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Dana 44 Limited Slip Woes

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I've got a Dana 44 with a factory limited slip. It's been sitting around for a few years now making puddles in one garage, to another, and now to yet another. The diesel shop at the school I work at was just getting to differentials and wanted some parts to take apart. Normally, I don't like other people working on my stuff but I figure what the hell... it's should be an easy job of taking it apart to throw some seals and brakes at it and it has to be done at some point anyhow. It sat and it sat and it sat. Just as I was going to go and get the axle to take it back home I find it in a thousand pieces on a table... and we're on holiday break so there isn't anyone around for the next couple weeks. Not knowing where they're at with it, I just assume to leave it and see what they're plans are later.


Anyhow, I'm looking over everything and I go into panic mode. Other than Fords, this is the only limited slip carrier I've really looked at and I'm a little alarmed at finding this:




I apologize for cell phone pictures, but I wanted to consult with the experts as soon as I could. On the inside, next to the spider gears, there seems to be one of the tabs of the friction discs rubbing around on the carrier. Looks like it's supposed to seat in a groove that is now opened up some. This got me concerned... then the diesel lab assistant came up to me and said that they had found some metal fragments in the center section too. METAL FRAGMENTS? He didn't actually take the axle apart, but he described them as small curls of metal. Maybe part of the friction discs? I looked around but it didn't look like they kept any of the pieces. The gears all looks great as did the friction discs after a quick look over.


The axle had 95,000 miles of it and everything worked as it should when removed from the truck. Are metal fragments a sign that someone didn't put a proper additive with the fluid? Should I assume that the limited slip is done for or is it salvageable?


Lastly, and this has nothing to do any of the above rambling, is it worth welding the axles tubes to the center section being that everything is apart? It's going to be used under my '89 and I'd like the idea of beefing things up before spinning a tube. Anyone have any real issues with this or it is more of silly people trying to put way too big of tires on a Dana 44 and bashing them on the rocks? This is going to be a street truck after all.


Thanks for reading through my panic struck story and thanks for any insight/comforting.

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If everything else looks good, the metal shavings are most likely from the clutch packs. They are expendable parts and normally start to deteriorate at 60K miles, less if the correct additive is not used. I had the same shavings in my used 90K+ mile D44 w. TrakLoc before rebuild/gear change and replaced the clutch packs. There is now an "aggressive" clutch pack kit (Dana Part #: 22937X) that's supposed to last longer, but I have no experience with it. Might be worth checking out since you'll need a new kit anyhow, si?

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Hmm... okay. I've got another route that I could go down too. Like I said, I'm planning for my '89 that'll have the potential to be a hobbyist road racer. The Dana 44 has a 3.55 ratio and I'm planning for around a 225/45/15 tire size. I understand that going from the current 3.07 to the 3.55 will be plenty of fun. It'll mostly be just a road driver though (I've got plenty of twisty roads around me :D ). With that low profile of a tire and 3.55s, you think that going a step farther to 4.10s would be going overboard? Only reason I ask is I can get a Ford 8.8 for $150. The vehicle has about 110,000 miles on it and has 4.10s and a limited slip. I know... I know... the limited slip will probably need to be rebuilt. Shopping around though, a rebuild for it will be slightly cheaper than the Dana 44. My 44 also needs brakes and seals. The 8.8 would probably get new brakes and seals but there again is the cheaper cost. Throw on top of that the disc brakes that are already with it too. Then there's the purist side that wants to keep everything Jeep as if the SCCA allowed the 4.0 to be run... not that anyone would really notice the Ford axle or anything.


More so looking for opinions now. :dunno: Steady the course or change gears?... pun intended.

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To be fair, they only ran Dana 35s and never a 44.


Took a closer look at the carrier too... looks like the carrier is fine but the clips for the clutch packs is what is all screwed up. Haven't taken it apart yet but they'd be replaced with a rebuild kit anyhow. Found a good price on the heavy duty packs too:



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Any other thoughts on welding the tubes? Worth it?


I would say no. I have a few Jeep club members that run XJ 44s in their TJs. They both are locked on 35s. Tubes not welded and no issues. For what you are going to be doing with the truck, IMO you will be fine.


But on the other hand, it obviously cannot hurt!

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To add my 2c,

8.8's are narrower than MJ rears.


MJ rear width is already pretty narrow for the bed & body lines,

but Jeep chose to maintain the same axle widths across the board (XJ MJ YJ ZJ TJ)

so the MJ had to make do with a narrower rear than would have been ideal.


I'll guess you are going to run different/wider wheels & tires on the back of your 2wd MJ,

so you could compensate for the narrower 8.8 if you want,

deeper rear wheels might even look better, depending on what wheel you pic,

but make sure you figure axle width into your choice.



if you are going to do much highway, you might want a tire taller than 23" with 4.10's :yes:

225-45-15 = aprox 23"x 8.75"


^^ why so short anyway?

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Not planning much for highway... twisty roads and road course. As far as wheels, I really don't have much of a choice as the Archers only used turbines, or AREs. I've got a set of each, but the AREs are just so much cooler.




... dirty, but cooler. Then there's the tires size that they used a variety sizes to fine tune the final drive. 225/45s is the number that stood out in John's mind that was a common size. That and 205/55s. Depending on the race, they either went with a slightly wider tire if there weren't as many corners as they used the same size wheel regardless of tire size. The wider tread would obviously grip a little better but the slighty more bulge to the sidewall would give more where the smaller width would give a stiffer sidewall. I like the look of the wider tread but the 205s are cheaper. Same as the 44/8.8 conundrum... who would notice? :dunno:

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205/55r15's would only be about .1 inch shorter,

but a whole inch narrower.


Unless you really like that small tire look,

I think I'd use the ARE wheels with something much taller,

like a 235/60r15 (9.25"x26").


Wouldn't be as authentic of a look,

but there's something to be said for tires that fill the wheelwells. :)


With either tires,

if you go with the 8.8" you can always set the wheel spacing with spacers.

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We'll see what happens when the time comes. Having some rear bushings made up for the leaf springs so I can start mocking up the ride height. The springs I have should lower the truck about 4". I'm with you on the wheels fitting aesthetically. Might not quite match what would've been correct but who cares as long as it looks cool?!

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We'll see what happens when the time comes. Having some rear bushings made up for the leaf springs so I can start mocking up the ride height. The springs I have should lower the truck about 4". I'm with you on the wheels fitting aesthetically. Might not quite match what would've been correct but who cares as long as it looks cool?!

^^^ :yes:


Are you going to get the front spring eye reversed,

or did you make us a set out of flatter leafs yourself?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update... Had a huge run around with getting new clutches. :fs1: 22233x is the wrong part number for this. I thought I had everything going my way with trying to order the 22937x until I was told that it wasn't available. Fine... get the old part number on its way then, right? Wrong. I first was trying to use FindItParts.com. After they left me a voicemail saying that I couldn't get the 22937x they got all salty with me when I tried calling back without knowing the name of the guy that left the message. "Sir, some guy called me it's good enough here. I need the order numbers... I need the shipping number... I need the part number of what you have and what you need... I'm sorry sir, but you need to be a little more prepared before calling us." :rant: I was pissed. Hasn't been a good week for me in the first place and then hearing all this verbal garbage didn't make it any better. Last time I was that worked up I yelled at an Amish dude... that's another story though. Some things were said, credit was put back on my card and I thought I could just move on. Wrong again. I got in touch with another company, DriveTrain America, and, like an idiot without checking their numbers, gave them the part number 22233x. Got a great price on it. It shows up at my door. I open it to find something that didn't even look close. At this point I called DriveTrain America and talked to AJ. Cool guy... easy to deal with... understanding with the situation... glad to get to the bottom of the problem. He contacted Dana and assured me that I actually needed part number 708203. Wonderful! That was Thursday afternoon and FedEx just left me the right parts.


To my door, if you don't work in eating shipping costs a couple times to get the right stuff, it cost me right around $60. Cheaper than most online places. I'd recommend DrivaTrain America to anyone. Don't fuss around with online ordering though. Calling and talking to someone was well worth it.


Onward!... hopefully. :crossfingers:

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^^^wow, the 22233x is pretty cheap there



$56 vs $90 elsewhere.


That pack should fit the earlier 2-piece case Power-Lok

instead of the 1 piece Trac-Lok you have.


(Sorry, I guess that info is a little late, I didn't look up the #'s till now)


Good luck with the build!

and thanks for the tip on where to find those packs cheap :yes:

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