with Brent May
Newfield Axle Installation
So, you own a Samurai, and you love to wheel it. Maybe you have invested in a sweet set of gears and bigger tires. Now it goes anywhere you want it to, and the once great fire roads that you used to like to explore just arent cutting it anymore. Its on to bigger and better stuff! BUT, bigger and better usually means more damage. And we all know the reputation those Samurai axles have when you throw on bigger tires and bigger gears! S0, what do you do? Swap in a bigger set of axles of course!
But what if you dont necessarily want bigger axles out of a different rig? Maybe youre happy with youre Samurai axles; but you just want/need something a little stronger with less worry.
Well, if youre like me, you place a call to Roadless Gear and order a set of Newfields from Figmo! For people running larger than a 31 tire, these are just about as bomb proof as you can get. Newfields have been around awhile for the Toyota guys, but Figmo got together with CV Unlimited to come up with a version for the Samurai. Made of fully heat treated 4340 billet construction with a larger axle shaft, and larger Birfield joint, these are as close to the perfect Samurai axle as your going to get. You can see from the pictures the size difference between the stock Samurai axle and the Newfield axles. Bigger axle shaft, bigger birfield = better axle for the front end.
Installation is also a snap, but does require a set of rear Samurai side gears or a mini-spool in order to work! Other than that, its pretty straightforward! And if you use the Seasoned Rookie method of laying everything out in the order you remove it, installation will be as easy as just reversing your parts line!
After pulling everything off to remove your stock axles, pull your hogs head to install the rear side gears or mini spool! The Newfields are splined for the rear side gears and WILL NOT WORK with the front side gears.
I was installing a set of 5.12 Trac/kick gears into a steel Samurai housing, so I just made sure I got a rear Samurai housing so I would have the correct side gears for the install, not to mention a stronger 4-pin carrier for the front. Another item of note here is that you will have to remove EVERYTHING from the steering knuckles out to install your Newfields. Some samurai axles will slide out of the knuckle housing, but due to the size of the birfield joint on the Newfields, this just isnt possible. (See pictures) Your Samurai lockouts will work with these axles, so theres no need to worry about replacing those as well.
After replacing your hogs head, begin installing your Newfields. The fit will be tight, but not so tight that you will have any problems. This would also be a good time to rebuild those front axle seals and bearings if its been quite a while since youve done that sort of thing!
Well, I decided on a run to one of our local trails to see how these axles would do. After two runs on everything from slick moss covered rocks, to slimy Southern Indiana mud, I decided to pull the front end apart to look at my new axles. I have to say, they look as good as the day they arrived! Even under the stress of 33 tires and a locker, I couldnt have asked for better results!