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Front axle worries

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by pismorat, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. pismorat

    pismorat 1/2 ton status

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    I have a Dana 44 up front, and jumped it 5' up a while back and busted off my two right front shocks, snapped the right side engine mount bolts, broke my truss(bar type), and bent the axle,(slightly though). I had it straightened, then I put the truss back on, but after driving it for a few months with a few offroad trips, it is starting to sag back down. I am going to get it re-straightened, but want to plate and gusset it or get a better truss. Any advice? It bent more on the left side, longer tube, out towards the knuckle. Thanks. /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  2. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    replace it
    cost is probably more to straighten then replace
    if it was a 60 I would say retube it but...
     
  3. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    i agree with mj replace it either get a new dana 44 or get a dana 60 if you are a hard wheeler (if your jumping it your a hard wheeler) then save yourself some money and just get the dana 60 /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  4. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    can he put an axle truss on top, like the ones from MOO? dunno if you can in the front?
     
  5. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Umm, lose the truss and have on custom made for it. So far, I haven't found an aftermarket truss that is built properly for jumping, though the MOO might be a serious contender. A properly built truss with be tied into the axle at the furthest points away from the differential.
     
  6. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    If you want to jump it, I would stay with the light weight D44 but gusset it not truss it.
    You need to weld on some beefy gussets.
    Check the desert runners and how they do it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Replace it, replace it, replace it.
     
  8. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    In my personal experiences with bent tubes (and trust me I've had PLENTY! /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif) once it is bent, it is done /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif. I tried to straighten my rear with a conn ferr truss and a MOO truss and it wouldn't hold /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif, I ended up just getting a new housing and installed the trusses and haven't had a problem since /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif. As for the front, I've been lucky enough not to bend one beyond recognition, but it is bent just the same. If you are willing to take some time, the best way that I have seen to reinforce the tubes is to make a pattern of the pumpkin and transfer it to a piece of box tubing, then cut and weld it to the tubes /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif. check out www.hill4wheel.com and look in the vehicle pics, there is a yellow 3/4 ton K5 that has done this. Or just go talk to the guys at Hill 4 wheel drive about it (they are right around the corner from you /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif)
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    If you want to jump it, I would stay with the light weight D44 but gusset it not truss it.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    How would one gusset an axle? Everything I've ever read has said it's darn near impossible to weld on cast iron housings.

    And since I keep my nose into the desert world, most axles are trussed.

    Since I cannot link the thread, here it is copied and pasted.......
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    This is just an informative question on my part and would like to hear the experienced and knowledgable answers on this.

    How smart is it to truss the axle along the bottom, particular a front axle? And does anyone know of someone who's had trouble with running the truss into rocks and such and bending and breaking stuff from having the under axle truss?



    Depends upon how they are installed. While doing the rock krawl thing I have seen many of the bolt on truss's get hung up, broken, torn off. They were completely ineffective. Personally I would not use them. The straight axle Toyota's 79-85 had a factory installed lower truss welded to the housing. The biggest and best was the 84-85's - they would be a good design to look at. . The extra inch or so that they hang down below the tube is not really ever an issue on the rocks. If I recall you have a K5 - guessing a D44 or so. My suggestion is a welded on truss, utilizing a flat bar under the diff (a 1/4 or 5/16 should not make much of a differenc) and either cut round or square tube under the axle tubes. Do not use a rod design, but instead one that is fully enclosed material.You want to keep the truss as close to the axle and all the edges as smooth as possible. Smooth will not get hung up as bad on rocks.





    Here's the reasoning behind my questions. Yes, I do have a K5, but I'm not a rockcrawler. I hang on a rockcrawling board, name left out for obvious reasons. The truss question came up, and pics were posted by not only a crawler, but a racer, and someone with "some status" on the board is flaming these people. So I jumped in, cause a lot of the pics I've seen of straight axle racers have under axle trusses, so I called him on it, and he flamed me back and said the under axle truss is a liability and that a lot of racers have knocked them off and such. I'm just gaining some knowledge on my part.






    I have seen the post on the other board and I have been trying to think of under axel truss's that are on race trucks and can not think of many. My self it is either front, back or top, bottom is not an option. Only thing that goes on the bottom is a skid plate. Again just my opion




    I think I can guess which board though I won't name it either. They were inhospitable enough to me that I decided I didn't need their sh&amp;* and moved on. I have asked that they take down some tech of mine while I'm at it.

    If all you wanted to do was truss the housing then a properly constructed tension rod running from C bracket to C bracket that is firmly located on the lowest point of the housing (but not welded to it) makes the most engineering sense. Steel is best in tension. If you want the ideal above axle truss you'll have to figure out how to make it from concrete. If made from steel it will have to be far, far heavier than an equivalent under axle truss.
    Unfortunately the real world interfers with that ideal layout. I'll second Blue Coyote's advice.



    I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.




    Below the axle trusses are always going to be stronger. The reason being the span of the truss itself. Below the axle, you can extend the truss to the end of the housing. Above the axle, at best you can only go to the spring pads. The reason why below axle trusses don't work is ground clearance. We ran a truss below the axle on our stock mini ranger and it would do more harm than good. You hit a big rock and not only does the truss get bent up, but it will actually bend the rear-end from the truss tubes pulling the pumpkin and the end of the housing together. We have gone to an above the axle truss to maximize ground clearance.

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  10. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    steve frisbie (MOO) just said on another post that he has developed a new truss (still UNDER the axle) for D44's and 10 bolt's that will attach to the housing with 3 clamps and a ring between the diff housing and cover. Price will be $200
     
  11. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Read Blazinaire's reply, that is exactly what I am saying and who said you can't weld to the pumpkin?
    People do it all the time and I did it when I did my spring over for the Jeep.
    You just need a good welder.
    Box tubing cut into the shape of the bottom of the axle and welded along the axle is the best way because if you hit it it will not buckle and pull on the ends and bend it down like a bolt on truss would. And it still works to prevent it from bending up.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Okay, now that I've gone back and reread, what I think we got is a schematic problem. I think the whole truss/gusset issue is mute since basically you are talking about the common gussetting, yet it's commonly called a truss? Am I correct?

    As for welding on a pumpkin, I've read that it's best left to experts cause most pumpkins are made from cast iron and the properties are different that from the steel tubes.
     
  13. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Well in my knowledge a truss is a truss which is tubes bolted to triangulate.
    Guessets are plates you weld on corners or curves to strengthen.
    But I guess we were talking about the same thing.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    As for welding on cast iron, I have had no problem, and I am an Engineer and I took welding lessons and have been welding for more than 15 years, and other than that, I have never encountered a job that I felt I should leave to professionnals as long as I got the tools to do it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I am just a tad over confident, and so far I have not failed because I over build.
    I have even repaired some things pros did, so I think I trust my self.
     

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