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I have a 97 TJ 4.0 5 speed with a 4" lift and 33's. Unfortunately, it also has a Dana 35 rather than a Dana 44. Everything I've read says that the Dana 44 is by far the way to go, but I haven't really found any details about better performance etc. I know it would be stronger, but are there any other advantages that would make the swap worth the cash for a daily driver and an ocassional off roader?

Thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/40BEER.gif
 

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The advantage of the D44 is in its strength. If you are doing occasional moderate wheeling you should have no problem with the D35, but if you get into big tires, lockers, etc. you'll need to think about an upgrade. A Ford 8.8 rear out of an Explorer is a good option to the D44.
But I'd wait and see if you're going to evolve into more serious wheeling before I invested in a new rear axle of any kind.
 

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For most occasional off roaders, just wheel it. If it breaks, go with the dana 44 or 8.8.
 

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With 33's you will break the D35. Like the others said, run it, but start putting away some dough for the big day. It will break and you don't want to sink a single penny into putting a lame duck back together again. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Wheel it till you bust it. As long as your not locked you may be OK. My buddy Tim has the same setup and beats the holy crap out of it and hasn't broke it, but if you do don't waste any money on your D35. Go 8.8. Aaron
 

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[ QUOTE ]
With 33's you will break the D35.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thats highly unlikely with moderate wheeling,, I've been running 33's with 4:56 gears and lockers front and rear for better than 5 years now and have had no issues with the 30 or 35.

Yes if you abuse the axle you will probably break it. There are a lot that have. but as you stated you will use this as a DD and some moderate wheeling, you should be just fine. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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[ QUOTE ]

Yes if you abuse the axle you will probably break it. There are a lot that have. but as you stated you will use this as a DD and some moderate wheeling, you should be just fine. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

X2 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodpost.gif
 

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i have 35s on my d35 and a locker and i have not broken any thing
 

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Now this is refreshing!!!

Someone actually saying to match the hardware to the application!
Bigger is NOT always better.

Take the advice offered...
I've seen guys wheel for years with a 35 and have no problems...
I've seen guys twist off axles in the 35, and that's pain the the a$$, but aftermarket axles more suited to off roading were all they needed.

If you get serious, then it's time to step up to a 44 or 9".
If it were me, I'd do the 9" over the 44...
The 9" has more gear options, better ground clearance, is much cheaper to narrow (if you do the work yourself), everybody makes something for them and it all works.

If you break a 9", go directly to a Dana 60, do not pass go, spend another $200...
 

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[ QUOTE ]
If you break a 9", go directly to a Dana 60, do not pass go, spend another $200...

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Under that logic, why not just go with the 60 in the first place. Then you don't have all the money tied up in two axles. Rear 60's are a dime a dozen.
 

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Because D-60's are expensive and difficult to narrow, and many of the factory axles are undercut, and you can't narrow them.
You are looking at at least $1,500 to get the job done correctly, and you still have to find a brake setup that will work, especally if you want disk brakes, and 'C' clip elminators...

The 9" is a good step off between the D-35 (or D-30, AMC 20, ect.) and the D-60.
I don't know many weekend wheelers that can distroy a 9".
You can narrow the housing yourslef, axles cut down for under $200, and Lincon disk brakes bolt right on with no adaptors.
That's Calipers and rotors, and the calipers have built in parking brakes.

The only problem from a 9" I know of is the undercut axles.
You will have to take at least 8" out of the housings to reuse the axles.
Ford 9" axle shafts have a 4" turned down undercut right behind the splines, and you have to get behind that undercut to respline the factory axles.

Ford full size pickup trucks have axle housings that have tubes welded into the center section, so you grind out the welds, cut the axle tubes off, and reweld.
All you need is a set of axle bearings and a stright steel bar that fits the inner of the bearings to align the tubes.
That sure keeps the total costs down!
 
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