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Old 02-19-2010, 12:17 PM
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XtremeOverKill XtremeOverKill is offline
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SOA Front DriveShaft Discussion

I'm hoping to do a SOA conversion on an 84 Grand Wagoneer and trying to learn as much as I can before hand.

What's the grey area around the Front Drive Shaft.

I've heard one option is to just get the shaft lengthened, i've heard there are other year Jeeps we can replace it with... and then I wonder what are our options.

Would an extende front shaft from a Quadra-Trac transfer case be something that I could use with my NP229?


Thanks in advance!

I did try searching but didn't have any good luck.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:33 PM
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Search threads posted by me. I posted what should have been the last SOA thread. It covered everything.

IIRC, you can run a front shaft from a mid '80s XJ with a 5 speed. Those shafts were a little longer than a FSJ shaft and bolt right up.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:17 PM
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rustywagoneers_com rustywagoneers_com is offline
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80-up trucks are easier than QT's. QT's have a pretty short front DS and get into bad angles very quickly when SOA.

Anyone ever found an 'easy' solution for an SOA QT rig?
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:14 AM
Pattywagon Pattywagon is offline
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I choppped and sleeved mine. It needs to be about 3 inches longer. Used a section of chevy driveshaft and it slipped right over top of the Jeep one nice and snug. Welded it up and no vibes up to 60km/h so far. I only used 4x4 off road and dont go over 60 when it snows so it worked for me.

You never said proper you said "easy" lol
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:30 PM
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XtremeOverKill XtremeOverKill is offline
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Thanks

I take it the QT Front shaft will not work?
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattywagon
I choppped and sleeved mine. It needs to be about 3 inches longer. Used a section of chevy driveshaft and it slipped right over top of the Jeep one nice and snug. Welded it up and no vibes up to 60km/h so far. I only used 4x4 off road and dont go over 60 when it snows so it worked for me.

You never said proper you said "easy" lol

Length is no problem, easy enough to change as you describe.

My concerns are the operating angles of that awfully short front driveshaft.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:27 AM
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Woody the Danger Wagon Woody the Danger Wagon is offline
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I gotta say, Xtreme - I went SOA on my 90 GW, and I ended up just taking my stock shaft and having it extended. I think it cost me about 80 bucks.

I tried to take Blake's advice and looked all over for one of those XJ shafts, but there are tons of variables - different drive traine combinations = different lengths etc. I spend about three weeks on ebay and XJ forums trying to find the right one, and finally just extended mine. Kinda nice because you can obviously customize the length that way - and build a relationship with a local company that can help you with any future drive-shaft issues.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:29 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Yeah, those longer front shafts are hard to find for sure.

It's much easier and cheaper to have a shop extend it.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:45 PM
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I just let a driveline shop extend mine. I had them do my primary and a spare, they charged about $100 each.


A junkyard shaft would certainly be cheaper... if your lucky enough to find a mid 80's XJ with a 5 speed that is (or 2 if you want a spare).
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:19 AM
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Sorry to dig up an old thread.


But.

I measured static height and found I needed a 27" front shaft. 360/T18/D20 with a SOA

I went to the junkyard with a tape measure in hand and found that a Dodge Durango front DS was the perfect length. 18.00 and a 2.00 core

YMMV, but I hope this helps

John
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:50 AM
78 Arizona Chief 78 Arizona Chief is offline
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I have done SOAs on both my '78 Cherokee with QT and my brother's '88 Gwag with a 229 now 208.

On my '78 I am running 2" springs on top. The big issue is running angle and full droop angle. At full droop running a 14-inch travel bilstein, my cv would max out and bind. I had Tom Woods build me one of their high angle 1310 cvs. That added about 4 degrees more of angle. It still operated at a steep angle at ride height that kept burning up the CV. Ultimately I ended up replacing the front axle with a High pinion 44 cut down to the stock specs for my jeep.

On my brother's '88, we ended up rotating the pinion up on the axle 2 degrees. We had to build a custom crossmember to address the driveshaft interference issue, and had Tom Woods build a 1310 high angle CV shaft. We have to be careful with the length of shock because with the 10" travel (I think) bilsteins, his front driveshaft is really close to maxed out a fulldroop.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:29 PM
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I had a friend give me a front drive shaft from a Rubicon unlimited. MY stock drive shaft blew up on me, so I needed a replacement. I took my Jeep to a drive shaft specialist who meassured, shortened, balanced, and re-built the CV joint for about $120. Well worth it I think as the front drive shaft on my Jeep always rotates (NP 228).
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2010, 05:29 PM
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Build a square shaft and be done with it.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:13 PM
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All QT SOA rigs (real QT's, 74-79) have the issue of a shorter front shaft and a bad angle to start with.
This is because (as Dave mentioned) the front output is further forward than what we find on a D20 rig or any of the 80's rigs.
Not much one can do about that other than go true high-angle shaft, even then (get one with a warranty) I have a local member that has trashed 2 "lifetime warranty" front shafts in less than 1 year.
SOA is probably not the best option for a QT rig.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad
All QT SOA rigs (real QT's, 74-79) have the issue of a shorter front shaft and a bad angle to start with.
This is because (as Dave mentioned) the front output is further forward than what we find on a D20 rig or any of the 80's rigs.
Not much one can do about that other than go true high-angle shaft, even then (get one with a warranty) I have a local member that has trashed 2 "lifetime warranty" front shafts in less than 1 year.
SOA is probably not the best option for a QT rig.

When you say a "true high angle driveshaft" you mean one with double cardigan joint on both ends?
One solution miht be to pick up a high pinion axle... Mine was not much of an issue with angle (because its not a QT) but I did not have to modify the cross member which I understand has to be done most of the time with a SOA rig (and I have lift shackles AND soa on mine).
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:15 AM
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The high pinion front axle is really not an option for the pre-80 rigs unless they want to change transfer cases or have one custom built like Kevin did (I've seen it, very impressive).
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showp...5&postcount=11
It's all doable that way and I actually have most of the parts to do that for when the D60 goes in up front and I can cut up the HD44.

With you (Duncan) having a high pinion Ford axle that keeps you further away from the crossmember, it's a very nice match for some of our rigs.

I've never seen a drive shaft with a double carden at both ends, so I can't comment on that. A quick search will bring up several companies that make high angle shafts (highangle, Tom Woods, AZ Driveline, etc) there are even some Ebay shops doing this work.
I've been luck enough to have a local shop (Precision Products) do the majority of my work for the last 25 years (son owns it now), they have had several articles done about their work in 4x4 mag's and online.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2010, 08:45 AM
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rustywagoneers_com rustywagoneers_com is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad
All QT SOA rigs (real QT's, 74-79) have the issue of a shorter front shaft and a bad angle to start with.
This is because (as Dave mentioned) the front output is further forward than what we find on a D20 rig or any of the 80's rigs.
Not much one can do about that other than go true high-angle shaft, even then (get one with a warranty) I have a local member that has trashed 2 "lifetime warranty" front shafts in less than 1 year.
SOA is probably not the best option for a QT rig.

Agreed for sure.

If it has a QT case and a V8, it will be just a couple inches of spring lift or shackle reversal for me. There's just no cheap/easy way, for my money.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2010, 12:35 PM
78 Arizona Chief 78 Arizona Chief is offline
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A typical CV joint at the t-case will max out around 23-25 degrees of angle. A high-angle unit simply has been ground out at the interference points to allow around 3-5 degrees more angle. I think Tom Woods website has a description of this. Anyway, with the QT rig and soa, a high angle shaft will work, but again, front shock length needs to be looked at carefully to keep the axle from dropping too far down.

As for my HP 44, it wasn't all that bad. I had Tri-County Gear in CA take the housing and re-tube it to stock width specs. I told them what angle I wanted the pinion set at, and what angle I wanted the castor set to. It came to me 'unloaded' at which point I swapped on my knuckles, brakes, axle shafts, ARB and such. Had to get a set of reverse rotation gears though. FYI, if reverse rotation gears for a dana 44 are not available at a 4.30-1 ratio. 4.10 or 4.56 is what is close. Anyway, I speced a 3" tube housing and total cost to my door was right around $900.00. Add in the cost of new gears and gear set up labor and it really wasn't that bad of an option. The end result is a driveshaft that is so tucked up in there that I never worry about hitting it. It also travels down the freeway at 80 mph smooth as can be.
Kevin.
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