SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

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SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:10 pm

Put an axle in my truck. ALong with a lot of other work. I really want get the 5 speed in there too. I had the auto before. Problem I am running into is the angle of the front driveshaft. It is extreme because of the short length. I will re tube the shaft but I can't run it at such an extreme angle. It binds as it sits.

I can't really move the axle forward any more because of steering box positioning. So that is a constant. I basically need to move the transfer case output back to ease the front driveline angle.

My options(and this is where I need any help or ideas) include:
-dual case the MUA5 with the auto transfer case on the back. I have concerns about the difficulty of cutting the front case to make room for the driveshaft. As well as cooling once the front case is reduced in oil capacity. I am trying to keep the truck road worthy and usable for hauling etc..
-go back to the auto trans. It is longer so simple way to extend the shaft. I really wanted to have a manual so I'm trying to avoid this.
-AR5 transmission? I don't know much about it though I just stumbled about some pictures. It seems longer than the MUA5 for sure. The trans doesn't have a turret the transfer case does. So I think it's longer. Any ideas with this? Is the case on a AR5 still manual? Or is it a vacuum/electric actuation? Would it be longer enough to satisfy the front driveshaft? Also does it meet right to the 96 3.2 I have currently?

Thanks guys. I'm hopeful for the AR5 but I don't know enough to go and grab one right off the bat. Any input is greatly appreciated.
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1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Enemigo » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:21 pm

The AR-5 trans is used in many different vehicles. It'd be done work, but you can change the bell housing and tail section on the AR-5 to fit other stuff. So you could switch to a Toyota rear and run all those transfer cases, which are easy easier to build a doubler for example. Also, the transfer case is divorced on the AR-5.
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:48 pm

Ok after some more reading seems like the ar5 is the answer. The tail shaft can be swapped to a toy tail? For now I think I'm going to run the transfer case from my auto 4l30. Then maybe double up down the line if I can figure that out reasonably. Don't want to make the rear shaft to short ........thanks
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Enemigo » Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:09 am

Nasty610 on here has some great posts about the AR5 and the variations. I want to say the thread I'm thinking about is in the Hall of Fame section.
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby paulevans76 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:49 am

If you don't care about it being balanced at speed there are a few bandaid options while you pull together whatever trans/case(s) you decide to run with.

If you can adapt toyota flanges somehow, there are some factory shafts and joints that are capable of 40* with single joints on both ends, and a CV shaft that is capable of like 37* I believe. You could cobble together a square shaft out of receiver stock like the yota guys do for a quick n dirty, as long as you can actually get the flanges to bolt up.

Another option is tom woods offset ujoints. If you are using spicer 1310s already, this is your easier option. You'll also want to use limit straps to prevent the suspension from extending enough to bind. I am running one of these at my tcase side of my front shaft and it bought me about few additional inches of droop before it binds.

Ultimately if I were you, I'd go with the AR5 backed by dual 23 spline toyota cases. Dual zu cases has been done but only about half seem to survive without splitting or cracking the cases. A single zu case geared down to 3.07 might be good enough, I find it to be not quite low enough.
Scratch n Dent special 1991 Trooper S
3.4 V6 - Holley TBI, CompCams 252H, 1.6:1 roller rockers, +1mm DOHC pistons, MSD ignition, custom tune, "Ed Mc Special" 2.5" exhaust
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SAS - Waggy F D44 - 5.38's, RCV's, OX locker; Rodeo R 44 - Detroit, truss
Front Y-link radius arms, coils; Rear SOA, OME leaves, anti-wrap bar
35x12.50/17 General Grabber X3's on 17x9 Interco Birddogs
Trail armor and Warn XD9000
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Enemigo » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:54 am

Also with dual cases you can still use just normal low, which is nice if you're just camping or hunting or something and don't want to crawl every where.
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Jake.Werecat » Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:48 pm

If you DO want double T-case, drop the idea of doubling MUA-5. It's not worth it. As chaps already suggested go for AR-5 with two Toyota T-cases (you would have to change to output shaft on the tranny or the input shaft on the t-case to meet each other) OR drop in the complete R150f/151f from Toyota (you would have to change the bellhousing to fit Isuzu V6). In both cases, you can use a doubler from Marlin Crawlers. Both ways are way easier, simpler and thus more reasonable then trying to chop and weld the MUA-5

But leaving the dual T-case alone, as it's a whole different story, requiring much more effort and money. Simplest option for you is indeed swapping in the AR-5, if you find one from behind a 6VE1 3.5 engine from 2nd gen Trooper ('98-'02), it bolt on to your engine with no problems. AR-5 is longer indeed, and has a separated T-case, which normally uses electrical motor to engage 4WD (The lever only shifts from HIGH to LOW). But it's a very simple remedy to stay fully-mechanical. You can separate the tranny, get rid of the t-case, an use the t-case from 4L30 auto with mechanical shifter. It also bolts on just like that. This way you can eat a cake, and have it too. You have a longer (as well as more durable and tougher) tranny, and a good old t-case without any shitty electrical and mechanical stuff. Win-Win.
Last edited by Jake.Werecat on Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Shawn Anthony » Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:15 pm

A divorced NP205 running off the MUA5 is a good option to shove the forward drive shaft back. You can also rotate the front axle pinion up to ease the angle of the driveshaft
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:08 pm

Thank you guys for the replies. Good ---- here really. I wanted to update. I went with the AR5. It should fix the front end. Going to change the front shaft to 1310s from a rear shaft I have and make something up with that.

I put my auto trans t case on the back so I'm super happy about that. I didn't want any actuators.

Any info on the Toyota case swap would be sick. I don't think I'm going to do it immediately but I'd like dual cases and toy seems the way to go.

Unfortunately I bought a clutch, flywheel, plate for my 3.2 mua5. But I believe it will work with the AR5. Just a bit smaller than the trooper clutch. Same flywheel I guess.

Sorry for the random link, pic is too big to upload https://ibb.co/269J0ys
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Enemigo » Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:31 pm

I'm interested in the rest of your axle swap. Will this be your build thread, or do you already have one? What axle did you go with?
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:16 pm

I don't have one really. This ain't the whole thing for sure. I can make one at some point. Once I've got the body back on and it driving.
This whole project spiraled from SAS to manual swap to body off restoration. If you have any specific questions go ahead. But I'll have to type up and make an album later.

It's a dana 44 from a wagoneer. Width matches pretty good. Gotta fix the camber. Super positive right now.
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Enemigo » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:21 pm

Are you doing a leaf spring front?
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:12 pm

Yes rancho leaf springs. 440440 or something.
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby paulevans76 » Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:19 pm

Those are the 2" lift wagoneer springs. Should settle a bit once you get the body on and break them in a bit. You'll just want to see if you can let everything fully droop before binding the driveshaft, and if so, you're good to go.

When you say super positive camber, do you mean caster? I'm not sure how the camber would get jacked without a bent housing or spindle or something.
Scratch n Dent special 1991 Trooper S
3.4 V6 - Holley TBI, CompCams 252H, 1.6:1 roller rockers, +1mm DOHC pistons, MSD ignition, custom tune, "Ed Mc Special" 2.5" exhaust
MUA5 w/ 3.07's & fixed yoke
SAS - Waggy F D44 - 5.38's, RCV's, OX locker; Rodeo R 44 - Detroit, truss
Front Y-link radius arms, coils; Rear SOA, OME leaves, anti-wrap bar
35x12.50/17 General Grabber X3's on 17x9 Interco Birddogs
Trail armor and Warn XD9000
The White Whale - a temporary daily driver 1991 Trooper - 2.8 V6, MUA5 - stocker resto (sold)
1994 Samurai - 1.3 FI - OME suspension, 31's, 6.5:1 tcase, 5k milemarker SxS winch, more to come!
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:45 pm

I do mean camber. The top of the tire is tilted out. Not sure how that happened. I replaced the ball joints and the upper cam nut was straight and I put in a new straight one. Not sure how this happened.
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 9:07 pm

paulevans76 wrote:Those are the 2" lift wagoneer springs. Should settle a bit once you get the body on and break them in a bit. You'll just want to see if you can let everything fully droop before binding the driveshaft, and if so, you're good to go.

When you say super positive camber, do you mean caster? I'm not sure how the camber would get jacked without a bent housing or spindle or something.


Any idea on this? It is positive camber I was going to get replacement bushing adjusters for the upper ball joint. It seems to be about 2 degrees. Kinda weird, I wonder if I screwed something up with those spindle studs. I've heard people spaced in between there for camber too. Idk
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby paulevans76 » Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:32 pm

Assport96 wrote:
paulevans76 wrote:Those are the 2" lift wagoneer springs. Should settle a bit once you get the body on and break them in a bit. You'll just want to see if you can let everything fully droop before binding the driveshaft, and if so, you're good to go.

When you say super positive camber, do you mean caster? I'm not sure how the camber would get jacked without a bent housing or spindle or something.


Any idea on this? It is positive camber I was going to get replacement bushing adjusters for the upper ball joint. It seems to be about 2 degrees. Kinda weird, I wonder if I screwed something up with those spindle studs. I've heard people spaced in between there for camber too. Idk


I don't, I haven't had the pleasure of making any of those adjustments unfortunately (or fortunately :blackeye: )
Scratch n Dent special 1991 Trooper S
3.4 V6 - Holley TBI, CompCams 252H, 1.6:1 roller rockers, +1mm DOHC pistons, MSD ignition, custom tune, "Ed Mc Special" 2.5" exhaust
MUA5 w/ 3.07's & fixed yoke
SAS - Waggy F D44 - 5.38's, RCV's, OX locker; Rodeo R 44 - Detroit, truss
Front Y-link radius arms, coils; Rear SOA, OME leaves, anti-wrap bar
35x12.50/17 General Grabber X3's on 17x9 Interco Birddogs
Trail armor and Warn XD9000
The White Whale - a temporary daily driver 1991 Trooper - 2.8 V6, MUA5 - stocker resto (sold)
1994 Samurai - 1.3 FI - OME suspension, 31's, 6.5:1 tcase, 5k milemarker SxS winch, more to come!
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Re: SAS front shaft too short. MUA5 alternatives?

Postby Assport96 » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:43 am

Just wanted to round off this post for completeness.

My setup is a 1996 3.2L with an AR5 out of a 98 model trooper. I'll be using the clutch for the rodeo, although smaller, I already have it and the cost is much less. I mocked up my automatic (4l30) 4x4 trans mount onto the AR5 and it will fit well so I will get a new one for that fit. This also means I can just use the cross member as it sits(although I already modified for the mua5 I'll just have to cut my extension off).

Solid axle on the front, Dana 44 from wagoneer. Drive line angle doesn't look bad. I will use a spare rear shaft from a rodeo and shorten it for the front. This means all of my shafts will be 1310 u joint. Easy to keep spares. Also means I can use high angle 1310s (tom woods?) If needed. When I assembled the axle I used a flange from the rear 44 so I have the same 4 bolt flange on every connection, front and rear.

Last thing I'm wondering about the AR5 is a breather. From the Toyota guys I gather you can drill and tap the shifter plate on the top for a breather. But where does that mean the original breather is? If I don't cap the original off then adding a higher one really doesn't help. I may just skip it all together and get fresh boots(on order from Japan) hope for the best. Maybe just do more frequent fluid changes with the cheapest 5w30 I can find lol.

So that's where I'm at, I think...
1996 Passport 3.2L:
  • 245/75/16
  • Lokka up front, G80 lsd
  • cheap ebay hubs
  • dual battery
  • roof rack, rock sliders
  • ARB bull bar, x20 10k winch
  • OME springs in rear
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