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Old 06-25-2012, 11:56 AM
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Why Swap Axles?

So I'm back with what's probably another dumb question! I tried looking it up and couldn't find anything =/

SO, what's the point of swapping out axles? I always see and hear people talking about swapping them out but never understood why..

THANKS!

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Most of the time only the rear axle is swapped, however there are occasions where front axles are swapped in as well. The biggest reason people swap in different axles is for strength. When people start lifting the jeep and going to bigger tires, the standard D35 cant stand up to the stress of large tires and/or lockers...hence an axle swap. Popular rear axle swaps are the Ford 8.8 or the D44.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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I have never swapped an axle

I have only ever went up to 31s though
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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I've seen a d35 blow up with stock tires. The owner wasn't driving it hard either. The 8.8 is an amazing axle. Way better than a d44 IMO.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:29 PM
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So if I wanted to go up to 33s or 35s, would I have to swap out?
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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So if I wanted to go up to 33s or 35s, would I have to swap out?
For 35s? Most likely.

For 33s...if you don't lock it and dont get crazy with it, it may last.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:44 PM
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Well I have 2 inches of body lift now, and I wanna put in the RC 4 inch suspension lift eventually, so should I go 33s or 35s? Apparently if I go 35s with the lift I'm gonna have to end up going with a SYE, a new rear axle, etc.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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so you can run with the big boys! ive done it 3 times half ton ford to one ton superduty. gotta if ya wanna run bigger than 33in tires.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Still haven't seen anyone answer the question...

Why is it better? What is reinforced?

What doesn't it have that limits the D35

Can the D35 be built up?
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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Still haven't seen anyone answer the question...

Why is it better? What is reinforced?

What doesn't it have that limits the D35

Can the D35 be built up?
I don't know too much about it, but a lot of strength comes from the increased size of the ring an pinion of other axles, not having c clips, increase in axle shaft size, increase in number of splines, stronger steel, etc

And yes the D35 can be built into a Super 35 good for 35" tires I believe.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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Still haven't seen anyone answer the question...

Why is it better? What is reinforced?

What doesn't it have that limits the D35

Can the D35 be built up?
Its better because its bigger...therefore stronger.

If you compare a D35 and a F8.8...just about every component of that axle is going to be stronger. A D35 is going to be limited because of it's strength...typically it is the shafts/c clip that fails. A F8.8 also runs a C-clip, but the shafts are substantially bigger/stronger and I have rarely heard someone say that their 8.8 failed due to a C-clip.

A D35 can be built up to an extent. You can buy a Super 35 kit, which replaces the axle shafts with chromoly 30 spline shafts vs standard 27 spline shafts. These kits also include a locker and are usually limited to 35" tires. For the price though, if you can weld, or know someone that can weld...u can easily build an 8.8 at the cost of a super35 kit...and in the end it will be stronger.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #12
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I've seen a d35 blow up with stock tires. The owner wasn't driving it hard either. The 8.8 is an amazing axle. Way better than a d44 IMO.
Agreed. The 8.8 is a great choice, good for lots of HP and lots of stress. Furthermore, the only thing growing faster than weeds in junk yards is 96 to 2003 Ford Explorers so they are plentiful and cheap.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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i went one ton. 35 spline axle shafts and full float hubs that can take the abuse. a sterling 10.5 is just as strong as a dana 60. bigger ring gear 2. dana 50 front has 30 spline axles and a 9 in ring gear, a bit smaller than a dana 60 (9.75 r gear) front but 700 dollars cheaper at a salvage yard and i can run 42 in tires no prob. tops on a 30/35 stock axles is 33 if ya dont make it a mall crawler. any bigger and you break stuff.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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Why swap axles?

Think of it in terms of applied torque. When you are tightening a lug nut you use a breaker bar with a long handle. Why? Because the longer handle has a bigger diameter and applies more leverage(torque). If you used a 1/4 drive extension on a 1/2 drive breaker bar the extension will break because the torque has exceeded the breaking point of the small extension.

Axles are the extension and the tire is the breaker bar. The larger the tire the more leverage it is able to apply. A D35 27 spline (1/4 drive extension) is no match for 35" tires (1/2 drive breaker bar).
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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Side note...If you are not running Rockwells your axles are weak.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:16 PM   #16
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i like that one nick
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick50471
Why swap axles?

Think of it in terms of applied torque. When you are tightening a lug nut you use a breaker bar with a long handle. Why? Because the longer handle has a bigger diameter and applies more leverage(torque). If you used a 1/4 drive extension on a 1/2 drive breaker bar the extension will break because the torque has exceeded the breaking point of the small extension.

Axles are the extension and the tire is the breaker bar. The larger the tire the more leverage it is able to apply. A D35 27 spline (1/4 drive extension) is no match for 35" tires (1/2 drive breaker bar).
Thaank you for that! Learning all this is hard but you put it so well! Much appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:52 PM
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Okay so I've been looking things up, and have a couple more questions.

I'm looking at 1996 Ford Explorer rear axles on a website for some junkyard (just to get pricing range) and I'm noticing that they have varying ratios (3.27, 3.55, and 3.73). Which one is best for a lifted YJ with 33-35s? Am I gonna have to regear either my front or rear axle?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #19
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The gear ratios have to match in order for you to put it in 4wd, otherwise you will have one set of tires turning at a certain ratio and another set at another ratio, bad news for your drive train. Also if you look hard enough you can find an awd explorer those have 3.73 ratio 31 spline and posi. thats the axle I went with on my rig to run 35's. as for the ratio, do you have auto or manual, and is it 4 or 6 cylinder?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:14 PM
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I got an automatic, 4.0L, 6 cylinder
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #21
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You can find a 8.8 with 4.10's and LSD. then you would only need to regear the front for 33's. You would want to go with a lower gear for 35's.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:20 PM
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So 4.10's are good? Will they work if I decide to go with 35's? And how difficult is it to regear?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #23
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4.10's will work with 35's but your Jeep will be a dog.

Regearing needs to be done by a person very familiar with it. Most mechanics do not do gear swaps. Most that do charge $250-$300 for labor per axle.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #24
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Most that do charge $250-$300 for labor per axle.
Make friends with someone who can do such a thing. Might only cost you a 12 pack of beer... On the other hand you might not want to let a buzzed mechanic at that..
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #25
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:37 PM
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Ugh , I want to be able to do things with this jeep and I wanna work on it, but I don't want to get in over my head. I feel like if I work at this now, and learn, I'll be better experienced for the future, but I have a very limited budget now and I don't want to ruin things and not be able to buy new parts...
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #27
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One step at time. Lift it up a bit, toss on 33's and wheel the hell out of it. As you wheel and learn about your rig...and possibly break a couple things...you upgrade and become friends with CL, salvage yards and other Jeepers. Before you know it you will be rocking a killer YJ on ton's and 40's.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:45 PM
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I was looking to put another 4 inch lift in, would 6 inches of total lift on 33s look weird?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:03 PM   #29
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #30
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Quote:
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4.10's will work with 35's but your Jeep will be a dog.

Regearing needs to be done by a person very familiar with it. Most mechanics do not do gear swaps. Most that do charge $250-$300 for labor per axle.
Here its $150 an axle. Shop around. Also keep in mind Jeeps should of had 3.73s stock when doing gear calculations.

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