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Dana 44 or 10 bolt wich is better?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 1big78k5, May 12, 2001.

  1. 1big78k5

    1big78k5 Registered Member

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    I just picked up a set of axles out of a '75 3/4 ton pick up. The rears is a 14 bolt FF w/ 4.10 gears and the front is a Dana 44 w/ 4.09 gears. Should I swap in the Dana or convert the 10 bolt to eight lug? The Dana looks like it is about the same as the 10 bolt as far as strength goes. But maybe it's beefier inside?

    '78 K5 SB400, T350, NP203, 35" Swampers
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    There is almost no difference betweenn a D44 and a 10 bolt strength wise. The only reason to swap one for the other would be ratio. What ratio is your 10 bolt?

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  3. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Neither one is better than the other. Both are pretty much the same in many areas. I would not scrap one for the other. You can easily upgrade one or the other to make it stronger than the other.
     
  4. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I thought the 10 bolt had bigger bearings - better if mostly street driving. Set me straight master of the axle!
     
  5. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Which bearings are you referring to?

    "Master of the axle"?!?!?! ROTFLMFAO!!! [​IMG]
     
  6. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If there is no difference in any of the bearings, then write it up as me speaking outa my arse and I don't need to research where I thought I heard the bearing comment... (I was thinking spindle bearings - never compared tho)
     
  7. 1big78k5

    1big78k5 Registered Member

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    The biggest thing here is that my 10 bolt has 3.08's and the Dana has 4.10's But the bad thing is that the Dana is full time 4 wheel drive so I'd have to buy some locking hubs. If I keep the 10 bolt I have to convert it to 8 lug

    '78 K5 SB400, T350, NP203, 35" Swampers
     
  8. RedDwarf

    RedDwarf 1/2 ton status

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    Each one has it's advantages. Dana does have thicker axle tubes, 10 bolt has a beefier pinion. New parts are easier to get for the Dana, 10 bolt is easier to change diff because shims go outside the bearings on the carrier, so you don't have to pull the bearings each time.

    In short, I agree with what has already been said: it's not worth the time to swap one for the other.



    Lift It, Lock It, LIVE IT!!!
     
  9. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Dana 44's have 30 spline axels and a 10 bolt will have 28 spline axels. Some say the 30 spline is stronger. I dont knowif it matters, if you drive it hard parts will break no matter what the spline count
     
  10. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Bearings-

    G.M. changed the inner wheel bearing to a larger bearing in '76-'78 (not positive of the exact date/years) The inner race is larger on the spindal to fit the larger bearing. Spindals will inter change between D-44s and 10-bolts (as will everything else from the steering knuckle out)- The bigger bearing is realy not all that much of a improvement, alittle better but not worth the money it would take to change everything out (spindals matching disc/hubs)- in my opinion-

    Twiztid
     
  11. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    These spindle bearings and races are what determine the "first design" and the "second design" that GM labeled their axles as. Thats another long story to describe.

    When In Doubt, Whip It Out!
     
  12. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Spindle bearing? Whats wrong with wheel bearing?

    And exactly, what are you "whiping out"? aahh nevermind, please don't tell me! (k30)

    Twizard
     
  13. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The spindle bearing is that itty bitty bearing inside the back part of the spindle. The short, outer shaft rides this bearing.

    "When In Doubt, Whip It Out" is my slang for off roading and getting stuck, and then having to "Whip" out the winch cable!!!!!!!!!! Dude, you have one sick mind if you thought I meant something else!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    When In Doubt, Whip It Out!
     
  14. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry K30, but I just kind of assumed also that you were talking about your hootus. lmao Thats all you talk about anymore besides axles.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  15. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    -k-dude, you kinda confused me (easly done) I was talking about the wheel bearings and you where talking about the spindle bearing (needle bearing inside)- did the spindal bearings change too?- So if they did, youd have to change out the stub shaft too (for the bigger bearing set up)

    Twiztid
     
  16. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    You are confusing yourself! The spindles, bearings, and bearing hub were all that changed in 77. The little bearings in the back of the spindle are all the SAME from 73 - 91. Those spidle kits you can get at the store all share the same part no. #SBK-1. You do NOT have to change the outer stub shaft on anything.

    When In Doubt, Whip It Out!
     
  17. 1big78k5

    1big78k5 Registered Member

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    Hey K30 guy, do you think I can put the spindles, hubs and 8-lug rotors from the Dana 44 onto the 10 bolt? The other thing here is that I totally rebuilt the 10 bolt last year! All new ball joints, tie rod ends bearings, saeals etc. The Dana needs to be "gone through" So maybe I caould save myself some money by putting the 8-lug stuff onto the 10 bolt and just change the ring&pinion to 4.10 later. What do you think? Thanks everyone for the replies.

    '78 K5 SB400, T350, NP203, 35" Swampers
     
  18. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    That is what I'm doing w/ mine... the d44 I got w/ 4.10's was shot, no calipers for the d44 neither, and the one spindle was all screwed up. So I'm going from my backing plates out w/ the 10 B stuff so I don't need to get new caliper and that. Everything interchanges from the plates out as long as it is the later model d44 (post 77 or whatever MASTER said LOL).

    [​IMG]
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
     
  19. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Ok here is what you do. The 44 has the 4.10 gear you need right? Slap that axle under the truck. It would take about $300 to regear the 10 bolt if you cant do the set up yourself. Take the knuckles, tie rods off the 10 bolt and they will go right on the 44 that way you keep your new ball joints and all that stuff. I think but I am not positive that the 3/4 44 runs the same bearings so you could just put the new bearing in the 44 8 lug hubs replace the one main seal there cause you will ruin it pulling out the bearings. I'm also pretty sure the D44 3/4 ran the same caliper with just a larger rotor so you can but the 44 backing plates and brake mount on the 10 bolt knuckles and keep your good calipers and not even have to disconnect the lines. Now your down to if the 44 rotors are good and inner axle seals and possibly carrier bearings if somebody knocked dirt into them changing a axle. As long as the 44 is the inner locking hub style the locking hubs off the 10 bolt will fit it fine.
    That would be the cheap way to go if the carrier, gears and carrier bearings are good in the 44. So the only parts your looking at is the Inner axle seals, hub to spindle seal, brake pads and possibly rotors if the D44 3/4 rotors are too bad to be turned. If luck is with you on the bearings then you can probably get the D44 up to snuff for about $50-75 bucks using the new 10 bolt parts you already have. Might look at throwing in a couple U-Joints.
    KEEP the 44 knuckles. If you plan to do the crossover steering your going to need that flat top 44 knuckle but your going to have a issue with the tie rod. the 75 D44 I have has a funky tierod the goes in from the top but the tie rod ends drop down about 1 inch to clear the springs. I think you will find the same with yours.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  20. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    You could do that, but its like Grimmy said, if the D44 has 4.10 gears, use that one. It dont take long to clean up that D44 and get it going. So whats a couple more bucks to buy some new ball joints again for the D44? At least this will be cheaper than replacing the gears. [​IMG]

    When In Doubt, Whip It Out!
     

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