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Tacoma SAS Part One: Dana 44 Rebuild

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Old 02-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #61
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OP - it looks like you are only going for cross over steer...why no full high steer?
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:19 PM   #62
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Sorry for the wait, money kinda prolongs this project.....
and to answer your question, that's the reason I didn't go with high steer. I just couldn't afford another flat top knuckle and high steer arm. Its always something I can switch over too in the future, and I probably will.

Here's my next step...Welding on the spring perches.

Some advice first,

It is probably better to just tack weld the spring perches, along with the outer C's, until you are ready to put the axle on the truck. The reason I am jumping the gun on everything is because the swap will probably be done at my buddies shop, and by having the axle completly ready we can get it done sooner.

Also get taller leaf perches if your going with a cross over steering set up. My leaf perches are about 3/4" off the axle housing and it looks like the leafs will be hitting my tie rod. So I will probably have to get longer u-bolts and 1 inch lift blocks.

Like I said before, I'm learning as I go with this project, and screwing up to learn something usually costs $

Also make sure you know how to weld, or know someone who does before you do this! I had my buddy come over, whose a pipe fitter, to weld up everything with a stick welder.

First, square off the knuckles on both sides, using a square.



What we did to get the correct caster was to set a level on the studs of the knuckle and we jacked up the differential until it read level.

When I first rotated the outter C's, I rotated them about 12 degrees back, but you still need to have the correct caster angle. Caster angle is more important that pinion angle! (Negative caster is bad, which is where the knuckles point downward. Positve is good, but not to much positive).

So what I orignally thought was that you keep the spring perches level with the C's, but then we noticed that keeping the C's and perches level didn't give us the best caster angle.
We found this out by setting the level verticle on the face of the knuckle. When the knuckle was level at the studs, it was leveled vertically, meaning level tires. So keeping the knuckles themselves level gave us the best positive caster (knuckles pointing a hair upwards). In yet the C's were turned far enough to still retain a good pinion angle.

So you can kind of see that the C's look a little tilted back now.








I'll try to add some more photos later, to try to show you what I mean, if this didn't make sense.

Next we got the perches centered on the axle tube. Basically keep them in line with where the perches were originally at on the stock spring under set up. I beleive the eyes of the perches are somewhere around 31 1/2" apart.

Also make sure that there each the same distance way form the C's.







Welded them up.





Also welded on the mount for the steering stabilizer.

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Old 02-28-2014, 08:15 PM   #63
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I guess that works, as long as you know what caster you want to go with. I basically had to do what you are doing, have everything ready to go, roll the axle under and weld 'er up. Went from IFS with no lift on Friday to driving solid axle on Sunday evening (drove to In N Out that night). Hoping to be as prepared for my current trucks SAS but it will be a lot more involved than the last
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:26 PM   #64
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I just got the tie rod and drag link mocked up as well.

Part Numbers:
www.WFOConcepts.com
7/8"-18 LH Thread Draglink End ES2027L $29.99
7/8"-18 RH Thread Tie-Rod End ES2010R $29.99
7/8"-18 LH Thread Tie-Rod End ES2010L $29.99
7/8"-18 Threaded Tube Inserts, 1" I.D. Tube WFO 1876-L $11.99
7/8"-18 Threaded Tube Inserts, 1" I.D. Tube WFO 1876-LR (Pair) $21.99

http://www.sky-manufacturing.com/cgi...listcategories
Toyota Pitman Arm Adapter 23mm TOY-PAA-001 $32
Tube Insert 23mm, 1.25 thread, right handed SKY-TTI-000 $10

Metal Supermarket
1.5 OD x 0.250 DOM Tube (Drag Link) ~56" CTRD11214 $43.04
1.5 OD x 0.250 DOM Tube (Tie Rod ) ~52" CTRD11214 $39.96

I cut the tube for the tie rod down to 47 1/2"
Better to buy a little extra then to be short!



The tube inserts fit snug into the 1" inside diameter tubing. My buddy is going to weld them up with a TIG Welder.



Here's the drag link. I had the high steer arm tapered for a chevy drag link. This will give you the best articulation, and it sits nice and high and should clear the springs without a problem.





I also got my used 1994 Toyota Steering Box from Ebay for $84. It came with a pitman arm so what I did was just by a pitman arm adapter from Sky Off Road Design with the matching 23 mm tube insert so I can attach the pitman arm to my drag link without messing around too much.







I'll have to wait until everythings on the truck to work any further on the drag link of course.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #65
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Here's some more pictures of what I was trying to get at earlier. This just seems to be the best way to get the correct caster in my mind. Its still probably better to just tack everything and check it while the axle is on your truck.
The axle might not even sit completly level when its on the truck, depending on the angle on the leaf springs. Shims could probably help fix this if I run into that problem later.

So.....
I have the studs of the knuckle level with the spring perches.



When the knuckles are sqaured off, the face of the knuckles are completly level, which means that the tires are going to be level when I'm driving straight.



When turning the knuckles, as if steering to the left while driving, you can see that the face of the knuckle isn't level anymore but its off to the side just a bit. This shows that when turning, the tire will actually be going into the turn, which is what you should have.



Also another thing to notice is that the entire tie rod rises a little bit on one side or the other, depending on which way you turn. This is where I saw that my leafs would hit against the tie rod since there isn;t enough space, so I will need to get about 1" inch lift blocks to solve this.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #66
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Thank you for all the pics etc... it's gonna make my build so much easier.

So i must say i just picked up 3 dana 44 flat top knuckles over the weekend. A full pair, and one L as well. So if you decide you'd like a left for a reasonable price let me know.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:07 PM   #67
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Started regearing the axle today. It just so happens that my fiance's father is a drive train specialist so we were able to take it to his shop.
I wouldn't do this unless you have regeared an axle sucessfully before or is working on it with someone who has. If you never have done this before, don't even follow the steps I'm about to show you since its much more indepth. You can typically just have a shop do it for around $200 if the axle is off the truck, which is not a bad price. It's definitly something that has to be done correctly!

If you do have a shop do it, just dont even touch the gears of the axle. The shop will use the current setup as a refrence, to help determine how much to shim it, etc.




First thing, removing the clamps over the carrier. Notice the "arrows" marked on the clamps and the housing. They point different directions on each side so you put the clamps back on the correct side when your finished.



Cleaned up the face of the housing where the gasket meets the diff cover.



After removing the clamps, the entire carrier should just come out... But it didn't.

To remove it we had to remove the pinion nut and the pinion flange.





Then we took a air hammer, put it on the end of the pinion gear, and used it to pound out the pinion gear to push out the carrier (which I don't have a picture of).

But here you can see this loosened up the carrier enough that we were able to pry it out of place.







So the pinion gear also came right out, which allowed us to pound out the inner bearing races which seat the pinion bearings.

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Old 03-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #68
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Then we saw that there were inner axle seals.
For some reason the expensive "master install" kit dosen't even come with seals....



So I had to make a quick run to Autozone.
Part Number #012076 5153 Timken seals (2) $18.12



To reomve those old seals, you can either take a slide hammer to pull them out or just take a long rod or pipe to pound them out from behind.





Then we cleaned up the housing before pressing the new seals back into place.



To get the new seals back in, you can place a "bearing driver" against the seal and tape it in with a hammer and pipe.





We decided to clean it before we went any further. We just took a pressuer washer to it.
Like I said before, it was pretty dirty inside the housing...no thanks to the mice that made it into a home over the winter and packed it full of corn.



All clean...

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:52 PM   #69
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We tapped the new pinion bearing races back in. One on the inside of the housing and one from the outside.



Here's a trick to pounding the upper race in. Just take one of the old races, flip it upside down and set it on the new race to tape it in. It acts like the perfect size bearing race driver.



Using a 12 ton press, we pressed the new lower pinion bearing on the new pinion gear.



Looking at the other pinion gear as a reference, we were able to gauge how many shims to put on the shaft of the new pinion gear. (You can't really see the shims in this picture, but there on there, on the seat under the splines)



Then we slid the pinion gear into the housing.



To see if we had the correct amount of shims on the pinion gear, we drove the old flange and old pinion nut back on the end (using the old flange and nut just so we don't beat up the new one).





We had to do this process about three times. Removing and adding different size shims to the pinion gear until it was right.

You can tell if it's shimmed correctly by grabbing the pinion flange and try to move it. It shouldn't have any play up and down and if it does, that means you have to many shims. To few of shims, the flange doesn't have any play but then you can barely turn it by hand, which isn't good either.

We finally got it right. It rotated relativly easy by hand and didn't have any play in it when it was "preloaded" to 25 inch/lbs, which is what the instructiosn called for.

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:18 PM   #70
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Since I got a new carrier for the 5.38 gears, the planetary gears within the old carrier have to be put into the new carrier....Unless I end up putting in a locker which I'm probably going to do. I believe a locker would replace the planetary gears within the carrier.

First remove the ring gear bolts. Then the ring gear should come right off.



Then find the small hole on the carrier that has the pin in it which retians the rod that holds the gears in place.



Take a small punch and tap out the pin. It only comes out on a certain side.



Take a larger punch and tap out the rod that holds the planetary gears.
With the retaining rod out, the gears should just roll out of place.





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Old 03-09-2014, 07:38 AM   #71
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Awesome man, glad to see you're making progress! Thanks a ton for documenting everything so thoroughly, makes for a great read! Good luck, can't wait to see how this ends up!
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:49 PM   #72
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Sorry for the delay, I should be able to get at the axle soon.

We didn't have a press large enough to press the bearings off the old carrier and to press the new bearings on to the new. We wanted to take the old bearings off the old carrier to look at the shims as a reference.
So, the rest of the differential might have to be put together at a local shop.

I took this time to save up some money and buy a locker. I figured while the carrier is out, might as well put a locker in the front. It's not a selectable locker, just a cheap "lunch box" locker. Since it's up front, it's only going to engage when I have it in four wheel drive. So it won't affect my normal daily driving while in 2wd.
After alot of research, it looks like this locker will have a very negligible effect on steering and seems to be a solid unit for the money.

Dana 44 Yukon Spartan Locker- 30 Spline
AxleQuickPerforamce Inc. (Ebay)
$252.00

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Old 05-01-2014, 07:38 PM   #73
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Damn, that's an awesome price!

As long as your hubs are unlocked you won't notice it at all on the road.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #74
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Free shipping too!
Just got it in the mail today. It even came in a cool box.

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Old 05-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #75
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Nice work so far man! Keep it up
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:18 AM   #76
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Deffinatly subbed for this one! Awesome work so far
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:14 AM   #77
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We had a local shop finish the rest of the regear. I wasn't able to watch him do it but I did have him snap a few pictures....



Locker installed





Corn in the housing again! Damn mice







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Old 06-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #78
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Toyota pinion flange

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Old 06-08-2014, 09:30 AM   #79
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So after getting the axle back from the shop I was finally able to put it all back together!

I started off by putting the axle back on some jack stands and carefully slid one of the axle shafts back into the housing.



After the axle shaft is seated, grab the seals that came with the spindle bearing kit. The largest rubber seal goes on first, followed by a plastic piece and then a small rubber grommet.











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Old 06-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #80
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Next slide the spindle back on. Before you do that make sure you cake the inside with grease and make sure its clean.



Also do yourself a favor and apply some anti-seize where the spindle meets the knuckle. This will greatly ease the removal process later on down the road!



It might take some hits with the rubber mallet to get the spindle re-seated since its such a tight fit.



Once the spindle is seated flat against the knuckle the brake bracket can go on. Make sure its in the right position.



Then get at tightening all of the nuts down.



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