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Big question. Buy Built Dana 44 or wait 5 years for Dana 60???

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Jeremy, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Registered Member

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    I have the opportunity to buy a bullet proof dana 44 for my rig. Were talking Warn 30-spline moly axles, CTM u-joints, Air locker, flat top knuckles with Cross over high steer, warn premium hubs. All that for $700. That is a really good deal. Right now I have an open 10 bolt with 35 inch MT. The real question is do I wait for a more expensive Dana 60. It will cost me at least $2000 for a Dana 60 and that is very low ball. That means it will be at least 5 years until I have the bank to build a Dana 60. Will the built Dana 44 hold up? I only have a mildly built 350 right now but would like to go big block in the future. Also I only have 35 inch tires right now but will always be moving toward bigger tires. Come on guys give me your opinions.
     
  2. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    If you plan tires larger then 35 you may want a d60 but if you don’t jump the truck and drive like a human if sounds like a good deal for a good 44d I would go for it hope it is 8 lug and if you sell that 10 bolt 8lug I need to do a 6 to 8 swap /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  3. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    A D60 front can be had for around $1000.
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    That D44 is probably just as strong as a stock D60, except for the ring and pinion.
     
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    With the beefed up parts and 35" tires, it should hold up pretty good. I have been wheeling a front 10-bolt with a limited slip and 35" tires for years now and have only broken 2 axle u-joints. Both times the wheels were turned at full lock and wedged in a rut, basically the worst case scenario for breaking u-joints. The truck if basically only for the trail and gets used hard, though we don't have a lot of rock crawling in our area.

    $700 sounds like a good deal since the ARB alone is almost that much when new.
     
  6. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    I ran 36's with 10 bolts and never had any breakage, then again I never went wheeling in moab eaither.
     
  7. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    Dude, i would be all over that!! And as a bonus, when you get a few extra bones sell and get the 60.

    arb-550
    ctm's-300
    warn shafts-600
    machined flattops w/ arm-150

    YOU do the math!!!!


    rob
     
  8. 1tonblazer93

    1tonblazer93 Registered Member

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    DUDE buy it!!then when your reay to upgrade you will get your money back on that d44(remember be easy)good luck

    P S if you don't buy it can I? /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  9. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    the housing is still way less beef as are the spindles, lock outs, wheel bearings....
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Registered Member

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    Well my problem is that yes a D60 can be had for $700-1000 but that is stock. No arb or cross-over. So to build it up it would cost $2000-3000 to get it strong and as set up as this D44. Also I do plan on going with larger that 35 inch tires. But only after my new 35's wear out. Another question is With the CTM's in it what will break next? I have heard it is the Ring and Pinion to go next. Is that true or which is stronger a Warn moly shaft or a CTM joint? The guy selling it to me said he regularly broke and warntied the Warn Premium Hubs. Again what are you opinions? This d44 was under a k-5 with a built 454 and 40 inch boggers and he had to go with a built dana 60 but he only recently installed the CTM's and only had time to break a Hub before he got the d60 under it. Before the CTM's he said he broke u-joints like twigs. As my profile says in only have a mild 350 and 35 inch tires but will eventually move up in both catagories. Thanks for listening. I know it is a steal of a deal but is the deal for me?
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Registered Member

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    Ohh yeah remember I live like an hour and a half from moab. I don't do mud. All rocks for me. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Registered Member

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    Ohh yeah one more question. Does anyone know of any other Stranth upgrade you can do to a Dana 44. The only ones I can think of is Axle truss, and Reverse cut Gears. Thanks for your opinions
     
  13. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I would not buy that dif
    your plans are to increase tire size and horsepower
    the person selling the dif spent big bank on it only to discover it didnt cut it
    the parts list looks very impressive but it wasnt enough for the previous guy are you sure it will be enough for your long term plans
    I think you over budget the 60 by far
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    my beefed 10 bolts (chrome moly shafts, warn premiums, 4.56s, trutracs... all f/r) have held up really well. Never had a single trail breakage with them and my 35" procomps. the only reason I am going to a beefy D60 is cause I am going to 39.5" tires and I wanna romp on it a lil. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    J
     
  15. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    beefing the housing is a lot of work with a welder
    the knuckles need gussets added
    the only effective truss would be welded from knuckle to knuckle

    I have no idea if any of that helps as I have seen those break as well
     
  16. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> I agree with MJ. This axle is the $h!t for up to 35s, but larger than that and you'll break the R&amp;P if you're hard on it. I ran a D44 with Warns, regular Spicer joints, and a Power-Lock. I broke u-joints, a couple of Warn shafts and 2 ring gears. You can beef everything except the housing and the R&amp;P. Personally, I'd buy it and run it until you frag a ring gear, then sell off all the guts and buy a D60. Maybe you'll have better luck than me, but when you kill the ring you should still be able to get all of your money back out of it by selling the rest of the parts. Your only hope is to run the fusible lockrings in the Warn hubs. They should break before anything else in the axle, and only take a few minutes to change when one breaks.

    A stock D60 is similar in strength to a Beefed D44. I mean, look at the difference in the yoke size! All of the parts in the axle are larger on a similar scale...
    [​IMG] </font color>
     
  17. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    very illustrative pic of the yokes! another way to have some fun comparing different size parts is to just hold up a 1/2 ton hub to a d60 hub. When I first got my d60 hubs I opened the box and they didnt look TO huge... but when I help them up next to my old warn premium 1/2 ton ones... yikers! /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    J
     
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> Yeah, I wish I still had a old 1/2 ton hub to take a pic of the size difference, but I already sols all of them. I'll take a pic of the 44 vs 60 ring gears in the next couple of days. Soon to come I will have pics of the size differences of the spindles, brakes, and all that stuff too. Here's another shot to illustrate size difference - 35 spline D60 stub on left, 30 spline D60 stub in the middle, Warn D44 shaft on right. Although the D44 and stock D60 stub looks similar sizes, the D60 is a bit bigger and has alot more splines, plus it doesn't neck own like a D44 shaft will. The Warn shaft shown does not neck down though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] </font color>
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy Registered Member

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    Shaggy,
    I was wondering about what you said: " <font color="red"> Your only hope is to run the fusible lockrings in the Warn hubs. They should break before anything else in the axle, and only take a few minutes to change when one breaks. </font color> " I have never heard of this? Is there an article on them somewhere? I need info if possible. How much does a fusible lockring cost? Thanks guys /forums/images/icons/grin.gif just So you know I just bought the axle. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif It weighs like a ton. I figure I can sell the Air locker and which ever Warn shafts survive and be able to recoupe the money if I granade it. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif Any other info would be greatly apprciated. Does anyone know if Reverse cut gear for the Ring and pinion will really help me strength wise?
     
  20. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> The fusible lockrings are not well known, since it's something that's designed to break Warn is pretty wary about only selling them to people that really understand that they are designed as a fuse, and they are not covered by a warranty. I got a set of them a few months before they came on the market, one of the techs at Warn was trying to help me cure my front end problems. I have pics, gotta find them though, I'll edit this when I find them...


    color]
     

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