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Unread 03-17-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
mrbriteside1465
Registered User
1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 57
Dana 35c Rear End Assembly Rebuild or Replace?

So I have asked this question before, but I don't think I was specific enough to get the answers I was looking for...

First off, I have a 1994 Jeep Wrangler S YJ
6cyl engine.
about 3" total lift
33" tires.
Stock axles, differential, gears, etc.
Dana 35c
Not sure about gear ratio (if you know how I could find out please let me know because I have looked everywhere and there is no tag or anything)
I use the jeep as a daily driver and occasional weekend offroading.

Here's the problem...
I took it into the shop to get my brakes repaired (long story), and the mechanics noticed a leak in the differential. They took it apart and noticed an extreme amount of metal in the fluid and throughout the diff. The magnet was completely covered in shavings and the fluid was thick and silvery colored. This is not normal. They told me that I have less than 1000 miles before it fails and at that point I would have to put out over $1500 to replace the entire rear end. Or...before it fails, I could have them rebuild it for anywhere from $500-$700. I talked to some people and others recomended just going to a local junkyard and looking for an entirely new rear end assembly. So here's my question:
Is it worth it to rebuild the old Dana 35 assembly? I have heard bad things about it anyway and im not sure if it is okay to be running 33" tires with the stock setup I have.

If I go the junkyard approach, should I try to find an upgrade such as a Dana 44 or Ford 8.8, or should I look for another Dana 35?
I have ABS and would not like to loose that system, so would these rear ends not be a good choice?
What is involved in making a rear end swap like this? Any Modifications?
While I am working with all of this, should I have the assebly regeared? How much would that cost?

I am a beginner and have basic garage tools. I don't doubt my ability to do it, I just dont have access to welders or anything like that.

I know I just threw a bunch of questions out there but I haven't been able to find answers to any of them and I need to get this fixed soon. Anything you can tell me would be a great help.
Thanks a lot.

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Unread 03-17-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
dadstoy
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Livingston, Louisiana
Posts: 1,122
Replace it. Don't spend that kind of money for a stock axle. You could probably find an 8.8, geared to match cheaper than their quoted price to repair now. You will need to have the perches welded at the correct position.
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Unread 03-17-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
Castr8r
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 538
I'd say you need a new shop. Why should you line the pockets of the shop for such prices when there is a cheaper alternative? Since there are so many people convinced that the D35 is a total turd, there are deals to be had on them. Check the local clubs, Craig's list, or the classifieds for a cheap replacement axle. If you're going to do it yourself, you will be considerably less than you were quoted. Check the ratio by jacking up a wheel and turning the wheel. Count the rotations of the driveshaft (it helps to put a mark on it) for each full turn of the wheel. Almost three turns= 2.70;almost four turns= 3.73; a little more than four turns= 4.10, etc.
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Unread 03-17-2009, 09:28 PM   #4
dbikers
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: under my jeep
Posts: 951
yeah, depends on what you want to do with it and how heavy your right foot is...
an 8.8 is nice if you have some fabbing skills (and a welder)
you could buy a functional 35 all day long for $100~150...direct bolt in (get new u bolts)...back in business in an afternoon
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Unread 03-17-2009, 09:47 PM   #5
Joe Dillard
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: King George, VA
Posts: 12,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
They told me that I have less than 1000 miles before it fails and at that point I would have to put out over $1500 to replace the entire rear end.
WOW, do those mechanics have a crystal ball or some sort of magical powers?

Feel free to post the name & phone number of the shop that told you that & I'll call them directly to see just how they arrived at that conclusion.

I will call them - guaranteed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
Is it worth it to rebuild the old Dana 35 assembly?
No, period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
If I go the junkyard approach, should I try to find an upgrade such as a Dana 44 or Ford 8.8, or should I look for another Dana 35?
Upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
I have ABS and would not like to loose that system, so would these rear ends not be a good choice?
Contrary to popular belief, the 8.8's factory ABS can be adapted to work with the YJ's ABS system. It's not commonly done, but it can be accomplished.

I'm not going to go into specifics. I have a strong feeling that if I did, I'd be spinning my wheels trying to explain it to you & I don't wanna take the time to try right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
What is involved in making a rear end swap like this?
Take a long look at everything you have attached to the axle right now.....those same items will need to be addressed. Some of them will need to be adapted which is a simple process for a decent mechanic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
Any Modifications?
I'd upgrade everywhere I could afford or had the ability to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
While I am working with all of this, should I have the assebly regeared?
I would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
How much would that cost?
Kind of a wide open question..... Cost who? You, or me? For you, it'll depend on the amount of homework you do to acquire parts, and how much of the job you do yourself.

For me, probably free or close to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
I am a beginner and have basic garage tools. I don't doubt my ability to do it, I just dont have access to welders or anything like that.
In this case, you're gunna either have to make some friends fast - or unfortunately you're probably going to pay out the nose due to your resources and ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbriteside1465 View Post
I know I just threw a bunch of questions out there but I haven't been able to find answers to any of them and I need to get this fixed soon. Anything you can tell me would be a great help.
Sounds like you need to find a local Jeep group like we have here in San Diego.

812+ pages, 12,600+ posts, & 402,000+ views.

We take care of our fellow Jeepers around here.

Best of luck.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f262/san-diego-area-214660/
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