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The front is the hard one. Make it your priority and then just find a rear that matches in width and bolt pattern. Some common pairs out there:

 

Upgrade the guts in your front Dana 30 (or get another and upgrade it) and get an Explorer 8.8 rear axle

Pros: The 95-01 Explorer 8.8 is very strong and even stronger with a couple upgrades like a fullcarrier locker and welding the housing to the tubes. Factory disk brakes and 4.10 gears available in the junkyards.

Cons: Some say that it's a waste of resources to upgrade a Dana 30 that much, but it has been done many time before. All depends on your driving style

 

Ford late 70s high-pinion Dana 44 front and 9" rear

-Pros: high pinion front, If you move up to the 3/4 ton versions you can get a Dana 60 rear

-Cons: pretty wide. Not all years/models are made equal. The ones with the cast-on mounts are to be avoided unless you want to use the Ford radius arm suspension too.

 

Dana 44s from a Scout

-Pros: right width

-cons: front is set at 0* caster

 

Grand wagoneer Dana 44 axles

-Pros: right width

-Cons: Avoid the ones with the disconnect in the front axle

 

Grand waggy front with a rear Dana 44 from a Isuzu Rodeo

-Pros: The Isuzu rear axle has the same width and wheel bolt pattern, but comes with factory disk brakes

-Cons: The funk pinion flange. But I'm told it's a direct swap to put on a regular Dana 44 U-joint flange

 

Axles from a TJ Rubicon

-Pros: right width, etc.

-Cons: Wicked expensive and hard to get. I would probably consider custom axles if I could swing this much dough.

 

This is just off the top of my head. I'm sure the other guys will fill in more details

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Caster is the difference between vertical and the imaginary line drawn through the ball joints. Our trucks are set up to use a few degrees of caster which aids in the "return to center" when you release the steering wheel. Sometimes funny steering characteristics or even the dreaded death-wobble can pop up if you have less caster (this can also happen if you lift a Jeep but keep the stock arms which rotates the axle assembly and reduces the caster angle).

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shifted to the side like to far forewards or to far back or offset to the left or right?
The axle will get tucked back, essentially shortening the wheel base, and it will get pushed off to the driver side when it gets dropped down.

 

As for brakes, even if D35 crap stuck on the 44, it would not do justice. The 44 stuff will be heavier duty.

It is slightly more expensive, but shouldn't be very bad at all.

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Grand waggy front with a rear Dana 44 from a Isuzu Rodeo

-Pros: The Isuzu rear axle has the same width and wheel bolt pattern, but comes with factory disk brakes

-Cons: The funk pinion flange. But I'm told it's a direct swap to put on a regular Dana 44 U-joint flange

 

 

That pinion flange is no biggy in that yeah, a standard D44 yoke will go right on (I recommend a u-bolt yoke if you go this route), or you can use the stock Dana/Spicer part to put a 1310 joint on that flange. It's even avaliable from a rodeo (perhaps even the same rodeo that has a D44, but the ones with 12Bs definatly have it).

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I can pull an 8.8 from my local yard for $100 on a expensive day, but I went with my 8.25 because it's right up there in strength with a D44, and still has a decent aftermarket for lockers, shafts, LS's, and diff covers and what not. I don't see a full float kit avail for it, but I don't see a reason I need one either. Also, the axle was sitting around, and had either of 2 destinations if I weren't to use it:

Give it to my buddy at the 4x4 shop, or sell it myself...

 

Honestly, I think a lot of people overlook the 8.25 as an option (like it's a POS stock D35 or something), I'll be swapping discs onto mine in just a few short weeks, so watch out for the easy as hell writeup, that seems to be non existent elsewhere right now...

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$100 for a D44 minus brakes? What's it out of? What gear ratio?

 

 

If it's a MJ/XJ one I'd say it's an alright deal. But, if you buy brakes for it all new, you're going to drop some cash. And if the gear ratio is undesirable (3.07, 3.55), you'll probably be out money there. And if it's a high milage unit and has a track-lok, it's probably in need of a rebuild.

 

 

So, maybe.

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