If you're looking at this page, you're likely contemplating a Dana 44 TTB
(Twin Traction Beam) swap in your Ford Ranger. It also means that you're
thinking outside of the box, and haven't given in to the more common
approach of a Dana 44 solid axle swap (SAS). Be prepared for people to
lead you in that direction.
Dana 44 TTB was used in the front of Ford F-150ís and ( full size) Bronco's
from 1980 to 1996.
There is a
reason Ford replaced solid axles with independent axles - ride quality.
There's also a reason the TTB suspension finds it's way in to a lot of
high speed off-road race vehicles - wheel travel. The TTB is often chosen
over the newer SLA (Short arm Long Arm) suspensions because the long beams
are able to provide more wheel travel, dollar for dollar.
YOUR reason is, we hope that this page will help answer some questions.
- How wide is the Dana 44 TTB?
-The Dana 44 TTB is 65-inches wide (Wheel Mounting
Surface to Wheel Mounting Surface, or WMS-WMS).
-How Wide Is The Dana 35 TTB?
- The Dana 35 TTB is 59.5-inches wide (WMS-WMS)
you can see, the Dana 44 TTB is 5.5-inches wider than the Dana 35.
Can I Mount The Axle Beams Under My Ford Ranger:
(4) options for doing it:
Option 1) Bolt
the Dana 44 TTB straight into your existing brackets, then shorten the
passenger side inner axle shaft a total of 1.5 to 2-inches. This will
result in a 2-inch narrowing of the whole axle assembly, and a 63-inch
WMS-WMS width, which is 3.5-inches wider than the stock Ford Ranger Dana
the photo below, you can see the passenger side axle poking through
the slip yoke, and bottoming out on the U-joint before the axle shaft
Stock Ford F-150 / Bronco Dana 44 TTB passenger side inner axle shaft
is 24.77-inches long. The Dana 44HD (Heavy Duty) TTB used in the
1980-1988 Ford F-250 and F-350 has a 23.65-inch passenger side inner
axle shaft, which is 1.12-inches shorter. Cutting off 0.625-inches
(5/8-inch) would make it 1.745-inches (1-3/4-inch) shorter than the
stock Dana 44 TTB passenger side inner axle shaft, and would require you to cut off less
material than on the stock shaft.
cut the axle down with a chop saw, you can de-burr the axle and add
the factory tapered edge back by rotating the
axle at an angle against the edge of the chop saw blade.
Modify your existing brackets by drilling a new hole 1-inch inboard
(towards the center of the vehicle) of the existing holes, and mount the
axle in the new holes. This will preserve the 65" width and will
not require shortening of the shafts. Some brackets may not have enough
room for the new holes though.
Option 3) Autofab
and Giant Motorsports
make a bracket kit to mount the Dana 44 TTB in to a 1983-1997 Ford
Ranger 4x4. Giant Motorsports actually sells this as a complete kit,
where Autofab just sells the brackets.
states that you will end up with a front axle assembly that's 8-inches
wider than stock.
Giant Motorsports kit allows for a 5-inch lift.
brackets mount in the stock location of the original factory brackets.
This follows along with #2 above, except with newly spaced holes instead
of drilling new holes in old brackets.
brackets above - Giant Motorsports below)
Extend the Dana 44 TTB beams 1-inch on each side at the pivot end, and
then bolt them into your existing brackets. (probably the best method).
Yes that's right, we're actually suggesting that you widen you're
full width Dana 44 TTB beams.
the F-150 / Bronco frame is wider than the Ford Ranger, the actual
pivot mounts for the TTB axle beams are 2-inches narrower on the F-150
/ Bronco then they are on a Ford Ranger. Since the Ranger brackets are
actually spaced further apart, you actually need to lengthen each of
the beams 1-Inch so they will reach the mount, and not require the
passenger side axle shaft to be shortened as mentioned in Option #1 above.
you'll have to be concerned about the Dana 44 differential clearing
the frame rail as the suspension cycles up. Hopefully you're using at least
a 4-inch lift, although most people seldom have less than 4-inches of
lift. You should also consider bump stops.
photo below is for reference only. This is clearly lengthened more
than 1-inch, but it allows a visual suggestion so you get the idea.
use the Ford Ranger radius arms on the Dana 44 TTB, so if you've spend
money on extended radius arms, don't panic. You will end up needing to use a
1/8 shim or washer between the axle beam and mount.
have to angle the radius arms in towards the frame more than you do with a
Ford Ranger axle. If you're using longer radius arms, the angle won't be
as great. You may find it difficult trying to get everything to line up
and cycle properly with the stock arms.
The coil bucket (upper mount) will
likely need to be spaced 1-2 inches outward to line up with the lower mount, or you
may be able to make a new mount further in on the beam towards the
differential. Relocating the upper mount may be the better option, unless
you want to get rid of the coil springs completely and go with coilovers.
You'll obviously need to make custom upper and lower mounts for those.
clear answer here. It depends on the method you used to install the axle
beams, and the widths you're working with. If you bolt the beams in to
Ford Ranger brackets and shorten the passenger side inner axle shaft, you
might be able to use the stock Ford Ranger steering linkage. It will
obviously need to be adjusted. Otherwise, you're simply going to have
measure, and buy new draglinks that are the proper lengths. You may want
to use the stock linkage in place, and use the drag links as a guide for measuring
how much more length you need.
important note though is the tie rod ends (TRE). If you look closely at
the photos below, you'll see that the tie rod ends on the steering linkage
mount BELOW the steering knuckle on the Ford F-150 / Bronco Dana 44 TTB.
The Steering linkage tie rod end mounts (ABOVE) the steering knuckle on
the Ford Ranger Dana 28 and Dana 35 TTB.
want to ream out the top of the knuckle so you can mount your steering
linkage on top instead of the bottom. You'll need a reamer with a 7-degree
taper, which is also expressed as 1-1/2 inches of taper per foot.
is a side by side comparison of a spiral-flute reamer on the left, and a
straight-flute reamer on the right. The advantages of the spiral-flute
reamer are more apparent. The straight-flute reamer has a four-sided shank
and is not meant to be chucked into a drill; hand turning is the only
option. Cutting oil is a must with either reamer.
Wider Axles / Tires
companies like Autofab, McNeil
Racing, and Fiberwerx
offer wider fiberglass fenders and bedsides for Ford Rangers for
situations such as this. Therefore, if you decide to go with a full width
rear axle to match the front, they have you covered back there as well.
Racing and Fiberwerx offer fiberglass for the different Ford Ranger body
styles, as well as fiberglass kits to upgrade Ford Rangers to a newer
Ranger with Autofab fenders and bedside
is a stock Dana 44 TTB that has been bolted in to a Ford Ranger using the
6-inch Skyjacker Suspension lift that was already in place. The actual
differential and axle shafts are not installed. This is a mock-up.
can see the angle (photo below) that the coil spring is placed at using
the factory Ford Ranger upper coil bucket. This can be resolved (3)
Space the coil bucket out from the frame with either a spacer, or custom
Build a new lower mount on the axle beam closer to the differential so
it's inline with the upper mount
Replace the coil springs with a coil over setup and custom mounts
can clearly see that the point on the axle where the coil spring and
radius arm (under the coil spring) mount are wider than the stock Ford
to the owner:
had to move the Skyjacker radius arm brackets 1.5-inches forward
to allow the wheels to be centered in the wheel wells. This was
necessary because at full lock turn the tires were chewing up the
lower fender wells just in front of the doors. Since the beams are
3-inches wider on either side, they were pulled back ever so
slightly due to the arc created... While the radius arms did not
change length, the position of the beams did. The transmission
mounting point had to be modified and moved back 1.5-inches.
can see where he moved the radius arm bracket forward in the photo below:
far as the steering, he says:
tie rod ends and drag links are from a 1990 Ford F-150. An inch
needed to be cut off of the right side tie rod end and adjoining
drag link. The adjuster sleeve needed an inch cut off of either
side. There is still plenty of room for the clamps to tighten and
ample thread engagement. The left side is unmodified.
knuckles were reamed from the top to accept the tie rod ends. The
reamer is a XKUT 1-1/2" TPF BALL JOINT & TIE ROD TAPER
REAMER #6952. Easily found on EBay. Be careful to not over ream or
the TRE's will not tighten up... Slow and easy with several trial
used a 6-inch drop pitman arm for the steering. I think it was a
FA600 from Skyjacker. As you can see in the last photo, the
steering linkage is nearly parallel. With the Dana 44 beams, you
want the axle beam eye bolts to be 1-inch higher that the spindle
centerline. This sets the proper ride height and make alignment
much easier. The alignment bushings are MOOG part #'s K80108.
your smart, you wont lose the F150 sway bar link mounts like I
did. I had to cut down the factory Dana 35 mounts.
is necessary to add a 1/8-inch shim between the radius arm to beam
mounts. The Dana 44 beams are 1/8-inch thinner where the radius
arms mount. I used a set of washers that came from the D35 beams.
The bolts (both upper and lower) come with these. If you grabbed
them from your Dana 44 TTB donor you are in luck.
Driveshafts carry Dana 44 TTB and Dana 44 TTB HD axle shafts.
to Forum Staff Member 4x4Junkie, and our other forum members that have
contributed to this discussion over the years.
Information To Add?
you have more information to add that might help someone else with this
swap, please let us know.