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Old 07-11-2009, 07:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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another 9/44 swap question

ok so before everyone gets flame happy i have done the searching and just cant find the exact answers im looking for.

Current specs

05 LJ on 15x8 and 33x12.5
RE 4.5 SA with adjustable f/r track bar
misc armor and other crap that dont matter for the axle swap

Future plans

rear 9 inch
front 44
37x12.5 or 13.5 (undecided)
16 or 15 x10
staying with the SA for a bit and then going to link or go to a LA kit


so what im trying to figure out is what are the best 9's and 44's to get, looking for what vehicles to search to pull these from. also other than the shafts, spool/lockers, hubs, what are some of the other parts you would want to quickly replace when doing the swap?
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Mainly try and stay away from the cast D44 mostly used on the 78-79 fords here are a few good links with good info. Its good to go through the axle and do all the seals, bearings, brakes and that kind of stuff before you do anything else.

http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/Dana44.htm

http://77cj.littlekeylime.com/Dana44.htm
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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197x's ford f150's have the axles you're looking for, would be a good idea to try and grab the front and rear from the same vehicle if possible.

Watch out for the cast wedges on the 44 as stated above, you want the weld on wedges so you can cut them off. From what I was able to decipher mainly the 1979's were the ones with the cast wedges. The cast wedges are more difficult to work with because there isn't any tubing under the cast.

Lots of research on Mr. N's site.

One thing, the Dana44 has smaller than desirable u-joint ears and outer shafts for larger tires. The stock shafts are 19 spline and neck down right after the spline. There are some options to get around this but this leaves you with the smaller ears that would likely cause more issues if they were to explode.

Coming from someone that's gone through this, if I were to do it again I would go straight to a dana 60 up front. I don't even have my 44 in yet and I'm kicking myself. Unfortunately I've spent so much on getting it together there's no way in hell I'm turning back now.

No issues with the 9" in the rear, but if you have a 60 up front it might be nice to have a 60 in the rear as well.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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my initial reaction to needing new axles was to go for the 60's from the start. after some reasearch and stuff i realized that with only 37's (min recc for the 60) a 60 would be overkill. so thats what gave me the idea for the 9 in the rear. i have been told that the 9 will work in the front but would be a serious pain so that led me next to the 44. the other reason for not wanting the 60 in front is how low the diff sits.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You will lose some clearance: http://www.sunrayengineering.com/compare.html

Just keep in mind that your 37's are pushing it on a d44. If you're ever going to go bigger you might find that you have the urge to suddenly kick yourself.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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is there a reason why i never see or hear about front 9's being used. seems like the best of both worlds. hi clearance and strength
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Front 9's are used all the time. There are lots of build threads here.

AFAIK there isn't a front application that you can pull from a junkyard but you can build them, or have them built pretty easy.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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so pretty much for a front 9 it would be best to start from scratch
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am going with a 44/9 on my XJ with 36 or 37"s, one of the guys at work has a 44/9 on his TJ and he is running 40" Irocs with no problems he just got back from the Rubicon last week.

Everyone has there own opinions on what to run or not, I am with you in that doing 1 tons of would be overkill for the wheeling I am looking to do at least till I get a nice tow rig then I will look at going with a D60/70 or something.

Doing a 9" in the front you will be looking at more money from what I have seen and searched doing a front 9 will run around few thousand or more ifs its built or bought, but it would be worth it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah i know it would be worth it in the end. but the price tag dont seem to agree with my wallet. my driving style is very agressive and i sometimes give it more than i should. just dont know if the 44 would be up to it with 37's.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txboy72 View Post
yeah i know it would be worth it in the end. but the price tag dont seem to agree with my wallet. my driving style is very agressive and i sometimes give it more than i should. just dont know if the 44 would be up to it with 37's.
it wont,really. i run 38" ground hawgs that are closer to 36" tall and i can still break stuff just fine in either of my trail rigs(258 in my jeep,very healthy 345 in my scout). i dont break stuff constantly,but the setup is far from bulletproof.

second comment is to leave the ford 9" for the drag race guys-its quite easily the most over rated axle in the history of axles. you all the time you hear how strong a built 9" is,aND thats just it... you have to build it. comparing a high dollar 9" with a nodular(or better) center and 35 spline(or better) shafts to any other stock axle is not a fair comparison.

a STOCK ford 9" has a lower pinion than any other axle out there,and they tend to try and spit the center section out the front,by the nature of their design. ive seen many,many broken 9" from broken bolts and spitting the center out to catastrophic explosion of the cast stock center.

bottom line is a stock 9" is not any stronger than any other 1/2 ton axle.

im not going to say what axles you should use if you want to go the half ton route,but the most tried and true setup for cost and durability is still a good old fasioned set of 1 tons. if you need a driver drop youll have to get the 60 out of a ford,otherwise the pair could come from any GM truck.

the 14 bolt is rediculously strong for how cheap you can get them and if youre not afraid to use your grinder you can fix the ground clearance issue that most people complain about. unsprung weight is your friend,dont listen to people who tell you not to use it because "its sooo heavy"

i have within half inch of the same ground clearance under my 14 bolt as my 10 bolt front(11 in the rear,11.5 up front) after some grinding. my frined runs a 60/14 bolt in his wrangler with 36" irocs. another runs a 60/14 in a linked cj with 35" boggers. they both get around just fine and neither worry much about breaking axleshafts,u joints or spitting the centersection out of the rear axle

IMO there is no such thing as "overkill" in a trail rig.i call it peace of mind.

my 2 cents for what theyre worth.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txboy72 View Post
yeah i know it would be worth it in the end. but the price tag dont seem to agree with my wallet. my driving style is very agressive and i sometimes give it more than i should. just dont know if the 44 would be up to it with 37's.
With that being said, you probably don't want a dana 44... or 1/2 tons in general.
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