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D44 Rebuild or Replace?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Triaged, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I am just getting into this stuff and need some advise. I have a ’71 Blazer. The first time out 'wheeling I broke both front u-joints and the axel shafts (excessive use of the stupid peddle). When I looked at it when I got back and grabbed the axel shaft it wiggled. I’m guessing that it is held by bearings and that they are destroyed (probably led to breakage?). The camber is also off and causing the right front tire to wear. The question is should I replace the whole thing or just the parts that are broke? Which would be cheaper (and/or better) the whole thing or just u-joints, axles, bearings, and alignment? Would I be able to go with the more prevalent ’73- D44 (bolt in???) if I replaced the whole thing.
     
  2. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    You can replace for cheaper than rebuilding. As long as you find the correct ratio to match the rear, replace it. Look for a newer front, say out of a 77 or newer. These 77's and newer have bigger diameter axle housing tubes. Bigger tubes mean more strength. These will bolt right up in place of the older front. Make sure if you get a 77 or newer front, that you get the u-bolt plate with them too since the older types will be too small.
     
  3. K5krazy

    K5krazy Registered Member

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    I've heard that '73 was the year that saw bigger u-joints and thicker axles. I was thinking of looking into this myself, as I have a '72.

    Might be worth looking into....
     
  4. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    This is one area thats up for grabs. Anybody who can answer this, please do. I have seen 77 and up have 3" diameter tubes whereas the 76 and older have 2 3/4" tubes. Maybe Stephen can straighten this out.
     
  5. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    From the specs page on this sight 77 is when they started phasing in the 10 bolt and by 79 they were all 10 bolt. These are the specs
    Dana 44 (8.5-in. 1.31 Axle Dia. 30 Spline)

    GM Corporate 10-bolt (8.5-in. 1.28 Axle Dia. 28 Spline)

    Is it the 10 bolt that had the larger axle tube???
    Don't think I want a 10Bolt (snaller shaft and less splines) but do I (because of the stronger housing)???

    Thanks for all the help!!
     
  6. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Tube diameter is only hafl the story, tube thickness might be the answer
     

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