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Just How Strong Is A 58 Jeep CJ6 Dana 44 Rear Axle Housing?

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by fhoehle, May 17, 2018.

  1. May 17, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    I currently run the original rear axle housing that came with my CJ-6, just converted to full floater, Ford internal spline hubs and custom shafts. The CJ-6 is now around 4100LB total weight, tows trailers regularly, and has a Dana 44 front cut down from an IH Scout. How thick are the tubes on the old Jeep axle? I haven't ever bent one, but my CJ-6 is heavier than the average Jeep CJ, and tows on a much more regular basis. I am contemplating cutting down a Scout rear into an offset 44, but I hesitate to lose my full floater setup. I suppose my question is does anyone know the thickness of the Scout tubes vs. the 1958 Jeep tubes. I think the Scout tubes are 1/4 inch diameter bigger, but I am not sure of the thickness.
     
  2. May 17, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    I had a long response typed up, then remembered you're in the land of state inspections. My ideas are void out there because they involved wider options. Carry on. Subscribed with interest.

    :watch:
     
  3. May 17, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    I am a tight trails guy. I enjoy my narrow -6, so full width is out, but I have cut down a Dana 60 before, and used Dana 44 tubes cut down in a lathe, press fit into the Dana 60 housing to make a Scout rear to hold up to 392 IH power. It worked well, but was like any other Dana 60-heavy and hard on clearance. That Scout was using 36 inch rubber, but even then, it didn't allow much under the center of that big 60. I only use 33s on the CJ-6 so I am hesitating cutting down a 60 for that, although I may, just because, how many offset Dana 60s do you see? I definitely would have to do some grindering to it if I did.I think grindering is a word....
     
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  4. May 17, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    They came factory in a few J trucks. :sneak:
     
  5. May 17, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    Hmmmmmmm
     
  6. May 17, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    I'm still sorta in the process of narrowing a D44 from an Isuzu Rodeo to offset the pumpkin on the driver's side. I did the math when I started it and found the same section could be taken out of the pass side, and the offset-from-center would be the same as an early Cj5 axle, but the axle width would end up at 55" WMS to WMS (same as a Toyota front end), plus the bolt pattern was 6 on 5.5" (same as a Toyota front end).

    I love this axle because it is massive, it has disc brakes with drum parking brakes, are common with 4.10s (same as a Toyota.... see where I'm going with this?) :D

    But I didn't know if that extra 5" of width would be an issue for you.

    Edit: most came with trac-locs too.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  7. May 17, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    The 5 inches would be too much for me. I am at the edge of my flares now. Lol
    I'm looking possibly at just doing a centered rear and Dana 20 again. Mostly because my son blew up his dana18 with all the neck snapping horsepower of the fhead. Life is full of so many choices
     
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  8. May 17, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
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    Just go with a 71 offset flanged axle.
     
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  9. May 17, 2018
    Bowbender

    Bowbender I'm workin' on it! Sponsor

    Northern Minn.
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    How easy are those to obtain?
     
  10. May 17, 2018
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Member

    Cottonwood, Ca
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    If your worried about the axle tube strength, why don't you truss your dana 44? They were plenty strong enough diffs for 1/2 ton pickups. I'm sure that you aren't towing anything that you wouldn't hesitate to tow with a half ton truck.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. May 17, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
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    I have a couple in my backyard but I hunt them down. Not as many people looking to build old Jeeps anymore so not many people are looking for them anymore.
     
  12. May 17, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Axle

    Thickness/Size

    Dana 30

    2.500" x 0.250" wall

    Dana 35

    2.500" x 0.250" wall

    Dana 44 1/2 ton

    3.000" x 0.250" wall

    GM 10-bolt

    3.000" x 0.250" wall

    GM 12-bolt

    3.000" x 0.250" wall

    GM 14-bolt

    3.000" x 0.250" wall

    Ford 8.8

    3.250" x ?.???" wall

    Ford 9-inch

    3.000" x 0.250" wall

    Dana 60 rear

    3.125" x 0.313" wall

    Dana 44 front 3/4 ton

    2.750" x 0.500" wall

    Dana 60 front

    3.125" x 0.500" wall

    Dana 70 rear

    3.625" x 0.563" wall

    Dana 80 rear
     
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  13. May 17, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
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    upload_2018-5-17_19-53-22.png
     
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  14. May 18, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    As much as I have to lose the clearance, I think for the Jeeps obesity and the fact I tow things way heavier than I should, I am going to build an offset 60. The ring and pinion strength isn't the issue, I want the bigger axle tubes for safety reasons.
     
  15. May 18, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    For the amount of work you're going to have into narrowing a 60, any thought towards just re-tubing your 44 with thicker tubes?

    Or how about this... start with a 3/4 ton Ford D44 front axle (an older one with regular rotation), cut the tubes to the proper length, weld on your current 44's flanges, and slip your shafts in.
     
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  16. May 18, 2018
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Son, you're releaving yourself (*) in the dark :(


    You have no idea what the current axle will handle. You have provided no numbers on the trailer weight or tongue load.


    I think you should start by calculating exactly how much weight the axle will be subject to and proceed from there. Don't forget about frame & suspension - they need to handle the load as well.

    And brakes.

    And drivetrain.


    You could be dumping a lot of money into an overbuilt piece that the rest of your jeep can't match.

    Once you have realistic numbers then you can decide on what, if any, axle (& everything else) upgrade you need.



    Just my $.02

    H.


    *- I was going to put "pissing" but we don't allow that kind of language here
     
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  17. May 18, 2018
    Fly Navy

    Fly Navy Member

    Emerson, IA
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    I am a firm believer that, regardless of how heavy you tow, your suspension/springs will fail long before you bend an axle tube simply from towing. The only axles I've seen bend had been jumped and it was the momentum, of usually an unloaded vehicle, of coming down on the bump stops that did it. I've seen old 1/2 ton pickups and J-trucks WAY overloaded and the D44 never gave up... bent and broken springs yes, but never a axle failure. Until you are on the bump stops the odds of bending an axles are pretty small.

    FWIW, if you do tow as much as you say, my advice would be to spend money on brake upgrades to safely control the load before chasing bigger and "better" axles:)
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  18. May 18, 2018
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    For obesity?
    Pickups came with the dana44 in the rear and the trucks weighed way more than your jeep and most assuredly towed more. If your towing more than 2500lbs -3000lbs with your jeep on the road you need to stop it, thats kind of a safety issue. Unless your jumping your jeep the rear axle will hold up fine in stock form at least as far as the tubes are concerned.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  19. May 18, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    I'm no engineer, but I personally think it's a legitimate concern. I don't think it's fair to compare the setup of these axles to a full-size truck. The truck's spring pads are generally placed out closer to the tires, and the overall length of the axle is longer. This creates much less leverage on the center of the axle than on our jeeps that have 12(?)" of leverage outside the spring, and only 18" from the spring to the center of the axle. With the spring being the fulcrum, the leverage on the center of the axle will be much greater on the jeep than on the truck. I'd tend to think the same weight that would flex or fold a jeep axle would be fine in a pickup. The offset pumpkin isn't helping with stress points, either.



    Just my theory; any engineers are welcome to correct me if I'm way off.
    :poke: :watch:
     
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  20. May 18, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Humm.........calculating things? Now that may be a novel thought to many?
     
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