After doing some quick plating of the front crumple zone (I’ll do a separate post on that when I get done plating, as well as final mounting locations for the front leaf mounts) I did a few test fits of the 44. What can I say, I’m kind excited at this point so I’m jumping ahead a bit
Since I didn’t really have any reference points to measure off of to being with (cab is loose from the body, and I’d cut off all the things I could have used as an easy reference point). I just kinda winged the placement of the rear leaf mounts to get started and slide the axle in place (which was a pain by myself).
After the rear mounts were in place, I swung the axle around to roughly figure where the front mounts would need to be. (The string with the washer in some of the photos is where the center of the hub was with the D35):
The first trial fit was surprisingly close. Using some scrap steel (again), I’d just punched out some 4” shackles as I’d figured that the shackle length would wind up around 4-5”
As you can see, the angle at ride height didn’t look too bad, but with the axle at full droop, the shackle was too short. So I whipped up a 5” long shackle and gave that a try…
Better, but it can still be improved. The angle at ride height was still a bit too steep for me, and I wanted to get a little more down travel. So that called for round three. I Cut off the front leaf mounts and moved them back a ½” from where they were at first, and used the same 5” shackles.
This setup looks like it’ll give me about 7.5” of droop (measured from the frame to the ubolt plate), and about 21” under the frame. Since everything is just tacked in, I didn’t want to flex it out too much. I also haven’t modified the stock waggy pack yet, which should net me some more down travel. I’ll put in some sort of “anti-kick-back” thing on the finial version of the shackles to keep them from getting stuck when really flexing out.
Up travel has yet to be determined, but If were to put the bump stops where they would be on a waggy (Remember, stock wagoneer leaf pack here) I would have about 5” worth of up travel to work with. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-13” of total travel when measured at the frame. Not too bad for a leaf pack. Since the wheel mounting surface is about 18” out past the leaf’s, that meant I’m going to probably wind up doing some serious trimming of the front fenders
With the axle sitting as it currently is, the placement puts my stock pitman arm directly in line with the “long” hole on my passenger side high steer arm. This is awesome as I get the extra advantage of more steering leverage (may not have to do hydro assist?). But it also means that I shouldn’t lose any turning radius.