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Old 01-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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DANA 35 Woes...

1997 4.0 5 speed
6" long arm
4.88's
detroit locker rear, ARB front
35" nitto's


Bought the Jeep the way it sets and the previous owner had 4.88's installed with an ARB up front and a Detroit in the rear...From the moment I drove the Jeep I hated that detroit, and knew it was a time bomb with weak axles running 35's...Well, I was right, now the rear-end is popping when decellerating and vibrating pretty bad. The Locker was locking up so hard it was making the track bar slam into the fuel tank. It was ridiculous from the get-go. NOW i need to get my Girl back on the road, heading to the local offroad shop tomorrow to utilize thier lift and see what exactly is screwed up. I will most likely do all the work myself....question is...what to do now...I need a "quick fix" to drive her again, Im not really looking to do any 8.8 swap right now, although I will in the future..cost isnt really an issue, so do I buy another DANA 35 and transfer gear set over to the purchased axle? I have an open carrier in my shop that is in great shape, but I really want a locker...Looking into the e-locker for its ease of use, it would fit my lifestyle well, The ARB compressor I have will run front and rear I believe, But I figure if Im on a bad trail and the compressor goes out-Im toast. SO...opinions? Thanks--

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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First, the Detroit Locker will smooth out once you learn how to drive it. I put over 100K miles on my '97 TJ's Detroit Locker and loved it... took me 3-4 days to figure out how the Detroit Locker liked to be driven and then after that, it was well behaved 99% of the time and that 1% it was not was minor... a lurch etc. here or there but nothing that bothered me.

A stock Dana 35c should not run any locker. The only way to keep a Dana 35c healthy with a locker installed is with Superior Axle's Super 35 kit which will include its own locker like a Detroit Locker, ARB Air Locker, Ox Locker, etc.. You cannot use your existing Detroit Locker since it is set up for 27 spline axle shafts and the Super 35 kit uses 30 spline axle shafts.

ARB's air compressors are reliable, I wouldn't worry about that at all... afterall, they don't get used except when you're locking the lockers. ARB's standard locker air compressor is not up to additional duties like for airing up tires.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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There is definitely something wrong with this detroit...it shouldnt "slam" like it does when you "ease" off the clutch,Could be the installer didnt set pinion depth right or teeth are broke...I dunno. The last one I drove was a bit rough, but nothing like this one. Either way- its gone. Great off-road, but this one is not streetable. I seriously thought I was going to snap an axle at a red light. I just want to run an open diff for driving around and getting my groceries. When I hit the rocks, press a button and lock up.. Ive pretty well settled on the e-locker, but the main concern is what to put under this Jeep now...Im trying to find a D44 that I can bolt up for now. I just hate to spend big bucks to build a 44 that I will replace later for a built rear. I want to look into this superior super 35 kit...are you experienced with this kit, Jerry?
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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I want to look into this superior super 35 kit...are you experienced with this kit, Jerry?
Enough to tell you that it is a solid reliable kit that is up to its included locker and 35" tires. I personally don't know anyone that has ever broken one and some use them on some pretty crazy difficult trails.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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About $1400 I can have one shipped to my door- ebay
Super 35 Kit for Dana 35 Jeep TJ,YJ,XJ w/ARB Locker | eBay

This one comes with just about everything Id need. Comes with ARB carrier..for the price I think thats pretty fair. Hopefully my gearset is ok on my current 35. Guess we will see tomorrow.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Well, you could use your existing R&P on the Super 35 kit but it'd be better to get a new set of gears. Setting up a used R&P is much more difficult for the installer because the gear surfaces have been work hardened where they meshed in your present axle and the installer would have to take more time to get both gears shimmed in such a way that they would mesh exactly as before.

Also check Savvy Offroad's pricing for that kit by emailing Gerald, a friend of mine, at gman@savvyoffroad.com as he is a volume dealer for Superior and his pricing is often pretty amazing.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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Well, you could use your existing R&P on the Super 35 kit but it'd be better to get a new set of gears. Setting up a used R&P is much more difficult for the installer because the gear surfaces have been work hardened where they meshed in your present axle and the installer would have to take more time to get both gears shimmed in such a way that they would mesh exactly as before.

Also check Savvy Offroad's pricing for that kit by emailing Gerald, a friend of mine, at gman@savvyoffroad.com as he is a volume dealer for Superior and his pricing is often pretty amazing.

Thank you for the lead. I will most likely buy new gears, Id feel better, but the current gears have only 7000 miles, although the way this thing is acting, be they are scorned bad. I am emailing your friend now..
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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Dana 35c with detroit locker still running strong after 1.5 years of wheeling and driving to work and back. But I know its still a ticking time bomb, when I get alittle more more I plan on buying a dana 44 with detroit locker from G2.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locked

Thank you for the lead. I will most likely buy new gears, Id feel better, but the current gears have only 7000 miles, although the way this thing is acting, be they are scorned bad. I am emailing your friend now..
Check out east coast gear supply. They sell pre built Ford 8.8 axles that bolt up. Just another option.

Although, I think the Superior kit will be great or you.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:41 PM   #10
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would i be able to re-use the gear set i currently have in my stock D35 if i install a super 35 kit? Already had it re-geared to 4.56 ratio, and wouldn't want to buy a whole new gear set
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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would i be able to re-use the gear set i currently have in my stock D35 if i install a super 35 kit? Already had it re-geared to 4.56 ratio, and wouldn't want to buy a whole new gear set
Same boat as I am...youd be better off buying a new set, you CAN use them, but it WILL be harder to set the new depth and shim the old gears back the way they were. For $200 or so- Id take the peace of mind..
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:55 PM   #12
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East coast gear isan excellent value. I can get a bolt-in open carrier for around 1300. Not bad at all.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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good to know...i dont have to pay for labor..its either a DIY or hand it over to my brother..hes a tech for Jeep
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:33 PM   #14
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Been wrenching on cars for a long while, but I'll leave the rear diff work to the shops. I'm tight / but it's nice to have it done with a warranty and I simply don't have the headache to do with.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #15
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Does anyone have experience with the 27 spline Superior replacement axles? Superior claims they are 35% stronger than stock.

I'm in a similar pickle in that I have an ARB locker on an otherwise stock D35 (I bought it like that!). No issues... yet, but I know they will arise eventually. And given that the ARB is big bucks, I'd rather not go through the hassle of trying to sell it, etc. I have no plans to go beyond 33" tires, and the rock crawling I do is mostly about getting from point A to B rather than pushing the limits of the vehicle.

Do you guys think this is a worthwhile swap or is it not worth my time/money?

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