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Willys Axle Swap

Discussion in 'Jeep Utility Tech' started by colojeepguy, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Jun 15, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    Trying to come up with a good, cheap, and easy axle swap for my son's 49 Willys pickup.
    The rear seems simple enough-looks like a 9" from an F150 is about the right width, that should work fine for him. It's the front that has me scratching my head. It looks like a 44 out of a Wagoneer is about the right width, but will I have to outboard the springs like a CJ? That kinda negates the "easy part...
    Any other good candidates for a swap?
     
  2. Jun 16, 2018
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

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    Narrow track Wagoneer is the easiest. Will need to convert to 5 lug which there have been tons of writeups. You will need to slid the passenger side Center pin hole toward the pumpkin on the passenger side spring mount casting. About the width of the hole or just a little more. Plenty of material to do this. It's been a while but I "think" the driver side spring pad needs moved inward, but a tape measure should tell pretty easy. Other than that and steering pretty straight forward. The wms to wms is pretty close between the two. The pickups had a really wide rear axle but sounds like you've measured that out already.
     
  3. Jun 16, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    Thanks Nick! When you say slide the center pin hole, are you talking about simply re-drilling the hole and welding up the old one?
    What year Waggy is a good swap candidate? I know they went from drivers side to passenger side pumpkin so that would affect what transfer case we wind up using...
     
  4. Jun 16, 2018
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

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    You just Terrill the hole next to the original one to center the axle in the vehicle. Don't even need to weld up the old one. Just measure it out carefully. '74ish to '79 narrow track Wagoneer has passenger side drive and is the easiest and closest to bolt in factory axle we've found. '80 and up are driver side drive.
     
  5. Jun 16, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    Great Info thanks again!
     
  6. Jun 18, 2018
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    The Scout ll has a D44 front axle that is the correct width. You might have to cut and reposition the spring pads to get the caster angle better, depending on the front springs used.
    I have done this on Willys Wagons which should be the same as early pickups.
    Also, if you can find a 1960s Wagoneer, that front axle already has the 5 lug hubs, and real close width.
    -Donny
     
  7. Jun 18, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

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    Not sure your want to go down this foreign rabbit hole, but I'll throw it out there as another option, just in case you stumble across the parts for cheap.

    Toyota truck front axle with hubs from a later IFS truck will get you really close to the proper width. 4.10 gears were standard.

    To match the bolt pattern out back, a 30 spline D44 from an early 2000s Isuzu rodeo or Honda passport will be the proper width, plus they had disc brakes with drum parking brake and most had LSDs. 4.10 gears were also very common.
     
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  8. Jun 19, 2018
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

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    Virtually 0* caster so when you tilt them down for proper caster the pinion points at the ground. Plus external locking hubs vs. internal. A viable alternative but work to make right nonetheless. Plus the long steering arms of the Scout 2 is an issue to get full steering. And the taper for the tie Rod ends is oddball compared to Wagoneer.
    Been down this road. Had around 5 Scout 2 front axles on the shelf when we decided to go with the Wagoneer axle. Turns out, even with the hub conversion for 5 lug, the Wagoneer was less work and cost for us.
    Of course ymmv and that depends on what parts are available to you. And if you are willing and capable of cutting and turning the knuckles of the Scout 2 front axle to get proper caster angle.
     
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  9. Jun 20, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    The Willys pickups have a really wide rear axle, considerably wider than the front. I doubt a Rodeo is wide enough...

    I've often wondered about that...how did IH make them work? Scout II's were decent driving rigs.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

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    Rodeo is around 62 - 62 1/2"
    Willys pu rear is 63" from what I can find online. It's really close.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2018
    Keys5a

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    The front portion of a Scout ll chassis (from the rearward bracket of the front spring) is turned up at a bit of an angle, as compared to a reletively level front chassis of our CJs. This makes the front shackle bolt higher than the rear pivot bolt on the front spring. This essentially rolls the axle back, creating more caster angle.
    If you're aware of this, they work fine in swaps, as long as you account for the difference. If you just swap a Scout axle straight in to someting like a Willys/Jeep chassis, you won't have much, if any caster angle. Long front shackle makes it even worse!
    -Donny
     
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  12. Jun 22, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    Well I bought a Waggy D44 front axle last night...it has airplane gears so that'll need changed, but it's complete hub to hub and has the springs and panhard bar (which I probably wont use) and the tie rod, drag link, and sway bar which will be used.
    Now to figure out a rear axle....
     
  13. Jun 22, 2018
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

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    I was going to say you could come out and look at waggy axles if you want. I have 2 sets out by the shop. One is from a known '77 - not sure of the other, but they looked to match up to the '77 when I bought them.

    Plans for them are a bit out in the future right now :) I have a '50 Chevy truck I'm thinking of converting to 4x4 as well as a full frame build of a flatty on the horizon.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2018
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor

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    That would be cool :)
    What my son really wanted was a 48 Ford...I gave some thought to trying a 4x4 conversion on one of those but then we found this willys for a good price and we're diving into it....
     

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