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Old 02-05-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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D35 with ARB! What are my axle upgrade options??

This is uncharted territory for me, so I apologize if the question has an obvious answer!

Recently purchased a 2001 TJ (auto), basically stock except for a 2" spacer lift on 31x12.50 Procomp MT's & nicely installed ARB air lockers on both ends. Having heard so much about the relative "frailty" of D35's, I'm pretty nervous about mine. The problem is the ARB. Is there any way to upgrade the axles without replacing it? Super 35's are 30 spline, but I don't know whether that affects compatibility with my existing ARB.

If I install the Superior Axle Super 35 kit, how will it compare strengthwise to a D44? I have no plans to do any serious rock crawling, but I do want to upgrade to 33's soon, and some "recreational" rock crawling is probably in the cards.

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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The Stock D35 axle shafts are 29 spline and the super d35 arb is 30 spline so your current locker wont fit the super 35 shafts,however superior makes tougher 29 spline shafts for the D35.

personally id sell the current locker and buy the Superior super 35 kit with new arb locker

a super35 kits is stronger than a factory TJ dana 44 except for ring and pinion of the d35 being smaller but its not the d35's failing point.
The axles tubes are all the same material.

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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Sell it and upgrade to an 8.8
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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The Stock D35 axle shafts are 29 spline and the super d35 arb is 30 spline so your current locker wont fit the super 35 shafts,however superior makes tougher 29 spline shafts for the D35.
Thanks for the reply!

I thought it was sort of an obvious question, but just wanted to make sure. You meant 27 splines right?

Superior says their 27 spline replacement is "up to 35% stronger". I really have no plans to go past 33's soon & I already have the ARB. I also plan to gain as much clearance and articulation as possible, while lifting the jeep a minimum amount. I like the idea of a drop in replacement... I can do that job in a few hours. But an axle swap would really tax my time & resources. It's also a job that would take me more than a day, and possibly more than a weekend... and this is currently my DD.

Are there any other axles worth looking at besides Superior? I haven't heard of any...
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Alloy USA makes a 4340 Chromolly drop in axle for the 27 spline dana 35. When I talked with Superior they said they did not make a chromolly 27 spline drop in axle, but that was 6 months ago. I have heard they now make a Discovery axle that is 4340. I do not know if that is true or not. Superior Discovery Series Dana 35 HD Alloy Shafts C-Clip Style 27 spline
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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I have heard they now make a Discovery axle that is 4340. I do not know if that is true or not. Superior Discovery Series Dana 35 HD Alloy Shafts C-Clip Style 27 spline
Hmmm... the 10 year warranty sounds good too! Thanks!

Trying to get my brain around what "35% stronger" looks like... Seems a lot of people wheel pretty hard on stock/locked D35's and 33's for years without issue, but others can't seem to back out of their driveway without breakage.

I wonder if "35%" still keeps the point of failure at the axle rather than moving it upstream. I would really rather have an axle break. That's a possibility that bothers me about the Super 35's.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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Find a D44 from a rubicon, they are equipped with air lockers on them.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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Are you sure the rear axle shafts were not also upgraded when the arb was installed? I only ask as any shop worth its salt would not put a that locker with those stock shafts.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Are you sure the rear axle shafts were not also upgraded when the arb was installed? I only ask as any shop worth its salt would not put a that locker with those stock shafts.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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If the axle shafts don't have some sort of an aftermarket brand label on the flange that can be seen through the wheel's hub opening, they are stock.

Personally, I'd call Superior Axle and ask them what upgraded 27 spline alloy replacement axle shafts they offer. They didn't used to have a stronger alloy 27 spline replacement shaft but they may very well by now.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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I really hoped that would be the case. Unfortunately, they are the stock axles. I even dug up the receipt from the install. Looks like a reputable installer, but it was done in 2004. Were the D35 issues well known in 2004? I'd assume so...

Jerry, I don't recall where or when but I seem to remember you mentioned that you really don't trust other axle makers beyond Superior. 2 brands that I see consistently besides Superior are Yukon and Alloy USA. Can't recall which, but one of these vendors offers a "4340 chromoly" axle & the other has a "4140"... Supposedly the 4340 is stronger, but that smells like marketing. I can't find anything from Superior other than their normal replacement axles that are still something like 30% stronger.

I know I'm rolling the dice here... Just hate the idea of eating that ARB locker when I don't really know how much I'm going to beat up that D35. I like tough terrain, but I'm pretty easy on the loud pedal. I prefer to choose good lines and pick my through the tough stuff. Did some decent crawling (i thought) at an off road park last weekend, but very little wheel spin, and NO bouncing or revving.

As for future plans, I'm of the opinion that I can build an effective rig (for me) with max 33" tires and less than 4" of total lift. So, 35's are not in the cards. I would prefer not to go 33's. But, I love the 31 x 12.50 size I have currently, and I'm only going up in size to keep the width.

I think I'll just upgrade the axles to chromoly, toss the stockers in back, and say a little prayer... make that a BIG prayer before each trail run.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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Okay so I run an ARB in my dana 35 and I did a lot of research on axle shafts etc. The only company I found that made the chromalloy axles was Alloy USA, which are made in India if I remember correctly. I have spoken to Superior and emailed Mr. Blaine (Black Magic Brakes) extensively. Read this post and you will see the concern with the 27 spline chromalloy shafts. Yes I run them and they have run some pretty hard trails in Moab, but I always carry spare shafts with me. You may want to look at the C-clip eliminator kit if you want to keep the 27 spline ARB as it will have chromalloy shafts. The only other option for chromolly shafts is Alloy USA. Remember stock shafts are 1040 steel and most upgrades are 1541H which can be case hardened enough for the bearings to ride on without cutting into the shaft.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/supe...ar-109664.html
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:49 PM   #13
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8.8 from East Coast Gear Supply. Dont waste money with a axle upgrade kit. The 8.8 is almost as strong as the Dana 60, itll take all the abuse you could ever throw at it. I got a new one from ECGS for 1400. Completely remanned and ready to bolt up. Disc brakes are a plus also! You can customize every aspect of the axle on the ECGS site. Great to deal with also.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:25 PM   #14
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Okay the only difference between the 27 spline ARB and the 30 spline ARB is the side gears. The part number for the 30 spline side gear set is 728J031C and runs anywhere from $220-$300 as I have seen on the internet. So you can upgrade the ARB locker and put in a Superior Super 35 kit without totally replacing the locker.

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