Dana 36 to Dana 44 Conversion

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I recently installed a Dana 44 with 3.07 as a result of upgrading the
motor to a 406. I know many people here do not trust the reliability of
teh d36\’s and often upgrade. As a result, many questions on what is
needed and how hard it is to covert over are asked. I hope to supply some
instructions on how to do the job and give some comfort to those about to
take on the challenge.
I am not gonna go through the details of
each bolt and what size each are, for if you can\’t figure that out, I
wouldn\’t advice you going any further than reading this. 🙂
Lets get started. I am gonna assume you are replacing just the
differential, cover (batwing), driveshaft and C-beam. If you have to
replace the entire unit, this tech tip may not offer direct assistance,
but some of the pictures might help.
The Dana 44 is much larger
than the dainty36, as a result you will need a driveshaft from a manual
car that is about 1\” shorter and also a different C -Beam, both of these
are usually supplied with the differentials, but you should check to make
sure before you find out too late.
The first thing you will need to
do is secure the car up off the ground. Use all the safety needed to make
sure you don\’t get hurt. Once the car is off the ground and you will
need a bit of clearance, as the spring will bend downward quite a bit once
Here is a shot of the Dainty36

I did mine I undid as little as possible, to make life easier, I will try
to explain this is the same fashion I did mine.
The first thing
your gonna want to do is remove the 3 bolts that hold the tortion bars in
place, you can see this in the upper right hand corner of the picture.
And the clean hole were they came out of on the rear. DO NOT TURN the
tortion bars themselves. I did my swap and never had to mess with
re-aligning the car. If you turn them you will mess up the alignment

is another shot of it straight from the rear.

you are gonna want to just pull it back out of the way for now. Now move
over to the end of the black spring, seen in the picture here. There is a
bolt on either side, you will need to support the spring SECURELY with
something, a jack or something that is not gonna let go and rip your
arm/hand off when you take the bolt out. There is ALOT of potential
energy there and it comes down WAY past the end of the threaded rod, so
when you pull the nut off you will then need to let the end down slowly
with whatever you used to keep it in place. Make sure you are high enough
off the ground, for the spring will make a virtual upside down U when
fully let down.

that the spring ends are completed relieved, you can move to the middle
section and remove the two bolts that sandwitch the spacers and spring
itself into place. Seen here in this picture.

the spring is completely out of the way. I noted the orientation of it
with a small scribe mark, as you will need to resure all the
OK these next few pictures are pretty busy so i will try to
walk you through what you see.
On the first picture it shows the
next two bolts you need to remove. DO NOT TURN THE BIG BOLT that looks
like the washer if off center. That is another alignment bolt. Remove
the other two seen just to the upper left of the big one. ( the bolts
that hold the spring are suppose to be gone at this point)

those bolts removed you should be able to rotate those dog bones down
towards the ground and over to the wheel. Again this is why you need alot
of clearance under the car. These will become very valuable tools to help
you get the half shafts out. with both of the dog bones rotated down out
you should look like this, except the 1/2 shafts are still

I am gonna have to fire my camera man for he was slacking through this
part of the project, and did not get a shot of the U-Joint straps that you
need to remove at this point. There are two little straps that hold the
U-joints in place, these need to be taken off each of the two 1/2 shafts
at the differential\’s side. Leave the wheel side alone. Again look at
the last picture for reference.
Two things to be concious of here.
1. The u joint caps can and will fall off, when you start moving the 1/2
shafts around. I wrapped them with electrical tape to keep them in
2. The 1/2 shafts are kinda trapped in the
differential\’s cups that the straps are bolted to, so here is where the
dog bones come into play. You can use them as a lever to move the wheel
and 1/2 shaft out away from the differential, since the wheel is not being
help in place anymore. This will give you just enough room to get the 1/2
shaft to the position you see above. Again, you need to push outward
using the dogbones to create enough room to get the 1/2 shafts down out.
It should now look like this

almost have it licked now! All there is left to do is obviously get a
support you can then lower on the differential itself and take the
remaining two bolts out that hold it in. These are located at the ends of
the batwing/cover. This is an earlier picture, but you can see one of the
bolts up near the yellow that needs to be removed now.

your ready to lower the dainty 36 down out!
Just jocky things around
until it clears everything.

a break and drink a beeer for lubrication!

your new D44 is apart as mine was, make sure that both maing surfaces are
free of dirt and dings that may lead to leaks. Thanks Dad for taking that
responsibility on while I drink my beer.

you are gonna want to have already purchased some gasket sealer called
\”The Right Stuff\”. Apply it to each mating surface and put the two

you have it torqued to the specifications in your manual, install the unit
in the exact reverse order that you took it out! This is what the
finshied product looks like!

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