Dana 44 vs Dana 30 [Which is Better?]

I hope you will agree with me when I say

 Dana 44 axle was the ultimate choice for brands seeking a tough option for over more than 70 years. 

Dana 44 was undoubtedly the best option available on the market to set up your 4×4 wheels or upgrade them to the industry’s gold standards.

However, there are numerous other options available on the market now. Dana has produced several different axles, such as the Dana 30 and Dana 60. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will be focusing on Dana 44 vs Dana 30 comparison. This article highlights the difference between Dana 30 and Dana 44. We will be discussing Dana 30 axle vs Dana 44 axle specs, strength, identification, upgrades, and a lot more. If you are here after researching the internet and finding out that a Rubicon would have been a better purchase option than a Jeep JK Wrangler, you do not need to worry. Just go through the guide and it will help you make an educated decision about the upgrade required if any.

We have written this article in the simplest possible manner to help everyone understand what an axle is, and what is the difference between Dana 30 and 44 jeeps. So, let’s get started with the article. We hope you are as excited as we are to learn about Dana 44 vs Dana 30 specs.


Role of Axles

Axles are one of the most important components in your car that a lot of people overlook. It is basically a rod or a shaft that connects a pair of wheels. Axles propel the wheels to rotate, move, and maintain a steady position at the same time.

Talking about how does everything work, the engine is responsible for supplying force to the axle to perform its duties. Through the power received, axles rotate and move the vehicle forward. In short, as the axle spins, it spins your wheels and makes the vehicle move. It delivers the driving power received from the engine to your wheels.

Types of Axles: Everything You Need to Know

Types of Axles

Axles play a vital role in your off-road rig. They take on a lot of abuse on the trail as compared to any other driving component in your vehicle. With the internal stress of power over obstacles and through the deep water and mud, your axles bear all the pressure on an off-road trail. Other than that, your axles are responsible for funneling the engine torque to the ground.

A car has two types of axles – a Dead Axle and a Live Axle. A Dead Axle is a component of a car that has the responsibility of putting up with the weight of the vehicle. It does not rotate the wheels of the vehicle. On the other hand, the Live Axle is the main component that propels the wheels to rotate, move, and maintain a steady position with the other wheels. To smoothly transfer power from the engine to the axle, a Constant Velocity join is used that connects the live axle with the wheels.

  • Front Axle

A front axle is found at the front of your car. It can either be a live axle – to rotate your wheels – or a dead axle. The purpose of a front axle is to support steering and also absorb the shocks that are generated by your off-road bumpy rides.

  • Rear Axle

A rear axle is found at the back of your car. Rear axles are usually live axles and are responsible for transmitting the engine power to the wheels. A driveshaft is connected to your engine to turn the rear axle and help the wheels move.

A rear axle

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Dana Incorporated has been in the market since 1904. It was well known under of the name of ‘Spicer’ before. It worked under the niche of universal joint manufacturing and started expanding gradually. When Spicer was renamed ‘Dana’, the company had expanded into driveline directions.

In World War II, Dana contributed Dana 25 and Dana 23-2 axles to the MA/MB line of go-anywhere runabouts. These were sold to the civilians as jeeps. Dana 30 or Dana 44 are among the top front axles available in the market.

Dana 30

Dana 30 is an automotive axle that has been manufactured by the Dana Holding Corporation. It has been manufactured as an independent suspension axle and a beam axle with numerous other versions.

Dana 30’s first appearance was found in the early Ford Bronco in 1966. It is a lightweight front axle that is used in the lower models of Jeeps. It is perfect for street use and light off-roading; however, it may not be the best for heavy off-road trails.

This article highlights the Dana 30 Chromoly vs Dana 44 Chromoly. In addition, you will also find a Dana 30 to Dana 44 conversion. Keep reading the Dana 44 vs Dana 30 comparison to educate yourself further. This will help you make a better and educated guess for your vehicle that perfectly suits your requirements.

Dana 30


Dana 44

The first design of Dana 44 appeared in the early 1950s. It was installed under the first-generation Ford Thunderbird in 1955 and then it was made available in light-duty pickups. This eventually continued and the Dana 44 quickly gained popularity in the market.

You could easily find Dana 44 front axles for jeeps in the market. From the 1950s onwards until today, this practice continues. Dana 44 front axles are being used for jeeps, Fords, and several other vehicles. What makes Dana 44 so popular is the lightweight design that makes it easier to engineer into different vehicles, such as passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUV platforms. In addition, it is quite tough, versatile, and affordable. Dana 44 has gained a reputation for being near-indestructible. It is an excellent option for rock crawlers, streetcars, as well as drag racers.

The basic jeep model’s rear axle, and the Rubicon’s rear axle, are the same – Dana 44. However, Rubicon has a Dana 44 front axle while lower jeep models have a Dana 30 front axle when comparing JK Dana 30 vs 44 front axles.

Dana 30 Chromoly vs Dana 44 Chromoly will be discussed in detail throughout the article, with numerous other factors, such as the Dana 44 vs Dana 30 identification, axle upgrades, identification, rear axle shafts, and much more.

Dana 44

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Dana 44 vs Dana 30

You can gather numerous similarities and spot several differences between Dana 30 and Dana 44 jeep models. All Rubicon models come with standard front and rear Dana 44 axles. You might find a different front axle in some vehicles, but the rear axle used is Dana 44 most of the time. Hence, the difference in front axles categorizes the vehicles according to the different user needs.

JK Dana 30 vs Dana 44 have the same hubs, ball joints, brakes, knuckles, CS, and steering. However, there is a difference in the diameter of the ring gear, axle shafts, and electronic locker. The differences are summed up for you in the table below to allow easy readability.

FeaturesDana 30Dana 44
Gear Ratio3.733.73
Diameter Ring Gear7 1/8 inches8 1/2 inches
Locking DifferentialsNoneElectronically actuated locker available
Axle Shafts27 spline30 spline

1. Gear Ratio

Dana 44 JK 5.13 Ratio Thick Ring And Pinion Nitro Gear and Axle | The Edge Automotive

A gear ratio can be described as the ratio of the number of rotations of a driver gear to the number of rotations of a driven gear. For every rotation of the 45-tooth gear, the 15-tooth gear must rotate 3 times.

Talking about the gear ratio of Dana 30 vs Dana 44, both of them have the same gear ratios. Dana 30 has a standard 3.21 gear ratio. After 2007, an optional gear ratio of 4.10 was available on towing packages. However, this was changed in 2008. Dana 30 comes with an optional factory gear ratio of 3.73, which is quite well.

The most popular gear ratio that you can find in trucks today is about 3.55. Hence, the gear ratio provided by Dana 30 and Dana 44 is ideal. You can choose the optional factory gear ratio if you often tow or carry heavy loads with your vehicle.

Dana 44 provides the same gear ratio as that of Dana 30.

2. Axle Housing

Axle housing is found on both, the front and the rear-wheel-drive vehicles. It is a necessary component to operate both axles of the vehicle, front and rear. Axle housing, in short, holds everything together. It allows the wheels to rotate freely as well as independently. The strength of your axle housing is quite important if you plan on off-roading or rushing through muddy trails. However, if you just plan on rock crawling, the axle housing strength might not be as important to you.

Dana 30 vs Dana 44 front axle strength is not quite different from one another. In fact, the axle housing of Dana 30 and Dana 44 is exactly the same. Hence, you do not get any difference from switching between one front axle to another.

If you plan to travel at a high speed, hitting bumps and riding through the rocks, you should consider Dana 60 instead of Dana 30 or Dana 44. Dana 60 provides you a better axle housing. Compared to Dana 30 vs Dana 44 front axle strength, Dana 60 provides a better axle strength.

Dana 30 vs Dana 44: What's The Difference?

3. Inner C

What is meant by inner Cs? C is where the ball joints are and the knuckle bolts too. It is an essential component of the axle because if the C bends, you would require a new axle housing to fix the problem. To avoid bending it, gusset the C if you plan to run tires that are larger than 37 inches. However, if your tires are under 37 inches, they would most probably not bend the C.

Dana 30 and Dana 44 both have weak Cs. You need to be cautious while purchasing Dana 44 or Dana 30 front axle for sale in the market.

Dana 30 vs Dana 44 inner cs

4. Diameter Ring Gear

The diameter of the ring gear helps in spreading the load and absorbs the stress of your vehicle. Dana 30 and Dana 44 both have different gears. Dana 30 has a standard diameter ring gear size of 7 1/8 inches, with a gear ratio of around 3.21.

On the other hand, Dana 44 has a standard diameter ring gear size of around 8 1/2 inches, with a gear ratio of 4.10. Dana 44 has a large center section housing to accommodate the large ring gear diameter. Center section housing is responsible for holding your differential.

diameter ring gear

5. Locking Differentials

The Dana 30 axle does not come with a locking differential or any factory LSD. On the other hand, Dana 44 comes with a limited-slip differential option. From 2008 onwards, the option for selectable electric locking differential is also available for Dana 44. It has an incredible electronically actuated locker that is absolutely loved by the customers.

6. Axle Shafts

Axle Shafts are the weakest link that you can find on the axle, making it easier to swap than a differential if you are out of the trail. Dana 30 vs Chromoly vs Dana 44 Chromoly rear and front axle shafts are quite different from one another.

Dana 30 comes with axle shafts of 27 spline, while Dana 44 comes with axle shafts of 30 spline. Dana 44 front axles are more robust as compared to Dana 30 front axles. However, both of them have small u-joints and weak ears. Dana 60 is an ideal option if you require huge tires or high horsepower.

Axle Shafts

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Dana 30 to Dana 44 Conversion

A video is attached above to help you with Dana 30 to Dana 44 conversion in just 13 minutes.


We hope you found the article to be engaging and easy to understand. We have tried our best to keep everything as simple as possible so that you can follow what we have mentioned. We want you to make an educated guess, about whether you want to purchase Dana 44 or Dana 30 front axle for sale. Both of them have their similarities and differences.

We hope this article equipped you with enough information to help you make a wise purchase decision. You can also rebuild Dana 30 one-piece front axle conversion at your own home. You just require a little more research for that and you are good to go. We wish you the best of luck with your further research!

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