99 Wrangler rear Dana 35 disaster - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 10-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2013
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99 Wrangler rear Dana 35 disaster

New to sight and can't find what I need. A friend has a 99 wrangler, 4 cyl, 5-speed. Rear axle sounds like it come apart. It has a Dana 35 and runs I believe are 33" tires. Mostly driven on the street. Want to find out if it is best to upgrade to a Dana 44, or rebuild the 35. And if so do I have to have a 99 model 44 for it to be a direct bolt in? Thanks for any help, just trying to save him some money.

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Old 10-15-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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8.8 dude...no brainer. Should be $1500-$2000 installed. D44 would be twice that prolly.


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Old 10-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
Abe Froman

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You are looking at about $1000 for a dana 44 depending where you live, but then you may need to regear it. It is a complete bolt in situation and anyone even with limited experience can do it in an afternoon. Dana 44 I believe is preferred, but a 8.8 is popular too.
2000 Sahara, 3.5" Rubicon Express Lift, 1" spring spacer & 1" Body Lift, 33" or 35" BFG Mud tires, Front & Rear ARB, Rancho 9000 shocks, UCF Ultra High Belly Up, Savvy gas tank skid.

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Old 10-15-2013, 08:39 PM   #4

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Obviously it is a matter of personal preference...IMO turning tires that size I would replace and regear to correct gears for that size tires...and yeah I would go Dana 44 should be plenty for the 33's on the street if geared properly.....8.8 is over kill IMO for street use.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
Knows a couple things...

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Any Dana 35 or Dana 44 from a 1997 to 2006 Wrangler TJ will bolt right in. If you never plan to install a locker or do tough offroad trails, it wouldn't cost much to get your Dana 35 rebuilt or buy a used Dana 35 from someone who upgraded. Caution that his Dana 35 has 4.11 gearing in it so if you buy a used Dana 35, it needs to also have 4.11 gearing in it. It'd be $600 or so to regear it to 4.11 if the axle had a different ratio like 3.07 or 3.73.

If he wants to offroad his TJ regularly on tougher trails, this would be a good time to replace it with a Dana 44. I paid $800 for my used Dana 44 which bolted right up & was trouble-free on some even extremely difficult trails.

I personally would not go the Ford 8.8 axle route. They have a much bigger pumpkin which means they have less ground clearance than a Dana 44 does, plus it's not inexpensive to buy one or have it set up properly so it can bolt into a Wrangler TJ.

Personally, even if my wheeling was fairly mild, I'd rather spend the $$$ now to upgrade to a Dana 44 than to rebuild the Dana 35.

Just remember that whatever axle gets installed into the rear, its ratio has to match the front axle's ratio... his should be 4.11 if his TJ has the usual 5-speed manual transmission.
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99 wrangler , axle upgrade , dana 35 , dana 44 , differential

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