1976 High Pinion Dana 44 Front Axle Buildup


Buildup Cost:

Part/Item Purchased Price Location
Complete, disk to disk, HP44 axle from a '76 F-150 1/2 ton. Brake calipers, rotors, and radius arms included. One Warn Premium manual locking hub and one OEM manual locking hub. -$41.98 Pull-N-Save
Cheap-o snap ring plier set. -$6.39 Tool King
Sears snap ring plier to replace Cheap-o ones. -$26.64 Sears
K-D Tools 2-3/8" spindle nut socket, 1/2" drive. Needed 2-1/4", but this will do. -$6 Pawn shop
3ft long, 1/2" diameter, threaded steel rod, (2) flat 2" OD washers (1/2" ID), and (3) 1/2" nuts. Used to remove inner axle seals. -$7.68 Ace Hardware
Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2" drive air impact wrench -$57 eBay
K-D tools brake cylinder hone (21-69mm, 13/16" - 2-3/4") -$8.94 eBay
Adjustable crescent wrench, 1-5/16" max opening -$2.17 Harbor Freight
     
TOTAL: -$156.80  

Parts to Buy:

High steer components (from Mr.N's Dana Axle Articles):

5 on 5.5" bolt pattern: Use a mix of Chevy/FSJ and Ford parts. You'll need a Chevy or Full Size Jeep Dana 44 flat top knuckles, spindle, caliper mount plate and outer axle shaft from a 73-76, see chart for exact years and BOM. To convert these to the Ford 5 on 5.5" (also the same bolt pattern as a Jeep CJ, Scout II and many other vehicles) you'll need a 1976-1984 or 1987-1995 Ford hub, rotor and bearing. My suggestion is use 76-79 parts, but you can use an 80's Ford IFS Dana 44 (minus 1986 and some 85 as they had a unique style.) Pull the hub with the bearings, rotor and lock-out. Any standard Dana 44 1/2 ton or Chevy 1/2 ton 10 bolt axle lock outs should work, and spare are always good.

8 on 6.5" bolt pattern: Chevy parts: Grab a Chevy or Full Size Jeep Dana 44 knuckles and outer axle shaft. To convert these to 8 on 6.5" you'll need to find a 3/4 ton disk brakes Chevy truck (note some Chevy 1 tons ran a Dana 44 from 73-78). It can be running a Dana 44 (73-80) or a Chevy 10 Bolts (77-87) as these parts interchange! From the 3/4 ton truck you'll need the Spindle, Caliper mounting plate, Caliper, disk brake Rotor, Hub with lug nuts and lockout. Also grab the outer axle shaft, as all Chevy Dana 44's with the 5-297x style u-joint run the same outer shaft. Now you've the parts, make it work!!

Part/Item Estimated Price
Ball Joints (for '76 Chevy K10 4wd pickup steering knuckle):
Upper ball joint Spicer part # 500-1070, Moog part # MOG-K8194T ($30/ea):
Lower ball joint Spicer part # 505-1156, Moog part # MOG-K8195T ($22/ea)
Spicer - ??
Moog - $104
Spicer 5-760x u-joints, $22/ea (x2) $44
Warn Premium locking hubs, part # 20990 $80
Spicer 4.88 reverse spiral Dana 44 gears $175
Spicer Dana 44 carrier (3.92 & up) OR locker $60
ARB Air Locker $780
Detroit Locker $530
Dana 44 master install kit $90
Bearings & seals:
Inner bearing - Timken SET37, LM603049 (2, $15.99/ea)
Outer bearing - Timken SET45, LM501349 (2, $10.99/ea)
Inner wheel seal - Timken 4250 (2, $5.99/ea)
Inner axle seal (no outer) - Spicer 36352 (2, $13.99/ea)
 
1.25" X .250" DOM tubing, 10ft ($6/ft). $60
Bracket kit OR MAKE. $300
Crane High Clearance cover $200

Special Tools Needed:

To-Do

Progress

8-8-05: Removed upper ball joint nuts using an adjustable crescent wrench capable of opening to 1-5/16".

8-6-05: Removed pinion gear from housing using impact wrench and 1-1/4" socket (1/2" drive). Tapped inner bearing race out, but damaged existing shims - will use a brass drift next time. Having hard time removing outer bearing race.

8-3-05: Removed inner axle seals out by using a 3ft long, 1/2" diameter, threaded steal rod with some flat washers (ground down to 1.75" OD) attached to the end via nuts - 10 good whacks with a hammer and the seals popped right out. Most likely they were the original seals (Spicer p/n 36352-2) - slight rust noticed. Also cut off radius arm mounts and ground down the axle tubes.

8-2-05: Removed carrier from housing, having difficulty removing inner axle seals.

8-1-05: Got everything off the ends (lockout hubs, spindle nuts, hub & rotor, spindle, caliper & caliper bracket) except for the steering knuckles (need 1-5/16" socket to remove upper ball joint nuts). Noticed the passenger side steering knuckle studs are fubar - had to cut some threads off to get nuts off. Pulled the axle shafts and removed the u-joint from short side shaft - will replace outer shaft with Chevy outer to use flat top knuckle.

Links

Front Dana 44 master overhaul kit from Jeff's Bronco Graveyard ($230 + s/h).