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Old 06-12-2013, 01:56 PM
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PabloCruise PabloCruise is offline
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Default Axle/Third Member Swap Quandary

This is a philosophical pondering, so probably equal parts tech and chat – likely to be long-winded…

As I move at a sloth’s pace toward getting my Cruisers back on the road, I have been contemplating what to do with the various third members and axle housings I have sitting around. I am thinking about what would be best for each Cruiser, and how to accomplish any moves in the least amount of effort and downtime. Also, given how long it takes me to complete projects on my Cruisers, it is likely that the ideas posted in this thread will not translate into action any time soon…

I have 2 Cruisers:
  • ’78 40 w/ lift (4 inch) and 33x12.5 MTs. Not a crazy rig, but not bad either. I damaged the original rear 3rd member trying to reseal a leaking pinion flange that had spun the shims. So I have an extra 3rd in the rear now with an Aussie auto-locker in the rear. Front axle is stock for ’78 with the long birfs and long body ASCO (Aisin) lock-outs.
  • ’74 55 on stock springs. This will be a little milder than the 40, likely to be a weekend Cruiser up the canyon with the family, pull the pop-up and drive-in movie duty. Rear axle stock. When I got this Pig we pulled the front stock axle w/ drum brakes and swapped in a front axle from a ’76 Pig (FJBen’s if people still remember him), so it has discs and ARB locker plus Aqualu passenger side steering arm for higher relay rod mount. Has the long birfs for ’76-’78 and Warn lock-outs.

I have extra parts:
  • Rear 3rd from my ’78 – needs service/rebuilding,
  • Front axle housing (complete) from the ’74 Pig with the drum brakes,
  • 60 series knuckles and discs
  • Short-body lock-outs (Aisin) to go with
  • Short birfs
  • Long-body ASCO lock-outs (spare set)

So I am thinking it would make sense to get the ARB into the front of the 40, and use it, as I am not likely to need it in the front of the Pig. Do I put the 60 series knuckles on the front of the 40 as well?

Would it be easiest/most convenient to build the front housing off the Pig w/ the 60 series knuckles and transplant to the 40? If I do that I have to pull apart the front axle on the Pig to extract the ARB to move to the 40.

Or I could rebuild the front housing that was originally on the Pig with the 60 series knuckles/birfs/discs and lock-outs and just drop the front axle out of the Pig when I have the spare housing built and ready to swap.

I also wonder about trying to rotate one, or both, of the front 3rds to the rear since they probably have so few miles (under power) on them vs. the rears.

I do not know enough about the differences between ’74, ’76 and ’78 front brake line routing to know how much of a hassle it would be to move the front housings around between vehicles vs. swapping 3rds and knuckles.

IIRC, there is a blue-ish colored gear oil in the housing with the ARB. Is this correct for ARB? Where do I get more?

What would you do? Again, at this point this is a mental exercise to simply arrive at the best combo of components for the individual vehicle with the fewest steps, and minimal amount of down-time.

Thanks for entertaining all my rambling thoughts!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:59 AM
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I would put the ARB and 60 series knuckles on the 40.

The way I would do it is to pull the Pig axle apart and pull the diff out. Pull the 40 axle apart and pull that diff out. Swap diffs. Put Pig back together. Then do the 60 series parts swap on the 40 as you reassemble the axle.

Leave the '74 axle out of the picture and leave the questionable 3rd out of the picture. Unless you want to go through the fun exercise of rebuilding the 3rd beforehand, so you know it's good. Then you could swap that into the Pig and maybe not have too many irons in the fire at once. I would still leave the spare axle housing out of the picture though.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subzali View Post
I would put the ARB and 60 series knuckles on the 40.

The way I would do it is to pull the Pig axle apart and pull the diff out. Pull the 40 axle apart and pull that diff out. Swap diffs. Put Pig back together. Then do the 60 series parts swap on the 40 as you reassemble the axle.

Leave the '74 axle out of the picture and leave the questionable 3rd out of the picture. Unless you want to go through the fun exercise of rebuilding the 3rd beforehand, so you know it's good. Then you could swap that into the Pig and maybe not have too many irons in the fire at once. I would still leave the spare axle housing out of the picture though.
Thanks Matt. So in this scenario, the Pig is down until I get the front 3rd out of the 40 and stab it in the Pig. I would have the Pig up w/ the front housing torn apart as well as the 40. The might wonder if I know what I am doing at that point (not that she does not wonder that already...). Currently I only have one heavy set of jack stands.

As I am typing this, I started wondering about taking apart the '74 housing, and setting it up for the 60 knuckles. I could do this w/o affecting either vehicle. I could go through the fun of centering the knuckles and grinding the housing, and possibly changing the brake lines for the '78. That way I could have the front third out of the '74 housing ready to go back in the Pig as soon as the ARB is extracted from the Pig. Pig goes back together w/ its original front 3rd and a fresh birf service. Then I could stab the ARB in the '74 housing and have it ready to go. I could drop the front shackles on the 40 and roll the old axle out, roll the new and roll the fresh '74 front axle w/ ARB and 60 series knuckles in. New front bushings and away we go!

Now that I have typed all that out, I am thinking about how the 60 series steering arms will play with my front TREs...
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:58 AM
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Does the spare axle housing have a good 3rd in it? I didn't catch that part. What you just described would probably be the least down time for any vehicle. You'll need to figure the brake line stuff though.

60 series arms makes everything easier with your current 60 setup. You just buy a set of 60 tres and if you have 70 series drag links/tie rods/relay rods or whatever you want to call them, it all bolts up
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:59 AM
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Or get custom ones made to fit the 60 series ends
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:25 PM
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I have the 70 series relay rod - by that I mean the rod from pitman arm to pass side TRE, but my tie rod on the 40 (rod from pass side steering arm to driver side steering arm) is from the 40. Pretty sure that is smaller diameter than the 60 series stuff.

I have hear of people running inserts or bushings to use 40 series TRE in a 60 series arm, but not convinced I like that approach...
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:26 PM
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Yes, the front housing I pulled off the Pig is complete with "good" (as far as I know) 3rd.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:35 PM
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I have read and re-read the initial post now a couple times.

What is the problem needing advice for a solution?
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:12 PM
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Just wondering what you would do if you had the above mentioned vehicles and spare components, and how would you make the changes (if any) in the least amount of moves.

Sort of a Cruiser chess game if you will...
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloCruise View Post
Just wondering what you would do if you had the above mentioned vehicles and spare components, and how would you make the changes (if any) in the least amount of moves.

Sort of a Cruiser chess game if you will...
Okay. In that case, I would just drive 'em until something broke or wore out.
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