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Old 03-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
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Are the d44s worth it?

I bought my first jeep last week (an 06 wrangler I6 manual with only 14,000 miles!!) and it has the d35 rear. I might put some larger wheels, hopefully 32 in. (currently 28 in.), and doing some off-roading, nothing to serious, will the d35s hold up? If not what would I need to do to make them strong enough? Or would I just need to get a new rear end?

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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will the d35s hold up?
For a (little) while, yes. Exactly how long it will live is a mystery, but the more you stress it the sooner it will give up the ghost. In this case, stress can be described as running larger than stock tires, installing a locker, wheeling hard, etc.

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If not what would I need to do to make them strong enough? Or would I just need to get a new rear end?
Personally, I am not a fan of sinking money into a D35. IMO, all you'd be doing is (a) delaying--not eliminating--its death, and (b) spending money which could have been put toward replacing it with something stronger.

Since you've already purchased the Jeep, I would just start wheeling it as is... but I suggest you start putting money into a "new axle when this one blows up" savings account.

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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For a 32' tire without a locker. Go have fun! If you start getting the itch for more traction and larger tires then I would look at a ford 8.8, or dana 44 rear. And a high pinion dana 30 for the front is a great upgrade for better drive shaft angles and keeping the drive shaft up out of harms way.

As I said before though axles aren't really necessary for that small a tire and open differentials.

You will however need a 2" lift to clear the 32"s . A 2" budget boost should do for mild offroading and will only cost you a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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You're risking a ring and pinion problem even at 32 inches. I blew mine on 31s on the highway so don't think your immune

Anyways, is the Dana 44 worth it? Absolutely not, especially when ECGS sells the 8.8 so cheap already built and ready to bolt in. But keep in mind, you still need a CV/SYE, control arms, to do it properly.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the help! I think I'll leave the d35 in for now and and save up for a d44 after I get some larger wheels for it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burton160w
You're risking a ring and pinion problem even at 32 inches. I blew mine on 31s on the highway so don't think your immune

Anyways, is the Dana 44 worth it? Absolutely not, especially when ECGS sells the 8.8 so cheap already built and ready to bolt in. But keep in mind, you still need a CV/SYE, control arms, to do it properly.
I'll make sure to look into the 8.8
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Run it for now until it blows up. When it does replace it with a junkyard D44.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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For a 32' tire without a locker. Go have fun!

As I said before though axles aren't really necessary for that small a tire and open differentials.
Tell that to my friend Marc. Here is his Dana35 after only two months of running 33" tires on his open diff:

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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I ran a dana 35 with 200k miles on it, with 31's and never broken anything! I actually took it down a two track doing 30 mph with plenty of woops trying to kill it before doing my 44 swap.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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Ive been on a d35 with 35s for almost a year and broke the d30 first...but not because of the 35s...because I suck.

Not saying this because I support d35s. I'm building my 8.8 and looking for a hp30 now, saying this because ya never know. Run what ya got till it can't no more!
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
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Not all axles are created equally! And there are stories from people breaking them on 31s to people having them survive under 35s and 37s for years. Obviously bigger tires mean bigger stress. Deeper gears (higher #s) put more power to the entire axle, including the ring gear. Previous damage and driving style plays a big part as well. If you like doing burnouts and playing on the rocks your not gona survive as well as a granny driver and the occasional dirt road. Personally I have wheeled my d35 under 33s for almost a year now, not a ton of rocks but some. And haven't had an issue. I am however saving and planning an 8.8 hopefully to go in after a TT, because it included a lot of the necessary parts for the axle swap anyways. Saving up and having an axle ready is never a bad thing. That's for sure.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #12
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Considering you can buy an 8.8 from ECGS for less than the avg used D44, I'd say no. Strength is comparable, and the 8.8 might be a little stronger than the 44, lots of good options from ECGS.

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:01 PM   #13
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ECGS is even expensive if you know people with the know how
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Considering you can buy an 8.8 from ECGS for less than the avg used D44, I'd say no. Strength is comparable, and the 8.8 might be a little stronger than the 44, lots of good options from ECGS.

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Ya the price looks good until you add all the options, some of which you must have. Then the price goes way above what a 44 will run ya.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #15
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No argument there, just showing some options.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #16
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Oh I know it's a good option but I was just stating another one. Now worries. My 8.8 will be 7-800 all said and done.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00
ECGS is even expensive if you know people with the know how
Very true. I have about $700 into my 44 with superior axle shafts and the brackets I welded on.

The 8.8 and 44 both have pros and cons. The 8.8 is stronger then the 44 in stock form, but does have thinner walled tubes and can spin the tube in the housing as well. The stock 44 shafts are much weaker then the stock 8.8 shafts and the pinion is a lot smaller as well. There are fixes for all of these things, with either axle.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:40 PM   #18
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i hope my d35 on 33s last me some good time. that would suck if it broke. but i will definitely start saving for either a super 35 or a 8.8
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rda616

Very true. I have about $700 into my 44 with superior axle shafts and the brackets I welded on.

The 8.8 and 44 both have pros and cons. The 8.8 is stronger then the 44 in stock form, but does have thinner walled tubes and can spin the tube in the housing as well. The stock 44 shafts are much weaker then the stock 8.8 shafts and the pinion is a lot smaller as well. There are fixes for all of these things, with either axle.
Weld the tubes, and truss the housing. Costs all of maybe $300.

Cost of chromo shafts, and higher quality ring and pinion if you have to have someone install, $1000+

Of course, how you wheel and what you want in your axle makes the money difference. Bones to bones, the 8.8 beats the D44 in about every performance catagory. Even chromo 44 shafts are marginally stronger than the stock 8.8 shafts.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyJeepMan

Weld the tubes, and truss the housing. Costs all of maybe $300.

Cost of chromo shafts, and higher quality ring and pinion if you have to have someone install, $1000+

Of course, how you wheel and what you want in your axle makes the money difference. Bones to bones, the 8.8 beats the D44 in about every performance catagory. Even chromo 44 shafts are marginally stronger than the stock 8.8 shafts.

Yet plenty strong enough for 35's, which is as big as most here will ever concider going. Again both axles can be improved upon it's all about what you want to put it thru and what you want to spend to do it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #21
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I want 37s so I'm gong to a big boy 8.8 probably.

I think it's easier to find an 8.8 at least inky area. It's a long and expensive road to properly set up any rig that will be on large tires. There's no one way to do it, no end all. All it takes it planning and research.

I would be happy with an 8.8, d44 or super 35 with 35s of they were gona be open. Locked, I would lose the super 35. Locker with 37s I would want a truss and shafts and r/p plus heavy duty Ujoints and the works. I would probably do an 8.8 because of the shafts.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00
I want 37s so I'm gong to a big boy 8.8 probably.

I think it's easier to find an 8.8 at least inky area. It's a long and expensive road to properly set up any rig that will be on large tires. There's no one way to do it, no end all. All it takes it planning and research.

I would be happy with an 8.8, d44 or super 35 with 35s of they were gona be open. Locked, I would lose the super 35. Locker with 37s I would want a truss and shafts and r/p plus heavy duty Ujoints and the works. I would probably do an 8.8 because of the shafts.
You can probably beat up the 8.8 stock shafts for awhile on 37"s...
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00
I want 37s so I'm gong to a big boy 8.8 probably.

I think it's easier to find an 8.8 at least inky area. It's a long and expensive road to properly set up any rig that will be on large tires. There's no one way to do it, no end all. All it takes it planning and research.

I would be happy with an 8.8, d44 or super 35 with 35s of they were gona be open. Locked, I would lose the super 35. Locker with 37s I would want a truss and shafts and r/p plus heavy duty Ujoints and the works. I would probably do an 8.8 because of the shafts.
I'm going to go with a shaved 9" trussed with a triangulated 4 link for my 37's build. They actually have about the same ground clearance as a 35.

The 8.8 is a solid choice though and will serve you well. It still kills me when people say "but it's got c-clips". Idiots! Even the stock shafts are uber strong.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyJeepMan

You can probably beat up the 8.8 stock shafts for awhile on 37"s...
Yeah, i agree, but what if I get the urge to go bigger? I want to play hard and not have to worry. Fully locked for years. I'll pay for the piece of mine when the day comes.


Quote:
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I'm going to go with a shaved 9" trussed with a triangulated 4 link for my 37's build. They actually have about the same ground clearance as a 35.

The 8.8 is a solid choice though and will serve you well. It still kills me when people say "but it's got c-clips". Idiots! Even the stock shafts are uber strong.
I'm going to do a 3 or 4. I'm still learning about them so not sure yet. And yeah a 9 inch is a good choice too. Yeah c clips aren't a weakness. Just an issue if you break a shaft. And as I mentioned I don't plan on breaking one.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:39 PM   #25
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Anyways, is the Dana 44 worth it? Absolutely not, especially when ECGS sells the 8.8 so cheap already built and ready to bolt in. But keep in mind, you still need a CV/SYE, control arms, to do it properly.
+1. Plus the OEM D44 axles still have thin tubes and bend easier than the 8.8".

Also, I'd consider SYE/CV shaft a mandatory upgrade, even without a lift or axle swap, so you're not really adding any cost on with the axle swap. Consider it more of a pricey bit of routine, preventative maintenance.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #26
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What becomes the weak link of an 8.8 once the tubes are welded and it's trussed and shafts are upgraded. Knuckles? R/p? Something else. Just curious.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #27
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What becomes the weak link of an 8.8 once the tubes are welded and it's trussed and shafts are upgraded. Knuckles? R/p? Something else. Just curious.
The r/p would be the weakness link at that point. You said knuckles! Are you referring to a front 8.8 like the currie housing? Or are you talking about the c-clip eliminator?
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rda616

The r/p would be the weakness link at that point. You said knuckles! Are you referring to a front 8.8 like the currie housing? Or are you talking about the c-clip eliminator?
sorry I'm closing at work and writing these lol. I was trying to say the hub area. Obviously there's no knuckles or Ujoints on the rear I really must have had a long day.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:11 PM   #29
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I obviously don't think this guy needs them but why don't more people go for Dana 60? I understand the min tire size is prolly 36-37 but is it that much more of an investment? Bc, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's superior to an 8.8.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:14 PM   #30
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I obviously don't think this guy needs them but why don't more people go for Dana 60? I understand the min tire size is prolly 36-37 but is it that much more of an investment? Bc, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's superior to an 8.8.
Their very large and expensive, 4 grand for a cheap one that will bolt it

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