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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
smoothop
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Dana 30 ->ford 9" or Dana 44 Front Axle Swap

I have been doing some searches to try to find some answers on front end axle swaps. Currently I have a Dana 60 rear geared at 3.73's with a beefed up Dana 30 front axle. I have been wanting to get rid of the Dana 30 and move towards a Dana 44 or Ford 9 inch. It seems that the 9 inch swaps are not very popular front axle swaps? Why is this? I am seriously considering going with a 9 inch due to cost and ease of gear/pinion install. Plus its easy to make a 9" much stronger than a D44 can ever be. Will I have any problems using my 3.73 Geared D60 in the rear and a Ford 9" in front?

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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
jeffyjensen
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the 9" was a rear axle the guys that have them in the front rob parts from the D i think to make it a front. i believe your talking big money but I'm not 100% on that. you can do a 60 up front rather than a 44 if you think the 44 isn't gonna cut it for you.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
foggybottombob
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The only 9" front axles I know of are these from Currie. They use special rings and pinions developed for this housing.
Currie Enterprises Jeep 9 Inch Front Ends
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:55 PM   #4
Jim1611
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I am working on putting together a 9" axle for the front of my Jeep. I bought the housing from Currie and am shopping for a housing, gears and locker. You take the outer steering knuckles off your old dana 30 and use them on the 9". You have to buy new inner axle shafts, mine are 31 spline but 34 are available and the same size as the dana 60. Everything from the u-joint out can be from the old dana 30. The down side to me is that you are limited to the ARB air locker in your choice for selectable lockers, unless there's something else available that I haven't seen. The guys at Randy's ring & pinion tell me that you can't use a detroit true trac in the front because of the way they are made, they will be turning the wrong way and not engage. Call "Blue" and have him explain it to you, they are extremely helpful.

The 9" is stronger than the dana 44 for many reasons but if I had it to do over again I would consider dana 60's on both ends simply because I could buy used 60's and narrow them. Buy even with that you give up ground clearence to the 9". I'm sure you can get 3:73 for the 9 so I doubt that would be an issue for you. Look at spending about $2500.00 minimum if you go the Currie route. That is if you shop around for internal parts. Currie is higher than allot of other axle suppliers but the housings they make are top notch and not out of reason on price.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
JeepnBlake
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There are folks who run 60-9 combos but that's typically a d60 front with a ford 9 out back. It was me I would either run an hp 60 and hi 9 out back just cause that's what the cool kids do or go hard core and run 14b front and rear, the front having 60 outers.

Moral of my rambling is what ever you do for a front axle you'll end up swapping on outers from a d60 or something similar and then it will cost you a fortune. I would just run a 60 up front and then you're set.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
jeffyjensen
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i was just looking at the true Hi9 set up, very nice but its $2,000 just for the 3rd member and you still need a housing, tubes, knuckles and shafts. so I'd guess $3,500-5,000 for a High pinion 9" vs 2000 for a used hp D60.

but if you rob the knuckles off a junkyard axle and the outers than you just need inners and you can build a low pinion for 1500ish
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Unread 08-03-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
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The rear axle doesn't care what axle you have up front, so as long as the front axle fits in there and has the same gear ratio, you're fine.

Getting a 9" to fit is the trick. As mentioned before, Currie makes one. It's not cheap.

You might want to look into getting a Wagoneer 44 up there. That'd be easier......then again, Currie's 9" will bolt right in, just gotta pay the price.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnBlake View Post
There are folks who run 60-9 combos but that's typically a d60 front with a ford 9 out back. It was me I would either run an hp 60 and hi 9 out back just cause that's what the cool kids do or go hard core and run 14b front and rear, the front having 60 outers.

Moral of my rambling is what ever you do for a front axle you'll end up swapping on outers from a d60 or something similar and then it will cost you a fortune. I would just run a 60 up front and then you're set.
In regards to the locker not working in the front of a 9"axle. I built my XJ in 1992 with a 9" and 44 outers 4,56 Detroit lockers front and rear. That way I only needed 1 spare carrier when wheeling. I have never had any problems with the front axle locking up in fact it is too good having the bunny hop steering when turning sharply on the trail. CORRECTION I meant to say I never had any trouble with my front locker not locking up!!!!

Last edited by BossCherokee; 09-19-2011 at 09:31 PM..
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Unread 09-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggybottombob View Post
The only 9" front axles I know of are these from Currie. They use special rings and pinions developed for this housing.
Currie's 9" front can either take their HP 9" (really an 8.8"), or your run of the mill low pinion 9" third/ring and pinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnBlake View Post
There are folks who run 60-9 combos but that's typically a d60 front with a ford 9 out back.
A 60-9 is a Ford 9" housing/third member with Dana 60 outers.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 09:28 AM   #10
Happy Joe
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These are what many high $ boys run;
http://www.truehi9.com/

Its not a Ford 9 inch but its based on them, and I believe stronger than the Currie versions.
I have seen a number of low pinion Ford nine inch diffs home converted to front axles, however the lower pinion sometimes gives even more problems in the front than it does in the rear due to it off center location, on long travel suspensions.

Most of my friends have gone beyond the (light duty) D44/35 inch tire, stage and are at least running 35 spline (Chevy for passenger drop fronts or Ford for driver's drop) D60s in front.

If you want a Currie rock Jock high pinion front (they are way better than a D44 (if used with high spline count 1.5" axle shafts); the iron center sections are relatively cheap and relatively easy to retrofit with stock 3" or 3.25" tubes; IF you are an experienced heavy fabricator.
Note; most D44s came with smaller tubes but some are 3".
Be aware, however, that the rock jock centers are not a good candidate for conversion to Dana 70 gears (the stock Ford D60 high pinion center section is a better candidate for this, IMO)

Enjoy!
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