4wd do-it-all car...worth converting from solid front axle to TTB?

Frankie Biscayne

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New here and not a racer, this build is just for dune bashing, trail riding, street driving, etc, kind of a do it all rig. I also have a Yamaha side by side YXZ1000R, YZ250 and Polaris Outlaw 525 quad bike.

The car is a tube chassis 4wd car with GM 7.5" rear and XJ Dana 30 in the front and 4.10 gears. BW 4472 viscous transfer case, th350 trans, GM 5.3 LS with roots style blower.

Ive kind of converted from drag racing/standing mile/street hot rod stuff to off-road stuff the last few years. I originally built this car as a street car then converted it to offload with long arms front and back and Bilstein 2.5s with 16" travel front and back, 31" tires. Obviously with the wimpy differentials its not a super serious car but it has held up well to a trip to Moab and some dunes, its really light so that helps.

So anyway my question is would it be worth putting a Dana 35 TTB setup under it in the front for a more plush ride in the dunes and high speed trails or would it not make much of a difference. The car works great but I'd like it to be a little smoother in high speed stuff, Im more of a trail/dune rider than rock crawling. After comparing it with my YXZ side by side, it is a rough ride.

It currently has a 64 Nova body on it. I got a 68 Beetle Im going to put on it and try to make it a little more street friendly. I'll need to take 6" out of the wheel base and that'll still be 10" over stock Beetle wb which should be pretty good I figure (+7 in front and +3 in back)
 

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Dave Cole 4454

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I have raced Ultra4 Solid Axle, IFS, and I own a prerunner Bronco and Building a Centurion (both have TTB)

It wont be worth the gain, if there is any.

My solid axle car was faster, and more plush, than my IFS car. You can make a couch feel nice on a TTB front end but not so much when you turn. When you get into long travel TTB cars they can do some funky chassis jacking things when you throw them into a corner.

Id save the effort and invest into some shock tuning. 90 mph in legit two footers is achievable in a solid.axle car.
 

Frankie Biscayne

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Thanks a ton Dave, that's exactly what I wanted was someones advice that has done it! I have no experience!

I'll definitely start reading up on shock tuning, I need to get some nitrogen at the local Air Gas.

One more question, not trying to just throw money at it and not tune, but would adding external bypasses to the front help
with plushness and control on a light vehicle like this or should I just start with getting what I have set up perfectly before
considering them?

Thanks again!
Frankie
 

Dave Cole 4454

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My perspective is bypasses help make your private parts feel funny ;)

But Im weird that way.

In a seriousness, link geometry and weight distribution....as far back as you for the whoops...make a huge difference as well.
 

Bro_Gill

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Are you using chain as limit straps? lol
It's state of the art, most teams haven't caught up yet. You can get replacements just about anywhere.

On the bypass note, get your springs dialed in first. Play with spring packs and rates, when it is close to what you want, then work on shocks. If you aren't running race speeds, but more like prerun speeds where comfort matters, you probably won't need bypass as much as just a good hydraulic bump.
 

Frankie Biscayne

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Thanks for all of the replies. Yes chains as limiters, originally did it to figure out the length strap I needed and make sure, just haven't gotten to ordering actual straps yet.

I went and checked my springs since I couldn't remember the rates. 200/300 in front and 100/125 in back. The back seems much more controlled than the front, it is 16" coil overs mounted directly to the rear giving 16" of travel. The front are leading arms so its 12" travel coil overs but giving 16" of travel....duh I never thought of it but the shock action is getting worked much harder, so maybe the valving is just way off. The stock valving would work best with the wheel travel and shock travel being 1:1 right, since im 3:4 or 4:3 whatever, the valving is way off out of the box, leading to the harshness partly.

Again thanks for all the tips, Im going to look at my link geometry again research the spring rates some more too. Good day!
 
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