Originally Posted by tjdanish
Thanks for all advice everyone. I'll tear into it more in the next few days. Could this be easily converted over to a limited slip or would a locking diff be better upgrage to do?
I mainly use my jeep for towing a large jet ski and may adventure into some easy woods/trail use. Running stock size tires with no plans of going bigger. While I'm working on it now, I may as well beef up the gear to handle the added stress of towing.
Short answer: Depends on your budget.
Long answer: Depends on what kind of offroading you do if at all. Super 35 kit or a D44/8.8 rear axle swap is recommended if more than light/moderate off roading is done. If you aren't planning on doing anything too serious, new spider/side gears will suffice. The detroit LSD is also a viable option for light offroading. A locker is for serious rock crawling where wheels are coming off the ground. Both the detroit LSD and full lockers replace the whole carrier, but reuse the ring and pinion.
If you didn't find any metal bits in the bottom, it leads me to believe that the PO knew about it because someone took the chunks out of the bottom and zipped the diff cover back on.
If you look at my build thread, my pictures are very similar to yours. My spider gears chipped and I ended up going with a detroit locker.
Edit: just saw easy trails and towing. The d35 should be able to handle that in its stock form provided you are not rough on it. Towing doesn't put enough stress on those gears to render an axle breakage. If I were you I would either replace the spider gears or do the LSD to improve your capability on the trails