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Need input on rear axle options

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I currently run a D30 front, 8.25" rear, both locked with 35" tires. Never had a problem with the 8.25, but the D30 is a different story. I am tired of replacing shafts and u joints multiple times per year plus rebuilding the entire diff about once a year.


Thought at first of moving to a Waggy 44 or a narrowed Ford 44, but then realized I would still have the same u joints. After thinking over a bunch of options I decided to move up to a D60, and leaving it full width. That means I should also get a full width rear axle. I'm hoping to find a D60 set up with 4.10 gears (or lower if I can find it) because having to regear it would break my budget. However, with a 60 under the front my next set of tires is likely to be larger than my current 35s.



-Ford Rear D44 from my 1979 F100 I used to have. The axle is still under the remains of that truck which became a trailer after a head on crash. Problem with it is 2.72 gears. AFAIK, Dana/Spicer doesn't even make gears that high anymore, so I'd be looking at gears and master install kit, but the axle is free. It also has 5 lug flanges where the D60 would have 8 lug, and don't know if it will stand up to 37" or larger tires.


-Corporate 14 bolt. Indestructible, and shouldn't be too hard to find with 4.10 gears and would match the bolt pattern on the 60. Problem is it's HUGE. Boat anchor. Would drag on every rock unless I move up to 42" or bigger tires. I know I could shave it, but too much involved in that.


-Mini 14 bolt. Semi float, still plenty strong enough. Don't know how easy to find with 8 lug shafts and 4.10 gears.


-Corporate 10 bolt. Small, should be no weaker than the 8.25", but I think only available with 5 or 6 lug, not 8.


-D80, too big


-D70, maybe too big.




-Ford 9". Available with 8 lug shafts? Difficult to find for cheap as everybody wants them.


-Whatever I missed.




I'm kind of leaning toward a mini 14 bolt or D60



Would like input.

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I'd go with a 60 front and either 60 or 14B rear. I'd get the full floater 14B, they can be shaved and that can be done a year or so down the road. For the mean time shave the diff cover so it wouldn't get caught on anything and let it slide, just bolt on a pinion guard and should be good for a while. For tires I'd probably stick to 37's with 5.13 gears.

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I don't want a FF 14 bolt. Yes you can shave them. $250 for the new cover and bottom plate, probably $50 for welding, $100 to have the ring gear shaved down and I'm looking at $400 PLUS the axle and whatever it takes to bolt it under my truck.


I also think a FF14 bolt would be overkill. There is not a lot of weight on the rear. After I get done with it (bed removed, frame cut back to the spring hangers) there will be even less. Ultimate goal will be a double triangulated 4 link with the frame stopping in front of the rear axle. and a tube bed just large enough for gas tank, spare tire, tools and cooler. Keeping the same 120" wheel base I have now.


I'm set on the front 60.


I am on an EXTREMELY limited budged. So I'm looking at junk yard options with minimal modifications. That's also why I'm looking at stock available gearing as I don't have the funds to spend $300 for gears and install kits, let alone $600 to do both axles.

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