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Old 11-03-2011, 11:44 AM
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The stock Dana 44 in 1954 F100 a posi or not?

Hi ya'll. It's been years since I last posted here, but life got in the way of my project "54 F100. That, and my go fast woody generator of late has been my 1980 KZ1000.
But now I've dusted it off, started it up and have begun working on her again.
Right now I'm just stripping the paint off of the bed and gazing in wonderment at the half inch think chunks of Bondo that fell out of the outsides of the stake pockets.
But while I drove it around the hood I eased her out on the country road and decided to let her rip, and made some observations. Floored it and shocked and awed myself! Man what a BLAST!
First I noticed that both rear tires smoked right up. Yet, I'm not sure if the stock Dana 44 is supposed to lock up, or is maybe something seriously wrong with it?
Second observation is, HOLY SMOKE! Is this S/B Chevy 406 I built maybe a little too much for that old Dana 44? Will it last?
So does anybody know whether the stock Dana 44 in a 1954 F100 is supposed to be limited slip, or lock up? Or is it broke? I do know it has a 3.90:1 ratio, which will absolutely rule out any long trips with it.

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:57 AM
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It's often thought an open rear end won't spin both tires, but I have found they will- given the right conditions. But it will be better to remove the cover and check to see exactly what you have, both for the gear ratio and whether it's an LSD or not. Prolly needs a fluid change, anyway.

AFA strength goes, the Dana 44 is pretty tough, and is well supported in the aftermarket. But if you were to really hook the 406 up- like sticky tires on a prepped track- there could be a failure. Not too surprising, though, almost any stock diff can be broken under the 'wrong' circumstances. The U-joints will likely be the weak link, though. I'd be using a driveshaft loop for sure.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:05 PM
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Thanks Cobalt, yeah I was also thinking maybe a drive shaft loop would be a good idea. I did have the cover off about fifteen years ago, and I cleaned it up and changed the oil, but it looked like an open diff to me, but then to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure what to look for to see what a LSD looks like in a Dana. I've seen pics of spools and clutch paks and stuff for other rear ends, but I know nothing about Dana's.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:14 PM
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Unless the spider gears were welded or stuck together or there were bent axles or other damage, the diff should rotate one tire backwards and the other forwards if both tires are jacked off the ground. This is NOT an absolute because there are cases where this won't always hold true- but it's as good an indicator as any unless you were to pull the cover again to make sure.

I can't explain exactly what to look for to tell if it's a LSD, but it may look "busier" than an open diff. Often there will be springs and/or clutches stacked together, but there are cone-type LS diffs that don't have clutches. Some don't look "busy", either. The only real giveaway at a glance is a squared diff carrier as opposed to a 'tapered' carrier.


Open Left, Trac-Loc LSD Right
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:32 AM
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Thanks Cobalt. That's a HUGE help.
Now, when my curiosity gets the best of me, I'll know what to look for.
But I have a lot of dreaded body work to do right now. For now I'll just be happy knowing it works.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:45 PM
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Dont forget about the PowerLok unit. A lot of the earlier trucks came with them. Its a 2 piece case and the better unit of the bunch. If you google it you can find a pic.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:42 AM
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i've owned a lot of 52-59 trucks and worked on a lot of old stuff. i have never seen a posi in anything prior to about 68. i thought they were a newer idea. everything i have ever worked on was a one wheel wonder.
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