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Old 08-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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What does it take: Dana44 or 8.8 Swap

So here the plan for my move to 35's in December

#1 Find used Dana44 from a TJ - This is my favorite option so that i have a direct bolt in.
#2 OX locker kit for dana 35- new carrier and 30 spline shafts.

Now I've read all about swapping different axles under the jeep, and i know some brackets new to be added or moved, or removed. But can you guys elaborate some on the swap? I'm open to looking into a 44 from a different model or a 8.8

like theres many different dana44's,
Which years from which models can i use?
What goes into getting one of these under the jeep if its not direct fit?
8.8 or used 44?
what about the 8.8 how does one do for that to fit?
Any articles you guys can link me so i can research some?


I know a 44 or 8.8 would be stronger to run then the dana35 OX kit.. so i would rather do that, Plus it would be much cheaper.

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Old 08-28-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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They say 8.8's will do 37's. I think the stock 44 tops out at 35's

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Old 08-29-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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They say 8.8's will do 37's. I think the stock 44 tops out at 35's
Andy (MrClifford) ran 37s on his STOCK 31 splined 8.8 WITH a spool. They're pretty tough rearends, and the reason why I have one.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Uplifted runs 35 mtr kevlars and a chevy 350 on his 8.8 if i remember right he stated he was sitting on 400 horsepower as well. The 8.8 is the axle im going with.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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U can build a d44 for 37s as well. Axle truss and bigger cromo shafts will do the trick. I've got a buddy with a buggy runnin 44s front n rear with chevy v6 and 37s stickys and he puts methane in the tires to keep his center of gravity down. Says each wheel weighs close to 300lbs.

You only want a 44 from a tj/Lj. Zjs are alluminun. 01 and up were only options I think.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #6
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They say 8.8's will do 37's. I think the stock 44 tops out at 35's
True but unless the front Dana 30 or Rubicon front Dana 44 is swapped out for something stronger, 35" tires are about it for a TJ if you want things to remain reliable for offroading.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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U can build a d44 for 37s as well. Axle truss and bigger cromo shafts will do the trick. I've got a buddy with a buggy runnin 44s front n rear with chevy v6 and 37s stickys and he puts methane in the tires to keep his center of gravity down. Says each wheel weighs close to 300lbs.

You only want a 44 from a tj/Lj. Zjs are alluminun. 01 and up were only options I think.
The rear Dana 44 came out for the TJ in the mid-'97 model year.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:58 AM   #8
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Im not sure which dana 44 come with discs for the rear besides a rubicon. but i think on the 95 explorer and up the 8.8 came with discs so thats also something to think about. i think the axle strength difference is 8.8 = 6,500 (lb. ft.) Dana 44 = I could'nt find the dana 44 one i think its 5700 lb.ft from the last time i was comparing the 44 and 8.8 but i could be wrong. If anyone wants to correct me please do.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Im not sure which dana 44 come with discs for the rear besides a rubicon. but i think on the 95 explorer and up the 8.8 came with discs so thats also something to think about. i think the axle strength difference is 8.8 = 6,500 (lb. ft.) Dana 44 = I could'nt find the dana 44 one i think its 5700 lb.ft from the last time i was comparing the 44 and 8.8 but i could be wrong. If anyone wants to correct me please do.
Rear brakes wouldn't be a deal breaker for me if I found a good Dana 44 with drum brakes. There's no real overall braking difference you'd be able to notice with properly functioning and adjusted rear drum brakes. It's up front where disc brakes make a huge difference/improvement.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:53 PM   #10
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rear discs are noticable when wheeling involves water as often as I do and don't miss adjusting the rear drums just so you notice they are even there , water and next to no maintainance are a big plus in my case and had a lot to do with doing the 8.8 swap last year .
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:58 PM   #11
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True but unless the front Dana 30 or Rubicon front Dana 44 is swapped out for something stronger, 35" tires are about it for a TJ if you want things to remain reliable for offroading.
Not to high-jack, but would a D30/44 combo be ok locked with 33's?
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:47 PM   #12
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Not to high-jack, but would a D30/44 combo be ok locked with 33's?
Yes, absolutely even with f/r lockers. Within reason of course since some trails can break anything you throw at them.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:48 PM   #13
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Yes, absolutely even with f/r lockers. Within reason of course since some trails can break anything you throw at them.
Alright even dumber question. If I had to choose either a front OR rear locker, which would it be? Or wait until I can afford both.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:53 PM   #14
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Alright even dumber question. If I had to choose either a front OR rear locker, which would it be? Or wait until I can afford both.
i'm partial to lockin the front. Going up hills the front seems more important than the rear. Plus won't notice so much on road
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:02 PM   #15
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Alright even dumber question. If I had to choose either a front OR rear locker, which would it be?
It's my firmly held opinion that the rear locker provides far greater benefit and that is an opinion held by most experienced offroaders. I can do 99% of the trails I do with nothing more than my rear locker. When I am climbing an extremely tough obstacle, my front axle has so little weight on it that even if both front tires were spinning with my front locker engaged, they would not have enough weight on them to provide sufficient traction for the front tires to be effective. Even the way the Rubicon and ARB Air Locker wiring is put together they make it so the rear locker is engaged first because that is where the most benefit is to be had.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #16
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It's my firmly held opinion that the rear locker provides far greater benefit and that is an opinion held by most experienced offroaders. I can to 99% of the trails I do with nothing more than my rear locker. When I am climbing an extremely tough obstacle, my front axle has so little weight on it that even if both front tires were spinning with a locker, they would not have enough weight on them to provide sufficient traction for the front tires to be effective. Even the way the Rubicon and ARB Air Locker wiring is put together they make it so the rear locker is engaged first because that is where the most benefit is to be had.
Cool that makes sense. Thanks for the help
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
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I knew Jerry would sat that. Haha. Only reason I'm partial to front is slick up hill mud climbs. My old xj was locked front and it would do serous damage up a slick hill climb. Even our rocks here are mainly slick mudd in-between.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #18
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I knew Jerry would sat that. Haha. Only reason I'm partial to front is slick up hill mud climbs. My old xj was locked front and it would do serous damage up a slick hill climb. Even our rocks here are mainly slick mudd in-between.
What do you have to say to the Jerry? I also live in MA so 4 months out of the year, I am wheeling/driving in snow

EDIT: That came out wrong Jerry, what I meant, is that a valid argument?
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #19
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Now I'm no Bransford here but, I know full time lockers in the snow will make driving a real challenge. A full time locker in the rear would be a lot easier to control then one up front. Therefore a selectable locker like an ARB air locker would be the best choice for you.(And me since I live in NY) Now I'm sure the real Bransford or Mr.Clifford will correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #20
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Now I'm no Bransford here but, I know full time lockers in the snow will make driving a real challenge. A full time locker in the rear would be a lot easier to control then one up front. Therefore a selectable locker like an ARB air locker would be the best choice for you.(And me since I live in NY) Now I'm sure the real Bransford or Mr.Clifford will correct me if I am wrong.
IF I were to get a locker, it would be a selectable one.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:02 PM   #21
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IF I were to get a locker, it would be a selectable one.
if that's the case rear! Snow is better open. Plus drifting locked in rear in an empty snow covered parking lot is highly recommended! Haha desclaimer. Not resposible for drunken actions.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #22
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if that's the case rear! Snow is better open. Plus drifting locked in rear in an empty snow covered parking lot is highly recommended! Haha desclaimer. Not resposible for drunken actions.
I don't drink

Anybody else agree?
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:55 PM   #23
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I just picked up a HP D30 on friday and a 8.8 is on the way, my friend has ran that combo on 35's for around 2+ years and beats the **** out of it and its held up fine.

Question would a HP D30 hold up on 37's? Would chromos be a deciding factor if it could or not?
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:58 PM   #24
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I agree! I have a blast drifting my brothers ranger in the rain with just a limited slip diff. Hes got the opposite of what i want my jeep to be. Its 2wd lowered 4 inches in the front and 5 in the back on 17 inch mustang gt rims with some sticky goodyear tires and hes building up a 5.0 with a t5t6 transmission for it the goal is 450hp...sorry about the rant i just love a good v8 lowriders and v8 jeeps.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:09 PM   #25
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I just picked up a HP D30 on friday and a 8.8 is on the way, my friend has ran that combo on 35's for around 2+ years and beats the **** out of it and its held up fine.

Question would a HP D30 hold up on 37's? Would chromos be a deciding factor if it could or not?
I would DEFINITELY opt for the chromos in that case. I'm not even sure if they would hold up to 37s.....especially if you're locked in the front. Hopefully someone else with experience will chime in......
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:46 PM   #26
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I am on the fence with this axle issue as well. I run 33's and D30/D35 3.73 gears no lockers. I am planning on making the pilgrimage to Moab next summer. I don't want to break my D35 on the fist climb. I have a 8.8 out of a 95 Explorer available for $150 with 4.10 gears. I found a D44 out of a 2004 Rubi but the guy who has it wants to sell the salvaged Jeep. Not part it out.

If I add a locker to the rear of my D35 will it hold up to the 33's or should I just get the 8.8?
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:53 PM   #27
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To my knowledge if you add a locker to the D35 your increasing the chance of you breaking it. I'd just get the 8.8 with the 4.10 gears. The 8.8 atleast has a limited slip diff. in it stock and the gears youd need (that is if you have a 4.0)
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:55 PM   #28
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To my knowledge if you add a locker to the D35 your increasing the chance of you breaking it. I'd just get the 8.8 with the 4.10 gears. The 8.8 atleast has a limited slip diff. in it stock and the gears youd need (that is if you have a 4.0)
Only some had the LSD.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:58 PM   #29
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Only some had the LSD.
I thought the LSD came with the one that had 4.10 gears?
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #30
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I thought the LSD came with the one that had 4.10 gears?
You're probably right If it has LSD, but that 8.8 Nick. Heck, I'll buy it from you.

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