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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2000, 03:15 PM
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narrowing a dana 44 front axle

How hard is it to narrow an axle? I have a ford 9" rear that is 65" wide and I want to narrow a front dana 44 from a fullsize chevy. The dana 44 is 69.5" wide. I determined that if I cut that approximate amount off the long side of the dana 44, I would get the cast in spring perch to line up with the Jeep frame. So then I would have a pair of axles that would work in the Jeep. My question is how hard is this to actually do? And who should do it, me or a specialized shop? If a shop who would do it? And finally, am I better off going with a front 44 from a scout or something? What is the wheel mounting width of a scout axle if anyone knows?
Dan


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2000, 04:08 PM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

If you want an SOA front end, what you're proposing is about the cleanest way to do it. If you want SUA, then a different housing would be the better place to start. It's tough to find a 65" D44, tho. Most of them are either the full size like your Chevy one or are shorter, like 58 to 60. Narrow track FSJ D44's are a good place to look for a 60" SUA housing.

As far as the actual cutting, it's not that bad of a job. Grind the weld out that holds the inner knuckle to the tube until you can see the parting line all the way around it. Then drive the knuckle off. It's not easy to do, but it will come off. Some penetrating oil and sometimes some heat helps. Once it's off, cut the tube to length and clean up the end. Then drive the knuckle back on. It will be necessary to clock it correctly for proper caster. If your other side doesn't have proper caster, then you'll have to do the same on the other side, too. Once the caster is correct, you can weld the knuckle(s) back on and reassemble it. you'll also have to do something with your tie rod. Mine turned out to be 1" dia solid steel, so I was able to just cut it off and rethread it. Some are hollow tubes. Those will take a different plan. Depends on what you come up with for parts.

Moser and Dutchman can shorten and respline the shaft or can supply you with a heavy duty replacement shaft in the correct length.

Jason '87YJ
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2000, 07:18 PM
 
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

i wouldn't say it's real hard, but it's not for non-fabricators if you know what i mean.
this link is to one i did http://www.geocities.com/yj3qtr_ton/dana44.html

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2000, 08:12 PM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

I assume you are talking about the CJ7 since the Chevy fronts have passenger side drop diffs. SOA.. I hope? If not use a Wagoneer axle.

Its exactly the same thing Im doing except I will probably use a Dana60 rear (found them in 65" also). The 1/2ton Chevy axles will get you about 62.5 when cutting down the long side and utilizing the cast in spring perch on the short side. The front and rear axles will be a different width but it's an insignificant amount.

I like John Nutters version of removing (and replacing) the knuckle...

http://www.outdoorwire.com/4x4/jeep/...dana44/fsj-cj/

By the way, any idea what vehicle the 65" Ford 9 is out of?

Regards,
LarryM
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2000, 11:31 PM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

i paid a local machine shop $270 for my Scout to be shortend on the long side 3" and have both knuckles turned 6 degrees for caster and a nice spring plat ground into the diff. $270 is NOT a lot considering what you'll pay if you screw up your housing by some chance.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 08:19 AM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

I have a Dana 44 out of a '76 Chevy 1/2 ton that has been professionally cut down 4" on the passenger side. I'm trying to sell it for what I have into it. $185 + shipping. I had it built for my old CJ5 which I sold. Happy Jeepin'
Travis

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 01:52 PM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

Check out this old thread about cutting down a front 44:
http://bbs.off-road.com/wwwthreads//...view=&sb=&vc=1

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 02:07 PM
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Re: narrowing a dana 44 front axle

Here's a pic that might help. I drew this to help to show how to cut down a full size axle to CJ specs. I'm assumed the springs are 28", apart on center
The axle on top is your old axle, the one on the bottom is the one to be cut.

My name is Ted, and I'm a Jeep-a-holic. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
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