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Old 10-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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Ford 8.8 vs Dana 44 swap?

I want to run 35" tires but I don't know much about swapping axles, never done it with a Jeep. What are the main differences between these two axles (changing rear end only)? Could I run 35's on these axles with the 4.10 ratio? I saw a what looked like a totally complete Dana 44 on eBay for ~$1000, is that a good deal?
Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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Yes you can run 35s on either. The gearing may be a bit low depending on your choice of trans, but initially it would be okay. You would want to regear to 4.56 or 4.88 eventually. If you can get a bolt in TJ d44 shipped for a grand, go for it. You can build an 8.8 for less than 500 on the cheap, or spend way more if you want. That means fab skills and materials however, plus time. The 8.8 is a bit stronger than the d44, particually the shafts. The R/P are supposedly the weak link on the 8.8 where as the U-joints on the d44 would eventually be a weak link that couldn't be upgraded without some really crazy axle modification. If you plan on running 35s, either axle should be fine however, in stock form.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Yeah I would rather keep my jeep a little more simple just slapping a D44 on the rear end, how much would it be to regear to the 4.56 or 4.88?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kippknox View Post
how much would it be to regear to the 4.56 or 4.88?
~$1200 (parts and labor) is the average price to regear both axles.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kippknox
Yeah I would rather keep my jeep a little more simple just slapping a D44 on the rear end, how much would it be to regear to the 4.56 or 4.88?
Is it a tj d44? Because you aren't just gonna bolt it in if its not out of a tj just so you know.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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Here is some good threads on the 8.8 so can get more familiar with what is involved.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/are-...wap-92569.html

and this:
http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=371713
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Says right on the listing 96-06 tj OEM. How long could I go without regearing?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kippknox
Says right on the listing 96-06 tj OEM. How long could I go without regearing?
Is it geared the same as your front axle?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kippknox View Post
Says right on the listing 96-06 tj OEM. How long could I go without regearing?
As stated, if you can find one for $1000 that was out of a TJ, then it's a good deal. Usually for $1000 on ebay you get "just the housing", then you have to add another $1500+ in axle shafts, brakes, locker/carrier, gear set, etc.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #10
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I paid $800 for my previous TJ's used/good condition complete Dana 44 axle out of a TJ. The 8.8 hangs lower and its pinion is offset which makes the driveshaft u-joints work harder. Yes I know the 8.8 is popular with some but I'm just not a fan of it. Not to mention its c-clip design which doesn't weaken it but it's still not an endearing trait in my opinion.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #11
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The R/P are supposedly the weak link on the 8.8 where as the U-joints on the d44 would eventually be a weak link that couldn't be upgraded without some really crazy axle modification.
U-joints? On a Dana44 rear axle?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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I think he must mean the driveshaft u-joint that connects into the pinion yoke. Pretty much any reasonable size u-joint you can think of can be run with the Dana 44. It comes with a 1310 size but I have also run a 1330 and am currently running a 1350. All you need to do to change the pinion shaft's u-joint size on a Dana 44 is to bolt on a new yoke.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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I'd go with a d44. if you cant find one from a TJ. it would be easy to find an xj in a junkyard, some of them had d44s. in my opinion, if you were gonna fab stuff to out in an axle, go that route. at least then if something goes wrong there wont be as much difficulty matching parts up to replace it, as jeep d44s are pretty much the same across the board.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I think he must mean the driveshaft u-joint that connects into the pinion yoke.
I hope so.

BTW to the OP: I will also vote for using a TJ Dana44 rear axle. It bolts right in and works well.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I'd go with a d44. if you cant find one from a TJ. it would be easy to find an xj in a junkyard, some of them had d44s. in my opinion, if you were gonna fab stuff to out in an axle, go that route. at least then if something goes wrong there wont be as much difficulty matching parts up to replace it, as jeep d44s are pretty much the same across the board.
I would be the complete opposite...if you cant find one that is a bolt up for a TJ...8.8 all the way. It is stronger and way more plentiful than a 44 out any jeep and can most likely be had for substantially cheaper. The only D44 XJ I am aware of was in '87-'89 with pretty limited gear choices from the factory (The C8.25 would be much easier to find)...but ALL explorers and mountaineers had 8.8s. As long as you find a 96+ year explorer you are good. When I searched for an 8.8...I found probably 50 of them in a 200 mile radius through car-part.com...that doesn't include all of the junkyards NOT on car-part. In my area the 8.8 ranged from 150-500 dollars.

This is all just my 2 cents though.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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I'd go with a d44. if you cant find one from a TJ. it would be easy to find an xj in a junkyard, some of them had d44s.
Really? How many Dana44-equipped XJs have you come across in a wrecking yard?

I'm not trying to start a fight, so let me explain. From what I've read, the Dana44 was an available option on the XJ but only for the 1987-1989 model years and only in conjunction with the 4.0L engine and the factory tow package. Because of this, I have bent down and looked under every XJ with a hitch that I've ever seen in every junkyard I've visited... and to this day I have yet to find a single XJ so equipped. Because of this, I wouldn't exactly describe finding one as easy.

Even if you did find one, you'd still have to hack off the spring perches and weld on the required brackets so you could attach it to a TJ. For all that work and expense, why not buy a TJ axle in the first place and just bolt it in?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:59 PM   #17
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I used to own an 86 xj with the 2.8 that had a d44. and I was in a rear end collision that bent the axle, and found not just 1 replacement but 5 in the same yard in Nampa Idaho. I lived there at the time. maybe it was just my experience but I thought they'd be easy to find based on that.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by tallzdatank View Post
I used to own an 86 xj with the 2.8 that had a d44. and I was in a rear end collision that bent the axle, and found not just 1 replacement but 5 in the same yard in Nampa Idaho. I lived there at the time. maybe it was just my experience but I thought they'd be easy to find based on that.
I'd be surprised to find an '86 xj with the 2.8L engine and Dana 44 rear axle, I was under the impression all those came with the early non-C-clip Dana 35 rear axle.

Wiki thinks the same way... Jeep Cherokee (XJ) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #19
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It had been in a rear end before I bought it. the po replaced it with the d44 and the tailgate from a later year. it was a pain in the ass figuring out why mine didn't have a little bolt holding the spider gears together, and instead had a drift pin. the book solid it'd have a bolt, and being young and inexperienced I hadn't seen a d44 before and didn't know it had a pin till I looked in a more general manual.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa

U-joints? On a Dana44 rear axle?
Sorry I slipped into front axle thinking for a second maybe I was thinking rear steer
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:50 PM   #21
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Okay, so now that I'm looking more (no results on ebay) but on quadratec they have G2 Axle & Gear D44TJL4103 - G2 Axle & Gear Rear 33 Spline Dana 44 Assembly with Disc Brakes & Detroit Locker for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited - Quadratec . Very pricey, but since the piece seems pretty rare I can't find it anywhere else cheaper. I want to go with the 4.88 ratio, so if I got that axle in the rear end could I just throw this in the front D30 Superior Axle and Gear D30411TJ - Superior Axle & Gear Ring and Pinions for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, TJ Unlimited & Cherokee XJ with Low Pinion Dana 30 Front Axle - Quadratec and be all set? Is a locker in the front end always necessary although I would already have one in the rear end? Thanks for all the responses guys!
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:53 PM   #22
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Also, would I need to change anything with the transfer case? I'm going from 2" susp to 4" susp and 1" body so I assume I would also need a new driveshaft?
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #23
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You'll need to install a SYE kit into the transfer case once you get to 4" of suspension lift.... and install an aftermarket CV driveshaft... and install adjustable upper rear control arms so you can raise the rear axle's pinion angle to match the requirements of the new CV driveshaft.

Personally I'd avoid the cost of a high-zoot aftermarket axle and just find a used Dana 44 out of a TJ for the rear... they are around.

No a locker is not always needed up front, I would lock the rear first and only add a front locker later if you find the rear is not enough for the trails you enjoy. For most wheelers and most trails, a rear locker is enough. I only engage my front locker on maybe half the trails I do.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #24
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I actually just found a pair of axles (d30/d44) for a little over a grand locally. Sadly I don't have the budget for them now, but Jerry is right. They are out there. x2 on the sye/cv etc. Why not stick with 2 inches for now, take it one step at a time. There are other ways to run larger tires. As far as the locker, A rear is nice, especially for climbing/hills. If you do alot of technical rocks and trails that necessitate a particular line, a front locker allows you to position your tires more precisely, and climb things with more control. Ideally you would have both and use them when needed. You really need to consider your driving style.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #25
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My offroading won't be extreme, I mainly do mud and moderately (sometimes a little more then moderate) rocky mountain trails a few times a week. I want to purchase my parts spaced out over time and then when I have the lift/lift components, axle, and wheels+tires I'm going to garage it, work on it, and drive my Ford *bleh* till the jeep's all done.

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