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Old 08-29-2020, 08:31 AM   #1
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Dana 44 questions

I'm in the market to buy a 4x4 van and recently found 2 older vans listed near my area that have dana 44 front axles and dana 60 rear axles. One is an 83 Dodge and the other is a 90 GMC. My question is what kind of brakes do these axles have and would they be up to the task of stopping a lifted van with 33's or 35's towing a roughly 2,000 lb trailer through the mountains?
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:36 AM   #2
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Are they basic vans, or are they built out? If there's any kind of build, or you plan on building one of them out, the Dana 44 may not cut it. Its a medium duty axle IMO.


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Old 08-29-2020, 12:10 PM   #3
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They are basic vans and I plan to keep it that way. My biggest concern is braking, especially pulling a motorcycle or two through the mountains.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:16 AM   #4
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I have a 7000 lb. E-250 2000 Quigley with a dana 44 up front and a 60 in the back. It has 240,000 miles on it. It has treated me well.

I live in the mountains of Colorado and whichever way I drive from my house am blocked by an 11,000 foot pass. The breaking on this van has been tested to the max. I am alive.

Do I wish I had bigger rotors? Yes.

Am I constantly rationalizing chopping out the front end and installing a Mg kit with a 2016 donor and the huge knuckles? Yes

Does this van do everything I need it to do? Yes

I think if the price is right, go for it.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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I don’t think I’d put on a tire larger than 225 on the D44, both because of ultimate axle strength, and stopping power. It should have the brakes of a half-ton pickup at the time, which IMO would not have been up to task of 33” tires, much less 35”. I’d certainly make the switch to a D60 for 35” tires. A Dana 50 for 33”.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:00 AM   #6
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I have been running 285/75/16's (33's) on my d44 for the last 50,000 miles. It is not optimal but is very functional.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:55 PM   #7
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I'm running a D44 with 33's on my van that weighs in at about 8500lbs with about 170K miles on it. The brakes are adequate, but not great for long, steep down hill stretches. Down shifting early really helps. It's possible to upgrade to larger calipers and rotors, but the limiting factor can be the wheels as the larger calipers may not clear the wheel. Upgrading to 17in wheels takes care of that if it's a problem. As for axle and ujoint strength, certainly they aren't as strong as a D60, but so far I have not had any issues, but I drive very easily when in 4wd and crawling over rocks. You should be fine.
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