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Old 03-01-2009, 05:48 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Axle upgrade and swap options

I've been torn between a few axle upgrade and swap options. So I'm seeking the help of my fellow Jeepers. I currently have Dana 30 and Dana 35 with 3.73's. I'm running a 4" lift with 33" trxus M/T. I have 4.0L with a few bolt engine mods: Banks Cold air Intake, Banks Monster exhaust, TB spacer, and Hypertec programmer. I also have a 63mm TB on the way. I'm running a 5 speed manual transmission. I have been doing allot of research and have come up with these options....

- Retain Dana 30 and Install 4.56 gears, locker, Alloy USA 30 spline axle shafts
- found a HP Dana 30 for $40 which I would do the same mods as above. (I read that this axle has a stronger gear set and would raise the drive shaft for a little more ground clearance)

Both would require a master install kit and any additional seals and gaskets.

- Retain Dana 35 and Install a Super 35 kit, locker, 4.56 gears. Again I would need a master install kit. ( not wild about c'clip axles and have read that the axle housing is prone to bending so I would also want a axle truss)
- Found a Ford 8.8 31 spline axle out of a Ford Explorer for $40. I would retain the stock axle shafts And install a LS diff or locker, 4.56 gears.
I would need a axle bracket kit as well as a master install kit. (Again not wild about c-clip axle shafts however from what I have read the 8.8 axle shafts are stronger than the Dana 35 shafts there fore I have a little more confidence in the ford shafts. Oh and there is always the C-clip eliminator kit.

Because I am currently in Germany hunting down Dana 44's is impossible and ordering axle assemblies from the State will probably cost more in shipping than the axle it self.

I do light to moderate wheeling no rock crawling. This is my daily driver. I just want axles that I can be confident not to break.

Please tell me what you think is most practical, cost efficient. I am working with a budget of about $800-$1000 per axle max. If you know of any other possible swaps please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your opinions, input and help.

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #2

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Front HP 30 yes. Might need some adjustment to front Drive shaft.

Rear: Know lots of folks run super 35 kit and have no issues. The 8.8 will take some fab as you stated but is much stronger all around. both are fine for 33-35 tires.


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Old 06-14-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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can anyone tell me what vehicle info i need to have to locate an 8.8 out of an explorer?? I recently tore up my dana 35 4:11 gears and want to install a rearend i can depend on...
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #5
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In the front you can run Superior axles 27 spline shafts and install a locker of your choice and be good up to 35's-37's. You can truss if wanted, so if you do wanna swap to a HP30 i would, every inch of clearance is worth it.

A Ford 8.8 with stock shafts and locker will do plenty for what you want. Honestly, if you do no rock crawling and just woods and the like, a 35 with superior axle shafts and a locker would do you fine for the most part.

You can also look into waggy 44's.

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Old 06-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lil Thib View Post
can anyone tell me what vehicle info i need to have to locate an 8.8 out of an explorer?? I recently tore up my dana 35 4:11 gears and want to install a rearend i can depend on...
Any solid rear axle explorer axle will do. 91 and up Explorer, but if you get 95+ you get disc brakes. Also the Mercury Mountaineer is the exact same as the Explorer, 97+.

There is a bunch of info for the Ford 8.8 around.

For the price of a super 35 kit and gears and install you can get a TJ D44 or a ford 8.8 ready to bolt on with locker and gears.

-D35 won't handle 33's for long locked
-Super D35 can handle 33's and could handle 35's with stock engine and smooth driving.
-D44 & Ford 8.8 can handle 35 locked all day.

And now for some tech for the lazy guys.

The axle shaft strength tested by Warn Ind:
F8.8= 6,500 (lb. ft.)
D44= 4,600-5,000 (lb. ft.)
D35C= 4,000-4,300 (lb. ft.)
COT: Continuous output torque rating
MOT: Maximum output torque rating

(Numbers from January edition of Fourwheeler, page 60.)
Dana 35 rear axle COT: 870 MOT: 3480
Dana 44 rear axle COT: 1100 MOT: 4460
Ford 8.8 28spline COT: 1250 MOT: 4600
Ford 8.8 31spline COT: 1360 MOT: 5100
Dana60 semifloat COT: 1500 MOT: 5500]
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:44 AM   #7
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Well I'm running 36" tires and an LT1 under the hood and it's my daily driver.

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