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Jeep Axle: Dana 44

Rear Dana 44 '70 1/2 - '71 CJ-5

Front Axles

Dana 44
Dana 30
Dana 27
Dana 25

Rear Axles

Chrysler 8.25"
Dana 35c
AMC 20
Dana 30
Dana 60
Dana 53
Dana 44
Dana 41
Dana 23

Jeep Axles

Factory Options

Several variations of the Dana 44 have been used as the rear axle in Jeeps, all of them use a 8.5" ring and pinion. The Dana 44s with the two piece shafts are 19 spline or 27 spline and the versions wih the once piece shafts are 30 spline.

The R&P ratio ranges supported by the carriers are 2.87-3.73 and 3.92-5.89. Not all ratios are available for all the variations of the Dana 44.

CJ Dana 44

Before 1972 all CJ Dana 44s had an offset differential since the Dana 18 transfer case has the rear output shaft offset to the passenger side. Before mid 1970, they used a 19 spline or 27 spline, two piece axle shaft. After mid 1970, they used a superior 30 spline flanged axle shaft.

The Dana 44 was introduced in the CJ line on the CJ-3A starting with serial number #37549 (late '50). Earlier CJ-2As and CJ3As did not use the Dana 44.

Starting in 1972, the Dana 20 transfer case was used which has the rear output shaft centered, so the rear axle has the differential in the center. From 1972-1975 the Dana 44 was used with a 30 spline flanged axle shaft. This Dana 44 uses 11" drum brakes and the most common ratio is 3.73.

After '76, the AMC 20 was the the only axle used in CJs with two exceptions. Some CJ-7s with the Borg-Warner Quadra-Trac transfer case came with a 30 spline, one piece shaft, offset, narrow track Dana 44. The other exception is in 1986, when CJ production was coming to a close AMC 20s were in short supply, so they used wide track Dana 44s in some of the '86 models. Bolt on compatible with any '76-'86 CJ, but wider than earlier narrow tack AMC 20s. Use of the Dana 44 in 1986 began somewhere between serial numbers ending with 049379 and 054173. The axles were flanged and 30 spline. Common ratios were 2.73 and 3.31.

All CJ Dana 44s use a 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern.

Rear Dana 44 '70 1/2 - '71 CJ-5 Offset differential rear Dana 44 from '70 1/2 - '71 CJ-5. This version has one piece 30 spline shafts.
Dana 44 '72-'75 CJ-5 Center differential rear Dana 44 from '72-'75 CJ-5.

XJ and MJ Dana 44

The XJ and MJ are/were available with a Dana 44 with the heavy duty towing option or metric ton option. I'm not sure if the XJ always came with a Dana 44 when the towing option was ordered. The axles will interchange between the models and use a 5 on 4.5" wheel bolt pattern. This axle could also be a good low buck swap for a Wrangler YJ, but the sping perches would need to be moved. The shafts are one piece and 30 spline.

ZJ Dana 44

The ZJ Dana 44 is the only Jeep Dana 44 with an aluminum differential housing. It is also a C-clip axle with one piece shafts and a 5 on 4.5" wheel bolt pattern. Because of the aluminum housing and C-clips, it is not really any more desirable than a Dana 35c. The shafts are 30 spline.

TJ Dana 44

One of the great things about the new TJ is it can be ordered with a Dana 44 rear. The Dana 44 in the TJ uses one piece shafts with a 5 on 4.5" wheel bolt pattern. Common ratios are 3.07 and 3.55.

Other Dana 44

The Dana 44 used in the military M38, M38A1, M170, Willys Wagon, and Willys Pickup was the same was the version used in the CJ vehicles during that time period. Willys Pickup and FC trucks had a couple others optional rear axles used with models with higher GVW. The Dana 44 was the light weight model for the Willys Pickup and FC trucks. All these Dana 44s use a 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern.

The Dana 44 was standard in Wagoneers, full size Cherokees, and J series pickups. A wide track version was introduced for the Cherokee and Wagoneer in the 80s. The Cherokees and Wagoneers built from 1974 on use a 6 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern. Models built before 1974 used a 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern. Most rear ends before '74 use the weaker 2 piece shafts, but some of the later ones uses 1 piece shafts. The early Wagoneer and Cherokees used Dana 30 and Dana 27 front ends.

The Dana 44 used in the '72-'73 Jeepster Commandos with the one piece shafts is an excellent low buck swap from '76-'86 CJs. It bolts right on, has 30 spline one piece shafts, and is narrow track width.

Dana 44 from 50s Willys Wagon Dana 44 rear axle from 50s Willys Wagon. This Dana 44 uses 10 spline, two piece shafts. You can see the caps on the end of the shafts for the nut. It is much wider and uses wider spring perches than the CJ Dana 44.
Dana 44 '72 Commando Center differential rear Dana 44 from '72-'73 Commando. This version also has one piece 30 spline shafts and both shafts are the same length.

Model/Version Spring Pads Wheel to Wheel Years
Dana 44/CJ Narrow Track28" 50.5" '50-'75
Dana 44/M3828" 50.5" '50-'55
Dana 44/M38A128" 50.5" '50-'55
Dana 44/Willys WagonNA NA '50-'65
Dana 44/Willys PickupNA NA '50-'65
Dana 44/M17028" 50.5" '5?-'6?
Dana 44/FC TruckNA NA '57-'65
Dana 44/SJ Narrow TrackNA 59" '62-'81
Dana 44/Jeepster Commando36" 50.5" '62-'73
Dana 44/J Pickup Narrow TrackNA NA '63-'81
Dana 44/J Pickup Wide TrackNA NA '82-'87
Dana 44/SJ Wide TrackNA NA '82-'91
Dana 44/CJ Wide Track36" 54.5" '86
Dana 44/XJ NA 60 3/4" '84-
Dana 44/MJ NA NA '85-'92
Dana 44/ZJ NA NA '95-
Dana 44/TJ NA 60" '97-

*See verbage above for exclusions and descriptions.

Last modified Wednesday, 01-Dec-2010 09:14:59 MST

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TDHofstetter (12/23/2012)
Was the Dana 44 not also used for the CJ10 and CJ10A?

Scott (11/27/2012)
Will A narrow track Dana 30 front from a 79 Quadra Trac Jeep work as a swap in a 86 CJ 7 with a four speed and Dana 300 transfer case

Deesnutz (7/25/2012)
What is the wheel to wheel width of the 80s Wagoneer rearends?

Gene (10/6/2011)
I wouild like to change the gear ratio on my 55 M38A1, right now it is 5.38 to 1 I would like to change it to 4.27 or 4.88 to 1 is it possible

Patrick (9/27/2011)
I am the original owner of a "late" model '86 CJ7. Serial # 39,XXX. Condition is near perfect, still have the original tires wheels soft top etc...
Case in point is the rear diff. Vehicle shipped with a rear Dana 44. Hope this info helps in determining the serial number ranges for Dana 44's.

Melvin (5/10/2011)
I've got a set of axles out of a 91 SJ (d44 front and rear) I went and got the wild idea to rip the guts (ie: carrier, ring and pinion) out of an isuzu rodeo and honda passport. Now I think that the ones in the Isuzu are the "HE" version or something weird like that because the pinion shaft was much bigger than the one out of the SJ and none of the bearings match the races and the races out of the isuzu are about half an inch bigger than the SJ's inner pinion race. I'm just confused as to how I can make this work... any suggestions?

Garfield (4/14/2011)
I need to find someone who does heavy duty towing near my home. My car broke down and I didn't know of any service, so I used the one the insurance company "recommended." It cost me a fortune.

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