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Dana 44 ID - Open or LS and other questions


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Just pulled off the diff cover today to see what’s going on in the 44 and I’m not sure what I’ve got. I personally think it’s an open diff, but I haven’t ever seen a D44 or any rear carrier like this in person before so I’m not entirely sure. Any help with this and any random codes I find on it would be greatly appreciated.
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1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

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That's an open carrier...

Yup, that’s what I thought. My old man was arguing about the fact that “Since it’s 4WD, the rear HAS to have a limited slip otherwise it isn’t 4WD!”


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD
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by that rationale if it had a posi it might be considered 3wd?  because it still needs a posi up front to be "4"wd. 

Yeah I haven’t even looked into the front axle yet. That big awkward beast is too much for me to deal with outside right now.

However, now that I know for sure this is an open diff - what’s a cheap way to get limited slip for both the 44 (and most likely the 30 too)? This is for a DD, so I don’t need anything super aggressive or fancy.


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD
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no way to get a cheap posi.  that requires replacing the carrier and re-setting up the gears.  might be a grand per axle.  but you can add lunchbox lockers into both for probably under 300 each.  :L: 

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1 hour ago, Dammerung said:


Yup, that’s what I thought. My old man was arguing about the fact that “Since it’s 4WD, the rear HAS to have a limited slip otherwise it isn’t 4WD!”


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD


iirc no dana 44 equipped MJ was 4wd

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So regear and limited slip may be out from what I’m planning, but what about general rebuilds, like kits for the 44 and the 30? Any specific brands to stick with?


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

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2 minutes ago, watchamakalit said:

That's false. My d44 came from a 4wd truck.

He meant LSDs or lockers front and rear. I almost made a similar comment. 

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4 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:


iirc no dana 44 equipped MJ was 4wd

 

you could absolutely have both :L:  the metric ton could be had with 4wd or you could order the 44 separately. 

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43 minutes ago, 89 MJ said:

He meant LSDs or lockers front and rear. I almost made a similar comment. 

I see, guess I misunderstood. My apologies

26 minutes ago, Pete M said:

 

you could absolutely have both :L:  the metric ton could be had with 4wd or you could order the 44 separately. 

Th truck my axles and 4wd parts came from was an MT. If I was aware at the time I would have snatched the springs too.

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Alright, yet another question I want to push past you guys. What about the Rodeo/Passport 44? Would the carrier inside that work with an mj/xj 44? And what about the disc brakes off a passport/rodeo - has anyone just looked to see if they’re compatible with the mj/xj 44?


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

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7 hours ago, Dammerung said:

Alright, yet another question I want to push past you guys. What about the Rodeo/Passport 44? Would the carrier inside that work with an mj/xj 44? And what about the disc brakes off a passport/rodeo - has anyone just looked to see if they’re compatible with the mj/xj 44?


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD


I wrote a whole thread on that in the diy section with all he details. In summary, brakes aren’t compatible. 97 and previous R&P and carrier will swap. 98+ are a 8.9” ring gear. 

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8 hours ago, Pete M said:

 

you could absolutely have both :L:  the metric ton could be had with 4wd or you could order the 44 separately. 

Good to know, I was thinking all metric tons were 2wd but I got it confused with being a long bed. All MT’s were long beds iirc right?

 

Just flew for the last 25 hrs and am a bit jet lagged lol. 

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2 minutes ago, ghetdjc320 said:

Good to know, I was thinking all metric tons were 2wd but I got it confused with being a long bed. All MT’s were long beds iirc right?

 

Just flew for the last 25 hrs and am a bit jet lagged lol. 

Yes that is correct to my knowledge. MT=longbed only (from the factory)

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19 hours ago, Dammerung said:


Yeah I haven’t even looked into the front axle yet. That big awkward beast is too much for me to deal with outside right now.

However, now that I know for sure this is an open diff - what’s a cheap way to get limited slip for both the 44 (and most likely the 30 too)? This is for a DD, so I don’t need anything super aggressive or fancy.


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

 

Personally, I'd leave the rear open and put a lunchbox up front. You're gonna be in 2wd most of the time and will rarely need the rear end to lock. A lunchbox locker at the rear can be tricky to drive on slick surfaces (you don't have your location but I assume it either rains/snows/ice/all of the above where you are, lunchbox style lockers can lock/unlock in turns with little warning) but with it only in the front, if you need traction, it's there when you shift into 4wd. 

Just my $0.02. I picked up a used Aussie locker for $125 and put it in my Dana 30 up front. A brand new one is $249 from http://rwkhaussupply.com/

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20 hours ago, Dammerung said:


Yeah I haven’t even looked into the front axle yet. That big awkward beast is too much for me to deal with outside right now.

However, now that I know for sure this is an open diff - what’s a cheap way to get limited slip for both the 44 (and most likely the 30 too)? This is for a DD, so I don’t need anything super aggressive or fancy.


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

Honestly for a DD there isn't really a reason to do anything.  Unless you plan to do some pretty hard offroading/rock crawling any form of lockers aren't going to do anything for you.  They can actually affect gas mileage depending on what you get and how it operates.  I would honestly say you'd be better off spending the money elsewhere on the truck if you aren't going to be really off-roading it, I hate to see you drop all that money because someone told you "it ain't real 4wd without a locker".  That's only true if you take the term 4wd literally, 4wd really just means power can be sent to all 4 wheels of the vehicle not necessarily all 4 wheels at the same time.  Open diffs on 4wd is pretty much standard it's usually an upgrade option for a locker or limited slip in any truck.  

 

If you want to do it, the cheap way is a lunchbox locker but those have a ratcheting sound when cornering and can cause some weird driving things according to some.  They are usually considered annoying for a DD.  Don't lunchbox the front is the general consensus that I have seen.  I've never used one so can't offer first hand experience.

 

The expensive options are just that, expensive and work well however if you aren't actually using them then it's a lot of money to blow.

 

You could limited slip the rear but again, decent chunk of change to drop for a DD since it won't really be utilized in normal driving.

 

I have open diffs front and rear in my 97+ swap truck and use it quite often off-road at the farm and never have gotten stuck, you just need to know the limitations and how to navigate with open diffs.  Same for the Suzuki, open diffs but I drive it like a side x side and have only gotten stuck high centering it.  The 92 I put a limited slip in it but that's being setup for autocross so it will actually be used.

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Honestly for a DD there isn't really a reason to do anything.  Unless you plan to do some pretty hard offroading/rock crawling any form of lockers aren't going to do anything for you.  They can actually affect gas mileage depending on what you get and how it operates.  I would honestly say you'd be better off spending the money elsewhere on the truck if you aren't going to be really off-roading it, I hate to see you drop all that money because someone told you "it ain't real 4wd without a locker".  That's only true if you take the term 4wd literally, 4wd really just means power can be sent to all 4 wheels of the vehicle not necessarily all 4 wheels at the same time.  Open diffs on 4wd is pretty much standard it's usually an upgrade option for a locker or limited slip in any truck.  
 
If you want to do it, the cheap way is a lunchbox locker but those have a ratcheting sound when cornering and can cause some weird driving things according to some.  They are usually considered annoying for a DD.  Don't lunchbox the front is the general consensus that I have seen.  I've never used one so can't offer first hand experience.
 
The expensive options are just that, expensive and work well however if you aren't actually using them then it's a lot of money to blow.
 
You could limited slip the rear but again, decent chunk of change to drop for a DD since it won't really be utilized in normal driving.
 
I have open diffs front and rear in my 97+ swap truck and use it quite often off-road at the farm and never have gotten stuck, you just need to know the limitations and how to navigate with open diffs.  Same for the Suzuki, open diffs but I drive it like a side x side and have only gotten stuck high centering it.  The 92 I put a limited slip in it but that's being setup for autocross so it will actually be used.


I’d want a limited slip just because it’d be nice to have, but I know that an open diff isn’t going to be all that bad either. For now, the plan is to just rebuild both axles with new brake systems and seals, and finish off the rest of the 4wd system (I’m missing the transfer case and the front drive shaft). After that, we’d get it all mounted up and eventually put in some expensive components depending on what I want to do with it in the future.


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD
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So in order to be able to use this axle, I’d want to “refurbish” it. But is it doable? As in, replacing the seals and most bearings that I could reach, but leaving the pinion bearing alone. I don’t want to just slap this and the D30 under my truck as-is, but I’m not sure where to start to actually clean it up and paint it.


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD

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Idk about the 44 but a 30 you can pull the carrier out and replace the seals pretty easily but you'll need the proper tool or make one to get them seated properly.  Don't do bearings unless they are bad because those require a press and setting the gears back up.  Just make sure when you take the carrier out you keep the retainers and bolts in the same orientation and location they came out of and be sure to keep any shims that come out in the same place they were.

 

Some axles you can do the pinion seal without having to pull it out or set gears back up but I can't remember if the 30 or the 44 are that way for sure.

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52 minutes ago, Dzimm said:

Idk about the 44 but a 30 you can pull the carrier out and replace the seals pretty easily but you'll need the proper tool or make one to get them seated properly.  Don't do bearings unless they are bad because those require a press and setting the gears back up.  Just make sure when you take the carrier out you keep the retainers and bolts in the same orientation and location they came out of and be sure to keep any shims that come out in the same place they were.

 

Some axles you can do the pinion seal without having to pull it out or set gears back up but I can't remember if the 30 or the 44 are that way for sure.

Pinion seal on the HP 30 is a 30min driveway job

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Idk about the 44 but a 30 you can pull the carrier out and replace the seals pretty easily but you'll need the proper tool or make one to get them seated properly.  Don't do bearings unless they are bad because those require a press and setting the gears back up.  Just make sure when you take the carrier out you keep the retainers and bolts in the same orientation and location they came out of and be sure to keep any shims that come out in the same place they were.
 
Some axles you can do the pinion seal without having to pull it out or set gears back up but I can't remember if the 30 or the 44 are that way for sure.

Good to know. I thought the seals wouldn’t need anything super special, but I figured if I needed to do bearings I could leave the pinion one alone if it’s still good because of the whole resetting the gears issue. On the carrier itself and the axles, it wouldn’t be too bad because I already have an old hydraulic press from my grandfather. But I didn’t know if redoing bearings on something like the carrier would require me to re-shim it with new shims.

Both of these axles have been sitting for the past 10 years doing nothing, so they may not be so bad (except for the ugly surface rust). And speaking of that rust, how should I go about dealing with it? I have a sandblaster, so could I just blast the rust away first, paint, and then redo seals?


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD
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7 hours ago, Dammerung said:


Good to know. I thought the seals wouldn’t need anything super special, but I figured if I needed to do bearings I could leave the pinion one alone if it’s still good because of the whole resetting the gears issue. On the carrier itself and the axles, it wouldn’t be too bad because I already have an old hydraulic press from my grandfather. But I didn’t know if redoing bearings on something like the carrier would require me to re-shim it with new shims.

Both of these axles have been sitting for the past 10 years doing nothing, so they may not be so bad (except for the ugly surface rust). And speaking of that rust, how should I go about dealing with it? I have a sandblaster, so could I just blast the rust away first, paint, and then redo seals?


1988 Jeep Comanche Pioneer
4.0 Liter w/ AW4 2WD


The shims for the carrier in an hp dana 30 *should* be under the bearings. As long as you keep the shims in the same location you won’t have to reset any gearing specs. A press isn’t really even needed. Done plenty of R&P swaps and locker installs without one. The trick is removing the old bearings. I have an actual bearing puller for rings and pinions that takes care of it in just a few seconds but if you don’t have the specialty puller it can be a pain. 

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