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  • Rear Axle: Dana 44

    I have access to a Dana 44 with disc brakes from a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was wondering if this rearend will work in my 54 Starliner. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Stude Rookie

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stude Rookie View Post
    I have access to a Dana 44 with disc brakes from a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was wondering if this rearend will work in my 54 Starliner. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Stude Rookie
    Anything can be made to work but most importantly, what is the width compared to the OEM. The ratio is probably in the 3:00 range but if it's 3:40 or so, it should work. The discs will stop better than the OEM so you'll need a dual brake cylinder and proportioning valve. You can strip all the mounting hardware off the axle and add spring perches that will fit your springs although I'll bet the 44 is a 3" diameter housing and yours is smaller. Spring width is probably more narrow on the 54 than the mounts that you can easily find to weld to the 44.

    But it can be done, just a bit more than bolting it in.

    I put a 91 GM 8.75 rear end in my 54K. It had a 3:42 ratio and I wacked 3" out of each side housing and bought Moser axles to fit. Welded on pads and fit it under there.

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    • #3
      Thanks Bob. I don't think I want to make it major project but if I could use the internals (it's a 3.73} I would.

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      • #4
        Yours is probably not a 44 so I'd guess installing the gears in yours is "difficult". Yours would also have smaller axles and spline count whether it's a 44 or not but the 3:73 would be a nice addition. If the width is correct, a Turner brake system on the front and the Jeep axle with the correct spring mounts would be a nice upgrade.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stude Rookie View Post
          I have access to a Dana 44 with disc brakes from a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was wondering if this rearend will work in my 54 Starliner. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
          Stude Rookie
          Be sure it's a 44 not a 35 or 44A with aluminum center, unless the ZJ came with the tow package it could be a 35. I believe they are a bit wider WMF to WMF than the one in your 54. I believe its 58" but don't know if that figure is with the rotors or not. Spring perches would need to be redone to match and a lot of excess brackets removed, but could work nicely. Nothing inside will transfer only a transplant as an assembly will work. Will probably need a new yoke to fit the spline count in the 97. Spring perches should be available from Jeep off road guys. May require a driveshaft mod as well.

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          • #6
            Speedway has a lot of 3in tube axle housing stuff for rods, get their catalog and check it out. Luck Doofus

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            • #7
              I really don't think you'd want more brakes on the rear than the front. I put 62 Lark brakes on Ceci"s 53 Champion. Super! And easy.

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              • #8
                Not sure how different a 97 to a 2010 jeep is but I measured a 2010 and it's 61" wheel to wheel. Reason I measured that one is I happened to be working on it and while under it I couldn't help but notice the rear end and thought this would be a nice set up for a swap under something. I was told it is a jeep rear but based off a 44. Would be a little wide for anything but maybe a fender side pickup. There you could just cut the rear fenders and widen them to what ever it takes to make the tires fit.

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                • #9
                  My '54 Starliner has a Dana/Spicer 44 in it. From what I was told when I bought the car it came from a '62 Hawk. It has a casting "US Pat. 2018188". There is a tag on it that is stamped "43/13" This is the Axle Ratio of 3.31. The car has the motor and drive train transplanted from a 62V-K6. 289ci, 4sp. It looks like it was a direct swap.

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                  • #10
                    Congrats and Thanks for your 1st. Post STUEY, welcome to the SDC and to the SDC Forum.

                    You will find much help here from MANY people who have quite literally grown up with these Cars and others who have become very enlightened from lots of hands on experience.

                    So most posters here already know the ranges of major Parts changes like this, so we know it is never a Problem to interchange Differentials from 1953 to 1966 as long as they are from Studebaker Cars, not Trucks and the Dana model matches 23, 27 or 44, and of course has the ratio needed.

                    The original Poster wanted to use an available Brand "X" Dana 44 which is Apple to Oranges, but if the width is good some Makes and Models could feasibly have some welding done to make them work.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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