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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, with the new 460 in my 79 I know the axles won't live long. Just found a 98 dodge cummins frame with axles and suspension, freshly blasted and painted, for $500. Too good to pass up. Anyone ever done the swap? Rear will be easy, just looking for advice on the front. Which suspension do I use? I'd rather keep all the bronco suspension bc I love the way it rides, the dodge coils will be too stiff for sure. And keep the bronco ps gear box or swap in the dodge box?
 

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Center Axle Disconnect + Low Pinion Diff + Unit Bearing Front End = Not worth it. There are much better places to source a Dana 60 front diff.

Your factory axles should be OK. The Dana 44 is holding up fine behind my 460. Over two years and the only issue has been due to very weak and mis-named Precision super strength U-joints. The 9" is holding up well too....no issues.

Driveshafts are another story....again precision U-joints suck. Go Spicer or break and get towed home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So even for only $500 it's not worth it? I've had 6 cummins 4x4s and have had to replace 1 unit bearing. My 03 I just sold had 275k miles on it with no issues. 130k on my current 06 with not a problem. They have a manual cable lock thing for the disconnect also. Keep in mind this thing is pretty much a mud mule only. No highway driving. Maybe gets 1000 miles a year, probably not even that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What difference does the low pinion diff make? Ground clearance or driveshaft angle problems?
 

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Thanks 351w500
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Both and a low pinion run on the weaker part of the gear, and if you run a lift the pinion angle is going to be terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok. That makes sense. The pinion angle is a good argument. I thought y'all were trying to argue the strength of the axle. A mild 460 ain't gonna hurt it, they're tough
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well let's say for argument sake that I'm gonna do it anyway. In yalls opinion what would be the best suspension setup? Modify the axle to accept the radius arm on it now or use the entire suspension from the dodge and just use a lighter coil from the bronco? The second would probably be easiest depending on frame widths. I'm pretty sure the dodge framerails are further apart but I could fab something.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok. So nobody here has an opinion on which suspension to use?
 

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I did this swap eight years ago and it's still working in my 78 with a 460, ZF5, 203/205 doubler, and 44" tires on double beadlocks.

in 2004:



in 2009:

 

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Discussion Starter #12
So you used the same axles I'm looking at? And it looks like you used the bronco suspension and just modified the axle to accept it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah. Ok. Well, I'm probably gonna just use what I have so I won't be throwing more money at it right now. So I just wanted to get opinions on the two different types of suspension
 

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I would use stock suspension for average trail and all-purpose use. 3 link is more for max articulation and sketchy road handling. That's my opinion.
Also... Don't bother with "free spin" kits or other crap they sell for converting these axles to lockout hubs. I would recommend a posi-lok kit to made the cad cable operated.
Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, the free spin kits are too expensive. And with the limited miles they're gonna see it won't be worth it. Thanks for the suggestions
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, my decision has been made for me. I decided to just use the stickers till they broke so I put it on a lift today and took a good look for the first time. All ujoints are ruined. I have no idea how they were still together. Needle bearings all gone and some caps even gone. Popped the cover off to weld the spiders and the diff was completely full of water and sand. So they would require a complete rebuild, not worth it. So the dodge axles are goin in...
 

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So the dodge axles are goin in...
Cool. :)

Throw it together with the parts and springs you got then
try it out and later modify it after you know what it's like?

Might need some professional help with your front pinion
angles?

This is long and wordy but thorough do yourself a big favor,
read it sometime when you're in the right frame of mind... ;)

http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/Driveline-101.shtml#Introduction

Saw a real nice made-in-USA big&easy to read angle finder
at an Ace Hardware today for $12. IMO it's better than the
Starrett I bought from Grainger for more.

Alvin in AZ
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very good info. Thanks for that link. I read all of that and some of the other links on the page. I understand driveshafts so much better now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I got the axles in this weekend. Not too bad. Rear axle is done but I need a little more work on the front. The bronco spring perches are a little to the rear of axle center an the dodge perches are to the front of center. And I moved the axle an inch or so forward to help with clearance and driveshaft length. So I've got to burn the rivets off the frame and move the spring towers forward 5 or so inches. Other than that not too bad. I cut the entire suspension off the dodge frame. Lined up pretty well except the front cab mounts were exactly where the suspension needed to mount. So I cut them off and will have to modify them.
 
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