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Thread: D44 Axle help... and info

  1. #1
    Back to 1 Jeep... for now rroadkilll's Avatar
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    Default D44 Axle help... and info

    I'm a NEWB when it comes to axles...

    I'm about to score some d44's front and rear from an early f150...

    What am I going to have to do to put them under my Jeep???

    The price is right for the axles so the project will begin!!!
    Well at least the collection for parts!!!

  2. #2
    Bobble Head Jeeper trailsnail's Avatar
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    I'm not a total guru when it comes to axle swaps, but a couple of things to think about.

    Are you going to leave then full length? Are you going to get them shortened to fit? You will probably need to change out the gears for something more jeep worthy. If you decide to change the gears, you may have to change out the carriers unless you go with lockers. Then you will need to get all the brackets and have them welded on for the control arms, and spring perches. Make sure you find someone that knows how to weld them on, you don't want someone that thinks they can weld and end up going too deep in the axle housing. You may also want to think about diff skids, control arm skids, and general axle protection while doing the job. Like I said, just some things to think about. I'm sure there are many people here that know way more than me and have actually done swaps. I wanted to with my old jeep, but never had the money to go through with it.
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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Roadkill, Trailsnail offers up some sage advice, to that allow me to add: To get the axle to work in your rig (you did not say what model of rig you have but the following will apply to all) you will NEED to insure the width will work and the carrier sets in the proper position in relationship to the trans both front and rear. This migh mean having to retube one side and shorten the other. You might also need to put new knuckles on the axles in order to get YOUR current brakes to work and match up bolt patterns to your current wheels.

    In addition if you have a TJ/JK* you will need to obtain a set of spring, control arm, shock, track bar mounts. Either find a junk yard set of axles and cut the mounts off, then cut the mounts off your Ford D44's and then weld everything in place, in the PROPER place for caster and axle location under the Jeep and Jeep measures this in 'mm'.

    You might need to buy new drive-shafts or have yours altered to fit the axle pinion stick out. You have a little play there but not much if you want to wheel it due to articulation concerns.

    Is the Ford a good donor to launch this project? I cannot say, some are good donors some aren't.

    I picked up a D44 Jeep TJ axle for a client a while back w/disk brakes and it was a simple BOLT-IN. All I had to do was connect brake lines, control arms etc. Took about 3 hrs to put in. As I remember the cost was about $1850 bucks, brand new.

    After you have done all that there is a good chance you will need new axle shafts to match the l/r axle lengths, new carrier assembly for your lower gear, I will guess you are wheeling and heading towards 4.10 to 5.5.13 ratios and unless the carrier you are getting is in that range now its a safe bet you will need a new one. Then a set of lockers f/r.

    Finally you may want to ask yourself what is the future for you and your Jeep and name that note in TIRE SIZE. If you absolutely have no intentions of going beyond 35's then the D44 will work fine, 37's up then better look to the D60 to make the long term. Bear in mind that you can 40 spline shafts made out of UnObtainium, deep fried R&P etc and when its all said and done you still will have the carrier, axle tubes and knuckles that are only OEM quality. That said I am making an assumption you are wanting to build out some hard core wheeling axles for your rig. If all you want is something better than say a D30/D35 axle set then go find a set of Rubicon D44's and bolt them under your rig. You can pick up a good set of TJ Rubicon D44's f/r with lockers/disk brakes for around $2500 bucks or so.


    * If your rig is a leaf spring setup it is a bit simpler to set up, no track bar and the leafs are a bit easier to set up properly.

    I hear this approach to upgrading axles often. Usually its D44/D60 set ups to be installed in a TJ. This is what I call a 'junkyard dog mod'. The acquisition cost runs from free to near free. This is what I call: "somethings are not a good value no matter what the cost". I personally do NOT recommend going the junkyard dog route unless YOU know HOW to do it and what you are getting into. Backyards across the US are littered with D44/D60 projects that when the bill of materials and work required to convert are totaled up the reality of buying a complete name brand axle is cheaper by any measure.

    I will pass on something I learned a very long time ago: 'there ain't no free lunch'

    If you are confident then go for it but be cautious as cheap whiskey often comes with one hellva hang over.
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
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  4. #4
    Back to 1 Jeep... for now rroadkilll's Avatar
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    I guess I should have stated...

    It's a TJ! With a HUGE 2.5L!!! I was thinking 37's or a little bigger!

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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroadkilll View Post
    I guess I should have stated...

    It's a TJ! With a HUGE 2.5L!!! I was thinking 37's or a little bigger!
    I don't think that changes anything I said...so what are you going to do, be sure to let us know...
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

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  6. #6
    Junior Member genesbro's Avatar
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    If you change gear ratios on ford axles you don't have to change carriers. At least that will be one less expense. Sounds like quite a project.
    I have not yet begun to fight. John Paul Jones

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    Junior Member CJ Chet's Avatar
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    2.5L and 37's = not a very good idea!
    '86 CJ7, 265 CI, TF999, Weber 38, DUI, Borlas, 4"BDS.
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    Senior Member Cole's Avatar
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    I've seen the 37x on a 2.5, but his top hwy speed with high enough gears would be zilch to the power of damn dear zero. At altitude...can't imagine. above 11000 feet my jeep gets bogged down with it's 4.0 and 33s. 'course, I haven't upgraded gearsets yet. Wish I could afford to get rid of that damn front dana 30. I blew up the carrier and the RP two weeks into owning the jeep.
    Keep it slow. I can't afford spare parts.

  9. #9
    Back to 1 Jeep... for now rroadkilll's Avatar
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    I'm still working the theory on this... Maybe do radius arms, with one wristed, up front and the Ford 9 in the rear...

    My other option I'm looking for is a Eddie Baurer Edition 96+ Ford Explorer (4:10s / LSD / Disk Brakes)

    Still leaving my options open for something!

    I should just get the tires I want then go from there!!!

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