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Frame/Suspension/Brake... Talk & Q&A All things... Frame/Suspension/Brake

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Old 08-06-2017, 12:01 PM
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Default Jeep axle side swap

I picked up a front axle out of a '90 Comanche and I'm just in the planning stages right now, on the best way to get it under the Ghia. I really need to get the steering behind the axle so all the crud isn't hanging out front. And, so I can still use the rack and pinion I've already been using. Is it possible to swap the spindles,(or whatever they're called nowadays) from one side to the other, without totally screwing up the geometry of the steering?? It'll be mounted using leaf springs so I've got some homework to do on where to roll the axle as far as the caster is concerned. It's more the camber that concerns me. Just wondering if anyone has ever tried swapping sides and how'd it work. Thanks.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:10 PM
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If the rack and pinion has been used originally on the back it'll work but, if you have to move it from front to back, it'll steer in the wrong direction.

Last edited by Old Iron; 08-06-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:16 PM
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Old Iron, yessir, that's right. The r and p is behind the VW axle now, so to keep the steering where it is, on the Jeep axle, I'd have to move it out front. That ain't gonna happen. I've got about eight inches from the center of the VW axle to the very front of the car.
I just came in from knocking everything apart. The spindles do fit on the wrong sides, and work back and forth as they should. Just eyeballing it, I can't see anything that won't work. I guess if I don't hear otherwise, by the time the axle is mounted under the car, it'll get tried like this. All it can do is eat up a good set of tires.
Next question: (I may need to start a different thread) I've got a set of leaf springs from under an old snowmobile trailer that are the perfect length for this thing. 28" total length. The trailer was rated for 1,000 lbs, so I'm thinking the springs should be just right for the weight. The 429 weighs in about 750 and along with everything else considered, it may be a little over a thousand on the front. If the springs are not "heavy" enough, could I use a set of coil-over shocks to get it up?? I'm not looking for any handling increases, I just want to go straight and not put the ole head into the roof anymore. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:11 PM
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I've gotten the axle deal fairly well figured out except what caster angle do I need to start with on this Jeep axle. I've been told so many different positives and negatives, 12 degrees from this one guy, 3 negative from another and I'm fairly sure none of them have ever actually set a straight axle up. Just stick the whole store bought assembly under it and go. I'll have a couple of degrees I can adjust but not a lot. Anybody have any experience with the Jeep or something close? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:14 AM
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I found 5-7 degrees of positive caster for stock in Jeep forums. If your spring saddles are still in place like your pix, set the saddles level and check the caster angle at the top of the king pin boss and see where it sat on the Jeep. Go from there realizing any changes to lift height may need some changes at caster.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:04 AM
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Thanks smallfoot. I'm just using the axle itself. All the pads and brackets are history. I'm putting the spring underneath the axle. I was making it so I could test drive it before welding everything up. But that idea got canceled when the double spring idea got canned. I'll have maybe four degrees of adjustment, I just needed a good place to start. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:34 AM
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The only issue you're going to have is the steering arms. They are set for a front steer setup and when you set them for rear steer the outside tire will be setup for a tighter turn than the inside tire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackerm...ering_geometry
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:40 AM
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Well, that's something I didn't think about. again. Thanks. (My "back on the road" date just slipped some more.)
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:37 PM
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Easier to go from front to rear steer than the other way. Run a string from your kingpin to the rear Axle center. Your steering arms need to be as close to inline with the string as possible. Some can be heated and bent inward, others can be unbolted and replaced with correct ones. You might even have to fab up some arms that mount to the original arms.
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