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Dana 44 vs. Dana 44HD

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by DusterRT, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. DusterRT

    DusterRT Registered Member

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    What is the difference between standard and HD Dana 44 front axles? I'm looking at one for my SFA conversion that's a '73 model. It has drum brakes, would the knuckles and stuff swap from a regular 44 to give me discs? Thanks,

    Travis
     
  2. LittlePig

    LittlePig 1/2 ton status

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    AFAIK the 44HD differs from the standard 44 in that everything from the knuckles out is heavier. So, if you swap out the knuckles/brakes/etc for stuff from a 6-bolt, you will no longer have a 44HD. The parts are (again, AFAIK) totally interchangeable, but as I said, the HD part of your axle is everything from the knuckles out.
     
  3. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    If it has drum brakes it is a closed knuckle axle. I would not even give that axle a second look.
    I would get an axle from a Ford if you are doing a SFA swap.
    As far as a HD D44 and the "others"
    The only thing HD about them is that the axle tubes are a 1/2" thick that is it, and it will have an external hub on it.
    These were in production till 76, then they went to the internal hub.
    I believe they did away with the closed knuckle in 71.
     
  4. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    AFAIK drum brake D44's were 70 or 71 and earlier. Definately 72 an later were disc brake open knuckle.
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well since you didn't include the information on your truck in either your Bio or your post I am GUESSING that your doing a solid axle conversion on a 88 or newer round body truck.
    You want a reverse cut D44 or D60 from a late 70's Ford F150 Truck or or a fullsize Bronco or a D60 from a F250. THose axles will have the driverside pumpkin that you need to match yor transfer case. You might even want to just grab the whole Radius arm and coil set up. It might be an easier conversion using those parts.
    I would stay away from any pre 73 axles at all. The D44 before then was often equipped with a smalle U-joint then the after 73 's Closed knuckle anything is usualy not as strong as the larger u-joint after 73 axles. Well unless it say's Rockwell.
    Welcome to CK5
    Please fill in your bio. It helps us help you when you forget to include information about the truck in your post.
     
  6. TheLakeRat

    TheLakeRat 1/2 ton status

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    The difference between a D44 and a D44HD is that the D44HD has .500 wall tubing and larger brakes and is 8 lug.
    As long as they are the same knuckle style everything is interchangable.
     
  7. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I was temped to not respond due to a lack of info in your boi & post. But anyway here is some info that may or may not help. Like Grim I guess you are doing a spap on an '88 up. If you want to keep your case you need a L/H drop axle. Fords will work but have so much stuff cast into them they are a pain. Late model Dodges are good if you want to use coils. Jeep P/Us work if you want to use leafs and stay 6 lug. However there are alot changes to the Jeep D44s over the years so you will need to look at several and find the one that works. Also the driveshaft will hit the stock x-fer case skid plate.
    Also, the HD is said to mean a lot of things. The only one that you can bet on is 1/2" wall tubes.
    Try again w/ more info.
     
  8. DusterRT

    DusterRT Registered Member

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    Sorry about the lack of info, I fixed that I think. I've been looking at the high pinion Ford axles, I have been debating if I really need that (and if it would create clearance problems), as I'm only looking for a total of 4-5" of suspension lift, and am going to use a divorced TC. I'm converting a 2wd so I don't have the same crossmembers and skid plates to deal with as the k-trucks. The axle I am (was?) looking at was a '73 Ford F250 model. I'm only going to use 33's (possibly 35's but not too likely), I probably would be fine with a standard 44 really. There are no rocks to climb around here but I love to go bashing around wherever I can and I'd love to hit the dunes sometime, I think a welded truss on the long side of the axle would be about all I need if anything at all. The thicker axle tubes sound good though. What's the thickness of standard tubes anyway? Thanks,

    Travis
     
  9. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok, now we can start. W/ a lift shorter than 6" & a divorced case you don't need the HP axle. Do you have a case already? If not decide what side the shaft will be on. That will help narrow your search. You still didn't tell us where you were but you did say you had some intrest in high speed stuff. If you don't want to mess with the Ford coils look into the Jeep because it is spring under. Do you have a desire for one lug pattern over another?
     
  10. DusterRT

    DusterRT Registered Member

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    Well I crawled under a truck in a parking lot today and a driver's side shaft would be extrmely tight, if not impossible, without relocating the gas tank. I don't want to do that, and I've already got a line on a Dodge divorced 205 (if I can just get the guy to get it in freight). So if I am thinking correctly I can rule out Ford axles, but Chevy and Dodge are still in. As far as bolt patterns go, 5x5/5.5 would be nice as I've got brand new (dual pattern) wheels, but I do have a couple friends who like them enough I've had actually good offers to buy them. So really it comes down to whatever rear axle I can find a good deal on (front patterns are changed with just a rotor swap, correct?). I'm from around Champaign, IL (currently stuck away from my truck at NIU in DeKalb), so there's not a huge variety of off road opportunaties, but I love road trips! As far as the speed obstacles are taken at..generally I go faster than most, but I'm usually the 2wd guy so I gotta use intertia instead of 4-low, he he. Hope this answers what all needs to be answered, and thanks once again!!

    Travis
     
  11. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    With the Dodge x-fer case you can use the Chevy or Dodge leaf spring fronts. Wach out some Dodges used a 5 on 4.5" pattern. If you want 5 on 5.5" that would be the Ford pattern, swap the outers. Last you could go w/ the GM 6 on 5.5" and swap the rear shafts for some from a 4WD. That would probably be the easiest way to go. Good luck and let us see the results.
     

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