The front axle

(the hokey setup)

I'm using a Dana 44 axle from a '78 bronco. This is the desirable "high pinion" style. This would not be a good swap for leaf springs but for coils, or in my case air bags, there is the interesting option pictured below:

The bronco used Fords radius arm setup with the funny looking "C" bushings. I took advantage of this and went to James Duff Ent. and got these brutal beasts. They are a little over 10" longer than the factory arms with hiems at the frame mount. The round bars are solid, they're offset to clear tires, and the wrists are bushed too making for a sweet, solid flexy setup.

The goodie list:

  1. ARB air locking differential

  2. 5.38:1 gearset

  3. HD Warn Chromo axles '78 Bronco inners/Chevy outers

  4. HD CTM racing u-joints

  5. Hy-steer setup using Chevy knuckles and custom arms

  6. 99 4Runner steering box and lower shaft

  7. 3/4 ton tie rod ends

  8. .250 wall DOM tube for steering rods



I ended up making a sub frame that ties into the rear cross member to support the radius arm brackets. I'm just getting started here, there will be more gussets around the radius arm mounts so they can take a beating. The transmission cross member must go too, I need to dream up something with more clearance.

Awaiting the torch......................




Now for lots'n'lots of grinding.


Checking clearances

The "laminated plate" cross member.

Notice the cross member took a little more grafting work to fit the converter. But clearing the drive shaft shouldn't be an issue.

And then it gets crazy.

The 4Runner steering box and shaft. There is 1/4" plate on both sides of the frame rail all the way to the engine mount. There's also tubes between the plates to prevent crushing. And finally a crossmember passes in front of the engine connecting the frame rails to prevent twisting. I even kept the collapsible section of the steering shaft for collision safety. :)

I couldn't ask for a sweeter pinion angle. The hi pinion keeps everything tucked up nicely.

The front airbag control system. The center valve connects the 2 bags together.

One beefy steering arm.

Playing with the bags while I wait on steering parts.




Steering goodies arrived and she got her cherry popped on Clutch Creek in Swiss, WV.

Bugs- minimal, learning curve- huge, 33"SSR's- got to go!

Bug fix 1: SCH40 PVC air tanks T'd into the bags for more cush. Feels much smoother on the road and should allow more flex on the trail without playing with the controls so much. Plus it makes a cool swish sound when I hit bumps.

Baked on bling-bling paint job for the beadlocks in anticipation of the 36" TSL's.

Maiden Voyage Photos

Rear axle details


Part Numbers

T100 oil pan conversion for the I4 engine:

Tip: use a c-clamp to press the dipstick tube in place before you install the T100 pan. * if you use it

12101-75060 -pan

11494-75010 -plate (block-off for hole in side of pan)

15104-75020 -strainer

15147-75020 -gasket (strainer)

*-dipstick tube


*Note: Some people are using the original dipstick and cutting about an inch off the end, still reading the original full mark.

T100 oil pan conversion for the V6 engine:

12101-65030 -pan

15104-62060 -strainer/pickup tube

15147-62020 -gasket for above

15301-62060 -dipstick

11452-62060 -dipstick tube

90405-10033 -block union for above

There is an "o" ring where the dipstick tube fits into the union, I don't have a Toy part# but I picked up an assortment at the parts store that had what I needed.

SAS D44 parts:

H5371 -GM/Jeep caliper banjo bolts for brake lines Raybestos

RC4339 and RC4340 -left and right front GM/Jeep loaded calipers Raybestos

5020 -rotors(2) Raybestos

610-264 -wheel studs Doorman

K8194 -ball joint(2) Moog

K8195 -ball joint(2) Moog

471271 -wheel bearing grease seal(2) National or Timken

SBK1 -spindle kit(2) Federal Mogul

2300 -axle seals in diff case Federal Mogul


FIA-WO1-358-7330 airmount(2) Firestone

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