1980 Short shaft Dana 300 question - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
schardein
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1980 Short shaft Dana 300 question

OK, as most probably know, Jeep used the Dana 300 from 1980-86, but 1980 was different, in that the rear output was a little shorter.

I just bought a parts Jeep, got it home and started looking it over. The grill/front fenders match and have an emission sticker for 1981.
The hood is different and has Renegade stickers for 1979-80 style (looks original).
The tub is a YJ, I ran the VIN and it is an 1988 sold in Canada.

Driveline is a 258/SR4/Short shaft Dana 300/Dana 30 six bolt hubs/AMC20.

I am thinking the grill is original to the frame, making the driveline 1981.

My question: Did the short shaft Dana 300 carry over to the first part of 1981, maybe? Has anyone ever seen/heard of this?

Thanks

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1983 CJ7, 5.3, NV3550, D300 4:1, Fr D44 Ox air, Rr D44 OX cable, 4.56, 35" Falken A/T3W on beadlocks
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 04:12 PM
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Check you frame vin/serial number, my guess is that it is a very early 81 and they used what was left of the short shaft dana 300's to finish out production. Same as a few of the very early 86 CJ-7's ending up with AMC 20 rear axles and not the Dana 44.

80 CJ-5, 74 CJ-6, 56 CJ-5
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
Check you frame vin/serial number, my guess is that it is a very early 81 and they used what was left of the short shaft dana 300's to finish out production. Same as a few of the very early 86 CJ-7's ending up with AMC 20 rear axles and not the Dana 44.
That is what I was thinking. Where is the frame VIN on CJ-7s?
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by schardein View Post
That is what I was thinking. Where is the frame VIN on CJ-7s?
Right frame rail over the rear axle.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
Right frame rail over the rear axle.
Thanks. Haha, same place as my 67 CJ5.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schardein View Post
My question: Did the short shaft Dana 300 carry over to the first part of 1981, maybe? Has anyone ever seen/heard of this?Thanks
It's AMC so anything is possible. Pretty sure they would have thrown in a CJ2a drivetrain in an '81 if they "had an extra laying around"

But unfortunately, there won't be any way to tell for sure. Even if the frame is an '81, there won't be any way to know if the drivetrain was original to the '81 or not. Best you could do is try to find date codes on as many pieces as you can, but if it's truly left over parts from the 1980 run, the dates would likely indicate old enough to be a 1980 model.
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77 CJ-7- AMC 360, Edelbrock cam, MC2100, Fenderwells, CJ T18/D20, Chevy D44/EB 9" rear, Trutrac f/r, 4.11, SOA, 1.25 lift shackles, 35x12.50 BFG KM2s, Shackle Reversal
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 08:27 AM
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I have a 1980 Jeep as well and my research showed that AMC used a certain set of parts for the first half of 1980 which included the short shaft Dana. After June of 1980 they standardized for the remainder of the production run and used parts that are common on the 81 through 86. If that holds true, then your dana is from a donor vehicle. I have had numerous times where have ordered parts for 1980 and they were incorrect because they were actually end of year 1980 not beginning of the Year 1980 parts so be careful when ordering and you should check your production information to see which part your Jeep falls into.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schardein View Post
OK, as most probably know, Jeep used the Dana 300 from 1980-86, but 1980 was different, in that the rear output was a little shorter.

My question: Did the short shaft Dana 300 carry over to the first part of 1981, maybe? Has anyone ever seen/heard of this?

Thanks
Possibly the real question.... Does the Jeep in question have the short-shaft D300? I'm sure the specs are somewhere, but I remember the difference is not a lot.

This is from the Novak Adapters website:

The length of the 1980 Dana 300 is ~10-1/2", as measured from the front input face to the rear yoke face. The later version is ~11-5/8" long.

JS
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 09:54 AM
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Yes, not a lot





022.jpg
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. My experienced eye says the drivetrain and frame came together, but there is always that chance it did not.

It does have the short shaft D300. I run one in my CJ-7. Easiest way to tell, for me anyway, is the speedometer gear hole. Like the first and second pics in John's post above.

It's funny, the 1980 D300 seems to gravitate towards me. I've got a spare in my shop, plus this one, plus an IH Scout 1980 D300 (not for sale).

I will check the frame VIN... when the weather gets better LOL.

Another thought, the D300 also has that extra long shifter handle. It's nearly as tall as the transmission shifter. I don't remember the details on the different D300 shifters, I will have to search that here.

Pic is from where it sat, it's cleaned up now LOL. I was expecting the worst but the floor is solid.
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1983 CJ7, 5.3, NV3550, D300 4:1, Fr D44 Ox air, Rr D44 OX cable, 4.56, 35" Falken A/T3W on beadlocks
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ5_Fan View Post
I have a 1980 Jeep as well and my research showed that AMC used a certain set of parts for the first half of 1980 which included the short shaft Dana. After June of 1980 they standardized for the remainder of the production run and used parts that are common on the 81 through 86. If that holds true, then your dana is from a donor vehicle. I have had numerous times where have ordered parts for 1980 and they were incorrect because they were actually end of year 1980 not beginning of the Year 1980 parts so be careful when ordering and you should check your production information to see which part your Jeep falls into.
Based off this, I suspect the dash/fenders/grill are from one Jeep, hood from another, tub from a YJ, and drivetrain/frame is 1980.

It came with 4 original 15x7 wagon wheels, drilled for center caps. I don't think the center caps fit over the 6 bolt front hubs, right?? This is a Johnny Cash Jeep for sure

1983 CJ7, 5.3, NV3550, D300 4:1, Fr D44 Ox air, Rr D44 OX cable, 4.56, 35" Falken A/T3W on beadlocks
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schardein View Post
....

Another thought, the D300 also has that extra long shifter handle. It's nearly as tall as the transmission shifter. I don't remember the details on the different D300 shifters, I will have to search that here.

....
Yes, the short housing D300 shifter is long and bent near the top.

Great for converting into a twin stick.

Here are two Dana 300 shifters mounted for a twin stick. You can see the first D300 shifter is longer.
and yes, that is the short housing d300 in the picture
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D300ShortvsLongShifter.jpg   Twin2.jpg   Twin1.jpg  
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-06-2020, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
Yes, the short housing D300 shifter is long and bent near the top.

Great for converting into a twin stick.

Here are two Dana 300 shifters mounted for a twin stick. You can see the first D300 shifter is longer.
and yes, that is the short housing d300 in the picture
Very cool.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-06-2020, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
Yes, the short housing D300 shifter is long and bent near the top.

Great for converting into a twin stick.

Here are two Dana 300 shifters mounted for a twin stick. You can see the first D300 shifter is longer.
and yes, that is the short housing d300 in the picture
Hi John, what years did the d300 have the long shifter. I read it was 1980 however I just purchased a t176/d300 to put in my 84CJ (column shift auto) and both d300ís have the same (large) size housing. Next question is whatís the twin stick conversion process? Can I still use the t176/d300 shifter boot..
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-07-2020, 10:00 AM
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I don't know what you mean about the large size housing.
The housing both appear to be the same size between my 84 and 80 D300. Only the tailshaft is a different length.

Are you replacing the Automatic with a T-176?
The boot for the T-176/Dana 300 Only has two holes, One for the tranmission and one for the t-case.
With a dual stick you will need 3 holes total.

I bought this boot and I am real happy with it.
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