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Thread: Axle compatibility

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2019
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    Axle compatibility

    I bought a 1958 CJ5 frame. I'll be working from there one part at a time. When buying axles, I'm assuming they have to be compatible as far as ratios, etc.? Also can someone give me an answer on whether or not the axles are above the springs or below? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In stock form, the axles are above the springs. To create a cheap lift, you can run the axle under the springs, but you have to cut off the spring perches, and weld them on the top of the axle. That is just a nutshell.

    As far as ratios, you have a few options. It all depends on how and what you want to do with your rig. Highway speeds require a higher ratio gearing, i.e. 3.73:1, but a stock 4 cylinder would be doggy at lower RPMs. A stock 4.88:1 will limit you to 50 mph max, and a 5.36:1 is good for only 47 mph max.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    Don't forget your tire size. If you increase the height of the tire, it can have a significant impact on final drive ratio. A 2" diameter change from 26 to 28 for instance, will knock a final drive effective ratio down numerically .25 points. In other words the 4.88 acts more like a 4.56.

    The front ratio needs to be the same as the rear ratio unless, you are sand dragging. If they are not you will break something eventually or, right away. For this reason the tires must also be the same size.

    In an attempt to knock some of the ratio out of my 5.38 CJ3A, I increased the tire size to the biggest stock looking NDT's KW had to offer that would not hit at full turn. I was able to significantly increase the tire height and reduce the effective ratio by a lot. I can now go 51 at recline! Haha, truly gotta love cruisen' slow... real slow.

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