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Old 07-28-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Dana 35 replacement help

Hi all,
I've been working on this particular issue for two weeks now, but my worst fears have come true. I'm in the market for a replacement differential, at the least. Actually, I'm still waiting for the shop to give me the final prognosis, but I'm pretty sure it's what I suspect.
My question is this, exactly what do I look for as a replacement. I have 97 Sport, manual, 4.0L. The rear axle is a stock Dana 35 (3.55) standard (open diff). I found a few complete axles in my area on Craig's list, ranging from $300 to $400, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. Some mention a "C clip", which I have no idea about. Some are Dana 35's with different gearing ratios (higher than 3.55).
I'm hoping somebody can tell me what my options are. I'm figuring that the garage is going to come in well over a grand. Oh, I'm riding on 30x10.5's.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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Sorry everyone. This is just a bump. Looking for a rather quick answer. Need to know before I start handing out greenbacks.

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Old 07-29-2010, 12:04 AM   #3
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Any rear axle from a Wrangler '97-'06 will swap right in. The C-Clip is the type of axle shaft the Dana35 is, it uses a small clip inside the diff to keep the shaft from sliding out. As far as the gear ratios go, the same ones would be best.. but if you find some 3.73 or 4.10's it would be OK, a little tall, but would work... although you wouldn't be able to put it in 4WD until you get matching gears in the front axle.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
Any rear axle from a Wrangler '97-'06 will swap right in. The C-Clip is the type of axle shaft the Dana35 is, it uses a small clip inside the diff to keep the shaft from sliding out. As far as the gear ratios go, the same ones would be best.. but if you find some 3.73 or 4.10's it would be OK, a little tall, but would work... although you wouldn't be able to put it in 4WD until you get matching gears in the front axle.
i thought you had to have the same gears wether you used 2wd or 4wd.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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i thought you had to have the same gears wether you used 2wd or 4wd.
In 2WD it's fine because they are not being powered. Although I think it's a safe idea to remove the front drive shaft just in case. If the axles are not connected, there is no need to have the same gears, the tires will be rotating the same, but the gears will not... but when in 4WD and connected, they would be spinning differently and that would cause an issue with binding and breaking.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the answers. A little more help needed though.

I'm going to go look at the axle tomorrow, disconnected from the vehicle. The owner assured me that it's in perfect working order, but what are the things I should be looking for to verify this? I already plan on opening the differential up and checking the gears, but what else?

Sorry, I'm not mechanically inclined by nature, but I'm trying!

Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
In 2WD it's fine because they are not being powered. Although I think it's a safe idea to remove the front drive shaft just in case. If the axles are not connected, there is no need to have the same gears, the tires will be rotating the same, but the gears will not... but when in 4WD and connected, they would be spinning differently and that would cause an issue with binding and breaking.
ok that makes sense. thanks for the info
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
In 2WD it's fine because they are not being powered. Although I think it's a safe idea to remove the front drive shaft just in case. If the axles are not connected, there is no need to have the same gears, the tires will be rotating the same, but the gears will not... but when in 4WD and connected, they would be spinning differently and that would cause an issue with binding and breaking.
Everything rotates all the way to and including the chain in the transfer case. The TJ front end does not disengage.

Yes, things will be fine but as AzTJ said it would be best to remove the front shaft just to make certain that someone else doesn't mess with the t-case shifter or something like that.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuff_Mudd View Post
Thanks for the answers. A little more help needed though.

I'm going to go look at the axle tomorrow, disconnected from the vehicle. The owner assured me that it's in perfect working order, but what are the things I should be looking for to verify this? I already plan on opening the differential up and checking the gears, but what else?

Sorry, I'm not mechanically inclined by nature, but I'm trying!

Thanks again.
Look for bent axle tubes. When you pop the cover off, look for pits or chips in all the teeth on all the gears. Also look for blueing of the gears. This is a sign of getting too hot.

Get a wiff of some 90wt before you go and then smell the 90wt in the axle and see if it has a burnt smell to it.

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