Jump to content

Dana 44 Brakes

Recommended Posts

I was lucky enough to score a stock Comanche rear Dana 44 recently. Seeing as I left my truck spring under when I lifted it, I'm thinking it should be relatively easy to bolt this axle in.


I am going to take it to have the gears redone, along with my fronts at the same time. The one major issue with the axle is the brakes are long gone. I heard that the Dana 35 brakes I currently have will bolt up with no problems. Is this true, or do I need to look at replacing the Dana 44 brakes before I swap the axle?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Dana 44 has 10" x 2-1/2" brakes. The old (non c-clip) Dana 35s had 10" x 1-3/4" brakes. You can install the narrow shoes in the wide drums and they'll work. If you run it that way for awhile, though, you'll build up a ridge that will require cutting the drums before you can install the correct shoes.


The D35 wheel cylinders can also be used in the D44, but they aren't the same inside diameter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't even have drums? Sorry, I thought you were just missing the internals.


The backing plates are different, and the offset of the drums. I once tried to upgrade a D35 to the bigger brakes by just using a pair of D44 drums. They wouldn't go on -- the back lip of the drums locked up against the backing plates before the front part of the drums seated on the hub flange. So, if the backing plates are there, you need drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, and all the small parts. The springs and such will interchange, but the pins that hold the shoes to the backing plate are longer for the D44.


If the backing plates are gone, you could move the entire D35 setup over (I think -- although I've never done it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since its only like $8 for a complete kit for both wheels with all the springs and hold down pins i would get new ones. You can also get a kit for the E brake parts. i think you have to buy the adjuster parts and the e brake levers seperate from the kits tho. Check out rockauto.com for the parts. they have the best prices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something that was taught to me years back..

ALWAYS replace the springs and related hardware EVERYTIME you change the shoes. Remember they are subjected to the heat nd cooling all the time. Springs fail fast in these environment. As you already pointed out, the cost is minimal.


Remember the old antage,

"Never time to do it right, but ALWAYS time to do it over!"



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have dealt with drum brakes on quite a few vehicles of different makes and they are all similar. If you have any other vehicle with drum brakes, remove a wheel and drum and use it as a visual reference.


I believe (per wheel) a wheel cylinder, drum, shoes, hardware kit and adjuster kit will almost get you everything you need. Open everything up and organize it, then see what you're missing. probably a large bracket that goes from one shoe to the other above the axle and a smaller on that hooks to one on the bottom and leans against the adjuster star wheel. You may be able to get those from a dealership, possibly a parts store, and possibly a jy if thet happen to have a D44.


I believe hardware kits and adjuster kits will contain parts for both wheels, so you might only need one of each.


Do not get brake parts from NAPA. They are no better than anybody else (at least not noticeably better) but cost many times more. I walked out of Autozone having paid $90 for a pile of brake parts that NAPA wanted $350 for. And up until the moment of impact, they allowed me to lock up the brakes quite well, even without power brakes, on my F100, RIP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a link to the Lunghd site on the drum brakes, you want to look at the 2nd picture, under 10 inch Jeep drum brakes.


From your pictures, your missing alot of important parts, like the parking brake lever and the strut, which is not available in any parts store......and maybe at a dealer :dunno:


If you missing these parts, and the drums, the drums are about $55 -$77 each :eek: I would agree with Mr. Hornbrod - "Might be a good time to convert to rear disks, no?"


And of course..........the Lunghd site also has that info :D




Look under the- Suspension, Steering, Tires, Axles & Brakes - section


I have not done a conversion, I know other have on the board have, and should jump in on advice.


In the long run, with the vital parts missing on your D44, this might be the best option for you.


And.......need it be said, while you have it all apart.......change the outer axle bearing too :roll:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...