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Old 07-13-2008, 11:51 AM
Chuck78 Chuck78 is offline
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Dana 44 rear upgrades or swap - 1962 GMC 1/2 ton

Well, it seems as if replacement axles for the 60-62 GMC Dana 44 are nonexistent (coarse spline 6 lug), but the 63+ GMC Dana 44 axles with the fine spline (30?) are available in both 6 lug and 5 lug conversion shafts...

I'm either looking at swapping to a 30 spline axle if the widths are the same, and adding a 30 spline carrier, or else finding a donor rear of the same 60" width roughly. Have to weld on trailing arm and panhard brackets to most other rears for the coil rear on these trucks, $130 swap kit available for this.
Although Dana 44's are so great that they are used to this day in new vehicles, I have been told that these old units use a different carrier bearing diameter than most newer units. I was hoping that I could still find a 30 spline posi carrier that would drop into mine, or else take my carrier and possibly swap out the spider gears for a unit that uses the 30 spline shafts. Is this possible?
I really like the Dana axle removal, no c-clips, just undo 4 bolts after taking off the drum, and the axle slides out! It'd be nice to keep this.
Bad thing is, the drum backing plates are welded to the axles. If I ever damaged one, I'd be sunk for a while, especially if on the road. It'd be nice (but not necessary) to have a disc brake rear. I suppose I could weld on disc brake mounts, or rather the standard GM brake backing plate mounting flange, onto these axles. I was also wondering if there were any newer Dana 44 axles that would be the right width for this truck, not too much wider due to the smokin' deal I got on some torque thrust wheels. Also, needs to be able to accept the 5 lug on 5" GM bolt patern axles. And if it were a disc rear, I'd need to be able to find a master cylinder that'd work with the 1989 Suburban front calipers that I have to swap on. I suppose I could find a different caliper that'd bolt right to the spindles up front, if I needed a different bore to match whatever 4 wheel disc MC that I got to match up with the rear calipers.

Yeah, I need lots of retrofit guidance here...

Thanks!

Chuck
1962 GMC 1000 Panel Truck 305D three on the tree
1971 RS/SS Camaro project on hold
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