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Old 06-20-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
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Is there a decent rear axle upgrade anyone has used?

I dont have the money , time or skills to install an 8.8 or any other type of replacement axle, but i want something a little beefier i can put a locker on at some point, has anyone done an upgrade on the D35 , is it worth it ? and what brand did you use if you did it?

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Old 06-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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P.S. also, i know locking the front is more beneficial and plan to do that first, but does having both locked make a big difference or no?

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Old 06-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanmalzac1 View Post
I dont have the money , time or skills to install an 8.8 or any other type of replacement axle, but i want something a little beefier i can put a locker on at some point, has anyone done an upgrade on the D35 , is it worth it ? and what brand did you use if you did it?
Tore up my D35 a couple of weeks ago, and after looking at all the replacement parts (i.e. Ring and pinion, carrier, spider gears, lockers, Super 35 upgrade, etc), I found an 8.8 axle for under $200 and a conversion kit from Know Where 2 Jeep for $300. I did the prep work on the axle cutting off the old brackets and grinding them down, and the fab shop is doing the welding and install for $400. I had to replace the rotors and buy new brake pads and a caliper repair kit, but in the end, I am going to have an 8.8 that I can add a locker to for right at $1000.00.

So, unless you can change out a differential (which I can't - at least I don't know how right now), if you can find a good axle in a salvage yard, an 8.8 upgrade costs right at the same as it would to repair / upgrade a D35.

My $0.02.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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hmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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I wouldn't put the money into the D35, it would cost you at least $1200, even more if you don't do the work, and it's still a 35. Go ahead and lock the front, that will give much better traction off-road and the D30 can handle it. Save your money till you can go with the 8.8. then I would suggest a selectable locker in the rear, if you can't swing that I'd go a Tru Trac LSD, I'm not a big fan of a constant locked rear end for many reasons.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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hmmmmmmmmmmm
And, since I got ya thinking, and since you're in Dallas, there is a salvage yard just south of Lampasas that had 5 8.8's in the yard (minus one now, because that is where I got mine). Paid $198 for it out the door. That's with military discount. If you don't get the discount, it would be about ~$220.00 out the door.

Harold's Used Cars and Parts in Briggs, TX.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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read and study. there is quite a few 8.8 write-ups on here. Its really not that hard to do for a little money . without adding a lift at the same time, looking at spring perches and shock mounts. cost ya about $40 there is a adapter you can use to connect your driveshaft to the 8.8. should be able to knock it out in a afternoon on the install.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Do the 8.8 a d be done with it. I have seen a few 8.8 on CL already pulled for 200 in my area.

Find someone to weld the tubes to the housing. You can probably find one that has your gearing already.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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it is better to save towards a good axle swap than just pour money into a weak dana 35 in hopes it will get by... If money is tight.. buy the stuff you need every few months.. get themain parts for the swap: 1 axle (200ish) 2. bracket kit (150 or less) 3. any new parts the axle might need, brakes, rotors new brake lines.(200 bucks) Also when you do the install have the welder weld the tubes to the housing...
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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The super 35 kit is not worth it IMHO, it costs around $1300 not installed. If you say you aren't mechanically inclined enough to swap in a 8.8, I wouldn't mess with setting up a set of gears. It would be cheaper to swap in a 44 or a 8.8.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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To summarize this thread:

8.8 is cheaper and better.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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I have used a Super 35 kit for about 7-8 years. It held up well to 33" BFG M/T with a 4 cyl/5sp. I have recently got the upgrade bug and started looking at the 8.8. Strong axle, but is narrower than the stock axle. Therefore, it may require spacers to keep the tires from rubbing the body during suspension articulation. Since this has become such a popular swap, the salvage yards have picked up on this and charge accordingly(i.e. more). I went another direction: a 29 spline 8.25 XJ rear axle. Yes, it is not a strong as a 8.8( not by much though ), but it is worlds stronger than the D35. I picked one up for $75 that had just been rebuilt (brakes, seals, bearings etc.) because the owner had wrecked his XJ. A couple hundred bucks to regear it to 4:88 to match the front and its good to go. I cut off the brackets carefully and actually reused them( you can flip the shock mounts over, modify the slightly and weld them back on to relocate the shock so the do not hang down as low). In a lighter Jeep with 4 cyl. power it should last forever, time will tell.
Long story short, I got an axle that is a lot stronger than the D35, the same width, and uses the same brake mounting and hardware all for less than a 8.8 swap would have cost me. There are many who will chastise me and call me an idiot, but it worked for me and its different. Thats what this hobby is about for me, making it better without breaking the bank.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #13
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I pulled the dana 30 and Chrysler 8.25 off of a 95 cherokee that seem to do fine for me, had the 3.55 gear ratio instead of my original 3.07, the only trouble was the shock mounts and spring perches which weren't too bad, but everything else was direct fit.

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