Opinions: D44 versus D60 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2000, 11:23 PM
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Opinions: D44 versus D60

Just wondering every bodies thought on this. I am considering a D60 front end, but I am having a tough time finding one locally, Actually I have found 2, one is a fresh Boyce rebuild. The seller is asking $1750, and I would still have to add a locker and regear. The other one I found the seller is really being evasive on price, he keeps telling me he has to talk to his business partner about the price. To be honest, in 4 years of wheeling with my front D44, I have yet to have a problem, it still even has 22 year old U-joints. Even the fullsize trucks don't have a major problem with U-joint failure, but they have to replace axles about once a year, because the holes where the U-joints go become sloppy, but only the ones running lockers. I like the width of my Scout axle, but once I start thinking about narrowing a fullwidth axle, with all the custom mods, a full custom axle begins to look pretty cost effective. Right now I am running 35's, but I am planning on going with 38.5/16x15 Swampers next Summer. Rearend will be a hybred Scout/D60 combo with 35 spline custom shafts, so I know I will have enough strength there. Even though I do have a lot of horsepower, I have been able to be easy on parts, and have had very little breakage over the past 4 years, of course, I did twist my rear driveshaft in half playing on some sand dunes, and we are talking less than 4 inches of driveshaft tube, but that really has been my only drivetrain breakage. Do you think a front D44 will hold up with 38 inch tires on a lightweight vehicle, or should I upgrade to a D60, and never have to worry about breakage again?

Thanks, Ray

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 12:21 AM
 
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

I know a lot of people running 38" and 39.5" tires with the D44 in the front. And very rarely do they have breakage. One is on an FJ40 and is an active ARCA competitor. I would run the D44, and if you start breaking a lot of stub shafts axle shafts and/or U joints due to your driving style or whatever, then build your 60 and swap. Its not like your looking at a once in a life time price for the axles your looking at. If a great deal comes along you might want to pick it up considering the build ups you are looking at. I am going to 39.5 Boggers after my motor swap, and Im retaining my D44 front, but Im starting to search for a 35 spline D60 candidate for the rear to replace my Ford 8.8(although, I am confident the Ford 8.8 will hold up fine untill I swap).
I think youll be fine all the way around with your axles.

Jeff
89 YJ
If at 1st you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 02:13 AM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

I know lots of people running 38" tires with dana 44 front. If axles are the only problem you can always upgrade to Warn alloy shafts for not much more than new replacements and are much stronger. If Ring and pinion and spider gears are a problem then go to the 60. I run a engine dyno'ed 550 hp motor with a dana 44 front with no problems in a closed circuit race Jeep. Believe it or not the Postal 44 in the rear has held up so far for 3 years but when it scatters it is getting a shortened 35 spline 60. Bottom line, you have the 44 front, try and see. If it holds up great. If you have problems then upgrade. Remember, when in FWD the torque is split 50/50 front to rear and normally the rear takes more abuse do to weight transfer to the rear under acceleration. Good luck and Merry X-mas. Nickmil.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 08:48 AM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

you guys must have to wheel different in those bolder fields than i do around here. i run 35 swamper tsl's on my front dana44 and i can break u-joints and hubs on fairly regular basis. of coarse we climb alot of hills that take some gogo pedal so that could have something to do with it. granted when i usually break i'm in a situation where i have to try just alittle bit harder. you know "i'll give it one last try". i want a 60 so i can give it that one last try and not have to worry about hearing a "SNAP!".

brian wilson
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stretched to 100" wb
efi351w/np435/d300/d44/d60/detroits/4.56/35tsl's/
post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 04:34 PM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

youre right brian.. them "boys" out west.. they think they are all that.. climbing up those nice dry rocks.. oooo.. look at me maa'...
you come back here to the east.. where you have some real grizzly adams like trails.. rocks.. all covered in nice slick wet clay and moss.. and they'll find out why your foot is so much heavier than the stupid pedal..
Elusive and i will be sending jeff back there with the... "i wish i had a v8" look on his face.. hehehehehe.. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img].. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 06:17 PM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

not me.. i am allways cautious. i drove carefully and never hit the gas...i don't need more than jeff's weedwacker engine......but high5.. i don't want you to tell any stories about me flooring it and tearing the front axle right pout of the jeep... and jeepgod.. keep the video of my boggers about on fire trying to climb that ledge hidden..you havent lived till you've really lit up a set of big swampers while climbing something....
i think jeff will have the little 5.0 by then.... then he can pop his drivetrain like the rest of us(you)

~~Elusive~~
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oh yeah, and a 2000 tj, 4.0, dana 44, nv3550
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 07:14 PM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

Well, nothing really difficult in this area. I spent a week in Moab, and I know if I lived there, I would break a lot of parts, The drivetrain parts made all sorts of strange noises that I have never heard before. Around here, the real fun is snow wheeling, and the omly people breaking axle loint are the ones running D30 size U-joints, and built V8's. The lightweight vehicles running D44 , don't have a problem, but like I said before, Fullsizes tend to worble out the u-joint hole, if they are running lockers, and 35's, high strength shafts would cure that. The last time I checked price on a front custom 60, it $3500 with a locker, If I built a narrowed 5 lug D60, I am looking at pretty close to $3000, depending on some of my options, So I would probably go custom over home grown on the front. Fullwidth is another option, but again I like my currant width, so not a very good one. The reason I am considering this is because I still have to do steering corrections to my 44, and would hate to spend the $ on that, if I decide to go D60 later on. I do think I answeared my own question, with my fairly easy driving style, and the type of wheeling we do here, I think a D44 with high strentgh shafts would be more then strong enough for the front. Sorry about the long post.

Thanks, Ray

post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 07:48 PM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

My buddy has a fullsize bronco with a straight 44 up front, 351 motor and a set of 38" swampers, and he NEVER broke anything in the front. And he has wheeled it pretty hard. I also noticed, my old cj-7 was an automatic, and I never broke anything on the d30, but with my cj-5 with a manual, I was constantly braking axle shafts and ujoints. Hmmmmmmmmm go figure, maybe I just don't know how to drive a stick hehe

Keith

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2000, 08:04 PM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

I am in the same boat. Im going with 38" TSL's. I cant find a front Dana60 for a price Im willing to pay. In fact I found only one at a salvage yard here in Arizona after calling almost every place in the phonebook. They wanted $1650 for it.

I figure $1650 will buy a lot of spare dana44 axle shafts.


post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 02:29 AM
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Re: Opinions: D44 versus D60

I am thinking about offering $1000 cash for the one site unseen, And if he dosn't take it, I will build my D44. The wheeling I do, I really don't think I will have an ounce of problem with my 44, but a 60 would be bulletproof. I would say, maybe 10% of what I do would be hard on a D44, and on that 10%, A D44 would be marginal, and with high strength shafts, I would be strong enough for 99% of what I do. That 1% might be enough to make me regret staying with a D44, but I doubt it, and I am going to give it a shot. Thanks for the replies.

Thanks, Ray

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