Dana 44

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The Dana/Spicer Model 44 is an automotive axle manufactured by Dana Corp. and is used extensively among automobile manufacturers and in the automotive aftermarket area as well. The Dana 44 was first manufactured in the 1940s and is still being manufactured today, both front and rear axle variants. The Dana 44 has been manufactured as a beam axle and independent suspension for both front and rear axle setups. There are also different variations of the Dana 44. Over a dozen automobile manufacturers have made vehicles that feature Dana 44 axles, including Jeep which currently manufactures Four-wheel drive vehicles that feature both front and rear Dana 44 axles.

Dana 44, Rear, in a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

General specifications[edit]

  • Ring Gear measures 8.5 inches (216 mm)
  • Ring Gear measures 8.9 inches (226 mm)
  • OEM Inner axle shaft spline counts are 10, 19, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 35
  • Pinion shaft diameter: 1.375" (most dana 44's) 1.625" (JK rear 8.9" dana 44's)
  • Pinion shaft splines and spline diameter: 26/1.12" (most dana 44's post 1970), 24/1.25" (JK), 10/1.12" (early pre 1970 dana 44's)
  • Gear ratios range from 2.72:1 to 5.89:1
  • Carrier break: 2.72:1 – 3.73:1 and 3.92 – 5.89:1.

On some differentials only the high speed 2.72–3.73 carrier is used for all gear sets up to 5.89 (JK, Nissan or when thick gears are used)

  • Axle Shaft diameter
    • 1.175” Front outer (19 Spline)
    • 1.20” Rear (10 Spline)
    • 1.30” Rear (19 Spline)
    • 1.31” Front inner (30 Spline)
    • 1.31” Rear (30 Spline)
    • 1.41" Rear (32 Spline)

Front Dana 44 solid axle[edit]

The Dana 44 Front axle first saw use in the 1950s and still in use today. Dana 44 Front axles were known for utilizing locking hubs or a center axle disconnect system. However, a permanently locked-in Dana 44 is not uncommon. The Dana 44 has seen use in 1/4-, 1/2-, 3/4-, and 1-ton rated trucks. The Dana 44 was manufactured in kingpin and ball joint variations, as well as closed and open knuckle variations.

Independent front suspension (IFS) Dana 44 axle[edit]

In the 1960s, Jeep used a unique Dana 44 IFS setup, that was short lived. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ford used a form of IFS known as "Twin Traction Beam" (TTB). This Dana 44 had no axle tubes but attached to the driver side traction beam, which also acted as a cover plate, and had "open air" axles which traveled through the beams to the spindles. The axles had u-joints to allow for the independent action of the beams. Individual pivot points for the beams at greater than center made each beam longer than half the overall width crossing in the middle. This allowed for an independent front suspension design. Ford TTB Dana 44 axles all utilized locking hubs. The TTB set-up is based on Ford's highly successful Twin I-beam design on two-wheel-drive pick-up truck models.

Rear Dana 44 solid axle[edit]

Dana 41[edit]

The Dana 41 was the precursor to the Dana 44 and was used from the 1930s to the 1950s. The ring gear on the Dana 41 is near one inch smaller than a Dana 44.

Dana 44[edit]

The Dana 44 rear axle first saw use in the 1940s and is still in use today. The Dana 44 has a GAWR up to 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) and is a semi-floating type, having one bearing on the end of the axle shaft which carries the weight of the vehicle on the axle and also allows axle rotation.

There is an 8.9" diameter Dana 44 ring and pinion that is very different from the standard Dana 44. This ring and pinion is significantly stronger with a better pinion to ring gear tooth contact patch and angle. It was typically used in the back of jeep JKs, Isuzus and Nissan pickups. This ring and pinion does share some components and can be adapted into an earlier Dana 44 but requires some work, different bearings and spacers. The benefit is the larger ring gear, better angle cut on the teeth and Dana 60 diameter pinion shaft.

The Dana Spicer Max momentary output torque FT-lbs

  • Low pinion Dana 44 30 spline............3460 [ft/lbs]
  • High pinion Dana 44 30 spline...........4170 [ft/lbs]
  • Low pinion rear 8.9" Dana 44 32 spline..5340 [ft/lbs]

Dana 45[edit]

The Dana 45 was introduced during the 1950s as an upgraded Dana 44 with larger 20 spline axle shafts. Since the Dana 45 is no longer being made you can use the Dana 44 gears in the Dana 45 housing if you use model 53 pinion bearings and lots of shims.

Independent rear suspension (IRS) Dana 44 axle[edit]

1963 Jaguar E-Type. Dana 44 Rear

The Dana 44 has seen use in Chevrolet Corvettes and Dodge Vipers. This axle is referred to as a Dana 44 ICA or Dana 44 IRS. Some 1985–1996 Chevrolet Corvette C4 featured this axle. A rear transaxle was used starting with the Corvette C5. The 2005–06 Pontiac GTO, The Dodge Viper has always used a Dana 44 IRS setup. The majority of Corvette and Viper Dana 44 IRS set ups use a limited slip differential.

Jaguar first used the Dana 44 in an IRS in 1961 for the Jaguar E-type as well as other models. It was used through 1996 (Jaguar IRS Article). There are some differences in the Jaguar Dana 44, however. The differential (possibly the entire axle assembly) was made by Salisbury, a U.K. division of Dana Corporation. The ring gear in the Salisbury version uses slightly smaller mounting bolts and the pinion shaft is a different diameter than the common version. Naturally the cast housing is also unique to the IRS model. Standard 8.5" Dana 44 ring and pinion gear can be used in the IRS model through the use of a special installation kit which includes special shouldered bolts to mount the standard ring gear to the IRS carrier and a special pinion bearing set to fit the standard pinion shaft to the IRS housing. Gear distributors with knowledge of the Jag IRS should be able to get the installation kit. US Dana 44 gears a slightly stronger than Jaguar gears, and Jaguar gears higher priced, but once the installation kit price is added to the lower US gear prices cost is about the same. If Jaguar makes the needed gear ratio there isn't much difference in strength. The consensus in the hot rodding community is that the Jaguar IRS is good for up to 500 hp from the factory. Most V-12 Jaguar and E-type six-cylinder models used limited slip versions, other models (mainly the XJS) used a standard differential stock with limited slip as an option.

Dana 36[edit]

A Dana 36 IRS was used in all Corvettes in 1984 and automatic transmission equipped Corvettes from 1985 to 1996. The Dana 36 has a ring gear diameter of 7.75 inches (197 mm), and has gear ratios ranging from 2.53:1 to 3.31:1.

Common applications[1][edit]

Front Axle

Dodge

  • 1974–1993 Ramcharger (Passenger side)
  • 1980–2001½ Ton (W150/1500) (Pass. side 1980-1993, Driver Side 1994-2001½)
  • 1988–1995¾ Ton (2500 Light Duty) (Pass. side 1988-93, Driver Side 1994-1995½)
  • 1972–1980 (w200) (Passenger side)

Ford

  • 1959–1979½ Ton (F-100/F-150/F-250) (Driver side)
  • 1980–1996½ Ton (F-150, TTB) (Driver side)
  • 1959–1987¾ Ton (F-250 light duty, TTB 1980-1996½) (Driver side)
  • 1974–1979 Bronco (Driver side)

International Harvester

  • 1975–1980 Scout II (4X4)
  • 1974 Travelall (100 4X4)
  • 1969–73 1200/1210 4X4 Pickup/Travelall (closed knuckle HD)
  • 1974–75 200 4X4 Pickup/Travelall (open knuckle HD)

Jeep

  • 1967–1973 Jeepster Commando and Commando
  • 1974–1991 Wagoneer
  • 1974–1983 SJ
  • 2003–2014 TJ JK Wrangler Rubicon
  • 1987–2001 Venezuelan XJ (Front and Rear)

Rear Axle

Jeep

  • 2003–2014 Wrangler Rubicon
  • 2006–2010 Grand Cherokee SRT8
  • 2004–2006 Wrangler "LJ" Unlimited
  • 1997–2006 Wrangler (optional: available starting 7 July 1997)
  • 2007–2010 Wrangler (optional on 2007, standard '08-present)
  • 1987–1990 XJ (Tow Package)
  • 1987–1992 MJ (Big-Ton/Burly Package)
  • 1986 CJ-7
  • 1996–2004 ZJ/WJ Grand Cherokee (Aluminum center section, referred to as the 'D44A')

International Harvester

  • 1971½–1980 Scout II
  • 1974 Travelall (100 4X4)

Isuzu

  • 1993–2004 Rodeo (Honda Passport, Holden Frontera)
  • 1994–1997 Rodeo (Honda Passport)

Nissan

  • 2004–2007 Titan (32 Spline)
  • 2008–Present Titan (35 Spline)
  • 2005–Present Frontier/Xterra SE/SV V6 4X4, NISMO Off-Road (Manual Transmission Only) and all Pro-X models (Auto and Manual Transmissions)

Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero

  • 2000–2010 installed in some of the Venezuelan Dakar models.

Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)

Corvette

  • 1985–1996 C-4

Pontiac

  • 2005–2006 – GTO

Dodge

  • 1992–present Viper

Jaguar

  • 1961–1975 E-type
  • 1961–1965 Mark X
  • 1963–1968 S-type
  • 1966–1970 420G
  • 1966–1969 420/Daimler Sovereign
  • 1968–1992 XJ6
  • 1968–1992 XJ12
  • 1975–1996 XJS
  • 1986–1994 XJ40

Note: there was a change in design of the Jaguar IRS after 1985. The 61–84 unit is in a stamped steel "cage" that is self-contained and easily removed as a single unit (see photo in this article). This makes it relatively easy to adapt to other vehicles. The 1986 and later unit uses a subframe/lower wishbone design that is not easily adaptable to other vehicles.


  1. ^ Incomplete list. Common applications only.

External links[edit]