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Dana 50


NAXJA Forum User
Does anyone have experience with a Dana 50 under their XJ? I can pick one up that has been retubed with .25 inch tube for probably $250. I have searched for bigger axle shafts 35 spline it looks like it’s possible but not a lot of info out there for showing experience with swapping this axle under an XJ. Also not sure on bolt pattern and if I can match it with my rear 8.8 without using spacers 8 would like stick with 5on5.5. I don’t think I could use the steering that is on my Dana 30. I am pert sure I could use any Dana 60 swap kit.
The 50 is kind of a odd ball axle that isn’t very desirable. The 50 has a 9” ring gear, compared to a 60 that’s 9.75/10”, and there isn’t a ton of aftermarket support for them. It would be 8x170 too, and would be a good bit wider than your 8.8. I would advise saving your money and getting a 60 with a matching rear end.
The only reason I was considering was the cost. What I really want to do is get Currie 44 with RCV and unit bearings but that’s bank. New front axle and budget don’t really go together I know but I have a welder and can build one so trying to find the best bang for the buck. What I don’t want to do is get an axle that won’t work under my rig.
It would definitely work under your Jeep, you would just need a matching rear end for it to work right.
I met a guy that built an XJ width D44 front axle from two junkyard axles. I don't remember the specific details, but he used a D44 with the correct diff location and short axle tube length, found another one with the correct length long axle tube, cut them both apart, built his Frankenstein axle, and put Chevy disk brake knuckles on it. He converted the XJ coil spring suspension to leaf springs.

Everything was OEM so he could order parts from NAPA, and buy spare junkyard axle shafts for it. I think he spent about $500 for everything.
I would not bother. The money you spend on the axle assembly from the junkyard is the small part, it's everything you attach to it that costs you. I would wait for a dana 60 to hit pick n pull... assuming that happens in your area.

I spent $250 on my 1974 IHC 1300 front dana 70 to base my axle build around for my J10. I don't want to add the total up right now, but I would be surprised if I have spent under $2k on it, and it's not even in the truck yet.
Dana 50's are all the size of a 60 without the beef where it counts. They can be made to work, but its a lot of extra size and weight without the true benefit of a very strong gearset. Not to mention you need to buy expensive aftermarket 35 spline shafts and locker just to make it worthwhile.

Why has it been retubed? That's somewhat concerning. Also always an inherent risk of somebody not doing that properly and the axle isn't truly straight.

You'll end up spending more in the long run than what you save on purchase price of the housing.
Running 37s on an XJ? It's actually really good for this.

There's a build thread here:


Seems to be working well for him. Best axle? Nope, but you get locking hubs, beefy R&P (not D60, but better than D44), brakes, tubes, same clearance (after shaving), etc, for practically free. One could even go with a 4.30:1 set from a V10 Super Duty/Excursion, toss in some lunchboxes (or orb of traction), and have decent gearing without axle setup costs as well.