Mr.N's Dana Article Main Page

Dana 44 Flat Top Knuckle and High Steer info.

Copyright © 2002 All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written permission. Updated: Jan 18, 2007 - Mr.N
A Major update is coming... just give me a few months.   
I do not except advertising dollars.    

 

-> What is a flat top knuckle?
    A flattop knuckle is a cast knuckle that is designed for a steering arm to be attached to. It is found on a Dana 44 straight drive axle with ball-joints, see pictures below. This article will refer to only flat top knuckles that came from the factory with both sides as a flat top, unless noted.

-> How do I find a flat top knuckle?
    This article hopefully should list what you need and the make / model you need to look for.

-> Why do you need a flattop knuckle?
    A flattop knuckle allows you to run high steer (high steer) or Spring Over Steering arms on a Dana 44 straight axle.  This moves your steering up 3-7" higher than the stock steering.  If you driver your vehicle off road you'll understand why this is done.  However, if your into driving on the street don't do this modification, it gains you nothing worth your time.  Now read the warning note again.  It may reduce bump-steer, see linked pages below to read more on this area.

    Do not try to use a regular non-flat-top knuckle for a high steer arm!  They do not have enough surface area in the knuckle to hold a stud in place.  To do this is wrong, dead wrong.  Additionally, do not weld a custom arm to the knuckle, this is just down right dangerous.  There is a reason no flat top knuckle ever came from the factory with a steering arm welded on. 

-> What type of a flattop knuckle do you need?
    It depends what front axle your running, what type of brakes you want to run and what bolt pattern you desire.  You need a knuckle that was designed by Dana/Spicer for a steering arm to bolt on to, nothing else will do!  Good news is all of the major United States automotive manufacturer that ran a front 4x4 Dana 44 straight axle ran at least two types of flattop knuckle!  International Harvester, Chrysler (Dodge), Ford, and Chevy.  Jeep was the only one to run just one type of flat top knuckle. Not all Dana 44's have a flat top knuckles. 
    See Knuckles Out section for how to run a 5 on 5.5", 6 on 5.5" and 8 on 6.5" bolt patterns for the type of wheel your running. 

    This article is a collection of knowledge I've gained threw reading Dana/Spicer books, walking salvage yard and information from the internet.  I am trying to assemble as much factual data as possible but this might have some mistakes.  If you know of corrections please contact me.  Just make sure you've 1st hand knowledge and not "web knowledge" from reading it for someone's post on a forum. This article is being written to debunk some common "web knowledge" about the Dana 44 flat top knuckles.

 

Dana 44 Chevy / FSJ Flat top Knuckle and Spindle Chart:  
This is the Chart you NEED for the correct stuff!  Match the knuckle, spindle, brake caliper bracket, brake caliper with the outer axle shaft.

Note, last B.O.M. for J10 may be 603464, Spicer lists both numbers in two different spots. 

Flat Top Knuckles, Different types of:  
All pictures in this table show a knuckle from a set of paired flat top knuckles.

This is a passengers side Chevy/FSJ style Dana 44 flat top knuckle.  This is the perfect knuckle to use high steer arms on, it will bolt up to almost any straight axle ball joint Dana 44. See Chart above for what years to look for, Chevy = 73-76.5.

Notice the features of a Chevy & Full Size Jeep (Chevy/FSJ) knuckle.  This is what you are looking for! The 3 "bosses" above can be found on some other knuckles as well. This is a strong knuckle.

Full Size Jeeps ran this unique flat top knuckles from 74-76.  It's identical to the Chevy knuckle as the part number in the Spicer book is the almost the same with one difference, it's not factory drilled for a steering arm.  Thus you'll need to get this knuckle drilled and tapped, read more $. Same brakes as the Chevy.

Blue points out the extra thick casting section for this knuckle, much thicker compare to other knuckles.  Notice red arrow pointing out a protrusion, these traits are only found in Chevy/FSJ knuckles, all have six bolt spindles.

Full Size Jeeps This is another picture or the drivers side knuckle, it never came with a steering arm attached.   However if your going this route you could mill the top perpendicular to the spindle seat.  This would allow you to keep the high steer arm flat.  

 

 Why would you want to machine a flat top knuckle parallel with the spindle surface?  To run the above arms.  Note only for a regular (non-reverse spiral) housing.  Picture from http://colorado4x4.org/er/histeer/    Arms here: http://www.rockstomper.com/catalog/steering/highsteer.htm

International Harvest Company, IHC flat top knuckles are on 1973.5-75 200 full-size pickup.  Notice the internal hub design and drum brakes.  IHC run's the only 8 bolt spindle pattern for a flattop, Scout guys are you listing?.

IHC are on 197?-7? 200 full-size pickup with disk brakes.  Notice the external hub design, similar to the HD Ford.

IHC 1974 pickup truck with flat top knuckles, external design.

IHC passenger flat top knuckle with external lock-outs are found on 7?-7? full-size pickup.  Bad picture but it is a flat top knuckle with disk brakes on a IHC. (Getting BOM)

Dodge early 70's.  This is from a 74 Dodge fulltime 4x4, notice the 35 spline stub shaft.   Your stuck running the Dodge knuckles-out parts with this knuckle, nothing will interchange. 74.5-80

Dodge early 70's This is a 74 Dodge passenger flat top knuckle, notice the unique Dodge setup.  This runs the big unit bearings. I don't know Dodge so don't expect to see too much data on how to use any Dodge parts.

Dodge late, mid 80's to early 90's Flat top knuckle. 

Dodge late, mid 80's to early 90's. Notice the thin area at the edge of the knuckle where the brakes run.  This knuckle has several marginal points, you maybe better finding something else if not running a Dodge.

Ford Super-Cab: 1/2 ton Super Cabs had a unique flat top, ran from 1977-79.  Easy to spot with the 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern and the F250 style steering arm. Note: although some people have used these knuckles I'm no longer recommending using them for use as a Flat top.  See Misconceptions below.

A top view of the 1/2 ton Ford Super-Cab flat top.  See Misconceptions below for the passenger side knuckle.

Ford F250 flat top knuckle ran from 1976-1979.  This is from a 1976 axle.  This knuckle has the same steering arm bolt pattern as the Chevy knuckles, but uses a different steering arm than the Chevy.

Ford F250 flat top knuckle:   It can be used for a high steer application but only with the stock 3/4 ton brakes and 8 bolt wheel hub.  See note below 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton knuckles. Notice later axles ran tie rod on top of knuckle.





Chevy Drum on top and disk on bottom
flat top knuckles.  Blue Arrow shows that a disk brake caliper only fits the Disk brake knuckles, the Drum knuckle will not fit a stock Chevy brakes.  Picture from ____   on POR
  
Drum Brake Flat top
(1967-1972 Chevy, 67-76 FSJ) will not fit a stock Chevy disk caliper bracket.  Red arrow shows a 1/4" gap, Dark Red shows 1 of 2 places the bracket hits the knuckle.  C35563 Drum Brake case number. Picture from ____   on POR


Spindles: Your spindle determines your outer axle shaft!  Dana ran A LOT of different length outer axles shaft, not to mention all the different groves cut for the external snap ring.  Dana also ran a plethora of spindles.  You will find parts that interchange, but my suggestion is to pull the axle shafts from the type of axle you pulled the spindle and knuckle from.

Chevy & FSJ Spindle, smaller for swapping 73-76.5, always with flat top knuckles.  See above chart for years.

Chevy Spindle, large.  1977+ on 1/2 ton Dana 44's.
all years of 3/4 ton Dana 44.

Ford Spindle, 5 bolt disk brakes 76-79.  This axles runs the same size bearing as the Chevy / FSJ axle.
need pic..
Ford Spindle, 6 bolt found mainly on TTBs axles.  Check part number for 78-79 as Dana list two different ones.

Compares a Chevy / FSJ late style left to a early spindle right.  Red arrow shows the easiest way to spot the later style, the large lip.  Blue arrow shows the outer spindle bearing area.  Green arrow shows the inner spindle bearing, this is larger on the later style, if needed it can be machined down to the early style. 

Ford spindles from a Heavy Duty Dana 44 ran from 69-75, drum brakes.

High Steer Arms:
    *See Warning at bottom of page*

So you want to make your own high steer arms.  Here is the information I've gathered however my recommendation is to just buy a pair.  Unless your looking at make several and selling them it is almost as cheap to buy them as make them.  Below are several companies who sell them, under the reamers.

Reamers:  The below reamers can also be used to enlarge a small TRE to a large or to swap the TRE ream to place the tie rod on top of the knuckles.  (EB guy's are you reading this?)  Making the holes for your Tire Rod Ends (TRE's). As I found out, the degrees are insignificant, you want  a 1-1/2" per ft taper, that means it tapers 1-1/2" in 12 inches.  It will fit most standard TRE's. It is the depth that makes the large TRE's vs small TRE's.

Making the holes for your Conical washers.  You will have to have a custom tapered reamer made.  Look for machine shops in your area that sharpens tapered reamers, they should be able to make a custom one for you.  The taper you need for teh cones is 26.5 degrees included angle.   ."I had a cutter grinder make one outta of a 1 inch endmill" ..."from old 1" 6 flute endmills" quote from MAD MAX on POR.  Picture
taken 
from 
Parts
Mike

3965137 GM Part Number    9/16" stud
3965138 GM Part Number    Tapered washer a.k.a. splint cone washer
9442950 GM Part Number    Jam nut
Often found on e-bay...

ARP 4" shown is AQ4.10L,also come in 3.475", 3.62", 3.75", and 4.10" lengths.  You'll need 9/16-12 lock nuts from McMaster  
Or Check any vendor that sells High Steer Arms for a complete kit!

Afco Racing $120 p/n 80770
http://www.afcoracing.com/products/...ProductID=2631
Optional Reamer Sources:
Stock Car Products $80 p/n R8201
http://www.stockcarproducts.com/
Goodson $50 p/n TR-216-2
http://www.goodson.com/
Goodson $99 BJR-2 2-inch Heavy-duty Tapered Reamer
http://www.goodson.com
Goodson $85 TR-216-3 Tapered Rmr 15/16in-1 1/2inx6 1/2
http://www.goodson.com/
Snap On $41 p/n R121
https://buy.snapon.com/

Was $37 Jan 2004

"I bought the snap-on one, and it's a POS. Don't waste your money." From Nobody on  POR.

Tapping your own knuckle or sourcing it out you'll want to follow the stock Dana pattern. It has been done drilling with coping the stock steering.  Hole size should be __/__ with the tap at 9/16 - 18 UNF.

 "I have not included the distance from the ball joint because this can vary depending where you measure from and how you machine your knuckle (ex. mimic the GM surface angle or machine surface perpendicular to spindle mounting surface (SMS)). You might choose a different reference point as well. The dashed line is parallel to the SMS" from Eric Ruhl on Pirate4x4.com

 

Who can machine my knuckles?

Ok, not many of us can drill and tap our own knuckles...If you know my standards I'm frugal, demand a quality product and only using the correct parts.

So who can? 
I'm recommending Parts Mike.  http://www.partsmike.com/store/store.php?crn=219&rn=1377&action=show_detail

 

Mike ask you remove the balljoints and shows how he drills and taps flat top knuckles. He uses correct processes and the right machines.

Tell him Mr.N sent you..

 

 Who Makes high steer arms?

PartsMike "Super Arm, 1.5" thick, with 10 degrees of correction for the tie rod end." $230 a Pair 3-2003.

A good value.

OTT "Dana 44 Over The Top™ Steering Arms" $300 a pair, top of the line
Rockstomper  "Eric Ruhl-designed double Dana 44 arms.  Some clearance grinding is required for fitment"

Look again at the picture ;)

Looking for Minnesota Company here.
 Sky Manufacturing "Our Dana 44 steering arms are machined from billet steel blanks, no hot roll bar stock that can bend, or water jetted flat stock." $75 each.

These look good, and are what I'm running.

Arm Spacers, for rising the High steer arm 1/2 to 1".  You will need longer studs.

Great for clearing SOA on a Jeep.

Here is a High steer arm that has been twisted.  Make sure you buy quality arms! Reg Steering.

Pic thanks to JeepinScott from Jeepaholics.

Looking for high steer arms for Hummer Rims!  Use Hummer rims on your Dana 44 with out running spacers or adding a new center to your hummer rims!

Tie Rod Ends (TRE's) and Links.

  •     There many options, some of them horrific!  Terrible set up are done so often there are several web pages that just document scary steering set ups.  Don't skimp on this area! See Warning, again.

  •     It's common to run Chevy 85 Blazer TRE's for your tie rod and drag ling. http://www.vintagebronco.com/coby/tierod/ 

    The Popular "85 Blazer" 1 Ton Chevy TRE's

  • Tie Rod: Knuckle to Knuckle

    ES2233L Passengers side (reamed hole for TRE) NAPA PN 269-2554
    ES2234R Driver side

    Drag Link: Pitman Arm to Knuckle or Tie Rod.

    ES2027L for pitman arm (high angle)
    ES2234R for pass side (mounts to TRE ES2233L) 

    7/8-18" on the threaded ends Pictures to come.... (as if I'm ever done, or for that matter fast ;)
    Note: the ES2233L & ES2234R have a smaller taper than the ES2027L & ES2234R TRE's, however the Taper angel is the same.   Pics to come.
    McMaster p/n 2595A828 or 2595A424 for a 7/8-18 Right hand 4-flute tap ~$51
    Tap Threads Per Inch, Thread O'all
    Size (Pitch Dia. Limit) Lg. Lg.
    7/8" 12 (H4); 16 (H3); 18 (H3) 2 7/32" 4 11/16"



    Left hand tap  #2584A917 or 2584A4 ~$88

    For a Cheaper option, if your doing this 1-? times.

    http://wttool.com/Merchant..03

    Size: 7/8-18
    $21

     

    Need Jam Nuts as GM has stopped making them?  Try Parts Mike
    14026808 left  7/8-18
    14026806 right 7/8-18  

    www.Regalcuttingtools.com
    Size 7/8=18      Price= $65
    Part #
    This is what I've used, for more than one time cutting.

     Note: Make sure you use 90 weight oil for cutting oil for these taps.  Oil is much cheaper than another tap.  

     Different types of steering



    (Picture of inverted T style high steer from Ron Hollatz high steer article on 4x4Wire.com )

       
       


    Attaching High Steer arms to the knuckle: This is a must read!

    This text is taken from BillaVista web site Steering page, , this text is verbatim:
    On Mating surface.

    "It's actually pretty critical to have the two mating faces truly flat. This way the clamping force of the bolts or studs is maximized- it's the "friction" between the arm and the face milled into the knuckle that does most of the work. If you simply rely on the bolts themselves, you're just begging for a failure. 

    Same goes for drilling and tapping the holes square to the milled face- if the bolts are crooked, they try to force the arm one way or the other. Or, if the hole in the arm is a pretty close fit to the bolt/stud, the angle of the bolt to the face will keep the arm from clamping correctly, and we're right back where we started from.  Or worse, you crank down on the bolt 'til the faces DO meet, then the bolt is preloaded crooked, and more likely to break.  Being a "competent part time machinist" myself, I very strongly suggest letting a skilled professional do the work. Even for a trailered-to-the-trail, slow rock-rig, the steering is an extremely critical item. 
    - Comments by DOC, a machinist from POR fforum

    The steering arm obviously experiences continued cyclical loads that place the mounting devices (bolts or studs) in shear load. ( I realize the strength of the joint is primarily achieved by the friction between the mating surfaces - none-the-less the fasteners still experience these loads - as evidenced by them loosening) SAE bolts are not designed to be loaded in shear, not to mention are not manufactured to close enough specs to allow a tight enough fit so that play will not develop and they will not begin to oval out the hole. Not to mention, drilling holes is not the proper way to achieve an exact dimension hole - it should be rough drilled and then reamed to final size. So if bolts are used, holes should be reamed, and proper shear bolts (like AN - can't quote a number off the top of my head) should be used. This is expensive and rare and more difficult, so GM came up with the ingenious solution of using a stud with a split cone washer, so that as the nut tightens, the cone cinches down and provides the required zero clearance fit while still allowing use of SAE grade/spec hardware. You can use bolts, but you have to use the right kind, or do something else to compensate (like using interference fit locating dowels)."

    On Welding to the knuckle, just don't do it!

    "Please allow me to explain in simple terms why welding any cast material is bad in terms of strength. When you weld material that is strain hardened, such as virtually any and all formed steel material, the material from the 2 different pieces flow together and meld, with the rod being used as a catalyst, or a helping hand. Now, castings are different. In all castings, be it cast iron or cast steel, there are tiny pockets of air between the individual particles of metal. These air pockets are also present in forged steel during it's formed stage, but they are relieved during the strain hardening process. These air pockets play a big part in the makeup of castings. When you attempt to weld cast material, the air pockets restrict the flow of molecules, thereby not allowing the two materials to flow together and meld. So the flow is basically one way, from the non-cast part to the cast part. Now, forged material hardens as it cools, and this process is not very critical in most applications, due to the structure of the materials, however with cast, the hardness is reduced as it cools, allowing the casting to become brittle. This fact is true with all cast materials, be it aluminum, steel, or iron. Cast material cannot be heat treated once it is cooled after it leaves it's casting form. Welding to cast material is not a matter of whether or not you've weakened the casting, but rather how much have you weakened the casting, because once cast is welded, it is weaker than it was originally. This is why nobody welds new new arms to the flat top knuckles unless they are uninformed idiots, my friend. Another problem once you've welded to cast, is how much you've weakened the casting. There is really no exact way of knowing, so the part may last a week, a year, or a lifetime, but the fact still remains that it is now weaker than it was. This is why the professionals machine the surfaces perfectly flat and drill and tap the holes in the knuckles. This is considered to be a critical process, and one that is best handled by a machine shop, or somebody with access to the proper machine tools. There is a reason for everything, my swamp dwelling friend, and once you know the reasons, then you can make an informed decision, and it has been proven that somebody from the state of Florida has made at least one intelligent decision sometime in the past, so I am confident that you can be the second person to make one! I have faith in you, my friend!
    Your trying to get you to see the light friend"
    LAMAR from Jeepaholics.com
    "The main point of this debate is whether or not welding on your outer knuckles is a safe procedure or not. It is not, and that is not an opinion, my friend, that is a fact of life. Again, it is not whether or not you've weakened the knuckle, because you have, it is a matter of how much you've weakened it. There is no method to determine the brittleness of the casting after welding, except by the destructive inspection method. That is where you clamp the welded knuckle into a holder, then apply a controlled hydraulic force to the arm until it breaks, while measuring the amount of hydraulic force required to break the arm free of the knuckle. So, as a favor to me, please try and resist those natural urges that you have inside of you to be ignorant. I know that you can do it, my friend, you are strong.
    Your hoping that you survive the accident friend"

    LAMAR from Jeepaholics.com

    You don't want this to happen to your steering at 55 MPH:  Insert picture of broken studs in steering knuckle.

     

    Knuckles Out: This is possible because of the same ball joints most Dana 44 axles use.

    Swapping the Knuckles Out for high steer and 5 on 4.5" wheel bolt pattern: Dodge only

  • I've read you can do this with knuckles out Dodge parts with certain years, I have not seen this done with proof.  If you know how to do this please contact me, see below.  From what I've read you need knuckles out of a 1/2 ton Dodge from 1975-80 but they have no locking hubs.  Maybe it's a fulltime 4x4 axle?

  • Swapping the Knuckles Out for high steer and 6 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern:  

  • Use a Chevy or Full Size Jeep Dana 44  flat top knuckles out.  Chevy and FSJ's are 6 bolts on a 5.5" bolt circle.  You'll need flat top knuckles, spindle, caliper mounting plate, caliper, disk brake rotor, lock-out and outer axle shaft.   The years you want from a Chevy 1973 - 1976.5 and Full Size Jeep Dana 44 1974-1976 with disk brake knuckles.  Other words, you’ll want to grab everything from the knuckle out.  

  • At this time I am not going to talk about using later than 76 axles, different bearing appeared and Chevy did use at least two different style caliper brackets than I know of.

  •   Swapping the Knuckles Out for high steer and 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern: You've Three options

  • Option 1: Use a mix of Chevy/FSJ and Ford parts.  You'll need a Chevy or Full Size Jeep Dana 44 flat top knuckles, spindle, caliper mount plate and outer axle shaft from a 73-76, see chart for exact years and BOM.  To convert these to the Ford 5 on 5.5” (also the same bolt pattern as a Jeep CJ, Scout II and many other vehicles) you’ll need a 1976-1984 or 1987-1995 Ford hub, rotor and bearing.   My suggestion is use 76-79 parts, but you can use an 80’s Ford IFS Dana 44 (minus 1986 and some 85 as they had a unique style.) Pull the hub with the bearings, rotor and lock-out. Any standard Dana 44 ˝ ton or Chevy ˝ ton 10 bolt axle lock outs should work, and spare are always good.

  • Option 2: Use only Ford parts. One catch, you'll need a 1/2 Super-Cab knuckle, see above General misconceptions table for reason.  If you have a nice Ford 1/2 ton axle with new calipers and rotor I suggest just find in a knuckle from a 1/2 Super-Cab, as that is the only part you'll need.  (Note to self, check spindle part numbers in Dana book to confirm this) Or you can just grab the entire Knuckles Out from a 1/2 Super-Cab and bolt it up to your inner knuckle.

  • Option 3: Run IHC or Dodge parts.  Because of the IHC 8 bolt spindle and the limited years plus the few truck produced I don't recommend this option.  Save those knuckles for the Scout guys, plus you've have to swap knuckles out and the parts cast more.  Dodge parts knuckles out because of the uniqueness of them(?), years are 1980.5 - 93 and 86 and up is an auto or fulltime hub.

  • Swapping the Knuckles Out for high steer and 8 on 6.5" wheel bolt pattern: (8 bolts = 3/4 ton style) You've 3 options:

  • Option 1: Chevy parts: Grab a Chevy or Full Size Jeep Dana 44 knuckles and outer axle shaft.  To convert these to 8 on 6.5" you'll need to find a 3/4 ton disk brakes Chevy truck (note some Chevy 1 tons ran a Dana 44 from 73-78).  It can be running a Dana 44 (73-80) or a Chevy 10 Bolts (77-87) as these parts interchange!  From the 3/4 ton truck you'll need the Spindle, Caliper mounting plate, Caliper, disk brake Rotor, Hub with lug nuts and lockout.  Also grab the outer axle shaft, as all Chevy Dana 44's with the 5-297x style u-joint run the same outer shaft.  Now  you've the parts, make it work!!  This option is harder to source parts.

  • Option 2: Run Ford 3/4 ton Knuckles Out, however you can only use Ford 3/4 ton brakes with Ford knuckles.  This option will cost more, year for to source 3/4 ton Ford parts 76-79.  Do note 76-77 is a larger hub and lock-out that is difficult to find.  77.5-79 runs the same lock-out as a 1/2 tons and is easier to find.  See my Dana 44 article for more info between different types of Ford Dana 44 axles.

  • Option 3: Run Dodge or IHC 3/4 ton stuff.  Here is how... Who am I kidding, I have no clue on Dodge stuff ;~)  IHC see note in above.

  • Bearings, this is why you can swap:

        Inner and Outer spindles bearing are the same part number for... as seen in the chart

     

    General Misconceptions: Watch out for the following! Do not waste your time and money.

    Ford 1/2 ton Non flat Tops:  The following knuckles were advertised on E-bay (Item # 2405806595) as "Dana 44 Flat Top Knuckles FORD STYLE" with a price "Buy It Now for US $110.00"  Even going as far as saying "can drill and tap these".  This misleads a person into believing these are the "flat top knuckles" that they can use for high steer.  This is wrong, dead wrong!  You can even see the top is not flat.

    Ford 1/2 ton Non flat Tops and why it is a bad decision. Red lines show the thin top section, compared to the Chevy / FSJ knuckle is less than 1/2 the thickness, not enough for a stud to hold up properly.  Plus material needs to be removed for a clean flat fit of the high steer arm, this is just asking for disaster.  The Yellow area shows a very thin section on the knuckle. 

    Ford knuckles, this shows a 1/2 ton knuckle verse a 3/4 ton knuckle.  The red arrow shows the notch in the 1/2 ton which clears the caliper.  The 3/4 ton does not have this, thus you can not swap Ford 3/4 ton knuckles on a 1/2 ton axle.  If you run the 3/4 ton knuckles you must run the 3/4 ton brakes, rotor and hub. (Unless you do some custom work, not recommended!) See Ford Super-Cab knuckle for a solution to this! (Pic wanted)
    Note Ford Supercab knuckle is the same as the F150 but with a flat area on top.

    This is an Ford Early Bronco knuckle, machined flat, drilled and tapped.  I suggest avoiding doing this to a knuckle, there are plenty of true flat top knuckles in the junk yards.  See note on high steer arms attachment. From Steve Meyers page.

    Ford Early Bronco knuckle  Author suggest to avoid this knuckle if your looking at running high steer arms. Can you see enough room for a high steer arm to firmly attach too?  I can't.

    This is just Wrong! A second arm was cut and used as a spacer.  This will fail in time.  Also note he used bolts instead of studs, see notes below on this if you don't know why this is bad.  No wonder this truck was in a Junkyard.


    Aftermarket knuckle.  It it rumored this knuckle was made with cheap material and is very prone to cracking then breaking.  I've read it's no longer in production.
    Ouch!  Looks like the top was ground flat at 90* to the spindle surface.  This destroyed the ball joint mounting area and thus the knuckle is much weaker.  

    Do not do this!  

    Chevy Non flat Tops: The following knuckles were advertised on E-bay (Item # 2405893339) as "Dana 44 flat top steering knuckles" notice "knuckles" is pleural and thus misleading.  Look at the picture, the passenger side is not a flat top, but a novice may not discern this! One good thing, seller list the year, 79.

    Chevy Non flat top Dana 44 knuckle passengers side, ran from 1977 to 1979 for 1/2 tons and 77-80 for 3/4 tons.  Only the 1/2 tons come with the smaller spindle for swapping hubs.  The driver side is a flat top knuckle but not recommend for use, you want to keep your flat top knuckles paired up at all times.

     


    Picture of a Chevy 10 bolt axle.  This axle has a driver side flat top knuckle with a steering arm.  However No10 bolt axle ever came with a passenger side flat top knuckle!  Since you want to keep knuckle paired together avoid this axle.  It a Camber, Caster, Ackerman angle, scrub radius thing, Mr. N says "Just keep your knuckles paired up."

    Chevy Dana 44 knuckles, flat top vs. non flat top. Picture from BillaVista great steering article.

    Dana never made a passenger side knuckle that was drilled and tapped from the factory.  This is a general misconception that the above knuckle disproves.  They are very rare but they are out there, so keep your eyes open.  So far I only know of one other knuckle other then the one I found.  Stamped # RC38618 

    Drum brake flat top knuckle, notice the off-set spindle bolt holes. These knuckle can not fit stock Chevy Disk brake calipers or brackets.  Knuckles were on E-bay # 2478873138 for $200 buy now, I sure feel sorry for the buyer who tries to use these, unless they run Drums.

     


    Picture showing a pair of Factory drilled and tapped knuckles on a Dana 44 front.  Pic from 4Blanger on POR.
    This one got me.  I was not careful enough to spot this, thanks to Spawn X from POR for the picture of a pair of 77.5-79 Ford SuperCab knuckle.  The passenger side looks like a regular F150 knuckle of the same era but "The 'thingy' where the tie rod mounts to is about inch and a half-2 inches TALLER than my F150 knuckes" Spawn_X. I'm no longer recommending these for use until I find a passenger side true flat top.  (Hint Dedenbear now makes a custom set to solve this) 

    #1   Wheel Mounting Surface to Wheel Mounting Surface

    59.5"      EB Dana 44 1972-77  6?  4.5*  F250 Dana 44 1977.7-79  
         

     

    S = Stub shaft, outer axle shaft
    SI = Short Inner axle shaft
    LI = Long Inner axle shaft
    Some axle shaft length can be found with in the articles, or from the Main Article page.

    Other Web pages with good steering info:

  • My WICKED set of Steering Articles www.http://www.pirate4x4.com/...SteeringIndex.htm 
  • Steering Research by BillaVista Article www.http://www.pirate4x4.com/...Steeringresearch.htm 
  • High Steering Conversion with Early Bronco Axles http://www.bc4x4.com/chrisw/projects/highsteer/histeer.asp 
  • High Clearance Steering for Dana 44s and CJ Dana 30s http://www.4x4wire.com/jeep/tech/steer/SOA/ 
  • See my Links page.
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    The fulltime stuff has a large machined boss that locates the outer race of the wheel-bearing, and a big-assed bearing retainer that bolts to the knuckle (through a 1" hole in the hub/rotor) with six 12-point 3/8x24 bolts. There is no spindle on the fulltime setup. Since those have caliper brackets they're early 80's to early '90s- ish. Now they still made "fulltime" in that period but they used drive slugs; the dedicated fulltime '70s knuckles are TOTALLY different except for the balljoints, they will fit onto most standard 44's however. - Lloyd POR

    Check out a great vacation spot I often say at, My Sister-In-Law runs it! 
    www.curryhousekeywest.com

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    Mr.N's Dana Article Main Page

    Viability is now down to 18 weeks! www.mccl.org  

    If you do nothing else, preserve life.  This is a Pro-Life web page.
    Funny how pro choice is really only one choice.  That "choice" is murder.

    Where can you find me?  Sometime at this link.

    Have a question and didn't find me at the link above? Find me at www.Pirate4x4.com Ford forum or http://www.jeepaholics.com , user name on All forums is  Mr.N  

    Proud to be a Practicing Catholic!

    Click on Picture to follow. 
    Don't believe in God?  Don't worry, He believes in you.

     

      Warning! These pages are for information only.   If you want to modify your vehicle or steering take you vehicle to a qualified shop and let them do the work.  If done improperly you could not only loose your life you many take others with you!  This page is Pro-Life, including saving others and your own life, not to mention the un-born children.

    Copyright © 2002 All International Rights Reserved.  This document may not be copied or published in anyway without prior written permission.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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