Scout II Dana 44 in a CJ


first thing I had to do was remove all of the steering components and tear it down to an almost bare housing (I have no pictures of this part).

Scout axles come from the factory with zero degrees of castor, except for 1980, which supposedly has 1-2 degrees. For use in a CJ, and to have it handle semi-properly, we need to cut and turn the inner “c”s to give us the castor we want. I am shooting for 6-7 degrees.

I started by using a 4 1/2 inch grinder with a cutoff wheel to cut away as much of the factory weld that I could in order to rotate the inner “c”s to the appropriate angle for my use.

Shown below are both sides of the axle housing with the weld cut out, exposing the seam and allowing me to turn them to my desired angle.

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After I cut the weld, I needed to establish pinion angle, then get perches made and attached to establish a reference point to start from.

I chose a fairly high pinion angle of about 14 degrees to get my yolk and u-joint high up out of the way of being hit by objects in the trail.

Once this angle was established, I used my angle grinder to grind an axle perch into the passenger side of the housing.

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I used a 7 inch piece of 1/4 inch steel and centered it up to fit directly above the factory mounting location.

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I used an angle finder to ensure it was sitting perfectly flat before tack welding it in position. Now I had my reference to build all of my other angles off of.

I used a piece of 1/4 inch wall 2×2 box tube and cut a perch for the drivers side of the axle, centered it up above the factory perch, and welded it in place.

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Tonight I finished welding the “c”s back in place at their new angle, welded shock tabs on, and finished welding the passenger side spring perch.

This shows the spring perch in place and completely welded. The 1/4 inch plate is braced front and back by more 1/4 inch plate, which was welded to the axle housing using 7018 welding rod.

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After I finished with the perches, I welded on my shock tabs. Shock tabs were purchased from A&A Manufacturing and made out of 3/16″ steel

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Here is a side view of the entire axle after I welded the tabs and everything else on, this picture shows the castor angle, and the picture makes it look like the perches aren’t flat, but they are.



I was planning to start working on my gear installation, but found out that I received the wrong bearing kit. I haven’t been able to do a lot since I am playing a waiting game right now.

In the meantime, I started getting my flat top knuckles free from their donor axle using a picklepork and a BFH.


Here I have both of them off and have already removed the drivers side steering arm. These will be sent to a machine shop next week to be milled, drilled, and tapped.


Here is what the pattern looks like for the flat top knuckle modification, credit here to Mr. N’s Dana 44 page


After I got the knuckles freed, I turned my attention to my axle shafts, I will be modifying these shafts to accept full circle snap rings, a feature found on aftermarket chro-moly shafts, but not on factory shafts.

I started to clean up my seal surface and quickly realized I was going to have a problem getting these axle shafts to seal in the diff.

I cleaned them up the best I could, and decided to build up the seal surface with JB Weld to attempt to smooth them out. This picture is of one shaft after the JB has fully cured.


Same shaft sanded down


and the other side, which was a bit worse


I ordered a set of Speedi-sleeves to go on these shafts and give me a new seal surface, they should be in over the weekend.


Speedi-sleeves came in a couple of weeks ago, I installed them, took pictures, but never updated the page, so here we are.

I ended up using National part# 99131. The cheapest price I could find was RockAuto so I ordered through them. Parts were correct and arrived quickly.

I ended up needing a custom driver for the sleeve, because I needed to drive it deeper than the installation tool that came with it. I piece of 1 1/4 water pipe did the trick nicely.

Here you see it installed to the depth I want.


This is after removing the installation flange


And installed in the axle housing to see how the seal rides on it.




This weekend allowed for a lot of progress on the axle build. My gear setup is complete, with the air line for the ARB routed out of the diff, axles shafts are modified for full circle snap rings and new u-joints are installed.

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Here you see an unmodified axle shaft designed to use c-clips, I take a die grinder with a cut off wheel and clearance the back of the yoke to fit full circle snap rings




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U-Joints installed with full circle snap rings, I went with Alloy USA X-joints, part number 11500

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I should have my knuckles back from the machine shop within the next couple of days, and I can start assembling the outers.

Also, don’t do this, make sure you have the right tool to press your bearings on, I didn’t and damaged my flange cap for my ARB by using a socket, an expensive mistake!


As you can see I gouged the flange cap right where the o-rings ride, I ended up ordering a new one from ARB, which set me back over $200 and a couple of days.



On Sunday I separated the wheel hubs from the old rotors, modified them for integrated grease fittings and painted them, I did not get picture of the before, but I do have after pictures.

Here is a picture of the modified hub section with a hole for a grease fitting drilled and tapped into it.

I got the idea for this from



Here is one a bit closer up, I should have used a flat that wasn’t next to a wheel stud, on the other side I was smart enough to do that.


Here is one of the new rotors painted with high temp BBQ paint, don’t worry about the overspray, that will come off the first time I hit the brakes


Here they are put together with the hub and wheel studs


I also painted my new calipers, why? because I like red calipers. They look brighter here than they normally will because the paint is still wet




Steering arms have arrived from East Coast gear supply. These are pretty beefy steering arms, and will give me the full high steer that I am looking for in this build.


To install them, I started by spraying some brake cleaner on the studs and in the holes in the knuckles, I then used some blue loc-tite before putting them in.


I allowed the loc-tite to set up for a few minutes, then installed the arms, I used some never seize on the threads of the PT nuts, but left the arm to knuckle and the cone washer to arm fittings dry

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Arms were installed and torqued to 100 ft-lbs

Next I started making my own spring plates, I basically took some measurements and make them from some 1/4″ plate, then took some angle iron and welded it over where the u-bolts will be to add strength and structure to the plates. I will wait to paint these until I am ready to install, I will need to weld tabs on for my sway bar mounts


I also took some time to clean up and paint a set of Warn premium hubs for this build.


I need new bearings for these because they are damaged, part # se206 4050 in the picture below, I am working on sourcing these.




Research has yielded that the bearings mentioned above are no longer made and are not available, luckily I scrounged through my pile of hubs and found three of the nylon bushings in good enough shape to be used. I now have enough parts to build two hubs to run, and one spare.

I got a fair amount of work done over the weekend, I had no time to work Friday night, and was busy for half of the day Sunday, so my progress was limited to Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Anyways, on Saturday I got the old front axle completely removed


Removed the springs and front hangers


and cut my out-boarding plates. On the front ones I also drilled all of the needed holes to bolt everything up, here is the passenger side in for a test fit


After I make sure all of my measurments are correct, I will make a vertical plate, which will be bolted to the framerail, and a set of gussets to strengthen the entire piece.


Tonight I finished the rear mounts. when I removed the factory rear mounts I left part of the factory rivets in place because I wanted to reuse them as locator pins.

This picture shows the rivets still in place, with the exhaust and brake line behind them



when I made the rear out-boarding plates, I measured and drilled 5/8″ holes in them to fit over the factory rivets

These pictures already have the factory spring hanger welded to them, but move the hanger out 2″ just like the front hangers

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I used a large c-clamp to hold them in place on the frame while I tack welded them in place, once tacked I removed the clamp and burned them in solid

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After I completed those welds, I cut some gussets out of some 1/4″ material and welded them in to strengthen the rear mounts

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After I took these pictures I gave them both a heavy coat of primer.


I made some progress over the weekend, not as much as I was hoping to, but not terrible.

I finished and primed the front out-board hangers

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Painted them and the rear hangers and installed my springs

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I also ordered my steering parts and new brake lines for the front axle.

I got a hold of some 3/8-24 lock nuts so I can put my spindles on, and I should have u-bolts tomorrow (the original ones I ordered were too long)



A fair amount of work has taken place since the last update, and I have been to busy to take pictures of most of it.

U-bolts arrived, and I bolted the axle in place on the Jeep

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I have already trimmed the extra u bolt length in this picture, the extra piece you see on the spring plates is where my swaybar will be mounted.

I installed my spindles, rotors and wheel bearing pieces, and also installed my lockout hubs


I also connected my axle vent tube and began running the air line for my ARB, The line will run up to a pressure regulator and solenoid located on the firewall.

Ball joints and u-joints have been greased, and the diff is filled with oil.

I have not installed my brakes yet, because I am waiting on brake hoses from 4WD Hardware, there is not enough room between the caliper and the high steer arms to install the banjo bolt with the caliper in place, so I must wait for brake lines.

I also ordered my steering from Parts Mike in California, which should be shipping soon.


Got my new shocks mounted and brake hoses ran, also got the calipers put together.

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I had to shorten my front driveshaft because the pinion “snout” on a Dana 44 is longer than a Dana 30. I looked in my pile of random driveshafts and could not find one of the appropriate length, so instead of buying and waiting a couple weeks for one to show up, I decided to cut one down myself.

After marking a line with a paint pen, I cut the weld on my shaft and separated it from the slip section.


I cut 1.5 inches off of the driveshaft and stuck the pieces back together, I did some research about getting it as straight as possible and came across this method from another jeep site


In this picture, the person performing the work is using a dial indicator to check the runout of the shaft before and during the welding process.

According to research that I have done, you want to get it under .005 of runout, but aim for as little as you can.

I ended up somewhere between .002 and .003, so I am very happy with that, and will likely not have any problems with it.

Here is the completed front shaft, painted and ready to install


My steering parts arrived today, I unboxed them and painted the rods.

If can be hard to see in the photo, but the two pieces are hanging from mechanics wire, and coated liberally with black rustoleum.


Also new tie rod ends and pitman arm. the Tie rod ends are standard GM 1/2-3/4 ton tie rod parts.

The Pitman arm is a custom part from Parts Mike in California.


Assembly begins tomorrow, as I have a ride Saturday and need it done



I got the steering parts installed and tightened down, Jeep is back on four wheels and will be ready to ride tomorrow.

Here is what the steering linkage looks like from the knuckles

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Here is a shot of the entire front end