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Tacoma SAS Part One: Dana 44 Rebuild

Discussion in 'Solid Axle Suspension' started by tacoma02, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM
    #1
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The intent of this build thread is to provide a step by step account of the procedures and equipment necessary to complete a solid axle swap on a 1st Gen Toyota Tacoma. I will start off with rebuilding the axle, with the hopes of eventually putting it on the truck. I wanted to mention that I am a college student and this build is on a budget! I will be including all of the parts and tools I have purchased during the build. Since I’m fairly new to all of this myself, this has been taking me a lot of time and research and I’m still learning as I go. Hopefully this build thread will help cut down research time if you decide to one day tackle this project yourself.

    Truck:
    2002 Toyota Tacoma
    4x4
    2.7L 3rz-fe Engine (4 cyl)
    Single Cab
    Automatic Transmission
    165,000 miles

    Axle:
    1979 Jeep J10
    Front Dana 44 (10 Bolt)
    Low pinion

    I chose to use a Dana 44 axle with a driver’s side differential for simplicity reasons. It matches up with the trucks existing transfer case and has 6x5 ½ bolt pattern to match rims. It also has a 61”wms which also seems to be the best track length to work with without having to modify the length of the axle. From my understanding these axles can be found underneath late 70’s to early 90’s Jeep J10’s and Grand Wagoneer’s without a vacuum disconnect (which can easily be identified by the “goofy” shaped differential equipped with a vacuum disconnect).

    This is a great link, helping you identify drivers side Dana 44 axles, their specifications, and flat top knuckles/high steer.
    http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/Dana44.htm

    I picked up the axle from a guy off of craigslist for $100. Just as a warning, these axles (with everything on them) are very heavy! You will need at least two guys to move it.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:27 PM
    #2
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thrush Welded Muffler Westin safari light bar
    Once on jack stands, I began disassembly, starting off with a small Allen wrench and removing the small bolts holding the locking hub covers in place.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  3. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM
    #3
    SoCalTacos

    SoCalTacos Penis Bird

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    Sub'd for the journey.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM
    #4
    IDtrucks

    IDtrucks Just out for a rip are ya bud?

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    :popcorn:

    down for the show! has the potential to be the most detailed sas ever if it starts with an allen wrench!
     
  5. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM
    #5
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After the covers are removed, use a “Snap-Ring Pliers” to remove the outer most snap ring within the hub. You can pick up Snap-Ring Pliers and any local automotive store.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The next snap ring is kind of hidden, down along the inside wall of the hub assembly. Too extract it you will need a small pick, a screw driver, and some patience. Find the gap between the two ends of the large snap ring and use the pick to get up underneath one end and a screw driver to hold the other end in place. Then continue to pry the snap ring upwards and move the pick along until the ring pops out.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:47 PM
    #6
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Once both snap rings are out, use a needle nose pliers to remove the locking hub assembly.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Next a 1/2 inch drive “spindle socket” is required to loosen the spindle nut.
    [​IMG]

    Spindle Socket- AutoZone # 15006-01
     
  7. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:50 PM
    #7
    PcBuilder14

    PcBuilder14 Well-Known Member

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  8. Dec 30, 2013 at 7:57 PM
    #8
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After removing the first spindle nut, another one needs to be removed using the same socket.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With both spindle nuts off, the entire hub assembly can be removed.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dec 30, 2013 at 8:13 PM
    #9
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The rusted dust shield connected to the brake bracket basically fell right off after removing the single bolt.
    [​IMG]
    Using a socket wrench, remove the brake caliper bracket… after using a small propane torch and lots of PB Blaster!
    [​IMG]

    After removing all of the nuts, grab a hammer and knock off the bracket.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dec 30, 2013 at 8:20 PM
    #10
    WittyTaco

    WittyTaco Well-Known Member

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    Ahahaha best comment possible for this thread!
    Edit: Also subscribed! And good luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  11. Dec 30, 2013 at 8:25 PM
    #11
    YFZ450MOE

    YFZ450MOE When you blow off steam you get an eyepatch

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    I used a flathead and a hammer for my spindle nuts haha! Then a Bolt holding the spindle on stripped out the knuckle on my 71 bronco. Awesome build thread! Keep the pics and detailed write ups coming boss. +1
     
  12. Dec 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM
    #12
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thrush Welded Muffler Westin safari light bar
    The next step was to remove the spindle itself……..the worst step while disassembling the axle by far! Years of exposure to Wisconsin weather and salt unfortunately led to rusty fusion between the spindle and the knuckle. The first spindle actually took me over three hours to remove. I found that the best way to tackle this was to first heat the base of the knuckle and spindle with a small torch for avery long time, followed by repeated blows with a hammer and chisel along the edge (while emptying the bottle of PB Blaster). You can also hit the spindle with the hammer, placing a block of wood in between to prevent damaging the spindle! Once you get a small gap, tap a flat head screw driver on the opposite side you’re chiseling to keep the gap from closing. Repeat this while continuing to work around the spindle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Once there was a large enough gap, I rented a "Slide Hammer" from AutoZone. I attached it to the end of the spindle using the spindle nuts previously removed. This beat up the spindle nuts (a sacrifice I was willing to make) but after a few pulls with the hammer, the spindle finally broke free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  13. Dec 30, 2013 at 9:34 PM
    #13
    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After celebrating, I removed a couple seals and was able to gently pull the axle shaft from the housing.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Be careful not damage the end of the axle shafts. For now I have the ends wrapped in cardboard and kept out of the way.
     
  14. Dec 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM
    #14
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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  15. Dec 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM
    #15
    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    This thread makes me tear up. I miss my truck
     
  16. Dec 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM
    #16
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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  17. Dec 31, 2013 at 8:09 AM
    #17
    Supra TT

    Supra TT Solid Axle FTMFW!!

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    SAS.. Need I say more.
    Nice job so far, looking forward to when it's done. One thing I'd like to mention is keep the font to the original size so we can read it easier. Thanks!! :cool:
     
  18. Dec 31, 2013 at 8:18 AM
    #18
    mach1man001

    mach1man001 eh whatever

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    Subbed! Looks like fun.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2013 at 8:19 AM
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    Large

    Large Red

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    Noiccccccccccce. I'll whip out some :popcorn:
     
  20. Dec 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM
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    tacoma02

    tacoma02 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    To remove the nut from the upper ball joint, heat it until its nearly glowing. This way you can easliy bust the rusty cotter pin in the center while turing the nut. I used a large cresent wrench, hitting the end of the wrench while turning to break the nut free.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Removing the lower ball joint nut is a little more difficult since its harder to get at. Again, heat the nut for a while and use a large breaker bar to break it free. You will need either a 1-1/4" or 1-5/16" socket.
    [​IMG]
    After removing both nuts, use a hammer to pound the knuckle free from the outer "C."
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
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