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Old 06-28-2009, 06:26 PM
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Dana 44 - How strong are they?

Hey guys,

I just picked up a Chevy Luv truck with a SBC 350 and a Turbo 350. I am guessing that the HP on the motor is between 300-400. It currently has a 3.73 posi Dana 44 in it. Will this rear end hold up to a beating at the track?

I could swap it out for a Ford 9 inch that I have, but I would rather not go through the expense or trouble right now to narrow it an set it up for this pick up. I obviously have no experience with the Dana 44's and just want to get an idea as to what they can handle. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Brent

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Old 06-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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The 44 is roughly the same as a GM 8.5" Corporate 10-bolt, same ring gear diameter and most bearing sizes, which has about 90%+ of the strength of a 12-bolt Car axle. Your Dana 44 will handle 500 hp no problem, and with an axle and spool upgrade w/girdle cover and tubes welded to the centersection will handle 700 hp+. I wouldn't go to the 9-inch unless it had better than stock Ford parts in it, the Dana had no posi or poor gearing, and you just wanted to swap.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:00 PM
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Dana 44

Using exactly your setup, Dana 44, 3:73, I ran a best quarter mile e.t. of 11:37 at 117 mph in a 3200 pound four-door Model A (Briggs) sedan. Beyond the pumpkin, the driver train included a TH350 and a 355 SBC with a Weiand 144 blower, single 750 Edelbrock, AFR 190 heads, and basically an RV cam. I had no problems with the rear but was was strictly leaving off of the footbrake and rpms just under 2800 stall on the converter. I frankly doubt that one could safely use a Dana 44 using a transbrake to launch at higher launch rpms.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:15 PM
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Since I have never used one of them, how does a transbrake work exactly? Basically lets you rev to your stall speed on a launch right (is the super simpliest explanaiton)? Is this more apt to tear up transmissions? Do you guys know any articles I can read on the subject so that I may educate myself? Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:40 AM
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transbrake

A transbrake system simultaneously engages the reverse and forward gear of an automatic transmission through both a modified valve body in the transmission and an electronic solenoid switch. When the switch is activated, the reverse gear is instantly released, causing the car to launch (at least in theory) at its actual real-world maximum stall speed. While the transbrake is engaged, and prior to the switch being activated, the driver has his or her "pedal to the metal" at wide open throttle. When the reverse gear is released by the solenoid switch, the torque converter "flashes" to its stall speed, launching the car. Such a launch delivers more instant torque, and also more violence, to the drivertrain...... making, in my opinion, a Dana 44 marginal in use with a transbrake.
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