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OldJeepCJ5 06-25-2013 12:08 AM

D35 Availablity Question
Folks, first timer here. I ran a 60 model CJ as my first car and DD for many years, but got out of the game and mostly run Ford trucks.
Got a nephew stationed at Ft. Bragg with a '97 TJ, not a Rubicon, that he is asking my help on.

He is not very mechanically inclined, so he calls me, month or so ago, and he tells me about this noise.........

Classic rear end noise. Been doing it a while, just got around to mentioning it.
Then he drives it down here to his parent's house in Fl.
600 miles with a whine so loud he has to turn up his radio!!

I get the cover off, and the ring and pinion are toast. Someone over tightened the pinion nut or something, and the pinion is running on the outside edge of the ring and its actually got gall marks on the edge with small pieces flaking off.

He has other transpo, and is back at Ft. Bragg with the Jeep here with me.

Its very unlikely he will be doing any hard core wheeling with this, so a Stock 3.55 D35 will give him good service.
Plus, as active military, his funds are limited.

I called a couple of junkyards, and for some reason they seem to think that Dana put some gold in that model unit. $1,000 was the cheapest quoted!!

But, I told him it should not be a problem. I hear all the time about one of the first mods people do is to swap their D35 to a Ford 8,8.
I told him that D35s were to TJ owners as 10 bolt rear ends were to Blazer owners.
Most of them went for scrap value after they put in stronger units.

I advised him to contact some NC Jeep clubs and see if he could not get a used rear end.

So far, no luck.

After all this buildup, here is my question: NOTE: This is not a request to buy.
Are lightly used D35s as common as I have heard? If so, I will tell him to keep looking and will start doing some digging down here.

If they are out there, I'll find them. Tried Craigslist in NC with no luck.

I hate to rebuild this one because there is a lot of steel in the oil and it will need all new bearings.
Randy's gets a lot of money for a ring and pinion kit for that unit.

If they are not common, I will keep haunting the junkyards and maybe let him pick up the pieces for a rebuild over time.

I know that used 10 bolt Chevys are out there for the price of the gas to go get them.
Replaced one on a friend's truck that way. I'm hoping that D35s are about the same.



TJDave 06-25-2013 12:21 AM

Hi George,

They are out there, you just have to keep searching. Describing what he uses the Jeep for, another D35 would be the cheapest option.

Mine was sitting in the shop for over a year after I swapped it out. I didn't advertise to try and get rid of it, and I didn't want to just throw it in the scrap bin.

A member in my club asked me one day if I still had it because his was going out in his daughter's stock Jeep. I just gave it to him.

Keep searching. I hope you can find one. If any local clubs have message boards or forums, try posting up in the wanted section.

Good luck.

jeepwayoflife 06-25-2013 01:13 AM

I have my Dana 35 with 3.73 gearing with 45,000 miles and little to no rust. No damage, it works fine. I swapped it for a Dana 44. I live in California, so shipping the whole thing would cost a bit, but I would be happy to ship you any parts you need.

If you didn't know, the max tire size for a Dana 35 is pretty much 33" if you are gentle, 31" if you run it a little rougher. Never a locker unless you upgrade the axles. There are lots of upgrades to make that axle stronger, let me know if you are interested in some options.

Robertsk1 06-25-2013 06:55 AM

My dana 35 has the 3.55 gears with about 100k on it. I'd be happy to part ways with it if you could find me a dana 44 in similar condition :whistling:

Hey.... a guy can hope, right?

flflash 06-25-2013 08:30 AM

My sons currently stationed at Ft. Riley Kansas.

Here in Florida good used D35's are in short supply as is most any used Jeep part. They don't last long in salvage yards and command a premium price also the ones you find that have been pulled and replaced with something else are normally trashed.
You may get lucky but for a complete rear end I'd start searching Ga. and the Carolinas they seem to be easier to find up there.

For a used to repair comparison. If the housing, carrier and axles are good on the one you have your looking at about $600 to replace ring gear, pinion, bearings and seals.

BTW I'm in Central Florida I don't currently have a good used D35 but I always keep my eyes out for them and can put the word out with my local contacts. What ratio are you looking for?

OldJeepCJ5 06-25-2013 12:04 PM

Folks, thanks for the help. A mechanic friend of mine called me this morning asking if I was still looking.
He said that he had heard of one for $400 at a junkyard with a one year warranty.
I send my nephew an E-mail and he said go for it.

Called my mechanic back and he said he would have to check on it after lunch.
No word yet.
So, I may be still looking. I'll post the results when I find out.

I may check Craigslist in Ga and Carolinas as well. The tag says its a 3.55, but I did not count the teeth. That is what we are going with for now.
He is running stock sized tires, so the D35 should do well.

He said he is coming home on leave weekend after next, I hope he will be able to drive it.
He misses driving it.

I know the feeling.
I walk by my old '60 CJ5 with the dual rear wheels sitting in the brush from time to time and swear when I get my leg fixed and some money saved up, I will rebuild it one more time.

Thanks folks

OldJeepCJ5 06-27-2013 05:58 PM

Well, the saga continues. I had to go into the hospital to get a problem fixed. When I got out, I found that the one for $400 had been sold.
I told my nephew to try Ga. and S. Carolina. He mentioned he had heard of one in Fayettville.
Shame he was not still there........

News to me.

Turns out he is now stationed in S. Carolina. Not sure when that happened. They don't tell me anything......
I told him to try Craigslist in Ga and S. Carolina as FlFlash suggested.

I was in the middle of trying to fix a piece of equipment when he called back. He had located one somewhere for free that was the wrong ratio, and one I think in Columbus Ga with the right ratio for $150 but he would have to take it out.

I told him that if the owner did not mind, 10 minutes with a cutting torch and it was out.........

He asked about what would happen with the wrong ratio. I told him that it would run forever in 2wd, but if he put it in 4wd, it better be in soft sand or slick mud.

To get it back on the road so he can drive it, I won't quibble about the wrong gears.
As long as he understands the limitations and the potential strain he could be putting on the drivetrain.
I also told him that if he did that, be darn sure he went with a "slower" number.
In other words, a 3:73 rather than a 3:01, or whatever gears they have.
You want the front tires pulling the rear, not acting as anchors.

I will keep updating this until we come up with something.

jeepwayoflife 06-27-2013 09:20 PM

With the wrong gears and a Dana 35, you are looking at snapping it even in sand or slick mud. I personally wouldn't use 4wd at all if the gearing didn't match. The money saved on a gear swap would be tiny compared to a new transfer case or driveshaft

OldJeepCJ5 06-27-2013 10:56 PM

I know, I would not do it. But he is to the point now that he wants to get back to driving it.
And, if he will listen to me and handle it carefully he can get by without any damage. I've done worse over the years.
I figure he puts in whatever he finds, and then drives it until the right ratio shows up. As far as that goes, he can take the old one home, and rebuild it when he has the time and money.
Or save up for an 8.8 kit.
Assuming of course, that he gets a freebie or a real cheap one. I would not pay $400 for one with the wrong ratio.
The one my mechanic found had the right ratio, but I personally would not have paid that much for a D35.
I'm kinda glad it got bought before he could get it.

Sccrbrg 06-28-2013 02:08 AM


Originally Posted by OldJeepCJ5 (Post 3896653)
I called a couple of junkyards, and for some reason they seem to think that Dana put some gold in that model unit. $1,000 was the cheapest quoted!!

That's how junk yards work unfortunately. With vital, and somewhat rare parts - they jack the price way up because they know you have limited options.

Regardless of how valuable the part actually is.

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