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Odd old obsolete spindle tech

JR4X

wheeler
race
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
445
Messages
3,445
Loc
Farmington NM
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Just sharing some pics and tale of replacing a hodgepodge of weird spindles/hubs that came on a Teraflex CRD Dana 60 I have in a Jeep. I love the CRD 60 housing, I think they were/are the best of all aftermarket 60 housings. But TF did some strange stuff with the outers way back in 2007 when this front axle was new.

Having talked with TF about I think I get what they were trying to do although I don’t think it was the best idea.
 
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It’s seems pretty strange to me that someone made a conscious decision to make a two piece spindle on purpose. The extra machine work it took to bolt two pieces together when at the time you could still just buy 1 piece spindles. They used Ford king pin knuckles and Ford length stub shafts. So it would seem to me that the machine time would have been better spent turning down Ford 8 lug drive hubs to the 5 on 5 1/2 pattern they wanted. But I digress.

It appears that TF used conversion parts that were meant to make 35 spline shafts fit in Dana 44’s and adapted that to run 5 lug hubs on a Dana 60. Teraflex stuff on the left and Solid GM Dana 60 on the right
 
So I’m the interest of making things simple I’m switching from the TF stuff to the solid GM parts. So far the only parts I’m going to have to purchase are the GM length stub shafts. It’s going to widen my track width 1” per side but that’s actually going to help me
 
Man that is a unique setup, so if you can tell, what was their objective with the custom machined parts? Did they ever put D44 outers on these knuckles? That smaller 6 bolt pattern almost reminds me of D44 stuff like it had a D44 spindle on it at one point. I used to be all down for custom solutions like that, but nowadays I subscribe to the same theory as you, KISS.
 
Man that is a unique setup, so if you can tell, what was their objective with the custom machined parts? Did they ever put D44 outers on these knuckles? That smaller 6 bolt pattern almost reminds me of D44 stuff like it had a D44 spindle on it at one point. I used to be all down for custom solutions like that, but nowadays I subscribe to the same theory as you, KISS.

That’s what I’m thinking too.

D44 spindle on a 60 knuckle to run 5x5.5 bolt pattern? Strange cause that would leave you with only being able to run 30spl outers because I know that you wouldn’t get a 35spl through a 44 spindle.
 
Man that is a unique setup, so if you can tell, what was their objective with the custom machined parts? Did they ever put D44 outers on these knuckles? That smaller 6 bolt pattern almost reminds me of D44 stuff like it had a D44 spindle on it at one point. I used to be all down for custom solutions like that, but nowadays I subscribe to the same theory as you, KISS.

I’m still investigating on the “why” part. The adapter half of those spindles are the part that make the least sense to me. They are not concentric so they fit the knuckle only one way. And the 6 bolt pattern is not concentric so they only fit the adapter one way. The shoulder on the adapter that registers in the ID of the knuckles is 3X as long as standard because the caliper bracket is sandwiched Between the spindle and knuckle. I think they just used Dana 44 stuff on the Dana 60’s but they don’t make these parts anymore.
 
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The large 5 bolt pattern they were using looks like it could be the standard 5 bolt ford 50/60spindle pattern, which could only be clocked one way as you describe. Then the old dodge stuff used the same pilot diameter, but were 4 bolt right? So this adapter could have been cut from old Dodge components Then it's been a long time since I've messed with D44 spindles, but i could see the 6 bolt pattern being single clocking as well, so at least nothing is saying it wasn't D44 outers at some point.

Byro yeah you'd definitely be limited to 30 spline outers max with d44 stuff. The intent as you noted would most likely be for the smaller bolt patterns, and 1/2 ton brakes. 6x5.5, 5x5.5 options, and maybe even 5x4.5 jeep pattern could be cut into D44 hubs for those upgrading to these axles back then but not trying to change their whole setup (all speculation here haha)
 
I had some one-off (what I thought were dynatrac) parts on a 6 lug front 60 as well. The spindle and stub were very short, but no funky adapter pieces like you have there. Maybe they were gen2 TF stuff?
 
Byro yeah you'd definitely be limited to 30 spline outers max with d44 stuff.

Except, this thing has 1 1/2” 35 spline Ford length RCV’s stub shafts in it. The little spindles only have 1” of bearing spacing. Uses a small inner bearing. Standard D60 inner bearing Is 2.250 ID, and these are just over 2” ID. The adapter does have an unused 4 bolt unit bearing pattern drilled and threaded into it as well.
 
That adapter setup looks very similar to the ones Bret at Trail Tough used to graft Track/Kick spindles onto D44 knuckles to build those Big Susanna axles he used to sell. A customer of mine had me link his Samurai with those axles and they were interesting to say the least. Track/Kick hubs, brakes, lockouts and spindles at all 4 corners was a cool feature though.
 
No idea on the other stuff but yes, yes they are. I have a rear housing, just not sure what to use it on.

I have both rockjocks and all kinds of fabbed 9’s, CRD is easily the best plow. I’ve knocked holes in the bottoms of my rockjocks and doffed out on 9”s on stuff that the CRD slides over like a harbor seal.
 
What makes the CRD housings better than other cast aftermarket housings?

Thicker, smoother contour. Like the difference between a D70-U and the jagged edges of anything else. Rockjocks are paper thin on the bottom, and the diff cover isn’t in the same plane as the bearing lands so setting up the gears is a PITA. Dynatracs the diff cover isn’t rolled up out of harms way like the rockjocks or the CRD. The CRD is probably heavier but glides over everything without getting hurt. Can’t bang the diff cover into anything, the gears/locker drop in and out with out any case interference. I’ll try to take comparo pics of the big names.
 
Except, this thing has 1 1/2” 35 spline Ford length RCV’s stub shafts in it. The little spindles only have 1” of bearing spacing. Uses a small inner bearing. Standard D60 inner bearing Is 2.250 ID, and these are just over 2” ID. The adapter does have an unused 4 bolt unit bearing pattern drilled and threaded into it as well.

Cross reference with an '87 Bronco. I bet they copied the spindles that go with the "top hat" hubs in order to get a shorter package (because they have the spacer and brakes pushing the whole deal outboard) in order to still be able to use an off the shelf outer. I agree with everyone else that the use of D44 components is almost certainly so that they can offer 5x4.5.

Also, based on the title I thought this thread was gonna be about some closed knuckle drum brake abomination.
 
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