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Old 09-10-2012, 11:23 PM
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dana 44 closed knuckle spindle arm bearings?

so i got to looking at my front axle while i wait to take it to the shop for an alignment. then i got into the shop manual and got to looking at the diagram of the front axle. seems like the caster and camber are non adjustable. i thought it had a cam in the upper cap but its just a bearing. so now i wonder if " I " should take it apart and replace the worn parts. it doesnt look to bad other than trying to figure out the spindle arm bearing preload with an in. torque wrench. randy's ring and pinion said they have all the parts but i need to take it apart and get the bearing and seal numbers. they said there were 3 different models of the 44 from 59 to 77. i think if i do the work myself i would replace everything i could
1. new lock-out hubs
2.inner and outer wheel bearings w/seals
3. axle shaft u joints
4.spindle bearings
5.wiper kits
6.tie rod and drag link ends
i did a fte search and didnt come up with a good thread. has anyone done this on there 4x4 fridge? seems like more and more 4wd fridges are finding fte so we might as well jump into this one way or another. it sounds like chets 59 f100 needs this work also. any thoughts? spur? teddy? havi........you still out there! gb, i know yours is a 2wd but anyone that can turn a fridge into an oil burner can talk me into this!
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:41 AM
willowbilly3 willowbilly3 is offline
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Here's a tip for closed knuckles.
since almost every one of them has pitting and or wear where the wiper seal sets on the knuckle, you have a hard time keeping 90w gear lube from leaking out and dirt/water from leaking in. I always just fill it with a good grade of chassis grease like lubriplate.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:38 AM
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Spicer/Dana 44 parts (with or without free running hubs) same 1959/60 F100 all with 3,000 lb. front axle. Some internal parts same 1959/65 F100.

The bearings have BIN's stamped on them: Bearing Industry Numbers that autoparts stores, bearing shops go by.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thundersnow70 View Post
so i got to looking at my front axle while i wait to take it to the shop for an alignment. then i got into the shop manual and got to looking at the diagram of the front axle. seems like the caster and camber are non adjustable. i thought it had a cam in the upper cap but its just a bearing. so now i wonder if " I " should take it apart and replace the worn parts. it doesnt look to bad other than trying to figure out the spindle arm bearing preload with an in. torque wrench. randy's ring and pinion said they have all the parts but i need to take it apart and get the bearing and seal numbers. they said there were 3 different models of the 44 from 59 to 77. i think if i do the work myself i would replace everything i could
1. new lock-out hubs
2.inner and outer wheel bearings w/seals
3. axle shaft u joints
4.spindle bearings
5.wiper kits
6.tie rod and drag link ends
i did a fte search and didnt come up with a good thread. has anyone done this on there 4x4 fridge? seems like more and more 4wd fridges are finding fte so we might as well jump into this one way or another. it sounds like chets 59 f100 needs this work also. any thoughts? spur? teddy? havi........you still out there! gb, i know yours is a 2wd but anyone that can turn a fridge into an oil burner can talk me into this!
Well, I've got to say that if that thing were mine, I would be tearing it down myself. You just can't learn any younger! You may be facing a few unknowns at this point but that will all change when you get it all apart and laid out in a nice orderly fashion. (By the way, it might be best to tear down only one side at a time to have something to look at), I have only worked on newer 4X4's, so I will not be any real help but I certainly would encurage you to do your own work if you have the time and space to do so! Keep on starring it down and before you know it that thing will be in pieces before your eyes!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:34 PM
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I say go for it. Post up what you find as you go and add plenty of pics for me. I am facing that same deal on my 63 F25o 4wd within the next year. I did a complete brake job on my 65 F100 4wd last winter and that was not to terribly difficult. To take the rest of the closed knuckle apart could not be that much more difficult. Im going to do mine when the time comes. I would however recomend you have a service manual at your disposal.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:05 PM
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well........we tore into it last night and it was long overdue for some love. when jr. gets the pics loaded up to photobucket i will start a rebuild thread. spur made a comment about not getting any younger. that was the second time i heard that in the last couple days. thanks for pushing me off the cliff guys!
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:16 PM
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Glad you took the plunge!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread as I'll be referring to it in the future for sure. I got the pink slip for my 59 today and picking it tomorrow. I was blown away how much slop there was on the drivers side knuckle. I can't believe it was even drivable when it was last on the road back in '96. I actually made a 3rd trip over just to get the once missing pink slip and wanted to measure tire to tire width for trailer fitment. I had a hell of a time turning the steering wheel and was wondering if it was just due to very low tire pressure or the bearings.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by chetspencer View Post
Thanks for starting this thread as I'll be referring to it in the future for sure. I got the pink slip for my 59 today and picking it tomorrow. I was blown away how much slop there was on the drivers side knuckle. I can't believe it was even drivable when it was last on the road back in '96. I actually made a 3rd trip over just to get the once missing pink slip and wanted to measure tire to tire width for trailer fitment. I had a hell of a time turning the steering wheel and was wondering if it was just due to very low tire pressure or the bearings.
Oh no, I'm not excited, it's just an old truck! That's awsome. Working on these old heaps is a great pastime. Sometimes it can become fulltime but that is where the "War Department", usually steps in at my house, or tries to! LOL
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:08 AM
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Congrats on tackling the front axle. I rebuilt the knuckles on my NAPCO closed knuckle last year. I know those dana 44's have pressed in cups on the ends where the cone bearings ride in. Good idea while you have it apart to replace them. A new reproduction shop manual have torque specs and exploded diagrams. You can get on e-bay the 4x4 supplement manual for 59-60 4x4 fords that have additional specs and diagrams. Pretty helpful. All bearings I found were from Timken and were all available. Let us know how it is going.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:17 AM
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finished the disassembly tonight and it looks bad. i was gonna start a new thread but maybe i should just post the pics and info on this thread. some may recall the pic of my sixty with the front axle resting in three feet of water. turns out that was a good thing as the water was the only lube the spindle has had! no damage but it looks scary. pics and info coming soon.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:18 AM
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Thanks for going for it. Looking forward to the pics and stories of your success. Gives me hope my 63 will be rebuildable when I get to that step. On another note when I was slightly refurbing my 65 front dana 44 I took the knuckle servicing pugs out and looked in side gross to say the least seemed to be a combination of grease and some water and rust. I sucked and cleaned as much of that muck out of there as I could without dissasembeling the hub. Then I serviced it up full with Lucus hub oil and stop leak. This seemed similar to the oil the ford service manual calls for to service these up with. Anyway no leaks and that was probably over 500 miles ago and still going strong.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:26 AM
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If I remember correctly, the Dana front in my old '67 F250 had solid bronze bushings instead of tapered bearings.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:35 PM
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i cant speak to the 67 bronze bushings. i ordered all the parts last saturday. hopefully everything will be in tomorrow. waiting on the tie-rod ends and brake shoes. we pulled the diff cover after we discovered the water in the hub. this about made me sick! Click the image to open in full size.
on the upside we had some time to kill so i taught my son how to weld.Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:17 PM
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If your front dana 44 is the same as my 65 it should have a pipe drain plug on the bottom of the housing just rear of the front cover. It makes it easier to drain so you dont have to remove the front cover. I didnt find any rust on my ring or pinion gear when I removed the cover. Hope yours is the same.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:17 PM
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