Dana 44. Please help!

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#1
I'm sorry, I know there has been so much discussion on this. But I don't know what to fully believe as there is conflicting info out there. I actually found a wide track Dana 44 from a Cherokee Cheif in a junkyard. However, it's missing parts. It's down to the bare knuckles and missing the axle shafts.
IMG_20200811_160305.jpg IMG_20200811_160246.jpg
Let me just say this, I am EXTREMELY lucky to have found even this. This is one of only 2 junkyards within several hundreds of miles from me that has anything older than 1995. The plan is to get an Isuzu Dana 44 rear so at this point it makes sense to stay 6 lug. From my understanding Chevy stuff just swaps over. That being said I can find a lot of complete Chevy 44 like this.
Screenshot_20200812-114625.png
I know the axle shafts will be wrong, but is this correct for me? Or what years should I be looking for? I am going to narrow the chief axle so can I just simply cut down the Chevy axle shafts and respline them? My understanding is people go pre 76 Chevy (small bearing) just so they can swap over Ford 5 lug. Is this correct or is there more to it than that?
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
#2
There are quite a few of us either in process of doing this or have done it before. Having everything to the bare knuckles is really everything you need to start building. I recently narrowed one from a J-10. It was complete but honestly the only things i will use beyond what you currently would have with this are the axle shafts.

I am assuming that the long side chevy dana 44 (pax side) will work fine to narrow. The short side may not. Reason being is that moser, dutchman seem to have consensus that you need to remove about 4" in order to successfully re-spline. I had moser re-spline mine, it was about $140 including the ride both ways. $75 for actual service and shipping was the rest.

Check car-part.com to search nationwide junkyards. I bet you will be able to find some chief/j10/j20 axle shafts that a yard would ship to you.

706528X is the GM small bearing spindle. Its also used in some waggys.

66297R is the Raybestos rotor and hub assembly.

From what I understand you use the ford wheel bearings with the GM small spindle. You then use the stock brake caliper and pads.

I tried finding a rodeo rear unsuccessfully. I am now looking at building a ford explorer disc brake 8.8. I will have moser or dutchman make new axles with 5 on 5.5 lug spacing.

Starting on page 7 is where I did my cutting/welding.

https://www.cj-8.com/threads/the-story-of-peggys-jeep.48070/page-7
 

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#3
Something I forgot to mention, this Ford was sitting on top of the Chief. Lol. I intend to go 6 lug but if I decide to go 5 lug than I should probably grab this stuff? I have no idea what year the Ford is but I venture to think this is the hub setup I would need?
IMG_20200811_162747.jpg IMG_20200811_160313.jpg IMG_20200811_162754.jpg IMG_20200811_162756.jpg IMG_20200811_162800.jpg IMG_20200811_162807.jpg
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#4
That Ford D44 looks like it might be the elusive '76 "thick wall" version that has 1/2" thick axle tube, but it's hard to tell. Perfect candidate to narrow for a YJ or TJ or whatever else driver side drop.
 

Jeeper_4_Life

Scrambler Rookie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Kingman
State
Ks
#5
You should buy the HP Ford you found. You can use or sell everything from the Knuckle out or sell entire axle. D44 Ford knuckles allow you to install RCV shafts without having to take them apart, should you ever want to go that route.

What width you trying to get to? I have a narrow track wagoneer passenger drop 44 and wagoneer model 20 (strong tubes than cj) that I am probably not ever going to use. From WMS should be around 60" and rear is 58", both 6 lug. You could still convert to 5 lug, but would require Moser or someone to make you a set.
 

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#6
You should buy the HP Ford you found. You can use or sell everything from the Knuckle out or sell entire axle. D44 Ford knuckles allow you to install RCV shafts without having to take them apart, should you ever want to go that route.

What width you trying to get to? I have a narrow track wagoneer passenger drop 44 and wagoneer model 20 (strong tubes than cj) that I am probably not ever going to use. From WMS should be around 60" and rear is 58", both 6 lug. You could still convert to 5 lug, but would require Moser or someone to make you a set.
Once I cut down the long side I should be somewhere around 60-62 I think. I don't want to outboard and compromise steering radius. Where I wheel locally we have a ton of really tight turns on the trails. I am very likely going to stay 6 lug, then I would think I wouldn't have to screw around with Ford/older Chevy stuff. The Facebook marketplace add I posted above is what is a prime example of what is common by me. I can get complete chevy axles for $100 or less. I mainly just want to confirm if I can indeed just swap everything knuckles out. The hubs, brakes, everything. And if I can, what years work.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#7
D44 and corporate 10 bolts all share the same inner knuckle dimensions. You can pick the outer knuckle and parts you want for any of them. At least the research I have done claims so.

If you are planning to use the complete Chevy, watch out for spring over vs spring under. I don’t think Jeep ever came spring over, but some chevys are, I think? I know the dodge D44 I have from an early ‘80s ramcharger is spring over. But that fits with my overall goals and plans.
 

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#8
D44 and corporate 10 bolts all share the same inner knuckle dimensions. You can pick the outer knuckle and parts you want for any of them. At least the research I have done claims so.

If you are planning to use the complete Chevy, watch out for spring over vs spring under. I don’t think Jeep ever came spring over, but some chevys are, I think? I know the dodge D44 I have from an early ‘80s ramcharger is spring over. But that fits with my overall goals and plans.
Then this makes it easy for me if I can just swap everything over from the knuckles out onto my chief axle. There are a lot of 70s and 80s vintage Chevy 44s by me really cheap. I just wasn't sure exactly if there are only certain years I can do this with.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
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CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#9
I did a widetrack D44 front with a Waggy rear. I took 4” out of the long side of the front, didn’t touch the short side. The combo worked perfectly together. I would recommend a D44 rear or an 8.8. Personally not a fan of the AMC 20.
 
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