Semi OT The great 44 vs. 60 debate - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Semi OT The great 44 vs. 60 debate

After wheeling my new pile (76 bronco) for the first time I popped a dana 44 shaft/ u-joint. I do have 260 joints in it, brand new with tacked on caps. I was on a greasy rocky hill and wasn't on the gas that hard when the joint let go. The front was open and if I had welded the rear I might have made it/ not had as much trouble.

I'm planning on putting $$ into axles this summer and now am debating if I should keep the 44/9" combo and upgrade them or swap out the 44/9" for a pair of narrowed dana 60's.

I ran a 44/9" in my buggy and loved it but I had lots of the parts and allready and money was tighter. I popped 1 u-joint cap running 4.56's, a spool, yukon alloy inners, stock outers, and tacked in spicer 760's. I've always thought I didn't need 60's but now i'm second guessing my self.

I'm really debating putting 60's into the bronco, i'll be running 36's on the 44/9" or 38's on dana 60's. I wheel a little bit of everything and the rig has a stock 302/ auto. I plan on keeping this rig and wheel alot so having it on the trail and not sitting at home broken is pretty important. During the summer I can afford to dump major $$ into a build up but during the school year I'm on a very tight budget.

Dana 60's
Pros- stronger, lots less breakage
Cons- heaveir, more expensive parts, harder to find parts, requires a bigger tire for clearance

D44/9"
Pros- cheaper, allready have them, parts are easy to find anywhere, lighter
Cons- not as strong, more frequent breakage that adds up quick

The $$ thing. I did a spread sheet in excel and included these things
-4.88's/ install kits
-detroit front/ spool rear
-alloy front and 35 spline rear shafts
-new lock outs
-super joints for the 44/ stock spicer joints for the 60
-high steer arms/ cross over high steer
-new wheels with weld on bead locks (my current wheels/ bead locks are on older wheels that have bead issues)
-New 38's for the 60's, i'd keep my 36's for the 44/9" combo
-Rear discs
-New front/ rear wheel bearings and spindle bearings
-New king pins/ ball joints
-Cost of the 60's
-I gave my self an extra $600 for the d44/9" for extra stuff and $1000 for the 60 swap

I also credited my self for selling my 36's, and stock axles/ parts I couldn't use. I'd have about 4,500 into the 44/9" combo and about $5,500-$6,000 into the 60's depending on how much I could get the 60's for. I can also build the 44/9" with much less bling (stock shortened 760 jointed shafts, 29 spline welded rear, lockright in the front).

So overall the biggest differance between the axles is the differance in cost about $1500, strength, and frequency of breakage.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 05:24 PM
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You should definately go Dana 60,,,, the rest of the world woii be fine with 44's!!!

Andy the way you wheel you should build everything as bullet proof as possible because you will be shooting bullets at it all the time... Just My .02$

Same reason I am looking for a 60 out of a j truck for my cj5. No since in building it 2x and i need the offset for the dana 18 that will be in it. Unless that is I find a 300 for it first.

Ya only go around once, best to enjoy it the first trip.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 06:14 PM
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Since you already have the 44 I think I'd try some super joints and chromo shafts Andy. I wheeled with a guy at Haspin (one of Austin's buddies) back in Feb. or March. He had a stretched coil sprung CJ-7 with a 258 on propane and was running 44" Boggers. He popped a chromo stub shaft doing a major attack on Devil's Backbone (4-5" of snow) and his Randy's super joint was fine. He said this was like the 4th time he'd popped a stub shaft and the super joint survived. Yes, this was a Dana 44 front axle, he had a 60 in the rear. I think a chromo'd 44 with your choice of super joint would handle the 302 and 36's easily. I've got Longfield Super U-joints in my 44 and they've been great. I know I've only got a 4 banger(with Natural Light powered supercharger ) but still running 37" Boggers and I try to break something every time out and can't.
Aaron.

"4 squirrels runnin' on boggers...and they're angry!!!"
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah the 44 is factory and in it right now. Biggest thing is the 44 is stock and I have no $$ in it. Dumping a ton of $$ in the 44 and then still breaking it and adventually upgrading to a 60 would be a major waste of $$. I did have pretty good luck with the buggy's axles and they were pretty low buck. The biggest thing is how much to build it/ how much $$ to put into it. Stock disc brake Early bronco 44's are worth about $500 bone stock...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 05:38 PM
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Andy,
I was thinking you already had chromo inners and both axles are already set up with gears and locked/welded. This led me to believe you'd be better off buying chromo outers and super joints...then wheel it!! You're not having any problems with the 9" right? I'd rather have the 9" than the 60. But, I guess I misunderstood and those axles are from you're old rig. Ya, if you're gonna start over then definitely go big!!
Good luck,
Aaron.

P.S-Hope to see you at the Bash.

"4 squirrels runnin' on boggers...and they're angry!!!"
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Right now I have bone stock EB axles, disc brake 44 with 260 joints, 28 spline big bearing 9" both open with 3.50's. I've got a set of 297 jointed stubs, a 297 jointed short side shaft, and a 297 joint for free. I just need to pick up a long side shaft to cut down and another joint. I'll weld the rear. I should be into the axles less then $100 to "upgrade" them for now, we'll see how they hold up at the bash, i'm hoping i'll have spares for both side, i can change em in about 10 min. now days.
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