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Old 10/12/19, 03:48 AM   #1
Vermonter
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Dana 30/44 Drum brake question

I searched and couldn't find an answer to this question. I have a drum brake equipped Dana 30 that muched the differential. I sourced a later Dana 44 with disc brakes. I had just done a full brake job on the 30 prior to it failing. Question is can I swap the Dana 30 backing plates hubs and drums right onto the 44? This is a yard plow truck, so it'll never be on the road, so I have no concerns using front drum brakes, they've been fine for the 20 years we've owned this. Thank You for the input!!
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Old 10/12/19, 11:58 AM   #2
DirtDonk
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Hey there. Welcome to classicbroncos!
Probably a delay in answering because most questions revolve around going the other way.

What year is the Dana 30? The drums changed midway through '69, but the shoes (and maybe most of the springs and parts) were the same all the way through to '75.
I just don't know about the backing plates.
The disc brake 44's used a five-bolt spindle/knuckle interface, while your drum brake setups were all six-bolts. I'd have to say too, that because the register bore diameter was different too (disc was larger) the backing plates are just not going to be easy to bolt on to the 44 knuckles.

And obviously the 30 knuckles can't be swapped over because they're king-pin vs the ball joints of the 44.

So while it might be able to be done with a lot of work, I'm going to have to say no it's not a clean swap.
I'm sure others will know for sure and may even have tried it, but not sure the answer is going to be different.

Paul

'71 Wagon, 3.5" WH, F150 disc brakes and steering, 4.11 33x11.50 Thornbirds, Kayline soft top, Hanson bumpers. "Built, not bought"

'68 LUBR, 2.5 + 1 WH, 31x10.50, 4.56, Explorer and 4R70w by EFI Guy, WH disc brakes, Hanson front bumper, Warn winch. "Bought, not built"

www.wildhorses4x4.com
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Old 10/13/19, 08:10 PM   #3
suckerpunched
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I would use the 44 brakes and compare the components when you do the swap. some of it may work. wheel cylinders, shoes and drums are pretty inexpensive if you have to buy new. also, you checked the gear ratio to make sure it is the same right?
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Old 10/15/19, 09:19 AM   #4
Vermonter
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Thank You for the response!

The Dana 30 is on a 68 if memory serves me correctly.

I understand this is probably a strange request, as most folks want to upgrade to the disc brake, so probably not many people have any interest in swapping backwards!

I had figured it probably wouldn't be a clean swap out. I'm somewhat leery of using the disc brakes, as I've personally seen them get stuck from sitting easier than drum brakes. I actually picked up another complete front axle that is a 44 with drum brakes as well, so I have plenty of parts to choose from.

I did verify the axle tags had the same gear ratios.

Thank You!
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Old 10/17/19, 05:29 AM   #5
Vermonter
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Ok, so some questions, the Dana 44 I sourced with the correct gear ratio has disc brakes. I also bought another Dana 44 with drums, so I was going to pull the knuckles off that and swap that onto the known ratio 44. Question is I noticed the disc brake axle has another bracket on it that the older axles don't have. That was where a stabilizer was attached if memory serves me correct. That axle is fully compatible with this swap out? I'm assuming I'll just use the older knuckles with drum brakes, and the older steering linkage and just ignore the extra bracket, am I correct? [IMG]file:///home/user/Downloads/20191016_131605.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 10/17/19, 05:34 AM   #6
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Ok, well I'm not smart enought to be able to post pictures, but the two axles seem the same, but one has an extra bracket. Are the axles the same between the two?
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Old 10/17/19, 02:53 PM   #7
DirtDonk
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Yes. The extra bracket (is it over on the passenger side tube at an angle?) is likely the anti-sway bar mount found on '76 and '77 axles. Which also just happens to be the years available with disc brakes too, so that seems consistent.

You can swap everything from the knuckles out between disc and drum setups, but there may be a compatibility issue with brake lines.
There is a slight bracket/brace difference between the disc and drum, but that might be swappable, and the hard line fitting size where it interfaces with the soft hose.
Not a deal-breaker, but probably not going to just thread right on and be done.

If this turns out to be the case, you can either find some appropriate adapters, swap the hard lines between the axle housings, or have custom brake hoses made.

Paul

'71 Wagon, 3.5" WH, F150 disc brakes and steering, 4.11 33x11.50 Thornbirds, Kayline soft top, Hanson bumpers. "Built, not bought"

'68 LUBR, 2.5 + 1 WH, 31x10.50, 4.56, Explorer and 4R70w by EFI Guy, WH disc brakes, Hanson front bumper, Warn winch. "Bought, not built"

www.wildhorses4x4.com
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