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Dana 44 Knuckles on Dana 35 TTB

fordpickupman

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Alright, I've been researching this for about a year off and on. It appears that there are several ways to get the longer spindles and bigger brakes of the Dana 44.

I read one on Ranger Station where the guy had used the Dana 35 knuckles with Chevy Dana 44 spindles out including the Chevy brakes. Has anyone used the late '70s Ford Dana 44 spindles out including the Ford brakes? The Chevy option requires removing the caliper ears from the Dana 35 knuckles. I assume the Ford option would require the same process.

However I like the idea of the Dana 44 TTB knuckles because of the bigger ball joints. Is this even an issue with 35" tires? I have read where special camber adjusters are needed to run the Dana 44 upper ball joints in the Dana 35 beam. But I've read where some guys install the Dana 35 upper ball joint into the Dana 44 knuckle, or just use the Dana 44 camber adjuster (I assume they are using the pinch bolt to close up the gap). It seems like most of the write ups gloss over the upper ball joint detail of the knuckle swap.
 
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bats

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I planned on doing the whole knuckle swap but the balljoint work put me off of it. Might try with my spare TTB. The basic idea is you ream out the balljoints to accept the D44 balljoints. Don't think there was anything particularly special about it but it's somewhat delicate.

What I ended up doing was using just the brake backing plates and spindles. This requires cutting the ears off the D35 knuckles and also longer outer stub shafts. I think I also used GM bolts to attache the spindle/backing plate assembly as well. So still have the D35 balljoints but I gained D44 bearings and some beefy brakes. Kept the stock first gen Explorer master cylinder and it all works amazingly.
 
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bats

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Was just going over my notes. Never ended up doing a write up but here's a few more notes:

Use the top stud on the TTB knuckles as an index (the one to the right of the ABS sensor.) Punch out all studs except that one and then attach the Chevy backing plates. You'll need to drill two holes. You can either drill and tap them or use a GM spindle nut kit like I did.

You will lose ABS if you had it before. I just disconnected the ABS computer so the dash light wouldn't come on.
 
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stephen93Eddie

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Was just going over my notes. Never ended up doing a write up but here's a few more notes:

Use the top stud on the TTB knuckles as an index (the one to the right of the ABS sensor.) Punch out all studs except that one and then attach the Chevy backing plates. You'll need to drill two holes. You can either drill and tap them or use a GM spindle nut kit like I did.

You will lose ABS if you had it before. I just disconnected the ABS computer so the dash light wouldn't come on.
do you have any pictures of this? I am really interested.
 
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Rockwood

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X2, would like to see this also
 
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93XploderMS

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I went with 1993-1996 Dana 44 Knuckles. The bottom hole I reamed until the 44 ball joint thread would go through. The top I just used Dana 44 pieces and tighten the pinch bolt.
 
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fordpickupman

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93XploderMS that is exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you.
 
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VAUGHN4wd

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The swap is totally worth it in my case! I was going thru wheel bearings like nobody's business with the spacing of the factory 35 spindles with 35 inch tires. I used Knuckles, Spindles, Calipers, and Hubs from a 1985 fullsize Bronco. For me it was an easy swap, you just have to be careful when reaming out the beams to not go to far. I just checked it often with the new balljoint. It doesnt take much to ream it out with a sharp reamer. any questions you guys have let me know. it seemed intimidating at first for me, buts its pretty simple!
 
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stephen93Eddie

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The swap is totally worth it in my case! I was going thru wheel bearings like nobody's business with the spacing of the factory 35 spindles with 35 inch tires. I used Knuckles, Spindles, Calipers, and Hubs from a 1985 fullsize Bronco. For me it was an easy swap, you just have to be careful when reaming out the beams to not go to far. I just checked it often with the new balljoint. It doesnt take much to ream it out with a sharp reamer. any questions you guys have let me know. it seemed intimidating at first for me, buts its pretty simple!
so its just reaming out the bottom to fit the ball joint, then using the caster adjusters from a dana 44TTB and thats it?
 
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VAUGHN4wd

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yes and also you need to clearance the end of the beams where the knuckle attaches to achieve full steer. Then figure out what you are going to do for steering. Dana 44 knuckles are reamed from the opposite side as the Dana 35 knuckles. I did a Straight hole thru the ream. If i recall right it was 7/8" bit, then bought some inserts with the right taper for the tierod ends
 
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stephen93Eddie

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yes and also you need to clearance the end of the beams where the knuckle attaches to achieve full steer. Then figure out what you are going to do for steering. Dana 44 knuckles are reamed from the opposite side as the Dana 35 knuckles. I did a Straight hole thru the ream. If i recall right it was 7/8" bit, then bought some inserts with the right taper for the tierod ends
And the vehicle aligned fine? I keep reading that the dana 44 camber alignment shims are too small to properly be retained in the dana 35 holes.
 
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VAUGHN4wd

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And the vehicle aligned fine? I keep reading that the dana 44 camber alignment shims are too small to properly be retained in the dana 35 holes.
No my camber/caster alignment cams were the same diameter as the Dana 35. Yah it aligned out perfectly
 
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stephen93Eddie

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No my camber/caster alignment cams were the same diameter as the Dana 35. Yah it aligned out perfectly
alright, did you use factory style cams or the fully adjustable ones for the dana 44
 
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410Fortune

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you can use factory style cams or correction specific or the infinitely adjustable style, the alignment cams stay the same as you had before as it is the same upper ball joint.
 
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stephen93Eddie

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you can use factory style cams or correction specific or the infinitely adjustable style, the alignment cams stay the same as you had before as it is the same upper ball joint.
so you use a dana 35 upper ball joint and a dana 44 lower?
 
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VAUGHN4wd

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so you use a dana 35 upper ball joint and a dana 44 lower?
No you can’t, Dana 35 upper gets held in by the pinch bolt and snap ring on the beam as a Dana 44 gets held in by a castle nut like a regular ball joint
 
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VAUGHN4wd

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alright, did you use factory style cams or the fully adjustable ones for the dana 44
I used the fully adjustable ones for a Dana 44. Still had a bunch more adjustment left after it was aligned
 
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