Dana 44 problem

236
2
18
Location
Dayton, OH
It looks like I won’t be able to drive my good old Army truck to the Military show in Findlay this weekend. I finally took it in the Dave-Dennis Chrysler Dodge Jeep here in Dayton OH to have a professional mechanic look at it to see why it makes a clicking noise in the front end when the truck is moving and he tells me that the ring and pinon gear for the front differential are shot and have to be replaced. Naturally, he also says he’s not sure if parts are available through the normal Chrysler parts system anymore for a vehicle that old. The front differential is a Dana 44 which has the reputation of being a relatively sturdy and well built unit, but it seems even they can fail. The mechanic will put them in for me if I can get the parts. It’s the first vehicle that I have ever owned though in 50 years of driving that needs that kind of work.

I need to explore my options.

What would be best, scoring a complete front axle or just a pumpkin? Dana 44s can’t be that uncommon as Dodge had 4x4s in the civy market as well? Would local wrecking yards have them?
Would it be easy to score a ring and pinon? Who would be likely to have one if Chrysler Parts doesn’t list them anymore?

I have the 20P parts manual which has the NSN as well as the Chrysler part number. Would that be useful to approach the parts man with at the dealership? They have this computerized inventory data base that they check the part number against to see if it is still available or has been superseded. I haven’t had too much luck in the past with doing this for the same truck for some other parts, but maybe it depends upon which dealer one uses. Some are willing to work with you.

Any ideas or suggestions, fellas?
 

Recovry4x4

LLM/Member 785
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
33,413
262
83
Location
GA Mountains
Check with member BobH. He is in MI and might still have some laying about. Another MI member had a bunch of remans but his screen name escapes me. His first name is Lane. I'd at least get a PM to Bob before I commit to anything.
 

Derrickl112

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,695
49
48
Location
Southeast MI
Check with member BobH. He is in MI and might still have some laying about. Another MI member had a bunch of remans but his screen name escapes me. His first name is Lane. I'd at least get a PM to Bob before I commit to anything.
Citizensoldier?
 

patracy

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
13,737
922
113
Location
Buchanan, GA
Do you have to stay with Dana/Chrysler parts? There's a strong aftermarket following for the Dana 44 axle. Everything can be had to rebuild your axle from the aftermarket.
 

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
7,997
554
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
I have two hub to hub take out 880 front ends that need new homes.


Isn't clicking noise usually the u-joints in the knuckle? Ring and Pinion issues are usually growling and howling sounds.
 
236
2
18
Location
Dayton, OH
I have two hub to hub take out 880 front ends that need new homes.


Isn't clicking noise usually the u-joints in the knuckle? Ring and Pinion issues are usually growling and howling sounds.
I would have thought so too, but this is what I was told by the service writer who is relaying what the mechanic said. I will have to go back to the shop on Monday and talk to the mechanic myself to be sure that is what he meant to say.


For what it's worth, the sound is a definite metallic click that's loudest when the vehicle is just beginning to move. It clicks in reverse and in all forward gears. It appears to be coming from the right side. The clicking becomes fainter the faster one goes, but it never completely goes away and there is a new vibration coming from that area that makes the dash "buzz". This problem just started recently.


This vehicle has had only 70,000 miles since it was placed in service, (1977) so I'd really like to get it fixed if it is possible and wouldn't cost the proverbial arm, and leg.
 

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
7,997
554
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
When is the last time you repacked the front wheel bearings? If the center housing is full of oil, it is very unlikely the ring and pinion is shot.
 

porkysplace

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,150
284
83
Location
mid- michigan
If your ring and pinion is shot , I would look at slop in the chain in the transfer case . Stretched chains are a common problem with NP203 transfer cases .
 

Recovry4x4

LLM/Member 785
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
33,413
262
83
Location
GA Mountains
Let me add this caveat. Unless the mechanic has gray hair, I would shop for a second opinion. Despite the simplicity of the M880, today's youthful mechanics may be clueless staring at a Dana 44 or even a 203 transfer case.
 

rchalmers3

Half a mile from the Broad River
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,926
22
38
Location
Irmo, South Carolina
By the symptoms described, my guess is (x2) a brindled U-joint in the right drive shaft. The repair requires the removal of the hub and spindle, then slide the axle out. Not too bad a job. However I would point out that it's good practice to do both sides, and you may want to service the front axle complete while you have it down: new axle and pinion seals, service the hubs, brakes and knuckles.

Do it once and do it right for your next 50 years of driving!

Cheers,
Rick
 

Robert Denton

New member
21
0
0
Location
boston mass
Hi Bob H,
I need a new or totally rebuilt/re-manufactured front driveshaft for my M885. The auto stores are confusing the issue. I think it's a 3500 LB front axle they think because it measure 27 betweenn the two outside u-Joints that it's a 4500 lb axle. Do you know where I might find a NOS front driveshaft or have the definitive answers for what exactly I need.? Thanks for any help on this.

Bob Denton
 

Bob H

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
definitely a 3500lb front axle
I have an NOS unit on the shelf, that I can take a picture of/measure for reference.
militarysurplusparts usually has lots of M880 stuff on e bay
junk yards / where ever it is a standard Dodge W200 that you have, no need to confuse them with military truck.

3500lb axle is a Dana 44
4500lb axle is a Dana 60
the shaft for the 60 will be a little shorter than the one for the 44

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...318cid+v8,1100743,drivetrain,drive+shaft,2308
 
Last edited:

Robert Denton

New member
21
0
0
Location
boston mass
Hi Bob,
That's exactly what I was telling the guys at the different auto parts placesI went to but they made me start to doubt so I knew someone here would confirm my beliefs. A friend of mine told me abut a driveshaft guy we have not too far from home and he has it to rebuild for me since this morning. He'll do it for $70.00 cheaper than Cardone. and he does the whole thing, strips it, new u-joints, balances it and repaints it. He said two days. I saw some examples of his finished work. very nice. Thanks for your quick response. I know now you're the guy to ask about M880's . Thanks again.
Bob
 

M543A2

New member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,064
4
0
Location
Warsaw, Indiana
If you are still suspecting the gears, did I miss it, or why has no one suggested you pull the fill plug on the differential and dip a sample of the oil on a piece of tubing or other tool if it does not run out a bit, looking for larger amounts of silver flakes in it? For the cost of a gasket or some RTV you can also pull the cover off and check the oil and gears visually. A do it yourself that will give you a definite answer at low cost.
Regards Martin
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks