Great build. I've got a 79 Bronco with 3.00's (stock) in the front reverse D44 so they are out there.
If I could find a set of 3.00s for the reverse cut D44 front, it would change my whole game plan. I'd build up the D44 for strength and better brakes, (http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-...u-joints-.html
) rather than upgrade to a D60, which I believe is only available with 3.54 and higher gearing..
3.00s would make me VERY happy. If you decided to sell the ring and pinion from that truck let me know!
With torque being so high at 1600 rpm, Ideally, I would want the motor at 1600 RPM when cruising at 55 mph for best fuel mileage.
Using this online speed calculator, (http://www.mustangii.net/topspeed.asp
) I can run some tests: (results rounded)
3.50 gears + 35" tires + 1:1 trans @ 55 mph = 1900 RPM.
3.00 gears + 35" tires + 1:1 trans @ 55 mph = 1600 RPM.
I'm currently looking for a good used set of tires that aren't super aggressive, since this is my daily driver. I'd take anything between 35" and 40" I guess. Though I'd prefer closer to 35".
3.50 gears + 40" tires + 1:1 trans @ 55 mph = 1600 RPM.
Though the 40" tires with 3.50 gears would put my motor at the desired rpm for best fuel mileage, the added drag of the wider and heavier tires may negate any gains.
I average 20 mpg now, but I bet with 3.00 gears it would increase to 22-24, plus the motor would rev less, therefore, last even longer.