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Solid Dana 44 swap done

Well, after two weekends, a couple of nights, and a lot of head scratching, my 44 solid axle swap is done. Kind of.

It's not as high tech as Ricks because I used factory radius arms, but there were nearly no fabrication costs involved either since all the work was done by me at home in the garage. The only thing sent out was the long side axle to Moser to be resplined.

I still have some things I'd like to improve on, the radius arm crossmember and bracket is first but that will all come in time.

Initial impressions are very good, I'm happy I did it. I have some bump steer I have to work out, I know whats wrong, I just have to figure out how I want to fix it.

Here's a short list of what I have and what I did, and remember, it was all done at home in the garage. *Note* I have access to a machine shop to fab what I need to and get cut offs and new scrap metal from a shop I deal with for my job. They build rock crushing equipment.

-Dana 44 form a 79 F150. Sectioned and sleeved, narrowed 8 inches. 58 inch track width.
-Rebuilt the axle with all new components, ball joints, ujoints, bearings, 4.88 gears and a Lock right.
-Fabbed a radius arm crossmember, used 3/4"x 6" plate (thats what was available) spaced it down from the frame with 2 1/4" square tube for converter clearance. Cut the old radius arm crossmember for the actual mounting tabs, welded and braced them to the crossmember. This is plenty strong enough but I'd like to make something that looks a little better.
-Got a steering setup from performance unlimited and set it up over the steering knuckles. It's a rod end type of linkage.
-Cut the stock ford trackbar, buttwelded and sleeved it.
-Used a 6x6x3/4" plate to mount the trackbar to the frame. Drilled it to the steering gearbox pattern and bolted it through the frame to the gearbox. The frame is boxed in this area.
-Used the 4" trailmaster coils I've always had on the ranger and fabbed a set of adapters to mount them to the radius arms. The adapters gave me 2" of additional lift. Also made a set of these for Riffman for when he swaps his out.
-regeared the rear end to 4.88 as well, already had a locker in the rear.
-At the present time I'm running the smaller bolt pattern on the rear cause I ran out of funding to buy new axles, but that will be the first thing addressed as funds become available.

The truck now sits about two inches higher in the front than the rear so I'm working on a buggy spring set up to even it up and help my flex. You need all the help you can get with a 126" WB.

I welcome any and all questions, I'll do everything I can to answer them.

Heres a couple pics and the link in my sig goes to more.




Well-Known Member
February 16, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Vancouver, BC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 XLT
I know a guy who did an EB44 in the front of his Pathfinder. He cut and turned the axle and pointed the pinion up. Problem was, the oil didn't bath the ring and pinion enuf and he quickly burned out his front end.

Just my 2 cents.


Explorer Addict
March 4, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Boston Area
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ranger Edge
Radius Arm Brackets

Kampy, You should have used the '79 Ford Radius Arm Brackets. The right one has one bolt hole that matches the Explorer frame.
I used them and it has worked out so far, they have a location to mount a transmission mount/cross member (Home Made of Course).

I want to add the new Duff radius arms down the road so I have only bolted the brackets in so far.

My Track Bar frame mount is made of 2x4 box tubing, 7/32 wall. Notched it to fit the frame and to clear the bar and movement. That worked out well and it is rugged.

The coil spring buckets are from an Early Bronco and welded in the same location as the Explorer's were. The height of the EB buckets and the Explorer buckets are the same and that sort of set me up to use EB springs.

The only problem I am working on now is the removal of the cross member, or I should say the replacement of it. I want to cut out as much as possible and then weld in a removable one, alot shallower than the original.

Time will tell.

Keep it on all four