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  1. #1
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    Default My Dana44 Axle Build

    Tony has been cringing all the way in Katy TX waiting for my D35 to explode. To be honest, it has been a good rear axle. No C clips and locked, it has never given me a bit of trouble. But let's face it, it won't stand up to 37s or 40s even if I baby it. So in consideration for Tony, and his sleepless nights of worry, I am upgrading to front and rear D44s. Rear is not so hard, and there are other options for it, but I am partial to Dana axles since I have messed with them for longer than most of you have been alive. So D44 it is.

    First I needed to source some I could afford. I ran into a guy that had been in a wreck with his Scout II. He is an uber miler and had a Semi run over him from behind. Made the Scout do an endo, threw him out, which is what saved him. It has been in a field for a few years and I made him a deal. I get the axles and haul his wreck to the scrap yard for 200. So here we go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1873.jpg  
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 01-18-2018 at 06:41 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    The next thing was to wash off years of grease and crud. The Scout II axle is that same width as the Explorer 8.8 axle. About 3/4" narrower than the XJ axle. Not too bad and easily corrected with wheel spacers or rim offsets. The Scout II has the old school 5X5.5" bolt pattern so wheels commonly have 3 3/4" back spacing so that moves the wheels out that much and then some. And I just happen to have five wheels to fit it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1876.jpg   IMG_2080.jpg  

    IMG_1866.jpg  
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 01-18-2018 at 07:02 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Nice, 200 bucks you cant go wrong. Those should make a stout running gear, nicely bought. I did what most think is a waste of time, but I don't care Ten factory 30 spline axles,non "C" clip, detroit locker, 4:56 Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bugsjeep; 01-20-2018 at 12:58 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Actually, if you don't get ridiculous with tire size, that will do nicely. The C clip is the weak point. I have run mine locked for years with no trouble. What is all that shiny paint?
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 01-20-2018 at 09:17 AM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  5. #5
    denverd1's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Steve looks good! Will be following your progress

    C clips - I'm surprised the 8.25 is accepted as a decent axle with clips. But you don't hear of too many stories of someone breaking 8 miles from the trailhead with no way to do a trail repair.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Wheelin' East Texas in a RED XJ

    RED 98 XJ with 4.5" lift, ZJ steering, front and rear locked on 33's
    Cobra CB, SYE, bumpers, 10K winch, lights
    ,___________
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    T think the difference is that the 8.25 has a very strong housing and doesn't flex as much as the D35. the 35 was never designed in to have the clips in the first place. That is a little addition Chrysler added to it
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Quote Originally Posted by 4.3LXJ View Post
    T think the difference is that the 8.25 has a very strong housing and doesn't flex as much as the D35. the 35 was never designed in to have the clips in the first place. That is a little addition Chrysler added to it
    well I have a non C clip, so not worried about that. I thought about 44's as you are doing, but then I thought " I bet I can build a 35 to hold up just as well as most rear ends out there, I am only running 33's.
    The shiny paint is my OCD, it wont let me put clean parts on dirty parts,it's an expensive curse......
    I am curious to see what you do to these...
    Last edited by bugsjeep; 01-21-2018 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    The first thing to do was take everything apart and since there were no tags on the diffs, find out what ratio I had.Turns out that it was 3.73:1 I was sure hoping for 4.10s. It had a track lock in it that was so worn out, I thought it was an open diff until I got the cover off. Turns out it chipped a side gear when it got wrecked anyway, so that went to the scrap pile. I wouldn't have used it anyway. Never did like them
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1878_zpsnbqudipv.jpg   IMG_1880_zpsepi2udul.jpg  

    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    OH BOY!!! Let the spending begin, new lockers, and I am guessing new gears? I was at a store buying a master install kit for my front end, they have a sign on the wall that says for 4.95 extra they would give you a receipt that reflects the amount of money you told your wife you spent. That is not an issue for me anymore...not feeding that horse anymore.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    I already knew I would be spending money on these. How much remains to be seen. But there is still a lot of work to do before I get to gears and such. I tend to plan ahead for all the eventualities when I do stuff
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    The first thing you have to deal with when disassembling a Dana axle is the brakes so you can remove the axle shafts. The stock Scout II brake system is basically the same as a half ton truck for that era. The brakes at both ends are better than the stock XJ brakes simply because a Scout weighs a lot more than an XJ. Seen here is the 11" Bendix brakes compared to our small 9" brakes
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1877_zpskgankyeh.jpg   IMG_1900_zpsi8eyh8et.jpg  

    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    However I am now building my Jeep with an eye towards the future. Braking systems are steadily getting better. I currently have WJ rear brakes on my XJ and love them. So I will be putting these on my D44 also.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1448_zps7ypu3bm9.jpg  
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  13. #13
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    That's an awesome build.. Wish I could find a deal like that, and had the knowledge of welding and gears, to be able to set up a set of 44's under my XJ... Not 1 tons, but would be plenty fine for me and anything I plan on doing with my XJ... Btu most of the 44's I've found are priced like they're wontons.. and still have to put the money into them to make them mount up, as well as gears/lockers... I still keep my eyes out for a deal like that though...
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Scout stuff should be cheap James. At a bare minimum just move the spring perches and it would be good to go
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  15. #15
    denverd1's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Dana44 Axle Build

    Quote Originally Posted by 4.3LXJ View Post
    The first thing to do was take everything apart and since there were no tags on the diffs, find out what ratio I had.Turns out that it was 3.73:1 I was sure hoping for 4.10s. It had a track lock in it that was so worn out, I thought it was an open diff until I got the cover off. Turns out it chipped a side gear when it got wrecked anyway, so that went to the scrap pile. I wouldn't have used it anyway. Never did like them
    Interesting "locker". So it has spiders and tries to lock when one side spins?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Wheelin' East Texas in a RED XJ

    RED 98 XJ with 4.5" lift, ZJ steering, front and rear locked on 33's
    Cobra CB, SYE, bumpers, 10K winch, lights
    ,___________
    //___l__,\____\,00_
    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]|
    (o)_)--(o)_)--(o)_)

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