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CMMagnussen

Isuzu 44 rear axle (Real experience)

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Everything I find on this subject on other forums is filled with speculation and bad information. I just came up out of the garage and I am almost done with the 44 rear for my YJ. (yeah sorry YJ is getting the first one MJ gets the next one) So here goes.

 

These are 6 lug and match a wagoneer 44.

 

For MJ/YJ you want a 96/97 (anything newer is way too wide with the wrong brackets anything older is 1" narrower)

 

The stock perches are setup for spring under.

 

These all came with disc brakes. If it has drums it is not a 44.

 

These are available with ABS sensors in the axle tubes or the pumpkin. you can leave the sensors in. I wanted a cleaner look (mine were in the tube) so a 1/2" pipe tap and 2 flush plugs cleaned it right up.

 

These came with a 4:30 gear set (if it has 4:56 gear it has drums it is not a 44 no matter what your buddy's buddy said)

 

These have thicker axle shafts than a normal dana 44 that neck down at the end (this is useless info)

 

These use a thick gear set (what would be used if you wanted to put 4:56 gears in your old 3:07 carrier)

 

These use a crush sleeve on the pinion (there is no crush sleeve eliminator available so don't bother) 

 

These use metric wheel studs. Conversion stud part number is 610-156

 

The 4 studs that hold the backing plates to the axle flange are metric with knurling. Mine snapped/spun so a 1/2" drill and grade 8 bolts were installed as a replacement. The bolt next to the parking brake pivot point needs a flat ground on it and some minor grinding on the top of the head to clear the brake shoes.

 

The pinion yoke will need to be replaced Crown part number D3044YOKEUBK or you can scavenge off of another Dana 44, Dana 30 or Dana 300 

 

Brake line fitting at the caliper hose is metric so the end will need to be converted. My braided stainless brake line bolted right to the axle so only my hard lines on the axle tube needed to be modified. fittings used for the caliper ends Dorman part number 490-711

 

Perch spacing is about 1/4" too wide for YJ/MJ if you have lift springs hook in one side then hammer the other side in.

 

Perches are at the correct angle for a vehicle with 4" of lift  it does not seem to be necessary to grind off and move the perches if you around that lift mark. 

 

Shock brackets will need to be welded on Isuzu must have had the mounts on the U-bolt plates.

 

The Isuzu rear e-brake cables will hook to our front e-brake cables.

 

This is the only information I have NOT confirmed. Supposedly an isuzu 44 with a limited slip will not work with a lunchbox locker some sort of clearance issue, but a 44 with open carrier will. I will not be confirming this bit of info the rear I have is open and will be getting a lunchbox locker eventually. My wagoneer 44 front is getting the guts out of a 99 isuzu 44 that is limited slip and I plan to keep running that as is.

 

Sorry about the long post and bad format I am tired and sore from a long night in the garage but I hope this dispells some of the nonsense about this axle. I may have missed a couple of small stupid things but nothing that would be a negative surprise if someone else used this post as a reference for an axle swap.

 

I will update this post later for some cleanup and If i remember anything else useful

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Wow.  Thanks for taking the time to post this.  Pretty cool of you to do that.

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This is awesome information! Thanks for all the detail!!!

Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk

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Great info.  Just to be clear, we are talking Isuzu Rodeo, correct?  Not any other model?

 

And did your axle come with a finned aluminum rear diff cover?  I recall looking at one in a junkyard about a decade ago, and it had this.  Can't say for sure it was a 44 with this posted info though.

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I believe the sister rig is the honda passport. :L: 

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Yes rodeo. Passport was a rebadged rodeo so that works too. The 99 parts axle I'm using for the wagoneer front has the finned aluminum cover. My 97 rear axle had a steel cover with a Dana logo stamped in it.

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FYI 4.56 drum brake axles are still Dana 44’s. I just copied the article I wrote on these axle over on Jeep Forum here to CC for reference.

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Thanks for this write up.  Been thinking about a Rodeo Dana 44 or XJ 8.25 upgrade and this gives me a good idea of what is involved.

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On 6/2/2020 at 5:54 PM, Liketosmash said:

Thanks for this write up.  Been thinking about a Rodeo Dana 44 or XJ 8.25 upgrade and this gives me a good idea of what is involved.

 

don't forget to include the Liberty 8.25 and Explorer 8.8 in your choices. :L: 

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:29 PM, Pete M said:

 

don't forget to include the Liberty 8.25 and Explorer 8.8 in your choices. :L: 

 

I had been reading up on the liberty 8.25 as an option and that's sounding like a good option.  I could use a little wider rear axle since the Wildpeaks sidewalls are pretty aggressive and tend to rub on the rear frame.  I'll do some reading on the Explorer 8.8. Thanks!

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Resumed work on the front axle (yeah I know I am lazy) Removed the wagoneer carrier and was ready to swap the 99 Isuzu carrier in. Pinion diameter is bigger on the Isuzu, as in Yoke, seal and bearings will not fit. Fortunately I only had 80.00 in that axle. So Friday off the the junkyard for a few 97 or older axles.

 

Just posting this as a warning to anyone trying a 44/44 swap on a Comanche.

 

96-97 rear axle will work on the rear of a Comanche.

94-97 rear axle internals will work as a donor for a Wagoneer 44 front.

98+ will frustrate you and join the scrap pile.

 

With some luck this project will be tied up in the next couple weeks and I can start welding the truss on my second Wagoneer front for installation in the MJ. 

 

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On 7/23/2020 at 4:20 PM, CMMagnussen said:

Resumed work on the front axle (yeah I know I am lazy) Removed the wagoneer carrier and was ready to swap the 99 Isuzu carrier in. Pinion diameter is bigger on the Isuzu, as in Yoke, seal and bearings will not fit. Fortunately I only had 80.00 in that axle. So Friday off the the junkyard for a few 97 or older axles.

 

Just posting this as a warning to anyone trying a 44/44 swap on a Comanche.

 

96-97 rear axle will work on the rear of a Comanche.

94-97 rear axle internals will work as a donor for a Wagoneer 44 front.

98+ will frustrate you and join the scrap pile.

 

With some luck this project will be tied up in the next couple weeks and I can start welding the truss on my second Wagoneer front for installation in the MJ. 

 


The 98+ is a super strong axle but is a bit wider (63” wms iirc). Dana 60 size pinion, larger axle bearings and 8.9” ring gear. You can swap one into an mj also just fine but will have to cutoff the coil bracketry to keep the leafs. It’s a very similar axle to the JKR 44. 

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4 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:


The 98+ is a super strong axle but is a bit wider (63” wms iirc). Dana 60 size pinion, larger axle bearings and 8.9” ring gear. You can swap one into an mj also just fine but will have to cutoff the coil bracketry to keep the leafs. It’s a very similar axle to the JKR 44. 

I do believe (someone else should confirm) that the JK Rubicon Dana 44 uses the same internals (gears, carriers, and bearings) as the Isuzu.

 

It's important to note that the JK Wrangler Dana 44 from non-Rubicons is the same differential casting but they are machined for the older, smaller carrier bearings from the old generation Dana44 and also the same carrier but with larger bolts.  The Rubicon uses 32 spline shafts, the non-Rubicon uses 30 spline shafts.  But they both use the same gear sets.  And just for fun, with the old carrier in the non-JK you use the 3.73 and down carrier for all ratios from 3.21 to 5.38.

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2 hours ago, derf said:

I do believe (someone else should confirm) that the JK Rubicon Dana 44 uses the same internals (gears, carriers, and bearings) as the Isuzu.

 

It's important to note that the JK Wrangler Dana 44 from non-Rubicons is the same differential casting but they are machined for the older, smaller carrier bearings from the old generation Dana44 and also the same carrier but with larger bolts.  The Rubicon uses 32 spline shafts, the non-Rubicon uses 30 spline shafts.  But they both use the same gear sets.  And just for fun, with the old carrier in the non-JK you use the 3.73 and down carrier for all ratios from 3.21 to 5.38.


Yep, they’re all thick cut gearsets just like the Isuzu. I’m the one who posted the write up 

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10 hours ago, derf said:

I do believe (someone else should confirm) that the JK Rubicon Dana 44 uses the same internals (gears, carriers, and bearings) as the Isuzu.

 

It's important to note that the JK Wrangler Dana 44 from non-Rubicons is the same differential casting but they are machined for the older, smaller carrier bearings from the old generation Dana44 and also the same carrier but with larger bolts.  The Rubicon uses 32 spline shafts, the non-Rubicon uses 30 spline shafts.  But they both use the same gear sets.  And just for fun, with the old carrier in the non-JK you use the 3.73 and down carrier for all ratios from 3.21 to 5.38.


Also, the drum brake axles from 96-97 are 4.56 Dana 44’s. I built 2 of them. There was very bad information and too many rumors about these axles several years back so I went and bought a 95, (2) 97s and a 99 for comparison. Also had a JK 44 housing, a couple of TJ rubicon rear lockers and a Grand Wagoneer D44 front (very heavy 44 lol). Suffice it to say, I was able to check all the differences and variations at that time. It’s still my opinion that the 96,97 4.56 drum brake axle is one of the most straight forward overall swaps and a very stout axle (it’s the one I ended up keeping). Ebrake was a direct swap and the 10.5” drums are quite nice for towing (great parking brake when launching a boat). Swapped in a Detroit truetrac and wheeled the daylights out of it. Never gave any problems and had great clearance over the 8.8’s of which I have had 4. 

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