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Mark Borgmann

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No I didn't break any of the stock sasquatch drivetrain with the 37s...but in preparation for 40s I decided to upgrade the FDU and CV axles while doing a gear swap.

The spicer ULTIMATE 44 AdvanTEC FDU is available now with Heavy Duty 32 spline axle shafts and steel tube for extra strength. These come with a electronic locker in many ratios. The case is a different casting and has solid rubber bushings.

The swap took me an afternoon by myself and is fairly easy to do.

The CV axles are much bigger in critical areas and I noticed the extra angle available when installing them. The boots are very superior to the OEM ones and allow more clearance around the shock base.

I've included this link from spicers install video.

I'll keep this post updated with long term feedback and putting this new stuff to the test with 40 " tires.

Here's a few pics. And part numbers.

Nick over at the Spicer team has been very responsive and helpful with the production updates. (Fords ProCal tool and tune was the bottleneck on lower gearsets).

I was able to sell my used m210 FDU and rear gears to a member and recouped about 25% of the cost of these expensive parts.
So that is a real bonus.

Jeep JL rear gearsets for the m220 d44 axle do work, however the pinion bearing supplied in the rebuild kits is incorrect for the Bronco. Jeep uses a double row of ball bearings instead of a regular roller bearing like Ford. Be aware of this different part if you do a rear re-gear.

This is also the most perfect time to do a diff drop with spacers and new front bracket....far easier with the FDU removed to modify the rear upper pinion mount on the FDU.



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Have you had any issues / broke any of the Spicer CV's?
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Mark Borgmann

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no issues, it's a great product.
the axles are beefy ...I doubt that anyone will break them.
Glad you haven’t had any issues. I broke a 32spline cv on a very easy trail right after installing. They think it was a bad clip but not sure yet.

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IMG_0437.jpeg
 

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Glad you haven’t had any issues. I broke a 32spline cv on a very easy trail right after installing. They think it was a bad clip but not sure yet.
Post your specs, you got a bracket lift and it looks like beltech shocks? Several bracket lift guys have been blowing out CV axles. I wouldn't doubt it's from over extension, we still haven't been able to prove that spicer units add travel(ball type CV get weaker with more travel).
 

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I haven’t really heard from anyone NOT experiencing noise out of their RCV’s (on the 6th gen anyway) but have heard relatively good things about the spicer extremes (both 29 and 32 spline)
Well let me be the first. My RCV's have been great. I wish I could keep them, but am going the UFDU route 🤠
The diff tube is a waste of money, the failures of the intermediate shaft have occurred without destroying the cast aluminum housing. The issue is no one has made an upgraded shaft yet. The shaft is twisting at the splines. The only solution I would buy into is a full splined 300m shaft with more bearing support(current bearings have some pretty loose tolerances since they don't use a race).
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This is exactly why I chose the spicer....It does have upgraded splines 32 instead of OEM 29, the diameter is obviously larger as well. and on the inside of the cv they use 35 splines. The aluminum tube is replaced with cast steel and the outer bearing is bigger.
Yep, glad my wife talked me into going with the UFDFU instead of the tube upgrade after thinking about the intermediate shaft & other improvements. Should arrive today 😁
 
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Glad you haven’t had any issues. I broke a 32spline cv on a very easy trail right after installing. They think it was a bad clip but not sure yet.

Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_0437


Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_0437
please share details on this ASAP...
Under what exact conditions did this occur?
what exactly broke? the axle shaft or cage or star?

what size tire and lift?
wheel spacers?
 

Mark Borgmann

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Post your specs, you got a bracket lift and it looks like beltech shocks? Several bracket lift guys have been blowing out CV axles. I wouldn't doubt it's from over extension, we still haven't been able to prove that spicer units add travel(ball type CV get weaker with more travel).
Belltech 4” diff drop, 2” suspension lift on 38’s. Ran this setup on stock FDU for about 8 months. Once the CV failed I decided to upgrade to the new FDU 5.13 gears and 1/2 shafts.


My setup is as follows.. 22 wildtrack, 4-7" Beltech Lift set at 6". 38" tires on 17" rimes 0 offset with 1.5" wheel spacer. Running this set up for a while until i broke the stock cv's. upgraded to the dana ultimate 44 with 32 spline CV's and 5.13 gears. how it broke: on a trail that was not rutted 17 degree down hill and at the bottom had to turn right at full lock and it made a loud pop. the splines pulled out of the CV end and broke the clip. Working with dana currently to see what caused this. According to them my set up is way under what these are rated for since i only have a 2" suspension lift and the rest of the lift is the dif drop. the thought is the clip wasn't seated correctly or was defective won't know for sure until i ship it back. Dana has been very responsive and i feel confident we will figure it out.
 

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Belltech 4” diff drop, 2” suspension lift on 38’s. Ran this setup on stock FDU for about 8 months. Once the CV failed I decided to upgrade to the new FDU 5.13 gears and 1/2 shafts.


My setup is as follows.. 22 wildtrack, 4-7" Beltech Lift set at 6". 38" tires on 17" rimes 0 offset with 1.5" wheel spacer. Running this set up for a while until i broke the stock cv's. upgraded to the dana ultimate 44 with 32 spline CV's and 5.13 gears. how it broke: on a trail that was not rutted 17 degree down hill and at the bottom had to turn right at full lock and it made a loud pop. the splines pulled out of the CV end and broke the clip. Working with dana currently to see what caused this. According to them my set up is way under what these are rated for since i only have a 2" suspension lift and the rest of the lift is the dif drop. the thought is the clip wasn't seated correctly or was defective won't know for sure until i ship it back. Dana has been very responsive and i feel confident we will figure it out.
Wow missed the initial post. Glad Dana is working with you & hope you get it sorted quickly.
 

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Belltech 4” diff drop, 2” suspension lift on 38’s. Ran this setup on stock FDU for about 8 months. Once the CV failed I decided to upgrade to the new FDU 5.13 gears and 1/2 shafts.


My setup is as follows.. 22 wildtrack, 4-7" Beltech Lift set at 6". 38" tires on 17" rimes 0 offset with 1.5" wheel spacer. Running this set up for a while until i broke the stock cv's. upgraded to the dana ultimate 44 with 32 spline CV's and 5.13 gears. how it broke: on a trail that was not rutted 17 degree down hill and at the bottom had to turn right at full lock and it made a loud pop. the splines pulled out of the CV end and broke the clip. Working with dana currently to see what caused this. According to them my set up is way under what these are rated for since i only have a 2" suspension lift and the rest of the lift is the dif drop. the thought is the clip wasn't seated correctly or was defective won't know for sure until i ship it back. Dana has been very responsive and i feel confident we will figure it out.
If you had no issue with the factory cvs you should be good with spicer. The bracket lifts throw a big curve ball in the cv over extension issue. Lot of people are getting the wrong lift (front spacer) and having issues. The difference between models is very minor but enough to cause issues.

If you look at the length you can see the physical difference. The travel for the spicer unit comes from the inside axle bell. I think the outer is cup design? if you lose the retainer ring it is very possible to have something similar to your pictures.
Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline 1694630084653
 

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@Mark Borgmann if you have the time can you post pics of the style of ring or C-clip Spicer used on the axle? also I am very curious if the axle splines are truly 1.5" diameter and 35 spline as claimed. I would also like to know the ball diameter to compare with 934s. thanks.
 
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I'm having trouble with a small leak from drivers side case where the Axle seal is. I took a closer look and realized the axle retaining clip is not doing its job. the axle freely slides in and out and what's worse is the seal now moves in and out with the axle.

I'm gonna tear it out this evening and devise a real fix. this is a poor design w/o a support bearing it is destined to fail. and the brass Circlip is NOT sufficient to hold in the axle securely.

on the passenger side, the play in the inside joints splines (where it connects to the intermediate shaft) is WAY too much for long term use. so I'll be devising a fix for that next.

the spicer stuff is plenty beefy and strong, but they need to upgrade the other "weak" points like stub axle support bearing and tighter tolerances on splined connections.

I'll be posting a correct fix for these very soon.

Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline Screenshot_20230918_125324_Photos
 
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I'm having trouble with a small leak from drivers side case where the Axle seal is. I took a closer look and realized the axle retaining clip is not doing its job. the axle freely slides in and out and what's worse is the seal now moves in and out with the axle.

I'm gonna tear it out this evening and devise a real fix. this is a poor design w/o a support bearing it is destined to fail. and the brass C-clip is NOT sufficient to hold in the axle securely.

on the passenger side, the play in the inside joints splines (where it connects to the intermediate shaft) is WAY too much for long term use. so I'll be devising a fix for that next.

the spicer stuff is plenty beefy and strong, but they need to upgrade the other "weak" points like stub axle support bearing and tighter tolerances on splined connections.

I'll be posting a correct fix for these very soon.

Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline Screenshot_20230918_125324_Photos
Well that's not good, especially after I just bought it :sneaky:

Do you think the clip is just fatigued? It looks a little compressed.

Looking forward to your solution.
 
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Well that's not good, especially after I just bought it :sneaky:

Do you think the clip is just fatigued? It looks a little compressed.

Looking forward to your solution.
I'll let you know...the pic is just a reference BEFORE I installed.
 
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ok, correction...the shaft MAY NOT have been installed correctly (by me) ...
after disassembley and close inspection the spline wear shows that itbwas never seated properly to begin with.

Spicer instructions are a bit vague, here even tho they say "make sure the CV is completely inserted" mine felt like it had clipped in when it was really 1/4 out!!! most likely put 10k miles on it and even a trip to Moab with it not seated all the way in.

the tell tale sign is the reveal behind the CV cup and between the FDU case.

as you can see in the picture it's now that it's seated correctly there is not much more room than the end of a ballpoint pen. Anyone doing this swap should take note of this critical area and make sure the axle is in place. I was damn certain I had it far enough as I used a big slam Hammer to force it in, on the original install, but apparently didn't quite get it far enough in. I even tried to yankbit back out and it did seem seated properly, but was NOT.

On another note you can see that the snap ring that is provided by Spicer is too narrow for the end of the axle bar. I plan on upgrading the snap rings to double thickness to a heavier Duty unit which will withstand a bit more in end Force especially during wheel stroke or full travel.
Overall
,I am very impressed with the internals of the CV axle assemblies themselves they are indeed extreme Duty the axle shafts are 1.5 in in diameter and 35 splines the same as a true one ton Dana 60. The race and star are exceptionally sized and the balls are a bit over 1 inch in diameter making this CV joint as strong or stronger than a 934 in my honest opinion which is extremely good for the price point.
Here are a few snapshots.

I'm gonna run this side a while and check it often and see if it pops out in the future. I

Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_20230919_180805




Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_20230919_180757


Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_20230919_180752


Ford Bronco Installed 5.38s and Spicer Ultimate  44 FDU  and Extreme CVs 32 spline IMG_20230919_180748


IMG_20230919_222244.jpg
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