D44a axle shaft upgrade - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
f0xtrawt
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D44a axle shaft upgrade

I have a bent axle shaft on my D44a rear (2004 Overland 4.7HO), and want to upgrade to some chromoly shafts. I found a couple options, but these stick out to me. Will this kit for a JK D44 work in a WJ?

https://www.rustysoffroad.com/jeep-d...shaft-kit.html

The other ones I'm looking at idk if the site is down or if it's not around anymore, but it keeps crashing when I add to cart.

http://www.eadoffroad.com/alloy-usa-...30-spline-4140

Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 09:57 AM
coldspit47
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Per quick googling, 44a is 31.34" and non-rubi jk44 is 32" so doesn't look like it. I'm not seeing where anyone has chromoly axle shafts for the 44a.

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 10:09 AM
HarryH3
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How did you bend the current one? It usually happens when the vehicle slides sideways into a curb, rock, etc. If a hit like that bent it, the housing may also be damaged. Easiest fix for that is to replace the whole axle assembly with one from a junkyard. Just be sure to get the same gear ratio as the one you have or the 4WD won't work any more.
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
f0xtrawt
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Originally Posted by HarryH3 View Post
How did you bend the current one? It usually happens when the vehicle slides sideways into a curb, rock, etc. If a hit like that bent it, the housing may also be damaged. Easiest fix for that is to replace the whole axle assembly with one from a junkyard. Just be sure to get the same gear ratio as the one you have or the 4WD won't work any more.

It's been like that since I bought it. I have replaced everything except the actual shaft or axle housing. Finally after putting it on stands and letting it idle I could see it wobbling, and the brake rotors are/were brand new. My local JY's seem to be a ripoff on everything I have looked for, but I'll see how much they have one for, if at all.

I have the Quadra Drive II with 3.73s, what years/trims would have the same rear axle?


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post #5 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f0xtrawt View Post
It's been like that since I bought it. I have replaced everything except the actual shaft or axle housing. Finally after putting it on stands and letting it idle I could see it wobbling, and the brake rotors are/were brand new. My local JY's seem to be a ripoff on everything I have looked for, but I'll see how much they have one for, if at all.

I have the Quadra Drive II with 3.73s, what years/trims would have the same rear axle?
Quadra Drive II wasn't available in the WJ. Since you list a 2004 Overland, it is probably just Quadra Drive.

This website has a good breakdown of the 4x4 systems of the WJ and which will have the D44A:
http://www.wjjeeps.com/tcases.htm
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oktavius View Post
Quadra Drive II wasn't available in the WJ. Since you list a 2004 Overland, it is probably just Quadra Drive.

This website has a good breakdown of the 4x4 systems of the WJ and which will have the D44A:
http://www.wjjeeps.com/tcases.htm

Oh snap, okay I'm an idiot haha. Thank you much!


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post #7 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah my JY has one for $600 :/ yikes


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post #8 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so I'm digging around, made a couple calls and the machine shop I've used here in town can shorten the shafts for pretty cheap and still way more reasonable than any other option I've seen.
Aside from length, are there any differences between non-Rubicon JK shafts and the WJ shafts? Revolution Gear has a kit for $550 with both shafts with bearings and seals pressed on, looks like the same style as mine comparing pictures they have and of mine when they were out.


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post #9 of 25 Old 09-21-2020, 03:56 PM
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Doesn't the QuadraDrive axle in the Overland use different shafts than the regular D44a due to the VariLoks?

I thought I read that they were different and not compatible with the regular carrier, and regular axles won't work with the VariLoks.

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post #10 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CJREX View Post
Doesn't the QuadraDrive axle in the Overland use different shafts than the regular D44a due to the VariLoks?

I thought I read that they were different and not compatible with the regular carrier, and regular axles won't work with the VariLoks.

Well that's what I'm trying to figure out... What is different about them compared to regular D44 axles.


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post #11 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f0xtrawt View Post
Well that's what I'm trying to figure out... What is different about them compared to regular D44 axles.


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per elsewhere on JF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ View Post
One axle shaft is shorter, the other is longer.


Attachment 1912417
In case the attachment doesn't come through, its vari-lock 32.33 left, 29.34" right; open/trac-lok 31.34" left and 30.34" right

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post #12 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by coldspit47 View Post
per elsewhere on JF



In case the attachment doesn't come through, its vari-lock 32.33 left, 29.34" right; open/trac-lok 31.34" left and 30.34" right

So if I was able to get shafts made at a custom length, in theory, they would work?


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post #13 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f0xtrawt View Post
Well that's what I'm trying to figure out... What is different about them compared to regular D44 axles.
Would be careful of terming it as regular D44. The D44A is what we have and either it is D44A with or without the Varilok differential. As coldspit47 posted, there is a difference in axle length for the D44A whether it has the Varilok differential or not. Don't know if any of those are regular D44 length.

Crown and OMIX (and others) sell replacement axles. Looking up the part numbers and doing some research may reveal if there is any commonality with the regular D44.

Crown Varilok
https://www.quadratec.com/products/52403_0043.htm
Crown non-Varilok
https://www.quadratec.com/products/52403_0045.htm

https://www.quadratec.com/vehicle/19...ne/axle-shafts
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post #14 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 12:25 PM
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What kind of wheeling do you plan to do with this rig? If you aren't going to take it hard-core rock crawling, and drive it like you stole it, just replace the bent shaft and call it good. You'll save a LOT of money. Those uber-axles are overkill unless you're into extreme wheeling. Just be sure to get a shaft that is for the QuadraDrive version of the WJ. As stated above, it takes different length axle shafts (both rear and front) than any other WJ, due to the VariLok differentials. Dana had to move things around to get the gerotor pump and clutches to all fit in there.

Bent axle shafts are rare. I've never seen one get bent 4-wheeling. They get bent by sliding sideways into a curb, or getting hit from the side by another vehicle. I've seen plenty of broken axles out on the trail, even on Dana 60's, but no bent ones. I even saw a Grand Cherokee that had slid sideways on a snowy road, into a curb in Colorado when the temp was about 10 degrees F below zero. At that temp, the axle snapped, right at the bearing and the wheel was laying under the axle.
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post #15 of 25 Old 09-22-2020, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f0xtrawt View Post
So if I was able to get shafts made at a custom length, in theory, they would work?


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In theory, sure. But as posted just above me - if you aren't doing much wheeling (and don't just want to swap an axle), just replace the shaft and be done. You also want to be careful where you put your weak link in your drivetrain. The stress should be on the axleshafts unless you have a very strong case/carrier (like ARB/OX), otherwise you run the risk of keeping your axleshafts intact and grenading your differential. Shafts are much cheaper and easier to replace than a diff.

Also "regular D44" is difficult to define, as it has lived under many different vehicles, each with its own WMS.

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