Project CJ-7 Jeep Dana 44 Axle Swap

Jeep CJ-7 Dana 44 Axle Swap

Project Jeep CJ-7 – Scout II Dana 44 Axles Swap onto a CJ-7 Frame

  • Fabricated Leaf Spring Hangers
  • Front Leaf Springs – Rear Hangers

Project Jeep CJ-7

My choice of axles was factored by a few things.  First, I had no axles to begin with so I could think with some latitude.  I decided on a set of available Scout II Dana 44 axles.  In retrospect, I probably would have looked for a Wagoneer front axle instead of the Scout but my idea for a mounting system gave me the ability to change the axle even if the spring pad width was different then the Scout axle I installed.  The next question was do I modify the front axle to meet the frame or do I modify the frame to meet the axle.  The Scout II front Dana 44 had a wider spring pad width than the CJ-7 frame.  About 1 3/4 per side wider.  Modifying the axle meant either shortening the long tube and shifting the axle towards the driver side.  Higher expense to do so since I have more time than money.  Modifying the frame meant widening the spring hangers to meet the pads.  After reading and talking to others who had done the same project I finally decided to just design my own bolt-on hangers.  After much sketching, thinking and measuring I came up with a design that I think is well over-engineered and yet is a bolt-on design (after some pre-drilling) and uses all of the existing holes up front.  All of the hardware is 1/4 inch steel angle iron with the exception of a large 3/8 piece of angle iron on the rearward hangers.  This page covers the rear hangers.

 

These are the halves of the rear hanger.  Length is 6½”

Rear hanger getting cut down.

Rear hangers.  Same width and drop off the frame as stock.  All cutting was done with an angle grinder and a thin metal cutting wheel.

Inside width is 3″ (Springs 2½” plus bushings at ¼” each).  Height is 3¼”

 

Old and the new (not welded yet)

Drilling out the hole for the greasable bolts. Hole was drilled 2¼” above the base of the angle iron.  2¼” because I was maintaining the same distance off the frame as the old hangers and accounting for the angle iron used to mount these hangers.

With both halves clamped down and flat,I used the bolt to align both halves and tack welded them together. Then I removed the bolt and welded the halves.

Next came the end plates (3 3/8″ x 1″) to box it off and strengthen the hangers.  Where all the pieces came together, the metal was notched to allow a good welding bead to fill the notch.  This allowed areas that needed to be flat to be ground down without grinding off the bead of weld.

Ready for welding.

Old were hanger measured for accurate location of new hanger then cut off.

Here is a shot of a coat of Coroless being applied to protect the bare metal.  Then Black Chassis paint was applied.

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