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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just doing some research into the rear end failures. What are the differences in the Nissan Dana 44 compared to common Dana 44's found in Jeeps, Fords, Chevys, International Harvesters? I know that Disc brakes and the overall width are obviously gonna vary but what makes them incompatible with other Dana 44's that have many common and interchangeable parts?
 

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The Titans rear end is actually based on Dana's "Super 44"
used in some Vettes' and Vipers.
Since it's a variation, and not the stock configuration(the diff portion) there's nothing aftermarket for it yet, except the Detroit TruTrac.
There have been rumors the Dana 44 gears have been adpated with the use of some sort of ring gear spacer, but those who post such don't know enough to really explain.

For strength and duribilty the TruTrac is the way to go, but for a gear change it's still no...Gears have been "promised" for the last 2 years but nobody has stepped up to manufacture them yet, and there's still issues with the ECM programing when changing gear also...
 

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This is a good question and from what I've read, it isn't necessarily the Dana 44 by itself that is failing. It is the way that it is being used/mounted/stressed in the Nissan Titan application. The Dana 44 is a very widely used axle and doesn't have the problems we are seeing here across all other vehicle applications.

So the real question is what about the Nissan Titan application of the Dana 44 is making it fail so much???

Others may have more to add...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Titanic9 said:
This is a good question and from what I've read, it isn't necessarily the Dana 44 by itself that is failing. It is the way that it is being used/mounted/stressed in the Nissan Titan application. The Dana 44 is a very widely used axle and doesn't have the problems we are seeing here across all other vehicle applications.

So the real question is what about the Nissan Titan application of the Dana 44 is making it fail so much???

Others may have more to add...
Exactly, its puzzling me that this is such an issue especially if its supposed to be the "Super 44". I have run regular Dana 44's before without any issues and I know there are plenty of people running 35 & 36" tires and even a few running 37" on the Jeep Rubicon Dana 44. This has a lot more power than the Jeeps do but still. I personally feel they should have went with a heavier rear axle like a Dana 60 in the first place. 3.36 is not available for them though. There would have been no issue with that axle and they are extremely common in older half ton trucks. I run a D60 out of a dodge in my jeep. 39.5" tires and 325 ft lbs of torque without any issues

I read in a thread I found off of google about the differential overheating and burning up the bearings. Also someone posted to me in another thread that the fix is an alumium cover with fins to dissipate the heat. Even with synthetic this seems to be more of a bandaid than a real fix to me.

If heating is the real issue what causes it and why arent more people out buying high capacity aluminum finned covers and filling up with synthetic? Seems to me that will be my first mod.
 

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i think part of the heat issue was due to installation error... the new rears were shipped from the factory with a plug in the axle vent.. the dealers weren't instructed to remove the plug and add a vent. i'm sure there are other cases too but i remembered reading about this before.

i too was surprised about the dana's having issues seeing as how they've been proven for years. i think some of my dad's old IHC's had dana's in them... but that's really pickin the old brain.
 

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Titanic9 said:
This is a good question and from what I've read, it isn't necessarily the Dana 44 by itself that is failing. It is the way that it is being used/mounted/stressed in the Nissan Titan application. The Dana 44 is a very widely used axle and doesn't have the problems we are seeing here across all other vehicle applications.

So the real question is what about the Nissan Titan application of the Dana 44 is making it fail so much???

Others may have more to add...
I quick answer is...it's not. The percentage of Titans needing its rear diff replaced only seems high because you hear about it here. In fact, it's a very minute portion that have problems. You can check on the site where the complaints are filed.
 

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their is a place in sun valley that can mod your stock titan rear end so you can put whatever gear ratio you want. Hoopers Rear end in sun valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just test drove an 04 4x4 that has had the rearend rebuilt once. It has about 10k on the rebuild. They guy drove 40 miles to meet me. I crawled under and felt the diff cover. It was quite hot to the touch, hot enough I did not want to leave my hand on it. I traveled 40 miles to meet him so I felt mine after feeling his (03 Chev Duramax) my rear diff cover was just warm and was not nearly as hot. When I took it for a ride there was a slight vibration under acceleration that dissappeared when coasting. I have a feeling that it may need a rebuild again in the near future. There was also a clunk over studder bumps but I do not think that was related to the rear differential. I doubt Ill buy that one unless he drops his price quite a bit.

Has anybody swapped in a Ford 9" ? They make 3.33 gears for them, I think that would be close enough for the 4x4's. That would be a trouble free alternative and if you find a used one for a good price it might be cheaper than the cost of the rebuild.
 

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FabHappy said:
Has anybody swapped in a Ford 9" ? They make 3.33 gears for them, I think that would be close enough for the 4x4's. That would be a trouble free alternative and if you find a used one for a good price it might be cheaper than the cost of the rebuild.
Greg, the owner of PRG, has a Ford 9" with 4.10 gears in his 2wd TITAN. I tried finding the pictures of it, but didn't have any luck.
 

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What i have read it is the spider gears that are the weak link, also the BT (3.36) fail more often than the Non BT (2.94) that i have?
 

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titanss said:
What i have read it is the spider gears that are the weak link, also the BT (3.36) fail more often than the Non BT (2.94) that i have?
Yes, the spiders are the weak link, and Yes, the Non BT versions seem to be less prone to failure. Honestly, I believe I've only seen one reported failure on a Non-BT/Non-OR Titan with the 2.94 gears. It seems to be that the BT+OR versions are more succeptable than a truck with only BT and not OR?!?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
54warrior said:
Yes, the spiders are the weak link, and Yes, the Non BT versions seem to be less prone to failure. Honestly, I believe I've only seen one reported failure on a Non-BT/Non-OR Titan with the 2.94 gears. It seems to be that the BT+OR versions are more succeptable than a truck with only BT and not OR?!?!?
So if the spiders are the problem where is the overheating coming from? Do you think the overheating is due to metal shavings/pieces from the spider gears?
Has anyone that has put in a True Trac had any problems since its addition?
 

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FabHappy said:
So if the spiders are the problem where is the overheating coming from? Do you think the overheating is due to metal shavings/pieces from the spider gears?
Has anyone that has put in a True Trac had any problems since its addition?
Based on what I've read, there isn't really an overheating problem now. The change to synthetic fluid and the heat sink diff cover between 2004/2005 models seems to have solved that problem.

The spider gears are the problem. I don't know enough about materials/manufacturing, but it seems to me as though they are using some cheap metal to make the spider gears. When they go, they go. I don't know enough either to really explain why there has been less of an issue on the non-Big Tow equipped trucks. I have 40k and going strong on my non-BT truck and have been running 35's for probably 25 of those 40k. I've never towed anything though either.

I am not aware of any Tru Trac failures of any kind.
 

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The spyder gears are causing most of the problems, they are manufactured using a "Sintered Metal" process...powered metal is placed in a "mold" and heat and pressure are applied. The powder melts and forms the shape of the dies, it's cooled and then removed from the dies for final machine work.
I think this was a poor choice of manufacture for such a highly stressed part, when heat and pressure are applied during usage, the part gets "soft" and can fail...They should have been machined out a solid steel alloy block...JUST like every other truck rear end...
 

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So who's decision was it to go with the Sintered Metal gears??

1) Dana, with Nissan Approval
2) Dana, without Nissan Approval
3) Nissan, directing Dana to do so to cut costs
4) Nissan engineers??

Honestly, it's more their fault (DANA) than Nissan's if you ask me. I'll guarantee they new this stuff wouldn't hold up. Dana didn't just start building axles yesterday, they aren't a bunch of dummies. In today's world though, the pressure to make things cheap has backfired on this particular rear end. Unfortunately, Nissan's the one who's reputation and sales are the ones taking the hit for this one. I'm sure if we started shooting Dana emails, we wouldn't get much farther, as I'm sure Nissan has directed them to be 'tight lipped' in this matter, because in their eyes, there isn't really a problem. If you ask me, if there are any failures, there is a problem somewhere.
 

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The rear end in my '04 BT failed at 7,000 miles and was replaced with an entirely new unit including fined aluminum cap. Nissan also required that 75-140 synthetic oil be used. I have towed with it extensively (one 3,000# and one 5,000# trailer). I have changed the gear oil at 20,000 mile intervals. Today I installed a True Trac. The shop mentioned that the old unit still looked okay with mo major signs of wear after roughly 42,000 miles on it. The True Trac is really the way to go for strength and traction though....
 

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The True Trac is really the way to go for strength and traction though....

Correction, its the ONLY way to go for strength, traction, and almost guaranteed reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good stuff. Well I think I will put the true trac on my xmas list.
 

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Is it hard on the rear diff to engage the e locker? What about the added stress of 4X4 use(if any is added, I do not know) could these add to the overall failure of a diff similar to towing adding more stress to the diff?
 
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