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Old 11-30-2011, 01:04 AM   #1
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Exclamation How difficult is replacing Dana 35 rear axle

I just bought my son a 2000 Wrangler Sport with a Dana 35 3.37 gear ratio. The differnetial went to pieces the first day and mechanic says it will cost $2,200 to repair or 1,900 to replace with another D35 from salvage yard. I found another Dana 35 with the same gear ratio out of 2000 sport with 90K miles for $150. How difficult is it to replace like axles? Any special tools needed? I would like to do this myself and save a couple grand. If it works out I may keep my eye out for a Dana 44 and replace again later. Will a Dana 44 with the 3.37 ratio require any modifications to mount in place of Dana 35 with same ratio? I think it will at least require a shorter drive shaft.

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:24 AM   #2
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Time to get a new mechanic. If you can get a d35 with matching gears you can slap it right in. Not to hard. Later if you find a d44 from a TJ, same swap. Pretty easy.

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:33 AM   #3
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It's just unbolting the suspension, driveshaft, and brakes really. Just jack it up, but the frame on jack stands so that the axles hangs on the suspension and start wrenching. 95% of working on cars, especially Jeeps, is righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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dont waste your time on a stock d35 slap in a d44 or do the 8.8 swap. If not slap a super 35 kit on the new d35 before it does it again
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #5
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dont waste your time on a stock d35 slap in a d44 or do the 8.8 swap. If not slap a super 35 kit on the new d35 before it does it again
x2.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Snowman641 View Post
95% of working on cars, especially Jeeps, is righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.
good point.

Swapping with a d35 or d44 is simple, just like changing any other part - unbolt one and bolt up the other one.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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dont waste your time on a stock d35 slap in a d44 or do the 8.8 swap. If not slap a super 35 kit on the new d35 before it does it again
I agree.

Save money in the long run.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tdrothrock View Post
I just bought my son a 2000 Wrangler Sport with a Dana 35 3.37 gear ratio. The differnetial went to pieces the first day and mechanic says it will cost $2,200 to repair or 1,900 to replace with another D35 from salvage yard. I found another Dana 35 with the same gear ratio out of 2000 sport with 90K miles for $150. How difficult is it to replace like axles? Any special tools needed? I would like to do this myself and save a couple grand. If it works out I may keep my eye out for a Dana 44 and replace again later. Will a Dana 44 with the 3.37 ratio require any modifications to mount in place of Dana 35 with same ratio? I think it will at least require a shorter drive shaft.
i think u mean 3.73 maybe. i think the ratios went 3.07,3.73,4.10 but i could be wrong. anyhow its an easy job, the hardest part will be bleeding the brakes, i just had both front and rear out on mine, used a couple of floor jacks, jackstands some basic hand tools and a buddy, i would pull the control arm and track bar bolts at axle, undo drive shaft at axle, pinch off the rubber brakeline and pull breather nipple out of axle. and the sway bar. that mechanic is crazy
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:28 PM   #10
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just did 2 axle swaps last weekend. the rear is a lot easier than a front (steering and axle is heavier). the only reason i stayed with a d35 is the lack of money and i needed my jeep for work/class. the hardest part was removing the control arms off of the new axle. good luck
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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Like everyone else said, its a fairly easy task. There are no changes that need to be made to the axle to make it fit. I will agree with the statements of the S35, D44, or ford 8.8 under one condition...what kind of driving does the jeep plan to see? And what is the current set up? If you just plan on keeping the jeep fairly stock with light wheeling, I wouldnt bother with a bigger upgrade. I ran 32s on an open D35 without an issue. If you do plan on moddin out the jeep with bigger tires and lockers...an axle upgrade is in order if you want to keep it reliable.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:53 PM   #12
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Yes it is a 3.73 gear ratio. Typo on my part. I have been looking for Dana 44 but don't want to pay 2k. No plans at this time to do significant off roading but that may change. Thought I found a used Dana 35 with 3.74 gear but just before going to pick it up the guy emails me and tells me its a 3.07 gear ratio. Now I am back to shopping around. I can get the carrier and bearings for around 380 and pay a new mechanic 375 to install. This may be my only option if I don't find a used axle.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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It took me about 7 hrs. to change my 3.07 front and rear to 4.10's out of a 4 cyl.,that is even opening the rear to put a lunchbox locker in.I agree the control arms can be time consuming if they are frozen onto the rubber bushings.The brake lines and E-brake will also take a while.Do it youself and save some serious money........
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:49 PM   #14
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What's the easiest way of figuring out your gear ratio?
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpainter56
What's the easiest way of figuring out your gear ratio?
There should be a tag telling you. If not the only other way I could imagine is on the ring gear there is 2 numbers, divide them and you'll have your ratio. But that requires you to pull the carrier.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:08 PM   #16
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Very easy to change out. Just did it a couple months ago. Check out car-parts.com for salvage yards and the axle you need. You may not even need new bearings.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:45 PM   #17
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What's the easiest way of figuring out your gear ratio?
I heard that you can spin the wheel and have someone count the number of times the drive shaft turns. If it turns just over 4 it is a 4.11 if about 3 it's a 3.04 etc.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tdrothrock
Yes it is a 3.73 gear ratio. Typo on my part. I have been looking for Dana 44 but don't want to pay 2k. No plans at this time to do significant off roading but that may change. Thought I found a used Dana 35 with 3.74 gear but just before going to pick it up the guy emails me and tells me its a 3.07 gear ratio. Now I am back to shopping around. I can get the carrier and bearings for around 380 and pay a new mechanic 375 to install. This may be my only option if I don't find a used axle.
I said the same thing about "significant off roading" don't waste your time on a Dana 35 !! for 2k you can get a Dana 44 with 4:56 and possibly a locker. And as far as a axle swap easy as 123 no fabrication needed. eBay n Craigslist a mans best friend.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #19
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Well I ended up paying a mechanic $775 to rebuild the differential on the wrangler. I had located a couple of axles but the owners flaked out on me. I hope the rebuilt Dana 35 gives us some miles...
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:26 AM   #20
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Might remind your son that Jeeps aren't designed to compete in burnout contests...especially those with D35's.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:36 AM   #21
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Well I ended up paying a mechanic $775 to rebuild the differential on the wrangler. I had located a couple of axles but the owners flaked out on me. I hope the rebuilt Dana 35 gives us some miles...
It should last i had 222k on mine and i just rebuilt it in my garage a couple weeks ago. I don't do any hard wheeling its mostly a DD for me
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:25 PM   #22
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Dana 35

Hope I am not hijacking. I just got a Dana 35 replaced. Due to funds, I had to get another crappy D35 because the mechanic said it would cost more to get a different axle due to the gear ratio issue. His eyes lit up like it was a major ordeal. What do I know? If I could take a Dana 44 and put it on my 98 TJ 4Cyl without gear ratio issues, that would be great. Has anyone heard of someone ever putting a D44 right on a TJ 4Cyl without screwing with gear ratios?
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:33 PM   #23
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If you want to use 4 wheel drive the gear ratios have to be the same front and rear. Lots of folks will swap the rear and pull out the front driveshaft until they have funds to regear the front.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:19 PM   #24
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Everyone is always quick to say ....Swap the D35 with a D44 or Ford 8.8, but nobody took the time to ask the guy what size tires he was running or if he even off-roaded.

Based on what he said later, this is a daily driver for his son with no plans on wheeling.

I spent the better part of 6 months trying to build a 8.8 and it still cost me about $1K to build it.

A D35 will hold up just fine as long as you do not put a locker in it and keep the tire size under 33's and have controlled throttle control.

$750 bucks to have the axle rebuilt is a bit high, but if you are willing to pay it then good for you.

I agree, remind your son that a Jeep is not built for burn outs, you will have more axle issues.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:20 PM   #25
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Hope I am not hijacking. I just got a Dana 35 replaced. Due to funds, I had to get another crappy D35 because the mechanic said it would cost more to get a different axle due to the gear ratio issue. His eyes lit up like it was a major ordeal. What do I know? If I could take a Dana 44 and put it on my 98 TJ 4Cyl without gear ratio issues, that would be great. Has anyone heard of someone ever putting a D44 right on a TJ 4Cyl without screwing with gear ratios?
the difference of a D35 and a d44 are not in the actual mounts, its in the internals and the case...I have a 2000 d44 in my 1999 4 cyl. It was probably the easiest thing I've done to date. Nothing but bolts. Finding a d44 with the same ratio as my front...that took time. mine has 4.10's and this one had 4.10's also...so i swooped it up quick...

don't think you are going to just run down to the store and grab a d44 with your ratio either...not with out a checkbook and a lot of searching...they are few and far between

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Everyone is always quick to say ....Swap the D35 with a D44 or Ford 8.8, but nobody took the time to ask the guy what size tires he was running or if he even off-roaded.
this thread is about 5 months old from the original poster, it just got revived, and since he only has 12 posts since joining and asking the question...i dont think he is coming back.

But i agree with you, if people would pay attention to what the person says...just bought it, day later blew it out, for his son, why wouldn't you spend 150.00 and an afternoon and swap it out. Save money in the long run is a weak argument in my book, he would have spent 150.00 and could of resold it when he was done with it if he want to go big. plus he got to use it....everyone always thinks they have to upgrade or max it out, throwing money at their jeep like its going to see MOAB as a commute to work.

Its a each his own situation, but I hate to see people told they have to do something when they are just looking to get it repaired.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:11 AM   #26
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Everyone is always quick to say ....Swap the D35 with a D44 or Ford 8.8, but nobody took the time to ask the guy what size tires he was running or if he even off-roaded.

Based on what he said later, this is a daily driver for his son with no plans on wheeling.

I spent the better part of 6 months trying to build a 8.8 and it still cost me about $1K to build it.

A D35 will hold up just fine as long as you do not put a locker in it and keep the tire size under 33's and have controlled throttle control.

$750 bucks to have the axle rebuilt is a bit high, but if you are willing to pay it then good for you.

I agree, remind your son that a Jeep is not built for burn outs, you will have more axle issues.
The problem is, I have a 98 TJ with 32" BFG AT's and a D35, which exploded on my drive to work.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #27
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The problem is, I have a 98 TJ with 32" BFG AT's and a D35, which exploded on my drive to work.
A D35 is typically fine with 32" or even 33" tires so long as there is no locker present and the axle is not hammered/bounced while offroading.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #28
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A D35 is typically fine with 32" or even 33" tires so long as there is no locker present and the axle is not hammered/bounced while offroading.
Thanks Jerry, now I can buy bumpers & trans skid! Axles later. Want Dana 44 4.56:1 ARB in the future.

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