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Two For One—A Go Fast TJ and J10 Build


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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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I'm not very well versed with all of the new jeep JL's and JT's. Curious if anyone knows if you can buy a factory or ultimate Dana 44 Advantek rear axle center section or bare housing with tubes?

I've found part numbers for the 60 builder housings, but not sure if they offer anything for the 44.

Or if anyone has a line on a cheap Dana 44 rear that's not $1500... Bent is fine, I'm just after the center section
 

02GreenTJ

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I'm not very well versed with all of the new jeep JL's and JT's. Curious if anyone knows if you can buy a factory or ultimate Dana 44 Advantek rear axle center section or bare housing with tubes?

I've found part numbers for the 60 builder housings, but not sure if they offer anything for the 44.

Or if anyone has a line on a cheap Dana 44 rear that's not $1500... Bent is fine, I'm just after the center section
I have a bent tj rubi 44 you could have for 50 bucks I’m in the Bay Area though.
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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I have a bent tj rubi 44 you could have for 50 bucks I’m in the Bay Area though.
Appreciate the offer, and I might take you up on it if I can figure out how to get it. But I'm after specifically the newer Advantek axle in the JL and JT as it's hypoid offset is .75" less than a conventional Dana 44, which would go a long way towards helping my rear driveshafts last longer than a year due to my high operating angle
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Just been getting some maintenance on the TJ done lately, did fluids in both diffs the other day.

I replaced that current relay on the electric motor and did get it to run, but it was running backwards lol. After some educated guesses and a few crossed wires causing the motor to not spin at all, I went back to the original and dropped it off at a different electric motor shop. $20 and a day later and they had it reversed for me. Should be making my first chips on the Burke this week hopefully.

Also picked this up the other day, I really want to keep it but it's slightly impractical, about 300lbs of impractical... Anyone wanna buy a big ass mill vise? 5 gallon bucket for scale

IMG_20210728_123824133_HDR.jpg

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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Well I finally made the first chips on the Burke mill. First task was to try and get this random vise I found at the recycling yard mounted onto the table of the mill. The table uses oddball sized T nuts, so not having any on hand or any clamping tools I had to get creative.

Found some 1/2" carriage bolts, noticed the square is very close to the t slot width, a bit of filing on the square and I had some T studs. Drilled two 1/2" holes in some square tube to make a strap clamp. Used that to clamp a big block of aluminum stock to the table, and used to C clamps to clamp the vise to the block sideways. The vise had to round bulges on its sides that needed to be milled away to make room for two bolt holes.

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C clamps do not make good milling clamps, got a little too aggressive and the vise pulled up

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The mill works pretty well, used a 4 flute 1/2" HSS endmill. I got really lucky and found an Erickson brand DA400 collet chuck on eBay for $30 the other day that happened to have my obsolete Brown & Sharpe 9 spindle taper. Nobody makes any non import tooling for this taper anymore these days.

This was a .150" depth of cut at around 75-90 rpm, not too shabby


Then I marked out my two 7/16" holes in the vise base plate. It used to be a swivel base vise, but was missing the base when I got it, this is just the degree indicator that bolts to the bottom of the vise.

IMG_20210803_114003029.jpg
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Then I needed to mill the front edge off of the base plate to keep it from extending past the edge of the vise and costing my Y axis travel.

I tried using the 1/2" endmill again, but the corners being chipped from the earlier mishap didn't help. Didn't take long before I roasted the tip of the endmill. Good thing I had a 1 1/4" 2 flute taper shank endmill I also found at the recycling yard...

A lot less projections from the spindle helped, but only having two flutes made the lever feeding very... Bumpy. Didn't take long before I got tired of fighting the handle, so I added a powerfeed to the mill lol

IMG_20210803_125046807.jpg



The idea had merit, but it is one of the sketchiest things I've done. Especially with an endmill with a tang end and no provision for a drawbar to keep it from popping out if the spindle while running. Luckily that didn't happen, but I only made it halfway before it got too dull to continue. So I pulled the plate and cut it off in the bandsaw in 30 seconds.

Then it was time to make a spacer for welding up the shifter console for the truck. Needed to mill a block of aluminum to 2.9", the thickest width of the winters shifter brackets that my sheet metal bolts too.

Added a half gallon of water to my powerfeed and let the slab cutter eat some 6061 in the newly mounted vise

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Doing about .125" passes, the slab mill is pretty rusty and dull, I really need some sharper tools, but not a bad surface finish

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Console is coming along well

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I've folded the edges 90* on both of the big side pieces inwards to hopefully add some rigidity and give me something easier to weld to. I've drilled some .100" holes in the perimeter of my front and back pieces, I'm going to do some tiny plug welds to tack the front and back to the sides, so then I can tap the edges down smooth to the bends on the corners. Then when I weld everything up I should be able to smooth and blend the corners
 

jesseshoots

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I thought that looked like your mill and truck in the background on the r/machinist page. That is one sketchy ass powerfeed!

Console is coming together nicely (y)
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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I thought that looked like your mill and truck in the background on the r/machinist page. That is one sketchy ass powerfeed!

Console is coming together nicely (y)
Haha, that's funny you saw it there too. It's sketchy, but so is me cranking on the lever lol. Think I need to give the lever a larger mechanical advantage, or find some way to keep it from bouncing back and forth, maybe a small hydraulic setup or something
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Well the console is shaping up nicely. I really love having a well functioning sandblaster. Hard to beat fresh clean metal
IMG_20210810_160732074_HDR.jpg


Sprayed the inside faces of the panels with some weld-thru primer to hopefully prevent any corrosion. Though with it assembled now it wouldn't be as hard to paint as I thought
IMG_20210810_170149950_HDR.jpg


I put some 3/4" dimple dies on the bolt flanges of the panels, don't think it strengthened anything too much, but I like the way they look

Got to work tacking it all together. The spacer I milled helped a lot as the frame of the winters shifter isn't parallel, it's tapered, so hopefully having the walls parallel might prevent some rattles.

I had drilled .109" holes every inch or two along the edges of the front and back pieces where they would overlay the bent flanges on the side pieces. It worked decent for tacking it together, though bigger holes might have been better. If the mig wire wasn't aimed perfect it tended to fill the hole before welding to the flange behind it.

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I picked up some .023 wire instead of the .030 I used on the tunnel piece and it made a big difference in the fill and smoothness of the arc.

Did a nice test weld on some scrap

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Then I put the first shitty weld on the actual console. Something something about a grinder and paint...

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Got my rhythm figured out a bit more and the rest went pretty well, hardly had any craters to go back and fill after grinding

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After some personal time with a 120 grit flap disc it was looking good. I wanted it to have nice rounded corners and a seamless look to it, which is why I bent all of the flanges on the side pieces. Having that bend radius already there and not having an open corner weld to go back and round off worked really well and I was pretty happy with how it worked out.

Once I got it all welded I realized I had neglected to ever sit it on the tunnel to see how it would fit. Had a nice happy accident there lol, the back is sitting up just a hair, but I need to remove some material there anyways for the cable to exit out the back, so it will fit on my base plate just right, exactly how I planned...

IMG_20210812_161012506_HDR.jpg


And you know if I never thought to test it on the tunnel I definitely didn't think to see how it fits in the truck lol. Another happy accident I guess

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It's a bit close to the dash, but once I clearance the back it should angle back towards the seat some more... Perfect

If anyone has any tips or critiques on it I'd love to hear them, this is kind of my first sheet metal project. There's definitely a lot of though process that goes into it, and so far I haven't screwed it up and I've learned a few things. One thing being that I need some more cool tools

IMG_20210812_160958158_HDR.jpg
 

NashvilleTJ

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Nice work, Trev. Great to see you doing some fab work.

I’ve always had problems welding on weld through primer. I’ve never been able to get a good arc, so I generally grind away the primer right where the weld will go, and that helps me a lot.
 

Bud125

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Great job! Really laughed at the " grinder and paint" comment, words I live by!
I had a 78 J10 for years and years but finally let it go, I have been looking at ebay lately though haha!
Keep up the good work!
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Nice work, Trev. Great to see you doing some fab work.

I’ve always had problems welding on weld through primer. I’ve never been able to get a good arc, so I generally grind away the primer right where the weld will go, and that helps me a lot.
Thanks, yeah it was kind of just sprayed in the seams, so I wasn't going directly on to it. Not really sure if it's going to offer much protection, seems like it kind of just burned away near the welds, but maybe it left some zinc on the metal or something.

Switching to the .023" wire helped a ton, though I didn't have the right drive roller. Was able to make the knurled flux roller work in a pinch, though it was a few bird nests when I stuck the wire
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Great job! Really laughed at the " grinder and paint" comment, words I live by!
I had a 78 J10 for years and years but finally let it go, I have been looking at ebay lately though haha!
Keep up the good work!
Thanks, yeah I thought about trying to do my first Tig welding with this project, but I don't think that would've went very well.

I've seen some really cherry J trucks for sale lately, there was a stick restoration near me that was mint for like $16,000 I think. There's still some nice ones out there, but they are hard to find for sure
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Well I was pretty busy this week, just not with jeep stuff. Though that didn't stop this guy from following me home. Had agreed with the buyer to pay $400 for just the empty housing, no shafts, and he was going to pull the locker out. Well I drug it home and popped the cover off and I guess he decided to leave the locker in after all. Said it was sticking or something after he broke a shaft and I guess Dana or Jeep hasn't released any replacement parts for sale yet.

So a good score for me, it's a 2019 JL Dana 44 Advantek axle. Lots of ideas running through my head, but I mainly got this axle for the rear of the TJ because the new M220 axles have the smallest hypoid offset of any low pinion axle, with the pinion below centerline just .75". A regular Dana 44 and my current 8.8 have a 1.5" offset, so this should raise my driveshaft about .75" which should help out my operating angle and driveshaft life quite a bit.

M220 in the front and a TJ 44 in the back

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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Right now the rough plan is

- Build it wide enough to support 14" of travel with 33's and 2.5 or 3.0 shocks, with hopefully a bit of room for 35's

- Remove the factory tubes. Replace with some thicker pieces of tube that protrude ~6" out on each side, then sleeve over the top of those with larger tubing, maybe around 3.5" OD and weld to the housing and plug weld the slugs.

- Use 99-04 Unit bearings to make it a full float housing. Machine the bearings down to 5 on 5.5" and to accept 35 spline axles.

- Pretty sure I can make a JK rear brake setup work with the unit bearings. Probably fabricate a custom mount for the caliper bracket. Looks like the JK rear caliper is the same piston diameter as a rear TJ, just with a ~12.4" rotor instead of 11.22" TJ rotor. Not sure if that increase in diameter will be too much yet though.

- Gonna do drive flanges and 35 spline double splined shafts. I'd really like to have them be gun drilled as well.

- 4.56 gears, 1310 U joint yoke, ARB 35 spline locker. Going to add a Jantz load bolt to the housing and I may do a cover girdle as well since I'll be making my own cover too. Haven't seen much for offerings and I want it to hug the ring gear as much as possible and I may drill out and tap the cover bolts to the next larger size if the casting allows

- The ring gear on the new Advantek axles seems to have a larger taper on the OD of the gear vs most normal gear sets. I'm going to look into how much I might be able to shave off the OD to facilitate shaving the bottom of the housing. There appears to be a decent gap there already. Haven't found much info as far as how well these new housings weld. The center section is thinner in spots than I expected it to be, especially on the bottom of the housing, the TJ 44 feels thicker. So if I do shave it flat I'll probably also try to build some type of skid plate to protect it that would mount to the tubes and possibly around the pinion snout.

- It will get a truss of some sort as well along with new brackets for the mid arm and coils. I'll be keeping the brackets as close to the current setup as possible.

I think this center section has the potential to be a very stout axle. The new pinion shafts are huge compared to the older Dana 44 pinions. If the load bolt and girdle can help keep the ring gear from deflecting I think it should be a good bit stronger than the factory load ratings, which I can't seem to find again right now. Once I pull the locker and pinion I'll be getting some pics of how much tooth engagement there is with the newer type of gear cutting they use in the Advantek axles to counteract the small hypoid offset, I'm very curious what it looks like.

They also use a new double row ball bearing for the outer pinion bearing instead of a tapered roller bearing like most axles. A lot of the aftermarket master Install kits seem to swap it out for a tapered roller bearing, though I haven't found any good reason why other than JL guys complaining about the factory bearing having a plastic or composite type of bearing race.

Lots of stuff to consider, looking forward to being a guinea pig with this axle and hopefully providing some good tech that seems to be lacking on the JL forums.

If you want pics or have any questions on anything, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help
 

Mike_H

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Pretty sure that is a very similar axle to what is used in the rear of the 17 Colorado's... At least in my 17 ZR2. 5000 lb tow rating and a much heavier vehicle than a TJ. If GM does typical GM things, it's the same in the diesel truck rated for 7100 lbs towing...

God it's a lot of work to put it in a TJ though. Are you sure you don't want a real axle?
 
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Trevlaw

Trevlaw

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Pretty sure that is a very similar axle to what is used in the rear of the 17 Colorado's... At least in my 17 ZR2. 5000 lb tow rating and a much heavier vehicle than a TJ. If GM does typical GM things, it's the same in the diesel truck rated for 7100 lbs towing...

God it's a lot of work to put it in a TJ though. Are you sure you don't want a real axle?
The Colorado's do also use the M220 axle, though I've had even less luck finding any info on the Colorado version. Probably the same center section and locker though, just different tubes and brackets. It's definitely not the same axle that's behind any Diesel truck though. The newer ford Superduty's use the new m275 and m300 Advantek axles though. My dad's dually had the m300 I believe and it was massive

Eventually I might do a custom 14 bolt, but if this axle holds up like I'm hoping that may not even be necessary. It's not going to be a whole lot different than any other "real" axle besides the center section and gears. Dana hasn't done a very good job of supplying accurate info, but I've seen torque ratings for the m220 axle ranging from about 6,500nm - 8200nm depending on what you look at, which is somewhere between a 44 and a 60. I think adding the load bolt should add a good bit of strength to the assembly

I just like doing weird stuff that hasn't been done over and over too, more fun that way. I'm very excited for when the new Dana 60 Advanteks become more mainstream
 

Mike_H

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The Colorado's do also use the M220 axle, though I've had even less luck finding any info on the Colorado version. Probably the same center section and locker though, just different tubes and brackets. It's definitely not the same axle that's behind any Diesel truck though. The newer ford Superduty's use the new m275 and m300 Advantek axles though. My dad's dually had the m300 I believe and it was massive
I was referring to the diesel Colorado, specifically.