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Old 01-19-2020, 12:05 AM
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Dana 44 swap

So my pinion bearing went bad on my Dana 35, and decided would not put money into repairing a 35. Perfect chance to repair and upgrade. I found a Dana 44 out of a stock TJ that was in a minor front end collision. Picked it up last weekend. Cleaned it up and painted it and started getting it under today. Hoping to have it buttoned up tomorrow. I've actually never bled brakes before but I'm a YouTube expert now!




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Old 01-19-2020, 08:52 AM   #2
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How much? I just passed on a $500 d44 since I would have to regear and add a locker etc.


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:09 AM
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How much? I just passed on a $500 d44 since I would have to regear and add a locker etc.


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I'd buy it if I were you. Most of the 44's I came across were around $1000-$1200. I got this one for $800 and included the shorter factory driveshaft that I needed due to the different pinion length and I'm currently at stock height. Also had another set of control arms still mounted for spares.

Gearing is now different between front and rear- I wasn't planning on doing this mod this soon. This Jeep will be getting a lift and larger tires also so a regear from the factory 3.07 was inevitable. But like I said I wasn't going to put money into the 35. My usual shop wanted $1100 to replace the bearing. I'll see if I either like the 3.73 and regear the front or regear both to something lower.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:12 AM   #4
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The forums convinced me to upgrade to a super 35 if my axle goes out, I知 doing an LS swap so I知 worried about the extra HP. I知 going to wait and see and if an axle breaks just go with upgrading the shafts and add a locker, hopefully it痴 not the R&P that breaks but that痴 not what people say is the weak link.


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:22 AM
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The forums convinced me to upgrade to a super 35 if my axle goes out, I知 doing an LS swap so I知 worried about the extra HP. I知 going to wait and see and if an axle breaks just go with upgrading the shafts and add a locker, hopefully it痴 not the R&P that breaks but that痴 not what people say is the weak link.


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I read your build write up in the tech forum! Honestly with that much horsepower I imagine it's more of a when than if it breaks. I don't know what the super 35 kit costs currently but I think it's more than the cost of just buying a bolt in Dana 44. You could go the 8.8 route as well but when you factor in the brackets and labor involved I'd say your even with a Dana 44.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:27 AM   #6
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These were my thoughts that convinced me to wait and see but I agree it will happen eventually.


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Old 01-19-2020, 05:49 PM
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These were my thoughts that convinced me to wait and see but I agree it will happen eventually.


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This is obviously purely my take on it, but a super 35 is just to get it to the similar level of a Dana 44. Hard to compare apples to apples throwing in more mods on top of the Dana 44 swap for cost comparison? From there you can regear or upgrade as you saw fit.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:27 PM   #8
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This is obviously purely my take on it, but a super 35 is just to get it to the similar level of a Dana 44. Hard to compare apples to apples throwing in more mods on top of the Dana 44 swap for cost comparison? From there you can regear or upgrade as you saw fit.


True, but from what I understand the s35 is stronger than the d44 so I could spend less and get higher strength is the thought. If I have to regear the d44 and one day I plan to add lockers it just seemed to make sense to pay for the labor once and upgrade shafts and carrier. Or, just buy a crate axle d44. Not a simple decision for sure, maybe I値l regret it. If I could find a d44 with 4.56 for less than $1k, that would probably be my holy grail.


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Old 01-19-2020, 07:42 PM
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True, but from what I understand the s35 is stronger than the d44 so I could spend less and get higher strength is the thought. If I have to regear the d44 and one day I plan to add lockers it just seemed to make sense to pay for the labor once and upgrade shafts and carrier. Or, just buy a crate axle d44. Not a simple decision for sure, maybe I値l regret it. If I could find a d44 with 4.56 for less than $1k, that would probably be my holy grail.


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I know there are some hardcore S35 fans here. I don't know about an S35 being stronger. Not trying to argue either way, different strokes for different folks. I think a locker is necessary to accomplish an S35. Not necessary for Dana 44. In my case I don't go wheeling anymore, and not likely I'll install a locker. I have installed a lunchbox powertrax in my last TJ's 44. It was like $250 IIRC? I installed it so money saved but it's not that hard.

I guess my point at the end of the day is a Dana 44 is stronger out of the box. Should I want or need to regear and lock it I'm still cheaper than an S35 kit? And you can space it out and not necessary upfront.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:08 PM   #10
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Gearing is now different between front and rear- I wasn't planning on doing this mod this soon. This Jeep will be getting a lift and larger tires also so a regear from the factory 3.07 was inevitable
If you're not going to regear the front at the same time you install the 44, might want to think about removing the front DS. That way if someone accidentally slips into 4 hi, it won't explode the T-case.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:34 PM
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If you're not going to regear the front at the same time you install the 44, might want to think about removing the front DS. That way if someone accidentally slips into 4 hi, it won't explode the T-case.
Top tip. I thought about doing this but haven't as I'm the only one that drives it. And it's not a DD. They're easy to remove so might be worth the insurance.

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