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Closed Knuckle Dana 70

LightBnDr

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So I came across one of these while working an emergency at a customers house. Sitting on the floor of his shop.

Soon as I saw it I knew it was bigger and heavier than a 60.

So I start axin questions and he says "man if you want help thrown it off the bow of a boat I'll help you". So it go me thinkin, what's the big failure of this monster axle? I understand the tracta joints in the outers.

Anybody here ever torn one down and seen if any dimensions are the same as open knuckle models we use all the time? Example: can we just toss the inners and outers and run a jointed aftermarket shaft? Modify hubs and such or snatch some Dana 50 hubs to be compatible with stubs we like to run? About the only dimension that seems crippling is it shares the same closed knuckle size as the Dana 25 thru Dana 44. So to me that might mean you can't fit a standard 60 outer joint inside the knuckle??

Basically what I came up with is everybody says they are junk but it looks like a mini rockwell axle. Surely I can build a good steer axle out of it?

Anybody here have some experience with one?
 

LightBnDr

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This is true. My plan is to build a rear steer axle with it. So that would involve cutting tubes anyway. The key is if I have to buy another axle for donor parts would it put me in the price range of just building a high pinion 60 to begin with?
 

TBItoy

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LightBnDr said:
This is true. My plan is to build a rear steer axle with it. So that would involve cutting tubes anyway. The key is if I have to buy another axle for donor parts would it put me in the price range of just building a high pinion 60 to begin with?

Do you want a HP 60 rear axle?

If so, then that pretty much answers your question...

I'd get the closed knuckle 70 just because I like looking at stuff. At the worst I'd tear it apart to look at it, then scrap all of it. might get lucky and it has low gears or a old no-spin in it?
 

kkoepper

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Oct 19, 2011
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I had one in a 4600lb buggy with a tbi sbc and 4.88 gears. Locker, 35 spline outers with drive flanges and high steer. Ran it with 42" trep stickies at Golden Mountain and beat the snot out of it. I had that buggy for 3-4 years and never had any issues with it. Probably be even better as a rear steer, since they are low pinion. 10.5" ring and pinion and thick tubes. Mine was from an International, so it didn't have the tracta joints. You can use a combination of dodge and ford inner and out axles to make it all chome moly regular axles if it came with tractas. I always worried a little about the strength of the closed knuckle, but never had any problems with it. Pick it up cheap and play with it.
 

LightBnDr

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TBItoy said:
Do you want a HP 60 rear axle?

If so, then that pretty much answers your question...

I'd get the closed knuckle 70 just because I like looking at stuff. At the worst I'd tear it apart to look at it, then scrap all of it. might get lucky and it has low gears or a old no-spin in it?
Yes I'd love to run a HP60, even a BJ would be fine.

I'm in a light weight rig and I'm easy on her. It would tuck that drive shaft up high and out of the way. It's the same axle I run up front on 42 reds and it's been a phenomenal axle

Most likely I'll check numbers on it to find what year and manufacture then go from there
 

LightBnDr

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kkoepper said:
I had one in a 4600lb buggy with a tbi sbc and 4.88 gears. Locker, 35 spline outers with drive flanges and high steer. Ran it with 42" trep stickies at Golden Mountain and beat the snot out of it. I had that buggy for 3-4 years and never had any issues with it. Probably be even better as a rear steer, since they are low pinion. 10.5" ring and pinion and thick tubes. Mine was from an International, so it didn't have the tracta joints. You can use a combination of dodge and ford inner and out axles to make it all chome moly regular axles if it came with tractas. I always worried a little about the strength of the closed knuckle, but never had any problems with it. Pick it up cheap and play with it.
So these hubs look like they would never fit a healthy 35 spline outer like my 60.

This is the info I was looking for.

Did you have any trouble converting to disc brakes? Did you already have the correct 8 lug pattern?
 

tonybolton

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Nov 24, 2011
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Location
Lenoir City, TN
nightcrawler4x4 said:
Get a d60 and do a Jana 76 gear swap. Been running it in a 6200lb rig no more ring and pinion problems the next weak link becomes the shafts.

Is the load bolt / mount holding up? I've seen 3 of those and all 3 had cracks in the housing where that side load bolt goes in.
 

LightBnDr

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nightcrawler4x4 said:
Get a d60 and do a Jana 76 gear swap. Been running it in a 6200lb rig no more ring and pinion problems the next weak link becomes the shafts.
Lol well I'd love to

Prob is this one is free versus $1200 for a complete pile of parts in the for sale thread

I may load bolt this one if ever get that far.

I'm just more curious about someone who has run this closed knuckle on a rig that wheels hard and what their experience was with it
 

kkoepper

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Oct 19, 2011
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Since mine was from an IH, it already had 8 lug hubs and had the spicer u-joint axles. I fabbed up some brackets to convert from drum to disc, but sold the buggy before I I finished the swap. I used Ford 35 spline chrome moly stubs and RPM external drive flanges to get rid of the weak 21 spline outer stubs. Stock inners are already 35 spline.
 

LightBnDr

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Sweet man. That's what I'm talkin about!!

Now how do I get a set of those hub flange caps!!???!
 

LightBnDr

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Apr 26, 2014
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nightcrawler4x4 said:
I didn't do the loadbolt on mine and never had any problems.
My only pickle is I'll be running this as a rear steer axle so in the low pinion flavor I think it may be a good idea for me
 

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