Copyright 2012 by             All Rights reserved
Narrowing a Dana 44 front axle is not very hard to do compared to a rear axle. You need no more fancy tools then you would need to do a cut and turn as seen HERE. The axle housing itself can be cut with a metal chop saw, band saw, porta-band, cut off wheel or even a hack saw if that is all you have and you need a good work out.

Once the axle is torn down and the outer knuckles have been removed as seen in the cut and turn tech pages - you will have an axle that looks like this:
The you need to calculate how much the axle housing needs to be narrowed. I always try and narrow a housing to utilize factory length axle shafts when it is complete. That doesn't mean you need to end up with a factory width axle, as you can use one factory size on one side and a different factory size on another. A common swap is tom narrow  a Chevy Dana 44 to the size of an International Scout II or a Jeep Wagoneer. Start with the Chevy axle lengths 36.13" and 18.31" and subtract the length of the target axle shafts. In the case of the Scout II subtract 32.91" and 14.78" giving you a cut number of 3.22" for the long side and 3.53" for the short side. Thus creating a Spring over Axle (SOA) housing with Scout II axle shafts and a final wms-wms of 60" with Scout II outer knuckles/spindles or 61" with Chevy/Ford knuckles/spindles and the same 5x5.5" pattern as the Scout - or 63" if you swap to 8 lug outer knuckles/spindles. You really have unlimited options with width, wheel bolt pattern, drivers drop or passenger drop differentials, etc.

I use this chart to find an axle shaft combo that works the best for the final width I am shooting for. You want to try and keep the amount removed from each side pretty close to keep the differential in the right position in relationship to the spring perches/transfer case output/etc. If you cut 8" of the long side you will end up with a differential shifted too far over to the left (or right) once you get the axle centered under the truck.
Once you have your measurements picked out - measure - measure - measure some more! If your cuts is too short by more than 1/8" it wouldn't work right and you will in trouble... If it is too long you will not get full spline engagement at the carrier, which can lead to twisted off splines and axle failure.

In the picture above I'm using a chop saw to cut the axle. I have the axle blocked up with wood to get a very square cut. Go slow and let the saw do the work and you will get a straighter/squarer cut.

Once you have the axle tubes cut, continue on with the instructions laid out in the cut and turn pages. It really is easy! There is enough 'give/slop' in the u-joints to not need to use an alignment bar to put everything back together. Just check your caster and camber a few times before welding it tight.

Front axle Tech Area

Rear Axle Tech Area

General Axle Tech Area

4x4 - Offroad - Camping - Random Tech



Clean cut tube - done with a porta-band and using a hose clamp as a cutting guide.
Axle housing narrowing video