August 1, 1998
Just when I thought I was finished with the swap,
another problem rears its ugly head. Specifically,
the low range rear output in the Dana 300 transfer
case started jumping in and out of gear during
compression braking. I first noticed the problem at
the IRC '98 run, which was the first ever 4WD test of
my Jeep since the D44 swap. At first, I thought the
banging/clunking sound was due to the Lockright I had
just installed but various testing procedures
eliminated the Lockright's culpability.
When I realized it must be the transfer case, I tried
compression braking with the shifter disconnected.
The problem persisted. This ruled-out the possibility
that the shifter was hitting the floor pan, causing it
to go in and out of gear. So, resigning myself to the
fact that I would have to get dirty, I removed the
transfer case and opened it up. It turned out that
the rear output's shift fork was missing one of its
nylon inserts. Hmm, could that have been causing the
problem? It made sense. After I installed new
inserts and re-installed the case, I was hopeful that
the problem was solved. No such luck. Ok, enough of
that. This Jeep is my daily driver and I don't want
to take the case out every weekend to try a new fix.
Instead, I bought another D300 from Gemini Sales in
Langley. They happened to have four in stock so their
asking price was quite reasonable.
Now, up to this point, I had assumed (yes, I know the
problem with assumptions) that I had one of the newer
Jeep Dana 300 cases, not the '80-'81 case which was
shorter than the rest. Well, after removing my old
case and comparing the two side-by-side, it became
obvious that my first Dana 300 was, in fact, the early
model. That meant that my rear driveshaft was now
one or two inches too short. I have the "new" case
installed and the rear driveshaft hooked up. With
only half an inch of compression travel, I will not be
offroading the Jeep until I can get the shaft
shortened. What really aggravates me about this
situation is that when I originally installed the
D300, I tried the early Bronco CV shaft and discovered
that it was a couple of inches too short for my
requirements...so I paid to have it lengthened. Well,
now that I have a slightly longer D300, it appears
that I will again have to pay to have that same
driveshaft cut down to its original length!
September 11, 1998
Chris Waterman's Early Ford Bronco axle swap, I
think that would be the route I'd recommend for future
YJ axle upgrades. It requires less work and is much
less intimidating than the Scout axle swap. However,
I can take solace in the following benefits over the
EB axle swap:
- Scout front D44s come with disc brakes and large
- The Scout front D44 allows a slightly sharper
- Rear D44 uses 30-spline axle shafts vs. the
Bronco's 28-spline units.
- Rear D44 has a higher pinion, requiring a less
severe driveshaft angle.
Chris' arguments in favour of the EB axle swap can
be found at his web page.
I'd be hard pressed to say which swap has the overall
performance advantage. The point to keep in mind,
though, is that there are at least two relatively easy
and affordable ways to turn a Jeep YJ into a extremely
reliable offroad machine, able to compete head-to-head
with the best.