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79 HP D44 Front End Build

Old 06-23-2014, 08:44 PM
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Default 79 HP D44 Front End Build

Picked up a 79 HP D44, 5 lug, cast wedges.

So going against the grain, I'm going to use the Ford Radius Arms & not retube. I'm shooting for a track width under 80"



So I have two options as I see it:
1) Narrow it 6" on the passenger side & run an eb d44 shaft. ~60.5 WMS , run 2.5" BS rims. "Problem: Diff will be nearly centered"

Or

2) Keep it full width ~66 WMS run 3.75 BS Rims


I'm going to try option 2 first to keep it "simple"

The Facts:

I picked this axle up from a guy who already had it in a Jeep once...
Full size bronco has stock spring pad width of 43", Flipped the spring pads now at 40.75"...XJ is 37"
Already has modified 38" tube radius arms
Already has 1-ton steering & trackbar
The spring mounts are 4.5" above the axle center line, the XJ is only 2"... 2.5" front lift?
Going to run IRO crossmember & Ruffstuff Heims

So my goal is with a little light tweaking I can get everything to match up...

I've searched and read a lot of build threads on these, anyone want to start pointing out errors of assumptions?

Last edited by Desertfox1023; 08-25-2014 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:49 PM
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No advice but will be watching closely. I think I want to do this also. Or something similar.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:52 AM
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I think you're on the right track with option 2.... narrowing would be a PITA. I don't have any experience in doing that swap - just going by what I've seen/read about the issue. I'll be following this as well to see what people come up with.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:11 AM
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A little more Math:

HP Dana 44 is ~66 WMS
Tires ~13" (Actual)
3.75" BS Rims - Bring the WMS out .25" each side.

HP Dana 44 Track Width = (66+(2)(.25)+13) = ~79.5"

XJ Dana 44 Rear is ~60.5"
Tires ~13" (Actual)
3.75" BS Rims - Bring the WMS out .25" on each side
5on4.5 to 5on5.5 adapters (2")

XJ Dana 44 Rear Track Width = (60.5+(2)(.25)+13+(2)(2)) = ~78"


Running Adapters I'll have the same bolt pattern rims, but... They're Aluminum... Anyone seeing an issue with this setup?



Coil Spring Buckets are currently 40.75" apart.

Going to make some .75" Thick Spacers to push the pads inward 1.875 each side. Should sit me right at 37" and make coils bolt in straight.

So... Spring pads will be sitting 5.25" off the top of the center line of the axle vs the D30 2", netting a 3.25" lift? - Can anyone confirm that?

If this is the case I'll run 3" lift springs and keep the Jeep close to a 6" lift

Last edited by Desertfox1023; 08-25-2014 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:25 AM
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Took some more measurements last night and starting sourcing parts:

1) SYE - AA / PORC , w/ XJ Front Drive Shaft
2) Cross Member, Fabricate new one for the Radius Arms
3) Radius Arms, Install Rod Ends
4) Coil Spring Mounts, Move in to 37" & Forward Slightly.
5) Shocks, Fab up new bracket.
6) Steering, Swap Pitman Arm TRE for a Hiem like my current setup.
7) Track Bar, Should be Pretty Close.
8) Drive Shaft, Already a 1310

This will get it sitting on it's on weight at least...

Still need a plan for:
Swaybar Links
Steering Stabilizer
Brake Line Adapters
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:55 AM
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Why adapters for the brake lines? Couldn't your current brake hoses bolt up to the calipers?
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:25 PM
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I'll be doing this exact same build in the next few months. Definitely interested in seeing how it turns out for you. Only difference us me 44 is from a 79 f150 and I'll be using a9 inch rear (which I'm thinking will be the easy part.)
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:54 PM
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Any thoughts on the coil spring mounts? Curious to see what you come up with. I know you are staying full width but does it look possible to narrow the passenger side so the spring mounts are 37 inches apart?
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by XJwonders View Post
Why adapters for the brake lines? Couldn't your current brake hoses bolt up to the calipers?
I'm not sure honestly, I'm currently running YJ lines on stock brake calipers. You talking about bolting the YJ hoses to the Ford Calipiers?

Originally Posted by muffinman View Post
Any thoughts on the coil spring mounts? Curious to see what you come up with. I know you are staying full width but does it look possible to narrow the passenger side so the spring mounts are 37 inches apart?
As mentioned there's a few ways to do this. If you leave the mounts in the stock location you can narrow the passenger side tube by 6" and it will bolt right in.

I rotated the buckets 180 degrees and am making (4) .75" thick steel plates to move the axle inward on each side. I drew them up in CAD this week. If I have time next week I plan on making them on the drill press.

Last edited by Desertfox1023; 08-25-2014 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Desertfox1023 View Post
I'm not sure honestly, I'm currently running YJ lines on stock brake calipers. You talking about bolting the YJ hoses to the Ford Calipiers?
yeah. I mean I thought all calipers have same method of bolting the lines on.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:55 PM
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You can't use 5.5 to 4.5 wheel adapters with the d44 hubs. On my brake lines I drilled out the banjo fitting and reused the extended XJ lines. For swaybar links I went with an Antirock and built brackets off the inner knuckle to clear the high steer.

Last edited by CHASDB; 06-28-2014 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CHASDB View Post
You can't use 5.5 to 4.5 wheel adapters with the d44 hubs. On my brake lines I drilled out the banjo fitting and reused the extended XJ lines. For swaybar links I went with an Antirock and built brackets off the inner knuckle to clear the high steer.
Nice thanks for the info, I'll probably do the same about drilling out the banjo fittings. Do you know what size tap it was you used?

The spacers are going on my rear 44. I'll have 5on5.5 pattern all around.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:22 PM
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I ment to say drill the fitting on the hose end and use the new larger banjo fitting with the caliper. I used Chevy calipers with outer knuckles for hi steer and think I drilled the hole with a step bit to 1/2". Pic of swaybar to give you an idea.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:28 AM
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Well, I started making the brackets to move the coil buckets inward.

2"x3" Box tubing, 3/16" Wall.

Should I beef them up more than that? It's only 2 3/8" bolts that hold the coil buckets on the radius arms. Thought about tacking a center brace for piece of mind.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:59 PM
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Pics when you are done please?
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