Ultimate Dana 44's ? Are they worth it ?

jwolfejt

Member
So as I've posted before I am going through a set of upgrades and I was looking at the cost of upgrading gears, adding lockers, stronger axles and knuckles - all in the cost was about what it would cost (or negligible) to just swap the whole axle out for a Ultimate Dana 44 (or a Prorock 44). Has anyone seen the need to do so ? The axles would have the gearing I want and a locker already installed (As well as stronger chromoly shafts/u-joints). The other argument point that was leading me down this path was the narrow axles - I have a Willys so if I do upgrade I should get the wider track axles with this upgrade - would I need to change anything else out to swap in widetracs? Is this a silly idea should I stick with upgrading the stockers? I would consider just going to 60's but then I am looking at $20k + upwards of $3k in wheels and if i do go with 1ton's i'll want a minimum of 40s - so realistically its probably around $35k to go with tons. My Goal is to comfortably run my 37s with lockers without needing to worry about stuff breaking (I realize that anything can happen and it's not a guarntee that nothing will ever break).
 

JT@623

Hooked
Lots of ways to upgrade the stockers and depending on your right foot they will handle 37’s . Dynatrac makes a great axle but your probably a year or more out to get one . I don’t have much experience with the UD’s lots of people running them without many issues. A good shop could probably do the upgrades for less than new .
 

jwolfejt

Member
If all you’re going to do is run 37s, I’d save your money and run what you have until or unless an actual need arises.
My deducation was based on the quote I got for lockers , gears and chromoly axle shafts (including fad delete) was around $4k per axle - ultimate dana 44's could be had for around $4500 with the gears i want with the wider track and lockers already installed and ready to go, was going to also going to go with adams driveshafts so to me it just seem'd negatable to just upgrade the whole axle and gain that wider track, stronger brackets (and better geometry). It honestly makes me not to want to regear and install lockers at this point (or upgrade the axle shafts) and just use that money towards 1 ton upgrades.
 

jwolfejt

Member
Seems to me like the right answer here is for me to stop being a bitch and just put up with what I have and order 1 tons - upgrade once is cheaper than paying for all these upgrades that I KNOW i will end up replacing a year or so down the line.
 
I would think some take-off Rubicon axles, regeared would get you some pretty good comfort, unless you have a lead foot. You can pick up chromoly axles later, after your wallet recovers. Changing axle shafts is simple enough it can be DIY easily.
 

jwolfejt

Member
I would think some take-off Rubicon axles, regeared would get you some pretty good comfort, unless you have a lead foot. You can pick up chromoly axles later, after your wallet recovers. Changing axle shafts is simple enough it can be DIY easily.
The rubicon axles aren't really any stronger - they are just wider (on Gladiators anyway) and come with lockers already installed
 
The rubicon axles aren't really any stronger - they are just wider (on Gladiators anyway) and come with lockers already installed

So, it'd just be a decision as to whether retrofitting lockers is what you want to do. It does open up the opportunity to choose different lockers which may be stronger.
 

jwolfejt

Member
So, it'd just be a decision as to whether retrofitting lockers is what you want to do. It does open up the opportunity to choose different lockers which may be stronger.
Yup, i am still thinking it through since with dynatrac i am going to be tying up about $20k for a year (turn around time) or to just go with dana 60/80 setup (those seem to be pretty much ready to go) - i hear really good things about the Dynatrac's. My thing is - its going ot cost upwards of $5-$7k to do lockers, regear, new axle shafts (for a shop to do it) i know a year or so down the line i am going to end up replacing it with 1 tons probably. the 1 ton upgrades will be no doubt beefy - but also $$$ - $20k no matter how you cut it for the axles and something like $5k for wheels/tires. I was looking at the UD44's because all together they are about $8k i can pick the gearing and it will come with lockers (eatons probably) - also eliminates the fad. Supposedly the bracketry and angles are better on them as well. Still contemplating.
 

waynem

New member
So one minor warning about the UD44, the bracketry is definitely bigger and heavier which is "mostly" good. The bad shows up when you want to add something that expects to bolt on to the OEM brackets. For example, my Bilstein 8100s .. they use a bracket on the lower mount to move the shock outwards. That didn't fit on the UD44. Ended up having to cut the mounts off and weld on new brackets.

Pic from the Bilstein install.. this did not work on the UD44..

Screen Shot 2022-09-08 at 8.41.32 AM.png
 
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