this has been debated 100 times that i have seen. it realistically comes down to how you use it. if your hardcore and wheel it with high power engines your gonna wanna stay around 35 inchers. if your babying the thing then you can run 44s. i myself have run 40s with a big block that was stout and wheeled as well with no breakage. of course most breakage can be prevented but not all. so wheel smart and you cna make the 44 live a bit longer.
For any hard wheeling I would say 35's, but if you're mostly pavement and the weekend off roader I would say 37's or 38's depending on the brand and how heavy they are( some are a lot heavier than others)
Well, I ran Super Swamper 44's with a Dana 44. Never broke a front end. I'm now running NEW 44's with a HD44. Still not broke a front end. Trashed three trannys two t-cases. Although I must admit I'm only using a 400 CI in the 75TD right now. In the near future I hope to have the 440 back in.
I am building 79 rc dana 60 full float rear dana 44 hd front np 435 ? the 4 sp with granny gear 440 np 203 full time tc. I mainley trail ride not a lot of heavy stuff. I think I will go with the plan if it breaks fix it.
What everyone else said. It depends on how you use it. I ran 40's on a Dana 44 but that was with a stock 318.
I'm not sure about the HD part though. Only difference I have seen is one has 5 lug nuts and the other has 8.
I doubt that the HD has thicker axle tubes, the only differences is three more lugs and a slightly larger diameter brake rotor. Strength-wise the 5 lug and 8 lug are about the same, however be warned! Some things are not as good. Full time unit hubs are not the strongest and some older Dana 44s could have skinny stub shafts.
With a front locker on my d44 i have broken 2 axels where the ujoint is . with 35s on the rocks. i went to chromoly axles and still have to replace a u-joint every once in a while. i might up grade the u-joint to ctm or ox and try 37.
Well I broke a ton of Dana 44's with open diffs or limited slips, hd or regular and have yet to break 1 dana 60 axle shaft. And my dana 60 is locked in the front and I do rocks alot.
How much ground clearance do you lose, an inch? You lose more then that airing down your tires. How much extra weight? 50 pounds, 100? That is carrying a bunch of tools in the back of your truck, or perhaps carring a fullsize spare.
A dana 60 is a way better axle for offroading then a dana 44.
He must be using some heavy duty lockouts, I have broken a lockout, which is really the weak link in the dana 60 front. I would rather replace a 50 dollar lockout (mine have lifetime replacement warranty so 0$) that takes less then 5 minutes to swap on the trail then have to pull the axle apart to replace the stub shaft.
I guess weight isn't an issue for me since I have a big block and my winch and bumper weigh about 150 lbs. You are right, 1" is a big difference, that is why they make tires any size you want to get them in There was a post on here about the actual clearance difference from a dana 44 and 60, if I remember right it was 3/4 of an inch. I lose about 2" just from airing down, does that mean I shouldn't? Not in my book.
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