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If I swap in manual hubs can I install a one piece axle shaft and leave the empty CAD cover on the axle tube?  Seems a stronger option than locking the CAD.  New guy, reading up, havent douns this option discussed yet. 
 

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I think its a chevy shaft that works in the 8-lug D44. The 5-lug diff needs a longer one.
 

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You need to look at how the CAD seals, some sealed out at the end of the tube, others at the CAD unit.  Chevy 44s sealed like a regular non CAD axle with both seals at the diff.  There is no provision for this on dodge axles.  You may get lucky if yours seals at the end of the tube but if it seals at the CAD housing you will not get it to seal because the chevy axle shaft is smaller that the CAD shaft.  Do a search on here, it’s been tried and didn’t work.
 

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