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Old 04-20-2011, 12:57 PM
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Suddendeath Suddendeath is offline
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SOA Front Driveshaft

I'm going to be doing an SOA/SF soon, and I've heard mixed reports when it comes to lengthening the front driveshaft. I'd like to hear from people who have done SOA/SF to these trucks, have you had to lengthen either of your driveshafts? What about guys who have done SOA/SF with 2" springs?

I'm also wondering for those of you who have lengthened your shafts, (man that sounds bad) has anyone considered using an Explorer front shaft? When I first got my Wag it had no front shaft, so I measured my old 1994 Explorer's stock front shaft and it was about 2" too long. Otherwise it would've worked fine and was actually beefier than the Wag front shaft. With an SOA it may be just right. Just an option for anyone who needs a longer front shaft and wants to experiment.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:46 PM
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I don't know what joints are in an Explorer front shaft. 1310? 1350?

Pretty much the same deal here, SOA/SF, about 2" springs, just on top of a D60.
I run a NP208 with a 1350 flange at the front. I had a new front shaft built locally last fall when the 60 went in (previous version was a shortened front I found on Ebay from a lifted GM rig), the double-carden (sp?) is for a Dodge (1350) and then down to a 1350/1310 conversion joint at the diff w/long travel splines at the yoke.

First shaft (GM) worked great, was just getting a bit worn. This one works great also after I had them rebuild it. They installed a metal plug (to keep water out) inside the shaft and the long travel yoke punched it back into the shaft. Didn't do any damage but it rattled inside for the entire first run in 'Cruces and got me all worried.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:18 PM
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[quote=Suddendeath]I'm also wondering for those of you who have lengthened your shafts, (man that sounds bad) has anyone considered using an Explorer front shaft? quote]

I'm using one. Not sure of the year but it was a 90's model. CV on one end and it is a pretty beefy shaft for an explorer. I had to shorten it though.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:24 PM
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With 2" springs and SOA, you'll probably definitely be in the "I need to lengthen my front shaft" category. With stock springs, its hard to say until you've got the weight of the vehicle back on the axle. On my 88 GW, the stock front shaft would just barely bolt up, but it was the limiting factor on drooping the driver front tire. XJ's w/auto (IIRC) are almost perfect. But they did vary, so you'll still need to measure. You won't really know what you need, until you're SOA is almost complete. It sucks, but that's how it is.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:59 PM
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I was given a front drive shaft from a Rubicon unlimited. I had to take it to a drive shaft shop to get it shortened and also had the CV joint re-built. It cost around $100 or so, but well worth it. The rubicon shaft is thicker and stronger than the GW drive shaft, and I am very happy with it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:04 PM
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If the Explorer shaft looks like it will work you could just have it shortened at a shop.

My experience so far:
I did the SOA/shackle flip with stock springs ---- drove it off road a few times with no problems then got stuck in a hole and the front shaft came apart at the slip joint with a bang ------ tore up the splines.
I think the torque on it along with the droop and some axle wrap extended it too much.
I bought a late model XJ shaft -- it has the same double cardan joint and ends as the stock one so I plan to have it shortened. It's cheaper/easier to shorten one than lengthen it.

I just reread your post -- yes, the Explorer shaft might be just right after you do the lift.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2011, 09:16 PM
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Full size Bronco shafts are good donors jusk like the Jeep XJ series.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2011, 11:03 AM
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I will say you have to have a longer shaft with SOA. Mine bolted up but only had about and inch of splines engaged. I built a square shaft from my old yoke and cardan. I also had to clearance the cardan to get another 5 degrees out of it for passenger side droop. I bolted my stock shaft up after my SOA and drove about 2 miles and first bump slung the driveline and that was on the road. I don't see how it would be possible to wheel one at all without a longer shaft.
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2011, 12:34 PM
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Don't know if I will help but I'm soa with 6" springs and all I used was a stock rear shaft and changed the t-case yoke to the rear one works great just had to grind the yoke for the angle
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:00 PM
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how do you guys not have angle problems with the front shaft? my cherokee(auto, q-trac) has 6" lift and the length is not a problem but the angle has the stock shaft almost maxed out. i can remove it at the front axle and i can only pull it down about an inch before it stops.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike7009
how do you guys not have angle problems with the front shaft? my cherokee(auto, q-trac) has 6" lift and the length is not a problem but the angle has the stock shaft almost maxed out. i can remove it at the front axle and i can only pull it down about an inch before it stops.

You need to clearance the cardan joint. You can do a google search or search pirate and come up with some good information about how to do it. It only took me about 30 minutes with a dremel and an angle grinder and I got 5 degrees more travel out of it. My SOA was about the same as what you have, the driveline had about an inch of droop in it which just won't work.
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1978 Cherokee 360, 400/QT, HD44, Dana 60, 4.88's, locked, 36s on H1s, SOA/SF, high steer, Rancho RS5000's (14" front/11" rear travel) lots of dents
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:40 PM
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Suddendeath Suddendeath is offline
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Thanks for all the awesome info people. I'm about a month away from my SOA/SF, so I'm still in the initial planning stages.

Quote:
I don't know what joints are in an Explorer front shaft. 1310? 1350?



On 1990/1-1994 Explorers (The Square Nosed ones) It's a 1310 front U joint and a 1310 CV that meets up with the transfer case, so it's a bolt-in for a Grand Wagoneer if it's the right length. They're pretty beefy shafts, IIRC they're almost 2x the width of the Waggy stock front shaft.

And its always cheaper to have a shaft shortened then to get one lengthened.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:51 PM
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I forgot to mention in my previous post -- I had to notch my tranny crossmember for clearance at full droop.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:22 AM
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cajun_lad cajun_lad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike7009
how do you guys not have angle problems with the front shaft? my cherokee(auto, q-trac) has 6" lift and the length is not a problem but the angle has the stock shaft almost maxed out. i can remove it at the front axle and i can only pull it down about an inch before it stops.

Went with a HP front axle. Problem solved. Also, no notching of a cross-member required.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun_lad
Went with a HP front axle. Problem solved. Also, no notching of a cross-member required.

If you notice he has a QT which is pass side case and it doesn't require crossmember notching, at least mine didn't. So unless he wants to retube a HP axle or change T cases I would say clearancing a cardan or even buying a high angle cardan is the cheapest most efficient route. Believe it or not some of us even like our QTs. .
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:20 AM
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cajun_lad cajun_lad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwomac
If you notice he has a QT which is pass side case and it doesn't require crossmember notching, at least mine didn't. So unless he wants to retube a HP axle or change T cases I would say clearancing a cardan or even buying a high angle cardan is the cheapest most efficient route. Believe it or not some of us even like our QTs. .

I keep forgetting about the lack of availability on pass side drop hp front axles.

However, my answer was really directed to the OP, who has a 90 GW.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:50 AM
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Mex in the city Mex in the city is offline
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I finished SOA conversion a few days ago, and went wheeling last weekend for the first time, no issues so far.

I don't remember exact lengths of the shafts, but I used a front driveshaft from a XJ which was 4" longer than my stock front driveshaft, and had it shortened 2".

In order to have the yoke right in the middle of the travel range, the driveshaft needs to be about 1/2" longer than what it currently is.

So, if I had to do it again, I would shorten the XJ shaft only 1 1/2" instead of 2"

The springs I'm using are pretty worn, and the waggy is lifted only 6" after SOA. If I had better springs, or a bit more lift, a longer shaft would be required.

So, get an XJ shaft, measure after SOA and cut the shaft to the required length.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:34 PM
Hippie Metal Hippie Metal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 401c.h.i.e.f.
Don't know if I will help but I'm soa with 6" springs and all I used was a stock rear shaft and changed the t-case yoke to the rear one works great just had to grind the yoke for the angle

eek

also when you take your measurements and then peep this

http://www2.dana.com/pdf/J321-CV.PDF
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:06 AM
Topgun2mo Topgun2mo is offline
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Wow thanks! That is the document I have been wanting to see!

Is there catalogs like that for standard U-joint drive shafts?

Thanks
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:40 PM
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Tad Tad is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike7009
how do you guys not have angle problems with the front shaft? my cherokee(auto, q-trac) has 6" lift and the length is not a problem but the angle has the stock shaft almost maxed out. i can remove it at the front axle and i can only pull it down about an inch before it stops.
Little late getting back to that question but I've been wheeling for the last two days.
QT rigs have the front output a bit more forward than say a D20 or NP cased rig, this makes the angle a bit more severe.
You can clearance it at the cardan joint and it will help but it also puts you closer to maxing out the cardan.
Not saying don't try it, I did mine for the SOA/2" springs and ran it for 4-5 years until the D60 went in up front. It's still functional and I carry it as my backup front shaft.
http://members.cox.net/pmountsoa/pmountsoaindex.html
If you scroll down to Day 33 there are a few pic's starting at about #7 or so.
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