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  • AMC 20 swap for D44 rebuild under way

    0730 this morn then 222miles & few hours later a donor 1973 Dana model 44 in the driveway. By 2030hrs housing on a stand, ring gear & carrier plus axles removed. Carrier, housing, brake back plate and axle appear usable. The ring & pinon toast,, rusty,,

    Question. The axle bolts,, rusty need replacing,, but the bolt heads are machined flat on one side,, the machine side lies aganist axle tube,, where can those bolts be bought new ???

    Question,, Can a rearend with a 1 3/4 perch mount to 2 1/2 springs without new 2 1/2 perches

    Question,, The AMC 20 pinon is higher than the D44 isn't it ??? won't that increase drive line angle ?

    So far this gear noob not real impressed with the Dana 44,, guess I should wait a bit before I reach a conclusion,, but right now I am not seeing why all the fan fare about the Dana 44,, other than the one piece axle I'm not seeing much to be overly excited about this evening
    Last edited by Kelse; 06-24-2008, 08:21 PM.

  • #2
    Some would argue that a properly prepped 20 is as good as the 44. You might be able to get the bolts at a NAPA store. I think without switching to the wider spring perches you lose some of the advantage of the wider springs, besides you probably want to put new perches on with the proper pinion angle anyway.


    • #3
      I wouldn't run narrow perches on wider springs. It can be done, I've seen it...but oh my was it scarey! And it rode horrible...wobbly.

      I've also seen axles welded directly to the frame. They do a LOT of insane stuff in the Phillippines!

      You can do a lot, but theres a lot you should not do to be safe.

      I don't know about the pinion placement. From what I understand, I agree on the axle vs axle thoughts. But, since you have the D44, build it and put it in, then build and store the AMC20 as a spare.


      • #4
        I have already done this exact swap in my 79 CJ...

        first off, the bolts, just go to any store that you buy bolts... purchase grade 8 bolts WITH FINE THREAD, and grind part of the head flat so that it will sit in agains the axle.. that is all you need to do for those... for the nuts, those are crush or pinched nuts, so that they do not back off easily... it is always recommended to replace these nuts whenever you tear into the rear axle...

        noe for the perches, spend the $20 and buy the proper width perches... cut off the old ones and put the new ones on... this will give you a much more secure mounting to your springs, and allow you to properly set your pinion angle without the need for any lame shims...

        your pinion will actually sit closer to your xfer case by a little (maybe about 3/4" or so... so be aware or that... I did not have to shorten my d-line but I probably will when I finidh with my new tranny and xfer case.

        for your pinion angle it will depend on what type of a drive line you are using.. CV or no CV....

        if CV, then you will want to have the rig sitting level with the full weight on the wheels (no jack under it) then rotate the pinion up until it points just below the xfer case output (about 1* below) this will allow the angle to be correctly line up under load when accelerating...

        now if it is a NON CV... then with it sitting level and it supporting it's own weight (as before).. you want the rear axle pinion yoke to be exactly the same degree as the rear output xfer yoke.. you can do this with an inexpensive angle finder that you can buy say at harbor freight or your local hardware store...

        the benefits of going to the D44 versus the amc 20 are that fact that they are stronger.. the center sections are smaller for more clearance, and you will have a wider variety of gear ratios to choose from... as the amc20's are limited in ratio selections...

        it is a simple procedure to do this swap, and personally well worth it...

        if you need more info on this feel free to ask...


        • #5
          Zoediaks long distance rebuild

          Ok then,, guess we'll just have to lean into this project a little harder ,

          Lil Red is torn apart in a basement garage without much access to fabrication abilities Do have a buzz box that will burn a 6010 or 13 rod when I get electric ran to it,,

          Currently rear end is apart & on a stand,, Guess I should cut / grind stock perches off. re-install carrier and axles. Set the rear end upon springs and new perches (un-welded) snug down U-bolts,,Measure an equal distance between springs and end of axle tube,, put wheels on lower Veh.

          then determine driveline angle. make adjustments,, double check everything then tack weld perches on with the buzz box,, I hope using smallest dia 60-13 rod available won't cause too much heat ???

          Once tacked again remove rearend, then complete the welding but this time with a wire or mig welder. I don't have a mig welder and lack the skill too I think, so I'll transport rear-end to someone better capable than I,,

          Whatta ya think Zoediak,, will this plan work/doable for installation of new perches ?????


          • #6
            posting here or private message

            I am gonna need a lot of advice , tips and gudiance with this project as it moves along and sice Zoediak has offered to help in those areas I'm gonna take advantage of him and others that wish to offer,, but if it becomes boring to others I can do the private message thinggy just let me kno when I'm getting on your last nerve



            • #7
              not a problem.. I am happy to offer any help...

              that plan is about perfect.

              Those 'farmers rods' as they are commonly called will work just fine, personally I have always been a fan of those and the 6011 for general purpose welding... the 6011 I like a little better for certain things... but those rods will work just fine for what you are doing.

              now... what you can do is measure the perches on your current axle (center pin hole to center pin hole) and when you want to put the new perches onto your new axle just place them the same width apart, make a mark around the tube with some soap stone and mark the center of the spring perch in a spot that you can see... this way you will be able to line it up when you put it all together. find the center point on your axle housing (by measuring) and make a mark then when you go to mark out the places for your perches that is the reference point so you know that they will be placed in the correct spots...

              if my typing is confusing (hopefully not too much) let me know, and when I get home I can easily cut off a set of perches off one of my D44 housings and take a few pics of what I am talking about for the markings and layout...

              and you also can weld those perches on with that 6013 rod with no worries if you cannot use a wire feed...


              • #8
                Are these perches I need

                I attempted to telephone our host but was disconnected twice while I was on hold So I googled dana perches

                Have found D44 perches,, being plentiful is a benefit,, but is the Dana that Jeep factory in 1973 the HD Dana or not ?,, I'm guessing not and leaning toward the below perches ,, are they what I need ??

                What is 3 spring mounting pin opition ???,, is WB refering to wheel base ???


                Dana 44 Spring Perches, 2.5" Springs [B4W25028B] $33.00

                This is one of our fairly basic items, but it isn't quite that basic. Anyway, here's what you want to know. These are .25" (1/4) HR P&O Steel Plate, CNC Laser Cut and then Folded on a 290 ton CNC Brake to final size. Length is 7.75" to help control axle wrap and 2.5" wide to provide a stable platform. They have 3 spring pin mounting options so you can adjust your WB if you wish and are cut to fit a 2.75" axle tube (D44, NOT D44 HD), they are easily adjustable .25 up or down in tube size in minutes with your grinder. Sold in pairs.




                • #9
                  those are for SOA installations....

                  the spring perches that you need are not any longer than about 4-1/2-5"

                  the 3 different holes are so you can move your axle forward or rearward from the stock location...

                  your local 4wheel drive shop should have the perches... if you still have troubles finding them, let me know... I can stop by and pick some up and send them to you easily enough... they are only like $25 or so at the local shop...


                  • #10
                    the only down side to that 44 axel is the axels will twist but the good thing is one axel will fit eather side no right or left side axel


                    • #11
                      I've been thinking about doing this as well for my '80 CJ5. I want the wider track, so I don't think I can just rebuild my AMC 20 and Dana 30.

                      Should give us a good writeup as you go. We need a good axle swap project to help the rest of us


                      • #12
                        Guys, please correct me if I'm wrong (and I probably am), but wouldn't the '73 D44 be the 10 spline version? I hope I'm wrong here.


                        • #13
                          OH NOOOO,, no surprises Please

                          10 splines ??? 10 splines where


                          • #14

                            As long as you have 1pc shafts you should be fine.


                            • #15
                              73 to 75 will have these axels