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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought an 89 Jeep YJ with ARB Lockers (which don't work) and the stock rear end (Dana 35C). I have heard a lot of bad about the Dana 35. The jeep has 35" tires which I know contribute to the problem but how bad is the original axle? I won't be doing trails or rock climbing and got it mainly for the beach. Would it even handle the sand or should I consider the other popular axle alternatives? I would like to get the ARB lockers working but ARB cautioned me about spending too much on the old products. All opinions are valued. Thanks.
 

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I don't do trails or rocks either but have owned several jeeps with dana 35's and have not had one go out on me yet..I mostly run 31 and 33 inch tires but have had a few with v8's including one with a 350 LT1 corvette engine
 

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harleydragon said:
I don't do trails or rocks either but have owned several jeeps with dana 35's and have not had one go out on me yet..I mostly run 31 and 33 inch tires but have had a few with v8's including one with a 350 LT1 corvette engine
Lt1 with a dAna 35! That is awesome. I've said this alot haha I run it hard had one bearing go bad! But in 20+ years isn't bad one bearing running33's
 

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garnerf said:
I just bought an 89 Jeep YJ with ARB Lockers (which don't work) and the stock rear end (Dana 35C). I have heard a lot of bad about the Dana 35. The jeep has 35" tires which I know contribute to the problem but how bad is the original axle? I won't be doing trails or rock climbing and got it mainly for the beach. Would it even handle the sand or should I consider the other popular axle alternatives? I would like to get the ARB lockers working but ARB cautioned me about spending too much on the old products. All opinions are valued. Thanks.
If they had an ARB they might have upgraded the axle to a 30 spline which is basically a stock Dana 44 and they might have put in a cclip eliminator as well if they spent the money on that nice of a locker
 

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That's with 29" tires (stock is right around 28"), and a 4 cyl, not that it matters because I was COASTING downhill at the time in neutral.

The only reason I have another D35 underneath is because it was given to me for free, and I needed it to get me by for now.
 

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Xpress said:
That's with 29" tires (stock is right around 28"), and a 4 cyl, not that it matters because I was COASTING downhill at the time in neutral.

The only reason I have another D35 underneath is because it was given to me for free, and I needed it to get me by for now.
Most likely there was damage before there is no reason that should happen just going down the road especially with stock size tires. I have guys in my club use a Dana 35 with 35 inch tires that haven't broken an axle in the 5 years they've had it. They just control the throttle to make sure they don't spin too much, with that being said he still carries extras like every one should when doing any moderate to hardcore wheeling. With that being said another guy in the same club just broke 2 Dana 44 axles last weekend and he has a heavy foot and a heavy jeep. It just shows how much the type of driver you are can affect the longevity of parts.
 

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Most likely there was damage before there is no reason that should happen just going down the road especially with stock size tires. I have guys in my club use a Dana 35 with 35 inch tires that haven't broken an axle in the 5 years they've had it. They just control the throttle to make sure they don't spin too much, with that being said he still carries extras like every one should when doing any moderate to hardcore wheeling. With that being said another guy in the same club just broke 2 Dana 44 axles last weekend and he has a heavy foot and a heavy jeep. It just shows how much the type of driver you are can affect the longevity of parts.
i have beat the crap out of Dana 35's and havent had a problem.... 2 with posi's one locked. really has to do with ur right foot, if you bunny hop alot or mash the right pedal then sure its gonna fly apart, but I have never had a problem. I did update my last SOA YJ to a Dana 44 in the rear solely because I didnt want to worry about breaking anything. I have had good luck with making them live but it definitely plays a role in what line you pick when your worried about your rear end grenading.
 

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Had 2 of them break. Once in my '00 TJ(30x9.5x15 open diff) on Interstate 80 at 75 MPH. Once in my '05 TJ(33" tires open diff) on a surface street(a block from my house). The second time, i was carefully driving my daughter to the grocery store. The D35 in my '95YJ hasn't popped... yet. The '05 TJ now has a G2 RockJock60 under it. Decided that absolutely ZERO cash would be spent in the repair of a shitty axle.
 

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Most likely there was damage before there is no reason that should happen just going down the road especially with stock size tires. I have guys in my club use a Dana 35 with 35 inch tires that haven't broken an axle in the 5 years they've had it. They just control the throttle to make sure they don't spin too much, with that being said he still carries extras like every one should when doing any moderate to hardcore wheeling. With that being said another guy in the same club just broke 2 Dana 44 axles last weekend and he has a heavy foot and a heavy jeep. It just shows how much the type of driver you are can affect the longevity of parts.
tell it like it is..that last sentence says a lot..if someone wants to hotrod their jeep or climb mountains with it then that is cool but barring a defective part a piece of machinery is going to last according to how it is used and maintained..and,even if you baby yours like I do mine its history before you owned it can come back to haunt you
 

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It's not a trustworthy axle by any means. They break a lot. I have been running mine locked with 32's. I DD it and wheel it and have had no issues so far. I am prepared for when it breaks but I am gonna run it til it quits.

How they are driven has a lot to do with it IMHO.
 

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So as I'm gathering from everyone.

If you have it still run it.
If it breaks don't waste money on it or a new one unless you have a crazy cheap or free deal.

Get the 8.8 when it breaks. Or if you want to do lockers or gears or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments.

The pic from Xpress depicts exactly the kind of thing the folks at ARB warned me about. However, it seems a lot of people have used these axles without problems and since I have more time than money I will keep what I have and follow the suggestions offered, i.e., keep spares, be prepared, take it easy on the gas, etc. I will look into fixing the lockers--hopefully it will be something I can repair at little cost. Thanks for everyone's input.
 

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Most likely there was damage before there is no reason that should happen just going down the road especially with stock size tires. I have guys in my club use a Dana 35 with 35 inch tires that haven't broken an axle in the 5 years they've had it. They just control the throttle to make sure they don't spin too much, with that being said he still carries extras like every one should when doing any moderate to hardcore wheeling. With that being said another guy in the same club just broke 2 Dana 44 axles last weekend and he has a heavy foot and a heavy jeep. It just shows how much the type of driver you are can affect the longevity of parts.
If the axle was fatigued, then it wasn't from my doing. I'm a very light footed offroader, I take my time getting around- any of my friends can confirm this, as I'm usually the last to show up on site.

The whole thing was abused from a PO, but an axle still shouldn't separate like that, especially not when coasting downhill. Goes to show just how poorly designed it is. My D35C will hold up fine for now, but the moment I can afford an 8.8, it will go underneath.

You may be buying a clean YJ, but how do you know the PO didn't beat the absolute piss out of it offroad before you go it? Some people are very good at cleaning up their messes ;)
 

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garnerf said:
The pic from Xpress depicts exactly the kind of thing the folks at ARB warned me about. However, it seems a lot of people have used these axles without problems and since I have more time than money I will keep what I have and follow the suggestions offered, i.e., keep spares, be prepared, take it easy on the gas, etc. I will look into fixing the lockers--hopefully it will be something I can repair at little cost. Thanks for everyone's input.
I bet you air lines aren't hooked up. Check if there is a blue line that is a little smaller than a straw running to the top of the pumpkin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have traced the problem (compressor runs, air pressure is good, lines are not kinked or open) to something inside the differential. Hopefully it is something that can be fixed by cleaning or replacing a simple seal. ARB warned me they may not have any parts other than seals available for lockers that old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I suspect it was probably driven fairly hard at one time, I can see some parts were replaced. But hey, given enough money anyone can buy a new Jeep. Where's the fun in that? lol
 
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