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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I'm debating whether or not to do an SAS on my project truck. Currently the TTB on the truck needs some attention. the top of the wheels are pointing out quite a bit and i know it's going to wear out these 33" BFG mud tires on the outside FAST. the tires we took off still had about 30% tread on the inside and almost showed steel on the outsite.

With that said, the plans for the truck are only a 4" lift with the possibility of a 6" lift in the future, but will not be going over 6". I have seen that most people start having problems with the TTB once they go over 6" so i though i should add that. The truck is going to be a daily driver, but will see some mild wheeling. I don't want to wheel it to the point that i'm damaging the body and paint if that gives you a clue. it will probably see mud a lot more than rocks, but i am going to try my hand at a mild trail with some rocks to see what it's like as i have never done it before. I have looked at the TTB very little and i'm not sure what would cause the wheels to do what they are doing, but i did check the ball joints when i changed the wheels and tires and both the uppers and lowers are trashed along with the tie rod ends and radius arm bushings from the previous owner taking it off a bunch of jumps like an idiot. I would also be swapping either axle to 4.10 gears no matter which way i go just to help the 302 move the tires a bit better if that would make any difference. costs don't seem like they would be far apart between rebuilding the TTB and doing the SAS.

I did find a Dana 44 high pinion complete from hub to hub w/ radius arms and the steering components for $75 from a guy on another forum that just doesn't have a use for it anymore. So if i do the SAS that will be a decent start. I have read through the write ups on the SAS and i know i can get the job done within a few days once i get the parts to do it.

So what do y'all think? Which front end will suit my truck the best? the TTB or SAS? lots of people like their SAS, but i have seen that a few ppl like the TTB better for some things. Thanks a lot guys.
 

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+1 complete axle that's hub to hub with radius arms for $75? That's the way to do it.. Just get some 78-79 springs and you can use your existing coil buckets.. (That's how I did my SAS)

That being said.. The 8" TTB lift I had didn't give the suspension any problems at all.. It was the 40" tires I had.. Some people love the TTB and some love the Solid Axle.. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks.. It's what you want.. Me I can't leave anything alone and always have to make it different. :brownbag
 

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+1 complete axle that's hub to hub with radius arms for $75? That's the way to do it.. Just get some 78-79 springs and you can use your existing coil buckets.. (That's how I did my SAS)

That being said.. The 8" TTB lift I had didn't give the suspension any problems at all.. It was the 40" tires I had.. Some people love the TTB and some love the Solid Axle.. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks.. It's what you want.. Me I can't leave anything alone and always have to make it different. :brownbag
so 78-79 d44s are pretty much bolt on?
 

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Well remember this... a "solid" dana 44 will break at the same torque as you're TTB dana 44.. so if you want to make it stronger (to break axle internals less) going solid won't gain you anything unless you went dana 60 or something.

advantages of TTB are:
much better high speed performance. can tuck "up" into the wheel well further (as a solid axle will have up-travel limited by axle-to-engine (or x member) issues, and the TTB is immune to that.
Also the TTB is held in place with a radius arm, so it is very strong for front/back force, as well as lateral force (compared to a leaf spring which has a weak centering pin that can snap)
Also... TTB is immune to axle wrap.
TTB is high pinion.
TTB doesn't have bump steer.
TTB is coil sprung

disadvantages of TTB:
has geometry issues when lifted more than 6 inches.
it's only half ton (dana 44)



advantages of a solid axle
you can go one-ton.. duh
you may get a little more articulation, if set up properly.
you don't have geometry issues when going over 6 inches of lift.

disadvantages of (coil sprung) solid axle:
worse high speed performance
less up-travel (ability to tuck the tires i mean)

and if it's leaf spring:
leaf springs are prone to axle wrap
leaf springs have weak centering pins
leaf springs ride horrible
leaf springs have internal friction
leaf springs break more than coils
leaf springs wiggle side-to-side a little
leaf springs usually have bump steer.

did i miss anything here? personally i'd stick with the TTB since it doesn't sound like you're going to be doing a lot of rock crawling, you're lifting less than 6 inches, and you're SAS choice is only half ton. IMO the TTB is a genius arrangement.

i'm running TTB with 35's and a 4 inch lift.. i did not install the bump-stop drop brackets (bump stops are in the stock location) i get a ton of wheel travel, nothing binds, nothing rubs (cut fenders) and it just works great...

(click thumbnail)

 

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Rhauf,

I would agree with most everything you say. The coil sprung SAS is also imune to axle rap and is high pinion. Question-why do you say high speed proformance is worse on SAS? My big complaint with TTB is the steering geometry is terriable no matter what you do. The wheels dont stay parelel as the suspension cycles. I would happily give some ride quality to elimanate wonder. I paid $250 for a D44. Its going in a project truck. If I found another for $75, it would be going in my current Bronco.
 

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Rhauf,

I would agree with most everything you say. The coil sprung SAS is also imune to axle rap and is high pinion. Question-why do you say high speed proformance is worse on SAS? My big complaint with TTB is the steering geometry is terriable no matter what you do. The wheels dont stay parelel as the suspension cycles. I would happily give some ride quality to elimanate wonder. I paid $250 for a D44. Its going in a project truck. If I found another for $75, it would be going in my current Bronco.

no, the wheels stay parallel (as far as toe-in) no matter what the suspension is doing. full droop, or full compression, or one wheel droop and one wheel compressed.... the only thing that changes with axle movement is the camber which doesn't effect steering.

if you're wheels are towing in and out on compression causing your truck to turn left/right, you probably have the wrong pitman arm for you're lift.

if you're truck wonders, then you have either warn axle pivot bushings, alignment is towed out, some steering part (or ball joint) is warn and loose, or you have a lift and you're radius arms don't have drop brackets (or aren't extended properly) if you lift it and don't do the correct drop brackets (or radius arm) you'll loose you're negative caster and it'll wonder.

a properly set up TTB will drive very nicely, handle pretty good, and stand up to a hell of a lot of abuse without failing. i'm speaking from experience here, i've had far more wondering issues with leaf sprung front axle trucks than i have with TTB.


the reason it has better ride quality off road (esp at higher speeds) is because the unsprung weight connected to either wheel is less than half what it would be on a solid axle.. think of it this way, if you're TTB truck runs over a bump with one tire, only half of the axle has to move up and go over it. if you're solid axle truck does, the whole axle has to move for one wheel to go over it. so it effectively cuts the unsprung weight in half, which is a huge factor in ride quality (and handling on bumpy surfaces)

trust me, ford didn't have their head up their ass when they designed the TTB system. its just that most people associate it with conventional IFS (which sucks) and assume it's junk. they also don't understand it's benefits.

i'm sure if you convert to a solid axle you'll love it.. after all, once you spend the money, and spend all those hours working on the swap, you'd feel like a pretty big ass if you admitted it was worse than the TTB.

everyone has their preference, i'm just trying to help you choose the best axle choice based on facts, rather than misinformation (such as "all IFS is bad" and "the alignment moves around" etc)
 

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i'm sure if you convert to a solid axle you'll love it.. after all, once you spend the money, and spend all those hours working on the swap, you'd feel like a pretty big ass if you admitted it was worse than the TTB.
:histerica:histerica:histerica


Excellent information throughout this thread...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I think i am going to buy the D44 solid front and set it out in the pasture just in case i decide later that an SAS is what i want. right now i will stick with the stock front and rear ends and see how they do even though i don't trust 8.8's.

So before i start lifting the TTB i need to figure out whats wrong with it for the wheels to be toed out so bad(wearing outside of tread wayyyy faster than inside). I already know it needs ball joints and tie rod ends. I will go ahead and get those along with radius arm bushings for when i do the lift. i will do the axle pivot bushings when i lift it, but could they cause the wheels to do what they are doing??
 

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Ok, I think i am going to buy the D44 solid front and set it out in the pasture just in case i decide later that an SAS is what i want. right now i will stick with the stock front and rear ends and see how they do even though i don't trust 8.8's.

So before i start lifting the TTB i need to figure out whats wrong with it for the wheels to be toed out so bad(wearing outside of tread wayyyy faster than inside). I already know it needs ball joints and tie rod ends. I will go ahead and get those along with radius arm bushings for when i do the lift. i will do the axle pivot bushings when i lift it, but could they cause the wheels to do what they are doing??
possibly, if the axle pivot bushings are very, very warn it could allow the axles to move side-to-side somewhat, causing toe issues. a ball joint could cause issues as well.

i'd recommend doing extended radius arms if you're going to lift it.

use a measuring tape to set the alignment. it's easy, set it about 1/8 or 1/16'th of an inch of toe-in at the front. don't worry about camber for now, that'll all change when you lift it. note - if you're front end squats/rises when you drive forward and back you're toe-in is way off, that's a quick test you can try.

i wouldn't trust that 8.8 either (or any other C clip axle for that matter) i'd recommend picking up a 9" from an 80-86ish bronco (or f150) and installing that in the rear.. it's a bolt in swap and a big upgrade.

i would probably buy the d44 front too.. its a good deal, for another project maybe, or just to re-sell for a profit later.

take care of you're warn front end parts and set the toe-in (if its off) and the tire wear problems will go away. i don't have tire wear issues with any of my TTB trucks
 

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Imoa there no need to change the 8.8 axle they can take abuse just like 9" other than c- clips they are lighter and have good ground clearance. I have been abusing the rear end in my truck since 1998 when I bought it without a minutes trouble. If u mostly run mud ( which can't stand) then u shouldn't have to worry to much about binding axles and causing problems. Besides if u don't trust the factory shaft moser makes a good aftermarket axle that's stronger for a reasonable price.
 

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the 8.8 can handle the abuse. there are MANY high horse 'stangs out there running 8.8s on the strip with no problems. that being said, in a direct comparison, the 9" has been proven to be somewhat stronger in some situations (i.e. high torque, big tire, heavy duty rock crawling where forces are extremely uneven on each side). it just depends on what you are doing with it. IMO of course.
 

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If your worried about big tires on the 8.8, get a full float kit. It eliminates the c-clips and outter bearing troubles. Other than that, the only problem I've heard of is the carrier bearings deflecting. You can get a diff cover with carrier bearing supports. I'm have been running 38's for over ten years. (I moved the full float kit from one Bronco to another) I believe my current setup is as strong or stronger then any 9". But it maybe you can build a 9" of the same strenth for less money.

I've talked to the full float kit MFG and they now have a kit that allows 35 spline axles. I think the stock ones are 31 spline. (not sure)

rhauf,
My TTB is all tight, Redhead steering box and alianed. My old solid axle Scout tracked much better. I understand why Ford went TTB (ride) If you had problems with solid axle wonder, I think you had something wrong. (leaf spring pivots or radius arm bushings) Theres not much to give you a problem. On TTB, theres no way to fix one tire going a differnt direction as it goes over a bump. (not to be confused with bump steer which is common to everthing except a full hydrolic setup)
 

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so 78-79 d44s are pretty much bolt on?
They can be if you find a kit for it.. Mine was done with very little fabrication..
 

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The Anti Yam!
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TTB doesn't have bump steer.
What are you smoking?:imp

The only way to get rid of all the bump steer on TTB is swing set steering.
You will always have bump steer on any IFS system whose control arms are a different length than it's tie rods.

On TTB those control arms are the axle beams, and the passenger side Draglink/tie rod is longer than the TTB beam. On the drivers side the inner and outer tie rod is shorter than the TTB beam.

On a bone stock TTB setup with the beams, draglink, and tie rods completely parallel...., as the suspension cycles down, the drivers side wheel toes WAY in, the passenger side toes out very slightly. Same thing happens when it goes up. This is the best possible "Compromise" for handling, and the bump steer that can be felt is very slight in normal driving.


4" lift with a 4" drop pitman arm, same as above except now we have a suspension that can cycle farther if allowed, so off road the above problems can be aggravated.

Once we go above 4" of lift, we have a real problem.
Only one company makes a pitman arm with a longer drop than 4". Only skyjackers "Xtreme pitman arm" is this long, and with good reason! The 6" drop pitman will keep the Beams, draglink/te rods all parallel, but it puts so much leverage on the steering box that it is only a matter of time before it tears the frame.

So, 6" drop pitman is out the window :duh

Now we have a 6" lift, and only a 4" drop pitman, so our formerly parallel draglink/tie rods are no longer parallel and resemble an inverted "Y"

Now the short drivers side inner/outer tie rod really causes some seriouse toe in as the suspension cycles down, but unlike before, it now toes OUT as it cycles up, causing serious bump steer and wondering.

Now that the passenger side draglink/tie rod is at an angle compared to the pass side beam, it does the same thing, just not as bad as the drivers side.

The fact that both sides don't toe in out the same amount, makes it even worst.

Superrunner steering will make the toe changes match on each side as the suspension cycles masking bump steer some, but the toe changes are still there and so is some bump steer.

TRE flip will lessen the angles on the draglink/tie rods, but not completely illiminate it, so you still get more bump-steer than factory.

Swing set steering, where both inner/outer tie rod ends are the same length AND parallel to the beams is the only way to solve this problem completely, but I hope you have $$$$$$$


no, the wheels stay parallel (as far as toe-in) no matter what the suspension is doing. full droop, or full compression, or one wheel droop and one wheel compressed.... the only thing that changes with axle movement is the camber which doesn't effect steering.

if you're wheels are towing in and out on compression causing your truck to turn left/right, you probably have the wrong pitman arm for you're lift.

if you're truck wonders, then you have either warn axle pivot bushings, alignment is towed out, some steering part (or ball joint) is warn and loose, or you have a lift and you're radius arms don't have drop brackets (or aren't extended properly) if you lift it and don't do the correct drop brackets (or radius arm) you'll loose you're negative caster and it'll wonder.
Again, see above


All this said, I never had any complaints about my TTB when it was on 35" or smaller tires. It's as strong as a factory D-44 (Because it is one) and will blow a solid axle away going fast over the rough stuff. If I was not going to go over 35" tires I would keep the TTB until I either broke it constantly, or needed more articulation than it can offer.









But once you go over 35" tires, TTB just starts acting goofy. :toothless
 

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The Anti Yam!
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If your worried about big tires on the 8.8, get a full float kit. It eliminates the c-clips and outter bearing troubles. Other than that, the only problem I've heard of is the carrier bearings deflecting.
The weak points on a 8.8 in a truck are all housing related. Weak housings that crack/tear at the spring perches, and pres fitted tubes with only one plug weld per side leading to spun center sections.
 

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The only problem I ever had with the 8.8 was with the outter bearings. When they go they take the axles with them. Lousy design. Never heard of cracks at the perches. I have heard people say you can spin the center housing. Although with 38" tires, 4.88 gears and tractionbars, you would think I would have done it.
 

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The Anti Yam!
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Never heard of cracks at the perches. I have heard people say you can spin the center housing.
We have had both happen to members here, several times.

Although with 38" tires, 4.88 gears and tractionbars, you would think I would have done it.
Do you rock-crawl?
Sidestep the clutch?
Jump?

Or otherwise abuse your 8.8?


Oh, and I want pics of the traction bars :thumbup
 
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