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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 77 NT CJ7 that I want to rethink. It was a Quadratrac. I want something different. I’ve spent hours on this forum and have learned a lot. I believe that my answer is already here but, damn! there’s a lot to sort through.

Currently it’s stock 30/20 axles both passenger drop with no lockable hubs.

I’m not a rock crusher, will spend some time in the swamp busting palmettos but most time will be local highway travel. I just want a cool factor.

I have a 383 stroker with 700R4 and Dana 20, I like the spring over, but don’t like the drop Pittman, dropped TC and narrow trac. I’d like to run 35s and hit highway speeds at less than 2000 RPM. I’m thinking 4.10 gears.

I don’t think I need 60s. I think I’d like a 44 with high pinion, high steer, wide trac, with 3/4 ton spindles/ brakes. I understand custom build and out boarding required but I’m good with that just don’t want to spend $6000 on a turn key 44 front axle.

Is there a build like this in these archives, or am a chasing something that just doesn’t add up?
 

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Don't need and wouldn't like 60s with anything under 38". I'd look for axles out of a FSJ. Can even find those with the offset rear to match. Waggoneers had those same set ups a plenty. Don't stress out over AMC 20 v D44. The 20 is actually stronger.

The HP is also nice but not needed if you're not lifting over 5.5" or have lots of down travel. If you're set on it then I'd look for an axle set out of a Ford that way you don't have to worry about matching widths or anything of that nature.

I'm not sure what years or specific vehicles but the Ford HPs are drivers drop and you'd probably be able to find rears from any 1/2 ton vehicle (D44s) of same era with close to matching widths.

If you happen on a chevy set you can always convert it to driver drop by cutting the tubes and swapping sides. Watch dirtlifestyle on YouTube, he did same process but with a D60.

Plan to use YJ or waggy spring packs. Better than the CJs by a good bit.

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If you are flush with money for your build, Dana 44 are the ideal axles. Dana 60 are great but in a CJ7 they are a tad heavy and reduce clearance under the diff, as well as being unneccssary as you will not be needing super low gears.

Dana 44 can be sourced new from all manner of shops in fully built spec with everything you are looking for. That is the attraction of new Dana axles.

If you are looking to minimise investment, the existing axles can be modded for 35s. I would look at new wheels with different backspacing or wheel spacers if you want to push the tyres out. They would need regearing, lockers and one piece axles for the rear. No high pinion here though.
 

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A high pinion front 44 may end up creating a clearance problem between the transmission pan and driveshaft.

A 3/4 ton D44 uses the same exact spindles as a 1/2 ton D44. Brake rotors are slightly larger in diameter, but still use a single piston caliper. Not much gain there. Same axleshafts and lockouts too.
 

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I just replaced by amc 20 with a Currie/Dana axel. The AMC axel housing was tweaked, seals leaked oil, etc. so I bit the bullet. Wasn’t cheap, made in USA looks great. I also had them upgrade the drive shaft to cv, theres No vibration at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A high pinion front 44 may end up creating a clearance problem between the transmission pan and driveshaft.

A 3/4 ton D44 uses the same exact spindles as a 1/2 ton D44. Brake rotors are slightly larger in diameter, but still use a single piston caliper. Not much gain there. Same axleshafts and lockouts too.
I really appreciate these responses. So my main interest in the high pinion front isn’t the added strength; who doesn’t like the dea of added strength but I hope that I’m not testing it that hard. But, I do like the SOA and I don’t like the dropped pitman or lowered transfer case. You indicated “may” cause a clearance problem. When might it or might it not?
 

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When will a Hi Pinion Dana 44 interfear with the transmission as warned about above, which by the way, it’s a great point brought up by CSP.

I’ll post a picture of my stock suspension CJ-7 with the stock Dana-30 & AMC-20 rear ends installed. My Jeep has a 4.0 engine swapped, but everything else is still pretty much stock.

In this picture it is on a lift, and the lift pads are under the fixed spring hangers, so the suspension is sagging lower that how it would look with the weight of vehicle on the suspension. With the weight of the vehicle on the suspension the driveshaft will move up, and you can see it is close to the transmission.

Now, imagine if the front of the driveshaft was higher from the installation of a Hi Pinion axle, you can see that the clearance between the driveshaft and transmission will be even less.

This is what CSP is warning you about. He can’t tell you whether or not what you are talking about will work, that’s your part to figure out. Ford Hi pinion Dana 44 axles are drivers side drop, how are you going to convert it to passenger side drop? When you start modifying your Jeep, undoing the work that the design engineer’s did, you are kinda on your own.

When you say “I like the SOA” , does that mean you have SOA suspension, and you like it? Or, does this mean, you are thinking about installing SOA suspension?

Its kinda vague to me.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great picture. I was thinking a Chevy Dana 44 HP cut down to Wagoneer width (4” off long side from what I understand). I have a SOA on the Dana 30 that l liked (obviously would be starting over), but I like the amount of lift and I like the stock springs as opposed to the lift springs which sound stiff. I’d like a little more width

My original question was asking if anyone was aware of an existing post
 

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Now I understand, you already have a SOA lift, and you want to swap out the Dana 30 for a Hi Pinion Dana 44. I am unaware of any threads that cover this type of swap/build. Use Google to search what you are looking for and add “pirate 4x4” or “Jeep Forums” to your search and you will find more info, that’s what I did When searching.


I am planning on putting a front Hi Pinion Dana 44 under my C—7.

There is a great article on converting a FSJ Wagoner, Lo Pinion Dana 44. This article narrows the housing for a WMS width that will work in a WT CJ-7. Here is the link for it.


I picked up a Wagoner Lo Pinion Dana 44 initially and I was going to go this route. I ended up changing my mind, and went Hi Pinion, but I did use the steering knuckles from the FSJ front axle. I sent them out and had them cut for a Hi Steer conversion, so that will get rid of the drop pitman.

I am unaware of a Hi Pinion Dana 44 from a Chevy. I believe it is a Ford thing and they are all drivers side drop.

I have a Ford Hi Pinion Dana 44 that I will be using when I do a SOA YJ leaf conversion. I have a EB Ford 9” for the rear axle, and the housing has already been inspected and a truss added, it’s basically ready to be built. I had the rear axle work done by my go-to chassis guy, a guy that builds and fabricates buggies, race cars, monster trucks, he does it all, and he is a great guy for advise. He has my Ford Hi Pinion Dana 44, and is going to retube it for a passenger drop for my application, with a WMS width of 59”. The EB Ford 9” is 58” WMS width.





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Here is a picture of my EB 9” housing with a truss added, and ready to be built, and my Ford Bronco Dana 44 Hi Pinion axle housing. It is upside down in this picture.

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Pretty sure it's a furd Thang too... those cast radius arm wedges suck. I'd say the time spent on removing those would be worth it and then you can cut tubes, swap sides, sleeve and weld up to get your drop needed. And you can fine tune the pinion and castor angles to suit while your at it.

I'm also SOA on YJ packs, lots better than stock CJs so look into that as well. Gonna be in there, may as well make it a better ride too

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Great picture. I was thinking a Chevy Dana 44 HP cut down to Wagoneer width (4” off long side from what I understand).
There's no such thing as a high pinion Chevy axle. Only Ford had high pinion front axles until the 1990s, when certain Jeep models started to use them.

A Chevy D44 with 4" removed from the long side tube and kept six lug will be about an inch wider than a Waggie D44. I have this setup under my '75, but I have eight lug outers which adds 2" to the width. One bonus of using a Chevy with 4" out of it is any 1980-1991 Wagoneer drivers side axle shaft is the correct length to use. No custom axle shaft is needed.
 

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There's no such thing as a high pinion Chevy axle. Only Ford had high pinion front axles until the 1990s, when certain Jeep models started to use them.

A Chevy D44 with 4" removed from the long side tube and kept six lug will be about an inch wider than a Waggie D44. I have this setup under my '75, but I have eight lug outers which adds 2" to the width. One bonus of using a Chevy with 4" out of it is any 1980-1991 Wagoneer drivers side axle shaft is the correct length to use. No custom axle shaft is needed.
I mean... I wouldn't even consider going that route. Just use waggy axles to start with. Only way that should be a consideration is if you've got a chevy 44 laying around.
If you're going low pinion and don't want full width just source waggy stuff.

Fwiw if you're not going above 36s and lots of droop then the LP is fine. Sure the HP is a bit stronger as it drives on the correct side of the gear teeth but you're not going to need it unless you're throwing a bunch of horses or droop.

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I mean... I wouldn't even consider going that route
It's not difficult to narrow an axle. You just have to watch angles and keep things aligned before burning in any welds.

It's less work to narrow a 44 than converting a Waggie axle to work in a spring over configuration (OP specified SOA and the Chevy D44 spring mounts are already set up for this) and outboarding the spring mounts. When you narrow the Chevy (or fullsize Jeep axle) the spring pads line up with the frame and the axle is centered under the frame, no outboarding is required.
 
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