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Dana 25 Front Axle Restoration Guidance

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by GillaFunk, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Apr 14, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Graeagle Calif...
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    This will be my first axle tear down and restoration. Eventually I will do a full frame off, but due to issues with one steering knuckle, I’ve decided to completely dig into this axle all the way.

    I have read the original Jeep service manual and everything seems straight forward. Im wondering if I can get a few tips. I’d like to generally keep this restoration stock. I have considered disc brakes, but as I am already running 11 inch drums, I figure that will be good enough. This vehicle will be used generally on local roads, and not for extended highway use. I have ordered the heavy duty Tie rod kit from Omix, and have already upgraded the bell crank to the bearing kit. I will not be upgrading the steering box system until I do the full frame off once I have better shop space.

    I’ve got basic hand tools, some air tools, impacts, race & bearing kit, ball joint press.

    I’ve got a Gearwrench slide hammer kit coming as well as a spindle nut wrench. I still need a pull scale for king pin adjustment.

    what other specific tools might I need?

    Are there any special components I should order other than what Walcks or Ron Fitz Patrick may offer? If you were doing this, what would you get “well, since you’re doing X, you may as well do......”

    lastly, when I pull the axle off and tear it all down, Do I need to take the axle and have it sandblasted and coated with powder or should I rattle can or have it painted professionally?

    generally I want to do the restoration / resto-mod correctly and use the best methods. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If there are specific threads you can think of that I may find useful by all means please send me the link.

    hopefully I have provided enough information to collect feedback. If you need further clarification in order to provide a good recommendation, do not hesitate to ask.

    Thanks very much in advance

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Apr 14, 2021
    Jrobz23

    Jrobz23 Member

    Northern, WI
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    I find setup bearings useful. If your old ones are still decent you can make them into setups.

    I also really like my clamshell bearing puller.

    GL!
     
    GillaFunk likes this.
  3. Apr 14, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    I sandblasted mine & hit them with POR15 rust paint topped by primer & then 2 part poly. The advantage is that the POR is super tough stuff, with the top coat when it gets the inevitable chips & dings they'll be easy to touch up.

    sm_Rear axle cleanup SB_2.jpg

    sm_rear axle cleanup POR_1.jpg

    sm_rear axle cleanup primer_1.jpg

    sm_rear axle cleanup POR_2.jpg


    I'm going to assume the oil axle seals in the pumpkin are leaking & will need replacing so you will need to pull the carrier, my only advise is to check the carrier & pinion bearings carefully- if they don't actually need replacing, and on a front axle you can get away with things being pretty sloppy, don't mess with then further.

    Check the bellends for serious pitting, if you find it smear JB weld on & sand it down after it cures. This will not be a fun job as the stuff is tough after it sets up :(

    I know you don't want to touch the steering box but at least quantify what sort of shape it's in- you may find that a 'Tight Stear" will improve things but you may need to at least do a sector shaft & bushing to get steering feel into an acceptable range.

    Nice Jeep :)
     
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  4. Apr 14, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Graeagle Calif...
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    phucking beautiful response. Thanks very much. The detail on axle resurfacing was spot on. :beer::clap:

    I’m running a tight steer. It definitely helped a lot. My issue is the steering knuckle ball joint hole has was wallowed out by PO. The slop is unacceptable. I figure if I’m going to replace it, may as well just do the work all the way around as I’m certain the components are well worn beyond service life.

    again, thank you. Very much. (y)
     
  5. Apr 15, 2021
    TIm E

    TIm E Aggressively average 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
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    I found metalshaper's videos quite helpful, he has several on the front axle...

     
  6. Apr 15, 2021
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

    At the foot of...
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    Using a 1 piece tie rod will give you better steering, and if you find a 2 hole knuckle it'll be even better.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Just out of curiosity, why do you want to mess with the gears? Usually the differential bearings and gears will go a long time without service. The knuckles are another story. Refurbishing the knuckles and steering makes sense, but unless you change the ratio or add posi/locker/selectable to the front, I'd say leave the gears alone. Lacking abuse, the front axle does not get much use or see much work, compared to the rear.
     
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  8. Apr 15, 2021
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I have a PDF file of the Dana 27 service manual but I can't upload because of the file size. Let me know if you want a copy.
     
  9. Apr 15, 2021
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Grant Kaye 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    This is really Good advice. Check for any water that may have made it past your seals and if not, the differential bearings and gears are most likely runnable. I did not have this luxury as I had to swap my gears into a new tube so I had to start from scratch which was a bigger challenge.
     
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  10. Apr 15, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    do you know the history of your jeep? do you know (well) the previous owners? some are good to them some destroy them.
     
  11. Apr 15, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    I had planned on inspecting the gears. If they were in good condition, I was going to leave them alone. Mainly I’m just looking at seals and worn components.
     
  12. Apr 15, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    I do not. Picked it up used from a guy who had it for about a year.

    I’ve had the jeep since fall of ‘19 and put about 1k miles on it. Slowly stretching her legs on a rebuilt engine, trans, T/C while I build confidence for a longer trip.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2021
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

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    Do you mean the king pin bearing cup seat? If that is damaged, it is best to find a different housing. I too would just measure the ring/pinion backlash and if in spec leave it alone. But that only applies if one can use the housing. If you do need to remove the carrier keep the shim packs! Measure those and use those figures for your re-install. You may still need some adjustment but those will likely be close if whoever put it together before knew their stuff.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

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    i believe he meant the tie rod end.
    did you do that?
     
  15. Apr 15, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    Yes, tie rod end.

    no, I don’t have the skills, experience, or knowledge to rebuild engines or transmissions. I wanted those items done professionally. I did completely tear down and restore an M416 trailer. That wasn’t difficult for me at all.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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    I was puzzled about the mention of "ball joints" as there are none on a Dana 27. So, if you are indeed talking about the hole in the steering arm or horn of the knuckle being worn out, which is something I have never encountered, the best solution is to find a better knuckle. I don't think new replacements are expensive, but you could probably get a used one pretty cheap by posting a WTB in the classifieds of this forum. A lot of us have extra axles laying around.

    Slop in the steering is usually a combination of wear in the steering box, the bell crank, the drag link, and the king pins.

    All of these things are fairly easy to correct. The steering box is not so hard to rebuild, but you do need a set of reamers for the bushings. The king pin bearings are not hard either and you don't really have to have the special tools for it but they do help to get it right. The drag link can be rebuilt with a kit to replace the springs and cups and a good manual will describe how to adjust it. Check the ball ends on the Pittman arm and the bell crank if they are "egg" shaped replace them, they don't cost much.

    As someone mentioned, "Metalshaper" has some excellent Youtube videos on doing all of these repairs.
     
  17. Apr 16, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Here's that manual - https://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~reese/Dana30
    ServiceManual.pdf


    If you want it, download it now. No guarantee how long I can keep it there.

    ---> This is actually the model 30 manual. Not sure if this is what was intended, but it's available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
  18. Apr 16, 2021
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I have the 27 somewhere and will try to dig it up.
     
  19. Apr 16, 2021
    GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I'm the Dude, so thats what you call me. 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Graeagle Calif...
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    Same issue I get when I want to view posted pictures here:
    Not Found
    The requested URL was not found on this server.
     
  20. Apr 16, 2021
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
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    If you want, you can get them to me and I'll host them on my website for folks to download.

    I have several I should probably put up there in a library for folks.
     
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