the best way is to put the axle in position under the vehicle.
measure the ride height now...distance between axle tube and frame on both sides. pull the D35 out and throw the 8.8 under there with bare tubes. rotate so the pinion is lined up, and the axle is approximately at ride height. tack the spring buckets on, line up the bumpstops at full bump, shorten your uppers to ~15", and lowers to ~15.75", tack the brackets on. Cycle the axle and make sure it clears everything. Make sure you can line up the pinion at your ride height with the arm length you have. Cycle again to make sure you haven't pushed the axle back too far back/forward. If you have, cut the tacks loose and reposition the brackets as needed. Repeat as necessary. Once you're happy with it, pull the axle out and weld the brackets on.
Originally Posted by Colo-TJ
I just cheked the stock D35 and it is at 17 degrees... should I stay with that?
if you were installing the axle in a stock vehicle, maybe. the big problem I have with 17 degrees is what's that with respect to?
get the axle under there and go from there. leave plenty of adjust-ability in the arms so you can account for your mods later.