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Hey all,
I know that the stock Dana 35 axle is not recommended at all to run 35 inch tires. I am on a budget, as I am doing a current frame swap, and was figuring that I add my lift now while the car is apart. I have asked others about running 35s on this D35 and have gotten mixed opinions. Mainly due to the fact that I am in college and will not be offroading anytime soon, some people said that the stock axle will handle the 35s fine only on paved roads.

This option seems fine for me until I save up for a Ford 8.8, but the one thing holding me back is the fact that I would have to spend $700+ on regearing that D35 to 4.88. Anticipating an axle swap, I would then be forced to buy these gears AGAIN, as the gears aren't interchangeable in axles. Seems like a waste.

Will I be able to run 35s on paved roads only for a couple years on my stock Dana 35 with 4.88 gears? Or am I best off to purchase 33s instead. (not crazy on the look)

Adding 4" sus and 1" body*****

Thanks
 

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Running large tires on a Dana35 axle will work perfectly... up until the moment that it breaks.



When that happens--and it will--I hope you (a) aren't in a hurry to get where you're going and (b) have another way to get there eventually.
 

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You could do it with a Super 35 kit which is 30 spline alloy axles and a locker, air or auto (1000-1400). Honestly, it seems like you are going for the "look" more than for actual wheeling. 35's take a significant amount of money to run correctly and safely. If you are unable to do that, stick with 33's. If dead set on 35's, find a spare 35 or two on Craigslist for when it breaks.
 

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Better option would be running a smaller tire. You are asking advice and opinion from people who have been there. I strongly hope you will heed their insights.
 

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There is a lot more to running 35's than having the room and the right gearing. After reading this, I think you'll appreciate 33's.

I want to run 35's on my TJ - JeepForum.com

edit: What is it about the 33's you don't like? Are they too wide for the height, or just not tall enough? I ran BFGoodrich 33x10.50's for several years and I can't say enough good things about them.

Here's my jeep with those BFGoodrich 33's and 2in. susp., 1 in. body, highline fenders (not needed for 33's):
 

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35's and the stock Dana 35 are not a good match as you're starting to see here. Save the money on the body lift until you can afford to upgrade everything needed to handle the 35's. Body lifts are easy enough to do when it comes time for taller tires. Depending on what gear ratio you have now, you may get by with 33's without a re-gear.
 

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If you're gearing down to compensate for the 35's then you'll run in to issues sooner than later. Most, if not all, that run 35's on a stock D35 are running stock gearing also which helps alleviate a lot of stress as your not putting near as much torque on the axle shafts. That being said, I wouldn't want to run 35's on stock gearing, especially if you happen to have 3.07 gears like I had before.

The 4.10 ratio with 33's I'm running now is barely adequate but it's usable. If your not doing much wheeling right now, when I was running 3.07 gears with 33's my 4th gear RPM was within 50 RPM of my current 4.10 ratio in 5th. My highway driving as no different now than it was before, I've just got a deeper first gear for wheeling which is nice. Something else to keep in mind, you may need a new carrier also for the D35 depending on your current ratio, not sure if you have that factored in to your regearing price.
 

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i broke the axle once and the ring gear once with the stock D35, upgrades to the super 35 and still broke rings. And for what its worth i wheeled my TJ all the time but the only time it would break was on the pavement where there was no slip
 

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Why not go with a 2" suspension lift for now? Especially if you are in college like me,
and aren't going to wheel much. I found cheap 2" spacers, a 1" body. I'm running 33s which look amazing with that setup.
 

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First off, do you even know what is NEEDED to properly run 35s? You have failed to mention upgrading both your steering or braking, both at which are very important (and expensive) to make you and others safe on the road when you run that big of a tire on a TJ.

At this point, I see this as your best option. Buy a Zone 4.25" combo lift (~$550) and then pick yourself out a decent set of 33" tires (being budgeted, I recommend only buying 4 in order to save money to save up for your other upgrades. That's up to you though). Your D35 will be OK for this, and proceed to save up for stronger axles and a regear. When you are ready for 35s, swap in the new axles with proper gear ratios. If you are concerned about not enough lift, throw in some .5"-1" coil spacers and call it good. Assuming you don't completely drive the tread off the 33s, you should be able to recover some money by selling them. After that, save up for a BBK and steering upgrade
 

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Also, not sure what your setup is but I have a 6 cylinder 5 speed. I thought I could get away without re-gearing or upgrading the brakes but I was simply wrong. I ended up having to install Black Magic brakes which were highly affordable for what you are getting and make a large improvement. Additionally my highway driving was essentially limited to third and fourth gear. I found some cheap 4.11 axles and swapped them out.

Just some things to keep in mind. I was in your situation two years ago.
 

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Ran the D35 and a detroit locker for 4 years but only on 33s. Swapped over to 35s and not only snapped a shaft but destroyed the locker (spun itself shearing all the bolts holding it together) turning a corner on pavement not even wheeling. Swapped in a truetrac to match the front and had no issues. Looked at 8.8 swap and decided to go with the Super 35 kit instead. Same strength less money ($900 as compared to $2000). I also had already done the disc break conversion a few years prior so and do not plan on going higher than 35s.
 

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Why would you want 35s if not offroading, other than just for looks? It's your jeep, and do what you want, and there are just as many success stories as their are failure stories, but keep in mind, many people will come online to talk about Dana 35 failures, and not so many will come on to talk about how successful theirs were. Personally, and I went through this a bit and still am, I have 33s sitting in my driveway that I'm putting on my Dana 35 as soon as I finish the lift install. So I'm crossing my fingers that my D35 will hold up with the light offroading (non-rock crawling) I do.
 
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