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Super duty Dana 50

boonie

Newbie
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
29
I have a chance to get both axles from a 2000 super duty. 10.5 rear and Dana 50 front. I have a ‘77 44 that needs a full rebuild. Would it be worth it to run the d50? Or just build the 44? And it doesn’t bother me if I have full widths or not. I can’t really find anything on people using the 50 either. And as far as mounting can I use my radius arms after modding the axle? Thanks so much. Oh yeah and I’m probably 80% street.
 
Last edited:

Yeller

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
4,398
Loc.
Rogers County Oklahoma
The 50 is sort of an upgrade stock but not better than a 44 with good axles and ujoints in my opinion. There’s also little/ no suport for them other than brakes and unit bearings. Also it doesn’t just fit your current 44 fits
 

Broncobowsher

Contributor
Total hack
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
33,357
There will be a lot of work and expense for what ends up little more than a heavy duty dana 44. How close is it to a 44? There is a way to shave a little off the outside of the ring gear and use the D50 gears in a high pinion 44 housing.

I'm going for the rebuild your existing 44. That will be less work and less expense than adapting that 50.
 

LSharpNM

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
164
The Dana 50 has one of the most unfair reputations because it isn't a Dana 60 %) I personally believe if the Dana 60 didn't exist and the Dana 50 production run was longer, everyone would be building Dana 50s and talking about how much better they are than Dana 44s.

A Dana 50 has much more in common with a Dana 60 than a Dana 44; in fact most of the components on a Dana 50 share the same part numbers as a '99-'04 Dana 60, and the only part I am aware of that directly interchanges with a Dana 44 is the pinion yoke and perhaps the ring gear bolts. A Dana 50 is bigger and stronger than a Dana 44 in every way except for its pinion spline count/diameter.

The Dana 50 housing is identical to a '99-'04 Dana 60 housing with the exception of the center section casting since the hypoid offset of the gears is different and the carriers are dimensionally different. The other big disadvantage of the Dana 50 vs. the Dana 60 is that the inner axle shafts, which are the same 1.5" diameter as the Dana 60 shafts, neck down to 1.31" and 30 spline at the carrier (same as a Dana 44) instead of remaining 1.5" diameter and 35 spline. Last I looked into it, you could order a 35 spline ARB and run Dana 60 axle shafts if you wanted, but since no one builds Dana 50s, it is kind of a special order thing and not something you'll see listed. No one makes upgraded material Dana 50 shafts, so to upgrade the inners from stock, you either need to convert to 35 spline, or have custom shafts made. The outers are identical to a Dana 60, so you can just run aftermarket Dana 60 stuff.

Here is a picture to show you what I am talking about with the inner axleshafts
s-l1600.jpg



Basically, the Dana 50 is just as big and heavy as a Dana 60, but little weaker so every one says they are crap and just run a Dana 60, and they are right, except for cost. People practically give away Dana 50s because they are "junk" and Dana 60s are harder to find, and when you do, people want a lot more money for them. However, a stock Dana 50 is substantially stronger than a Dana 44, and even a fully upgraded Dana 44 can't quite match every aspect of the Dana 50. The Dana 50 has a bigger ring gear, Dana 60-sized U-joints, and 30 spline outers in stock form. The achilles heel of the Dana 44 has always been its joint size since that isn't really something you can upgrade on a Dana 44.

Here is a quick breakdown of the specs between a '99-'04 Dana 60, Dana 50, and Bronco Dana 44:

Ring & pinion
Dana 44: 8.5" ring gear, 1.375" shaft 26 spline pinion
Dana 50: 9" ring gear, 1.375" shaft 26 spline pinion
Dana 60: 9.75" ring gear, 1.625" shaft 29 spline pinion


Axle Shafts & U joints
Dana 44: 30 spline inner (1.31", stock shafts neck down smaller), 19 spline outer (1.175"), 1310 size U-joints
Dana 50: 30 spline inner (shaft necks down from 1.5" to 1.31" 30 spline diameter), 30 spline outer (1.31"), 1480 size U-joints
Dana 60: 35 spline inner (1.5"), 30 spline outer (1.31"), 1480 U-joints


Housing Tube Size
Dana 44: 2.75" OD .3125" wall
Dana 50: 3.5" OD .375" wall
Dana 60: 3.5" OD .375" wall

How close is it to a 44? There is a way to shave a little off the outside of the ring gear and use the D50 gears in a high pinion 44 housing.

I think what you are referring to is the Jana 54 conversion which does not involve turning down the Dana 50 ring gear (defeats the point of the conversion). It requires the use of a 3.73 & down Dana 44 carrier and special conversion bearings to offset the carrier since the distance between the ring gear mounting flange and pinion centerline is larger for a Dana 50 than a Dana 44. You can't us the Dana 50 carrier because the carrier bearing journals are larger than a Dana 44. This conversion requires a bunch of grinding to the Dana 44 housing and non-standard conversion bearings to match the bearing journal diameters of the Dana 50 pinion to the Dana 44 housing bore. Some of the bearings are marginally weaker than stock as a result. The gear set however is significantly stronger than a Dana 44 gear set (especially a low pinion Dana 44 like the Bronco comes with).


For the OP, I don't think a Superduty axle swap makes sense on a primarily street driven Bronco, especially if you are planning on running 37" or smaller tires. However, if you do decide to swap the Sterling in, a Dana 50 is a much better choice than trying to build a Dana 44 to match. It will take a lot of money just to make a Dana 44 comparable strength-wise to a bone stock Dana 50. That said, I would only run a Dana 50 in lieu of a Dana 60 if you get it pretty much for free and aren't planing on 40" + tires and hardcore wheeling.
 

maverickconner

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
485
I agree I've done a swap with a 2006 superduty setup with the larger tube, put in the 1550 outer axles. There is a lot of work for a 50. The sterling is a great setup, but at least get the D60 if your going to do the work.

Just FYI the 99-05' D60 are different and take less work, 06 and newer require tube shortening and adjusting the pumpkin because of the offset.
 

maverickconner

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
485
you should be able to find a set of superduty D60/ sterling for under a grand. tons of them out there now. They seem to be less expensive a your local yard than on craigslist or definitely Ebay. I paid $650 for my set.
 

sprdv1

Contributor
REBEL
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
79,638
there will be a lot of work and expense for what ends up little more than a heavy duty dana 44. How close is it to a 44? There is a way to shave a little off the outside of the ring gear and use the d50 gears in a high pinion 44 housing.

I'm going for the rebuild your existing 44. That will be less work and less expense than adapting that 50.

x2......
 
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