Offset Dana 44 -
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Unread 01-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Saint John, N.B.
Posts: 31
Offset Dana 44

I have the good fortune to be a Jeep Addict. I have been running a 1979 CJ7 with Dana 300 Transfer onto an upgraded AMC 20 rearend.I like the narrow track set up.

Recently I have tracked down and bought a rare narrow Dana 44 centered differential rear axle. A spare in case my AMC 20 becomes unhappy for some reason.

I was talking with a fellow Jeep hobbyiest the other day and he told me that I could just used an older passenger offset differential as on the earlier Willys and Kaisers with no issues even if I was running a rear centered Dana 300 transfer case.

This didn't seem to make sense to me but he told me that he had done in a couple of times with no problems. Myself I would not do it without using the Dana 18 transfer case which lines up properly for a straight run to the rear end.

Any thoughts from Jeep smart builders out there? Is this possible or would it eat u-joints like crazy?

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Unread 01-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #2
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1974 CJ5 
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Location: Lorton, VA
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It's possible in a longer wheelbase vehicle, a CJ7 may or may not be long enough to allow it. On a CJ5 the driveshaft is just so short that you end up with a funky compound angle that doesn't work well. On something like a FSJ with a longer wheelbase people report using a centered transfer case with an offset rear axle (Quadratrac) just fine.

One of the rarer D44 Jeep axles is the offset flanged version used only in 1970/71. The earlier offset D44's used a coarse-splined two-piece axle shaft that is less desirable than the flanged version. In 1972 Jeep switched to the centered flanged D44 for the D20 transfer case, so this offset flanged version is pretty uncommon.
74 CJ5 complete frame off restoration
82 CJ8 Scrambler Laredo. 4.6L stroker AX15 D300.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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1970 CJ5 
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Location: Colorado Springs CO
Posts: 1,093
What Pathkiller said.
I wouldn't describe the centered D44 as rare, as it was in all 72-75 CJ's, as well as Commandos and Postal Jeeps.
The rare one is that offset flanged 30 spline unit, used from mid 70 thru 71.
FWIW, I used to own an early Scout which I ran for years with the offset model 18 tcase and a centered 44 diff, but it was long enough that the driveline angle wasn't too bad.
"It's better to have loved and lost, than to live with a psycho the rest of your life"
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Unread 01-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Saint John, N.B.
Posts: 31
Rare or not I am glad to have acquired the one I have. Thanks for the insights on the offset D44 being workable as long as the drivesft is long enough.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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1977 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gahanna, ohio
Posts: 268
I tried running an offset rear that was prob 4" offset from center using a Cv driveshaft and had only 2.5" of suspension lift and it still caused severe driveline vibrations. No issues below 20 mph but horrible beyond. Am sure the ujoints wouldn't have lasted even if stayed at slow speeds
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