Hi I was confused by the large hubs on a heavy duty dana 44 into thinking it was a dana 60 . Were all the f-250's equiped with a Dana 44 also have the the 4 inch hubs like the dana 60 ? The one I have came out of a 1978 f-250 and has front disc brakes .
There are a couple of misconceptions regarding heavy duty dana 44's and later model high pinion units.
The hub and lockout which use the large external style hub was found on early "highboy" f-two fittys only. This was available on drum equipped trucks up until 75. 76 and 77 trucks also used the external design and was most common in 75 and 76 with a few early 77's in the bunch. One could find a randon dana 60 in some crew cabs and a rare standard cab or two, but these low pinion front axles bring little to no desirability, and are often mistaken for the more desirable 78/9 high pinion.
After the split in 77, all f-two fittys used a high pinion front axle and only had a small hub and lockout. These are not considered to be a HD front axle, and truth be known, there was nothing HD about any dana 44, but only units found in highboys were recognized as or as being identified as "HD". Again this is for the F-250 only.
Alright so in 78 and 79 the F250 was available with two front axles, one the dana 44 high pinion and the second was the high pinion dana 60. This high pinion dana 60 was only optional with the snow fighter package and had to be ordered this way.
Not until 79 was the F350 4x4 ever available, and this came standard with the front dana 60.
If you have a 78 truck with a large external hub and disc brakes, chances are very high that this was swapped out for an early axle some years back.
Sounds as though you have a 76 or 77 front axle under your rig.
Either the axle is different, or someone has changed the VIN, and you are looking at a 78 door / registration on a truck that is a little older than you think.
What is considered to be a "highboy", will have a divorced transfer case, and low pinion front axle. Later trucks with a high pinion front axle will have a married or direct mount transfer case. None of these 78/9 trucks would have had early style external lockouts.
That is an early axle, and these were not available in the 78/9 model years.
You should did a little deeper to find out whether or not your axle only has been changed or the something else on the truck has been modified.
It is not uncommon to find an early chassis with a later model door, cab, or other body parts that might otherwise indicate a later year, when in fact it is an early type.
There used to be some after market for these, but the desirability is so low, there seems to be less, and less.
You can purchase the reproduction dials for around 15 bucks, but I've not seen too many other parts for this.
Unfortunately the axle shaft is soooooo small, and the joints so fragile that the better option is to upgrade to the high pinion axle, which is why I believe you have this axle in a 78, if in fact the truck is a true 78.
Might open a can of worms searching around a bit. This can get confusing at times, but it is good to be able to identify these axles from year to year, because the box may not contain what it appears to have in the picture.
Ive seen guys get real excited over a 79 F350 and start bidding wars, only to get one home and find out it has been robbed of the Dana 60 front.
Parts are changed and swapped out for many reasons all of the time.
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