Is a D35 really that weak? -
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Is a D35 really that weak?

I have done a lot of reading about how you shouldn't buy a jeep with a D35 if you are going to wheel it with bigger tires and a locker. Does that apply to 33" tires and a LSD?
What I want to do is a 3"- 4" lift and 33" tires. I have a D35 with the factory LSD. I also have 3.07 gears. This is mostly a semi DD. I wheel it maybe 6 times a year. I would say the hardest trails are about a 6 to 7 out of 10. (Anyone in the Tucson, AZ area agree that Chivo fall is about a 6 or 7?)
The reason I question the lack of strength of the D35 is this-
If I'm not mistaken, a fullsize chevy Blazer has a D44 in the rear. My buddy has one and he has a 4" lift and 33" tires. He has not had any problems. That vehicle has got to be a couple thousand pounds more than a Jeep. I would think the same set up on a jeep with a D35 should be good.
What do you all think?

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post #2 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 01:13 PM
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One example comes immediately to mind. There's a fellow in my club who wheels regularly (every chance he gets) with his D35. He has the factory LSD and 33's on 4" of lift. He is fairly conservative with his use of the throttle and has had no trouble out of his axle.

That being said I'll point out that we are wheeling in the Ozark Mountains and you are in the Southwest. The different terrain may have an impact that I don't understand.

In my opinion and limited experience the Dana 35 is not the best thing DC ever did for us, but it is not an egg (or a turd).

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post #3 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 01:35 PM
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yelp i am putting 5.5 on my jeep with the same curside 35 while stock i ran the HELL out of her with no problems the way i see it and experinced it is if you take care of her but then again some people get that lemon 35 and snaps pulling out of the driveway and some wheel hard with it. its all how you take care and with the type of wheeling and how often there should be no problem.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 01:39 PM
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The bottomline with a D35 is, its not IF, but WHEN. I've gone through two of them, both with mild wheeling. If your doing moderate wheeling and NOT locking your rear end, it should treat you fine, just watch your wheel spin. The minute you decide to put a locker in, or start hopping on your rear end, your asking for trouble...

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post #5 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 02:33 PM
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pictures are worth 1000 words right?

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 02:43 PM
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I broke 2 D35s in the same day. Both at 1100 rpms. A direct bolt in Dana 44: CLICK
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 03:04 PM
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I gotta say it's a good axle

Just like the AMC 20 it's not without it's faults, but there's always something better. I had a amc 20 I swapped out the axles for one piece ones and threw in a locker put on some 33s and ran the hell out of it. no problems. The point is I fixed the weak link.When the d35 replaced the 20 everyone cheered. now it's a bad axle? No, but there are better ones out there. I have some advice don't bounce on the gas. Because if the axles don't break something else will. Next time someone says "dana 35s are weak" or so on. Tell them a Dana 44 is nothing next to a Dana 70. Or a 2 1/2 ton Rockwell .

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 03:34 PM
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I ran an open D35, 3.07 and 32 MTs for several years. Mines a DD plus mountain trails, dunes and 10 days in moab with no problems. But I am a conservative wheeler, easy on the throttle and always try to pick the smoothest line.

On the otherhand, a friend of mine with a similar set up and is a maniac behind the wheel, hard on the throttle and just points it and goes has broken several axle shafts.

After regearing mine to 4.56 I started worrying about the added torque to the axles so I decided to put in a super kit with ARB. Then I figure I have the gears and bigger axle shafts, the jeep has a total of 6 inches of lift (which made the 32s look pretty small) so I put a set of 35s on it. Wish me luck.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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I had an 89 Bronco that had 3.0? gears in it. It was an 8.8" rear and had 35" tires. It was a dog on the street but it did everything I asked it to do in 4 lo. I have a 78 Bronco now that has 3.7? gears. If I were to part it out how hard would it be/ how much money would it take to put them on a Jeep?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 04:25 PM
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At a minimum get a set of spare axles and carry the tools to put them in. Also know how to do it. Sure as heck if you don't have the stuff you will snap one on the trail. As a matter of fact it's probably only a question of WHEN, not IF you will snap one with 33" tires doing 7 rated trails. I have seen them go for years doing tough stuff and others snap when turning a corner on the street.

33's and 3.07 gears are going to be hell together. When you decide to regear think about putting a Super 35 kit in or just getting a D44 or a Ford 8.8. These both can be bought ready to bolt in.

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post #11 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 05:25 PM
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I broke my dana 35 running over a 2X4
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 05:59 PM
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I broke mine on the street, open with 31"s.

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post #13 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sctigerjeep
pictures are worth 1000 words right?
Did you notice how each of the failures that show the insides of their "bad" D35 appear to have been neglected in terms of regular maintenance?

It seems like every time I've been with someone who has had a breakdown, they either ignored warning signs or were doing something silly.

I think axle weakness is only partially to blame, mostly it has to do with the way you drive.

I've done the Rubicon (end-to-end) and a fair amount of Fordyce on my D35 (31" tires, LS)...both 5+ rated, plus a lot of muddy fire trails while hunting. No troubles as of yet...
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 07:20 PM
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D35's hold up just fine. Reguardless to what people say. I mean they are no D44 when it comes to the heavy stuff, but I've seen 4" of lift with 35's and 100,000+ miles out of em.... Not just road queens either... One guy I know specifically wheels his every chance he gets and is no pushover while offroad... He goes through the deep ****...

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post #15 of 16 Old 03-12-2006, 07:25 PM
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d35's are trash, its that plain and simple.
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