Dana44 knuckles. Ford or Chevy/FSJ/Dodge? - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old December 12th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default Dana44 knuckles. Ford or Chevy/FSJ/Dodge?

I'm trying to decide which to run. Im building a Ford D44 for my Cherokee.

I'd like to stay with the ford spindles since it seems like the Fords have the most information on brake upgrades and so forth and I can find alot of parts for them (spindles and whatnot), BUT, it seems there's more aftermarket Chevy knuckles out there. So far I've only found Reid makes Ford knuckles. Every one just has Chevy/FSJ. Also im not to sure what it takes to run 5lug on the Chevy hadn't looked to far yet, but I assume its useing dodge parts, and that could get confusing in the event of a parts run and for some reason my phone with my notes on what parts are what is dead haha.

So my question is. Would there be any reason to run one or the other? As far as strength or longevity of the bearing or seals things like that? The Chevy has one thing going for it, for my application and its that I am running chevy rear calipers, so running the same calipers in front could help out field repairs if ever needed.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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the most common is to run gm calipers and spindles, ford hub, rotor, and wheel bearings. This gives you a 5 on 5.5 with easy to find parts.

check this out

http://completeoffroad.com/i-132909-...n-kit-d44.html

You would need to switch to GM outer C's
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Old December 12th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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Oh beautiful! I was just on their site and didn't think to look under brakes. That should be all the convincing I need to go with chevy outers unless there's some odd down sides to them. Plus I love cranes internlocking knuckles/high steer
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Old December 12th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Ford 44 spindles have 5 studs and the Chevy/fsj knuckles have 6. So more strength there. And you can make the 44 any pattern you want. 5 on 5.5 6 on 5.5 8 on 6.5 to match whatever rear your using.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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i think the thing that makes the gm spindles necessary is that you can more easily get caliper brackets that are for the 6-hole gm spindle.

i could be wrong tho. i do that alot.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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Much more parts availability and usually cheaper for the chevy/FSJ parts
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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5or 6 lug run chevy fsj stuff 8 lug run ford imo
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koochman450r View Post
Ford 44 spindles have 5 studs and the Chevy/fsj knuckles have 6. So more strength there. And you can make the 44 any pattern you want. 5 on 5.5 6 on 5.5 8 on 6.5 to match whatever rear your using.
I can see the extra stud helping strength, but the ford 5 stud has a much larger surface area. So there may be more clamping grip and more of the pressure being spread out amongst the knuckle. Just my mini theory, how much it matters? No clue I cant say I've seen many broken 44 knuckles only alot of 60s haha

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i think the thing that makes the gm spindles necessary is that you can more easily get caliper brackets that are for the 6-hole gm spindle.

i could be wrong tho. i do that alot.
Thats one big tjing I noticed, ibe been looking for the bigger Ford 3/4 ton twin piston caliper hangers and when I do find a set they want big bucks for them. but with the Chevy it seems everyone makes them, and if I remember correctly the Chevy 3/4 ton calipers have like a very slightly larger sur area than the ford twin pistons, which is a big reason I'm asking this question now haha.

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Much more parts availability and usually cheaper for the chevy/FSJ parts
From what I've read the old chevys are the Jeeps of the truck world, but I've having a hard time finding full parts kits and such like I did with the Ford. Granted I haven't looked as hard. But thats what im doing now.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:53 PM   #9
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so much, "i think," and, "i could be wrong," information in this thread...

- ford has different knuckles for 1/2 ton (5 lug) and 3/4 ton (8 lug) D44s. they take different spindles, stub shafts, and locking hubs. the 3/4 ton hubs are larger, requiring a larger center bore on your wheel. finding factory ford flat top knuckles is quite hard (if they were even made at all)

- chevy stuff is considerably cheaper to run. the same knuckles can run a 6 lug or 8 lug bolt patter, on the small bearing or large bearing spindles, respectively. brake components interchange, and are quite cheap. stub shafts are spindle specific. the small bearing spindles uses the same bearings as the ford 1/2 ton, which allows you to run ford rotors (giving you 5on5.5) with chevy calipers. factory flat tops are far more common, and machining them is reasonably priced.

- both knuckles take the same BJs. the spindles do not interchange between knuckles (obviously because of the bolt pattern), but even if you wanted to redrill one to match the other... the center bores are very different, the chevy knuckles have a very small center bore. the strength of one spindle over the other is irrelevant, as youll break a lock out or rip a knuckle off of the axle before you hurt a spindle. because of the chevy stuff being smaller, RCV shafts do not fit inside them. aftermarket joints like CTMs (with the grease zerk on the cap) usually involve grinding to fit through the knuckle.

for more information, start here:
http://77cj.littlekeylime.com/web_rs44.html






if you have ford stuff and want to run 5on5.5, there is no reason not to use your ford stuff.

for the cheapest brake setup and the cheapest high steer setup, go with chevy knuckles. you can also interchange the single piston caliper and smaller pad (1/2 ton) with the larger dual piston and larger pad (3/4 ton) stuff to get your desired breaking performance (less surface area, more clamping force = better stopping. more surface area and less clamping force = longer pad life) dependent on what your brake system can handle.
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