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Old 10-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Dana 44 questions.

Ok, so I have a possible buy on a Dana 44 that looks to be in decent shape off of Craigslist. The u joints need to be replaced. Spindles are bad bearings froze up in them. The asking price is $150. The current owner states the axle came off of a full size Bronco Ford pickup. I guess my main question is will it fit my 2002 Wrangler? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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I'm pretty sure it would have to be narrowed and all the correct suspension brackets would have to be welded on. ie. the coil spring pockets and upper and lower trailing arm brackets.

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Old 10-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure it would have to be narrowed and all the correct suspension brackets would have to be welded on. ie. the coil spring pockets and upper and lower trailing arm brackets.
So a lot of work is what you're saying (?). I dont weld so that would definetely pose problems and extra money. And if the axle needs to be narrowed, thats a ton of work Im not capable of/or wanting to do.

DAMN!!!!!! I thought I had a good garage project for re-gearing.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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Try to find one that's allready out of a TJ. That way all you would have to do is re gear
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #5
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Try to find one that's allready out of a TJ. That way all you would have to do is re gear
That would be the best thing but of course we know that once an owner gets a 44 for their rig, it never goes to another.
So I see a lot of people mention getting a Ford 8.8, would that have the same issues regarding brackets etc?
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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Sorry man! Dont get discouraged..go wander around u-pull it salvage yards and look for jeeps with 44 rears. To will be able to spot them easy. The will look similar to the d35 but slightly larger and with a steel drain plug instead of a rubber plug. Good luck
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Slater, Ill keep looking.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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No prob man. I'm in the same boat. I know how to weld. But I have no place nor the equipment to do so... I would love put an entire rubicon drive train , minus the engine and tranny in my 06 SE. Most of that IS bolt in parts but still it's all about having the tools and what not!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Anything is possible with a welder and cutting tools and a fat wallet. I've never understood why people are under the assumption that an axle from a different vehicle manufacturer with a 30 year age difference will bolt right up lol. But if you spend some time in the junk yard you can come across some real gems. Unlimiteds and jeeps with the row package all got d44 rears. You can keep an eye out here for bolt in 8.8s or rubicon 44 fronts. The high pinion Dana 30 holds up to 35s fairly well and will bolt right in. They're found in late 90s Xj's with the larger style u joints
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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That would be the best thing but of course we know that once an owner gets a 44 for their rig, it never goes to another.
Plenty replace their D44 axles for even bigger axles. I bought my used TJ Dana 44 for $800, way back when they were still fairly rare on TJs, from someone who did just that. And you're talking rear right? That first axle you mentioned was a front axle and the TJ's front Dana 30 isn't often replaced until you want to mount 37" or bigger tires or are doing trails where a high-pinion Dana 30 from a Cherokee makes sense.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Thanks for the scoop. I knew there would be mods needed but I think I got my hopes up too much. My wrangler has the typical dana 35 in the rear with the 30 up front. I have 33's on it right now with a 4" procomp lift, but am thinking about going up to 35" tires so thought the Dana 44 would be more appropriate. Right now Im geared stock and have played on some minor trails and in the mud, but now want to adventure a little deeper into the offroad side. Ive heard that gearing to 4.56 would be enough, but would the axles be strong enough for some serious wheeling? I would eventually probably get lockers also.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #12
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For 35" tires, you really want 4.88 gears if your transmission is a 5-speed. 4.56 isn't quite enough gear for 35" tires... it works but, again, 4.56 isn't the optimal ratio for that size tire.

But until you replace that rear Dana 35 with something stronger or install Superior Axle's Super 35 kit, I'd stick with 33" where 4.56 is optimal for the 5-speed.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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Good info to know, thanks. Maybe I'll just stick with the 33"s then and do the 4.56. I was thinking of the 35"s because of appearance, because I know the clearance wouldnt be that much of a difference. Ive never heard of the "Superior Axle's Super 35 kit". Whats is contain?
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #14
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A Superior Axle Super 35 kit replaces the Dana 35's OE carbon steel 27 spline axle shafts with hardened (strengthened) alloy 30 spline (larger diameter) axle shafts and includes your choice of locker. That makes your Dana 35c more than reliable with 35" tires. The Super 35's axle shafts are actually stronger than the OE carbon steel 30 spline Dana 44 shafts.

It's not cheap but its an easy way to beef up your Dana 35 and get a locker at the same time. You can't buy it without the locker though.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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Jerry, do u have a link for the dana 35 upgrade with lockers? I tried to google it with no luck. All I'm finding is replacement parts?
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:28 PM   #16
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personally I like the idea of the super 35 kit better, by the sound of it anyway. they have similar kits for the d30 as well. a little cheaper than a Dana 44 mot quite as good, but you get a locker, and an axle that can take it. unless your gonna be wheeling it hard and heavy, I don't think you need a Dana 44. my opinion. ive seen Dana 44s break as many times as ive seen 30s or 35s. it all depends on how rough you are on it. im easy on my throttle because my friend destroyed his rear end in his ranger a few years back. believe me getting a ranger 10 miles with the axle sliding out of the housing is not fun.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #17
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Ive seen Dana 44s break as many times as ive seen 30s or 35s.
I sincerely doubt that where a Wrangler TJ is concerned. ESPECIALLY when comparing the TJ's Dana 44 to the far weaker Dana 35c.

Dana 44 axles come in many flavors and configurations and some even use weaker aluminum housings like in the Grand Cherokee and Corvette but in the TJ, it uses a cast iron housing and it is well known to be very strong. I have run nothing but locked Dana 44 rear axles with 35" tires on difficult trails in two different TJs and have yet to break one or even break an axle shaft. The Dana 44 is a highly desireable and popular upgrade for TJ owners where it is widely accepted as a very strong and reliable axle.

In the TJ, the Dana 44 holds up VERY well to nearly anything you can throw at it and only becomes marginal with heavy throttle applications on difficult trails once you get to 37" or larger tires which it simply wasn't designed for.

Lapis_blue, I'd provide a link to Superior Axle's Super 35 kit webpage but their site is temporarily down.

There are other sites that show it however, The Super 35 kit is available with various lockers including the Detroit Locker and ARB Air Locker. http://www.4x4groupbuy.com/store/sup...er-p-6036.html and http://sams4x4store.com/SuperiorDana35AxleKit.htm
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:05 PM   #18
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my apologies I didn't elaborate generally when ive seen a d44 break it was when the person had a built engine, say a 4.7 stroker or a built 350. not a stock jeep engine. for most people though a super 35 will handle what they need. but ive seen people with well geared 2.5s with super 35 kits take the same obstical without breaking anything.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #19
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Thanks Jerry now I can do some research. About 3000$ less than a dana 44.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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the coil spring pockets and upper and lower trailing arm brackets.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #21
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I run a 78 waggy dana 44 in the fr of my tj, It was 100 bucks at the reckers. welded in clayton coil buckets, and brackets. I did upgrade it to so do have some money in it

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