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Unread 01-20-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
jason0heman
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Dana 35 Bearings Shot

Hey guys, got a bit of a problem on my 87 jeep yj. Was driving home from work the other day, and I saw a huge cloud of smoke coming from the rear. I then heard a high pitched noise and a snap, and then she started to clunk. I drove it home veryyyyyyy slowly, parked it in the garage, and found that the oil in the rear differential smells and looks like crap. Also found that there was some play in the driveshaft. The garage down the street from me tells me that that bearings are shot, but the gears seem to be fine. They won't know until they take it apart. The kicker is that they saying its going to cost somewhere between 1,200-1,800 dollars to rebuild what needs to be done in there!!!!!! It's possible it's just bearings, but like I said, they won't know until they take it off. Greaaaatttt.

Anyways, I was wondering what you guys think about this. I'm thinking bout going to pick it back up and bring it to my house and pick up a ring and pinion gear set, bearing set, and call it a day. Orrrrr swap it with a 8.8 ford explorer rear axle that I've been hearing so much about. So my question to you guys is, which is the better way to go? and the easiest? If you guys think the 8.8 is the better way, then what's involved in the swap?

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Unread 01-20-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
jbolty
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never spend a dime on a dana 35.

8.8 swap would be WAY cheaper than the fix quoted to you.

check the threads in the FAQ section, this is a very common project.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #3
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1200 to 1800, wow. you could get a replacement from a junk yard for $100.

I would use the opportunity to upgrade it to the 8.8 or Dana 44.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
Ben_88Jeep
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I had a similar problem with my 88 YJ.

My rear bearings were basically disintegrated. I took it to a local rear end shop and they were able to repair the old D35.

What they did was take it apart, clean out any filaments there were inside the axle tube, they then re-nurled the shaft and installed new bearings. Taxes and labour included, it was around $300 to get it all done. So 1200-1800 is nuts... You could get a new rear-end built for that.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
machinehead131
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What gears do you have now?

Are you handy? Capable of doing an axle swap?

If you are and you don't want to do an 8.8 - get another d35 from a salvage yard in good shape.

For the 8.8 swap you need basic hand tools, jacks and someone to weld the perches.

For parts you would need:

U bolts
Spring perches
spring plates
shock mounts
A flange adapter to go from a u joint to the 8.8 flange.
Depending on what the 8.8 comes with you will probably need new brakes, brake hard lines, gear oil.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
jason0heman
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Yeah, I'm pretty handy I have to say. Done a ton of stuff to the jeep already. My buddy picked up a Holley 390 that we put on with a Clifford intake. He got it for free from a friend of his. Besides that, replaced the harmonic balancer, valve cover, and the list goes on...we actually did A LOT to it, but it runs great now. Funny thing is, I had it at the shop for them to replace the yoke out of the rear, pinion seal, and transfer case seal. I wouldn't be surprised if they messed something up in there...I don't really trust shops, and I usually do all this stuff myself. But being a full time student, and having to work...it's a lot, and I need the jeep, so I took the easy way out.

I'd like to do the 8.8 swap if it's going to be the cheapest and easiest way, and also benefit in the long run. I believe the gears I am running are 3.07 I think! What's an easy way of checking besides counting teeth? Any other advice on doing this swap?

Thanks guys.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
1998zj
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You can get the bearings for around $100 and if you know someone with a puller you can do it yourself.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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As 1998zj said, you can do it yourself. If you're don't do hardcore wheeling, the D35 isn't as bad as many make it out to be. Replacing the bearings isn't a big deal. If my memory serves me correctly since I did it about 7 years ago, do the following. Rent an axle puller, remove the drums, remove the rear brakes, remove the axle bolts and pull the axles, take both to a repair shop and have the old bearing pressed off the axle shaft and a new bearing pressed on. This whole process including parts shouldn't cost more than $200. It's really not a difficult project, if you're not a drum brake person, taking a picture of each set of brakes before disassembly makes it easy to put back together.

Having play when twisting the drive shaft is normal.

$1200 is absolutely ridiculous, find another shop, they're treating you like a mark instead of a customer.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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By the way, which donor vehicle, make, model and years have the correct length 8.8 axle or D44 to fit?

Is there a swap guide somewhere?

Thanks
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Unread 01-20-2010, 03:22 PM   #10
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From what I understand an 8.8 out of a Ford Explorer is almost a bolt in job.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 04:13 PM   #11
jason0heman
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Yeah, I'm hearing the same thing about the 8.8 Ford swap. Well, I'll look around and see what I can find for now. Going to pick the Jeep up tonight , throw her on a trailer. I'm not shelling out that kind of money, no way. Probably take off the cover tonight, and I'll keep you guys posted on what my gear ratio is. Thinkin it's 3.07, but I'll double check.

Thanks for the advice guys. Keep it coming!

Is there a guide that anyone knows that is around for the 8.8 swap? It'd help to see what I am up against involving this.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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google it then come back with some specific questions, after you get the overview. This is about the most common questions and there must be 10,000 thread about it Pretty simple if you can weld and do basic mechanical work. late 90's explorer, IIRC after 1996 all have disk brakes and they come in various gear ratios.

$100-$300 from a junkyard for the axle
you might need a driveshaft and SYE
add on costs will depend on your skills and whether the donor axlew has good brakes on it.
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Unread 01-21-2010, 12:23 AM   #13
jason0heman
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Alright, so got the Jeep home and in the garage. Drained the pumpkin, took the shafts out, ring, and pinion. Turns out, the bearing that goes around the pinion, shattered, and just chipped the hell out of the pinion. Teeth are in okay shape, but I probably should replace them too. Anyone know of where to get a decently priced bearing set? pinion and ring?

Since I'm doing all this work and got it apart, I was wondering what you guys think of putting in a Positraction, Locker, or Limited Slip unit...or just keeping the old open differential. Thoughts?

The gear ratio is definitely 3.07.
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Unread 01-21-2010, 12:53 AM   #14
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As stated above dont spend anything on the D35 go 8.8 . Besides do you know how to set up a rearend ?
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Unread 01-21-2010, 06:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason0heman View Post
Alright, so got the Jeep home and in the garage. Drained the pumpkin, took the shafts out, ring, and pinion. Turns out, the bearing that goes around the pinion, shattered, and just chipped the hell out of the pinion. Teeth are in okay shape, but I probably should replace them too. Anyone know of where to get a decently priced bearing set? pinion and ring?

Since I'm doing all this work and got it apart, I was wondering what you guys think of putting in a Positraction, Locker, or Limited Slip unit...or just keeping the old open differential. Thoughts?

The gear ratio is definitely 3.07.
You are not listening. A D35 should be treated like a bic pen; use it till it breaks then throw it away. For the price of a set of bearings you can get an entire new axle that's better and stronger.

Also, there is a lot more to installing gears than just putting them in. They come in matched sets and the job requires special tools and knowlege to complete properly. Do you have a case spreader?
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