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Install a Jaguar rear axle in near anything!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by farna, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,060

    farna
    Member

    If it can be put in a Rambler wagon, it can be put in near anything! So hear goes a quicky tech article, just covering the basics:

    1. Find a donor first. Most common ones are 80s XJ6 models. That's fine! All the axles use a Salisbury differential. That's ALMOST a Dana 44. Salisbury is actually a subsidiary of Dana. Be prepared to replace ALL seals in the diff. This isn't costly, just a bit time consuming. A Jag repair manual will help.

    2. Be prepared to change the gears unless you need 2.88 gearing. Bearing sizes and such are different than the D44, but you can use a D44 ring and pinion. This requires a special installation kit available from Jag parts suppliers. The bolts that hold the ring to the carrier are different, so special shoulder bolts are supplied in the kit. The pinion shaft is also different, but special bearings take care of that. You'll also need a standard u-joint yoke for the D44 pinion shaft.

    3. You will either have to narrow the axle or buy deep backspace wheels. Unless you want to pony up the $$$ for special outer hubs, you're stuck with the old big Chevy bolt pattern (5x4-3/4"). The Jag XJ rear tread is about 64", darned close to my 63 Rambler width of around 63". Should be a piece of cake, right? Well, the Jag uses deep set wheels! AMC (Rambler) uses a standard 5x4.5" wheel pattern (same as Ford & Chrysler). I looked at custom wheels, but no one made a 5" backset 7" wide wheel (didn't want anything real wide, would have needed 6" backset on a 8" wheel though, also a "no go"). I ended up lucking out though -- Weld Draglites come in just about any backset and width you'd want! So I gout my 7" wheels with 5" backset, no narrowing required!

    Narrowing isn't tough IF you're a good pipe welder and have access to a lathe. The lower arms are tubular. Cut a section out of the middle, bevel grind, clamp tight in the V of a piece of 2"x2"x1/4" thick angle, and carefully tack weld back and forth across. If you don't know how to weld something round and make it straight, get a pro to do it! The axles are the upper arms. They are drop forged steel. They can be cut, beveled and welded, but leave that to a pro. If you want to DIY, find a piece of tubing that will slide over the cut axle. Cut the same amount out the center as the arms, bevel a bit then slide the tubing over. You'll likely need to put the axle in a lathe and smooth it for the sleeve. If you can slide the sleeve far enough up the axle, butt weld the axle, grind, then slide the sleeve over. If not, just weld on both ends of the sleeve. The tubing sleeve needs to be thicker than 11 gauge!

    Hmmm... you don't like the axle shortening? Then have new ones made! The u-joints on the axles are a stnadard Chevy size. That means you can measure how long the axle needs to be and have a short tubular driveshaft made. That's the way Chevy did it on the early Corvettes. You might run into a coil over shock clearance problem, but you can space the shocks out a bit further if necessary. Of course that will mean finding some longer hardened steel rods -- that's what the ends of the shocks mount on. You'll see when you get your core.

    4. You have a few choices when it comes to mounting the axle. It comes out from the Jag in a triangular sheet metal "cage". The cage is rubber mounted to the body. That cage will usually sit right in the rails where a normal rear axle was. you cna just make steel mounts to bolt where the rubber ones were, or even get new rubber mounts. Solid mounting is better for performance, rubber for ride. the ruber ones wear out with age and affect handling. If you drive an older Jag and it feels a little loose in the rear, the mounts are shot.

    Most people strip it of the cage and make an upper crossmember. I did that. I cut a piece of 2"x3" 11 gauge rectangular tubing 1/16" narrower than the inside of the rear suspension rails (or frame rails -- but I've got a unit body car!). I then welded 11 gauge 3" wide steel strips (overlapping the tubing by 2-3") that extended to the outside of the rails and bent up and over the outside about 1". Yes, it's wider than the tubing (tubing mounted with 3" going up). That allowed more welding room. I drilled this to fit the two 3/8" bolts on ech side that formerly held the rubber bumpers on. They just support the weight of the axle when the body is jacked up. To be safe, I drilled a 3/8" hole and installed a self tapping screw in the 1" lip on the outside of the rail.

    5. You'll need to make upper shock mounts on the new crossmember (CM). I made mine up from 11 gauge plate, but a piece of tubing welded on the bottom of the CM with a hardened steel rod through it (like the lower mount) will work fine. I'd gusset the tubing also.

    6. Mount the diff to the CM by welding a piece of 11 gauge plate in the middle. I forget the exact dimensions, but believe I used a 12" square plate with a 1" lip bent down on the left and right sides for stiffness. Weld in place then drill four 5/8" holes in it. Use the old cage or bolt holes in the top of the diff to get the pattern. Drill so that the centerline of the axles is the same as the CM. Put four 4" or 5" threaded 1/2" studs in the four holes on top of the axle, use Locktite or a punch to keep them from coming out. Now put four nuts on the studs, set the CM on the diff, and put four more nuts on with lock washers. You can adjust pinion angle and height this way, and the 5/8" holes give you just enough room for the angle adjustment.

    7. The only thing you need now are lower control arms. I used 30" four link arms from Pete and Jakes. Order four adjustable ends with urethane bushings while you're at it. One end fits where the original Jag arm did, the other mounts to the frame. I made mounts from 11 gauge again. Had a lot of the stuff around!

    8. MISC. STUFF: Instead of buying tie bars for the inner control arm mounts, I cut the center sections from the cages. Don't look as good as bought aluminum or stainless bars, but were there and the axles is hid underneath anyway. These are easy enough to make that look better. I used the bottom plate form the cage also. It cost me $100 for a core axle assembly from a pick-n-pull. They originally wanted to piece-price it out, but I talked to a manager. first thing I said was "do you know how much this thing costs to rebuild?" Then he asked if it was worth $100. Would have given up to $250, but lucked out! I bought a set of 3.55 Jag gears instead of going the D44 route. Cost me $150 for the gears, $150 to have a pro set them up. That was the biggest expense. I had to change one set of hub bearings, so changed both. One of the bearings (on each side) had to be pressed off and on by a shop (no hydraulic press!), so that cost me a bit ($75??). One caliper was rebuildable, $20 kit. the other was rusted solid, $175 caliper! replaced both rotors also. All the u-joints and bushings were good (needle bearings in the pivots!). Spent $700 total on all parts/labor to get the axle in shape to use, and replaced ALL seals. Everyting but gear set-up and those bearings I had to have pressed was done by myself on the garage floor.

    I'm open to questions!! Hows this for a tech article?
     
  2. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 8,983

    FiddyFour
    Member

    got pics? . . . some of us dont read, we just lookit the pictures:cool:
     
  3. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,060

    farna
    Member

    I don't have any in a place I can post to here from, but go to http://hotrodders.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/3942. At the bottom of the first page are two shots of the axle - one in the car (you can clearly see the tie bar I made by cutting the cage), and one of the assembly on a floor jack just about to be put in the car. You'll note two big bolts sticking up on top of the CM. Well, I got to looking at those 11 gauge pieces on the end and decided I might want a little more support. So I drilled a hole for those 1/2" bolts and welded a nut to the top of the CM. The bolts are run out to rest against the original spring seats in the Rambler then a nut locks them in place. Later I backed them off so there's about 1/16" clearnace between the head of the bolt and body. That was over a year ago, and as far as I can tell there's still 1/16" clearance (tehy aren't touching the body, anyway).

    I have more photos of the axle assembly, all together and taken apart. I can post on the hotrodders site or in an MSN gallery, but neither site will let me post the photos over to somewhere else. If there's enough interest in seeing more steps, I'll dig the photos up and post them.
     
  4. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,323

    Slag Kustom
    Member

    if stock jag rear is too wide xke control arms and axles can be used and are almost 4" narrower per side. (fit perfect under a model A)


    few quick things:

    top of rear should be mounted at 6 degrees for control arm mounts to be level.
    rear locating arms to frame should be level with ground at ride height
    most drive shaft shops will narrow axles for about $100 each
    xjs and xj12 come stock with 3.30 gears and a posi
     
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  5. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

  6. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,060

    farna
    Member


    I wanted 3.31 gears, and thought that's what I was getting. Idiot I bought the used diff (entire center section on e-bay) from either couldn't count or divide -- the gears are 3.55. Or maybe he figured I couldn't count/divide, or just figured I'd be SOL once I got the heavy thing. Good thing is they came with a limited slip carrier that he didn't know about either! So I gave him a neutral rating.

    I take care of the 6 degree tilt with the studs on top instead of bolting direct like you do. I'm more concerned with pinion angle than having the control arm pivots perfectly level. My lower arms have a slight downward slant (from center down to wheel). I looked under an XJ-6 and that's the way it sat with no one inside. It doesn't take much load in my wagon to make the arms level though. On a lighter car, like a 30s roadster or T, I'd definitely make the arms level! Not much weight back there, and not much chance you'll be adding more either! I use my wagon, even do some light towing... Your mounting is great when you have a full frame to work with. A unit body makes things a bit different!
     
  7. VespaJay
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 345

    VespaJay
    Member

    Great information here, thanks for posting it.

    Can anyone elaborate on setting up the driveshaft properly? That's one thing I've always wondered about. Thanks.


    .
     
  8. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,323

    Slag Kustom
    Member



    propper set up of the rear would be with the center line of the crank even with the center of the pinion if the motor is centered in the frame. if the motor is off set to the passenger side 1" the drive shaft could be set at an angle up or down. u- joints are only ment to work in one angle.
     
  9. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    don't forget XJ12's had posi and Dana 44 ring and pinions work as well...
     
  10. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,301

    Phil1934
    Member

    The lower brackets that hold the control arms to the diff come in 0*, 3* and 6*. Mine were 3*. I found the seal saver for the crank of my 300 Ford I6 worked on the inboard stub axles. One set of bearings is not available new so are about $200 each if need replacing. I think it was inboard stub axle. Also the brakes use some sort of rubber seal that is not compatible with regular DOT brake fluid.
     
  11. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    good tech.. i'm a big fan of jag suspensions, it's not traditional, but they are sweet. I want to put a jag under the front and rear of my mustang. The front sub would seem to fit, if I cut off the flange on the bottom of the rails. Then there's the issue of changing from a front sump pan to a rear... Anyhow, these front and rear subs seems to be designed to fit many cars, and just happened to come standard on jaguars...
     
  12. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    A Mustang... hmmmm.. Maybe you want to look at Supra suspensions... They seem to be the correct size for a Mustang.... Check out my friend Sean's Suprang
     
  13. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    I remember reading about that one a while back! That was insane, talk about a lot of work, those guys are fearless about cutting into a car. From what little I measured and guessimated on a jag front under a 67, i'd just have to trim the bottom of the front rails (there's a factory flange weld on the edge), and possibly notch the the rails where they sweep down under the firewall, depending on what the ride height needs to be. And of course make brackets. There's a ton of room around the rear axle, I haven't measured, but I believe a full jag cage would fit under it. I wouldn't worry about wheel spacing, anything from a later camaro/vette should fit fine.
     
  14. PrimerDust318
    Joined: Mar 6, 2004
    Posts: 88

    PrimerDust318
    Member
    from NOR*CAL

    I spent about 4 hours at Pick-N-Pull measuring under a complete 86 XJ6 and an 85 XJ6 Sans rear. Was comparing them to the rear rails and leaf spring mounts on A Body Mopars. Should be a pretty easy swap.
     
  15. v8minor
    Joined: Jan 1, 2002
    Posts: 669

    v8minor
    Member

    What about putting a jag axle in a 50 chevy ? I am thinking about swapping my old 235 with a 62 with the later powerglide open drive .I have a jag v12 axle would this make a good set up.
     
  16. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,849

    Bib Overalls
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Traditional is hard to define. This 32 Ford three window belongs to a friend. He has owned it since he was 15 and he is up there in his 60s. So lets say 50+ years. He has been running Jag suspension front and rear since Jerry Kuggle figured out how to do it. That was shortly after the XKE came out in 61. So if your "tradition" is early 60s Jag suspension passes muster.

    I have been around the block and down the road in this puppy and it rides like a Caddy and handles like a Corvette.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    What's the track width on your Mustang? I would think the Jag would be a little wide for it, the Mustangs seem smaller than the Jag to me.... Having done the Jag swap in my '57 Buick and working on one in a '49 Caddy hearse I think there is more to it than you would think if the frame rails don't line up. The Suprang wasn't as difficult as it may seem and the track for the front and the rear line up amazingly well...
     
  18. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    The rearend is 58", I think I measured the front once, I can't remember a number, but i'd guess it at 59-60". From some information i've found, the rearend of a XJ is going to be about 2" too wide, but the front should be under an inch in difference. With deep backspacing on these modern mags, I think it might be fudgable. For instance, if I wanted to run late-model mustang wheels, i'd have to put 1 1/2" spacers on them, bringing the rear width to around 60".

    I might be wrong, i've never had a jag clip in front of it to really measure it out. The front rails on the mustang are just the right width, if I remember right it's 32-33" from the outside edges, which is what i've read the jag sub is at the mounting points on the front. The rear part though, that's the real hangup. It's all depending on where the sub has to sit vertically. If it has to go kinda high up in the body, then the rear section of the rails near the firewall is going to be a real problem, probably enough to write the whole idea off. This is all bench racing to me, i'm only going off measurements i've found on the internet, i've only had my hands on the mustang. I really appreciate your input man!
     
  19. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    I've got both front and rear Jag suspensions sitting in the shop right now. I can take some pics tomorrow if you'd like exact measurements....
     
  20. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    Well, ok, since you offered! LOL! I marked on some photos I had what measurements I need to see if it would fit the car. I used a letter for each measurement for a point of reference.

    [​IMG]

    On the fronend, where would you say the axle centerline is? From other pics, it looks like it is at the rear edge of the crossmember... does that seem about right to you?

    [​IMG]

    On the rear, i'm just curious if the cage will fit under it, and most importantly between the rails. The rear rails on mustangs widen out towards the rear, so I figure that it would take some tricky brackets to get it to work.

    [​IMG]

    On the rear, does the axle centerline seem to be in the center of the cage?

    That's pretty much all I can think of right now... do you know of any other measurements that are critical? I really appreciate your help man!
     
  21. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    A.... inside 26 1/2" outside 30 9/16"
    B.... 28 1/2"
    C.... 33" (though the front part of the crossmember is 38")
    D... 17 3/8"

    I've got some pics of the front so you can see the axle centerline... I'll do the rear tomorrow as I have to pull it out from under a bench...
     
  22. A U joint only ever works in one angle. it doesn't know whether it is side to side or up and down, or a mixture of the two, but it is only ever bent in one direction. Think about it.
     
  23. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    thanks so much for the info zman! Now I got to get under that car, and see what is what. I have a 68 mustang also that is fairly rough, it needs the frontend rebuilt, this might be a plan coming together....
     
  24. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,060

    farna
    Member

    Rather than worrying about the control arms being true vertical, I adjusted the mount on mine to get the pinion angle right. The rear suspension doesn't seem to mind the slight tilt, and handling/ride is fantastic for an old station wagon! As for the driveshaft, just make sure the pinion and trans angle are the same and opposite. I.E. - my trans tilts down about 8 degrees, so the pinion has to point up about 8 degrees. The Jag XJ6 shaft was a two piecer, but was darn close to level as far as I could tell. It used a center carrier bearing. I replaced with a one piece shaft. The center u-joint was used in place of a double cardin CV joint. This will make the car a bit smoother, but isn't necessary. It will also allow a little more deviation in angles though. I have to check my angles again, I get a slight vibration over 50 mph. May not have measured accurately enough. Wish I'd kept the Jag driveshaft now, the extra joint would have likely canceled the vibration out!

    The stock Jag "cage" will fit anywhere a live axle was. The rails on the Rambler looked just about like they were made for the thing, though I didn't use the cage. It should fit a Mustang well, but remember the deep offset wheels and big Chevy bolt pattern! Wheels are hard to come by in that 5x4-3/4" pattern, and the hubs can't just be redrilled, they will require a good bit of machine work to change the pattern. The bigger pattern is used to clear a seal on the back side, the stud heads would hit if moved inboard. You can buy hubs with the standard Ford pattern on an exchange basis. I wouldn't change the front suspension from the Mustang though -- there are plenty trick suspension parts out there for it as is. The Jag front four piston calipers are junk -- they work well, but weigh a ton! Not something you want to do a lot of work for.

    If you do decide to go the easy way and use the cage, replace the rubber mounts with solid -- unless you want to change the mounts every five years or so. If not driven a lot you could probably get by with up to 10 years, but every 10 year old regulalrly driven Jag I've been in needed the mounts replaced -- you can feel the rear end move a bit more than it should.
     
  25. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    Also beware that just because you have a 5x4-3/4" bolt pattern doesn't mean your wheels will fit. The flange on the Jag is larger that a lot of regular wheels and will either have to be turned down or the hole in the center of the wheels open up. It's not much but it's enough to irritate...
     
  26. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,060

    farna
    Member

    I've heard that. Luckily my Weld Drag Lites fit without modifying. The Drag Lite is so popular you can get it in just about any backset and width. I managed to get 5.5" backset on 7" wheels so my Jag axle wouldn't need narrowing. That's the max on 7" wheels! Another good thing is the wheels have both 5x4.50" and 5x4.75" patterns drilled in them. I spaced the spindles on the front out 3/4" to fit the deep wheels (AMCs have bolt off spindles) so I could run the same on both ends. If I have a flat on the rear I'll have to change two tires though -- put the 5x4.5" spare on the front then put the front tire on the back!

    I should buy an extra Drag Lite wheel, but narrow, to mount something like a VW bug 15" tire as a spare. That will be about like the 16" Jeep Cherokee "donut" spare I keep now -- I doubt the Draglite/more substantial tire combo would more than the steelie and "donut", may even weigh less!
     
  27. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    Just a quick "for what it's worth" post... I measured my 67 mustang, and it looks like a XJ front sub will fit with some trimming of the mustang frame. The outside width of the mustang rails is 34", but there is a 3/4" pinch weld seam on the outside of the rail, so it can be trimmed to clear the XJ crossmember at the upper a-arm towers. For the length, the rear most mounts land right before the rails bend under the car, so that's all good (actually, right about where the stock tube crossmember is). On the front, there's just enough length on the front rails for the front sub mounts. The most interesting thing is that the front width on the car is 60 1/4" wide, so there isn't any width issues. I'd have to cut off the stock suspension mounts, and change the motor to a rear sump pan. That, and other than having nothing more than hand tools, a narrow driveway, and no jag parts, it looks like a straight-foward swap!
     
  28. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,117

    k-member
    Member

    An oldie, but a goodie.
     
  29. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,187

    tjm73
    Member

    Why do pictures disappear from old posts? Would be so helpful in understanding.
     
  30. cosmo
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,720

    cosmo
    Member

    Hosting sites go down; people re-post or remove pics; links get corrupted; etc., etc.

    The internet is fluid and ever-changing.

    Cosmo
     

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