We have had this product on the market for some time now and it seems we still a lot of questions on how it installs and what benefit it provides.
First, the design of the system is to provide the factory JK axles (We offer kits for both the Dana 30 and Dana 44) with the highest degree of protection from abuse while on and off road.
We take the weaknesses of the factory axles and create an exterior superstructure which ties in all of the factory suspension mounts and offers Heavy Duty replacements for the Trackbar, which has a high failure rate.
Not only does the system provide peace of mind when traveling into those out of the way places, but allows those on a budget to save themselves from continual repairs and upgrades.
Not to say we advocate running a Dana 30 axle with 40" Tires, but with this system we ran our Artecon on some of the most difficult trails in the world, including those found in Moab, Johnson Valley and all over Arizona, with zero bracket, link or tube failures.
Yes, that is a Dana 30 and those are 40" Toyo Open Country MT's.
Here is a little on how the kit installs:
Our truss kit specifically designed to strengthen the vulnerable front axle in the JK Jeep Wrangler. All the pieces of this truss are designed to fit very closely to the axle and each other for a tight assembly. If you have any questions that are not answered in these instructions, please feel free to contact us directly at [email protected]
and we will be more than happy to help you.
NOTE: THIS KIT INVOLVES EXTENSIVE WELDING AND GENERAL FABRICATION SKILLS. ONLY COMPETENT WELDERS SHOULD ATTEMPT TO INSTALL THIS KIT.*
STEP 1. Unpack contents of shipment. Remove axle from vehicle for best results and easiest installation. Prior to mockup make sure axle is clean and uninstall any oem and aftermarket bolt-on accessories that may conflict with russ installation. Remove axle breather hose and uninstall any electric locker wires from casting. This area will be welded so care should be taken to prevent these components for melting.
STEP 2. Slide piece 8 into jigging slots of pieces 2 and 3. All jigging slots are of varying depth and can only be installed one way. If the tops of 2 and 3 aren't level when jigged, try reversing piece 8. Follow same procedure with
pieces 9, 4, and 5. Place assembly 823 on axle tube between the casting and passenger side upper control arm mount as shown in the picture (below). Place assembly 945 between passenger side upper control arm mount and coil bucket as shown. For driver side, place piece 7 on the backside of the axle between the casting and drivers side spring perch. Place piece 1 on top of piece 7 and line up jig holes. Holding 1 and 7 in place with one hand, slide piece 6 up from underneath on the front of the axle and jig into 1. Arrange until the assembly holds together on its own.
STEP 3. Using a marker or paint pen, indicate the areas on the axle where the truss touches the axle to prepare for welding. Remove truss pieces from axle. Using an angle grinder with either a flapper disc or wire wheel brush, clean the surface of the axle tube, casting, upper control arm mount, and coil perch until bare steel is exposed. Clean surfaces on drivers side casting, tube, and coil perch in a similar fashion. Repeat step 2 and place assemblies 823, 945, and 167 on axle.
STEP 4. With assemblies on axle, place piece 0 on truss by sliding large slot underneath upper control arm bushing. Jig 0 into place with rest of pieces and ensure truss pieces are straight.
STEP 5. Place large tack welds between the axle and the ends of pieces 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to secure these pieces in place. DO NOT WELD TOP IN THIS STEP, TOP PIECES (0 AND 1) ARE USED ONLY TO ENSURE PROPER LOCATION OF PIECES 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, AND 7.
STEP 6. With bottom pieces secured, remove pieces 0 and 1 from assembly to weld inside the truss. Weld piece 8 to pieces 2 and 3 inside the truss for maximum strength. Repeat procedure for assembly 945.
STEP 7. Before welds cool too much, replace pieces 0 and 1 back on assembly and tack weld them to assembly. Once all welds have sufficiently cooled, proceed to weld exterior of truss in a similar manner as in step 6. Remember
to take your time and spread out your welds. It is not necessary for every seam to be completely welded.
STEP 8. To weld truss to cast section with best results, preheat casting evenly around where truss contacts to approximately 400 degrees. DO NOT HEAT UNTIL GLOWING RED AS THIS MAY DAMAGE THE CASTING. Once preheated, weld truss to casting before it cools. For best results, use a needle scaler or peening hammer to relieve the weld directly after welding. Post heat the area to approximately the same temp you used to preheat. Wrap axle in a welding blanket to slow the cooling process, the cooling should be slow (18-24hrs.) and uniform. (The idea behind this method is to relieve the stresses in the materials prior to welding, and ensure that the plate steel does not cool quicker than the cast resulting in stress cracks.)
STEP 9. When completely cooled, check for any cracks in weld especially around the casting. If cracks are discovered repeat the necessary steps above,
grinding out any cracked welds and prepping the area.
STEP 10. Once axle is ready, paint truss and axle where bare steel is exposed to prevent rusting. After paint is dry, reinstall axle breather hose, electric locker wire, and any other components. Install axle according to manufacturers
The components for the armor kit are shown in the mounting diagrams below. Welded areas should be prepped by removing paint. All these parts have a precise fit to the axle components so no major fabrication is needed. Some parts are directional.
TYPICAL INSTALL TIMES
TRUSS ONLY: 3-4 hours
ARMOR KIT: 4-6 hours
For further questions and
comments, please email