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Go Back JeepForum.com > General Technical Discussions > General Jeep & Off-Road Equipment > Facts on Off Roading with Dana 35 Rear Axles

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View Poll Results: Myth or fiction - D35's don't hold up?
Off Road with factory D35 (LSD or locked) and No Problems 70 57.38%
OFf Road w/ D35 (LSD or locked) with Chrome Moly axle shafts and No Problems 17 13.93%
Off Road with Super D35, and No Problems 10 8.20%
Have broken axle shafts when off road with D35 rear axle 22 18.03%
Have broken axle shafts when off road with D35 and chrome moly axle shafts 2 1.64%
Have broken axle shafts when off road with Superf 35 Kit 1 0.82%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 01-15-2013, 09:58 PM   #61
Line58
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I've done a bit of mild-intermediate wheeling (Brewer, Bald Mtn, parts of Swamp) with 28-33" tires and OEM ls. So far the 35 has held up. That said, when pick-n-pull has their 50% off sale this weekend I'm ganna snag a 8.8.

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Unread 01-16-2013, 07:31 AM   #62
RowJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underpowered View Post
i have beat the stock D35... on 31" tractor tires up to 34" swampers and never once has it let me down. IMO the axle has a worse rep than it deserves. sure, its not the best axle but .........
Many seem to agree with you!
Data from poll, so far, supports your opnion....4 to 1.
In the end I suspect it all boils down to how you drive it, if you stay with the D35.........
and whether or not you have a small extra bit of caution because of it.

Keep the feed back coming, please.

RJ
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Unread 01-16-2013, 09:14 AM   #63
RnEmOvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djwrangler View Post
I'm not surprised to hear of them breaking on road. Not a lot of slip on the street. Power + grip = broken d35
I was cruising down the highway at 55mph following my recruiter going to take the ASVAB

Granted when I did wheel it, I beat the dog snot out of it.
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Unread 01-16-2013, 09:39 AM   #64
jwhite207
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As soon as I bolted on my 33's my shafts snapped, still on the jackstands
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Unread 01-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #65
IslandTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowJ View Post
Please contribute to this Poll

I would like to get a much bigger sample to make the results more meaningful.

Thanks in advance

RJ
Still running my D35 from 1997-present. Jeep is on 33x10.5 BFG KM2s. The D35 was upgraded with 27 splined alloy shafts (not chromoly) over 6 years ago when I regeared from 3.07 to 4.10 and also installed a Detroit TrueTrac.

I do wheel my Jeep but I think the longevity of my D35, aside from the axle upgrade is my 32RH transmission and TrueTrac. I am also not a fan of the skinny pedal and knowing that I need to drive my Jeep to work on Monday, helps to keep me focused and wheel with finesse vs. speed.

Here's an idea of trail environment the D35 experiences:



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[Edit] "Now jeepin in Oregon" [/Edit]
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Unread 01-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #66
RowJ
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Great pics. Suspect the auto tranny helps protect the D35 also.....
easier to keep all progress at a gradual and slower pace.

You make me feel better about spending what, I have on my D35.
Especially the 5 yrs on 33's.

RJ
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Unread 01-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #67
solarpower
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I wheel with a guy who has beadlocked 35" MTR's on with a open D35. never broke it. He is mostly nice to it but not always. Manual trans.

I wheel with a guy on 33's that destroyed his spiders on his open D35 playing tug of war with a truck. He loves breaking things and uses alot of skinny pedal. never replaced a shaft. Auto trans.

I wheeled with a guy who brought a entire ready to bolt up axle so he could intentionally break his open D35 after months of trying REAL hard. He was fun to watch that day. manual trans.

Couple years ago I watched 2 different D35 shafts suddenly go "snap" about 15 minutes apart on 2 somewhat easy obstacles. Both were locked and neither really had wheel-spin and were on very loose surfaces. Both on 33's with 1 being auto and other being manual.

There are waaaaaaaay to many variables to make anything other than a educated opinion on a D35....

1) It is a bad idea to lock it in stock form.
2) It should be wheeled knowing that it could fail in stock form and having spare parts and the know-how to fix...and possibly get off a trail while holding a wheel/shaft in place. That being said it might not break no matter how hard you try so just drive it like a Jeep that loves you.

I don't own a D35 personally...and believe they get kind of a "bad rap" considering they are built for a 1/4 ton vehicle.....but they have earned it for a reason, the same reason I don't own one.. unreliable inconsistencies.
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Unread 01-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #68
Cornfmr
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On my last wheeling trip I broke the U joint cap retaining bolt on my locked 35 with 33's. Of course I was into the skinny pedal for all it had because I was climbing a sand dune. Installing a 8.8 and HP 30 at the moment. I want the security of being able to wheel hard and not break an axle.
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Unread 10-17-2013, 08:45 AM   #69
RowJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarpower View Post
...There are waaaaaaaay to many variables to make anything other than a educated opinion on a D35....
Agreed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarpower View Post
.....
1) It is a bad idea to lock it in stock form.
2) It should be wheeled knowing that it could fail in stock form and having spare parts and the know-how to fix...and possibly get off a trail while holding a wheel/shaft in place.
3)drive it like a Jeep that loves you.
I don't own a D35 personally...believe they get kind of a "bad rap"
Good advise.

Here is some follow up for any interested.....
After 3 years with D35, Chrome-Moly shafts, 4.56 gears, Tru-Trac LSD, and 33" tires...
I have had no problems.
I recently pulled both rear axle shafts for an inspection and was surprised to see NO evidence of stress or wear on splines or anywhere else. MY formula for preserving my D35.......
-Avoid extreme trails
-Always crawl vs trying to overpower w/ spinning.
-Stay in 4LO when off road to share work w/ front D30 (Spartan locker).
-Never forget it's a D35 under there.
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Unread 10-17-2013, 09:25 AM   #70
little_Jeep
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What I have noticed about the D35 is that Jeepers in Florida (soft loose soil), seem to be able to break all the rules that relate to a D35 such as locking it, and they get away with breaking the rules, while most of the World can't look cross eyed at a D35 without it exploding.

What to do about the D35 is an issue most Jeepers will have to deal with sooner or later. For me, no matter how much time & $$$ I tossed at my D35, there always seemed to be another weak link. Spyder gears, small R&P, weak axle shafts, weak axle tubes, brackets that are made from coke can metal, etc., etc., are examples of the D35's problems. I ended up building an 8.8 and have never looked back. However, each Jeeper needs to figure out what is best for them. No matter what they decide, it will be major $$ by time you are done.
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Unread 10-17-2013, 09:57 AM   #71
IslandTJ
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Here's a vid of what I (Green Jeep) normally put the D35 through here in wet Oregon .

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Unread 10-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #72
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Beat the crap out of mine for 3 years now. Stock shafts, LSD and 33x10.50 KM2s. And a V8....
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Unread 10-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheriff1680 View Post
Beat the crap out of mine for 3 years now. Stock shafts, LSD and 33x10.50 KM2s. And a V8....
Would love to see a video of that
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Unread 10-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #74
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i'm glad everyone has me second guessing myself right now, just ordered and aussie locker last night for my WJ, my driving style is nice and easy since i have to drive it to work the next day, i figure at this point it will be cheaper for me to wheel the D35 locked and replace a broken shaft once or twice than it would be to swap the axle out, an axle swap is not as easy fix for me due to bolt pattern issues, abs tone ring and speedometer calibration, and the width of an explorer 8.8, would take alot more work and a little more cash to do the swap, but i found a matching 9" and D44 from a '70s ford for $375 that i might just wanna grab anyway
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Unread 10-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #75
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i have had 35s on my D35 for over 7 years now and no issue. IMO its more about how you wheel then anything.. if you spin your tired and bounce up and down your gonna break something regardless of what you have. Also the 42rle seems to be far kinder to drivetrain parts then the sticks.
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