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1955 Thunderbird Rear Differential

Posted By Florida_Phil 3 Months Ago
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Florida_Phil
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My 1955 Thunderbird still has it's stock differential.  I believe this differential is a Dana 44. Is this the same Dana 44 that came in Jeeps?   Will an aftermarket Dana 44 differential cover fit?  Thanks.
Brent
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Looks like there are a couple of options at drivetrain.com

http://www.drivetrain.com/parts_catalog/ring_and_pinions/dana_44_front_and_rear_end_parts.html




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Brent Ferguson
1955 Thunderbird

miker
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That’s a good question Phil. It’s been pointed out to me several times that the ‘birds used either a Dana 43, or 45, or something. My bird has a Dana 44, probably out of a truck, somewhere along the way. The welds on the spring perches were really lousy, probably as a result of moving them from the original to the truck rear end. When I went to replace the axle bearings, the bird ones were wrong, the truck ones were right. I’ve been from 4:11’s open, to 3.3? posi, to a 3.7? posi.

I looked at the finned covers for the back, they’d fit, but wouldn’t clear my rear sway bar or the gas tank. Long time go, just don’t remember.

Still, most of what you’ll want will be available, including the ring and pinion. As far as I can tell, they all looked the same from the outside, including the Dana used in the wagon and maybe “police specials”.

All I know for sure is my axle used the truck bearings. Back in 1967, I put the rear end from a 56 6 cyl wagon under a bird, and all I needed was 2” lowering blocks. Backing plates were the same, and the brake shoes and drums interchanged.

Hopefully someone with real information will set the story straight.



miker
55 bird, 32 cabrio F code
Kent, WA
Tucson, AZ
Brent
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Miker,

drivetrain lists Thunderbird 55-56 as a Dana 44 application. 

I have sent an email to you regarding wheels, did you get it?


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Brent Ferguson
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Florida_Phil
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Yes I did.  Thank you.
DryLakesRacer
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If you a going for "pretty or bling" these covers are OK i guess. Gale Banks has a group of You Tube Videos that show what they do for your vehicle with is very enlightening to say the least. Sure changed my idea for them on my towing pickups.... 

56 Vic, B'Ville 200 MPH Club Member, So Cal.
charliemccraney
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It is an interesting series about differential covers.  What it boiled down to is that the stock cover tends to be the best but aftermarket is fine if it is shaped similarly on the inside, with manufacturer recommended oil capacity.  By manufacturer, I mean the actual manufacturer who designed and built it, which is not usually the same as the brand of vehicle it is installed in.



Lawrenceville, GA
Florida_Phil
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I'm not much into bling.  A stock looking chrome cover would be OK with me.
2721955meteor
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Florida_Phil (3/4/2019)
I'm not much into bling.  A stock looking chrome cover would be OK with me.

i have a 49merc i/2 ton was trying to install a 3.7 ring and pinion,found there is 2 styles of carier, 1 3.7 and down 1 4and up.
the 3.7 gears won't fit with 4and up carier. ,tried machining the career but can't get enough lash. any 1 know of the correct carier 
they are rare,the jeep ones won't work as axel gears to big and have more splines spoke with a specialist he claims the correct 1 is out there but rare. any 1 hear of 1 let me know ct1940@shaw.ca
Florida_Phil
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I read online somewhere that there are differences in the '55 Tbird and Jeep Dana 44 differentials.  I also heard parts for the 55 TBird differential are hard to find.  That was the reason for my inquiry about the differential cover.    I assume any aftermarket Dana 44 cover will fit?   Sounds like a question for an early TBird specialist.


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