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Old 12-01-2008, 09:57 PM   #1
pineneedle
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Default Yet more Front Axle Frustration

My friends,

I think that I have succeeded in setting up the gears in the Dana 44 front axle that I am putting under my '67 Scout. However, working on the axle ends has led to no end of frustration. I got the axle as a housing and a box of parts. So, now that I come to assembling all the pieces after the knuckle, all is confusion. I have found a couple of exploded drawings, but there are all manner of variations of the 44, with different pieces. Perhaps someone can help me solve my puzzle. Here is what I have: a plastic sort of gasket/shim that I think goes between the knuckle and the spindle, spindle, two rubber rings/seals, dust cover for disc, and a caliper bracket. O.k., in what order do they go on? I presume that the plastic "shim" goes between the knuckle face and the spindle, but it is wedge shaped. How is it to be oriented? Furthermore, these shims are not of the same thickness; one is marked "9" and the other "11." what gives?

As for the dust cover and bracket, which goes on first, and how are they oriented? By oriented, I mean, does the bracket go on the back side of the wheel, and if so, at about 10:00?

If anybody has a nice exploded view of the Dana 44 used in the Scout II, I would be forever in your debt if you would scan it and send me a copy. Thanks in advance.

Pineneedle john
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:45 PM   #2
Erik VanRenselaar
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Default Re: Yet more Front Axle Frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by pineneedle View Post
my friends,

I think that I have succeeded in setting up the gears in the Dana 44 front axle that I am putting under my '67 Scout. However, working on the axle ends has led to no end of frustration. I got the axle as a housing and a box of parts. So, now that I come to assembling all the pieces after the knuckle, all is confusion. I have found a couple of exploded drawings, but there are all manner of variations of the 44, with different pieces. Perhaps someone can help me solve my puzzle. Here is what I have: a plastic sort of gasket/shim that I think goes between the knuckle and the spindle, spindle, two rubber rings/seals, dust cover for disc, and a caliper bracket. O.k., in what order do they go on? I presume that the plastic "shim" goes between the knuckle face and the spindle, but it is wedge shaped. How is it to be oriented? Furthermore, these shims are not of the same thickness; one is marked "9" and the other "11." what gives?

As for the dust cover and bracket, which goes on first, and how are they oriented? By oriented, I mean, does the bracket go on the back side of the wheel, and if so, at about 10:00?

If anybody has a nice exploded view of the Dana 44 used in the Scout II, I would be forever in your debt if you would scan it and send me a copy. Thanks in advance.

Pineneedle john
Some pics of the parts would be nice.
The plastic piece *could* be a spindle bearing shield, as those were often plastic. But the way you describe it, it is of large diameter, like the spindle's flange. There are (in the aftermarket)large, round adjustment shims, called cosmos shims, that mount between the knuckle and spindle, but those are normally made of steel. The rubber rings are probably spindle bearing seals, but some pics of everything could help with all this.

For the assembly order, the spindle goes on the knuckle first, followed by caliper bracket, rotor dust shield, and then washers/nuts.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:23 AM   #3
pineneedle
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Default Re: Yet more Front Axle Frustration

Thanks for the reply. Additional poking around has confirmed that the pieces referred to are cosmos shims. So, I guess the next question is: why are they on this axle, and should I replace them? I guesss they have to do with camber, but I have no way of knowing what sort of adjustment the po was trying for. Any ideas?

Pineneedle
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:24 AM   #4
Michael Mayben
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Default Re: Yet more Front Axle Frustration

Check this out john:

camber adjusting shim arrangement - us patent 4195862 description

Which refers to this operation:

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Last edited by Michael Mayben; 12-03-2008 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
pineneedle
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Default Re: Yet more Front Axle Frustration

My dear michael,

thanks for the link. I am definitely going through a learning experience by rebuilding these axles.

While on the subect, what do you think about this? A while ago I posted here a question about the rumored problem with Scout II axles, namely, that most of the housings are bent.

I spoke with Jeff this morning and he suggested that the presence of camber shims on my axle might mean that it is bent. I got to thinking about that. The question I posed to myself was: how could a person determine whether an axle housing is bent? I came up with a method, and I am curious about your take on it.

My axle (front Dana 44) is on two stands as I am working on it. It occurred to me that the setup is like a workpiece chucked in a lathe. I can spin the axle through 360 degrees on my jackstrands, just like turning something in a lathe. So, I reason, why not spin it while measuring runout with a dial indicator? If it is bent, shouldn't there be a noticeable runout? I did this, and there is none. In addition I placed a small spirit level on the long axle tube at the measured center of the housing, and checked for a change in level as I rotated it from 0 to 90, 180, and 270 degrees. Not any change at all. I am concluding that my axle housing is not bent. Am I missing something?

Pinenedle
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Yet more Front Axle Frustration

Bent axle housings are very common regarding Scout II applications john! And the addition of camber compensation could be a "fix" for that.

But, in actuality I see that as a real "plus" if in fact the end result total four wheel alignment provides a rig that goes much straighter (and more controllable) down the road! A stock 4x4 sii in off-the-assembly-line trim is a real squirrel to make go straight and requires much steering attention. The 4x4 pickups and travelalls are the same way, if not worse. Add in over-sensitive power steering (and a huge steering wheel on fullsize!) along with modern tires and watch out!

An extreme example of that was watching Darren and Jeff align the axles on paul's coil suspension sii setup they've just completed. With complete adjustability of the axle positions using the heim joints, and careful attention to axle housing fabrication in the beginning, the result is an oldskool vehicle that behaves like a superzoot ferrari (with a very high center-of-gravity!) on the street!

However, imho, the aftermarket part addition is just like using "caster bushing" inserts of various ranges of manipulation in the top ball joint location. That allows a degree of alignment tuning that can overcome the designed-in limitations of the oem axle setup as spec'd by ihc designer engineering to Dana for the supply-side. Yes it's a pita to do so, but it does allow "modern" alignment values to be incorporated that are far removed from what "the factory" locked in on.

It's much more common that the rear axle housing be bent/tweeked due to the rather long length of the tubes and the fact that the axle housing materials are at the low end of specification for the specific gawr for the actual assembly. That was a "cost" thing.

Add in years (30+?) of a typical sii donor vehicle being grossly overloaded, bashed around in trail use, vocational use, bouncing off curbs, chugholes, and tree stumps, etc., it's a wonder any sii axle housing is still usable!

Your idea for checking housing alignment is certainly doable! Jeff and dave the gear man use a machined "arbor" bar for testing axle housing "straightness" but that involves gutting out the assembly.

Another method is to strip out the axle assemblies (I think yours is still in pieces??), and rig a true, "flat" straight edge across the axle housing flanges or machined ends, parallel with each other. Then making a comparative measurement between the references both horizontal and vertical and recording the numbers. Then make a judgment call as to "straightness" of the housing itself (not the "overall" alignment of the assembly).

If you have two known straight wheels (no tires mounted) bolted onto the spindles/axle flanges (either front or rear), you can also do a rough seat-of-the-pants check that will show up housing distortion and/or an actual bent axle at the flange end. This is not definitive check, put gives ya and idea as to whether the axle is serviceable.
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