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Old 07-24-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
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Upgrading axles

Right now im running dana 35s and wanting to upgrade to some 44s. where can i get some at a decent price?

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Old 07-24-2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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Do you want to upgrade both the front 30 and rear 35 or just the rear 35? either way a new built one will set you back about 4-5k for a set. Used one's rear 1000-1500, 44 fronts bit more as most of those are off rubcion models. Good place to start looking for used rears. car-parts.com

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Old 07-24-2007, 11:39 AM   #3
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Do you want to upgrade both the front 30 and rear 35 or just the rear 35? either way a new built one will set you back about 4-5k for a set. Used one's rear 1000-1500, 44 fronts bit more as most of those are off rubcion models. Good place to start looking for used rears. car-parts.com
Car-Parts.com is the greatest site ever. If you ever get the idea to diesel your TJ, thats where to get the parts.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:33 PM   #5
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I looked on that site and there is a DANA 44 with the trulock from a rubicon on there for 1600 bucks. I wouldn't think that was too bad of a deal!!
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
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I am not sure what the big deal is w/ Dana 44's. Are they just popular due to the amount of after market parts?

Why not get a GM 8.5" rear and install it. You can pick them up in all different sizes from ~52" from backing plate to Backing plate up to 58". Spring purch mounts aer easy to modify and with a little fabrication / geometry you can create your own upper / lower control arms to bolt right in.

I have a stock 28 spline 8.5" GM Posi rear end in my cutlass and it holds up to the pounding of a big block 455 w/ 475hp and 550tq. and a B&M stage II shift kit. Im sure it could easily hold up to the 4.0 and 35" tires with out breaking. If you look around at junk yards you can easly pick up an 8.5" rear for $100-$300 and set it up the way you want to.

Or if you are really worried about breaking it, you can pick up a Ford 9" rear for the amount of money u could find a Dana 44.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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Generally users that are trying to replace the D35 with a TJ D44 don't have the skills to weld in the brackets that are needed for the TJ's link setup. When you take a $300 axle and then add in $400 for brackets, and labor for seting up the brackets you get into the realm of just buying a bolt in 44.

Also if I remember rightly aren't the GM axles you mention 6 lug? You would have to address that also since TJ's are 5 lug. Overall there are 2 good solid easy to find matching axles to stick in the rear of a TJ without changing much. The bolt in TJ 44 and the Ford 8.8 that uses the same lug pattern.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:29 PM   #8
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why wouldn't you just look into getting the ford 8.8? like said before you can usually pick them up for around $150 at a pick & pull.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:30 PM   #9
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Also if I remember rightly aren't the GM axles you mention 5 lug? You would have to address that also since TJ's are 5 lug.
HUH? dont mean to bust your balls BLK but did you mean 6 lug?
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:35 PM   #10
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HUH? dont mean to bust your balls BLK but did you mean 6 lug?
You are right. Fingers said 5 head said 6. Fixed it.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:08 PM   #11
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glad your admin, I was really worried for a sec. lol

and just checking my facts I got to thinkin about it the ford 8.8 is a direct swap right? there is a little modification to transferring it but not much.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:18 PM   #12
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Pay no attenion to Enigma and his GM 10 bolt recommendation.
The 10 bolt GM car axle has a 5 on 4.75" bolt pattern. The TJ has 5 on 4.5". The GM truck 6 bolt is 6 on 5.5". The GM rear axle has c-clips. Later 8.5" axles came in either 28 or 30 spline configuration. Early 10 bolts were all 28 spline with an 8.2" ring gear. This rear axle is too much bother to consider for a TJ conversion when compared to a Ford 8.8".
The Ford 8.8" out a '96 on up Exploder has 31 spline axles, disc brakes and the same 5 on 4.5" pattern the TJ uses. The width is just 1/2" narrower than the TJ axle. The 31 spline axle has c-clips but, aside from having a marginally larger shaft, the alloy used in the shaft is much stronger than stock Dana 44 shafts. Superior makes a $550 (prox) kit called a Super 88 which gets even better shafts and eliminates the c-clips.
Car-parts.com lists the 8.8" for about $250 around here. Add $1,000 and you can get a Detroit, gears and brackets. Another $550 gets you the Super 88 kit. For less than $2K you get an axle that will easily hold up to 37s and use your existing tires and wheels.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:37 AM   #13
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The car 8.5" axles are 5 Lug
The trucks can be 6 or 8 lug depending on how beefy you want.
Personally I was talking about the GM 8.5" Oldsmobile rear end that was bolted in instead of the Cheavy C-Clip rear end. However there are C- clip eliminators that are available to get around this.

"The Type O (Oldsmobile) 12-bolt rear ends use a smaller ring gear than the Type C (Chevy) 12-bolt, resulting in lower strength. The good news it that the Type O units retain the axle shafts at their outboard ends, while the Type C units use the infamous c-clips at the imboard end. This is why you see C-Clip Eliminator kits available for the Chevy axles. Also the Chevy rear has a "scalloped" cover where the Olds is smooth. "

Type "C" Chevy Rear Ends
This rear end retains the axle shafts with "C" clips. These do break from time to time, and the result is the axle shaft works its way out of the axle tube. A hint that a clip might be broken is a faint moan from the rear axle when backing up (mine made no noise going forward). Moral of the story: stick with your Olds rear.

The "C" rear can be modified with "a C-clip eliminator kit". That solves that problem of relatively fragile broken "C" clips.

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Enough w/ the thread hijack. good luck w/ the swap. As Digger mentioned the best bet for bolt in would probably be the one from the Exploder. And I am sure you can find them a dime a dozen in the junk yard. Good luck which ever way you go and keep us posted.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:29 PM   #14
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The Buick, Olds, Pontiac (BPO) rearend was discontinued in 1971. The rearend in your Olds is a corporate GM 10 bolt used in everything from light cars to 1/2 ton 4x4 trucks. 28 spine axles were used in all up until 88 or 89 (depending on the book you read). Later models all had 30 spline shafts. Your car could easily be upgraded by installing new 30 sp shafts and a new diff. You are correct in saying that the 8.5" axle can be 5 lug but the bolt circle is 5 on 4.75" instead of Jeep's standard 5 on 4.5".
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:14 PM   #15
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Id say swap in an 8.8. Easiest upgrade pretty much.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:23 PM   #16
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Had full size Bronco.. It was either 8.8 or 9. Either way it was freakin bullet proof. I had 33's on it. Had a friend who thought it was funny to knock the gear shift into neutral on me at stop lights. So it got neutral dropped from 4k rpm. It didnt even stutter, just chirped the tires and went about its business. And that was 5.7 V-8 abuse.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:44 PM   #17
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Actually the rear end that I have in there is not the stock one, It is a 1971 Olds 442 8.5" rear. Not the crappy 7.5" rear thats prob comporable to a Dana 30.

Just like older model-jeep fans nothing on that car is origional

the 8.8" would be an easy swap but how could you attach / setup a "trac-bar" on the axle since it was designed to only have upper / lower control arms?

Also, you can make up for the difference in axle sizes by getting rims with a different BS to compnsate.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:31 PM   #18
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but why go to al the trouble, you can just get an 8.8 out of a junkyard, pay $600 for a kit and weld all the brakcets on and then your good to go, and it comes with a locker and 4.56 gears!
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:34 PM   #19
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Or you can just pull one from a yard and make all your own brackets! Then you'll pay nearly nuthin!
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:12 PM   #20
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Or you can just pull one from a yard and make all your own brackets! Then you'll pay nearly nuthin!
Thats what Im talking about! lol
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:26 PM   #21
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yeah, but personally i dont trust my welds to keep the back axle on, but if your that good then go ahead
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:42 PM   #22
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Haha. Well I guess its all in ones confidence. Ive been welding for a pretty long time now though. Id probably trust my welds to something like that. I will see next summer when I do a swap myself.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:10 PM   #23
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On an 8.8" I might consider having a really good welder do the job. 8.8" tubes are large diameter but very thin wall (.120" wall IIRC).
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:34 PM   #24
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On an 8.8" I might consider having a really good welder do the job. 8.8" tubes are large diameter but very thin wall (.120" wall IIRC).
Nah, they should be .250 wall. However there were some that ended up being .188 wall, but for the life of me I don't know the specifics about what make/model/year etc for that.

However with a plasma cutter it's pretty easy to blow thru an 8.8 tube. I know this from experience. And with fluid in it makes a helluva fire ball.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:46 PM   #25
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what year of the ford explorer can i get the right axle out of?
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:55 PM   #26
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96 or newer will have disk brakes, but even the drums on the older 8.8's are better than what are on the D35.

There's always talk about 6 cylinder vs. V8 having 28 spline/31 spline shafts, but I've never seen an Explorer 8.8 with 28 spline shafts. Now from what I know all Ranger and Mustang 8.8's are 28 spline.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:59 PM   #27
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Sorry to hi-jack, but if at some point I'd wanna run 38-39" tires, what would you do, D60's or Ford9's?
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:04 PM   #28
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Sorry to hi-jack, but if at some point I'd wanna run 38-39" tires, what would you do, D60's or Ford9's?
Not a big fan of the 9" with that extremely low pinion. Unless you are blowing the wad on the True High 9. HP60 front and FF 60 rear will hold up to just about anything with those tires on there. Gonna cost ya even if you junk yard the axles. Just ask Hackle. It's exactly what is in and going in his YJ.

There's a guy here in town selling a Kingpin HP60 for a grand. Good deal.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:07 PM   #29
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I'm just lookin' to the future. I was already thinking D60's but some one was telling me to go for a 9" in the rear. I'd deffinatly try and find a junker set and build them... up here I bet I can find an old Ford for $800-1000 with a set of 60's under it
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:52 PM   #30
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I went back and check my records, which I should have done first, and found the .188" is the normal thickness. Some did come with .250" but they were usually in F150's and some of the bigger cars.
The 3 Exploder rear ends that I've had didn't have .250" tubes.
At any rate, be carefull when welding. They're still thinner walled than many other axle housings out there.

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