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D-44 knuckles/drum brakes

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by MTPockets, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. MTPockets

    MTPockets 1/2 ton status

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    Just though I'd share a little experience with getting parts for the 1/2 ton x-over steering conversion.

    The knuckles I am using came from a 74 Jeep Commanche with drum brakes. I wasnt sure if they would work so I measured them to make sure the spindle bolt pattern was the same and that the tie rod arms were low enough, since the Jeep was a spring under. What I didnt check was the location of the spindle bolts. They are rotated forward approximately 15 degrees.
    PROBLEM: brake caliper wont fit.(hits steering arm)
    Of course I found this out after I had the machine work done and bought EVERYTHING else for the conversion. as well as having it all installed.
    SOLUTION: re-drilled baking plates to locate in original position.

    Moral of the story: You can use them, but it will require a little more effort.

    MTPockets

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml>http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml</a>
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Thanks for the heads up...another source for Flat tops.
    On a related note a friend of mine has a 79 4x4 Chev van...3/4 ton. It was a factory 4x4 bought new by my old boss and then sold to my friend. What caught my eye was the factory crossover steering... I wonder if parts for that front end are still available somewhere?

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
     
  3. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    factory? who's factory
    my mustang came with Ttops but ford didnt ever build them that way. i am guessing the same is true for 4x4 vans.
    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by 77chev on 10/09/01 09:52 AM.</FONT></P>
     
  4. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    That had us thrown for a loop for a little while, we didn't even notice the difference in the holes when you sent it in. oops!

    There's unfortunately nothing that came from GM on most 4x4 vans. A lot of them use ford axles and lots of weird transfer case and steering arrangements. Doesn't surprise me that you're seeing spring over cross over steering, I really don't think truly innovative stuff comes along that often, it's usually an adaptation of something someone else has already done. I thought the Doubler was an original idea till I found out how many people had been doing it on their own since the 70's! I think the original idea of a wheel attached to an axle is pretty innovative, but I'm sure that once again it was just a bunch of agonizingly small steps to get there.

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    SW-ORD
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.offroaddesign.com>www.offroaddesign.com</a>
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I should have been a little more clear. I know the original owner of this van. It was never a 2 WD van...I guess it was a 'dealer option' back in the day. Probably sent directly from the factory to a conversion place and then to the dealer or something along those lines. 400sbc, TH350, NP 203, passenger drop D44 with cross-over steering. I have no idea what the parts would be like to get, but theoretically there must have been some aftermarket support for suspension and steering parts. I'm pretty sure if GM had carried any parts they would be discontinued by now anyways.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Actually, it probably was a 2WD van for the first few days of its life. [​IMG] Pathfinder, in Youngstown, Ohio, used to offer "factory authorized" 4WD conversions for vans. They only did conversions on brand new vehicles and you had to order certain options in order to get them to do the conversion. Once the van was built, it was then drop shipped to Pathfinder for the conversion.

    I owned a '79 Dodge Pathfinder conversion for a couple of years. It was built on a 1-ton chassis, but it was a short wheelbase (something that the factory service manual says was not available). [​IMG] Sadly, it had the NP203 full time case and used the Dodge version of a Dana 44 up front. The one that had flange style front hubs, so it cost a small fortune to covert it to part time. [​IMG]

    On a cross-country trip I stopped into the Pathfinder plant and drooled for a while. [​IMG] They had stacks of brand new transfer cases and complete axles in the crate all over the place. Pretty cool stuff. They would drive in a new 2WD van and jack the front end up about 4 feet in the air. Then out came the cutting tools. They would remove all the 2WD suspension, cross members they didn't need, etc. Then they would install the custom parts and the axles, t-case, etc. A few days later it rolled out of the shop as a 4WD.

    Unfortunately, Pathfinder seems to have faded from the landscape. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     

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