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This forum is a ghost town in the cloud. Pretty quiet around here lately. I was going to wait to start this thread because it has been a long term project, but now I guess is the time.

My Jeep had been capable and faithful, that is until the injectors in my engine took a dive. The biggest problem with that is that all the replacements are Chinese crap and only last a couple of months. $200/month in injectors sounds like a car payment to me, so time to upgrade. The plan is to get into something that GM will support more than ten years. That means a V8 that starts with the letter "L".

So, my Dana 35 has been faithful, even locked and in the rocks. But it is not going to stand up 400 horsepower. Hence, the quest for the perfect Dana 44 rear axle. I ran across an old hippy that had been driving a 78 Scout II that had been rear ended by a semi truck. Uber miling didn't pay off in this case, It was flipped end over end, threw him out and caused permanent brain damage. Not sure what he smoked didn't contribute. Anyway, he parted out the engine, trans and transfer case and was left with a shell with a bent frame and a very wrinkled body. And he needed to get rid of it. So I made him a deal and for $200 I got the axles and hauled the wreck to the scrap yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So here is what I got, two axles and a steering box
 

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Dang, hate to see a Scout wrecked like that. Heckuva deal for you though. Is this the axle project we've been waiting for from you? How set on an LS are you (just curious)? Can't wait for updates.
 

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Next, I need some good parts. I scored two FREE Spartan lunchbox lockers. I joined a site Where 2 Wheel which has a map of the US and trail descriptions and locations. You got points for posting new trails etc, so why not. Since I was virtually one of a few west coast members, I posted 166 trails that I either have been on or knew of. First raffle I scored a Bubba Rope, which is very cool. Second raffle a $500 gift certificate which I used for lockers.
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Dang, hate to see a Scout wrecked like that. Heckuva deal for you though. Is this the axle project we've been waiting for from you? How set on an LS are you (just curious)? Can't wait for updates.
 

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As far as LS or LT goes, very set. I already have the trans for an LS1 in it. So, as far as the numbers go, it will all start with the number 1. But since I don't want to do this again, I want a rig I can afford to drive. According to the local hot rod shop, I can expect at least 22 miles per gallon with an LS1. I plan on doing something more than technical wheeling so I am going for the long term solution
 

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Wow, I'm still stuck on the fact that you've been on a Dana 35. I scared I'm gonna break an axle on my 8.25 (27 spline) first time out with these 35's.
 

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It has treated me well. But I have the non C clip version, which is much more durable
 

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Good for you, doesn't make me feel any better. Just kidding. I'm glad it served you well. What had a non c-clip 35?
 

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The early D35s were non C clip. It wasn't until Chrysler started building XJs that they figure they could put all the external stuff on cheaper, including axle shafts. The C doesn't mean C clip, it means it was Chrysler assembled
 

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The axle shaft strength is supposed to be slightly weaker on the D35. The biggest problem with the D35 is the housing flexes and pops off the C clip. The 8.25 has a much stronger housing so that generally doesn't happen
 

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Time to get on to more of the fun stuff. I scraped it down and popped off the rear diff cover to see what was hiding inside. What I found was not an open diff, but a very worn out track lock. That wasn't what I had in mind, so out it came
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Gears don't look too bad, Are you replacing everything? How hard are parts to find?
 

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Yes, I am replacing the gears. I want the same ratio I have now. 4.10. So IO bought a new carrier and of course had to see what it looks like with a shiny new locker. But for some reason, the pic won't upload.

To answer your question, the D44 has been around since WWII and still has an aftermarket as good as one for a D60. So stay tuned for some twists and turns :devilish:
 

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That's the same axle I will be building for my Xj, they say they are pretty stout. Because they are norrower. The only thing I'm concerned with is having to run spacers. I'm not going over 33"s and I'll keep checking them.
 

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I hear a lot of horror stories about spacers. I ran 1.25" spacers over 5 years. I checked the lug nut torque when I installed them then every 100 miles, a few times, then every 500 miles. Then when I rotated. I even changed the studs when I got new wheel bearings cause I thought they were too short. 95-100 ft-lbs. I never had a problem. I think people start having problems when they go upwards of 2". I don't think I would. YMMV.
 

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I have 1.5" spacers now that I have run for years. Never a problem
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I think most of the issues are from having someone work on the rig other than the owner and things are not torqued with lock tight and off you go. I also think It will be fine.
 

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The next thing to do on this axle build is to weld on any hardware needed so it can be installed. The easy thing to do would be to just weld on leaf spring pads and call it good. However, my soft rock springs pictured in the above photo just aren't up to V8 torque. So thinking ahead, I want to link the rear axle for coils. Then comes the question, three or four link etc. I decided on a three link, which has worked so well for me on the front. The traditional four link used by most requires some real art work to run exhaust, especially if you want to run dual exhaust. So these are the links I am choosing. Very beefy and fully adjustable and rebuildable
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