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MoabJeeper Magazine Article

General Articles - Product Reviews

Solid Axle Industries HD44 Review

Article written by Moab Man

Date Added: 12/28/2008

What is a Dana 60 by any other name?

This is actually the second writing of this story. When we first wrote it, but never published, we told you about the HD44 sold by Solid Axle Engineering. We mentioned how it had thicker axle tubes, chromoly shafts, and that it was overall just stronger. In our minds it was kind of like a complete Super 44; not just thicker shafts but overall heavier axle housing.

We have to say that Solid mislead us. Or maybe a better way to put it is they are too modest. Let me explain further. See it started when we were preparing the press release for the sale Solid Axle Industries (at the time of this writing) has going on. We spotted what we figured was a simple typo. The press release stated the axle comes with a 35 spline ARB.

Obviously this was a typo. It had to be. A D35 is 27 spline and bumps up to 30 in a ?Super? configuration. A Dana 44 goes from 30 to 33 spline, and a D60 configured with larger shafts in 30 or 35 spline. You see the trend?

We corrected the ?typo? in the press release, but to kill some time we started making phone calls. You know, just to make sure we weren?t making some kind of mistake, but really? a 35 spline 44 axle? Come on.

Here?s where the pieces all started to come together, and we finally cracked the modesty of the Solid Axle guys and man did the info come spilling out.

Let?s break it down. YES the Solid HD44 does come with chromoly 35 spline shafts. Let?s put this into perspective. The axle shafts on the Solid Axle 35 spline HD44 are 1.5? diameter. This is equal to the Dana 60 and Dynatrac 60 axle shafts.

Understanding that axle tube flex contributes to many an axle failure when pushing some big meats (tires), the HD44 axle tubes are constructed from 3.13? DOM tubing at a monstrous thickness of one half inch. For reference, Dana 60?s use 3.125? diameter tubes at a thickness of .313?. That is a considerable difference in beef.

What about the bearings? Yeah, as we have come to expect, D60 sized bearings are used in the HD44. Incidentally, they use and recommend high quality Timken bearings.

And just for a little extra dressing, this axle is completely customized to your needs. You tell them the bracketry needed (TJ, XJ, YJ), 5 or 6 lug bolt pattern, Wilwood or Ford Motorsports disc brake system, and plenty of other details Solid will go over with you at the time of placing your order.

So why is this axle not sold as a 60? The part that actually makes the genetic link to a Dana 44, not by much in our opinion, is the ring and pinion gear. The 44 ring gear is an 8.5? versus the 9.75? for the Dana 60. Again, that?s the only Dana 44 part in this axle. The HD44 housing is constructed from Solid?s own proprietary metal alloy and is beefed up ½? thicker than a standard D44.

Ok the translation. Because the housing has been substantially beefed up, it does not flex under load as a traditional D44 housing would. This rigidity allows the 35 spline ARB 44 to do the labor of a 60 (keep itself intact) and not give up a lot of ground clearance as the D60 does.

Final Thoughts

Imagine opening a gift. You peel back the wrapping paper and find the tool box you wanted from the local hardware store. The tool box is awesome, and it?s what you wanted; but it?s still just a tool box. Now imagine opening that toolbox and finding it loaded with every tool you could imagine and ever wanted.

This is exactly how we felt finding out that our Solid Axle HD44 is not just a pre-assembled Super 44, but a monster in disguise. So to answer the question from the beginning of the article, ?What is a Dana 60 by any other name?? We would reply, A Solid Axle Industries HD44!

Silly us! How could we forget? If all the incredible specs weren?t enough; this axle sells for ONLY $350 more than an ARB equipped 33 spline Super 44 (as priced through a couple major online Jeep parts retailers). We recommend purchasing before the Solid guys recover from their mental impairment and actually price it for what it?s worth.

So with this axle having been under the Turtle for one year now, we can honestly say we are every bit in love with it today as we were day one after the installation.

Solid Axle Industries HD44 Installation

Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Solid Axle Industries
Address: 12356 Mahoning Avenue
North Jackson, OH 44451
Phone: 888.290.AXLE
Contact Person: Customer Service
Website: solidaxle.com/index.htm

Our Thank You's!

MOABJEEPER Magazine would like to thank Solid Axle Industries for allowing us to assist in the prototype development for the YJ application.

And next time guys, don?t be so modest.


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