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D44 vs 8.8


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I regret to inform you guys of this.. but another MJ d44 has been destroyed.... about 2-3 months ago while I was away teaching aircraft elecrtonics to canadian reserves.. I had an mj stored at my parents house.. while I was gone the frame between the box and the bed.. cracked and then split appart.. and during that time without talking to me.. the truck was sent to the dump and was crushed.. I have spent the last month and a bit trying to track the truck down.. with no luck but today I got a call from the jacka$$ that took it to the dump saying that yeah it was crushed the day he brought it.. :headpop:

 

So now I still have a garbage D35 but I have a buddy that has an 8.8 from a 91 ford ranger 3.55, for $200 and I tracked down a D44 from an MJ but the guy wants $700... what exactly are the differences cause I know nothing about axles? and which one of them would be the better choice?

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you don't want the ranger axle.

 

it has smaller shafts than the explorer, 27 or 28 spline vs 31.

 

that said.

The biggest argument to the 8.8 is c clips, as long as you don't break a shaft it's not a problem. I run mine with 34" swampers and have no fear of it breaking.

 

anyway, the one you want is from an explorer, preferably with discs.

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The explorer 8.8 IS a stronger axle, there's no theroy about it. Although, I'm sure we could get a 10 page debate. I hate to admit it but sterling makes a better 1/2-ton axle than dana does.

 

 

8.8 shafts are bigger. 8.8 ring gear is bigger. 8.8 pinion is bigger. 8.8 axle tubes are stronger (than most D44s).

 

There is drawbacks about it. It's a hair narrow, and you'll need 1-1.5" spacers for it to track even. It has c-clips, which aren't that big of a deal - there's a sweet kit to remove them. The stock cover is useless sheetmetal. And it hangs rather low and chunky. Oh, it's way heavier than it needs to be.

 

 

I payed about $500 (out of a wrecker, not a you-pull) for my 8.8 with the gears I wanted and a limited-slip. All in good shape but a leaky axle seal. Amusingly enough, when I got rid of it I sold it for more than that actually. But there was a good reason for that (I gave him extra brake parts and the wheel spacers).

 

D44s aren't a bad rear axle though. But don't pay $700! If you want it to be cheap, the full size grand wagoneers had ones that were a little narrow and the wrong bolt pattern. Pay about $150 tops! But you could get 6x5.5 to 5x4.5 conversions spacers to fix both problems at the same time (IIRC, I had found them). However, the gear ratio will be undesirable (3.07 or 3.31) and they come with drum brakes.

 

 

Just things to think about.

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8.8 shafts are bigger. 8.8 ring gear is bigger. 8.8 pinion is bigger. 8.8 axle tubes are stronger (than most D44s).

Uhm...

 

8.8" has 1.31" shafts and a XJ/MJ D44 has 1.31" shafts.

 

The 8.8 tubes do neck down to 2.75" just before they enter the brake housings. The XJ/MJ Dana 44 has the same 2.75" axle tubes as well. Rather than welding the tubes on the 8.8 into the diff housing, the tubes are just held in with pressed-in plugs. These plugs tend to stop doing their job under severe stress. It can be fixed by welding the tubes or trussing it. But since we are comparing STOCK axles I won't give you that....

 

Also, one thing to note is that the 8.8 uses a pinion flange instead of a pinion yoke like most Dana axles.

 

Not to mention the C-Clips....

 

Your not going to find me stating for a fact that the 8.8 IS the stronger axle.

 

Not looking to start a huge debate, but as far as cost effective it in my opinion (and yes just my opinion) that the cost to make the 8.8 superior to a D44 and the work involved to get it into the back of a XJ/MJ is not worth the price if you can find a stock XJ/MJ D44.

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All that stuff that was just pointed out is true... I have a question though... is it easier to open the dif cover and pull a clip to remove a broken piece of shaft, or is it better to have to remove four bolts (that in all likely hood have never been removed) and try to pull a boken piece of shaft out the housing :roll: I say screw the BS and go full float d60 or 14bolt :brows:

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8.8 shafts are bigger. 8.8 ring gear is bigger. 8.8 pinion is bigger. 8.8 axle tubes are stronger (than most D44s).

Uhm...

 

8.8" has 1.31" shafts and a XJ/MJ D44 has 1.31" shafts.

 

The 8.8 tubes do neck down to 2.75" just before they enter the brake housings. The XJ/MJ Dana 44 has the same 2.75" axle tubes as well. Rather than welding the tubes on the 8.8 into the diff housing, the tubes are just held in with pressed-in plugs. These plugs tend to stop doing their job under severe stress. It can be fixed by welding the tubes or trussing it. But since we are comparing STOCK axles I won't give you that....

 

Also, one thing to note is that the 8.8 uses a pinion flange instead of a pinion yoke like most Dana axles.

.

 

 

Okay, I'm wrong on the shafts. I thought they were 1.32". Got confused with the 26 spline crap I run. However, what's the neckdown diameter on a D44? If they're anything like the front D44 stuff, I bet the stock 8.8 shafts are still better.

 

Welding the tubes to the housing is done when you change the spring perches. Unless you're an idiot. So, if I was wheeling an explorer I'd certainly be worried. But since I would have no inclination of doing that, I'm not. Oh, 8.8 tubes are thicker, IIRC. But I may be wrong on that too (lots of the D44s use very thin tubes).

 

And the pinion flange design is better than a yoke. I'd forgotten about that. A u-bolt yoke isn't too bad, but a strap yoke is only worthy of the trash bin. However, the flange design works better - at least IMHO.

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You're probably better off with the explorer axle. But that's IMHO. See what one costs in your area first.

 

 

It's not a bolt in. The spring perches are in the wrong spot and are SUA from the factory. There's also some anti-sway bar funk on the axle. So, there's a few things that need to be cut off. Then you'll need to weld on new perches. Weld the axle tubes around their perimeter to the centre section at the same time.

 

I had a machine shop do my previous 8.8 entirely. Removed old stuff, welded on new stuff. Cost about $100. But I did supply the spring perches and told them where to put them. You'll also need shock mount brackets too. Rusty's off-road sells both at a reasonable price too (much as I dislike them).

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Get an 8.8" axle with 4:10's and discs from an Explorer. It will be slightly narrower and have C-clips.

 

Then buy the C-clip eliminater kit and it will also make the axle the correct width.

 

Weld the tubes to the housing and you'll have an axle that is stronger then a D44, has better brakes and a stronger housing. Add a truss and it will be able to handle some airtime also.

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You're probably better off with the explorer axle. But that's IMHO. See what one costs in your area first.

 

 

It's not a bolt in. The spring perches are in the wrong spot and are SUA from the factory. There's also some anti-sway bar funk on the axle. So, there's a few things that need to be cut off. Then you'll need to weld on new perches. Weld the axle tubes around their perimeter to the centre section at the same time.

 

I had a machine shop do my previous 8.8 entirely. Removed old stuff, welded on new stuff. Cost about $100. But I did supply the spring perches and told them where to put them. You'll also need shock mount brackets too. Rusty's off-road sells both at a reasonable price too (much as I dislike them).

 

don't buy rusty's

 

buy ruffstuff instead. Dan's a pleasure to talk to and work with.

 

www.ruffstuffspecialties.com

 

$100 get's you all you need. my brother used this kit, and it's beef.

 

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/cat ... p-186.html

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thanks alot for all the info you guys gave me.. I'm keeping my eyes out for a 8.8 with the 4.10s and discs.. sounds like the best bet cause we all know that the mjs brakes suck worth beans.

 

 

I also came across some interesting information the other day..

about 3 years ago I sold my 85 K5 Blazer, 454, 4.10 D60 front and 12Bolt rear, 3" lift to a buddy of mine... and he called me to let me know that he's selling it again when I sold it to him it only had 56,000 mile on it engine and frame.. now it has 61,000 mile on her.. and he was saying that he would sell it back to me for the price I sold it to him for... that's if I wanted to buy it back... if it were anyother smuck it would be more than double that... So I've been crunching the numbers with the girl to see if I could pull it off without shooting myself in the foot.. if I do end up buying it back.. I might be putting my comanche up for sale just so I could afford to get the blazer back..

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