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Old 03-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #1
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65 GMC Dana Axle help needed

My first post here and i'm just getting this project started. I have tried the search feature but don't see a lot of dana 44 answers or gmc truck rear end info.
I picked this up from a guy I know that blew the spider gears doing donuts in a field with his grandson. The guy added a very fresh 454 (781 heads, mild cam) which is what made me want to take it on. Its a 4spd granny tranny but I'm not sure if that will stay (might want an auto/od tranny). I'm trying to get as much info on these before i waste my time fixing a weak link. I'm trying to find a Limited Slip from the junkyard or somewhere cheap that i can rebuild and get traction. Any suggestions would be appreciated, I'm not married to the dana axle so if there is a simple and better option for a leaf spring truck i appreciate the suggestions I know dana's 30 spline 44's aren't bad and I would prefer to keep it. I'm not drag racing the truck but i do want to have "fun" with it.

This isn't my first rodeo but a different animal than my last one (also a 65). The mustang was in about the same condition when i purchased it 2 years ago.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
boucher racing
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Re: 65 GMC Dana Axle help needed

I have a 66 GMC with the same setup. I do know that it is a 10-bolt Dana 44 rear. I have a open carrier in mine with 3.54 gears. When I am ready, I will change out the carrier with a limited slip and 3.73 or 3.92 gears, but its a good chunk of change! In the mean time, I will just have a one-tire-fire.

Hopefully some one can chime in with other factory vehicles that had a posi / dana 44 unit in them.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: 65 GMC Dana Axle help needed

Hi Towmater! Here's what I know about the 44s. It's not much but it's more than I did when I started

  • Holds 41.6 oz of fluid (1.3 quarts)
  • Is in the back of the truck
  • The Dana44 is moderately tough and worth about $150 for the whole axle. If you have the Dana 60 it would be worth $800 with the 4X4 crowds.
  • Parts are readily available.
  • Two part numbers you can try for rear 6 lug brake drums. The first is a Wagner BD 60089.
  • The second is Allsafe 2067 DGS.
  • You can get the Allsafe from Autozone. It is for a later model (I think 67-72) truck with 4 wheel drive. It has fins on the outside unlike the original that is smooth. The only modification that you have to make was to drill the 6 lug holes from 1/2" to 9/16" so that the drum would fit on the shoulders on the rear lugs like the original. This drum had the right offset unlike the Chevy drums. You can also try 72 chevy blazer 4x4 drums. They fit fine and you don't have to drill larger holes.
  • For fluid replacement Jay Leno recommends part #57904 Red Line 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil located here:
That's all I got right now. Oh, and the castle nut that is on the front of them can come loose, causing fun little takeoffs that will sound like the truck is being torn apart in the middle when you step on the gas and it tightens back up in 1/25 of a second. (dont ask how i know THAT one!)

I'm sure someone else will have more info. That's just a list of stuff I've collected over the years.
You might try on the GMC forum too. GMCs were not direct Chevy clones back in the 60's.

Edit: Edited for readability
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 AM   #4
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Re: 65 GMC Dana Axle help needed

If it were me, I would just install a truck 12 bolt in either 5 lug or 6 lug. The '73+ 12 bolts do have the spring perches slightly farther apart, but there is typically enough movement in the springs for it to bolt up.

Finding drums for those early Dana 44's seem to be a pain. Although the rest of the parts are fairly easy to find.
Power Steering Box Adapter Plates For Sale HERE
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: 65 GMC Dana Axle help needed

I appreciate the help, i ended up getting a "lunchbox" locker and have left black marks all over my neighborhood. Leaving the 3.54 gears until i settle on a cam for the motor and get it a little closer to completed.. long ways off.
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