Em West

Dana Axles: 44 vs. 60

Looking to replace the axle on your off-road, heavy duty, or off-highway rig? For off-roading and motorsports, the Dana 44 is the way to go. For commercial vehicles, fire trucks, etc., the Dana 60 is often the better choice. Sometimes the 60 is chosen for use in motorsports and off-road recreation. The trick is figuring out which series will work best for your rig. Both series offer both rear and front axle variations. Read on for an overview of each type.

Dana 44 Axle

44 axle is used in a variety of on and off-road vehicles including autos manufactured by Jeep, Dodge, Ford, Jaguar, and many more. It's particularly popular for rock-crawling vehicles. Typically, it's used in rigs like Dodge Ramcharger and the W150, Jeep Wranglers, Ford F-Series trucks like the F-100, F-150, and F-250, and all kinds of other off-roading rigs.

The 44 front axle are primarily known for their use of locking hubs or a center axle disconnect system. A permanently locked is becoming more common. It’s rated for quarter-, half, three-quarter-, and one-ton vehicles. There are kingpin and ball joint, in addition to closed and open options available. The 44 rear axle has a 3,500 pound gross axle weight rating, and is equipped with a weight-carrying bearing on one end, making it a semi-floating type.

Variations of the 44 axle are available, but here are the general specs:

  • The ring gear is 8.5 inches, but next generation axles can go up to 8.8 inches
  • The OE spline counts for the inner axle shafts are as follows: 10, 19, 29, 30, 32, 33, and 35. Basically, the bigger your spline count, the higher your load capacity, but you may have trouble finding replacements in the event of a mechanical issue, depending on your location.
  • Most Dana 44’s have a 1.375” pinion shaft diameter
  • Pinion shaft splines and spline diameter ar 26/1.12” on most Dana 44’s after 1970.
  • Gear ratios are 2.72:1 up to 5.89:1. The taller your gear ratio, the harder your engine has to work to turn the wheel one time e.g. 5.89 driveshaft rotations for 1 wheel rotation in the 5.89:1 ratio. This’ll give you more torque and is best for off-road applications, where you’ll need some leverage. Lower gear ratios are ideal for racing and improve gas mileage.
  • Carrier break ranges are 2.72:1 to 3.73:1 and 3.92:1 to 5.89:1. The carrier break is the point at which your axle needs to switch from one differential carrier to another when switching into higher or lower gears. For example, an axle with a 3.73/3.92 carrier break would have two different carriers, one for 3.73 and the lower gears, and one for 3.92 and taller gears.
  • Axle shaft diameters include: Rear: 1.20” (10 spline), 1.30” (19 spline), 1.31” (30 spline), and 1.41” (32 spline).The front outer diameter can be 1.175” (19 spline) and the front inner diameter can be 1.31” (30 spline)

Dana 60 Axle

The Dana 60 axle is tougher and built for more heavy-duty rigs like the Ford F-450, cargo utility vehicles and fire trucks, Dodge Ram SRT-10, etc. If you have a heavier rig, the Dana 60 might be the right option for you.

Again, like the 44, variations are available, but here are the general specs on the 60 (see above for explanations of the different part names):

  • The ring gear is 9.75”
  • The OE spline counts for the inner axle shafts are as follows: 16, 23, 30, 32, 33, and 35. After-market 40-spline inner axle shafts and carriers are available for high performance Dana 60s.
  • Dana 60s have a 1.625” pinion shaft diameter, pinion shaft splines are 10 and 29.
  • Gear ratios are 3.31:1 up to 7.17:1
  • Carrier break ranges are 3.31:1 to 4.10:1 and 4.56:1 to 7.17:1
  • Axle shaft diameters are 1.42” (32 spline) for front axles, 1.46” (32 spline) for rear axles.Spline diameter is 1.5” (35 spline) for the front and rear. The axle tube is 3.125” in diameter.

Whether you’re looking for parts for your off-road recreational vehicle, or a heavy-duty work rig, genuine Dana parts are the way to go. If you have questions about the Dana 44 axle or the Dana 60 axle and which will work best for you, give us a call.


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