D44A vs 8.8 rear

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    D44A vs 8.8 rear

    I will preface this by saying I have absolutely no necessary fab tools to build a junkyard 8.8 to swap into my 98 zj. I am contemplating my next mod, which will be getting rid of the d35. The rig in question is a 98 ZJ with a 5.5" suspension and 34" milestar Patagonia Mts. I need something a little stronger in the rear and am debating between the D44A that came as an option in ZJs, and a custom build Ford 8.8. As of now I am leaning toward the D44A, as I can get a locker and gears for it, and it can be had cheap. It's a plus that it's a direct bolt in under my ZJ that I could have done in a day. The 8.8 is probably stronger and has more gear and locker options, but would likely be a lot more $$ as I would need to basically buy it from an axle company, ready to bolt in. Thoughts?

    I know, it's a bit of a newb question..

    #2
    I don’t like the D44As, aluminum chunk, still a C-clip axle, everything is different between them and the regular D44’s.

    Is it an upgrade over the D35? Yes, but in my opinion not by much.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Byro View Post
      I don’t like the D44As, aluminum chunk, still a C-clip axle, everything is different between them and the regular D44’s.

      Is it an upgrade over the D35? Yes, but in my opinion not by much.
      This is why I'm asking. The 8.8 is also a c clip axle, but everything else is steel. Thanks for the input. If I'm going to go to the work or swapping in another axle, it might as well be stronger. If I am going to pay an axle builder to build an 8.8, why not have them build a 60?

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        #4
        Yes both in question are c-clip shafts, I do belive they make a semi-float conversion for the 8.8.

        I wouldn’t pay someone to build it, you have all the needed brackets.

        You’d be amazed what you can do with a cut off wheel and a 110 flux core welder.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Byro View Post
          Yes both in question are c-clip shafts, I do belive they make a semi-float conversion for the 8.8.

          I wouldn’t pay someone to build it, you have all the needed brackets.

          You’d be amazed what you can do with a cut off wheel and a 110 flux core welder.
          I do have an angle grinder, an air compressor and a cutoff wheel.. and it would be an excuse to buy a welder...

          Comment


            #6
            Get to it! Best way to learn man.

            Comment


              #7
              I read on the D44a a bit when I had a beater zj with one in it.

              The consensus was that they aren't really weaker than a regular D44. As in there aren't really a ton of cases of broken center sections, or broken r&p's.

              The problem is that they don't hold the wear pattern well. The heat cycles effect the aluminum differently and cause the pattern to get fucked up.

              Personally, I wouldn't waste time looking for one, much less installing and throwing money into it for gears and locker.

              Comment


                #8
                Building a 8.8 can add up quick.
                Depending on what your running look into building a dana 60. Ebay set 20 bearing ends and some axle shafts. Never mind I read 34s
                Last edited by Gravy; 05-28-2020, 11:15 PM. Reason: Cant read

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Gravy View Post
                  Building a 8.8 can add up quick.
                  Depending on what your running look into building a dana 60. Ebay set 20 bearing ends and some axle shafts. Never mind I read 34s
                  This is the vehicle in question. 295/70/17 tires.
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                    #10
                    I really don't like the 8.8 in any flavor. But I would take/suggest one over the 44a.

                    They're not weaker in terms of breaking strength --- their weakness comes from the noodley housing strength. If you recall .. there was a TSP issued by Mopar. They advised not lifting the vehicle up by the center (with a floor jack). The center would flex and take a "set" (frowning/bent axle).

                    And you can't brace the ZJ one quite as easily as the WJ one (no flat pad at the top).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm definetly open to other options besides an 8.8.. I cant go too wide, as my trailer has rails on it, so 82" wide is about my max, outside to outside tires. I need something better than a D35, will probably only be running 35s on this rig... suggestions appreciated. Are there any semi float D60s out there that came under something?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I did find these on fb market place.. hp d44 front and a drum brake dana 60 rear, which I would convert to disc. 4.10 gears, which I would probably leave in it.. I havent been in the axle buying market for a while.. is $850 a reasonable price for a set? Click image for larger version
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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Poriggity View Post
                          I did find these on fb market place.. hp d44 front and a drum brake dana 60 rear, which I would convert to disc. 4.10 gears, which I would probably leave in it.. I havent been in the axle buying market for a while.. is $850 a reasonable price for a set?
                          That's a whole new can of worms, all the brackets, brake lines, driveshafts, steering, ect. Then new wheels.

                          You have to remember those axles are over 40 years old now too. Probably need to be completely gone through.

                          I'd do JK axles over those personally, I think the only thing weaker would be the housings really. Pretty sure there is a bunch of aftermarket fixes for that.
                          ​​​​

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by YotaAtieToo View Post

                            That's a whole new can of worms, all the brackets, brake lines, driveshafts, steering, ect. Then new wheels.

                            You have to remember those axles are over 40 years old now too. Probably need to be completely gone through.

                            I'd do JK axles over those personally, I think the only thing weaker would be the housings really. Pretty sure there is a bunch of aftermarket fixes for that.
                            ​​​​
                            I thought about jk axles.. I'd still have to get different wheels, and weld brackets on those as well I think... if I found a set for a decent price, I would consider those too.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Poriggity View Post

                              I thought about jk axles.. I'd still have to get different wheels, and weld brackets on those as well I think... if I found a set for a decent price, I would consider those too.
                              Ya, I'm not sure how similar the links and coils are between the 2. My point is ~10 year old shit vs 40. That 60 as a unit is weaker than the 8.8 imo. The stock 30 spline shafts are super weak. But yukon 30 spline chromo isn't a huge cost, and FF is obviously way better than C clip.

                              I absolutely hate old style D44s where you can only fit 767 sized joints though. Even rcv's are pretty weak in an old D44. Much smaller than toyota birfs.

                              I'd look for a set of JK axles that someone put money into, then went to bigger shit.

                              Comment

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