Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

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Laredo Matt
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Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Laredo Matt » Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:43 pm

This is a re-post (slightly modified) from my build thread. Thought it might get more eyes on it here.

Context -- My plan is to drop in a new-ish drive-train in my 83 Lredo; L86 + 10sp transmission + electronic transfer case. Still need to source it but will all be factory with harness from the same donor vehicle.

I'm going for a clean look on the dash with electronic switching of the transfer case. I want to delete the manual 4Hi/Lo shifter on the trans tunnel and the manual under dash 2WD/4WD vacuum driven switch.


Question - has anyone done a delete / bypass of the vacuum actuator on the front dana 44? I did a search for a thread here and didn't come up with anything.

Image

I did find a related thread on offroad exchange. The last post makes it sound pretty straight forward. It's for a dodge but hoping Jeep is same. Wondered if anyone here had done it or there were thread I could read.

http://offroadexchange.com/modforums/in ... opic=903.0

TIA
Matt
83 Cherokee Laredo
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Stuka
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Stuka » Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:31 pm

Two ways that I know of to make it permanently locked. You can either move the actuator to lock the axle, and lock it in place so it can no longer slide back and forth. Or you can get an axle shaft from a non-disconnect driver drop front waggy axle.

There are also cable operated switches that get rid of the vacuum for a more manual configuration.

And I suppose the other option is to find a front axle that doesn't have the disconnect at all if you want a standard looking D44 cover and just not worry about the shifter mechanism at all. As I recall the disconnect was only available on 83-84 axles when optioned with the NP229 t-case (NP208's had a regular D44). So 80-82 and 85-91 Wagoneer with any t-case should work for you if you choose to go that route.
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rocklaurence
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by rocklaurence » Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:43 am

What Stuka said but you cant use a Non-CAD axle in-place of the other because the oil seal ID on the CAD side is larger and oil will leak out the Driver's side knuckle. I suppose you could add a sleeve to the non-CAD to make it work.

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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Stuka » Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:13 am

rocklaurence wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:43 am
What Stuka said but you cant use a Non-CAD axle in-place of the other because the oil seal ID on the CAD side is larger and oil will leak out the Driver's side knuckle. I suppose you could add a sleeve to the non-CAD to make it work.
Ahh, great point!
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Laredo Matt
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Laredo Matt » Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:42 pm

rocklaurence wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:43 am
What Stuka said but you cant use a Non-CAD axle in-place of the other because the oil seal ID on the CAD side is larger and oil will leak out the Driver's side knuckle. I suppose you could add a sleeve to the non-CAD to make it work.
CAD = center axle disconnect?

This is my first full rebuild, of any vehicle, so not familiar with all terms.

Does that mean aftermarket then or is there a direct fit from a different vintage jeep or other manufacturer?

Will have to figure that out but have some time before it's gating to making progress.
Matt
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Stuka » Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:35 pm

Laredo Matt wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:42 pm
rocklaurence wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:43 am
What Stuka said but you cant use a Non-CAD axle in-place of the other because the oil seal ID on the CAD side is larger and oil will leak out the Driver's side knuckle. I suppose you could add a sleeve to the non-CAD to make it work.
CAD = center axle disconnect?

This is my first full rebuild, of any vehicle, so not familiar with all terms.

Does that mean aftermarket then or is there a direct fit from a different vintage jeep or other manufacturer?

Will have to figure that out but have some time before it's gating to making progress.
If you mean for what other axles will fit, my post above gives the years that will direct bolt in for you.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


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Laredo Matt
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Laredo Matt » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:05 pm

Stuka wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:35 pm
Laredo Matt wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:42 pm
rocklaurence wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:43 am
What Stuka said but you cant use a Non-CAD axle in-place of the other because the oil seal ID on the CAD side is larger and oil will leak out the Driver's side knuckle. I suppose you could add a sleeve to the non-CAD to make it work.
CAD = center axle disconnect?

This is my first full rebuild, of any vehicle, so not familiar with all terms.

Does that mean aftermarket then or is there a direct fit from a different vintage jeep or other manufacturer?

Will have to figure that out but have some time before it's gating to making progress.
If you mean for what other axles will fit, my post above gives the years that will direct bolt in for you.
It does. Sorry, saw that in the original post and then thought you deleted those because perhaps they were non CAD. Should have gone back and read it more clearly...thanks!
Matt
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tgreese
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by tgreese » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:12 pm

I too am unfamiliar with the term CAD. You can tell from the context that it's the axle disconnect function, whatever the acronym actually is.

Re aftermarket, I suspect there is not enough demand to support an aftermarket supply of the axle shafts. You might be able to have one made - Moser, Dutchman - if it were made custom, then it could have whatever diameter at the seal end you wanted.

I suspect that's the difficult/expensive path though ... if I wanted to not just disable but get rid of the disconnect thing, I would look for a different axle (that is, the complete axle, not just the shaft).
Tim Reese
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letank
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by letank » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:38 pm

I know squat on the CAD... but found this:

http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=132957

If there is no Vac. hose going to the front cover, and you have no front drive shaft on it now, just get under there and turn the yoke on the front diff, if you can turn it, it is disengaged, if you can't the PO has done something to keep in engaged...........Might want to open it up and check to see what that was. In any event if you can turn it, hook up a hose to the front diff cover, and run it to manifold vac. start up the truck and then try to turn the front yoke, if it is working correctly you won't be able to turn it very far before it locks. I always thought that Disco front end was a retarded setup, while you get rid of the drag of spinning the diff, you still are spinning the axles and wear and tear on the axle joints ect ect. I would put the hubs on, and leave the vac line hooked up, or lock the front end by some other means.


IIRC, there was a guy here that took the vac motor a fork off his axle, and used a hose clamp on the shaft to keep the collar in the engaged position. But I'm running on 1/2 a cup o coffee, so could be mistaken...

I have never messed with one, but from what I understand, you take the cover where the vac motor is off and it will have a shift fork on it that gets removed. Inside, the axle will be in 2 pieces, with a collar that slides across the break to lock them together. Engage the collar and put a hose clamp on the shaft behind it to keep it from disengaging.
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chevelleguy
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by chevelleguy » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:10 pm

I have locked mine in so that the vacuum switch only controls the transfer case. The vacuum motor and shift fork are still on the cover, but the motor is held in the extended position by two small hose clamps wrapped around the actuator shaft. Replacing the front axle assembly with one from ‘85-‘91 would be the cleanest solution, but the way I did it was free and has worked for 17 yrs.


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David
'83 Wag Limited, 360/727/pinned 229/D44 front/AMC20,lockrite,rear/6" BJ lift w/ 35/12.50/15 M/T Baja MTZ/ Pro-Jection EFI.

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Topic author
Laredo Matt
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Laredo Matt » Sat Aug 28, 2021 10:46 am

chevelleguy wrote:
Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:10 pm
I have locked mine in so that the vacuum switch only controls the transfer case. The vacuum motor and shift fork are still on the cover, but the motor is held in the extended position by two small hose clamps wrapped around the actuator shaft. Replacing the front axle assembly with one from ‘85-‘91 would be the cleanest solution, but the way I did it was free and has worked for 17 yrs.


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Free and still working after 17years ... can't beat that:)

I'm going with a new drive train with electronic transfer case so if I address the axles, I should be able to shift (dash mounted switch) on the fly between 2-4WD ...fingers crossed. At least that is goal.
Matt
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chevelleguy
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by chevelleguy » Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:39 am

Yes, if you leave the factory slugs in the front hubs. I put manual hubs in mine.


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David
'83 Wag Limited, 360/727/pinned 229/D44 front/AMC20,lockrite,rear/6" BJ lift w/ 35/12.50/15 M/T Baja MTZ/ Pro-Jection EFI.

'16 Camaro SS
'98 STX1100 Jet ski
'96 ZXi 1100 Jet ski
'90 KDX 200


Topic author
Laredo Matt
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Re: Dana 44 vacuum actuator delete

Post by Laredo Matt » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:02 pm

Coming back to this thread with some clarifying questions as I get closer to actually addressing the fix. I've been so focused on body and paint in the last two months to try and it get it done before weather turns cool and damp.

I like the idea of the axle swap and getting a pair from the 85-91 wagon. I can, as an alternative try the hose clamp Chevelleguy and others discussed but that would be second option for me.

Team Grand Wagoneer has the following part listed "Dana 44 Forged 4340 Chromoly Front Inner & Outer Axle Set GW 1980-1991" I didn't realize there were inner and outer axles. Also, says that for 80-91.

Is that the right part to be looking for? If so, I assume it would need a sleeve on the axle to adapt to the larger ID oil seal in order to prevent leaks?

Ideally I can find a set for sale from a parts vehicle and not have to buy a new set, budget is already blown, but need to make sure I'm trying to find the right part first.

thanks again everyone ...sorry for being a bit slow. Learning as I go....except how to lay down clear with no orange peel :banghead:
Matt
83 Cherokee Laredo
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