The following info is from a 21 page article written by Jim McGean of Dynatrac entitled, "4-Wheelers Guide to Axle Swapping and Building"
Just a comment from Dynatrac in reference to the Dana 44 and breaking axles:
" The "Dana 44 is great for a Jeep, but if you own a full size truck, or Blazer that has a Dana 44 up front with big tires, you already know, that it just isn't strong enough. If you aren't breaking axle shafts, you are probably having spider gear or ring and pinion failures. sorry, there isn't much you can do to remedy this situation except upgrade to a Dana 60. The Dana 60 will solve your problems".
Also, Dyantrac has this to say about lockers: "lockers provide differential action different from posi or open diff. For this reason they are not recommended for front axle use. Lockers can seriously affect steering and handling and are not for everyone. although many serious rock crawlers demand lockers in the front and rear, only the very experienced and cautious should be encouraged to put a locker up front. If you plan to move slowly over very severe terrain then a locker is great, if you plan to drive on snow covered roads, or dirt roads at moderate to high speed then think twice before choosing the locker.
For better traction Dynatrac suggests a posi device with the following comments: "The main drawback to posi units is that they can only overcome a certain amount of traction difference between the 2 wheels. For example if we had one tire on ice and one on dry pavement the posi would probably get us moving. But, if the truck was pointing up a sharp hill or the tires were in a small rut we would remain stuck. the reason is that even with power applied, the clutches would probably slip before the wheel on pavement would begin to turn".
They also warn that a posi in good condition will likely cause the vehicle to fishtail and slide to the outside of a turn on very slippery surfaces like snow or ice, so use caution under these conditions.
Just some food for thought when you change wheel size and go for some changes.
to the type of diferential up front.