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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have a question I would like to bounce off you guys. I searched through a bunch of previous threads but could not come up with a definitive answer.

Anyway, I have a 1993 Dodge W250 reg cab, long box 4X4 with the 5.9L gas engine, D60 rear and D44 front (208 t'case?). Not sure about the axle gear ratio.

What can I expect in terms of axle strength from the D44 up front? Loaded question I know but the plan would be to run a 35"-37"x12.50 tyre and keep as much of the drive train as stock as possible. I'm not trying to build a rock crawler or mud bog truck just a semi serious trail rig. Lift and body clearance is not an issue.

The stupid CAD is already giving me trouble but I was planning on either making my own cable operated locker for it or use a one piece shaft. How strong is the two piece shaft?

Thanks,
Matt.
 

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Too many variables to say anything really definitive. Obviously the D44 is not as strong as a D60 and the fact that it is a CAD axle makes the housing much weaker than a "normal" D44. With that said, many people have been doing mild wheeling with 35s and not really having a lot of problems with the D44. It all depends on what you are doing and how heavy a foot you have. Naturally I would be cautious with a tire that large and a D44. You don't want to turn the wheels sharp and then horse on it or you will be sure to break an axle joint. You can upgrade the shafts in the D44 but honestly, in my opinion, on a full size rig with tires that large you may as well put a band-aid on a bullet wound. If you start breaking parts in the D44 I'd replace them with whatever cheap, used parts you can find and save the rest of your cash for a D60 swap.

Also, be aware that the cheapest and easiest thing to do with the CAD axle is simply lock it in permanently and toss on a set of locking hubs. It may not be any stronger but it will certainly eliminate problems with the vacuum system and the actuator.
 

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i agree dont waste money on a cad axle. you might be able to find a normal dana 44 that would be a better for way cheaper. if your not super hard on it it will hold just fine, as far as the 208 good luck ive blown up more than one but have never blown up a dana 44

p.s. i have a dana 60 front dodge axle for sale . :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guy's. So a 35" tyre is about the limit for the stock D44 CAD axle if I want it survive for any length of time and IF I take it easy then? and the 208 is not so hot either?

I should probably add that the build I had in mind is a bit off the wall. I happened to park the ol' Dodge next to my Series II Land Rover 109" with a broken chassis one day and it got me thinking about placing the Land Rover body on the Dodge chassis/engine/running gear. A few mins with a tape measure has me convinced that it is possible, if not totally practical. :shaking: Obviously this will entail a shortened chassis and a 1000 other details but at the moment I'm just throwing ideas around.

Anyway the Land Rover body is substantially lighter than the Dodge so that may help a little and I always take it easy off road so if I go no larger than a 35 until I find a worthy D60 I could have a cool project.

D60 fronts are a little thin on the ground up here. Most front D60 in western Canada came with the Diesels and seeing as they never seem to die they are like rocking horse shit to find one worth having. Hence the question about the stock D44.


Thanks for bearing with me and for your help.

Cheers,
Matt.
 

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I run 35" MTRs on my 83 W150 wiht a 44. IT IS NOT A ROCK CRAWLER. It has held up remarkably well in the mud, trails, forest service roads etc. I have gone through wheel studs though. I carry extras. If you do not have to heavy of a foot it should provide years of service. Make sure to properly P.M. it though.(playing in the mud)

All that said I am planning one tons so I can do a little more with the confidence I can get her home :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I also have 76 W100 Power Wagon with the oddball Spicer front axle and I beat the heck out of it ploughing snow every year with HD chains on and so far so good.

I wheel Land Rovers, Range Rovers which are not exactly renown for their super tough axles so I have learned how to drive accordingly. :smokin:

I don't care much for just rock crawling or mud boggin I like to get into trails with a real mix of technical driving and diverse terrain coupled with some worthwhile scenery and camping so I'm thinking the D44 with 35" would make a good start (seeing as I have it) but I won't put any serious cash into that axle then and keep my eyes open for a D60 then I can upgrade. Is a D44-D60 swap straight forward?

How about the rest of the power train/drive train? The engine seems lively enough and the auto transmission shifts just fine. A NP208, a chain driven unit, correct? will that give me sleepless nights? i know a gear driven 205 is stronger but..........

Lastly, suspension. I just realized that a 3/4 ton suspension may be a little harsh under a lightweight aluminium Land Rover body. Although it is nearly 20 years old so it will be tired. I will need the suspension to flex as much as possible, any advise to offer on this thorny subject?

Thanks again for the help fella's,

Matt.
 

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That t-case should be a 241 in a '93.
Travis..
 

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I can only speak for what I have.
If you have the 727 transmission they hold up behind engines creating far more H.P. than I will ever get out of my 318.
NP 208 while certainly not the strongest case out there will hold up to moderate(some will say significant)abuse. The chain in mine I believe was replaced before I got it from my wife's uncle. I have had it the better part of 20 years.
I would gladly do the 205 in a heart beat.( gear driven/cast iron case) I am sure the others can offer more.

I will say that the stock 727/208 has taking A LOT! and has never let me down but I would be careful powering over rough stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That t-case should be a 241 in a '93.
Travis..
Huh, I guess I should go take a closer look?

So, is this good news then? Is the NP241 stronger than a NP 208? They are both chain driven, aluminium cased units with planetary gear low range though correct?
 

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I have not yet had a truck with either case, but my understanding is the 241 is considered better than the 208.
Travis..
 

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The NP241 is marginally stronger than the NP208. And yes, still a chain drive, aluminum case with planetary low range.

The "oddball" axle in your '76 is also a D44, just with fulltime 4WD hubs. A Dodge W series D60 from '74-'93 will bolt in to any '72-'93 fullsize Dodge truck. Just avoid the 3.07 geared D61 found in 727 equipped Cummins diesel trucks.

As far as springs, if you want super flexy springs, about your only option will be custom springs like Deaver or Alcan. Lift springs can vary a lot in quality and amount of flex so it's hard to judge them. How much lift are you planning on running, or were you going to cut the fenders for the 35s?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The oddball Dana 44 on the 76 PW is the unit with the brake rotors integral to the hub. Damn expensive to rebuild but I guess you can swap regular, later hubs onto the axle.

Is the regular D60 found in gas/diesel 1 ton trucks with a manual trans then? I understand that aftermarket support for the D61 is.....not good.

Ideally I would like to run no lift at all. I have no issue cutting the body for clearance (easy on a Land Rover) and seeing as I had planned on running full width axles anyway the body will have to be 'made to fit' as it is not going to just drop on.

Thanks very much for the advise.

Matt.
 

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Like I said, your "oddball" axle is the typical '75-'79 D44 full time 4WD axle used in all Dodge trucks during those years, except for the few that were optioned with the 4,500lbs D60 option.

Also, the D60 option could be had in any 3/4 or 1 ton, regardless of engine or transmission from '75-'93. The D60 or it's D61 cousin will be found in every Cummins powered truck. The only real constant with the D60 front axle, as far as the rest of the drivetrain is concerned, is that the NP205 seems to have always accompanied it in the '80-'93 model trucks.

As far as no lift, I run 37" HMMWV Goodyears on my Ramcharger with no lift other than what the front and rear D60 swap added.
 

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yo

Don't go large than 35 inch tires and keep an open diff and it will be fine. If you lock it then be prepared to buy shafts.

Stop bashing the 61. Support for it is fine. You just need to know the facts. The pinion is slightly offset because of the size but you can replace the carrier and use a spacer if you want to change gears. The shafts are the same so no issues there. My 61 has a Detroit locker and 513 gears. You can pick one up for less than half a regular 60. The money you save can pay for gears and part of a locker.
 
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