Defective's DD build


Defective

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Tired of having problems with the bearings on my 1996 Ranger 4x4, I decided to try the Dana 44 knuckle upgrade that's posted in the tech articles and some others have done. I purchased a wrecked 1996 F150 off craigslist for 800 bucks.


Both trucks:



I started the project right away, tearing both trucks down. But then summer got into full swing and they both sat. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to do about reaming the beams. I ended up buying an XKUT reamer knowing I'd be happy with it.


Xkut 1-1/2" per foot tapered reamer:

Started like this...

After about 10 minutes I realized I'd be there forever, so I got out the old Milwaukee....


Cut like nothing with that. I had to hold it back.



As of now I have both knuckles mounted to the beams and the drivers side halfway installed.

Passenger side knuckle mounted to beam:



Wheel adapters for rear axle:




Will update more later...
 
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Sunk

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Man, you weren't kidding when you said old Milwaukee!
 

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cant wait to see the out come. im thinkin of doing this on my expo
 

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ya know, you may have the parts truck setup that the spindle just bolts on and you just have to make caliper mount adapters
 

Defective

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Hooked up the steering last night. I just spun the Rangers TRE's over and bolted them under. We'll see if it works out. Both trucks TRE's looked to be pretty much the same. So if this works out, looks like the only modification I had to do was ream the lower ball joint hole.

And I think I did at one point hold the spindles to each other and they were the same pattern. I'll check on that tonight to confirm. I don't have the skill or means to fab my own brake brakets yet, so I think I still went the right direction.

Is it ok to drill out the ABS sensor holes in the f150 spindle's flange? The knuckle already has the holes, just not the spindle. If so, then I should just need to get some discs with the abs exciter ring, use the ranger's sensors, and I should have functional ABS also, right?

Also, do I need to worry about the rear end being any weaker with the adapters? Should I be considering other options like new axle shafts or a different axle in the future?
 

Defective

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Went and looked up some part numbers for the tie rod ends. Motorcraft has the same #'s for each truck. Moog and everybody else has different numbers though.
 

Defective

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Spindles look like they bolt on, but I didn't have time to fuss with getting the ABS sensor out of the d35 spindle to try to mount the 44 knuckle to it. Here's some pictures of them together:









I didn't spend any time working on the ranger last night The night was spent using my new $362 dollar tool kit!



to do this:

 

Defective

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Have had to spend time doing a few other projects so the swap hasn't progressed much. I did get the axle shafts converted and installed, and part of the passenger side assembled though...







locker is just sitting in there. The hand tight spindle nut is the only thing in there right now. Just wanted to see it on there.



The hub had a ton of grease packed in it. I removed most of it. How much is supposed to go in there, it's a rather large void compared to the D35.



I would like to get this done tonight. We'll see what happens though.
 

Defective

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The axles have a second slot for an outer snap-ring, of which I can't remember having and I can't find any in my parts pile. You can see the slot in one of the pictures above showing the spindle with the shaft sticking out a bit. Do I need them? I'm not sure what they would be accomplishing. If I do need them, does anybody know what size they are or have a part number for them?


EDIT -

Okay, I found this picture of it in someone else's thread.



anybody know what size they are so i can pick a couple up?
 
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Defective

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The snap ring that I picked up and seems to work is 1.25", just in case anybody else is ever wondering.

I thought I was going to get to test drive last night, but when tried spinning the shaft, the ears on the stub hit the big nylon lock-nut that came with my new lower BJs. At least I think it's because of that nut. Otherwise, maybe I didn't take enough out of the beams when I reamed them? I didn't get a picture of it, but there is a picture of the lock-nut up higher on the page.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this because I didn't clearance the beam for the BJ like it says in the tech article? I couldn't really see a reason to do it when I was modifying them and didn't want to take metal out if I didn't have to. I don't have a welder or know how to weld to fix it back up myself.
 

Defective

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Got back out to look at this some more. Looks like it's more than just the ball joint bolts hitting the shafts, the shafts also hit the walls of the beam. The alignment of the shaft to the spindle is off. The spindle is sitting too low. Looks like I'll have to ream some more of the lower balljoint holes. I'm not sure how much more I can go though looking at the second picture here.







 
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Defective

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I've decided it's time to try to get this truck on the road again. I had it all put together and was able to drive in 2 wheel drive, but 4x4 was a no-go with the axle joints hitting the ball joint bolt and the beam walls.

So, what I plan on doing is replacing the large nylon lock nuts with normal nuts that are about half the height. The other thing would be to ream some more out of the beam. This should raise the knuckle up on the beam, and hopefully line up better.
 

Defective

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I took this all apart again and was looking it over. It doesn't look like it's a good idea to take any more metal out of the lower ball joint hole of the beam. It might be bottoming out now, I just can't tell because the boot is not removable. I stuck a flat head screwdriver in between the boot and the beam and there might be a little room to breath in there. So, I have to find another way to raise the knuckle up to get a better alignment of the axle through the spindle.

So the problem wasn't anything directly to do with the ball joint stud/nut or the wall of the beam hitting the u-joint. My problem seems to be that the axle alignment is a little lower on the d44. The spindle pushes the axle down. By the time the axle exits the spindle, it's pushed down to the bottom of the hole and wont turn by hand. When the rest of the gear gets put on, it will align the axle inside the spindle, but now the axle is bound up and contorted, and being pulled down inside the beam which makes everything hit the u-joint and puts extra stress on the spindle bearing.

I'm not sure I see a solution. Maybe shave the bottom of the beam and ream some more? It appears I have some room in the upper ball joint area, I'm not sure why others have reported having to cut the chunk out for clearance up there. But there's not a LOT to give up to the lower ball joint. Maybe I have to do some shaving top and bottom? All this shaving seems like it should be taking some strength away though. :dunno:
 

Defective

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Another two years later, and I'm working on this project again.

I figured out that the moog lower ball joints that I was given at the parts store were taller than normal ones. So after reaming too much material out of two driver's side axle housings and ruining them, I gave up for a while.

Recently I picked up a new axle housing. I reamed it out and I think I've got it working right now. The knuckle went on just fine, though with very little breathing room, and the axle shafts so far aren't binding on anything when I put it together semi-loosely. I'm ready to try to put it all back under the truck, except some minor confusion on what axle/spindle seals to use. It's been so long, I've forgetten a lot of the details. The spindle bearing/seal is good to go, as they were already on there. What I'm confused about is what goes between the axle stub and the back of the spindle, and what goes on the spindle before the hub/brake disc goes on. I have one SKF #18844 seal which appears to go on the stub shaft, between that and the spindle, but to me it seems it needs something else.

So, if somebody could shed some light on what seals to use, I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

Defective

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Got it all put together and back on the road the other night. Everything's great except the front brakes are weak and it needs an alignment. I can feel the rear drums doing most of the work, they're locking up easily. Other than that, mission success, finally. I'm going to try to bleed the brakes again and see if that fixes it.
 


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