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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 93 with a 5.7 v8 out of a 98 surburban and the matching 4l60e transmission. I have 33 in. tires (would like to go to 35 in the future) a 5 in pro comp coil spring replacement lift, 1 or maybe 1.5 (do they make those?) body lift.

My question is this. The internet says in need a stronger rear axel because the Dana 30 won't hold up. but the internet also says the Dana 35 is fine, and it says the dana 35 is just a dana 30 for the front. This data doesn't sound like it goes together.

I assume it is the weight of the wheels that breaks the axels, but maybe it is putting a lot of power to them? Anyway. Does this community really think I need to upgrade the rear? If so, do I also need to upgrade the front axle?

Finally, I have an ARB locker in the rear. if I don't need to upgrade the front, are they really the same? could I move my existing locker to the front if I say decided to go to a 8.8 ford in the rear?

Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.
 

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Really depends on use, driving style, and how heavy you are on the skinny pedal. I've broken a few dana 35's, a tj rubicon 44 rear and even the stock ford 8.8 lsd carrier all in my YJ mostly from playing on rocks. I would never recommend the dana 35 rear for 33-35in tires, 31's are usually a toss up as I've seen dana 35's both break and hold up with 31's. The 8.8 with ARB locker has now lasted burnouts on the street with soft 33's, a v8 and 4l60e. I worked in a gear shop and know axle building inside and out so if I break anything, it's an easy fix for me so I don't care being easy on the axles.

Nothing except carrier bearings will swap between the D30 and D35.

I recommend the ford 8.8 as it is a cheap easy swap. I found mine in the pick and pull half off day for $120, made my own perches and bent brake line and had the whole swap done for about $250 until I broke it, regeared and threw in the ARB.
 

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30 and 35 are not at all the same... the thing that breaks shafts is torque....

V8 and a 35 is sketchy
33's and a 35 are sketchy
Locker and a 35 is sketchy
2 of the above are a bad deal
All 3 are a death sentence

Add 35's and it just get's worse... in all honesty that combo might be a bit much even for an 8.8
 

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I had a 1990 Dana 30/35 combo after a LS1 swap and I put 35's tires on. The more aggressive I became on the trails the more nervous I was about snapping an axle shaft. I ultimately upgraded to a 79 ford Dana 60 kingpin in the front and chevy 14 bolt in the rear with lockers on both. Such a great investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the info. Gotta go fast said pretty much what I was reading between the lines in other posts.

I liked the 8.8 for the disc brakes. I don't think the drums are functioning properly. if the 8.8 is light what would you suggest? What did chevy 14 bolt come from? how hard is it to put under a jeep?

As for use, this is a toy for my son and I. he is 4 so it won't see any hard off road use. Dirt trails and fire roads.

I do like to use the gas and the 5.7 will get a build or be replaced by a Gen 3 ls (5.3 or 6.0) in the future. It needs to handle a lot of on road acceleration.

Eventual 35s

I will use it to tow a pop up trailer, probably a trailer with Quads eventually. Nothing with any serious weight.

Last question. If I put the 35 on craigs list with the ARB, what is a reasonable asking price?
 

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The 8.8 isn't a light axle for a jeep, lets call it a 1/2 ton axle that is much stronger than a dana 44 and chevy 10 bolt. It will hold up to a lot of abuse even with a v8 on 33's or 35's. The weak links with an 8.8 are the factory limited slip carriers that have grooves for the limited slip clutches which is wear mine broke, the other weak link is the fact that it has c-clips but I haven't broken the factory shafts yet and I have attempted and failed to. I need a reason to convince the lady I need some chromoly shafts for it but the stock seem stronger than I was hoping.

The dana 35 with ARB is something that depends on local market unfortunately. In southern california, I'm sure some idiot would pay near $1000-1200 for it....
 

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I would suggest that you stay w 33's... 33's are arguably the perfect all around trail and street use tire size... imho, for anything other than rocks or deep mud, the 33's wheel just as well overall as 35's... 1" less under your diffs but 2-3" less lift needed... lower center of gravity imho a better balanced rig that climbs better at the stock wheelbase... w more lift and 35's you do have better approach and breakover angles tho... then for road manners the 33's get the nod again especially if you're gonna be towing...

Towing is the Achilles heel of the wrangler... a trailer w multiple quads may be nipping at or over the capacity of the stock jeep and the more lift and bigger tires the less it can safely tow....

W 33's and an aftermarket limited slip which I'd say better suits your described use an 8.8 would be very stout.... quite frankly if you ditch the locker for a limited slip and stay w 33's you can probably get away with just some 1541h shafts in the 35 IF you know how to not ever let the rear hop.... throttle and spinning tires can break stuff in an instant when she starts bouncing... I've been beating the snot out of my 35 w 33" tires for years and at least 50k miles and have yet to ever break a shaft... lots of full throttle hill assaults... been airborn several times.... broke both front shafts on a hard landing once and one front a couple other times... broken a few shocks... ripped off mufflers etc but never yet broke a 35

I bark tires on hard shifts often w 33's and stock shafts but I've also seen em snap quick when someone loses momentum and doesn't let off of the gas... a little weight transfer while spinning and POP.... seen it more than once.... but then I've seen 60's break that way too... usually with a LOT more throttle and tire smoke lol but still

Btw I would say the 8.8 is a little stronger than a true 44... not a lot... and I would say that c clips on a disc braked axle are not a weak link.... the c clips don't break and if the axle breaks the caliper and rotor will hold it in place.... driving w a broken shaft in any axle is a bad idea if you can at all avoid it anyhow... broken shards of axle shaft going through your gears and bearings can get expensive fast...

You do give up some ground clearance w the 8.8 tho
 

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The d/60 14 bolt stuff is full size 70's truck stuff... overkill for what ur doing and costs you a LOT of ground clearance...
 

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Oh and to address some confusion in your first post... the 30 is your front axle and the 35 is your rear... the 30 is much more reliable than the 35
 

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I would suggest that you stay w 33's... 33's are arguably the perfect all around trail and street use tire size... imho, for anything other than rocks or deep mud, the 33's wheel just as well overall as 35's... 1" less under your diffs but 2-3" less lift needed... lower center of gravity imho a better balanced rig that climbs better at the stock wheelbase... w more lift and 35's you do have better approach and breakover angles tho... then for road manners the 33's get the nod again especially if you're gonna be towing...

Towing is the Achilles heel of the wrangler... a trailer w multiple quads may be nipping at or over the capacity of the stock jeep and the more lift and bigger tires the less it can safely tow....

W 33's and an aftermarket limited slip which I'd say better suits your described use an 8.8 would be very stout.... quite frankly if you ditch the locker for a limited slip and stay w 33's you can probably get away with just some 1541h shafts in the 35 IF you know how to not ever let the rear hop.... throttle and spinning tires can break stuff in an instant when she starts bouncing... I've been beating the snot out of my 35 w 33" tires for years and at least 50k miles and have yet to ever break a shaft... lots of full throttle hill assaults... been airborn several times.... broke both front shafts on a hard landing once and one front a couple other times... broken a few shocks... ripped off mufflers etc but never yet broke a 35

I bark tires on hard shifts often w 33's and stock shafts but I've also seen em snap quick when someone loses momentum and doesn't let off of the gas... a little weight transfer while spinning and POP.... seen it more than once.... but then I've seen 60's break that way too... usually with a LOT more throttle and tire smoke lol but still

Btw I would say the 8.8 is a little stronger than a true 44... not a lot... and I would say that c clips on a disc braked axle are not a weak link.... the c clips don't break and if the axle breaks the caliper and rotor will hold it in place.... driving w a broken shaft in any axle is a bad idea if you can at all avoid it anyhow... broken shards of axle shaft going through your gears and bearings can get expensive fast...

You do give up some ground clearance w the 8.8 tho
Good stuff, that's why I went from 35's to 33's. Way better for most driving situations.

And my mistake about saying that the 8.8 is much stronger, It does have a bigger ring gear 8.8" vs 8.5" and has a thicker pinion shaft, and thicker spider gears/pinion/thicker ring gear teeth but the axle shaft diameter is not much different 1.31" vs 1.30". Good luck finding a proper width dana 44 though to match the front.
 

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Jana K4 kit.....
Jantz Engineering: Jana K4

Even more badass is the Jana 54 kit....
Jantz Engineering: Jana 54

I did not know you could put D50 gears into a 44 that is pretty cool.

When i had my Dana 489 44 front built a friend of mine was telling me it wouldent be any stronger than a D30 because the ball joints and axle shaft joints were the weak link on the D30. I considered running 35 spline RCV shafts but they would not work well with the old school D44 knuckles because there was limited clearance. So i just went with 30 spline shafts and Yukon super joints and called it done since they did not make 35 spline shafts with D44 760x joints. I have still not put these axles to the test and my 7 year warranty is ticking :pullinghair:
 

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I liked the 8.8 for the disc brakes. I don't think the drums are functioning properly. if the 8.8 is light what would you suggest? What did chevy 14 bolt come from? how hard is it to put under a jeep?
?

My 14 bolt came out of an 87 K30 for $280 off of craigslist. Anything 88 and older and all the 14B full floats use the same parts. 89 and newer and there are more variances. The entire rebuild of them is on YouTube. I tossed the drums and went with a brake kit/Eldorado calipers with parking brake from RuffStuff. RuffStuff also has the hardware kit for swapping the axle. I also put an ARB locker in it while I was at it. Most of it is wrenching. I did have to drill a hole for the air line for the locker and weld the leaf spring and shock mounts on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, Gotta Go Fast nailed it. I appear to have bent an axle shaft. I have a terrible vibration at speed and when i put the jeep on jack stands I can visibally see my right rear tire wobble. The left does too but not like the right.

I am not going to put money into the Dana 35, so a swap will be occuring soon. my question is this, I see a number of dana 44s out of newer jeeps available on craigslist. There is a front and rear set from a rubicon with elockers for sale right now. Will those fit under my YJ? I am particularly concerned bout the front, is it offset to the driver or passanger side? How much work would it be to put these in, or is the ford 8.8 much easier? As stated above I will have a 4 year old with me so I'm not doing anything crazy.

Also, how difficult is it to convert to disk rear? Do I need to change anything in the brake system (proportioning valve, etc.)

Any suggestions would be greatly apprecaited. I need to make a fairly quick decision on what to look for.
 

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I love my 8.8 with a v8, it is the cheapest, most available and easiest option. You can modify the proportioning valve by removing an o-ring but it is not entirely necessary for decent braking. The only complaints people have with the 8.8 are losing ground clearance and the pinion offset which I never had a problem with myself. The JK axles are okay but they would be hard to center for your leaf springs and would involve a ton of work but anything is possible with fab skills and a welder.
 
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The front 44 is not much of an improvement over the d30
For the rear the most popular choices are either an 8.8 or better shafts for the 35... 1541h ... or then there's the super 35 but that's quite a bit more money because a locker is mandatory....

If it were me I'd stick w the 33's, snag some of the 1541h shafts, and give it a try... not a huge expenditure that MAY pay off...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you both for the info. c5, I don't have leaf springs. Sombody swaped to a procomp 4 link coil spring set up. The spring perches are on the lower arms so I think I would just remove any spring perches from the new axle and find an approperately sized u bolt to go around the tubes and bolt it up. I will say all my past wrenching has been on mustangs or engine work on beaters. This 4X4 stuff is new to me so maybe I am over simplifying.

Gota Go fast, I already have an ARB locker in the diff. Can I make that work woth the super 35?

I am not terribly price sensitive but I will have a small child with me so I am more inclined to spend a bit more and know we will not have to walk (really me carry him) back down a trail. If the super 35 will work with my ARB and gets me near the stregnth of an 8.8, Ill probably go that rout as it would seem to be easiest and fastest.

Thank you for all the info. My son and I appreciate it!
 

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Thank you both for the info. c5, I don't have leaf springs. Sombody swaped to a procomp 4 link coil spring set up. The spring perches are on the lower arms so I think I would just remove any spring perches from the new axle and find an approperately sized u bolt to go around the tubes and bolt it up. I will say all my past wrenching has been on mustangs or engine work on beaters. This 4X4 stuff is new to me so maybe I am over simplifying.

Gota Go fast, I already have an ARB locker in the diff. Can I make that work woth the super 35?

I am not terribly price sensitive but I will have a small child with me so I am more inclined to spend a bit more and know we will not have to walk (really me carry him) back down a trail. If the super 35 will work with my ARB and gets me near the stregnth of an 8.8, Ill probably go that rout as it would seem to be easiest and fastest.

Thank you for all the info. My son and I appreciate it!
The super35 still has a weak ring and pinion, I've seen my share of sheared dana 35 pinions and broken ring gears. My last 35 broke because the entire housing had bent a little. 2.5" tube dana 35s will never be remotely comparable to the 8.8 with 3.25" tubes, 7.5" ring gear vs 8.8" ring gear, strengthening the shafts is no cure for these failings especially with 300+ ft/lbs of torque.It will be cheaper in the long run to replace the axle, there are some d44 cherokees that can be found for a rear, or an 8.8 out of the many explorers made.
 
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The super 35 won't work w your existing locker... hence the reason I suggested the 1541h replacement shafts...

A s35 simply has bigger shafts than stock.... that's it... If you're gonna use full throttle while stationary hopping and bouncing it won't work

There are folks who can break a steel ball in a rubber room and folks that can juggle eggs without breaking em
.. most of us are somewhere in the middle but only you can decide where on the scale you fall...

Personally I would have no problem keeping that 35 together ESPECIALLY if I was wheeling like I had a small child with me... i know others that would break in the blink of the eye...
Don't get me wrong, I wheel quite aggressively but I also know what breaks stuff and know how to avoid it...
 
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