Front 609 axle, sorta cheap’ish


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As a companion to my rear axle thread, thought I’d start a separate one on my front axle design & build.

Plan is to use the same fabricated housing and 3.5” axle tubes as the rear and upgrade my 3-link to welded on brackets & DOM links.

Firstly, the axle... decided that I didn’t want to use D60 king pin knuckles & C’s as there getting old and Ford OEM stuff is expensive due to this. Later 99-04 SD unit bearings are good but as they’ll need redrilling didn’t want to do that if one failed, earlier ball joint knuckles will fit the SD C’s but there getting scarce and are expensive too.

Looked at using the D50 TTB ones but there are no after market C’s available and grafting on the rectangular beam ends just looks so red neck. D44 can be built strong with all CrMo parts but your maxed out at 30 spline stubs.

So, after some hunting around I found out the Dodge guys use Ford D60 spindles to convert from unit bearings to regular hubs. Looked at the prices of the knuckles and there about half of what people want for the Ford BJ ones. So, happened to see some in Alberta on EBay and bought them.

They look like this :

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And they’ll fit right up to the 99-04 SD C’s that are available from Dana and have a 3.5” Tube ID.



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Next brakes.... wanted to use the same rotors that I have on the rear axle, saves having to buy more for development and keeps parts common, same for the calipers.

Compared the rotors sizes to the stock Dodge ones and there slightly larger in diameter so the stock cast ears probably won’t work out, so, the 3/4t Chevy ones it is.

Looked for caliper mounting bracket ideas and found these.


The Ford spindles sandwich the mounting plate (right pic), so a hybrid of the two types should work and allow for the spindle flange being redrilled to the 4 bolt pattern of the Dodge knuckles.


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Linkages, not likely the Rover TRE’s will be the same taper as the Dodge knuckles and I wanted to do an upgrade anyway. Found the Ruffstuff Y-link 1t steering kit is a reasonable price and as the draglink ear on the knuckles is above centre line when I redrill them from the top it’ll give almost high steer clearance. The panhard will also get raised at the axle end so it looks like they’ll both be almost horizontal and parallel for minimal bump steer.


That’s about all for now..... waiting on parts to arrive.


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Decided to measure and draw up the rear caliper brackets as a basis for the fronts, nice to get all the critical mounting bolt dimensions nailed without lots of trial & error.


Once I get my hubs & a spindle I can work on the other half of the bracket and spacers if required.


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Quite a bit of progress on this side project, picked up quite a few parts.... Ford Dana 50 TTB hub assemblies.


A pair of Dodge knuckles, after a quick clean up of mating surfaces they tap together and we can see how the hub will look.


Had one hub turned down to fit a rear rotor, picked up a new caliper and it’s not going to work that way... was worth a try.


So, we’ll be using same calipers as the rear axle. Looked at using the cast in caliper brackets but no go, time to buzz them off !


That’ll do the trick 👍


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Next to attach the caliper to the knuckle. Did look at using the D50 spindle with the bracket mounted on the outside but this really reduces the clearance to the hub. So, got a new D60 spindle with the longer spigot on the rear side.


Time for some ‘cardboard assisted design’ and draw up the caliper mounting brackets. Took quite a number of test fits but ended up with a design that hugs the knuckle and maximizes the caliper clearance to my rims.


Now I have both front & rear brackets designed, there out for water jet cutting in 3/8” plate.

Here is one of the assemblies, should be a substantial upgrade over the Rover axle and the position of the tie rod arm will all me to redesign the 3-link mounting brackets to increase ground clearance on the long tube side.


Will be jumping back onto the rear axle now as have enough parts to start assembling the casing.
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Hit the knuckles with a wire wheel, coat of paint next.


A FB group member gave me this dimension.


So, can now estimate the tube lengths and make a start on the truss, springs, shocks & 3-link mounts for it.


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Spent some time measuring up today, took some washers, a spare wheel spacer and added 1.5” to the axle.


With the wheel back on it doesn’t look too bad and would give a WMS/WMS of 64”.


Should have the inner C’s here this week so I can work out how much I need to move then to accommodate the lower spring mounts.... if any ?


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Picked up some new BJ’s and assembled up one side. Nice to see the lock stops line up.


Now, measuring up from the WMS to the top of the inner C for spring perch clearance gives me 10”.

To achieve this and comparing to the stock axle.


We need to add 1.75” to the axle width per side, or 5 washers and a wheel spacer for a WMS/WMS of 64.5”.

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Doesn’t look too odd, compared to a lot of the trucks I see running around town and if I swap rims out down the road for some 16 or 17’s, I can reduce the negative offset and suck the wheels back in a bit.


I like the look of how it sits. That's how I got my JK offset and the only problem is the sides are always dirty, looks cool though lol.



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Worked on the SD inner C’s, cut off the welds and after slitting the remaining piece of axle tube, hammered them out. Quick clean up with the wire wheel and there ready to be pressed & welded onto the new axle tubes.


Also, picked up the latest batch of water jet cut parts. We have the assembly jig, front & rear brake caliper brackets, rear spring seats and the drilling jig for the front Ford spindles to the Dodge unit bearing pattern.


Now we have the WMS/WMS tied down I can get the rear axle tubes made up and assemble it on the jig.

Will get the short side front tube inner C pressed on and then we can work on the spring & upper link brackets as I think they’ll end up being a combined assembly.


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Had one of the C’s pressed onto the short side axle tube, can now work on the link & suspension brackets.