Body Damage is Cool
Loc: Statesville, NC
SR Front axle
12/01/11 02:46 PM
Well I am now taking more steps towards building an SR front axle. I picked up a SR with trailing arms and everything about a month ago. Been doing alot of thinking and planning on converting one of these axles into a good front axle. I have been using the Wagoneer axle as my templete for how it should end up.
I have to do one more measurement to confirm, but it looks like the SR axle tube is about 3" to short to be able to use it the way it is. Not a big deal but soemtihng to keep in mind. The goal is to set it up that everything is off the shelf parts except the inner axle shafts, which I hope to be able to use and cut the ends down to get knuckles put on the ends of them. We will see. The 2 options I cam up with was
A. Cut the montero axle tubes off at the pumpkin and weld on the dana 44 tubes with knuckles striaght to the pumkin.
B. Cut the montero tubes off at the pumkin and fab up a bolt on axle tube/ knuckle set up similar to the land rover and the ifs set up on montero. It would be a slotted 8 bolt set up with a rubber o ring seal. The ring would allow me to clock the pumpkin and get proper pinion angle. This set up also will allow me to upgrade the knuckle to dana 60 or whatever with easeablity. The flaws are it can leak, potenitally weaker than solid welded tube, and it will hang down making it a potential drag point.
The biggest dilema has been what suspension should I use. I really like the idea of a coil sprung set up. The problem with this idea is the fact the pumkin of the SR is so large there is not going to be much axle tube to work with on the driverside to accomplish this. I have recevie great feed back on using the Gen 2 trailing arms. This would give me a nice 3 link set up and then Fab a pan hard mount and then it would look just like the rear axle with steering knuckles. If it can be done I am looking at using cherokee springs. Smaller diameter and much large aftermarket support for them.
I am still looking at the coilover set up for easeabilty and it should eliminate the issue of space between pumpkin and knuckle. Building mounting tabs and installation will be super easy, but knowing what size, spring rate, travel, etc. will be tough. I know you west cost folks probaly know alot about the coilovers and what brands to use.
Finially there is the old trusty leaf spring set up. It has been done on monteros before and there is room on the axle tube for it. not wanting to go this route because to me it seems odd to have leaf up front and coils in the rear. Also, I am not a fan of the leaf sticking out the front like the zukis. There is nothing wrong with it, its just me. The idea of anything hitting the shackles sticking out makes me uneasy.
Recap on suspension set ups
+ Trailings are stout and Mitsubishi parts
+ Better Flex
+ Good aftermarket support
+ Looks cool
+ Can push the axle forward without anything stick out from the truck
= Middle of the road cost
- Lots of fab and room for coil buckets
- difficult to adjust pinion angle
+ Mounts are easy to fab
+ Easy to install and remove
+ Looks cool
- Difficult to adjust pinion angle
+ Cheap to set up
+ Adjustable pinion angle
- Shackles can stick out
- sagging leafs
- odd looking with coils in the rear
I really do not know whats the best overall set up. Which is the best on the road, offroad, and both? But as far as getting the axle set up to be steering set up I think I got it figured out. I am going to try to straight swap the dana 44 steering set up. If anyone esle has any ideas on this or anything else would be great. It is a slow project in which the axle should be done by spring but install on the montero a little longer.
Nothing spectacular but here is the 1st shot of the project sitting in the basement
91 Montero LS "Sandstorm", Auto, Dual Bouncy Seats, 2" Suspension lift, 2" Body Lift, GENII front IFS, 32" MT tires
89 Raider "Trailbreaker", 3.0, Auto, Dual Bouncy Seats