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Axels for a D44

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 80blackgmc, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm am still unsure what to do with my D44. It has a hurt set of 4.56 and stock used axles. In the past I have hurt my axles and wheel joints.

    The truck has 35s and a 355 with an SM465. Its a daily driver more then anything.

    For this winter I wanted a GOOD working 4x4, and am wondering what to do with this setup. Either I look for a D60 and then have it rebuilt (money and then more money), or, I try to "fix" my D44. I'd also like to gear down to 4.10s. I have a set of D44 3.73s and can get a cheap set of 14 bolt 3.73s, but that might be too much ratio change for a small 355 and 35s.

    I am just wondering who is a good source of NEW aftermarket axles for a D44 that are a bit stronger then stock and not bent. I'd probably want outter and inner axles and some QUALITY wheel joints. What would I expect to pay? I would also consider getting either a posi, a locker or something up front to make sure I have 2wd up front if need be. I'm not looking for a major trail rig, just a truck that can move around trouble free on ice/moderate snow.

    The D44 in my truck is the early military housing with big bearings and 8 bolt setup. The brakes on it are in pretty good condition.
     
  2. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    To be honest beefing up your 44 costs as much as a decent used 60. Once you calculate the cost of a good locker, alloy axles, beefy u-joints, et you'll be close to a grand.

    I'd say if your building piece by piece due to immediate cost keep the 44. If you can afford a new axle straight away get the 60.
     
  3. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    Ya, I hear that. Yes I can afford an axle as one, but the problem is most diffs I find localy are $1k and need a rebuild on top of that plus have the wrong gear ratio, need brakes, etc. Yes I would like to have the D60 so i gotta weight my options. I think axles are the biggest expense on teh D44.
     
  4. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    I've got a D44 with 4.10 and a set of stock inners that I don't need. *shrug*

    But yeah... C-M axle shafts will run you about $600 for a complete set of outers and inners. If you drop the ratio, it will make things easier on the axles, so you shouldn't really need monster u-joints unless you plan on some hard-core wheeling.

    A lock-right will run you about $250 and will be plenty strong for that axle. If you want selectability, you can go with the Ox locker (manual) or ARB (air). Selectability is good on ice and snow. If you're locked solid up front, you'll just push through corners unless you unlock one of the hubs.
     
  5. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm not sure if 3.73s would be a "right" move. The truck has 35s now but I have set of 37s for it as well. With the 35s and 4.56s right now it revs on the highway, with 3.73s would be perfect but the 350 would work hard in lower gears. I do have granny low, but that gear is low. So i dunno. I have a spare D44 with the 3.73s actually, so would only need to swap the guts and put in a set of 3.73s into the 14 bolt which my buddy has. He also has a gov lock for the 14 bolt, but most say those are weak.

    I'd like selectability, but I imagine that is expensive.

    I still think 4.10s would be ideal for this combo. I also have a 406 that is machined but not together yet (the 355 is pretty low mile still) that I want to use in the future.

    Anyone ever run 3.73s and 35s with sm465? I guess that would be my next question I should post.
     
  6. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    If you want to go 4.10, a R&P swap on your D44 will cost you more than just getting a different axle with the right ratio in it.

    I ran 3.42s with 33s and an SM465 and it was just fine. I pulled loaded car trailers plus did some interesting hill climbs. The granny gear made all the difference. It's great for starting out with a heavy load.
    I imagine 3.73s with 35s would be about the same but I think 37s would be pushing it. You'd need at least the 4.10s for that.

    Definitely stay away from the gov-bomb. You can get a Detroit for a 14bff for $370 and it's just a drop-in.
     
  7. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    Ya, the guy that does most of my R&P installs wouldn't put the gov bomb in for me. Said to get something else. The Detroit you are talking about, is it a locker? I'd like one, just gotta think its a daily driver.

    The 4.56s are not that bad unless you want to go highway. Then they are brutal. Towing a boat or hauling a quad would not be plesent with 4.56s and I could not keep up with my old lady in the '05 doing the speed limit. That's also why I think a set of 4.10s would be just idea. Less gear, but not too little. And once I step it upto 37s it would probably be just fine.

    I'm gonna have to see, if the right D60 comes up localy with 4.10s, I might just pick it up, have it overhauled and a set of 14 bolt 4.10s put in. Choices, Choices.....

    But like I said, the price of a used D60 that might need an overhaul is the same as building up a D44.
     
  8. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    You've never heard of a Detroit Locker? Wow.
    http://www.detroitlocker.com/DL.htm
    Yeah, it's pretty much the top of the heap when it comes to full-time lockers (and it had been for decades). On 99% of axles, it's a full installation where you have to replace the carrier and re-set the R&P but on a 14bff, it's a drop-in.

    And a used D60 that needs an overhaul will likely cost you twice as much as building up a D44. Yes, it will be stronger but also a lot heavier and massive overkill if you don't need the gargantuan strength. Only you can make that determination, though.

    If you're interested in a 4.10 D44 for like $100, fire me off an e-mail.
     
  9. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    The only thing that makes me worried about a locker is ice. I like the idea of one and think it would be great off road/in mud, but am wondering what it would be like on ice on a street driven truck? If I put one in the front, I would probably just drive with one hub unlocked.

    So to ask a question. WHO would be the best to order molly axles for a D44 from? Price and service/durability wise?

    My D44 has new mile marker hubs. But I was thinking:

    New Axles, all spicer joints
    New gearset (still deciding on gear ratio but prob. 4.56)
    Detroit locker or spool for front
    New Timkin bearings
    Weld the axle tubes
    Stronger cover

    I think this would be strong enough for what I need. Mostly on road, some offroad, 37" tires.
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Yeah, ice is the only down-side to a locker. The only way around it is an ARB or an Ox. Since cost doesn't seem to be an issue for you, either one is viable.

    Can't help you with the "best" place for c-m axles but I have seen them at 4wp and ORD.
     
  11. 80blackgmc

    80blackgmc Registered Member

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    Thank you.
     

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