Originally Posted by porcoquas
Why? dont use a lock in the rear 35?
The rear will tend to get angry first before the front because it sees a bit more stress than the front, especially when climbing up hills. The D35 has been proven over and over again to be weaker than other axles, specifically the D44 and Ford 8.8. Locking an axle can put more stress on the axle shafts after removing the weak point of the spider gears from breakage (although you'll get less fast wheel spin with a locked axle; many D35 breakages happen when a spinning wheel finds traction FAST). The D35 has thinner weaker shafts than other stronger axles. When the shafts break, the wheel will come out from underneath the vehicle because of the c-clip design (shared by the 8.8, but since the 8.8 is stronger it's moot).
With that said, I've been wheeling an Aussie locked D30 and D35 on 33" tires for a few years now with no breakage. I have a 2.5L low output engine, so that might contribute to my luck a bit. I recently installed Superior's Super Eliminator kit which eliminates the c-clips and gives you way stronger shafts. Stronger shafts mean less chance of breakage and no c-clips mean the shafts won't slide out when I do break something.
Was the Super Eliminator more expensive than a Ford 8.8 from the junkyard? Maybe. I have a welder and the minimal fab skills to get an 8.8 under a YJ. Why did I "waste money" on my D35? It only took me a few hours to install the Super Elim. kit. I've got a 6 month old Jeeper in training and garage time has been really limited lately. Doing up a locked Ford 8.8 "right" would have taken me a few dozen hours AND it would have cost me close to $1k to get it the way I want. I honestly finished the Super Elim. kit in under 5 hours, including making a bearing puller.
If I had to do it again I _probably_ wouldn't have gotten an Aussie for my D35. But I bought it before I knew better so now I'm going to live with it for a bit. I still carry spare D35 shafts, bearings, and spiders JIC--I'm not going to let a broken D35 keep me from getting home to see my boy.
Bottom line: It really comes down to the skinny pedal and luck. Some guys break an unlocked D35 in a parking lot going 3 mph. I ran a locked D35 on stock shafts for a while with no breakage, all the while very conscious that a little too much skinny pedal would really piss me off.
Another way of thinking: My buddy wheels the crap out of his stock/open D35 on 33s (35s for a while) and he has broken shafts a few times. His strategy: keep replacing his broken D35 with other D35s because they are super cheap, most of the time he finds them for next to nothing.
I'm not the last one that'll beat this dead horse. Go wheeling--don't listen to anyone on the internet. But always carry spare parts.