Jeep CJ Dana 44 Front Axle Swap

Dana 44 Axles Swapped onto a CJ-7 Frame

Jeep CJ-7 Dana 44 Axle Swap

Project Jeep CJ-7 – Disassembling the Scout II  Dana 44 Front Axle.  

After acquiring the Dana 44 axles I also picked up a Dana 30 narrow track front axle that was in great shape.  The goal here was to disassemble the front Dana 44, clean it up, paint it, then reassemble the 44 using the Dana 30 outer knuckles and retain some of the stock Jeep parts.  This was possible due to the fact the the 44’s and the 30’s inner knuckles are the same dimensions and the axle spline count is the same.  Reasons for swapping to the CJ knuckles were, better turning radius than the Scout knuckles and the availability of the parts. My Scout outer knuckles needed rebuilding and I would have had to replace most of the Scouts outer knuckle parts due to wear and tear and rust. Also the fact that the Dana 30 outers were a bolt on without modifications to the knuckles made it easy to do.  The Scout outer knuckles are, in fact, bigger and stronger but I kept the parts in case I ever decide to swap it back (after rebuilding them).

The Scout II Dana 44 front axle had some very stubborn ball joints.  After soaking them in penetrating oil for a few days and using heat to try to press them out I ended up cutting them with the angle grinder.  They were being replaced anyway.

The stripped down front Dana 44 axle.

Donor CJ narrow track Dana 30 outer knuckles used on the Dana 44.  The axles are the same spline count which makes it a simple bolt on.  I decided to go this route because I liked the idea of reusing as much CJ parts as I could while using the Dana 44 housing.  I still kept the Scout II outer knuckles because of their strength but if I ever decide to reuse them they will have to be overhauled.

Rear Dana 44 spring pads were removed because they would not only need to be relocated due to the width of the CJ springs but the pads themselves are for 1 7/8 inch wide springs.  The BDS springs are a beefy 2 1/2 inch wide so I ordered new spring pads.  The pads won’t be welded on until the drive train is in place and I can line up the pinion angle.  For now they will be cleaned up and painted.

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