How strong is the Dana 35 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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How strong is the Dana 35

Ok we all agree that the D35 is a weak link in the TJ's. But just how stron is it? If and when I lift my TJ I dont plan putting anything bigger than 33's. more than likly Ill only run 31's. I would like a locker and rear disc. My jeep is a DD with some off-roading. Around hear its river beds, but I do like taking trails in Colorado and Moab. and who knows where next?
Is the D35 a good enough axle to add the lockers and disc breaks. or do I just trash the 35 and find a D44?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 10:32 AM
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I've never heard anyone say anything good about a D35. The popular swap is a Ford Explorer 8.8. If you find the right one it'll already have disk brakes, although I'd rather have drums. Supposedly it's as easy a swap as you'll ever find and there are plenty of choices for a locker.

I'm pretty sure that any D44 you find will have a 5 on 5.5" bolt circle which means extra expense for redrilling the flanges. Leave the few 44s out there for the CJ guys who need them.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 10:37 AM
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Safer bet is to leave the locker out of the equation. It's when people lock them that they start breaking them.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 10:58 AM
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I'd say... leave the Dana 35 under the Jeep and wheel it. I wouldn't spend any money hardening the Dana 35. That's just plain... expensive.

Take your time finding and building the perfect Ford 8.8".

IMHO, it's the least expensive axle upgrade you can do to add strength and reliably. With a locker installed it will have the strength you'll need for the type of wheeling you'll be doing... and then some.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 11:04 AM
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I concur with the above.

If you compare a D35 to a D44, Ford or even AMC20, then you start to see where things can break. The D35 is fine as a DD...and for mild off roading...but as noted above, putting a locker on it will usually show you the weak points.

As stated above, don't spend any money on it....drive it until it breaks or you find something better.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post

I'm pretty sure that any D44 you find will have a 5 on 5.5" bolt circle which means extra expense for redrilling the flanges.
The TJ dana 44's will be 5 on 4.5".

I picked up a lock right on ebay for $80 and put it in last night. We'll see how the 35 holds up with it and 30" tires. I also have an automatic so that will cut down on the shock loading as well.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 08:58 PM
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A Jeep engineer at Camp Jeep told me right after I bought my TJ that the 35 would be fine with open diffs and up to 32" tires. I run 32" tires with ARB's, but don't hammer it. I've taken it pretty easy and have gotten along alright for five years. I do have Superior axles, so I don't know what difference that's made. If I break, I'll probably look at an 8.8", but in the meantime, I'm happy with what I have.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 09:23 PM
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Junky... wheel what you got, minus the locker. You have the 4 cyl jeeep so you should have 4.10s. The 2 door "sport" model Exploders had the 4.10's. Start searching for just the right 8.8 for just the right price and things should work out well. You get discs, matching ratio and possibly a limited slip if you're lucky. In the mean time, enjoy the summer.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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D44's Vs D35's

I have a stock 05' Rubicon and I just broke a Dana 44 front axle with stock tires... lockers are very hard on components... as is my right foot though... just food for thought
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2007, 10:42 PM
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It is all in how you wheel it. Tom has the perfect combo on a 35 to show how much destruction one could cause but he wheels it aware of it's weaknesses. I won't put any money into mine and when it breaks I will likely replace with an 8.8 or 60. That said, I won't do it until I break the one under it. I think they do fine without a locker but the added shock seems to break the internals. The tubes are not strong either, butt if you look around you will see people who thrash 60's and 14 bolts.... It is all about how you treat it.

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