Rear Axle Wrangling - Currie F9 AxlePosted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on July 1, 2010 0) (
In last month's issue, we hemmed and hawed about what axle we should put in the back of our '01 Wrangler. It isn't an extreme rig-we use it for daily driving and weekend warrior type of stuff. We want to be able to go out wheeling on the weekend and have the peace of mind that it will get us to work come Monday.
We decided that the Dana 60-based options were total overkill for our application, and since we'd already mangled a TJ Dana 44, we wanted something a bit stouter than that. We came down firmly in the Currie Enterprises camp with one of its F9 housings and outfitted it with sensibly-priced options to keep overall costs down.
The one thing we did spring for was the ARB Air Locker. Some of us would rather not run an automatic locker in a daily-driven Jeep, and because of that, the ARB was chosen. Sure, it is the single most expensive part in the whole rearend build, but in our opinion, well worth it in a dual-purpose vehicle. We went with a regular low-pinion 9-inch third member, lower-tier gears, and plain-Jane drum brakes, which allowed us to reuse a lot of our stock stuff on the install.
We discuss how the formed 3/16-inch-thick steel housing increases ground clearance and how the F9 is way stronger than a stock 9-inch housing. But following our axle through the buildup gave us a better understanding of the improvements, and we picked up some tips and trivia to share with you along the way.