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Old 09-19-2017, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dana 44 up front for 37s

Going this route what's the weak point, the u joints? What if I upgraded to RCVs that I got a good deal on? Not looking to go to a D60 as I have a super 88 8.8 in the back. So then the housing?
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends on what 44. High pinion or low pinion? Jk ring and pinion? Rubicon outers or standard outers with serviceable wheel bearings?

What bolt pattern? Motor, tranny, t case and intended usage this would help a lot on answering your question. Will it ever get bigger tires?

37's are a tough size a superduty 60's being so cheap and plentiful it's honestly cheaper to build a 60 in most cases unless intended usage demands a smaller axle.

That said my cj I'm building will have a low pinion Chevy 44 with chromos and 37's.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well I'm hoping to hunt down a 78 Ford D44 with 5x5.5 pattern and I have a 94 YJ 4.0, 3sp.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great build thread with discussion. But the pics are gone. You can search some images to find the infamous being shown.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...front-end.html

Also @Wilson should chime in he's got some expierence running a rubicon 44.

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Old 09-19-2017, 07:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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To try and keep with your direct questions and desired axle; yes, the wheel joints/ stub shafts will be the main point of weakness. RCV's are money well spent on almost any axle, imo. Warn premium hubs make a decent fuse as well. I think that a d44 is a good choice for 37's, you just need to be wary of weight, hp and line choice.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well I'm hoping to hunt down a 78 Ford D44 with 5x5.5 pattern and I have a 94 YJ 4.0, 3sp.
78-79 Ford F-150 had the cast wedges. 76-77 had weld on wedges much easier to deal with unless you want to run Ford radius arms. Search that has been covered before.

If your going leaf sprung look for a 76-79 f250 housing I believe the spring perches are close to the same width as your yj? So it would almost bolt in. Then the knuckles out would have to be changed as the f250 knuckles are different from the f150's ask me how I know.

You can also use Chevy knuckles (good for flat top knuckles and high steer) and small bearing spindles the a 78-95 (not late 96 ask me how I know) f150 5x5.5" rotor. Chevy caliper bracket and caliper. Jeep wagoneer stuff works too search been covered a bunch.

I agree with Wilson rcv's a full carrier locker with warn premium hubs. And genuine spicer ball joints (search there's a ball joint thread too).

And just be aware you've got a 44 under the front when the wheels are locked to one side or tires wedged.

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Old 09-19-2017, 09:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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'73-'74 should be the correct gm small bearing spindle to run ford wheel hubs.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanx for the info guys, you summarized it pretty good. I'm gonna go junk yard hunting here sometime soon figure out what I find. Offroad Expo coming up soon in Pomona, I'll ask a hundred and one questions there.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The main problem with everything written so far is that the front F150 or F250 Dana 44s will be WAY to wide for your Explorer 8.8 rear axle.

If you decide you want a 79 F250 Dana 44, then also pickup the matching rear Dana 60 out of the same truck. Both will be the same width and both will be 8 x 6.5.

In my YJ, I'm running a 79 F250 front Dana 44 converted to 5 x 5.5 using F150 Dana 44 knuckles out. Rear is a mid-90s 8.8 out of an F150, which is also 5 x 5.5. Width matches front and rear. 35" tires at this point. Chromoly axles. I'd feel comfortable with 37" tires with the setup that I have.

My axle swap thread is here:
Full Width Axles Under a YJ - how wide is too wide? - JeepForum.com

The suggestion above about just going to a Dana 60 is pretty good advice.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah I've put money into my rear, Grizzly and super 88 kit so I wanted to keep it. I got the parts at a discount so may crunch numbers and do both axles in the future .

Last edited by paulhead; 09-20-2017 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just assumed that you had a full width 8.8 in the rear.

I'd narrow the front (pretty easy to do I've got a write up in my build thread) or just get an 80 and up wagoner front 44. Matches the rear width well.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I just assumed that you had a full width 8.8 in the rear.

I'd narrow the front (pretty easy to do I've got a write up in my build thread) or just get an 80 and up wagoner front 44. Matches the rear width well.
10 4, thanx
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wagoneer Dana 44 will be low-pinion, and I think also 6 lug. You'll have to convert it to over to 5 x 4.5. It may not be the best option.

You might look at an Early Bronco or Scout front Dana 44. They would have a better width and I think both would be 5 x 5.5. I'm not sure if they were high pinion or low pinion. And you'll want to get a later model with disc brakes (or convert to discs, but extra $)

If your main requirement is to keep your 8.8, your best option may be to just throw chromoly shafts into your Dana 30 and just wheel it carefully.

Personally, I think you are making a mistake in letting your rear axle dictate your front axle. The front axle is ALWAYS more expensive. The rear axle is always cheaper. I wouldn't skimp on your front axle. Figure out your best front axle option, and then find a cheap rear axle to match. I know it's tough, but you'll be able to sell your existing axles to offset the cost of your two new axles. Rear axles are cheap. I paid $150 for a rear Dana 60 and $200 for my rear F150 8.8. A new rear axle doesn't have to be expensive.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wagoneer Dana 44 will be low-pinion, and I think also 6 lug. You'll have to convert it to over to 5 x 4.5. It may not be the best option.

You might look at an Early Bronco or Scout front Dana 44. They would have a better width and I think both would be 5 x 5.5. I'm not sure if they were high pinion or low pinion. And you'll want to get a later model with disc brakes (or convert to discs, but extra $)

If your main requirement is to keep your 8.8, your best option may be to just throw chromoly shafts into your Dana 30 and just wheel it carefully.

Personally, I think you are making a mistake in letting your rear axle dictate your front axle. The front axle is ALWAYS more expensive. The rear axle is always cheaper. I wouldn't skimp on your front axle. Figure out your best front axle option, and then find a cheap rear axle to match. I know it's tough, but you'll be able to sell your existing axles to offset the cost of your two new axles. Rear axles are cheap. I paid $150 for a rear Dana 60 and $200 for my rear F150 8.8. A new rear axle doesn't have to be expensive.
Super 8.8 kits come with both bolt patterns iirc.

Here's a decent wagoneer thread some of the pics are dead

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...d44-front.html
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wagoneer Dana 44 will be low-pinion, and I think also 6 lug. You'll have to convert it to over to 5 x 4.5. It may not be the best option.

You might look at an Early Bronco or Scout front Dana 44. They would have a better width and I think both would be 5 x 5.5. I'm not sure if they were high pinion or low pinion.
The only advantage the EB or Scout 44s have over the Waggie is they are already 5 on 5.5". Scout has weaker outers and the diff is on the wrong side for the OPs YJ. EB is set up for radius arms and coils.

All three are low pinion. Drivers drop (80-91) Waggie would be my suggestion unless you want to narrow a fullsize Ford to get a high pinion. It's easy to convert to 5 on 5.5".
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you're going to polish up a 44, I would avoid hp personally. The new jk-era gears are beef and there are a few ways to seap them into any low pinion d44.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If you're going to polish up a 44, I would avoid hp personally. The new jk-era gears are beef and there are a few ways to seap them into any low pinion d44.
If I hadn't already gotten a smoking deal on a 4series zip locker this is route I'd take.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The only advantage the EB or Scout 44s have over the Waggie is they are already 5 on 5.5". Scout has weaker outers and the diff is on the wrong side for the OPs YJ. EB is set up for radius arms and coils.

All three are low pinion. Drivers drop (80-91) Waggie would be my suggestion unless you want to narrow a fullsize Ford to get a high pinion. It's easy to convert to 5 on 5.5".
Do the 80+ waggys come with flat top knuckles?
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If you're going to polish up a 44, I would avoid hp personally. The new jk-era gears are beef and there are a few ways to seap them into any low pinion d44.
Well I just landed a good deal on a D44 Grizzly and I'm reading they're different for the JK
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well I just landed a good deal on a D44 Grizzly and I'm reading they're different for the JK
Ring gear pattern and thick gears. Nitro sells "big pinion" kits with a properly machined ring gear and shims/ spacers for the pinion, but you will need a 3 series carrier dur to the thick gear.

You may be able to run a jk gear, and jk carrier, but woyld be on your own for the pinion. I believe that Carl jantz also has a kit available.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Do the 80+ waggys come with flat top knuckles?
Nope. 10 bolt knuckles do though and are cheap to put on!

In my experience the weakest spot (and a good fuse) on a front 44 is the hubs. But if you've got drive slugs... then the u-joints or carrier cross-pin and carrier then the pinion.

I have busted all of the above except the axle U-joints, don't know how. Input yoke U-joints... dropped several 1310s.

scout 44's caster sucks. mid-late 80's-91 waggy front 44 is what you want I think. Stay away from the vacuum disco'd front d44's in the early mid 80's.
Waggy fronts are like 60" wms too.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Only drivers side 10 bolt knuckles are flat top. Earlier Chevy and Jeep flat tops are swappable into 80+ Waggy 44s.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Just as much as you can swap JK D44 gears into a low pinion D44 you can use ford D50 gears in a HP D44.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/axles...your-hp44.html

I have been running a HP D44 from a 78 (Yes cast wedge housing) as it was stupid cheap. threw a 5:38 gear set and a Spartan lunchbox locker and called it good after tacking in the U-joint caps. Axle has been good to me with my 37" MTR's and now Pitbulls. 4 Cyl with good gearing and keeping the rig light is probably whats keeping things in check.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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OK, well I've got a nicely built D30 now (chromos, lockrite, etc.) and new 35" tires (Grabbers X3's) and after some thought I'm thinking about just running that for a while and just putting the money into a D60 down the road. At which point I'll push the super 88 with 39's or 40's or swap in another 60 in the back, maybe stretch it. I believe thats a good suggestion. Putting RCV's into a 44 just to max out at 37" tires seems less cost effective.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:43 AM   #25 (permalink)
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OK, well I've got a nicely built D30 now (chromos, lockrite, etc.) and new 35" tires (Grabbers X3's) and after some thought I'm thinking about just running that for a while and just putting the money into a D60 down the road. At which point I'll push the super 88 with 39's or 40's or swap in another 60 in the back, maybe stretch it. I believe thats a good suggestion. Putting RCV's into a 44 just to max out at 37" tires seems less cost effective.
Good plan!
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