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coolwind57

Dana 44--I found one. Swap questions....

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On my MJ D44, there are 6 places for plug welds on each side of the diff casting.  3 on top, 3 on bottom.  You can see the 3 top ones in the first pic.  I definitely would not weld in the case spreader holes, so you can use a case spreader, 2nd pic.

IMG_7663.jpg

IMG_6285.jpg

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4 hours ago, Minuit said:

Related, but unrelated: I had suspicions that I had a leaky wheel seal too. Every now and then I'd have a black drip under my right rear wheel. I found out not long after that it was actually the 3 year old wheel cylinder puking its guts out, which turned black after mixing with brake dust. The very next day I went to the junkyard and came back with a full ZJ rear disc setup.

 

I guess I better get after it with my D44 build if you're that far ahead of me Greg :L: We are doing literally identical projects, after all.

Yep, 1991 MJ 4wd conversion!  My progress has slowed, I have competing projects, garden, upgrading trailer lug studs from 7/16" to 1/2", wiring workshop for a 50A plug for an oven to experiment with powder coating, and plenty of work on the property as weather improves and ground dries a little.  But yes, getting the D44 & D30 put together are definitely on the list!

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4 hours ago, coolwind57 said:

Good idea!  I've heard of tube welding.  But what do you mean by plug welds reinforcement?  The only plug I can think of that you mean is the diff cover.

 

2 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:

You can reference this photo. The red x is not a plug weld. It’s hard to see for sure but it looks like this housing does have some plug weld provisions (highlighted in the green circles)

A1D3E066-F02E-4028-83E9-FA031982C610.jpeg

 

Yes, the green circles show the plug welds.  The axle tubes are press fit into the pumpkin, then welded in place through those 6 holes in the pumpkin. There are 6 plug welds on each axle tube.  Through corrosion, age or hard use the plug welds can crack at which point your risk of spinning an axle tube increases.  Weeping from the plug welds or from the junction where the tube meets the housing can be an early warning sign of a potential problem.

 

When you weld the tubes, you weld the circumference of the tube to the pumpkin. You can also drill out and re-do the plug welds.  Welding the axle tubes should be done by a professional because you're dealing with dissimilar metals.  The pumpkin needs to be preheated to the right temp for this to be done right.

 

For this reason, you want to do it before you install your seals or e-Locker, or anything sensitive to super high temps.

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I’ve also welded it cold in short bursts with lots of cool down in between with good results but I think heating it up as suggested is probably the better way to go. 

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Yea, I just watched a good youtube video on welding these tubes.  The dude heated to above 350F and kept it there during the welding process. He used a certain welding tactic to help prevent too much thermal movement.  He also wrapped his finished job in a fiberglass blanket to retain the heat for like 8-hours.  

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1 hour ago, schardein said:

On my MJ D44, there are 6 places for plug welds on each side of the diff casting.  3 on top, 3 on bottom.  You can see the 3 top ones in the first pic.  I definitely would not weld in the case spreader holes, so you can use a case spreader, 2nd pic.

IMG_7663.jpg

IMG_6285.jpg


 

Seen too many people installing 8.8s welding the case spreader holes thinking they are rosette weld holes 😂. I always use rosette welds when working with links and threaded inserts also in addition to welding the actual flange/joint and they hold very well. 

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I haven’t heard of many d44’s though spinning their tubes. Has anyone had any  experience with that happening on a 44?

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10 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:

I haven’t heard of many d44’s though spinning their tubes. Has anyone had any  experience with that happening on a 44?

I have only heard of it happening 3rd hand.

 

The AMC20 that was used in the CJ and full size Wagoneer was only pressed in with no plug welds.  I never saw one myself but heard of it happening more often in that axle.

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12 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:

I haven’t heard of many d44’s though spinning their tubes. Has anyone had any  experience with that happening on a 44?

 

Probably a better question for the Pirate4x4 crowd.  Yes, it happens.

 

It is admittedly unlikely to happen under 33's and without a locker and if you never go offroad.

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15 minutes ago, DesertRat1991 said:

 

Probably a better question for the Pirate4x4 crowd.  Yes, it happens.

 

It is admittedly unlikely to happen under 33's and without a locker and if you never go offroad.

With enough power, you can break anything...

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I'm not sure I'll take the time and effort to weld those tubes as I rarely go off-road, but looks like it might not be a bad idea to shoot some silicone around them, as we have at least one of us reporting leaking there.

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2 hours ago, coolwind57 said:

I'm not sure I'll take the time and effort to weld those tubes as I rarely go off-road, but looks like it might not be a bad idea to shoot some silicone around them, as we have at least one of us reporting leaking there.


I would not silicone them. They should not be leaking since the tubes are pressed in. Those welds simply aid in tube retention but they are not holes that go all the way through the axle tube and should never be the source of a leak. You could seal the tubes inside the pumpkin but use the “right stuff” or similar 

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Dropped my axle shafts off at a local, reputable big-truck shop.  They do axles all the time.  I asked the machine shop dude if he'd be willing to reused the bearings, as I thought they were just fine.  He took one look at my bearings and said, "I wouldn't put these back in."  He showed me some tiny grooves/lines that I didn't see.  Said they'd be noisy.  I trust him and I'm cool with using new ones.  .

 

He also recommended that I use a dial indicator to check pinion backlash.  Slopiness and out-of-spec will have me pulling the pinion and carrier. 

 

I brought up the LSD and how it seemed to be working by hand (spinning the yoke) and my general truck use (rare off of pavement, daily driver, etc).   

 

So when I was a teenager, I helped build the original owner's house.  About all the guys there are relatives of him and his son is the new owner.  We were chatting about the old owner for several minutes.  So the machine shop manager told me to just bring my axle assembly in and he'd take a look at it and check to see if the backlash was within spec.  He's going to give it the once-over to make any further recommendations.  My biggest curiosity is the condition of the LSD. 

 

I'm blessed with a budget that at this time would support more significant work on this axle but I'm not wanting to do anything close to unnecessary.   I loaded my axle assembly this morning and will swing by at lunchtime to see what they say.

 

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1 hour ago, coolwind57 said:

Dropped my axle shafts off at a local, reputable big-truck shop.  They do axles all the time.  I asked the machine shop dude if he'd be willing to reused the bearings, as I thought they were just fine.  He took one look at my bearings and said, "I wouldn't put these back in."  He showed me some tiny grooves/lines that I didn't see.  Said they'd be noisy.  I trust him and I'm cool with using new ones.  .

 

He also recommended that I use a dial indicator to check pinion backlash.  Slopiness and out-of-spec will have me pulling the pinion and carrier. 

 

I brought up the LSD and how it seemed to be working by hand (spinning the yoke) and my general truck use (rare off of pavement, daily driver, etc).   

 

So when I was a teenager, I helped build the original owner's house.  About all the guys there are relatives of him and his son is the new owner.  We were chatting about the old owner for several minutes.  So the machine shop manager told me to just bring my axle assembly in and he'd take a look at it and check to see if the backlash was within spec.  He's going to give it the once-over to make any further recommendations.  My biggest curiosity is the condition of the LSD. 

 

I'm blessed with a budget that at this time would support more significant work on this axle but I'm not wanting to do anything close to unnecessary.   I loaded my axle assembly this morning and will swing by at lunchtime to see what they say.

 

As long as you trust the shop... if the axle came from a running/driving vehicle, the gears are probably fine.  Having to little backlash is just as bad as having to much.  And making adjustments to the shims in a high mileage gearset (to adjust backlash) is likely to produce a noisy gearset.

 

Checking backlash is super easy, and a dial indicator is less than $30 (with 20% off coupon) 

https://www.harborfreight.com/clamping-dial-indicator-63656.html?_br_psugg_q=dial+indicator

 

Once you own it, you can check other things, like runout on brake discs, flywheels, driveshafts etc.

 

And just for the record- The AMC 20 axle in the full size Wagoneers (and the 86 Comanches for that matter) is much beefier than the CJ version.  Wagoneers (and Comanches) used thicker axle tubes and one piece axle shafts.

 

Also, as for sealant on the axle tubes, some axles have it from the factory when assembled.  I have a 77 J10 D44 in the front of my CJ, and there is a bead of sealant inside the case, near the carrier bearings, where the tube presses into the center casting.  I've seen it on other axles as well.  However, I doubt adding sealant around the tube, on the outside, where it meets the center section, would be effective.

 

I've personally never seen a D44 leaking at the axle tubes.  I have seen a full size square body Chevy do a jump and crack the center section in half (front D44).  I've also pulled a rear D35 out of a bone stock YJ and you could wiggle the axle tube up and down in the center housing (center housing was cracked).  The owner said the Jeep "made a weird noise from the rearend sometimes, and handled funny.  And it leaks".  Yeah, I bet it did haha.

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Took some measurements on my springs and axle pad yesterday.  Springs are General Springs metric ton w/ military wrap & 1" lift over stock.

 

Center pin is 3/8", head of pin is 9/16".  D44 axle pad locator holes matches at 9/16".

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IMG_7675.jpg

IMG_7676.jpg

IMG_7677.jpg

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6 hours ago, schardein said:

Took some measurements on my springs and axle pad yesterday.  Springs are General Springs metric ton w/ military wrap & 1" lift over stock.

 

Center pin is 3/8", head of pin is 9/16".  D44 axle pad locator holes matches at 9/16".

IMG_7673.jpg

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IMG_7676.jpg

IMG_7677.jpg


I’d be surprised if they only give you 1” of lift. My general spring 4 leaf pack was about a 2” lift. Let us know what it actually lifts it by. 

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9 hours ago, schardein said:

Took some measurements on my springs and axle pad yesterday.  Springs are General Springs metric ton w/ military wrap & 1" lift over stock.

 

Center pin is 3/8", head of pin is 9/16".  D44 axle pad locator holes matches at 9/16".

IMG_7673.jpg

IMG_7674.jpg

IMG_7675.jpg

IMG_7676.jpg

IMG_7677.jpg

 

Does the pin go through all leafs?  The shock mount/spring bracket has 5 holes in them--4 each for the two U-bolts, plus one in the middle. Then the axle pin go through this hole too, correct?  I'm not sure what to expect when I go to remove my D35.  

 

There was mention of using C-clamps to hold the spring together upon pulling the axle.  Does this mean that the pin fits through all of the individual leafs loosely then?  In other words, the pin doesn't secure the leaf spring assembly and won't keep them all together once I pull the axle off?

 

I've got another weekend or two before I dive into this project.  But I'd like to be ready.  Sure appreciate it.

 

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So in other words, the pin is double-headed (basically and bolt with a nut) and goes in kind of like this:

leafs1.jpg.28e1bd09ff5f2f4c9e72dbc9f31e0fa3.jpg

 

Does it secure the axle, leafs and lower bracket together?  With the nut on the bottom, I assume.    By the way, that's the springs that were on my truck when I bought it.  I think maybe that lower one is a helper-spring that maybe someone put on at some time.

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it only secures the leafs together. :L:  and the head should be in the leaf pad (meaning if SOA it should be inverted.)

 

the shock plate has a hole to clear the nut.

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2 hours ago, Pete M said:

it only secures the leafs together. :L:  and the head should be in the leaf pad (meaning if SOA it should be inverted.)

 

the shock plate has a hole to clear the nut.

Gotcha, Pete.  I can envision it now.  But a C-clamp, as mentioned earlier should be used to HELP keep the leafs together during axle removal, right?  The pin won't do it on its own?

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5 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:


I’d be surprised if they only give you 1” of lift. My general spring 4 leaf pack was about a 2” lift. Let us know what it actually lifts it by. 

That's what I've heard.  I plan to take careful measurements during the install.  Still a ways off, hopefully this summer.

 

6 minutes ago, coolwind57 said:

Gotcha, Pete.  I can envision it now.  But a C-clamp, as mentioned earlier should be used to HELP keep the leafs together during axle removal, right?  The pin won't do it on its own?

The center pin will hold the leaf pack together during axle removal.  You only need to C-clamp the spring if removing the center pin for some reason, like putting a different size one in, or putting in an add-a-leaf.

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40 minutes ago, schardein said:

That's what I've heard.  I plan to take careful measurements during the install.  Still a ways off, hopefully this summer.

 

The center pin will hold the leaf pack together during axle removal.  You only need to C-clamp the spring if removing the center pin for some reason, like putting a different size one in, or putting in an add-a-leaf.

 

Thanks for putting up with all the questions schardein and Pete.  

 

Here's the U-bolts that I just ordered: 

https://www.barnes4wd.com/U-Bolt-58-x-2-34-x-10_p_104.html

 

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You don't need a C-Clamp to hold the leaves together when you pull the axle.

 

The only time you need one is when you remove the pin.  And you really should use 2 when you do that, one on either side of the pin.

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Here's a pic of my D44 leaf plates coated with Chassis Saver and with the new stud kit from Quadratec (thanks for the info, Dzimm)--I had one stud that broke and the other was pretty bent up.  I am curious to see if the D35 leaf plates are exactly the same. when I pull my axle from the truck.  Hopefully next weekend.  I'll get my D44 U-bolt in on Monday.  

 

leafplates.jpg.761e88af1b540011f1980c9ac221b973.jpg

 

Notice that these plates are ambidextrous--if that's the correct word.  I sliced the old studs off of one side and used the existing holes on the opposite side, once I opened them up a bit, to fit the new stud kit.    

 

Quadratec's kit is pretty hardy looking.  

 

https://www.quadratec.com/products/16311_5256.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQjwsYb0BRCOARIsAHbLPhGRqu5gRLiuEHE_SaNIPnpjRoZJVPn8AoSvijD1sH1J8ZS1SkxiiaoaAsfvEALw_wcB

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