keep the scout pitman arm and maybe even my z-link bar and just marry it to a new tie rod. maybe even weld it? what do ya think?
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

I've seen a LOT of rigs not make it off the trails due to z-link steering.

As for the welding the draglink attachment being welded on the tie rod...I've seen it done...it can work but you need to be 150% sure on the welds...and even then it may or may not hold up.
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1974 Scout II 345/T-18/D20/D30-44 f/r
1967 M416 1/4 ton trailer
1978 CJ5 304/T150/D20/D30-AMC20 f/r
1987 comanche 4.0L/AW4/D300/10b-14b f/r
1995 dodge 3500 cummins
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: chevy axles under a scout ii

so to do this right i probably need to get some new knuckles? i'm assuming they would be obviously for the axles i bought and not scout related?
what do you think about wheel spacers...i'm thinking that i would buy wheels that are all the same including the spare and then just use spacers for the rear to even out the track width. my buddy said that the wheel spacers that bolt on to the studs and have a set of their own studs are pretty weak and he wouldn't use them. what about just a plate with holes in it and putting longer studs so that they can go through the holes and still hold the lugs on the wheels?
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