Dana 44 build-up | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Dana 44 build-up

Since moving down here to the middle of MO I've gotten back into offroading. I finally paid the X off so now it's time to start some serious mods. I've recently realized that the front gears are shot so I took the plunge and bought an F-250 HP D44. And thanks to ebay, I'm now the owoner of a set of Chevy flat top knuckles and a pair of F-150 hubs and rotors. The build-up of this will take place over the next few months as I can afford the parts I want. I want to do it right the first time and not sacrifice getting it done sooner for the sake of quality. Plans include running the 1/2 ton brakes and hubs for the 5X5 1/2 bolt pattern, 4.88's for 35" tires, probably narrow it to EB or Wagoneer width, high strength cro-moly axle shafts, CTM u-joints, high steer arms, wran premium hubs with their fusable link, a selectable locker (not sure if ARB or other electronic locker), and coilovers. An atlas II is also in the near future to eliminate the AWD. I figured this would be a great b-day present to myself and a way to celebrate paying it off. Now I just need to find a shop to do the fab work for me since we're not allowed to do any welding here on Ft. Leonard Wood. I've still got a lot of learning to do and bugs to work out but as I said, this will be a slow process so I can get out of it exactly what I want. For now, here's some pics to wet the appetite: :D
 

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  • Flat Top Knuckles.jpg
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  • F 150 Hubs and Rotors.jpg
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Can't wait to see this thing when it's done. It will be awesome! Good luck with the new proj. :)

BTW, I think you'll be the first to have a stock V8 X with atlas and SAS.
 






bmxking5 said:
Can't wait to see this thing when it's done. It will be awesome! Good luck with the new proj. :)

BTW, I think you'll be the first to have a stock V8 X with atlas and SAS.

Sadly, cdsl227 has me beat to being the first V8 with a SAS and atlas. But hey, I'm not complaining about being second. Besides, with his write-up, I have a wealth of info on poss problems I might run into and how to get around them. :thumbsup: I love this site, (much more than my wallet does :D)
 






Oh yeah, I forgot he had a V8. Well then you'll be the first V8 SAS with coilovers ;)
 






that's awesome.. You have an axle on jackstands in your house on hardwood floors with a blue tarp. My wife would kick my ass if I asked her if I could bring one my d44s inside.
 






you have that things in your living room :confused:
 






jasonb said:
that's awesome.. You have an axle on jackstands in your house on hardwood floors with a blue tarp. My wife would kick my ass if I asked her if I could bring one my d44s inside.
I never asked mine 'cause she wasn't home! :D
 






AHAH i was wondering about those hard wood floors toO!
i mean the surface area of the bottom fo a jack stand isnt much cauz its sheet metal. id suggest u put a sheet of cardboard down at least - not that the housing is heavy but u know, better than being sorry later down the road.. just my 0.02 ;)
 






IZwack said:
AHAH i was wondering about those hard wood floors toO!
i mean the surface area of the bottom fo a jack stand isnt much cauz its sheet metal. id suggest u put a sheet of cardboard down at least - not that the housing is heavy but u know, better than being sorry later down the road.. just my 0.02 ;)
Already taken care of. ;)
 






I cant wait to see it finished...if only I had another liter. *sniffle

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Nice project. :thumbsup:

FYI- The fusable links are junk. They break too soon when going straight and not soon enough turning, and if you run a locker on tight trails you will be replacing the links in spots that never would have broken a shaft/ujoint. I tried them when they first came out and threw them all away. I dont know anyone else that tried them that stayed with them. Other than that, looks like a cool project.
 






Thanks for the advice jamest. I was wanting to run a weak link in the drivetrain somewhere. Maybe I should just run some 1310 u-joints on the drive shaft instead of the 1350's I was thinking of. What are your thoughts on this. Seems it would be easier replacing them than something in the axle.
 






The whole "weak link" thing is a good idea in theory, but sucks in practice. As for running the weak link on a driveshaft (as in smaller Ujoints)..... who's to say the driveshaft wont bounce of a rock when the joint fails? Never plan on being able to simply replace the driveshaft when the joint lets go because sometimes the shaft will get damaged in the process.

Build all of it as strong as you can afford, and carry whatever spares you can afford. If you upgrade to better shafts in the front axle, keep the stockers in your rig for backup. If you're running cromo shafts and CTM's on 35's in a D44 you really dont have anything to worry about anyway. Build some strong driveline to go along with it.... dont waste time making it weaker IMHO.
 






I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!
 






Looks like a fun project. I wish I could help on a build like this. Things with suspensions and drivelines get me in a tingle. ha Hope everything goes smoothly. Good luck.

-Drew
 






i used to have chromo shafts with ctm joints in my d44...but alas i blew those up. lifetime warranty my rear.
since then i've been running the warn fuseable links and have not had any problems....they break when they are supposed to, not before. saved a ton of money in the long run. and they are a lot easier to change (5min) than a weak link built into the axle or driveshaft.
oh, i'm running 37's with an arb up front.
 






You blew what up? The shafts or the CTMs? I can see the shaft "ears", but CTMs are kinda a stretch.
 






i can only assume the shaft ears went first, but the ctms were damaged as well. ctm said they would not warranty the joint seeing as they were installed in a warn chromo shaft, and that being something else was wrong.
 









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Got a few more parts today. 1975 Chevy K10 calipers, brake pads, and associated hardware. :)
 

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