Currie Dana 44

pc1p

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Which doesn’t really seem that often either 🤷‍♂️

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Mike_H

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Are people actually blowing out ball joints on the regular? I really don’t hear/see about it much at all.

Once you step up to 37s, the ball joints don’t last long. At least, that is the anecdotal evidence shared around here.

Now, I’m in the camp of using an old school 44 (bronco or waggy) for 37’s. I don’t think 37’s are enough tires for Dana 60’s, but they are more than TJ or JK Dana 44’s will handle reliably.
 
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Irun

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Once you step up to 37s, the ball joints don’t last long. At least, that is the anecdotal evidence shared around here.

Now, I’m in the camp of using an old school 44 (bronco or waggy) for 37’s. I don’t think 37’s are enough tires for Dana 60’s, but they are more than TJ or JK Dana 44’s will handle reliably.

I've said multiple times, for over ten years I've watched my buddies with their old Bronco Dana 44s abuse them on 37" tires. They do occasionally break a u-joint or hub, but those are easy fixes on the trail. Fixing a ball joint on the trail is not fun at all!
 
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TRE3TOP

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I don't see it often, and never had it happen to me, but it does occasionally. @sjalkian can tell you about his experience!

5e99777d-531e-4cea-986c-a3760f90b156-jpeg.265184

I know it happens but people here seem to hype it up for immediate failure, yet there are hundreds of people out there on JK axles(roughly same ball joint) with 37s+ that don’t seem to be blowing them up that often. You can explode anything if you force it.
 

TRE3TOP

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Once you step up to 37s, the ball joints don’t last long. At least, that is the anecdotal evidence shared around here.

Now, I’m in the camp of using an old school 44 (bronco or waggy) for 37’s. I don’t think 37’s are enough tires for Dana 60’s, but they are more than TJ or JK Dana 44’s will handle reliably.

An old school 44 is no stronger than a JK 44. They can both manage a 37.
 
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pc1p

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An old school 44 is no stronger than a JK 44. They can both manage a 37.

You sure? I ran a handful of non-JK Dana 44’s over the years on various rigs and the tubes, C’s and knuckles all appear considerably stronger than the (albeit limited) amount of JK 44’s I’ve helped work on. No one was trussing their Ford D44HP’s even on heavy full sized rigs, though that seems to be a requirement (maybe just an “internet requirement”?) for JK44’s.

And yes I tend to agree that transitional Dana 44’s handle 37”s just fine since we used them for many years on 36-38.5” bias ply tires with locked front ends without too much headache (though most of us got tired of fixing shafts and eventually went Dana 60 or Dana 70 hybrids). Even though they’re the same balljoints as the later TJ axles, their mounting arrangement (in the knuckle), seems to have some advantage in durability.
 

sjalkian

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I don't see it often, and never had it happen to me, but it does occasionally. @sjalkian can tell you about his experience!

5e99777d-531e-4cea-986c-a3760f90b156-jpeg.265184

I'm not on 37s, but I also don't know the condition of the ball joints. That's the first one I've seen and it happened to me. The way I wheel there is no way I'd go up to 37s on that front axle.
 
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Irun

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I know it happens but people here seem to hype it up for immediate failure, yet there are hundreds of people out there on JK axles(roughly same ball joint) with 37s+ that don’t seem to be blowing them up that often. You can explode anything if you force it.

Sometimes there's conflation on failure and premature wear. I have a buddy with a JK on 37" tires. He replaces his ball joints every couple years, because his Jeep fails VA State inspection. He wheels it fairly hard and they haven't blown apart, but they don't handle the abuse well.
 
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TRE3TOP

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I've not heard of breaking but more wearing out and needing frequent replacement.

I realize the physics of the extra leverage from a bigger tire, but I don’t expect ball joints to last more than a couple years of hard wheeling whether you’re on a 35, 37 or 40. 🤷‍♂️

It’s always seemed to be made out to a much bigger issue than it is.
 

Andy-WhiteTJ

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I realize the physics of the extra leverage from a bigger tire, but I don’t expect ball joints to last more than a couple years of hard wheeling whether you’re on a 35, 37 or 40. 🤷‍♂️

It’s always seemed to be made out to a much bigger issue than it is.

Usually, it's not so much the ball joints as it is the holes on the inner C's getting stretched.
 

Apparition

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I realize the physics of the extra leverage from a bigger tire, but I don’t expect ball joints to last more than a couple years of hard wheeling whether you’re on a 35, 37 or 40. 🤷‍♂️

It’s always seemed to be made out to a much bigger issue than it is.

I've never had to replace a set. I think my Currie 44 went in early 2018. Maybe I don't wheel hard enough.
 

starkey480

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The reason guys “waste” money on a Dana 30 is because a 44 isn’t really much of an upgrade when running 35s. Same tubes, same Cs, same ball joints, same U joints, both can run 30 spline. The only thing it gets you that a Dana 30 can’t is bigger gears and the pride of saying you’ve got 44s. For typical slow speed rock crawling stuff, most guys aren’t breaking R&P often enough to worry about. Sure it happens, and if it does then go to a 44. But for most it doesn’t. If you play in the mud or with a lot of wheel speed, that may not apply to you. My solution was going to a HP30. Stronger gears than a LP30 while gaining ground clearance.

The disadvantage of the Currie 44 is that those bigger gears decrease ground clearance, and that axle is more difficult to fit at the outer limits of uptravel.

Ball joints aren’t typically blowing out on the trail. It’s more that when you go to tires bigger than 35s, you are wearing out ball joints much faster than is ideal assuming you wheel trails where 37s are warranted. Unless you want to replace them every 6 months. You can also fuck up the Cs with enough enthusiasm. Staying on 35s helps mitigate these problems for both Dana 30 and Dana 44 (TJ/JK).

There’s also something to be said about the guys who will say “been running 37s on my Dana 30 or Tj 44 for years no problem.” There is a big difference between running 37s on perceived fairly hard trails versus running 37s on trails that actually need 37s.
 

jjvw

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I know it happens but people here seem to hype it up for immediate failure, yet there are hundreds of people out there on JK axles(roughly same ball joint) with 37s+ that don’t seem to be blowing them up that often. You can explode anything if you force it.

The nuance in that statement about 37s and Dana 30/44 ball joints is whether or not the rig is being used where a 37" tire is actually a requirement. Lots of guys are running huge tires on what they call hardcore trails. And they are being followed by others on 32s and 33s who are feeling good about their accomplishments following the big boys on easy trails.