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Old 11-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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Broken Axle 3.07 D35

Bad D35 or Bad Axle?

My Tj has 58,000 mi on her. was taking my 8mi trek to work the other day and came to a rolling stop at a four way intersection. when touched the gas I heard a thump and clunk. and initially had no torque to move the jeep forward, so coasted to a stop. I shifted through gears and had no response. After 2 minutes it responded and i began to move once more. I got about 1/10th of a mile and heard a whine and all heck broke loose. the c-clip axle slipped out and down she went. sparks for about 100ft till i rolled off the edge of the road. Drum break parts all over the road and snapped axle and tire off in the woods. WHAT THE HECK!!?? No heavy towing, no off road yet. Once I get it dropped of at the house I can do a visual of the gears, but until then I am baffled.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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Not sure which is your problem, but D35's are JUNK. Went wheeling and had a similar issue that almost sent me off a cliff. Fixed her up and a year or two later, found teeth from my gears laying in the pumpkin. BTW it was mostly garaged for that time. Bottom line, even the smallest of things break em. I ended up swapping to the popular Ford 8.8, not a single problem since.

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Old 11-24-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by QIIIQ View Post
Bad D35 or Bad Axle?

My Tj has 58,000 mi on her. was taking my 8mi trek to work the other day and came to a rolling stop at a four way intersection. when touched the gas I heard a thump and clunk. and initially had no torque to move the jeep forward, so coasted to a stop. I shifted through gears and had no response. After 2 minutes it responded and i began to move once more. I got about 1/10th of a mile and heard a whine and all heck broke loose. the c-clip axle slipped out and down she went. sparks for about 100ft till i rolled off the edge of the road. Drum break parts all over the road and snapped axle and tire off in the woods. WHAT THE HECK!!?? No heavy towing, no off road yet. Once I get it dropped of at the house I can do a visual of the gears, but until then I am baffled.
Broken axle shafts like happened to you are not uncommon in the Dana 35, especially when larger tires or a locker has been installed. What size tires are you running, and do you have a locker installed in your rear axle?

Replacing the axle shaft is relatively easy. However, your c-clip didn't let go, it's still inside the differential holding the other half of the broken axle shaft. You'll need to shove something inside the axle tube to shove the broken half a tad towards the center so the c-clip can be removed, then you'll need to force the broken half out. That usually means you have to remove the other side's axle shaft & poke a long steel rod or similar through to push the broken half out.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:04 AM   #4
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Well, after a long break and getting to work on the jeep, I got a bit done. I went ahead and pulled off the differential cover. While the fluid (what was left) drained out, i noticed nothing wrong with it. Smelled fine, looked relatively clean. ran a magnet through the fluid and pumpkin as well. picked no metal up at all. all the metal pieces were on the out side of the inner bearing. I had to drop the spider gears out to get the rest of the c-clip shaft out. I tried Jerry's idea of tapping it through with no luck. when i got the side spider out and put it into a vise I still could not pound the end of the axle out. I went ahead and ordered upgraded axles from Alloy and new set of spiders. The ring and pinion gears are in perfect shape. when I get her all back together I'll post again.

Thanks for the advise guys!!
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Broken axle shafts like happened to you are not uncommon in the Dana 35, especially when larger tires or a locker has been installed. What size tires are you running, and do you have a locker installed in your rear axle?
Nothing like that at all. That's the funny part. I have owned many Jeeps and this is the first that I have bought and kept stock for over a year. [Changes are coming, but time and money are key. Everyone's story hehe.] The jeep came from an older couple that lived in Florida. no off-roadin. Very clean Jeep with no major work done to it and a clean report. The only thing I can perceive while looking at the pieces is that it was a bad pour and weak metal.?.?
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #6
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most of the breaks I have seen on the dana 35 have been stress related.. weight on one tire, high wheel spin then finding traction... stock tires on some larger on others. upgraded stock shafts are less expensive fix,(vs a full axle swap.gear change etc etc) and for stock to a few sizes over stock tires should give you many years of no issues.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:00 AM   #7
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most of the breaks I have seen on the dana 35 have been stress related.. weight on one tire, high wheel spin then finding traction... stock tires on some larger on others. upgraded stock shafts are less expensive fix,(vs a full axle swap.gear change etc etc) and for stock to a few sizes over stock tires should give you many years of no issues.
For over a year its been just me and the jeep. Commute to work and home, no 4 high or 4 low. Pretty boring i know. It's been that kind of year. hehe. So it sure did surprise me. I've had the D35's for 15 years with no problems. But yes I have heard my share of stories about the curse with in them. Hope this is the last of my issues with it for a while at least. when I finally lift it 3 maybe 4 inches and possibly 32's...then I'll probably be asking myself..."why Dana, WHY!!??" lol.

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 4Jeepn View Post
most of the breaks I have seen on the dana 35 have been stress related.. weight on one tire, high wheel spin then finding traction... stock tires on some larger on others. upgraded stock shafts are less expensive fix,(vs a full axle swap.gear change etc etc) and for stock to a few sizes over stock tires should give you many years of no issues.
Good ideas. Thanks for the advice too. No extreme alterations planned, just simple, quality, adjustments. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #9
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Got the Axles in last week. I went ahead and cleaned out the housing real good. Slapped new seals and bearings in. The new axles slid in nice and smooth. New spider gears are in and brakes parts replaced. Bled brakes. Test drive done. Runs perfect again! I'm thrilled again.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:48 PM   #10
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Standard axles or the upgraded ones 4Jeepn mentioned?
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Standard axles or the upgraded ones 4Jeepn mentioned?
I ended up buying the upgraded axles from Alloy. When they arrived I looked them over and you could see a definitive difference between the stock axle and the upgraded one. But as 'they' say...the weakest link will break. What's that going to be? Probably drive shaft, spiders, ring and pinion, or whatever. I'll keep my fingers crossed and bet against the odds. Lol.

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