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Old 10-15-2006, 08:29 AM   #1
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44 or 8.8?

Hey all, anyone know the good/bad between the Dana 44 and Ford 8.8? I know i want to get a new rear after talking with you guys, but am not sure which one to go with. Problems i should looks for during install, junk yard prices you have paid plus install of brackets (i wont weld em on myself...), jus about anything you guys can come up with would be a great help in my decision

Only one i have looked at so far is a new 8.8 for $1549.95 but something for a better price would be the ticket... Thanks!

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Old 10-15-2006, 08:30 PM   #2
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Get an 8.8 with disk breaks out of an explorer. The only thing wrong with the 8.8 is that its a c-clip axle. I got mine out of a 99 explorer for $250ish. I did the welding on mine but it shouldnt coast too much to have it done. After new gears and a locker i think i ended up spending about $800 on the whole thing.

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Old 10-15-2006, 08:59 PM   #3
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very good price with gears and a locker...i was wondering which would be better myself. i been reading about c-clip axles, on here too. i better learn to weld if i wanna throw one of those under my rig

the 8.8 should be 31 spline which is better than the dana 44's 30 spline
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:07 PM   #4
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C-clips are only bad if you think you might break your axle.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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yeah thats what i read...44's and 8.8's are pretty strong though...at least i'd hope so
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:46 PM   #6
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Yeah, the 8.8 is a c-clip. However I will say that I have never seen a c-clip break on an 8.8 like it can on a D35. Some of the other boys might pipe up that they have seen it, but I've seen plenty of axle carnage and that has never been one of them.

The 8.8 has thicker tubes than the 44, bigger ring gear, 31 spline thicker shafts and readily available with disk brakes. Joe and I were out junk yarding last weekend and saw probably 5 8.8's that could've been had for less than 200 bucks. The time and cost of the 8.8 come from the brackets and the setup work on it. If you can weld it yourself then no problem, if not then expect probably another 200 to 300 bucks for the welding to be done on it.

The 44 is plenty strong and will bolt right in. You will pay more for it than an 8.8, but you could do it all yourself with some jackstands and hand tools.
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot everyone! i was starting to worry i wasnt going to get a response haha So im going to go with the 8.8 and get 4.88s in it if i can
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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oooh dude i bet 4.88's will be sweet...good luck. an 8.8 sounds good...you can bash it on the trail without worry that it'll snap like a toothpick. i would like to put 35's on some day but im not too sure about that 35 rear axle so im gonna have to swap for one of these too
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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I just did the 44 swap in mine, and I can verify the handtools and jackstands. It's a pain to do by yourself, and it took about 8 hrs. under the truck and that includes pulling the 35 apart for the drum brake backing plates and studs. Quite a job after working all day and trying to do it at your apartment complex in the parking lot. Got lots of funny looks. Like people don't know you can fix a vehicle yourself, let alone "that piece can come out of there?!".
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:29 PM   #10
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Thats awsome i love priceless looks on peoples faces How much did the swap cost ya including everything, 8 hours of work is no obstacle for me. Also are you goin to sell your old rear for a few bucks?
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:48 PM   #11
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I bought all brand new parts, starting with a bare housing, gears, alloy axles, and a trutrac. So with set up it ran about $2100, plus my time. It can be done cheaper, but I didn't want to run the risk of a damaged junk yard housing, and I got everything I wanted. As far as the old axle, I was running a super 35 kit in it with 30 spl axle shafts and a detroit locker. I broke a bolt off the ring gear and swapped it because it chewed up the pinion. Nothing else was damaged, so if you wanted the super 35 kit and the housing, I could part with it for $500. The kit alone runs about $900-1100 new and I only ran it for 8 mo. So if your interested let me know.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:06 PM   #12
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If you are still looking at a 44 here's a link to a used one on ebayhttp://cgi.ebay.com/Jeep-Wrangler-Factory-Dana-44-W-373-GEARS-complete-04_W0QQitemZ110044220379QQihZ001QQcategoryZ33731QQ rdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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If there's a will, usually there's a way, but then you get to that bolt that you still can't get to with two extensions, two universal sockets, and a contorsionist midget trying to help you.

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Old 10-18-2006, 12:14 AM   #13
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is there anywhere that sells a bracket kit for an 8.8 ? with instructions I'm a fair welder if it's not to out of position but I'd need some crystal clear info on how to position the brackets . lookin to beef my drivetrain and a 44 is out of financial reach for 8 to 12 mo's. 04 money pit were you wheelin it hard when your 35 let go ?
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:47 AM   #14
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No, actually it was funny (looking back on it now) I was out in the sand, and when I reversed out of a spot, the head and shank of one of the ring gear bolts let go and ended up stuck between the ring and pinion and chewed 'em up a bit. Since I didn't want to fix the 35 (and have it fail again later), I replaced it with a permanent fix. As far as the bracketry goes, you can check with the dealership, or currie ent. sells a HD bracket kit I believe. But, remember, if you do swap for an 8.8 you're going to have to match gears with the front. If you are still running stock ratios, you'll probably have an easier time finding a used rear, with all brackets in place and a matching ratio, than buying an 8.8, adding brackets, buying gears, a carrier, bearings, and having an install done. But, if it's feasible, go for it. The choice, after all, is yours.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:10 PM   #15
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Thanks !
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:38 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the info, after thinking about it tho, i might save my money and spend it when i have to... not sure its all fair play for now
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:31 PM   #17
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M.O.R.E also sells a bracket kit made specifically for an 8.8, and I believe so does a company called Tennessee Off Road or something like that. I have used the M.O.R.E kit and it all fit perfectly.

As far as info on setting it up correctly here is a great write up on a local AZ wheelers site. Stu is pretty well known in the USA jeep community and won't put anything on his site that is not spot on.

http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/8.8axle/8.8axle-1.htm
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChilliRed
Thanks for all the info, after thinking about it tho, i might save my money and spend it when i have to... not sure its all fair play for now
well i can understand that. run it till it breaks. i guess there is no need to get rid of it until then because it is still perfectly good and fine until then. although i would still be lookin around because if you do find a good deal then you could go ahead and purchase it and store it till your ready for it or until you bust the 35
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:45 AM   #19
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thats my plan I had an old lifted blazer and one day one of the spiders blew thru the front of the case when I was taking off from a light. murphy's law dictates my 35 will crap out when I'm broke and a 100 miles from home. I'd like to have 2 44's ( front and rear) ready in my garage to drop on just such an occasion. I'm only running 32's w/ open 3.07's and I drive like an old man . I was thinking running the super 35 upgrades , original plan was just to go 33's but the more I see 35's the more I wan't em.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:40 AM   #20
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I can definitely vouch for the at least 100 mi from home part. But that's just murphy's law. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjeep
well i can understand that. run it till it breaks. i guess there is no need to get rid of it until then because it is still perfectly good and fine until then. although i would still be lookin around because if you do find a good deal then you could go ahead and purchase it and store it till your ready for it or until you bust the 35
If all works out thats acually wat im going to do... buy the axle while the deal is hot and install it after a few more trips after i learn more about what i am doing. I just hate to miss a deal and end up paying more for the same stuff later
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:24 PM   #22
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yep...sounds like the smartest thing to do. Get a great deal so you save money...yet you can run the 35 til it breaks or til you have more experience...good plan
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #23
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I did the 44 swap it took me 3 hours to weld the brackets
and 4 hours to bolt it in bye my self but I stoped and took many breaks doing this.
It took 3 hours to regear with lots of breaks.
all and all I have $700 to $800 into the axle and its with a locker.
the 8.8 is a little narrow not much
and the 44 was the same size

my 44 was out of a comanche

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