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Old 10-13-2019, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need some help with a custom D44 axle

So after breaking the ring gear on my YJ's D30 axle the other weekend, I decided it was finally time to upgrade to a D44 to better go with my LS swap. Got in touch with a friend who gave me a decent deal on one that had been sitting in his backyard.

Here's what I've learned so far:
It's a low pinion D44 and approximately 60" WMS to WMS but I don't think that's standard. The diff casting appears to have a leaf spring mount in the center of the axle so I'm thinking it's been re-tubed and changed from a passenger drop to a driver side drop. The axle tube is 2.75" in dia and is 1/2" thick. There is an upper control arm mount on top of the diff but the closer I look at it, the more I think that was welded on and cleaned up really well.

The brake rotors are a 5x5.5" bolt pattern and the center hub is 3.5" in diameter. They appear to be GM K10 rotors from the specs I can find and the calipers appear to be GM as well but they have the wrong bolt pattern.

The good:
- ARB locker
- RCV shafts that are 30 spline inner and outer
- GM flat top hubs with what look to be Poison Spyder high steer arms

The bad:
- It's missing the locking hubs and with a 30 spline stub shaft, I'm not exactly sure what to get. I was thinking the Warn 60165 hub conversion set but I can't find much information on it to know if that's right.
- Lastly, any idea what's up with this lockers case? It feels too jagged to be built like that but cut too perfectly for me to think it's damage.




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Old 10-13-2019, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bwhahahahahah that thing got fucked up!!!

30spl stub and hub is a common piece.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Heres my guess chevy low pinion that got retubed somehow to driver drop.

I bet the outers are chevy too with small bearing spindles and ford rotors. Search this is very common swap.

Easy way to tell if its ford or chevy knuckles and spindles are ford will have 5 studs and chevy will have 6. Looks like you have single piston calipers which are chevy. This will dictate what stub shafts to buy. Only get Yukon 30 spline hubs. Warns get thin when broached to 30 spline and break all the time.

Depending on what your trying to do Id run it. Id redo all the mounts and try to figure out how it was retubed. Tubes pressed out? Good. Or tube butt welded with no sleeve? Bad.

Also check pinion as the marks on the carrier are usually indication gear set has gotten broken before. Toyota carriers always seem to have this as those guy break 8 stuff but claim their shit is strong.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I bet the outers are chevy too with small bearing spindles and ford rotors. Search this is very common swap.

Easy way to tell if its ford or chevy knuckles and spindles are ford will have 5 studs and chevy will have 6.

Only get Yukon 30 spline hubs. Warns get thin when broached to 30 spline and break all the time.

Also check pinion as the marks on the carrier are usually indication gear set has gotten broken before. Toyota carriers always seem to have this as those guy break 8 stuff but claim their shit is strong.
Thanks for bringing up the large vs small spindles. These appear to be the large spindles. The small wheel bearings don't have any markings but the large bearings have LM104949 written on them which corresponds to an 84 K10 pickup. Using that, I compared the small bearings to the normal A-35 bearing set and they seem to match.

They do have 6 studs in the spindle. Comparing my buddies 76 F-150 brake rotors, these have a larger 3.5" diameter hub though and his are 3.25".

The Yukon hubs do look nice.

The pinion is fine but it has zero preload at the moment. I'm changing out the gears anyway because these have the wrong ratio for me. Maybe it broke in the past.

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Old 10-14-2019, 06:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks like a low pinion D44 from a 1980-85 jeep grand wagoner, without vacuum disconnect...


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Old 10-14-2019, 06:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like a low pinion D44 from a 1980-85 jeep grand wagoner, without vacuum disconnect...


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I though of that but the cast perch in the center of the housing indicates otherwise.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not to piss on your project but a LP44 may not have any advantage over a HP30 R/P wise.

The bigger outers are nice but that's about it.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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30spl stub and hub is a common piece.
Common in the aftermarket stub world maybe. Stock internal hub type D44 is 19 spline.

The ribs on the diff casting and the perch location are pretty good indicators of a Chevy origin. Looks exactly like my '78 Chevy D44 center section.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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LS + LP44?

What size tire are you running?

Where do you wheel?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The 5 on 5.5 with a big bearing spindle is some Dodge hub setup. It is normal just not as common. I'd take that locker apart when you get it out and make sure it isn't cracked or real thin and going to crack in the roots of those grooves.

Looks like someone put time and money into it at some point, but like Frank said, if you're going high HP or big tires you may want to cut your losses and go to a 60.

If this were my axle (I have a very similar axle with chomos and CTMs rather than RCVs), I would consider doing this kit from Carl to improve R&P strength:
https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/axle...l-housing.html
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slobrorunner View Post
The 5 on 5.5 with a big bearing spindle is some Dodge hub setup. It is normal just not as common. I'd take that locker apart when you get it out and make sure it isn't cracked or real thin and going to crack in the roots of those grooves.

Looks like someone put time and money into it at some point, but like Frank said, if you're going high HP or big tires you may want to cut your losses and go to a 60.

If this were my axle (I have a very similar axle with chomos and CTMs rather than RCVs), I would consider doing this kit from Carl to improve R&P strength:
https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/axle...l-housing.html
If I blow the gears out of my low pinion 44 this is what I’ll do. If I hadn’t gotten a cheap Arb and had to actually pay full price this is a no brainer. But again a 60 ain’t much more and you can shave a high pinion 60.

Edit: is the dodge hub able to go on to Chevy big bearing spindles? As in bearing spacing the same?
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Edit: is the dodge hub able to go on to Chevy big bearing spindles? As in bearing spacing the same?
I think so, its been a while since I researched it and just went the ford hub route. I think you had to do something weird with the brakes like OP describes, like redrill chevy rotors for 5 on 5.5 since the dodge ones were a weird offset vs chevy ones.

Its really hard to find info on OG dana 44s these days.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I mean maybe I shouldnt say it... but why bother? Just do a 60. I cant see a LP d44 being that much stronger than a HP d30, not strong enough to be worth all the annoyance?

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