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Unread 08-10-2006, 12:43 PM   #1
dpoelstra
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Axle/Gear Upgrade Options

My 02 Sport has the Dana 30/35 diffs, with 3.07's both open. I am on 31's with no lift, and don't want to lift or go bigger tires.

I do want 3.73 gears, and want to lock the diffs. It seems that the 30 up front is fine, just need to choose a locker.

Regarding the rear, I understand that the D35 is weak, but rather than swap in a D44, has anyone done or checked out the upgraded 30 spline axle shaft upgrades with a locker? Superior Axles and Gears has a D35 axle upgrade kit that includes a locker for $950.

Is the axle shaft the weak point?

Is upgrading from 27 splines to 30 the answer to this?

What are your thoughts on the Detroit Soflocker?

Thanks

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Unread 08-10-2006, 01:20 PM   #2
04TJFan
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1. 3:73s will require a new carrier front and back. But you will be able to reuse them if you decide to upgrade your gears later on.

2. A lot of people on here run the Super 35 kit and say they haven't had any problems but you'll probably hear from just as many that say your only wasting money that should go towards an 8.8 or a D44.

3. The weak point on the dana 35 is the C-Clip used to hold the axles in the carrier. When they break there's nothing to hold the axle in the housing and it will slide out. The D44 has a retainer plate on the end of the axle housing that retains the axle in the event that you break one.

4. Anytime you can increase the size of your axles it's a good thing so going from a 27 spline to a 30 will help but your still stuck with the C-Clip retainers.

I don't have any first hand experience with the Detriot soft locker.

You need to sit down and really think about what you realistically are going to be doing with your Jeep and build it in that direction, even if it means holding off for a while and driving it to see what you think you'd like. It's nice to have D44s front and back and airlockers and the hole bit, but if you don't use them your better off to spend your money in another direction. I'm sure others will post and give there suggestions and read some of the old posts on this forum to give you an idea of where to start. Good luck

Scott
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Unread 08-10-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
Wheelin98TJ
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The Super 35 kit should easily hold up with 31" tires.

Typically, the weak link would still be the axle shaft with a Super 35. C-clips can be a problem, but they are not a weak link. The only purpose of c-clips is to retain the axle shafts. They do not see any force or loads so they will not be the cause of any problems.

You will need new carriers front and rear as 04TJFan mentioned. However, the locker in the S35 kit is a full-case type replacement, so no new carrier is needed for the rear.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
XJMark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ
...Typically, the weak link would still be the axle shaft with a Super 35.
How so? S35 axle shafts are 30 spline same as that of a D44.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
Wheelin98TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJMark
How so? S35 axle shafts are 30 spline same as that of a D44.
True, but that doesn't mean that its not the weak link.

Most people will tell you the ring and pinion becomes the weak link when you do a S35 kit. But in reality, you'll see more people breaking the 30 spline axle shafts before the ring and pinion lets go.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 03:12 PM   #6
XJMark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ
True, but that doesn't mean that its not the weak link.

Most people will tell you the ring and pinion becomes the weak link when you do a S35 kit. But in reality, you'll see more people breaking the 30 spline axle shafts before the ring and pinion lets go.
Well it is true anything can break. If someone is breaking 30 spline axles then they must be running larger than 33" tires and not being very nice to their drivetrain. For the moderate wheeling I do, 30 spline axles with an OX (4 pinions) on 32's I should be set for a long time.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJMark
Well it is true anything can break. If someone is breaking 30 spline axles then they must be running larger than 33" tires and not being very nice to their drivetrain. For the moderate wheeling I do, 30 spline axles with an OX (4 pinions) on 32's I should be set for a long time.
I'm not saying the 30 spline upgraded axle shafts are weak.

I'm just saying if something is going to break in a Super 35 axle, it will most likely be the axle shaft.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ
I'm not saying the 30 spline upgraded axle shafts are weak.

I'm just saying if something is going to break in a Super 35 axle, it will most likely be the axle shaft.

That's assuming quality gears were used. Speaking of which, so far I've heard nothing but good things about Yukon gears.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
sgrim80
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I am planning on buying an OX locker and the 30 spline Alloy USA Grande 35 kit for my dana 35 axle. I also plan on regearing at the same time with brand new Alloy USA gears.

Check out my SIG for what I run.

On the other hand, people will tell you to go to a Ford 8.8 axle which costs about the same amount of dough once its all said and done. The way I see it is that you pay the same amount to get a stronger axle, but it still has c-clips holding the axle shafts in like the dana 35. The other benefit I see is for that same cashwhen buying a dana 35 super kit, you get a locker as well. You'd have to pay extra for a locker in a 8.8 conversion.

My advice is to research all 3 (super 35, ford 8.8, and dana 44 rear) and do whichever you think is best for you.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 09:30 PM   #10
dpoelstra
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Thanks!!!
This has been extremely helpful.
When D35's go "kaboom" like so many describe, is it the gears or the axle shafts or both?
What does the "30 spline" upgrade do? Is it a stiffer, thicker shaft?

I like the idea of the Super 35 upgrade kit because it is less of a hassle. Just a "rebuild" basically...Just with all new really cool parts, and you get a locker included.

How does the Alloy kit compare? It is cheaper, but can you get a 30 spline locker to go with it?

Is this a do it yourself project? I am a decent mechanic, but not an expert. What about aligning the gears? Isn't that tricky?
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Unread 08-10-2006, 10:49 PM   #11
sgrim80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpoelstra
Thanks!!!
This has been extremely helpful.
When D35's go "kaboom" like so many describe, is it the gears or the axle shafts or both?
What does the "30 spline" upgrade do? Is it a stiffer, thicker shaft?

I like the idea of the Super 35 upgrade kit because it is less of a hassle. Just a "rebuild" basically...Just with all new really cool parts, and you get a locker included.

How does the Alloy kit compare? It is cheaper, but can you get a 30 spline locker to go with it?

Is this a do it yourself project? I am a decent mechanic, but not an expert. What about aligning the gears? Isn't that tricky?
If its a regear then its a mechanics job.

30 splines is a heavier duty axle.

The alloy usa kit has the best warranty available on the axle shafts. 10 years. The shafts are what usually breaks. "Super" shafts are 40% stronger.
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Unread 08-11-2006, 04:08 AM   #12
05tjx
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i just put the super 35 kit in the axle shafts are bigger and 40% stronger they have been compared strength to a dana 44 axle. im running 456 gears they are not that much smaller than a dana 44 i feel my week points are the axle tubes and my u joints. i run 33 inch tires and not had a problem yet i ran the same kit in my 2000 tj for 3 years and went thru the rubicon an to moab and alot of late night drunken donuts and trail beatens along with some small rock obstacles, and have not broke them yet.. knock on wood
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Unread 08-11-2006, 08:03 AM   #13
igofshn
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I've been runing the S35 for 4 years with 35's. Look at my sig for the type wheeling I do. It will hold up.
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Unread 08-11-2006, 10:00 AM   #14
sgrim80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igofshn
I've been runing the S35 for 4 years with 35's. Look at my sig for the type wheeling I do. It will hold up.
How are you on the throttle? Do you experience alot of wheelspin at times? I'm wondering if the sudden slowdown when the wheels catch would break the shafts with 35's?
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Unread 08-11-2006, 10:15 AM   #15
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I ran a super 35 with superior ring and pinon with detroitover 5 years and never had a problems (35's 4.56's rubicon type wheeling). I personally would do a selectable locker for better driveabilty, tire life. What actually gave out was my detroit after all that time nothing else. I orginally upgraded to the kit becuase a spider gear blew in the 35 and at the time finding a 44 were I live was neer impossible and it only coast me 1200 for the super kit and regearing my fron and rear.
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