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Dana 35c swap to dana 44

Old 11-02-2015, 07:31 PM
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Default Dana 35c swap to dana 44

Hey All, I have a swap question for the vast knowledge base here at Cherokee forum.
I currently have a 1996 ZJ with a dana 35c rear axle and plan on doing some occasional towing of a 14 foot trailer hauling light scrap about 25 miles round trip.
Automatic transmission I6 engine (not sure of the axle ratio) and a GVWR of 5300 lbs.
Was wondering if the grand Cherokee with the dana 44 rear axle (towing package) would have the same gear ratio and would it be a bolt up affair or would modification be needed and if so would welding be required?
Thanks in advance, Jon
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:29 PM
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You'll need to check the tags on the axle(s) or count the ring and pinion teeth to be sure.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:50 AM
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The zj used two gear raitos 3.55 and 3.73,Like said figure out what gear ratio you have first and go from there.Yes the dana 44 from another zj will bolt in but im not sure if the driveshafts are the same length or not but again thats a simple fix also.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:31 AM
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The u-joint is bigger on the D44 so you'll have to change the yoke or cobble up a driveshaft. Use extreme care if you change the yoke, the bearing preload is critical.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:53 AM
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Don't they make a conversion u joint that is two different sizes?
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SeriousOffroad View Post
You'll need to check the tags on the axle(s) or count the ring and pinion teeth to be sure.
Thanks SeriousOffroad! Good infomation! Thanks again, Jon
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
The zj used two gear raitos 3.55 and 3.73,Like said figure out what gear ratio you have first and go from there.Yes the dana 44 from another zj will bolt in but im not sure if the driveshafts are the same length or not but again thats a simple fix also.
Thanks andrewmp6! Out of the two axle ratios is one of the two say for a v8 and the other for the I6? Just out of curiosity?
Thanks again, Jon
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
The u-joint is bigger on the D44 so you'll have to change the yoke or cobble up a driveshaft. Use extreme care if you change the yoke, the bearing preload is critical.
Thanks dave1123, I am thinking it mite be easier to take the rear driveshaft and have a new yoke welded to the rear of it? Thanks for the infomation, Jon
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
Don't they make a conversion u joint that is two different sizes?
Hi andrewmp6, Thats a good idea! Probably cheeper then my idea of having a hd yoke welded to the rear of a hd driveshaft.
Thanks, Jon
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:17 AM
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thank you all for your time and insite! On my next day off i will be junking.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:56 PM
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When your getting the axle from the junkyard you can just grab the driveshaft from that jeep also just in case.As far as the gear ratios i have heard it a few ways some say 3.55 inline 6 and 3.73 v8,And i have heard 3.73 was v8 and towing package and i even heard 3.55 as v8 lol.But like said figure out what gear you have and try to find one same gear.The other option is re gear the dana 44 or swap front axles.
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:17 AM
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AFAIK, the standard ratio is 3.55 and the tow package cars are 3.73 HOWEVER, the original owner could have had it built whichever way he wanted it. Just saying.

Either way, you have to match your front axle ratio.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:03 PM
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Thanks andrewmp6 & dave1123 & SeriousOffroad ! I am planning on junkyard hunting this weekend great invaluable advice and information thanks again for providing it and thanks for your time, jon. I will keep you posted on ol'silverback' s progress.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:01 PM
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I tow a 20' travel trailer, and considered an axle swap, however, I decided against it after careful consideration. I chose to go with a gear change in the 35, easy for me as my '03 WJ is 4X2. The issue that influenced my decision is that the 44's Jeep used were 44A (aluminum casing) and don't have the load bearing capacity as do the steel cased 44's. My brother in law's '02 WJ has the tow package and he's having bearing issues due to case distortion in the 44A. My gear and axle mechanic's opinion was that the 35 is plenty sturdy for my towing application, and believed an axle swap would not give me any greater benefit. There's a lot of options out there, I hope this helps with your decision.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearstream View Post
I tow a 20' travel trailer, and considered an axle swap, however, I decided against it after careful consideration. I chose to go with a gear change in the 35, easy for me as my '03 WJ is 4X2. The issue that influenced my decision is that the 44's Jeep used were 44A (aluminum casing) and don't have the load bearing capacity as do the steel cased 44's. My brother in law's '02 WJ has the tow package and he's having bearing issues due to case distortion in the 44A. My gear and axle mechanic's opinion was that the 35 is plenty sturdy for my towing application, and believed an axle swap would not give me any greater benefit. There's a lot of options out there, I hope this helps with your decision.
Thanks Bearstream, Yes the information you provided is very helpful. I think i will stick with the 35C until it gives me problems. I really don't have the time to do the swap. I do appreciate your input and time. Thanks again Bearstream!
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