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