15:47:21 - 11/17/2019
Subject: Rear axle &locker?|
I got a 96 dakota 2WD, and am considering a straight axle conversion. I was just wondering what kind of axles we have in the rear? Also, how hard would it be to install a locker in the rear, or lower gears? thanks
| RE: Rear axle &locker?|
You have an 8 ¼” rear. You can get gears with various ratios for it and there are a few lockers available. I have a Detroit Locker with 4:10s in my ’88.
If you’re considering doing a straight axle conversion, I wouldn’t bother upgrading your rear. Most of the straight axle conversions I’ve seen on Dakotas have been with Dana 44 fronts from a late 70’s Bronco or F150, which has a 5 on 5 1/2 “ bolt pattern. Take the Ford 9” rear from the same donor vehicle and use that as well. It’s a much stronger axle and the bolt pattern will match. Or, if you don’t want to use the Ford rear, you could always have one built. I just had DTS build me a Dana 60 for the rear of my ’96 4x4. If you look at it price wise, to rebuild your axle with new ring and pinion, crush sleeve, assorted bearings, seals and a locker, parts and labor you are looking at about $1200 - $1500 and you still have an 8 ¼” with a 6 lug bolt pattern. To have a Dana axle built will cost you $2000+ but you end up with a Dana 60. Mine cost me $2700 delivered but I also included a few upgrades (changed bolt pattern to 5 on 5 ½”, 3 channel ABS sensor, heavy duty rear cover and complete 11” drum brake setup). It’s a bit pricey but a much stronger setup. I have a Dana 44 I’ll be sending out shortly to have rebuilt for the front of my ’96. I’m still working out the details but I have an idea of modifying a 4-link conversion kit for a late model F150.
This is the kit I'm looking at modifying
This kit also uses a Dana 44 Bronco front axle and I think this could be adapted to a Dakota with a little work.