86 Dana 44 w/welded spider gears???? - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old October 31st, 2006, 12:49 PM   #1
AAM1982
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Default 86 Dana 44 w/welded spider gears????

I recently purchased a Dana 44 Rear axle from an 86 Cj7. The spider gears are welded in the carrier and I was wondering how long I could safely run this setup. I have the parts to rebuild it back to normal, but thought I would run it this way for a while and see how I like a locked rear. Another question I have is, what is the easiest way to remove the axle shafts from this Dana 44? I need to replace the pinion bearings and was curious as how to make this tear down a little bit easier. Thanks for your help.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:04 PM   #2
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Since I don't know how they were welded, I really can't tell you, but I have run the welded rear diff in my TJ for 2 1/2 years now (about 5K mi) Tire size, how you drive, how the PO drove, and how well the diff was weleded all play a part in how "safe" the rear is.

Another thing- driving a welded rear won't tell you what it is like to drive a locker- it will tell you what it is like to drive a spool.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Oh, and the rear shafts come out like most any modern semi-float shafts- pull the drum, and remove the 4 or 5 nuts that hold the bearing retainer to the housing. These will be located around the shaft protruding through the backing plate- usually there is a hole in the axle flange that allows you to remove the nuts with a socket on an extension. (Actually in your case this is exactly how it will work, but I'm covering all bases. (except for the icky 2-peice stuff)
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:47 PM   #4
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All of the gears are welded around the edges to the carrier. The previous owner drove this vehicle as a trail rig. He was running 33's on it as I will as well. I will be driving my vehicle mainly on dirt roads and trails, but will also be driving on the pavement. What effect will there be when riding on pavement with this setup? The welding job appears to be pretty solid. I just cleaned it all out last night and got a good look at it.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 02:13 PM   #5
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It will drag the outer tire causing it to chirp when turning corners. A spool does not break away therefore both tires turn at the same rate all the time. Depending on air pressure and tire size the chirping will be better or worse. the meore grab or louder chirping is when you are most likely to twist or break an axle shaft.
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