SII Front Dana 60 with SUA Minimal Lift

Discussion in 'The Skunkwerks' started by Chris Breedlove, Jun 22, 2018.


  1. Chris Breedlove

    Chris Breedlove Farmall Cub

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    Searched, but couldn't find info on this board. Found some info hinting at it on other sites regarding Jeeps, but nothing real definitive.

    Goal- 40" tires, low as possible. Great ride. 10" of travel or more. Truck is an almost daily driver. Need convenient in and out. I'm 6'4", short inseam, right now, it's no issue. Overall height of truck cannot exceed 6' 8" +/- 1" for parking garages. Currently, the truck measures 6' 7" at tit's tallest point. Matching R&Ps front and rear for interim, long term, change gearing again. See below.

    My current arrangement-
    1980 Scout II Traveler, stretched 124" wheel base
    35" tires on 17 x 8.5 wheels with 4.25" of backspacing
    8 lug front Chevy 3/4T outers on stock SII D44 front axle 4" rough country SII lift springs SUA with reverse shackle and 6" shackles (CPT kit)
    GM 14 Bolt rear cab and chassis (C&C) using 2001 Chevy 2500HD rear leafs at 63" long and overloads removed, spring over.
    3" body lift by previous owner
    SII metric steering box, drilled and tapped for hydro assist, but not used (capped off)
    Wagoneer pitman arm (straight/ flat)
    1 1/4" DOM drag link and tie rod with GM TREs on y link. No high steer.
    Light Racing hydraulic jounce shocks, first release
    No sway bar. Don't want it.

    What I have to work with-
    Free to me chevy front dana 60 with 4.10R&P in decent condition. Differential is sound and in good shape. Outers need updating/ repair/ replacement. Already have 3/4T chevy brake parts to swap over to it. Will match current rear axle that has 4.10s.
    Rough as hell ride from the front. Not sure when this happened, but it's horrible. Used to be like riding a lazyboy, until I parked it 7 years ago. I started driving it again 1 year ago. Want softer front end. Springs are shot or they just suck.

    What I think I need to accomplish the above-
    D60 in SUA configuration. Sure it's possible, but has anyone done this to their Scout II? SUA would keep the ride height down.
    Passenger side high steer arm.
    Redo/ replace tie rod, drag link for new lengths.
    Custom spring pack to wagoneer dimensions, or chevy front leaf dimensions. Around 6" lift built in from OEM arrangement (if using Chevy)
    OR
    D60 in SOA configuration. Very common.
    Passenger high steer arm.
    Redo/ replace tie rod, drag link for new lengths.
    High quality, OEM wagoneer 7 leaf OEM spring pack. o" net lift.

    Questions are-
    1.) Why would I want to get both a driver and passenger side high steer arm? Just to get both the drag link and tie rod above the springs?
    For above- why do I need a high steer arm? Artec and others are making bracketry for weld on knuckle connections for Ford D60s. Seems like an option, but can't find any pros or cons of either, other than welding to knuckles (I think it's fine), and linkage positioning for oil pan, suspension, etc.
    2.) What kind of steering linkage arrangement? Traditional drag link/ tie rod with 2 TREs each or Y link? Benefits of either?
    3.) I don't want to gain any height right now. If anything, I want to lose height. Which option is going to help me lose height? I may remove the bodylift altogether, if I can still package everything (TH 4L60, NP241C, etc).
    4. Remembering the leaf spring choices I'm considering are 2 1/2" wide springs, I'll need to mod my front spring hangers and shackles. Or replace to accommodate the wider springs, regardless or the spring choice. Why do I need to consider a boomerang type shackle? Just for packaging purposes, placement on the frame?

    I don't think I'm breaking new ground here, or reinventing the wheel. Just been lurking and searching on multiple boards for specific answers, not really what I need. Plus, there's the Scout component to the equation. Few notes- Have to deal with Mass RMV, so no links or coils, coilovers. I'm okay cutting metal, but not much. I use my rig pretty hard. 40" tire fitment is the goal. I imagine at some point I'll be modding/ building new front and rear skins. 20180112_111802.jpg 20180112_111821.jpg 20180414_135847.jpg

    Thanks to all.
     
  2. Darrel

    Darrel Y-Block King

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    Awesome project.

    I'll come back with some more thoughts later. What motor do you have (i.e. weight) and what all do you use your rig for? Trail class, trailer weight, etc. Have you ever broken the D44?
     
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  3. Chris Breedlove

    Chris Breedlove Farmall Cub

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  4. Darrel

    Darrel Y-Block King

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    Ok, 345. I thought maybe you had a SBC since you're running a 4l60. With the weight of the 345, bumper, winch, etc. it shouldn't ride bad at all. New shocks and a DIY spring rebuild would do wonders. 4" Ranchos will never ride caddy soft though. They're one of the stiffest springs rates out there for Scouts.

    I had the feeling this was an all purpose rig. I can see why you want the D60. You definitely need the 14 bolt. That said, I've been thinking about switching my D60 for a D44 with RCV shafts and running 35s maybe 37s. Big tires eat a lot of gas.

    Can't say how much lift difference you're looking at with those combos. With OEM Wagoneer 7 leaf springs in the front, outboarded 4 leaf Chevy 63's in the rear, and 37s the bottom of my frame is 21-22" off the ground. Where are you at currently?

    Full size Jeep Wagoneer springs are 48" long. I would not want to try and package a 52" front spring on a Scout. I doubt you'll be disappointed with the travel of OEM Wagoneers SOA. That D60 will twist the hell out of them. :) R290 has posted a bunch of flex pics with these springs.

    Tuff Country EZ rides Chevy springs are awesome (4 or 5 leafs), but they don't have the offset center pin of the Waggy springs. Which was a deal breaker for me. With 40's however the Chevys might work well to keep the tire out of the firewall.

    I have no idea which brand of Waggy springs are good. Try www.ifsja.org

    5.13's are pretty standard for 40s I think. Pull up a RPM calculator and start running numbers. If you're coming out to Colorado go deep. :)



    .
     
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  5. Darrel

    Darrel Y-Block King

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    Here are the specs on my new OEM springs. I bought them from a Jeep guy so no idea on the brand. Part numbers are standard.

    OEM Number: 5362951 SRI Number: 97-400

    Width 2 1/2
    Length A+B 22 1/2 24 1/2
    Arch 5 7/8
    No of Leafs 7
    Pack Thickness 1 13/16
    Spring Capacity 1335
    6 leaves 0.222. Main leaf 0.249

    (My used factory springs off a '87 Waggy had a 1 9/16" pack thickness. Still 7 leafs)
     
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  6. Chris Breedlove

    Chris Breedlove Farmall Cub

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    Useful insight!
    Did some more research on the Chevy leaves, and measured the truck. 52s would be tough to package.
    My outfit measures 18 1/2" bottom of frame rail. 26 1/2" from the top of the running boards (door open step in height). When I redid my Traveler, I tried to keep everything tucked up above the bottom of the frame rail. Only thing that hangs down is the trans crossmember, and that's ramped. Hangs down 3". Tcase is tucked up out of the way (clocked).
    Would you swear by your OEM Wagoneer 7 leaf front packs in SOA for ride and flex then Darrel?
    I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the OEM 7 leaf wagoneer springs in a SOA config.
    One thing I just considered is ram assist. 40s may be an issue with a booster pump and no ram. 35s are easy now. Any opinions? Currently the rest of my steering setup is no ram, boosted Saginaw p pump with married reservoir, derale finned cooler behind front frame crossmember, hydroboost brakes, drilled and tapped (capped) scout II metric Saginaw steering gear. May need additional steering power with 40" tires.
     
  7. Darrel

    Darrel Y-Block King

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    Yeah, I like these springs. You can expect a lot more flex than you have now. A lot more. My motor is 200 pounds lighter than a 345 and I still like the ride. Curb weight on a late '80s Wagoneer is only 4,500 so if anything you may decide to add a leaf. If so, get a real long 2nd leaf and clamp it to the main leaf.

    Correction - Waggy springs are 47" and SII springs are 43".
    The distance between the front spring mounts on a '87 Grand Wagoneer is 45 5/8".

    I don't have a ram. The great thing about them though is that they take the stress off the steering box and frame. I don't know that you'll run out of power all that often, but if you ever blow a box apart you'll hate life. Knock on wood. The flip side is it's another system to design, install, maintain.

    One thing you might want to do is borrow a 40" tire and decide if you really want to cut that much. Your Scout looks pretty nice/solid from the pics.

    -
     
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  8. Chris Breedlove

    Chris Breedlove Farmall Cub

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    Thanks for the info Darrel. Great advice.
     
  9. Chris Breedlove

    Chris Breedlove Farmall Cub

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    Little bit of an update.

    I picked up a pair of 7 leaf OEM 89' wagoneer front leaves. Ordered in the front wider CPT reverse shackel spring hangers. Ordered a front D60 simple swap kit from Ruffstuff. Should get me started. I'm going to get the old out, then tack in the new front hangers. I'll place the D60 under it at that point then check for clearance, width I want for WMS, figure out steering arrangement, etc.

    Any thoughts on a front WMS? My rear axle is a C&C 14 bolt with C&C hubs, front D44 is with Chevy 8 lug outers measures 62.5". Wheels that I'm keeping and using now are 17x8.5 with 4.5 backspacing. I may go with SRW 14 bolt hubs on the rear to gain 2" per side. If so, then I may shoot for roughly 66.5" on the front. Curious about anyone's thoughts on this. I want to keep my 3/4T front Chevy brakes and will use d60 Chevy front caliper 3/4t brackets to do so. Lot of work to cut down an axle to lose 2.5"!

    I also have questions about the front driveline, and would like recommendations. Tcase is a NP241C passenger drop currently with the 1310 flange.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019

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