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Dana 60 vs. Dana 44

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mostwanted, May 9, 2006.

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Dana 44 or Dana 60

Poll closed Jun 23, 2006.
  1. A Dana 44 built (with traction aid)

    8 vote(s)
    13.1%
  2. stock dana 60 (with traction aid)

    41 vote(s)
    67.2%
  3. stock 44 (with traction aid)

    4 vote(s)
    6.6%
  4. wheel open stock nekkid

    8 vote(s)
    13.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. mostwanted

    mostwanted 1/2 ton status

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    I was curious if there are people out here that consider the 60 overkill, or a well built 44 just as strong or easier to repair? I understand the bigger is better and the better more than not enough. But I am building on a budget and the Dana 44s seem more plentiful and a lot cheaper. I am planning on running between 35"-38" tires for mild rockcrawling. Maybe a little mud. And a lot of DD. What good products are out there to make a 44 able to handle 350-400 HP and 37" tires?
     
  2. resurrected_jimmy

    resurrected_jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    driver restraint and cautious use of the skinny pedal, with an engine like that and anything above 35" tires your gonna break something. On the other hand you can buy a lot of 44 shafts for the price of a Dana 60. I have the unfortunate luck of breaking carriers more often than I break shafts in 1/2 ton axles so I would highly suggest putting a full replacement locking differential in it and just letting the stock shafts be the weak link

    just buy a 60 and be done with it
     
  3. stockk5

    stockk5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    i personally run a Dana 44 on some 37" tires w/ a decent 350, i havent broken anything yet, i DD it mostly, i do take it out on some trails w/ lots of rocks and beat on it pretty hard and havent broken anything. Dont upgrade it right away, drive it how it is, see how things last w/ your driving style and go from there. Thats my plan, no sense in spending money i dont need to.
     
  4. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    I have a hopped up 383 stroker and 38's and I wheeled a 10 bolt front for a year with no problems. I carried spare hublocks & axle shafts, and luckilly never needed them. It was done by careful use of the loud pedal.

    That being said, a Dana 60 resides under my truck now.

    My suggestion to you is to carefully wheel the 44 until you can afford an expensive 60, or come across a cheap one (like I did)

    Good luck

    Mike
     
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I have (relatively small for that size) 38x13's with a low horsepower stock 6.2 diesel engine. Most of the trails are dirt and mud with a few rocks thrown in here and there.

    I broke a stock Dana 60 front with a lock-right 3 times before upgrading shafts. One necked down inner shaft, and two 30-spline stubs all fell victim in about one years worth of wheeling. When replacing the 30-spline stubs with 35-spline chromos this spring I found another 30-spline stub badly twisted.
     
  6. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I ran a 10 bolt open for a couple of years with 38" swamper radials no problems but I was careful. don't think I would have locked it up though. I was in the same boat had 3/4 ton axles and just waited until I came across a 60 for a good deal
     
  7. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    id jus get a 60. when i was pricing it out, i decided i didnt want to sink a ton of money into a 1/2ton axle which wont have a resale value of crap. with a d60, they hold there value far better. in the end i didnt see the point in beefin up 1/2ton stuff when a stock 60 with non-neckdown shafts would always be as strong if not stronger. id say wheel with what you got for now, just dont spend a ton on the d44, cuz then ur basically pot committed.
     
  8. Chevy305

    Chevy305 6 Lug 14bsf Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I run a 10bolt front and rear with 35s and obviously a 305. Locked rear, open front, I have had no problems at all.

    I am starting to worry about my rear axel though. The lock right I have in it is worn so the drive shaft can rotate about 1/8th and not engage the axel shafts. I am worried that when I try to drop the clutch and have too much traction, the locker will slam into the axel shafts and something will give way.
    I think I see a 14bolt in my future.
     
  9. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    mrk5 runs a 44 with 37's and an Aussie Locker. He has had good luck with it so far.
     
  10. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    that is true, he always brags bout having 1/2ton gear
     
  11. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    Well, If you had the extra grand that a D60 is going to cost you wouldn't be asking, right? You already have a D44 or 10b residing under your rig, so you wouldn't have to buy one. If you have a 10b, there is no reson to swap to a 44 - the 30 spline10b is actually a bit stronger than a 44. If yours is a 28spline, just put 30 spline shafts and carrier in it and you're good to go :waytogo:. If you break the stock 30 spline shafts, then put some chromemoly shafts in there. If you break 30 spline chromemoly shafts (which are stronger than stock 35 spline D60 shafts) then you need to seriously re-evaluate your driving style. :D
     
  12. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    plus the $$$ to do the steering.... dont forget just dropping a d60 in.. also requires new steering parts... and the $20 here and $20 there can add up...
    or xover for a few hundread $$$$$ .....



    but is well worth it for xover :bow:
     
  13. mostwanted

    mostwanted 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all of the comments. If I had an extra grand laying around I wouldn't be asking. (it would have to be an extra 10 grand tho- have other stuff to take care of too.) I currently have 10bolts front and rear. I will be putting 52" springs in the front and 54" in the rear, running 4.56 gears and ideally 37" tires. So a crossover is definatly in the picture. If I go with a 44, I can get one home any time and start rebuilding it. If I go with a 60, well who knows, whenever I find one. I will be running a 14ff in the rear, and I don't want to add adapters to convert to 6 lug or an adapter in the front to convert to 8 lug. I want to run eight lug 16" or 16.5" all around. Makes it easier to find parts and swap tires. I imagine that I will go with a 3/4 ton Dana 44 to start with, and if I run accross a good deal on a Dana 60, than I will see.
     
  14. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    Keep a look-out for 1-Ton dually axles (D60 Front & D70HD Rear ) & Military Hummer H1 (16.5") beadlock wheels.

    People often sell the Dually stuff cheaper because they're not in as high of demand because they are fairly expensive to convert to standard hubs. Since the H1 wheels have like 7.5" of backspacing, they fit fit perfectly on the dually axles.

    This is by far & long the least expensive way to get 1-ton axles and beadlocks. When I'm done my Hydro Assist, I will have the beadlocks, 1 tons and hydro assist for under $1,000.

    Mike
     
  15. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    Nobody on this site is gonna tell you to stay 1/2 ton......

    Not even me... :ignore:.... Get a Dana 60 and sell your 1/2 ton junk to me... :D

    Marv
     
  16. blank

    blank Registered Member

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    Just chiming in both of my blazer's have broke 44's I will be going back with Dana 60's
     
  17. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Robzilla runs 1/2 ton gear and he's no throttle fairy. Scott gets hardcore with his 1/2 ton stuff. Marv and a bunch of other guys do fine. These guys prove it can be done every day with some careful planning. That is a far cry from bragging. :deal:
     
  18. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    The question is whether you want to sit and save $$, wrench, and build, or whether you want to actually 'wheel your truck.

    A lot of people here will tell you "Build it right the first time" - meaning 1-ton axles etc. It may be coincidental, but it appears that a lot of these people actually have zero to very little seat time on trails, because the truck's on jackstands all the time. Then again, on jackstands even a lowly 10-bolt will hold up to anything ...

    My own philosophy is more along the lines of 'Wheel it now, and see what needs to be built'. I know a lot of people actually enjoy the wrenching/building process. That's great, but I personally don't. I rather be out there on the trails, and if the trail is beyond the capability of my vehicle, I'll find another one.

    It all comes down to personal preferences. 1/2-ton axles, 35s, and most importanly, some driving skills can get you a long way. Is there anything wrong with running 1-tons - absolutely not. Can you go 'wheeling without 1-tons - absolutely.

    It also depends on what you define as 'wheeling. If it's only 'wheeling to you if you hit the biggest rocks, the deepest mudhole, the tallest ledges, and it don't count if you haven't broken something at the end of the day, then get your big axles. If not, there's plenty of fun to be had out there, even without 1-tons.
     
  19. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I agree...

    it is funny that back in 1989 when I started wheeling my truck...

    motor 350
    trans turbo 400 with b&m shiftkit
    xfer np203
    front d44
    rear 14bolt ff
    gears 4.56 (stock camper special truck :bow: )
    open diffs
    33's
    3" body lift


    I wheeled this truck HARD AND I MEAN HARD.... trails and mud... airborn with the hammer down....


    now all of a sudden todays day and age... lockers, 1 tons, xover steering, flexy suspension is like a mandatory.....


    I will say from going from the stats up top to what I have now...
    I have close to 8" lift, bigger tires.. hawgs, detroits front and rear, xover steering..... with all that the difference is amazing.. however I was going back in 1997 to rockwells and 53's

    NJ changed their laws after I was up on 12" leafs, 3" body lift and lookin for rockwells and the mich tires... so I had to come down....

    I figured if I cant go through what I was going to be able to being big.. I have to modify my thinking.... thus lockers, snorkel, winch, etc....


    I have found that I have only had my truck out twice and not near challenging my truck...... I have been attacking mudholes.. more water with the never ending cranberry bogg black mud under it.... when I could have easily walked through it.....


    now with all that jibber jabber up there...

    Id say you may even be safe taking your truck.. add a rear detroit or some type of locker and adding a less aggressive locker up front.. you will be able to go through more and easier than open diffed and may not need 1 tons.. I only did the 1 ton upgrade because I got my axle so cheap or else id still be running a d44 ..... :crazy:



    my moto is dont fix it if it isnt broke..... since 1993 i have had a weird noise.... in 2wd it wont do it.. but in 4wd... I get a nasty kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk (sound them out not say the letter) noise.... when I hammer it hard as if something is grinding, or banging on the frame or whatever.. it has to be in my transfer case...since it did it when I had a d44 and that is gone now.... I wont fix it cuz nothing has broke yet.....


    sorry for the blabber post :haha:
     
  20. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Sounds like yer chain is stretched in yer 203, mine is doing that too.
     

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