Dana 44 vs Dana 30 – Jeep Axle Swap Guide

*This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.
*Read our review guidelines.

Wondering which axle to install between Dana 44 vs Dana 30 on your Jeep? This article reviews both the Dana 44 and the Dana 30 as we have experienced and used both of them in our Jeeps. We hope to clear the differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision on the best one to use on your Jeep.

If you want to learn more about Jeep differentials, Understanding Jeep Differentials Post will be of much use to you.

Our experiences with the Dana 44

Our most modified Jeep has the Dana 44 installed with 35 inches tires, upgraded with spartan lockers on the front and rear.

The Dana 44 has been on the Jeep for the last 3 years and so far, we haven’t managed to break a single thing on the axle despite our heavy use of the Jeep in rock crawling activities. I would definitely recommend the Dana 44 if you plan on modifying further hub conversion, inner shafts, gears, joints, etc. on your Jeep.

Dana 44
Dana 44

What we like about the Dana 44

The Dana 44 is tougher and offers strong front ends, there are lots of aftermarket parts for the axle modification available on the market – and overall, after the upgrade, our Jeep stands tall, and is stronger than ever before.

What we dislike about the Dana 44

The Jeep with Dana 44 required a lot of modifications on the axle itself, we had to convert to six slugs, which made us sell the current wheels for an upgrade and a new set of wheels. And we had to buy two axles.

Our experiences with the Dana 30

We have used the Dana 30 for quite some time, with a Chromoly shaft and high-quality gears, we have 35s installed on our Jeep with Dana 30, and the Jeep rides off-road like a boss. The Dana 30 does its Job off-road and on-road.

Dana 30
Dana 30

What we like about the Dana 30

We love the Dana 30 because it’s the cheapest option for the axle upgrade, this is because we don’t have to purchase new wheels and other axle modifications when upgrading a stock jeep. The Dana 30 does support high steers options required during an axle upgrade.

What we dislike about the Dana 30

We have had various problems with our Dana 30, and that’s the most common issue “Vacuum disconnect” The problem with the Dana 30s is the Vacuum operated shift forks either connect or disconnect the shaft, the problems arise when the vacuum lines rot out over time.

Are you looking for more stories like this? Here’s one we believe you’ll enjoy: Best Jeep JK Ball Joints

Jeep Axle Swap Guide.

The first thing we look for when purchasing axles on both Dana 44 and Dana 30 is the spline count, on a Dana 30 the spline count on an inner axle shaft is 27 splines, while on a Dana 44 is 30 spline counts, this means that the Dana 44 has more strength and performance axle than a Dana 30. When choosing between the Dana 44 vs the Dana 30 for a rock crawler Jeep we recommend the Dana 44 as they are stronger and more powerful than the Dona 30.

Dana 44 vs Dana 30

Dana 44 vs Dana 30 Spline Count.

The first thing we look for when purchasing axles on both Dana 44 and Dana 30 is the spline count, on a Dana 30 the spline count on an inner axle shaft is 27 splines, while on a Dana 44 is 30 spline counts, this means that the Dana 44 has more strength and performance axle than a Dana 30. When choosing between the Dana 44 vs the Dana 30 for a rock crawler Jeep we recommend the Dana 44 as they are stronger and more powerful than the Dona 30.

Dana 44 vs Dana 30 Materials.

After making sure we understand the spline counts under each inner axle shaft we take a look at the materials of the Dana 44 Vs the Dana 33. Most axles come with standard steel, however, if you want stronger performance from your axle, we recommend getting an aftermarket Chromoly axle shaft – Chromoly is a materials type that is extremely strong and loved by Jeep modifiers, this is because Chromoly shafts can rotate a lot further than a standard steel axle. The standard steel axle is good under 30-35 degrees rotations, while a Chromoly axle shaft can rotate 130-135 degrees before breaking.

Dana 44 vs Dana 30 Width.

When looking to upgrade our axle we also consider the width of the Dana 44 vs the Dana 30, the Dana 30 is 60 and ¾ inches from wheel mount surface to wheel mount surface. We have included a table below to help you understand the differences in the width of Dana 44 vs Dana 30, with the differentials of Dana 44 being 8.5 inches vs Dana 30 being 7.125 inches.

Dana 44 vs Dana 30 Hub Selection.

The type of axle you buy will be determined by the Hub you want to buy also, or the type of Hub you already have, in our modified Jeep we don’t have a selectable hub, Our Jeep is an off-road Jeep, and we don’t want a locked selectable hub with us when on offroad trails for maximum performance. If your Jeep is a daily driver and you occasionally hit the trails, we recommend a selectable hub, where you will be able to turn those hubs on and off depending on your use scenario.

Dana 44 vs Dana 30 Ground clearance requirements.

We normally find that we have to consider the ground clearance requirements of your Jeep, if you have a lift kit installed, or bigger wheels and tires, we would consider these factors into consideration.

Dana 30 Jeep Ground clearance

For the Dana 44 vs Dana 30 with we noticed the bigger ring and pinion you have the less clearance you will have between the bottom of your tire and the bottom of your Jeeps axle, the differences between Dana 44 vs Dana 30 make a lot of difference when it comes to ground clearance f your Jeep, just like moving from a 30-inch tire to a 33 inches tire. When we compared the two axles installed in two Jeeps the ground clearance is highly notable.

Looking to enhance your off-roading adventures even more? Check out our related guides on the Rancho rs7000mt review


The choice between the Dana 44 vs Dana is quite tricky because it all depends on the use cases of the Jeep – what you are doing with your Rig determines the type of axle requirements you need, With the Dana 30 we recommend it installed on a Jeep TJ, JL or JK where they can be very strong if you plan on towing heavy equipment’s with your Jeep, we won’t recommend the Dana 30, because many people have broken them when in heavy use. In a stock Jeep, we are very confident with a Dana 30 high pinion.

If you plan on heavily modifying your Jeep with Chromoly axle shafts, and other axle upgrades you can pretty much use the Dana 30, however, we recommend the Dana 44, a high pinion Dana 44 has thick axle tubes, heavy-duty outers are recommended if you want to install 30 inches tires, 33 inches tires or 35 inches tires. We have broken a Dana 44 before with stock axle shafts with more than 35s tires. After installing Chromoly axles we have never broken the axles and this is a recommendation we would like to share with you. With Chromoly axles on a Dana 44, you can go as high as 42 in your Jeep.

Here is a video with more tips on rebuilding your Dana 40 and Dana 30 axles


Unlock Your Jeep’s Dana 30 Front Axle

Single Reduction Tandem Drive Axles DSH 40-41 – DANA

Frequently Asked Questions.

Are Dana 30 and Dana 44 axle shafts the same?

On a Jeep, both Dana 44 and Dana 30 front axles share the same components, such as the tubing, end forgings, Knuckles, and brakes. The Dana 44 is different from the Dana 30 because of the differences in differentials and shafts which happens to have bigger joints and spline counts.

How do I know if I have a Dana 30 or Dana 44?

The Dana 44 has large castle nuts threaded onto the ball joint while the Dana 30 has a kingpin cap with four bolts on the top of the knuckle.

Can a Dana 30 run 35s?

Yes, we have been using Dana 30s with 35s on our Jeep, however, this is the Jeep we don’t normally use while rock crawling because we might twist the axle housing or explode the carrier running 35s. we use the Jeep as our daily driver on the streets.

Can Dana 44 handle 35s?

Yes, you can use the Dana 44 with 35s, this is the limit on stock Dana 44s. With a modified Dana 44 you can hold much bigger tires on the front or the rear of the Jeep. However, the bigger tires come with lower gears due to the limited number of pinions you should use.

Can a Dana 30 handle a locker?

Yes, the Dana 30 can handle a locker and is a very common upgrade on Jeep swape upgrades, you can replace the axle shafts to have a much stronger and beefier axle.

Last update on 2024-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

4XE Forum Logo Image

Related Jeep Guides Posts


Get Access to Our Free Suite of Jeep Tools and Calculators

Don't wait any longer. Click the "Explore Now" button to access our free suite of Jeep tools and calculators today. Your next adventure awaits!

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00