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View Poll Results: What is the probability of a Sahara model having a Dana 44?
>80% 5 12.82%
70% - 79% 1 2.56%
50% - 69% 4 10.26%
<50% 29 74.36%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Dana 44 in Sahara Model?

I realize no one really knows the answer, but for grins, what is your best, experienced guesses?

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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My 1999 Sahara does not have a D44.

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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My 1999 Sahara does not have a D44.
So for you, the probability would be 0, but what about an aggregate of all TJ Sahara's?
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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It was optional expense, so I would say less than 50 percent.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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My 01 Sahara has one. Just had to replace the pinion and carrier bearings in it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
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My 03 has a D44.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:49 PM   #7
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As a Jeep salesman of nearly 15 years, let me share a little secret with you: how do shiny new vehicles come to arrive in the inventory of your local Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram dealership?

Throughout my career (which began in April 1998), Chrysler has used an online ordering system. Each dealership has one or more inventory managers who can order vehicles. Whenever they want to order a car, this manager logs onto the Chrysler system and specs out the vehicle. He chooses the make, the model, the trim level, the powertrain combination, the color scheme, and finally every last "a la carte" option on the vehicle. This is all pretty easy, as it is essentially just checking off boxes and making selections in drop-down menus with a mouse. Be aware, however, that this is the moment of truth: Chrysler will not add a single extra item which he didn't indicate, nor will they delete any item he requested to be there. Once he is satisfied with the vehicle's equipment, he submits this order into the system... and, a couple months later (give or take), the vehicle arrives on a semi truck. This is how it happens for every single vehicle on the lot.

To make it easy to submit bulk orders, the manager can 'recall' the vehicle which was just submitted--this automatically checks off all the same option boxes which he had just selected, saving him lots of time. Now he can easily order a near twin; for example, he can change only the color and then submit this new order... and, a couple months later, this vehicle will also arrive (possibly on the same semi truck as the first car). This easy duplication is why you frequently see 10 or 12 cars on a Chrysler lot which are all identically equipped except for the color--the manager spec'ed out what he thinks is a desirable package, then ordered an assortment of colors to appease a variety of buyers.

So, back to the OP's original question: how many Saharas got the Dana44 axle? Since the D44 was always optional on the Sahara, the odds of any specific Jeep having it really comes down to the inventory manager that ordered that specific Jeep. Did he see a need for it? Or did he see an axle upgrade as a waste of money? (Don't laugh. In the competitive world of car sales, my D35 Sahara would be $500 less than a competitor's D44 Sahara all else being equal, and that makes it easier for me to beat his price when a non-Jeep-savvy customer cross-shops our stores. This is one key reason why so many TJs didn't get their optional D44 IMO.)

I was kinda spoiled, because for the entire life of the TJ my store's inventory manager was a guy named Keith, and he is big into Jeeping. He bought a TJ when they first came out (to replace his built YJ), and he wasted no time lifting it, installing 35" tires, etc. He then took it to Moab multiple times. The very next year, he ordered himself a new 1998 TJ to replace the 1997 (because he liked Chili Pepper Red), and built that one into a mechanical clone of the '97 and started wheeling it. Two years later, he ordered a '00 Silver Stone TJ to replace the '98, built it in the same manner, and began wheeling that. He still owns that one to this day.

Anyway, my point is this: Keith liked Jeeps and liked to 'wheel them. Because of this, he would check off the Dana44 option on about 90% of the TJs where it was available. I'm not kidding. He would only order a very few without it, just in case we'd have an occasional buyer who cared about low price over anything else. It was nice because local 'wheelers knew you'd find Dana44s on our lot, and we sold a ton of TJs to people who live or vacation in and around Moab.

Because of Keith, I got spoiled. I always figured there was a high probability of a Sport or Sahara having the Dana44--after all, I was surrounded by dozens of them every day. As I have shopped for used TJs over the years, however, I see that I was sorely mistaken. Clearly there are a lot of other Jeep dealers out there whose inventory managers do not share Keith's passion.

And there you have it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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My 99 Sahara has a D44. I bought it used last year with 94k miles on it. It looked like it had never been off road and was stock. The first owner of the vehicle probably did not need the D44 but I'm glad its there.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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When I was looking for a TJ, the majority of the Sahara's had the D35. There were far more Sports with the D44. Just my experience.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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My 03 Sahara has the Dana 44.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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my 98 has the 44
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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02 with 44 .... PO never wheeled! Not a single scratch under neath. Well, when I bought it, not a single scratch underneath ;-)
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the dissertation Sherpa. It really was very enlightening. I'm in the market for a TJ, and want to increase the probability of finding a D44. I am equally prepared to build and install a F8.8. Seriously, I hope to find a Jeep sourced by an informed inventory manager.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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everyone chiming in with 44's your making my sahara feel bad! ...or was is that me being jealous...
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:42 AM   #15
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when shopping for my 1st wrangler in 2012 i must have looked at and speced out 150 TJ Sports and maybe 30 TJ Saharas. In that experience I recall most of the Sports having the Dana 35 (maybe 90% of them) and about half the Saharas having the D35.

So just from my small unscientific sample group I would say the probability of the D44 in the Sahara is about 50%.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyflyingplastics View Post
It was optional expense, so I would say less than 50 percent.

Sad thing is, it was a $200 option I believe.
My 02 has a D44
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGLHS
when shopping for my 1st wrangler in 2012 i must have looked at and speced out 150 TJ Sports and maybe 30 TJ Saharas. In that experience I recall most of the Sports having the Dana 35 (maybe 90% of them) and about half the Saharas having the D35.

So just from my small unscientific sample group I would say the probability of the D44 in the Sahara is about 50%.
Hi Mark. I'm a new jeep owner and a new member here. How much would it cost to put the Dana 44?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #18
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i don't know but i bet there's someone on this thread that does.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #19
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Hi Mark. I'm a new jeep owner and a new member here. How much would it cost to put the Dana 44?
You can usually find a TJ D44 for around $800 on craigslist.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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To the OP, you could always just post a picture of the differential you are curiuos about and we can tell you what it is.

Or you can look at this picture and determine what you have. The only thing is, the D35 typically has a plastic fill plug, but this picture shows a metal one.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #21
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For a lot of years ABS wasn't available on the D44. I'm sure there were people who would rather have ABS on their mall crawler than a stronger diff.
But My 2000 Sahara has the D44 with 3:73 gears!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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Just picked up an 03 Sahara last weekend with a Dana 44...was a specific requirement for me.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGLHS
when shopping for my 1st wrangler in 2012 i must have looked at and speced out 150 TJ Sports and maybe 30 TJ Saharas. In that experience I recall most of the Sports having the Dana 35 (maybe 90% of them) and about half the Saharas having the D35.

So just from my small unscientific sample group I would say the probability of the D44 in the Sahara is about 50%.
I would agree with your scientific investigation ;-) because The Sahara, if I'm not mistaken, (besides the Rubi) is the top of the line jeep. In other words the person buying is prob not 'too' worried about the amount $$ spent. So I would say the Saharas would be more likely to have it
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #24
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Going back to the early 2000's if you noticed a used one on a lot or even new with the 30" tire pkg canyon rims... about 90% of those had the dana 44. Also around 2000 ish.. those with the auto trans were not being shipped with the dana 44.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:29 PM   #25
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^but all Saharas got the 30" Tire and Wheel Group, it was not an option it was standard equipment. Not so with the Sport. The 30" Tire Group was optional on the Sport.

So you can have a D35 and the 30" Tire and Canyon wheels (later the Ravine Wheel) on a Sahara.

I believe all D44's got 3.73 gears in the Sahara. I also think all Saharas with manual transmissions also got 3.73's (even D35's Saharas) unless it was built with an automatic trany.

The only TJ ever to come with a Dana 44 standard was the Rubicon, which got 4.10 gears I believe.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #26
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You can usually find a TJ D44 for around $800 on craigslist.
X2, that's what I paid for mine. Be wary, there are many Dana 44 axles around that are cheaper than that but they won't bolt into a TJ without a lot of work to modify them to fit the TJ's coil spring suspension. A used Dana 44 out of a TJ on the other hand is an easy bolt-in swap.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:43 PM   #27
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^but all Saharas got the 30" Tire and Wheel Group, it was not an option it was standard equipment. Not so with the Sport. The 30" Tire Group was optional on the Sport.

So you can have a D35 and the 30" Tire and Canyon wheels (later the Ravine Wheel) on a Sahara.

I believe all D44's got 3.73 gears in the Sahara. I also think all Saharas with manual transmissions also got 3.73's (even D35's Saharas) unless it was built with an automatic trany.

The only TJ ever to come with a Dana 44 standard was the Rubicon, which got 4.10 gears I believe.
Pre 2000ish many saharas came with 225's.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #28
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^thanks, I am still learning all the production changes on these TJ's.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #29
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2005 Rubihara.... D44 F/R

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #30
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2005 Rubihara.... D44 F/R
I love that tj. Those are the best ones in my opinion.

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