Dana 44a - chipped teeth on the ring gear - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 9 Old 04-07-2013, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Park Ridge
Posts: 361
Dana 44a - chipped teeth on the ring gear

So, I'm in the process of replacing the wheel bearings on my 44a, but found broken teeth on the ring gear. I'm not really interested in putting any money in the axle, and finding the chipped teeth makes it easier not to. So does anybody know how long it might last?

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 04:51 PM
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1995 ZJ 
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Location: Flatsville
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Between 1 and 25,000 miles depending on luck and how hard it's stressed by the driver. You could probably do a couple low side holeshots on pavement and ruin it within eyeshot of where it's parked right now. Or you could drive like there's an egg under the throttle and it might outlive the truck

good luck with the project
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 06:43 PM
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1997 ZJ 
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Well, the contact pattern between the ring and pinion is supposed to be in the middle of the teeth, so most of that damage shouldn't hurt, but that one tooth is iffy. I had a hot rod that ground up the spider gears into powder, and the ring gear had damaged corners. I cleaned out the axle, threw in some junkyard spiders, and kept on driving. After about a year the pinion bearing gave out in a bad way, totaling the axle.

I totally agree with foundrydude. Personally, I would clean out the axle real good and avoid burnouts. Drive it till it breaks. Meantime, go to a you pull it yard and get another axle cheap, overhaul it, and have it on standby.

My cylinder head overhaul: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/cylinder-head-r-r-picture-heavy-1348138/
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 08:04 PM
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I'd drive it to the junkyard and back to pick up a replacement axle.

1994 5.9L ZJ, retrofitted UC package, NP242 swap, 17" JK Moabs with 32" BFG MT KM's.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 PM
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Yeh, time to pull a new one.

1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 33's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ 5.9 - Junked
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 08:16 PM
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1993 ZJ 
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I had a GM axle do that once, drove the chip through the bottom of the housing and drained all my gear oil in a nice line down the highway. A trail so clear and clean that my dad just followed it to the side street I pulled into. Drove it ten miles home and threw in a junkyard axle.

I'd replace it.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-09-2013, 05:58 AM
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It's already beyond borrowed time.
Bet it howls like a dog on a full moon.

'97 zj 5.2, some stuff, some other suff, and some things that even work sometimes.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-09-2013, 06:45 AM
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I'd be concerned about what caused it. It looks like several teeth are damaged so you had something in the case that the teeth hit. It doesn't look like the chip from the tooth was big enough to cause the damage, but I could be wrong. With metal fragments in the oil, the bearings will not last too long.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-09-2013, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Park Ridge
Posts: 361
Thanks for the information guys! I've found a replacement at my local u-pull-it. I plan on just leaving it on the jack-stands until I swap it out.
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