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Old 03-23-2005, 03:19 PM
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dana 44 front axle non hotrod problem.

79 Dodge powerwagon. full time 4wd. feels like the right front wheel bearing is going out, so i replaced it. still feel a catch on wheel rotation going down the road. on jack stands, it spins nicely. no catch, nothing. put it on pavement, and it feels like a bearing going out. it has a 'catch' to it as the wheel rotates. it even makes an audible noise. everyone i know who know nothing about vehicles feel that it is most definitely coming from the passenger side front. I pulled the cover, it was full of a metallic grit filled oil...... the gears (to me) do not look excessively worn... maybe i need to look again.
does this sound familiar to anyone?
so i am fixing to learn how to tear down a Dana 44 front axle. any suggestions? where can i find a good schematic?

tia. Larry

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Old 03-23-2005, 06:43 PM
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Larry, there is a U joint at the end of the axle that can cause your symptoms. Also, there is an axle bearing and seal at the end of the axle housing than can make a bunch of noise and cause roughness as you describe. This bearing can transfer junk to your gear case oil. Before tearing into your differential, I would pull your passenger side hub and remove the axle to examine the bearing and U Joint. Your gears can look good, but your carrier bearings can be junk. I have the schematic for the Dana 44 installed in Broncos and will try to scan and send tomorrow evening if I can remember to bring the book home. I am traveling across the mountain to finally get a good look at the 70 Ford Convertible I talked about in the general rodding section.

Trees
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:46 PM
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Thanks Trees. I think your right on, i was thinking carrier bearing, but i do not know what symptoms are which as far as differential stuff goes, but ima figure it out. I'd appreciate the scan. the books i have aren't too precise.

good luck with the hood.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:32 PM
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Don't forget that little roller bearing inside the spindle snout. When that goes, it can cause all kinds of strange stuff.

If your going to tear it apart anyhow, it would be a good time to throw an SBK kit at it.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:19 AM
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I think you might as well replace most of the parts while you are at it. You have to take appart the ENTIRE axle in order to change the carrier bearings. Do all the seals while you are in there.

If you had grit in the gear oil it came either from the gears or bearings (carrier or pinion). Your axle should be "open knuckle" (you can see the axles and u-joints) which has the seals just outside of the carrier bearings. Nothing from your wheel bearings (or spindle bearings) would be able to get in.

FWIW the part # for the spindle kit (comes w/ slinger, thrust washer, seals, and spindle bearing) is BK1. That spindle bearing can be a pain to get out.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:45 AM
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Try this Dana web site, A lot of info.

http://www2.dana.com/expert/

Last edited by M&M CUSTOM; 03-25-2005 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:30 PM
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dana web site? Doh'.......... what a great turn on, thanks, Just for that, i'm not even going to give you any 8 fan heck. now if i could ever get anyof the pdfs to download, this damnable dial up.....

thanks guys.

triaged, is it not sbk1? cause thats what oriellys sold me.... dammitol.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:34 PM
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btw, by any chance does sbk = Spindle Bearing Kit?

i'm gettin smarter all the time i tell you.....
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Old 03-25-2005, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy larry
btw, by any chance does sbk = Spindle Bearing Kit?

i'm gettin smarter all the time i tell you.....
Part # will vary some from store to store. The BK1 is a SKF brand part # (which is what many places carry). Oriellys might have put the S in front for SKF if they carry other brands?

One other thing. When you replace the u-joints don't use anything other then a Spicer brand u-joint. The factory ones were 297x (x is for non-greasable). There is a new replacement that is even stronger then the 297x and has better seals. I don't remember the # off hand but it is a Spicer 'Life Series' joint.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:52 AM
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right now, i hate 4wd.

what a pita.

keep 'em coming, i'm about ready to go parts shopping.

Triaged, what is the best way to pull the spindles? I don't want to break anything else.....

on a positive note, i am the new owner of a 53 dollar blackhawk 3/4" breaker bar, and a 48 dollar k-d 1-11/16ths 3/4" drive socket.

i love new tools.

Last edited by crazy larry; 03-25-2005 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:29 AM
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Can you read the axle assembly number?

I have a few GM Dana 44 and 44HD's, a pair of IHC Scout 44's, and a Ford 44HD I am planning on parting out.
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:00 PM
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would it be D-44-8F ? or another number off the tag that some dumbarse removed and now I can't remember where I set it?

well..... after getting the passenger side apart, i went to the driver side, which up til now has remained untouched. I noted that the spindle nut was awfully loose, so i got this crazy thought that that might be my problem. so i tightened it up, re-assembled the passenger side, and it didn't make a dang bit of difference. another afternoon wasted. wth. not like I had to be at work or anything.

I think i'm gonna pull the whole axle and set it on saw horses next to a long workbench so I can lay it all out.....
anyone have a better suggestion (s)?

I found out that they make tools to remove the bearings from the hubs....
thats a heluvan idea. and it's not timber and a hammer....
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:10 PM
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SBK-1 would be a BCA/Federal-Mogul part #.

One thing to watch for, is alignment shims, between the spindle snout, and knuckle. Pretty rare, but does happen.

If it was mine, I 'd get the gears-thru-bearing axle joints. a lot less hassle, than a needle into the yoke zerk.

The next question is: Where to you want to stop?
While it's down, why not slap in some new ball joints, tie rod ends, and drag link.
Then, while you have the axle out, drop leafs, and re-arch them. Excellent time fo rnew shocks, too.

Before you put it back together, check the splines in the front slip yoke. Full-timers are tough on them.

Now to get stupid.....
While you are in it this deep, check the slack in the t-case chain. NP203's are notorious for wearing the chain, and eventually slipping teeth. Chain savers are around, and a lot cheaper than new gears, and chain.

Uh, yeah, other than that, sounds like a really simple project.
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:24 PM
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it has 2 new tie rod ends, 4 new ranchos, as well as four new 31x10.5x15's too..... i figure all the new rubber was more than the poor old truck could stand....

it does need the leaf springs re-arched badly....

the only place i can find any slop is the front slip yoke....

how do i check the chain in the transfer case?

thanks, L.

Last edited by crazy larry; 03-25-2005 at 08:37 PM. Reason: spell check doesn't correct correctly spelled mis-words...
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:30 PM
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i think it's the transfer case. jeez, im gonna have a freakin new 79 dodge 4x4 before i get done. I feel like bullheimer. this is a biotch. and i hate the smell of gear oil. yes, that was a fit i just threw.
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