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Should I put any money in my D44?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by WantedaDodge, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    So, I'm not exactly a hardcore wheeler. I use 4x4 on average twice a month unless it's hunting season, then it's more! I'm not going to run any XTREME trails or rocks, just the occasional mud bog and washed out fire roads/trails.
    My truck has full 3/4 ton running gear and it's my baby. I plan on fixing it up.

    It's not hardcore, I run a 700R4 and a 208, they have both been rebuilt and the 700R4 is as beefy as it gets.

    I am putting '35s on for now, but eventually it may get a little more lift and 37.5s

    I don't plan on ever going any bigger with this truck because I'm building a Dodge M880 w/ a buddy that will get a D60 front and all the good stuff. And if I ever do build a real trail rig, it probably won't be my blazer but a Dodge or a fullsize jeep.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Chevy and it's easy to live with every day, but if I ever get real into this thing we call 4 wheeling, it will be something besides my blazer getting built.

    I'm thinking that a true trac front diff and 4.88s or 5.13s will eventually get dropped in, aftermarket axles as well. I just want to make sure I'm not wasting me time before so though, cause to tell the truth, I'm always on the look out for a D60 front anyway... Just to have sitting in the back yard!
     
  2. matneyr

    matneyr Registered Member

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    I don't think you'll be wasting your money fixing up the Dana 44 front -- I run a 10 bolt in my daily driver ('85 Suburban) that I've re-geared and rebuilt. I've never had one problem with it, and I'm currently running 37 inch Claws. I have a true trac in the front and a detroit locker in the rear, and except for really icy pavement its a great setup. I also have a 700R4 and 4.88 gears -- its a great combination. Good luck!
     
  3. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Regear it if you need to. I wouldn't lock it. For light duty use, it is fine.
    If you were to wheel the truck hard, with 37"s and a front locker, it has been my experience that you will be replacing shafts quite frequently.
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Leave the front alone. Lock the rear.
     
  5. bigbluesuburban

    bigbluesuburban 1/2 ton status

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    ^ ^ ^ Agree All The Way Up ^ ^ ^
     
  6. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    good news

    well this is cool, I just got back from the tire shop and they have a set of 37.5 Swamper LTBs for $800!

    I'm glad that you guys don't think a dana 44 is a waste of time cause there are lots of good parts for them since they put them in everything.

    What about a limited slip? still to harsh.
     
  7. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Not harsh enough! :D

    I wouldn't spend the time/$$$ on a posi. They fall short when you need them most.
     
  8. matneyr

    matneyr Registered Member

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    I don't think I was very clear above -- I'm running a Truetrac up front in a 10-bolt with 37 inch Claws, and I've never had any trouble. Except on ice! Then beware! Or better yet, stay home and get drunk.
     
  9. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    I say build it to suit your needs. Not everyone NEEDS a D60. In fact, I would venture to guess most here are still running a D44 or 10B up front. I'll tell you how I built mine and I am NOT easy on my rig :D

    4.88's, detroit, 4340 shafts, super joints, Mile Marker Uber hubs (they use a ductile iron drive slug), new ball joints, all new bearings (spindles and hubs), new brakes, HD tie rod and drag link, X-over steering.

    Now for the part that is going to make everyone start slamming me...:D ... I run 39.5 x 16.50 x 17 Pit Bull Rockers on custom 17x10 steel wheels. They are HEAVY sumsab*ches!

    I know..folks say way too much tire for a D44...well I have managed to make it survive for a loooong time with 38"+ tires and ZERO breakage, so I'm staying with it. In fact, I have wheeled with guys that have tore thier 60's on 38's to pieces where I walked through w/ a STOCK D44 on 38's. A lot of it has to do with your wheeling/driving style and knowing the limits of your rig. If I know I need to pick a slightly different line, then I do. I don't subscribe to the "if you're not breaking you're not wheeling" crap. I like to wheel, not spend all my time and $$ repairing/upgrading. Besides, I view it as a challenge every time I go out to play as hard as I can and still make it home, ready to wheel again another day. I do carry a ton of spare parts (almost enough to rebuild my axle on the trail:wink1: ), but I have yet to use them.

    Either way, I have far less into my D44 than I could buy a D60 and build it for. If I ever step up beyond my 39.5's I'll definitely do a 60, but till then, I'll run my 44.

    IMO, build what suits your needs. You know how you drive/wheel it.
     
  10. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    Well Shane, it's good to hear your 44 is standing up for you. In that case I plan on keeping it.
     
  11. twoslo4five0

    twoslo4five0 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    which shafts do you run???what is the u joint size???
     
  12. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    well, I hope it holds up to 37.5x12.50s cause I just bought a set!
     
  13. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    They make LTBs in a 37.5" now?

    Ira
     
  14. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    No, TSL Radials.... 37.50x12.50R17 on Dodge 3/4 ton rims. They have a medium back space and they seem to work very well with the 4 inch lift so far. I haven't done any stump jumping yet, but I will try to get it to rub...

    hmm... Ya know what, they might be SSRs, will have to check tomorrow.
     
  15. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    If you wheel it right (stay out of the skinny peddle) until you know how you can beat on it you should be fine. I have a 60 with 37s and I popped a driveshaft and did not hurt the axle so who knows maybe you will break a Dshaft ujoint before you hurt the axle.

    I hammer on my stuff with no real regard for not breaking stuff so I am not a good example. The AZ guys run 1/2 ton stuff all the time with 37s and they do just fine. It is about learning what your rig can handle.

    Ira
     
  16. WantedaDodge

    WantedaDodge 1/2 ton status

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    Allright, it's a 37x12.50R17 TSL Radial

    I love them!
     
  17. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    I thought I had missed something. I want them to make a 42X15 LTB in a 15" rim variety.

    Ira:D
     

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