D44 front is one of my desired projects forth coming. I'll toss in this info link in case anyone wants to start from scratch,it's so much D44 info you'll be seeing them in your dreams!! Shaft lengths,tube walls, dimensions and photos galore,LOL Keep us posted
Just seems like an awful lot of work to go thru for a front D44... even a HP D44. The HP44 might be stronger in a front axle application (and allow for better driveshaft angle) but if you're breaking (or worried about breaking) any D44's ring/pinion, it's time to step up to a 60. Front Dana 60s have gotten a bit cheaper in the past couple years. Pretty easy to find them in the $600-$800 range around here. While that's still a good chunk of change, it's comparable to a D44 with alloy shafts and super joints... which still won't hold a candle to a 60.
I've seen a few front Dana 44 "failures" on the trail. In order of frequency, I'd say it goes hub, ujoint, axle shafts and then ring/pinion. So, unless you've upgraded to drive pucks, alloy shafts and some sort of super joint, the HP strength benefit doesn't even come into play in most cases.
Having said all that, I am running a low pinion D44 in my CJ5 with Warn hubs, Moser 4340 shafts (inner/outer) and Spicer ujoints and it's held up pretty well with 33s and 35s. However, if I were going any larger in tire size, I'd toss a D60 under the frontend.. and it just so happens I have a couple of GM 60s with 4.56 gears laying around the shop..
I agree. the dana 44 is a nice upgrade if you are moving on to steeper gears and want a stronger housing. The stock cj axles get weak because you only have a few teeth holding together when you move up to 4.56 or 4.88(and a bunch of other reason too). The dana 30 and dana 44 have a lot of things in common so you are really not upgrading(for the money atleast). unless you make a hybrid dana 44 using dana 60 outers! but why spend all that money building a dana 44 front axle to be more like a dana 60 when you can just make or buy a d60 for the same kind of money! I don't now if I would worry about breaking the ring/pinion on the dana 44 with 4.56 or 4.88 gears. I would be more worried about the ball joints, u-joints, bearings, spindles, tie rod ends...And I can't say(because I don't have the actual weights) but an 8lug ford dana 44 can't be that much lighter then a 8 lug dana 60? rockwells on the other hand are heavy!
I did a lot of research on the subject matter before I swap in my dana 60's(in my cj7)! Most people use dana 44's as a stepping stone to waste money before they swap in the dana 60's! I skipped that step. I can say that I am building a cj8 right now and I am planning on running a hp 44 in the front. but that's only because I had to go driverside drop for clearance around the 4l60e tranny! otherwise I would have stuck with the stock dana 30 front and passenger side drop(which would have saved me a money)!
Last edited by 7jeeps7kings; 09-28-2010 at 10:18 AM..
I have a Dana 60-2 Rear axle being shaved right now at a shop in Denver. This Dana 60 has 35 spline shafts and a 5 on 5.5" wheel pattern. I bought a 77 F150 front Ford axle that I will put in the front of my CJ7. Front axles are easy to swap around by just cutting tubes and welding the cut piece back on the other side after you take off the inner C knuckles. The rear axle is cut down to 60" by cutting 6" out of one side. Both shafts are the same length. I'll make the front axle use Waggy shafts by cutting the tubes to waggy lengths. That makes the front about 61.5" wide. All this is my main project this winter.
I measured my tubes with a micrometer they are 2.965" I can get a piece of hot rolled 4140 seamless tube 21" and turn it but the tube alone is $65. I wish I could find a scrap 10 bolt chevy front axle for the donor tubes. Still plugging along and I came into a set of 1/2 ton Ford outers - Opinions from the gang - Rons Machining 3.73 gear set for $135 or Yukon for $175 from Bronco graveyard?
I even have a picture but can't figure out how to post it.
SOA set up high pinion Dana 44 for CJ5 using factory inner axle shafts.
Early Bronco long shaft 27.94" _ Yukon with big u-joint from Jeff's Bronco Graveyard.
1980 Dodge short shaft 16.1" _ Ebay
Outer shafts and lockouts from Chevy 10 bolt _ Craigslist
1979 Bronco center section _ Craigslist
I cut the right side tube @ 7.475" from the center section
I used a long tube from a 10 bolt Chevy axle _ Craigslist
I cut the left long tube @ 19.315" from the center section. It was fully pressed into the center section so the seal is in the right spot.
The center section is 14.5" wide
I used the inner knuckle Cs from the 10 Bolt
This leaves 41.29" from end of tube to end of tube
Upper ball joint holes are 44.35" center to center
With Chevy Brakes, Jeep Waggy flat top knuckles and Ford 5 on 5.5" hubs and rotors
Yukon reverse spiral 3.73 gears
Auburn Posi Carrier _ Ebay
58" WMS to WMS - perfect match for my Scout Dana 44 Rear
I'm sending the knuckles out for flat top machining and ordering high steer arms next week.
Any Questions? Just ask.
Caster at 7 degrees - pinion pointed at transfer case.
Yup, that is about what I took off. I'll work on some pics. I don't have the axle in the Jeep at the moment. I have the stock Dana 30 in there for now. It is currently down getting a Eaton electric locker installed.
Beat it to fit, paint it to match!