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Thread: Late 70s Ford D44 in JK

  1. #1
    Fresh Catch BigWillysStyle's Avatar
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    Late 70s Ford D44 in JK

    So i am trying to figure a way to build a D44 for cheaper than buying a PR44 so i was wondering what would be involved in retrofitting a late 70s HPd44 out of a Ford HiBoy into my 2015 JK? what systems would i lose and are there kits to add on the mounting hardware/springs. would this be cost effective if i can get a houseing/complete front end cheap?

  2. #2
    Not That Kind of Engineer olram30's Avatar
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    I love my jeep to much to throw a 1970's ford axle under her. Good luck in your quest to save a buck.

  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing mudmobeeler's Avatar
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    Yes, there are kits out there to swap axles into the JK. However, for the price I would look for a used JK rubicon 44 before I swapped in a 70s era axle. I would save my money and get a pr44 before I swapped in a used rubicon 44 axle though as you wont gain much by swapping a used rubicon axle in place of a dana 30.
    2014 JKUR named NORDNDD.

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  4. #4
    Fresh Catch BigWillysStyle's Avatar
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    Just kicking thoughts around

    I just am alittle shocked at the sticker price for just a housing, regardless of how beefy. my ultimate goal is to run 35s and lockers, however everyone here damns the use of a trussed or "beefed" D30. figured a modified High Pinion D44 would be a cheaper equivalent but i suppose you have to pay to play

  5. #5
    Nothing but a Thing mudmobeeler's Avatar
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    I would get 35s and do inner c gussets and have fun. Save your money for a pr44 or equivalent that bolts right in and when you can buy one buy one if you want. The 30 will do ok on 35s.
    2014 JKUR named NORDNDD.

    Build thread: http://wayalife.com/showthread.php?2...ing-of-NoRdNdd

  6. #6
    Nothing but a Thing mudmobeeler's Avatar
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    With 35s I think you will be ok with the 6 speed and 3.73s. 4.10s would probably be better but if you were ever to go to 37s you would need 5.13s. I would run 5.13s in a Dana 30 without a locker but plan on a different front axle sometime.
    2014 JKUR named NORDNDD.

    Build thread: http://wayalife.com/showthread.php?2...ing-of-NoRdNdd

  7. #7
    Addict jeeeep's Avatar
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    what you'll likely spend in time and money to fit the Ford axle, you'll find that sticker shock is often less than you think.
    while it's easy to go overboard in the pr44 build, if you can get what will suit you for a decent price and then save for the upgrades as needed.
    i recently helped a friend with a Ford axle on his TJ, even with all the pre-budget planning he still went over by about $900 and 2 weeks additional time before it was finished. he still needs to replace the brake line tubing but we bent it to get it to work for now until he saves up. his words...he should have just bought a ready axle, it would have cost him $150 more than what he spent

  8. #8
    Advertiser Rancho's Avatar
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    So I did this swap on my YJ.... I know, different animal all together but a DIY garage build cost so much, I could have got a Dynatrac/Currie back in the day.
    How "cheap" is the axle BTW?


    Quote Originally Posted by BigWillysStyle View Post
    So i am trying to figure a way to build a D44 for cheaper than buying a PR44 so i was wondering what would be involved in retrofitting a late 70s HPd44 out of a Ford HiBoy into my 2015 JK? what systems would i lose and are there kits to add on the mounting hardware/springs. would this be cost effective if i can get a houseing/complete front end cheap?

  9. #9
    Addict hinrichs's Avatar
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    Even going with one tons isnt as cheap as you would think, and going junkyard route that is what I would put under. Easier now that you can get the needed tone rings and all brackets, but the axles themselves are not cheap anymore and you have to do a full overhaul anyway on them.

  10. #10
    Hooked computeruser6's Avatar
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    There's a good chance that a Dana 44 from a 70's Ford truck will be narrow (as little as 58"), have drum brakes, be configured for leaf springs, have a hub pattern of 5x5.5, 6x5.5 or 8x6.5 with old, worn out Warn manual hubs, will not have the gear ratio you want, will need new carrier and pinion bearings, you'll have to retrofit wheel speed sensors if you want ABS, ESC, and other automatic control systems to continue to function, and may use very small 5-260x or 5-297x U-joints. If the axle is narrow enough, you'll need longer tubes, blast all of the rust off to mount suspension brackets that would be useful to you, rebuild the differential with a desirable gear ratio, rebuild the manual hubs, get new rear axleshafts or wheel adapters for the rear wheels, and will have to pay quite a bit of money if you can't do all the work yourself. Below are some articles to reference and will show you how find the Bill of Material number stamped in the axle to decipher what was originally installed. But then the axle could've been modified afterwards also. Best of luck OP.

    http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...y/Dana44.shtml

    http://shop.broncograveyard.com/Dana.../products/402/

    http://77cj.littlekeylime.com/Dana44.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by mudmobeeler View Post
    Yes, there are kits out there to swap axles into the JK. However, for the price I would look for a used JK rubicon 44 before I swapped in a 70s era axle. I would save my money and get a pr44 before I swapped in a used rubicon 44 axle though as you wont gain much by swapping a used rubicon axle in place of a dana 30.
    I've heard of people installing a front Dana 60 and rear Ford 10.5/11.5" into JK's from more recent F250/350 trucks, but who makes a swap kit for Dana 44's from the 70's?
    Gott mit uns

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