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build your own full float dana 44?

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by 47v6, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Jan 6, 2015
    47v6

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    First off, there is nothing wrong with my tapered dana 44. For what i do it will be fine forever. That being said, I like to make stuff. Probably a whole lot like you guys.

    I have a full size bridgeport clone and a full size clausing lathe. Neither has any DRO of any kind. I am NOT a machinist. I have NO training. I use these big tools as a hobby for fun so those of you who do this for a living, please keep this in mind.

    From my Dana 30 project where i just reused the spindles and hubs from the dana 25, they were interchangeable minus the locking hubs, I have a set of Dana 30 drum hubs and spindles. The idea of installing the spindles and hubs on the dana 44 axle is fairly simple. I just need to machine the spindle down to a slight interference fit into the bearing recess of the tapered Dana 44.

    this brings me to the sticking point, axle shafts.

    My idea is to get one of the readily available lunchbox lockers. I believe they are 30 or 27 spline right? I could order some ready made shafts from a supplier that you guys have experience like Herm and spend the big money and be done with it or.... maybe i could just buy any full size 30 spline axle, cut to the correct length, cut 10 splines to accept my 10 spline drive flanges or dualmatic or warn locking hubs ,that I already own, on my bridgeport and only spend whatever it cost for the axle shafts?

    Do i use front long side axle shafts from a wagoneer or maybe some GM product? Have another source? I don't really need CrMo shafts for what i do.

    Im sure many of you have done this before. Got any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. Jan 6, 2015
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    Most of the FF kits of the time supplied axles with 19 inner and 27 outer.
    You can order whatever you want in that category.
    But I think the above work just fine..at least for me.
    The Dana 30 locking hubs and drive flanges will be 27 spline.
    No need to overthink or overcomplicate that aspect.

    I don't think you need superman axles either...once the vehicle weight is off the axle, the game changes.

    my 0.2 worth
     
  3. Jan 6, 2015
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

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    http://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,catalog,436,partnum,ZAW39529,d,USA_STANDARD_GEAR_ZAW39529.html this axle is for a 1974 chevy blazer with a d44 front long side 120 bucks. they are CrMo.
    this axle is 1.31 in diameter, 30 splines, over 36" long. seems like this would work for the full float and all I would need to do is cut to length and then cut 10 splines for the drive flange or locking hubs. Am I missing something here? Herm wants 420 bucks for the axles. This may not be a bad price, but I like to save money and learn stuff like how to cut splines. Other than the axles, i have everything i need.

    why should I not do this?
     
  4. Jan 6, 2015
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Have a look at vernco.com, he built a DIY FF using a drill press & a Kellogs Cornflakes box.

    I'm not kidding.

    H.
     
  5. Jan 6, 2015
    47v6

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    That site is flagged for having malware. Warning pops up stating such.
     
  6. Jan 6, 2015
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I got the same thing yesterday when trying to access the vernco site.
     
  7. Jan 6, 2015
    47v6

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    I just read on a machining site this great freaking idea.
    "Post
    emj, try this and no indexer required. I will leave it up to you to find a cutter with the proper profile. Horizontal would be my preference but either, with the right cutter will do. You will have to anneal the shaft because they are case hardened. That is unless you can get a carbide cutter. Cut the splined end off an existing shaft that matches what you want to do. Cut your new blank shaft 1" longer than the finished shaft and weld in place the splined stub end to end. Try to get it as close as possible in alignment but it is not critical. Clamp this on your mill table and simply rotate for each grove and follow the pattern of the old stub. Start your cutter in the grove of the old stub adjust for fit between the ridges as you cut. Take your time and you will have a perfect matching spline. When you are finished you cut that 1" extra of along with the weld and the old stub. I use to do this to 5 ton truck rear ends when we adapted them for use as tugs at the airport. A note, when you are welding the stub to your blank. make sure the weld is machinable. Rods like 7018 play hell with the cutter and alignment. We use to send our shortened shafts out for heat treating after but we anealed them ourselves with a torch and in tub of silica sand."

    brilliant

    This idea would work great if the outside splines were 10 spline. I could use a keyway cutter or an undersized carbide end mill, cut bottom then either side to match. Involute splines or really any other than the 10 spline are beyond what i feel capable of doing, plus would defeat the cost saving nature of reusing the locking hubs or drive flanges from the dana 25.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  8. Jan 6, 2015
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Yeah, me too. :(

    I sent him an email to see if he knows about it.

    H.
     
  9. Jan 6, 2015
    torque

    torque New Member

    Iowa
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    What I am going to try for a 44 full float setup is to use the axles from the rear dana 60 out of an IH 3/4 ton pickup. I don't need lockouts on the back and the flange of the IH axle shaft is 6 bolt (every one else is 8 bolt) so it will be easy to turn to cj drive flange diameter and re drill to match the hub. My carrier is 19 spline so I will need to turn the shaft to size and length to fit through the spindles (I think I can make this work??) then either cut splines in the mill Vern style or send them out at around $60 each for splines. Think this will work?
     
  10. Jan 7, 2015
    47v6

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    I have no clue if your idea will work, but I have a listing of lengths of axle shafts for front D44.http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gene...-axle-shaft-lengths-all-spicer-1967-02-a.html This gives the diameter, length, and spline count. I plan on cutting off the yoke on a front axle and cutting in 10 splines. this is probably not the best thing in the world but should hold up especially comparing it to the tiered axle i am running now and will most likely never have issue with. If i was to keep the open differential I would just try and buy one wagon long side and reuse one long side on my existing d44 to make the modification and be out only the price for one axle shaft. I had one too that I scrapped complete. Never throw out anything ever. horde everything.

    So, for me the idea is to spend 300 bucks or so on a 30 spline Ox locker or an aussie locker, buy 2 ,120 buck long front d44 axle shafts from a mid 70's chevy, cut off the yoke and to the correct length, cut splines and install. My issue is that these axle shafts are 1.31 in diameter. I need to see if they will fit in the locker and through the spindle. I need to take apart my spare tapered d44 and measure a bunch of stuff. I bet at least one of you guys have already done this legwork.

    I wonder if D44 axles are the same across different manufacturers. I did not see any differentiation in my cursory search last night to make and model when looking at lunchbox lockers. If that is the case then this should work together...
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  11. Jan 7, 2015
    jeepermc

    jeepermc Member

    Western WA
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    I have a couple full float shafts (19 inner/27 outer) for an offset Dana 44 sitting next to my desk if you need anything measured off an old school shaft.
     
  12. Jan 7, 2015
    47v6

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    Thank you.

    I just read through 6 pages of posts since 2006 about this. There are innumerable people who have bought kits and installed them. No one has any pics or how to on making their own axle shafts except mr vernco. There is all manner of ford hubs and internal splines, talk of broken lockout hubs and pontificating, but no one says....

    "I used X shaft and cut the splines to make it work".

    So, what I see is dana 44 lunchbox lockers that are for 27 or 30 spline but seem to work on any model D44 irrespective of age or manufacturer of vehicle. The inner splines are 1.31 in diameter. This is telling me that i can order any 30 spline axle shaft of the length I need and that end will work in the case side of the shaft. all i need to do then is cut it to length, and replicate a d25 outer shaft spline profile.

    Am i missing something here? Aside from the machining of the splines the machine work is pretty rudimentary. Using a boring bar for the length of the inside of the spindle might pose a hot minute of challenge to make it even if thats what I have to do.

    come on guys anyone ever do this without BUYING the kit?
     
  13. Jan 8, 2015
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Find and F250 front axle, I know that the F150 versions are tapered along the shaft, so the diameter changes. F250 shafts from the 70's thru 80's do not taper. This may help with finding a boneyard source to keep your expenses down.
     
  14. Jan 8, 2015
    47v6

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    thank you Mr. Low

    I was wondering about the taper along the shaft. I may need to either cut the inside of the spindle to allow the shaft to go through or the shaft itself. I was looking at long side blazer front shafts from 1975 or so. they are a little over 36 inches in length. online they are 65 bucks for used ones. 30 spline inner. I will look at the f250 shafts today.

    The part I see is for 1972ish F250 right inner. it is 1.31 OD, 30 spline inner, 34.94 OAL and part number might be 207490-3&4. I am having trouble wi the ford parts. Seems they like to change things mid year and every other year and used D60 axles. Don't know if the chart I posted is accurate in that respect for spline count and OD for the D60.

    I just measured a complete outer Rzeppa joint with the drive flange and nut still attached thats in my pile. this spline profile is what i will be replicating on the new shaft. The outside splines are a little under 1.25 and the area that rides in the brass/bronze bearing in the spindle is 1.247 or so. I doubt that the axle shafts for a full size blazer are going to neck down to less than 1.25 from 1.31. Anything is possible though, but I think I'm going to buy those used blazer axles shafts anyway today.

    The outer shaft on all of these is 1.25, so i may have to machine the shaft to work with the d25, 27 or 30 spindles. These do not have the same strength as the disk ones, so boring these to 1.35~1.40 might be bad. Heck, this might all be bad, but its cold and I have a hobby machine shop in my basement that i need to use.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  15. Jan 8, 2015
    47v6

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    I just ordered used axle shafts from http://www.quad4x4.com. 65 bucks a piece and 33 bucks shipping. Thats half price of new. These shafts are from a 1975 blazer front D44 long side. Part number 29833-1x or 2x I think one is short and the other is long. they are 36.13 OAL with 30 spline and 1.31OD at the splines. I make the assumption that the lunchbox locker for any D44 that is 30 spline is also 1.31OD at the splines.
     
  16. Jan 8, 2015
    jeepermc

    jeepermc Member

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    1.31" is standard for Dana 44 30 spline and even Dana 60 30 spline. The long one is 31 3/16 and the short one is 22 13/16. Shiny surface is 1.249. Necks between t splines and seal surface to 1.184.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jan 8, 2015
    47v6

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    Thank you. That should help me.
     
  18. Jan 21, 2015
    47v6

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    first off I want to link the thread with the good info about lockers for this axle.

    http://www.earlycj5.net/forums/showthread.php?112323-Choices-on-lockers

    I started the tear down of my spare D44 axle assembly. I didn't have a hub puller, bent one. I have no intention of using it anyway, so i don't really care. I ended up removing the brake drum and shoes, then removed the bolts that hold the bearing flange for the axle in. I used a punch and a BFH through one of the bolt holes to drive the hub and axle assembly out of the housing. these axles are 19 spline as expected. This would not be possible on a D41 since the hub and drum are essentially an assembly.
    [​IMG]

    The ratio of the gears is 5.38 and they were manufactured in 1960. Someone took a lot of time to clean and paint this axle red. That is the only reason i didn't put this one in my jeep. Because its red. I hate axles that are painted a random color.
    [​IMG]

    These are the new to me axle shafts for the conversion. They are from a 1975 or so, Chevy blazer front d44 long side. they are a little over 36 inches long. The diameter of the 30 spline side outside of the splines is 1.29. The shaft diameter in the center is 1.34. My spindles have a ID of 1.24. A minimum of 10 thousandths will need to either come out of the spindles or off the shaft where the new splines will be cut.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  19. Jan 21, 2015
    47v6

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    I know I had every intention of cutting my own 10 splines on these axles, and I may still do that, but Moser will cut splines for a set of axles at 125 bucks. Thats not a lot of money to exchange for a lot of work on my part. I can also get the 27 splines that people tell me I should get. 160 bucks for these axles shipped and then moser respline at 125 puts me at 185 bucks plus some more shipping. That will still be half what Herm wants. When I look at all the work involved, Herms axle set price seems relatively fair. I will still need to do plenty of machine work on the spindles and probably cut the axle shafts to size and facing them square before either sending them off or cutting splines myself. There is really no possibility of me cutting my own 27 spline ends. 10 spline, maybe.. but no way for 27 spline.

    The next step is to either get a case that is able to accept 30 spline spiders or a selectable locker for a lot more money. I can then try and set up the axles and send them out for machining or try and do it myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  20. Jan 21, 2015
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

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    Do not cut and face the axles first. They need something concentric to set the axles up from. The original centers are the best place to do that from. Axle forgings are seldom perfectly concentric on the outside diameter. They will cut and machine them to the length needed.
     

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