Dana 44 Swap Help Please! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
Mase90
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Dana 44 Swap Help Please!

I spent a few months looking around for a front axle to swap into my 02 Tj and after some research I decided I wanted a D44 out of a mid 70's ford with the high pinion. Well I found one out of a 78 bronco with the 5 on 5.5. However I didn't know that they came with cast radius arm mounts. I've made a few calls around to local shops trying to find a place that would retube it. I finally got ahold of a shop that said they could do it, but that that axle wouldn't be worth it because its a poor design. So what I would like to ask is this true? Should I just resell it and start over? I was under the impression that if I retubed it, it would be a great platform to build off of. Any thoughts or experiences on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 01:48 PM
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It depends on what your goal is.
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post #3 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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My goal is to narrow it to stock width and have a good solid axle up front
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post #4 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mase90 View Post
My goal is to narrow it to stock width and have a good solid axle up front
Your profile says you are running 32'' tires. The D30 you have now is just fine for 32'' tires. So, what is your goal, are you building to go bigger? Building and swapping in a axle just for the fun of it is fine, but seems like a waste of money.
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post #5 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 02:46 PM
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As factory D44's go, the Ford HP style is strongest. However, to get rid of the cast radius arm mount in THAT axle you would have to retube. I'm doing similar stuff and can tell you it's not easy to remove the tubes, so imagine it'd be expensive. Lots of people will tell you to save money and stay with the D30 (A XJ HPD30 is stronger than your present) and build up (cryo shafts, etc) and a lot of people will tell you to spend a little more and go D60 (huge, but not a lot of clearance)... Depends on your goals, really. However, there are HP D44s from other 70's Fords that have the tube all the way through (just hack of radius arm mount and go) or were set up on leaf springs. If you resell yours and start over you might be able to get where you were going and break even. I think 76-77 F150, maybe? Some Early Broncos are the right width, but the stock shafts have the weaker u-joints, so you'd have to upgrade.

Maybe look at this: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f126/...-axle-1433719/

There is no easy formula, though you can get there.

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post #6 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to update that. I actually got a little ahead of myself a few months ago and installed a RE 5.5 long arm kit and put 37's underneath it. I know I should've done the axles first but I couldn't help myself. So yeah its just to handle the bigger tires
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post #7 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 02:59 PM
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Then D44 or D60, depending on how you wheel it. You can still break a D44 with 37's if you're heavy on the gas and break/regain traction. What is your rear axle? You'd want D44/Ford 8.8 minimum too. What about TJ Rubicons? Just ideas.

Or just get a set of full width axles from a late 70's F250.

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post #8 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdkask View Post
Then D44 or D60, depending on how you wheel it. You can still break a D44 with 37's if you're heavy on the gas and break/regain traction. What is your rear axle? You'd want D44/Ford 8.8 minimum too. What about TJ Rubicons? Just ideas.

Or just get a set of full width axles from a late 70's F250.
Rubicon 44's are a bit of a time bomb with 37's unless you do a pretty good amount of work to nuke-proof them. The same goes for the 30 in the front, which has the same outers as the Rubi 44's.

If it's worth doing, then it's worth overdoing.

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post #9 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdkask
As factory D44's go, the Ford HP style is strongest. However, to get rid of the cast radius arm mount in THAT axle you would have to retube. I'm doing similar stuff and can tell you it's not easy to remove the tubes, so imagine it'd be expensive. Lots of people will tell you to save money and stay with the D30 (A XJ HPD30 is stronger than your present) and build up (cryo shafts, etc) and a lot of people will tell you to spend a little more and go D60 (huge, but not a lot of clearance)... Depends on your goals, really. However, there are HP D44s from other 70's Fords that have the tube all the way through (just hack of radius arm mount and go) or were set up on leaf springs. If you resell yours and start over you might be able to get where you were going and break even. I think 76-77 F150, maybe? Some Early Broncos are the right width, but the stock shafts have the weaker u-joints, so you'd have to upgrade.


Maybe look at this: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f126/...-axle-1433719/

There is no easy formula, though you can get there.
Thanks tdkask. Thats almost exactly what i had been looking for. But i really want the HP for the clearance. Since you said your working on a similar project maybe you could answer one other question I had. How do I got about integrating the old brakes in with my newer Tj setup? Is it just a direct swap at the caliper or do I need to change out/modify the system?
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post #10 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdkask
Then D44 or D60, depending on how you wheel it. You can still break a D44 with 37's if you're heavy on the gas and break/regain traction. What is your rear axle? You'd want D44/Ford 8.8 minimum too. What about TJ Rubicons? Just ideas.

Or just get a set of full width axles from a late 70's F250.
I have the optional rear d44 in it right now. But I've been contemplating swapping it for a d60 at the same time as the front. I figure that way I wont be building the rear twice since I figure eventually ill want a rear 60 anyways.
As far as the rubi axles I have really tried to find them since its such an easy swap. But people aren't parting with them very easily anymore and are asking a good bit of money for them. So I though if I did it right I could build a better axle for around the same price if I found the right one.
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post #11 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundowner

Rubicon 44's are a bit of a time bomb with 37's unless you do a pretty good amount of work to nuke-proof them. The same goes for his 30 in the front, which has the same outers as the Rubi 44's.
Haha so true. I just keep waiting for the day it just hand grenades
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post #12 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 06:25 PM
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Haha so true. I just keep waiting for the day it just hand grenades
With 37's you're on borrowed time even in simple street driving. The 30 may grenade on you but the more likely situation is that the continual stress of the large tires will bend, warp and twist the suspension and steering until something seems to give way, suddenly.

With that said, I think you're at the point of going to a 60, or a 14 bolt, or something of that nature. As you well know, the differentials on those units are freakin' huge...but you're offsetting the clearance loss on the differential by having an adequately-sized tire. You'd have to do a lot of work to beef some 44's up enough for your 37" tires - see Redlyner's build for details on that route - but if you want lightness and clearance, the built-44 route is the way to go.

There are a lot of other good axles out there, as well...so don't get locked into the normal choices.

If it's worth doing, then it's worth overdoing.

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post #13 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 07:33 PM
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I have the optional rear d44 in it right now.
The D44 in the TJ's is a weak version.

My D44 couldn't handle 35s and a locker. Along with this treat, my housing was bent backwards from crawling.



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post #14 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 07:55 PM
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Nice carnage.

If it's worth doing, then it's worth overdoing.

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post #15 of 72 Old 11-13-2012, 08:08 PM
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Of course driving habits and terrain count, but the D60 is stronger than the D44... hard to break. But I think you have as much clearance with a D44 and 35's as D60 and 37's, maybe more. Someone will roger up that info in a moment, I think. Will you be maybe going larger than 37's later?

As for brakes, what will you be doing for rear lug pattern? A mismatched set would be unfortunate, as you'd need multiple spares. If your rear is stock (5x4.5), maybe you can have fronts re-drilled to match? If you wanted to keep the lug pattern for the Ford stuff (and some older Jeeps) of 5x5.5 you can build it to use high steer, FSJ/Chevy brakes, ford hubs/rotors. I can point you in that direction, if you go that route, as can plenty of other guys here, but there is a "formula" to do it on the cheap (junkyard parts), as conversion "kits" can get costly fast.

Please note that a Ford 8.8 is only a slight upgrade (if any) from your D44 rear, and a Ford 9" is only a slight upgrade from there, depending on donor vehicle. You'd be great with D6/D60s, but it will cost you a arm, leg, and an organ or two, especially after all the brackets, etc. Depends on your budget.

My D44 project (and the reason I had to learn so much) is getting a HP D44 (all of them are driver's side drop) into a CJ7 with D300 (passenger side drop). I had to remove tubes and flip driver's/passenger's sides. No picnic. I actually used pieces of two HP D44s, one from a F250 and one from a Bronco like you have. Lots of carnage and one whole axle's worth as scrap metal. I got it cheap, though, and was a housing like that one that was destroyed.

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