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Difference in D44 and D44HD

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by LKJR, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

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    ok what's the difference in the Heavy Duty D44 and the standard D44, Mine is a 71 so I know it has the smaller ujoint I believe then the later year models. (can I fix this somehow? But what else is different. Doing an 8 bolt conversion here pretty soon and need to know my weak points.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I've heard the HD's had thicker wall tubes...but other than that I don't think there is much difference.

    Rene
     
  3. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    I think there is also more ribbing on the housing casting.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Hmmm, could be...I never paid much attention to that part. I have a HD sitting in front of the shop, but no regular D44 to compare it too.

    Rene
     
  5. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    Good Question! If someone can tell me how to determine if a D44 is an HD or not, I may be able to help. I have a '71 6-lug D44 under my Suburban and a '77 8-lug D44 under the parts truck. I should be able to compare the two if I know what is what. /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif

    Is there a casted or stamped number or some other way to ID a D44HD? /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    The 77 D44 should be a HD if it's a factory 3/4 ton D44...

    Rene
     
  7. TXsizeK5

    TXsizeK5 1/2 ton status

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    What about 3/4 ton 10bolt front axles? are they the same as a 3/4 ton D44 HD? or are they weaker? Thanks,
    dC
     
  8. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    Well then......that is good to know.....I can look tonight for visible differences, extra ribs etc, but tube thickness will have to wait until I disassemble the D44HD. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  9. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    .....I heard through the grapevine that the HD designation "may" be false. Some use the HD to distinguish 8 lug 44's from the 6 lug as the spindles are larger. Again this is just hearsay and I DO NOT KNOW for sure....just something to throw into the mix. I would try searching over on pirate, they generally have a little more knowledge in this type of arena if you are looking for a difinitive answer.
     
  10. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Mine is a 71 so I know it has the smaller ujoint I believe then the later year models. (can I fix this somehow? But what else is different. Doing an 8 bolt conversion here pretty soon and need to know my weak points.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    LKJR-
    I snapped a ujoint and tweeked the axle this last weekend with my first design small ujoint front shafts like you have.
    Goldrush had a spare D44 shaft and when i went to put it in it fit fine, but i couldn't get the spindle to seat all the way back on against the knuckle. I figured out the raised part on the outer stub axle where the seal goes for the back of the spindle... On the first design they're smaller, and the second design they're larger... So that axle wouldn't work with my 1st design spindles.
    I went to the junkyard yesterday and picked up the larger ujoint style axles both sides, and spindles to match, as well as a spare tie rod for about $100.
    It looks like not only the ujoints are smaller, but the shafts themselves neck down quite a bit also compared to the later style axles.
    /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. nofeartruckin00

    nofeartruckin00 1/2 ton status

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    You said your first design axle had the smaller u-joints and possibly shafts. Was the axle originally 6 lug or 8 lug? It sounds to me that the first design w/ smaller u-joints only appeared in the 6 lug stuff.

    *EDIT*
    Did some searching by u-joint size. It appears that '67-'71 D44 axles that originally came from a 1/2 ton use the smaller -0175 u-joint. And from what i can see, from '72 - when ever the D44 was tossed for the Corp 10bolt, that both the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton used the larger -0297 u-joint. Can anyone confirm this, or am i way off base?
     
  12. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    from '72 - when ever the D44 was tossed for the Corp 10bolt

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I believe the D44 was tossed for the 10bolts in the 78 time frame.
     
  13. JIMs70K25

    JIMs70K25 1/2 ton status

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    67 and 68 had close knuckles the axles were 44-5F w/ 5-74X u-joint or a 44-CFHD W/ 5-86X u-joint. In 69 a transition was made to open knuckle(both types supposedly were offered in 1969). From 69-72 the open knuckles had 5-260X u-joint. I believe another member posted having 5-297X u-joint stock in his 72. 73-up have the 5-297X. This is what i found and as always is up for debate.
     
  14. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

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    english?

    [ QUOTE ]
    67 and 68 had close knuckles the axles were 44-5F w/ 5-74X u-joint or a 44-CFHD W/ 5-86X u-joint. In 69 a transition was made to open knuckle(both types supposedly were offered in 1969). From 69-72 the open knuckles had 5-260X u-joint. I believe another member posted having 5-297X u-joint stock in his 72. 73-up have the 5-297X. This is what i found and as always is up for debate.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    so what does my stock 71 1/2 ton have?
     
  15. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    Your '71 D44 uses the 260X u-joints. Mine does. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

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    so what does that mean for me, I haven't ventured into the world of ujoints just yet so these number are just number to me, if my axle deal I'm working on now falls through should I find another axle, or just go ahead and try to convert mine still.
     
  17. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I've got a D44 from a 78 3/4 ton pick-up (8-lugs) would that be the HD or standard. How can I tell ???
     
  18. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    The 260X u-joints are smaller than the 297x's. You have the smaller u-joints in your '71 as you stated in your first post.

    If don't end up getting the D44 "HD", then you can still convert yours to 8-lug. Just get everthing from the knuckles out, including the axle shafts, and it should work. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  19. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    My stock axle had the small u-joints.
    I swapped the whole thing for a newer 1st design D44 (6-lug) after I destroied the stock front end. I broke both u-joints, all 4 pieces of the axle shaft, and the balljoints took a bad hit as well...all that the first time I ever took my truck on the dirt /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    When I bought a new axle seal kit (CR #BK1) it came with some extra plates in there...I thought that those were because you can no longer get the seal for the old style (small u-joint) D44 and they were to adapt it so the new style seal would work on the older axles. That the newer axles are not a direct bolt in is news to me but I have never tried it...just heard they were a direct swap.

    I now have a 2nd design 3/4-ton D44 under my truck. The casting is about .75" thicker on the passanger side where the u-joint goes around the center section as evidenced by my old u-bolts being too short. I don't know if this is a 2nd design thing or a 3/4-ton thing though /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  20. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    **** man,
    I got new ujoints in my 2nd design D44 axles, before i got to putting them in tonight, i took off a hub/rotor assembly and tried to slide it over the new spindle that i got to match the axles.... And my hub and bearing is smaller it won't fit that spindle!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif The 2nd design spindles are larger and the hub bearings are also... are the hubs different or is it simply the bearings!!!????
    Looks like i'm going back to pick and pull tommorow to get the hubs and put new bearings in em and transfer my rotors/wheel studs over. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     

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