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Strength of a Dana 44?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by odoa3, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. odoa3

    odoa3 1/2 ton status

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    I am trying to figure out if a Dana 44 will last for me. I have a '75 K5 with a six lug 44- but have an eight lug to swap in. I would really like to have a 60 but until I can find one.... I will be running six inches of lift, 36's and a 350. I wouldn't mind having a locker as well. I do have a tendency to be a little heavy on the skinny pedal in mud. What do you think? Learn how to control the throttle and I will be ok - or is it just a matter of time until carnage happens? Ideas to make it stronger or last longer?
     
  2. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    its simular to a 10bolt. if your heavy on the skinny pedal, keep looking for a d60...
    if you can control it, it should last a while, remember its not IF it breaks, its WHEN it breaks!
     
  3. smprider112

    smprider112 1/2 ton status

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    at least with a front if u bust it you can still make it home in 2wd /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif but best bet would be AT LEAST to bring extra u-joints, Axles would be good too /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I think your D44 would last a long time like that.
     
  5. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I abuse my truck more then most /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
    I have a 400sb and 4.56 gears in the D44. I haven't broken anything (in the front axle) with my 36" TSL's (not for lack of trying /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif). The trick is to keep it open. As soon as you lock it up you will start blowing shafts. Just put some new Spicer u-joints in it and keep the ball joints adjusted.
     
  6. odoa3

    odoa3 1/2 ton status

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    Good idea on the spare axles and u-joints. The axles out of the six lug should work in the eight lug- correct?

    Triaged- Your testimony gives me hope. Guess I can live without a front locker for a little while.

    What about running axles with a larger spline count? Waste of money or worth it?
     
  7. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    yep the axles are the same for 6 lug and 8 lug.

    my buddy runs a 10b front with about a 400hp 355, 38.5 TSLs, and runs mud. the only thing he has broken is a ujoint because the dumbass at autozone gave him greasables even though he asked for non greasables. (still don't know why he didn't notice when he bought them or installed them /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif) he put nongreasables and no problems, yet. mud seems to be softer on stuff than rocks.

    edit: the d44 and 10b are very close to the same strength.
     
  8. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    I have chromoly's and ctm u joints in my D44. I only have 35's and am pretty easy on the skinny. I only worry about the ring gear now, it is definetly the weak point now. I say wheel with it and wait to see if a D60 is really for you.
     
  9. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Good idea on the spare axles and u-joints. The axles out of the six lug should work in the eight lug- correct?

    Triaged- Your testimony gives me hope. Guess I can live without a front locker for a little while.

    What about running axles with a larger spline count? Waste of money or worth it?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am running a all factory 77 K20 axle (yes 4.56 gears were a factroy option) with open diff. I adjusted the ball joints but they are still factory. I put in new SPICER u-joints (the old 297x ones...Spicer makes some stronger ones now). Do not use anything other then SPICER u-joints and don't expect 30 year old u-joints to hold up!

    I haven't had good luck with my 12B however...
    Bent axle tube
    Cracked center section where the axle tube goes in
    broke spider gears
    Sheared plug welds that hold the axle tube in the center section and rotated the pinion twards the sky... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Sheared plug welds that hold the axle tube in the center section and rotated the pinion twards the sky... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hey, I did that. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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