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Old February 15th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #1
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Default Dana 44- thick or thin? Master instal kit required?

I've been shopping for gears lately, and I have a couple questions.

1. Why are there thick and regular ring gears for Dana 44s? What applications would require a thick gear?

2. Is a master install kit necessary for regearing? My TJ has only 17,000 miles on it. I doubt the bearings are worn out.

3. Where can I find detailed instructions for regearing a D30 and a D44?

Last edited by FrankNBrew; February 15th, 2007 at 08:43 AM.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by FrankNBrew View Post
I've been shopping for gears lately, and I have a couple questions.

1. Why are there thick and regularn ring gears for Dana 44s? What applications would require a thick gear?
Rubicon's use the thick ring gear with there lockers, You could also use thick ring gears if you did not want to change your carriers out. Say you had a detroit or something expensive already installed.

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2. Is a master install kit necessary for regearing? My TJ has only 17,000 miles on it. I doubt the bearings are worn out.
The bearings are probably fine, but you could very easily damage them while swaping them on and off. Also, if you don't have shim's laying around, you would need the shim packs that come with the install kits. You will need a new pinion seal regardless.

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3. Where can I find detailed instructions for regearing a D30 and a D44?
I am not sure off hand on this, I imagine someone has documented there installs. You are pretty capable of tear axles apart, so you really just need to learn how to check patterns and get measurements. Sodapop has a nice post in the jeep section about his gear install.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #3
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I know if you just want shim packs that Reider Racing in Taylor will sell you just shim packs if needed, as for the seal Im sure you could get it at any parts store.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by FrankNBrew View Post
I've been shopping for gears lately, and I have a couple questions.

1. Why are there thick and regular ring gears for Dana 44s? What applications would require a thick gear?
Regular gears are used with the correct carrier. Dana 44 axles require a different carrier for different gear ratios to position the ring gear in the correct area. Ratios 3.07 to 3.73 require one carrier and 3.92 to 5.89 require another. The Rubicon Dana 44 uses a 3.73 ratio carrier with a thick ring gear to position the gear in the correct area (Rubicons have 4.10 gears and should use the 3.92 to 5.89 carrier but instead use the 3.07 to 3.73 carrier)

On the Rubicon, you can get 4.56, 4.88, and 5.13 thick ring gears. To go higher than 5.13 you will lose the factory air locker.

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2. Is a master install kit necessary for regearing? My TJ has only 17,000 miles on it. I doubt the bearings are worn out.
I would say yes because most of the time you will destroy the inner pinion bearing when you remove it. Also, since the Dana 44 is shimmed under the bearings (and outside the race, depending on year) it is often necessary to reshim the carrier to get the correct backlash and you'll have to pull the carrier bearings off to do this.

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3. Where can I find detailed instructions for regearing a D30 and a D44?
That's a good question. None of the gear manufacturers I'm aware of have a specific write-up for either axle, they're all a general overview of how to do it. The only place I can think offhand that would have it would be the shop manual for your vehicle.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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As for finding detailed instructions, it can be tough. The best write up I was able to find was on Pirate under the tech section but it is for a 14 bolt and a 60. It's written by billavista. Obviously 44's, 14s', and 60's are not all the same but the articles are detailed enough that you can figure things out. I didn't find the Yukon manual terribly helpful. And another thing to keep in mind is that not all 44's are set up the same. For instance, many use a pinion baffle and slingers, but not all. Just set it up the same as the one you take out and you'll be good.

Although it is confusiong to read about, once you get in there and start identifying parts and using the correct terms it starts to make sense. As for difficulty level, it's not really hard, it's just precise and requires ALOT of patients. I prolly put and pulled the carrier from my 44 3 or 4 dozen times. I only ran the pattern 5 times, but I adjust tons of other stuff a ton more than that. You'll spend some cash on the tools needed too. I bought inexpensive ones and I prolly have around $100 or so into them. Still way cheaper than paying someone.

As for the carrier situation, I ended up getting a new carrier because I thought I was going to go with 5.36 or 5.89's (ended up with 5.13) but you could easily get thick gears as long as you're 5.13 or nurmerically lower.

A whole Master install kit can be had for around $75 and I'd say just do it. Once you set it up you'll see that it's not worth the $75 savings to have to do it again for new bearings even if the setup for bearings only would be way easier.

I'm definately not a pro but I'd be willing to try and answer any questions you have, feel free to pm me. KillerB was a wealth of knowledge too.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #6
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I have read of the importance of marking the diff bearing caps so they go back on properly.....lets say this guy I know (me) forgot to mark the caps before they were removed. if the bearings on the diff are being replaced, how important is the replacing of them by side? I understand they need to go on correctly (there is a groove I believe) but does which side they are reinstalled on really matter? I, I mean he appreciates the info...:tonka:
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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I have read of the importance of marking the diff bearing caps so they go back on properly.....lets say this guy I know (me) forgot to mark the caps before they were removed. if the bearings on the diff are being replaced, how important is the replacing of them by side? I understand they need to go on correctly (there is a groove I believe) but does which side they are reinstalled on really matter? I, I mean he appreciates the info...:tonka:
They're just like the main bearing caps on an engine. They're bored to fit only one way. The biggest risk is that by mixing them side to side or turning them around that you will crack/brake one when you torque it down.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #8
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They're just like the main bearing caps on an engine. They're bored to fit only one way. The biggest risk is that by mixing them side to side or turning them around that you will crack/brake one when you torque it down.
so if they werent marked prior to removal, how would you figure out which one goes on which side?
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gotsand? View Post
I have read of the importance of marking the diff bearing caps so they go back on properly.....lets say this guy I know (me) forgot to mark the caps before they were removed. if the bearings on the diff are being replaced, how important is the replacing of them by side? I understand they need to go on correctly (there is a groove I believe) but does which side they are reinstalled on really matter? I, I mean he appreciates the info...:tonka:
Yes, they are usually align-bored in place, its generally the same with cam caps, main caps, etc, the holes in them are specifically matched to the holes in the carrier. Otherwise, the circle created by the carrier/cap might be not prefectly matched up. So you mark them left/right, and up/down. I will put one punch mark on the upper left and two punch marks on the upper right when I do mine.


Talking to someone who's done them before would be undoubtedly helpful. One thing that people do, is make a 2nd set of bearings which have been opened up so they aren't a press fit onto the carrier. THey'll use those to get the shimming right, then switch in the press fit bearings at the end.

If you managed to save your old bearings, they could get used for that purpose.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #10
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so if they werent marked prior to removal, how would you figure out which one goes on which side?
On a lot of axles there are some markings to indicate which cap goes where and the orientation of it.

Sometimes you can feel the bore and tell that the cap is upside down or on the wrong side.

Lastly, experience will tell you.... although sometimes you gain experience AFTER you break one
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info. Since I'm going from 3.73 to 4.56 should I buy a new carrier, or a thick gearset? The D44 is open, and I plan to keep it that way.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #12
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My Dana 44 caps were marked with the letter R. the cap was stamped at one end in the same orientation as a cooresponding mark on differential cover seal surface. One side the "R" stood upright, the other was laying down.

Your second question about bearings has me lost. Are you asking if you should replace the bearings on both left and right sides? If so, I'd say you may as well and why wouldn't you if you had it tore down that far. If you are asking if it matters what bearing goes on which side it doesn't matter - you should be using new bearings. If you asking which way the bearing goes on the carrier. Then, well, I'm not saying this to be mean but there is nothing that would stop you from putting them on backwards except stupidity in which case you should get someone to set them up for you.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info. Since I'm going from 3.73 to 4.56 should I buy a new carrier, or a thick gearset? The D44 is open, and I plan to keep it that way.
Personally I'd check prices on both sets, thick and normal and then see which one is cheaper. The new carrier will run around $30 plus shipping on ebay - though sometimes they are as much as $75 plus shipping. Maybe cheaper at a bone yard, not sure.

As for which one it better, I think it's one of those 6 of one and a half dozen of another things.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the info. Since I'm going from 3.73 to 4.56 should I buy a new carrier, or a thick gearset? The D44 is open, and I plan to keep it that way.
The thick ring gear is usually about $10 more than the standard. The cost of a new carrier is about $50. You can see it would be cheaper to use the thick gear rather than get a new carrier.

The only thing to keep in mind is that if you EVER want to change the rear differential, you'll need to get it for the 3.07-3.73 gear ratio.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sodapop View Post
My Dana 44 caps were marked with the letter R. the cap was stamped at one end in the same orientation as a cooresponding mark on differential cover seal surface. One side the "R" stood upright, the other was laying down.

Your second question about bearings has me lost. Are you asking if you should replace the bearings on both left and right sides? If so, I'd say you may as well and why wouldn't you if you had it tore down that far. If you are asking if it matters what bearing goes on which side it doesn't matter - you should be using new bearings. If you asking which way the bearing goes on the carrier. Then, well, I'm not saying this to be mean but there is nothing that would stop you from putting them on backwards except stupidity in which case you should get someone to set them up for you.

ok I am not an idiot, I just didnt mark the bearing caps when I took them off...all I was asking is does it matter which side of the diff they go back on with new bearings installed.

all of the write ups I see about marking the bearing caps had me worried for a minute. I will just carefully examine when I reassemble and be carefull not to F it up. I am sure there is some tell tale sign as to which one goes to which side and in what direction.

and I thought this might be good info for FrankNBrew too.

thanks for all your help guys
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #16
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ok I am not an idiot, I just didnt mark the bearing caps when I took them off...all I was asking is does it matter which side of the diff they go back on with new bearings installed.

all of the write ups I see about marking the bearing caps had me worried for a minute. I will just carefully examine when I reassemble and be carefull not to F it up. I am sure there is some tell tale sign as to which one goes to which side and in what direction.

and I thought this might be good info for FrankNBrew too.

thanks for all your help guys

Thanks, but even a dumbass like me knows to mark the caps.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #17
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Thanks, but even a dumbass like me knows to mark the caps.
yeah yeah yeah.........me :miff: me
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Old February 15th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #18
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Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I usually only try to be an ass to people I've met in person and know, but based on you earlier post, I figured you were the kind of guy who could take it.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #19
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All Dana axles (seal face and bearing caps) are marked with a letter with a different orientation on both sides. Match the orientation of the letter on each side and your good.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #20
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All Dana axles (seal face and bearing caps) are marked with a letter with a different orientation on both sides. Match the orientation of the letter on each side and your good.
I don't remember seeing them on my CJ axles, so I marked with a punch..

but, then again, I haven't ever worked on a dana axle made after 1974. My current Jeep doesn't have a dana 44, it has a Spicer 44..
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