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BorgWarner M44

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Snake Oiler View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb/09/2019 at 3:28pm
Hello all, I just got a 71 Javelin SST from a shop owner that is retiring. All is mostly fine with the car except he took out the M44 and said that the 2nd gear sleeve and drum is worn bad. I need those parts and a rebuild kit for the trans. It seems as if there is not a lot of info on the M44 online, so I landed here. I called some old trans, and some newbies haven't even heard of this model. While I have heard of it, it is not in the same conversations as the 727,904,450 etc. Any direction here would be appreciated. Thank you
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 69 ambassador 390 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/09/2019 at 3:51pm
What engine do you have?
Steve Brown

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snake Oiler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/09/2019 at 3:53pm
304, but I was told it was hopped up a bit with a cam change, and it has headers and true duals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/11/2019 at 6:19am
M44 is about the same as the M35, just a bit stronger. You can get wear parts from Northwest Transmission (www.nwtpats.com). You may have to call. They list the T-35 (M-35) and a T-65, which was used in Australia and Europe under that designation. Count the oil pan bolts and see which one yours corresponds to (15 for M-35, 12 for M-65), or call them. The internal parts interchange (clutches and bands, gaskets and seals), but the drum and such may be different -- and very hard to find NOS. You may have to get another trans or find someone with a good used drum from a parts trans.

Your other option is to ditch the BW trans and go with a 998, 999, built-up 904, or 727. I'd use in that order of preference. The 727 is the most bullet proof, but also takes 2x the power to just turn it over. It will take 10-15 hp more than the others. 998s are used behind stock 304s and in Eagles (4x4 of course), 999s in Jeep Wranglers (again, 4x4). I think a 904 output shaft and housing will work with a 998/999, but you need to check with shops/people more familiar with the 2WD conversion. 904s are used in all 72+ six cylinder cars (except big cars, which I think used a 998, and some rare HD optioned cars which used a 727 behind the six). You will need an adapter, but the AMC vendors sell a bolt-in one. In the end the swap to a TF might be the best bet, especially if you intend to "play" with the car a bit and keep it a long time.
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 401MATCOUPE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/11/2019 at 7:33am
If you can get me a picture of what you need, I have a lot of parts for those trans on the shelf.  Maybe a picture from the Technical Service Manual OR send me pic of the actual part via Private Message.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snake Oiler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/23/2019 at 7:35am
Thanks to all who responded. I called a NASCAR engine builder I know, and he sent me to a guy who rebuilds transmissions. I dropped it off to him and he was surprised that the main body of the transmission was aluminum and not cast iron. So he was doubting it was an M44 as it looked like one, but he said usually the center is cast while the bell housing and stem are aluminum. Anyway he concurred that 2nd gear was shot. He quoted $600+parts to rebuild and said he would be in contact if he needed any parts that he could not find. So I might be reaching out to a few of you on this. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/23/2019 at 8:27am
Originally posted by Snake Oiler Snake Oiler wrote:

Thanks to all who responded. I called a NASCAR engine builder I know, and he sent me to a guy who rebuilds transmissions. I dropped it off to him and he was surprised that the main body of the transmission was aluminum and not cast iron. So he was doubting it was an M44 as it looked like one, but he said usually the center is cast while the bell housing and stem are aluminum. Anyway he concurred that 2nd gear was shot. He quoted $600+parts to rebuild and said he would be in contact if he needed any parts that he could not find. So I might be reaching out to a few of you on this. Thanks!


Mine is aluminum... It's pre 71 trannies that have iron centers. So I should be able to bench press that puppy when I get under it to pull the thing. It shouldn't be as far as the complete th400 with converter, starter and flexplate, that I had placed in my javelins trunk.
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/25/2019 at 8:53am
Then he doesn't know Borg Warner transmissions as well as he thought. All the M3x and M4x are all aluminum. They were only used behind sixes and the smallest V-8 with 2V carbs only. V-8s with a 4V from the factory got the tougher M-1x series (M-11 or M-12, depending on year).

But don't fret!! If he knows the M-1x series he also knows the M-3x/4x!! They were all essentially the same design, the M-3x and 4x just used the AL  case and some lighter parts inside. Same gasket set applies to both, though there are a few subtle differences accounted for by having 2-3 gaskets for the same thing.

That same gasket set also applies to the earlier M-8 and "M-10" as well as the early Ford trannys up to and including the FMX, which are license built Borg-Warner designs. Ford didn't deviate much from the BW design until their C-4 and C-6 came out.

I mention "M-10" in quotes because I'm pretty sure that wasn't the official designation. It's used to refer to the TV cable version of the M-8 which was used in 63-66 V-8 cars. I forget the model number on those trannys, but I think it's something like M-8-x.... Don't have one on hand and haven't seen one without the screen printed label too damaged to read. The printing usually fades/dissolves from years of tranny fluid/elements exposure or attempts to clean with solvent.
Frank Swygert
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