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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
mashenden
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Replacing Dana 35 spider gears

I pulled the rear cover off my daughter's Dana 35 because of loud clunking from the rear and found that the spider gears are shot. Ring and pinion look fine.

I've read many articles on people's opinion that it is easier /cheaper to replace the whole rear axle but I can't find one that is cheap on CL or at a junk yard within 200 miles. Also no 44s or 8.8s that I can find using links in other posts on this forum.

A spider gear kit is about $110 - that seems hard to beat if replacing them is not overly difficult (this is not a Jeep that goes off road). Is there a you tube or step by step instructions on how to replace spider gears on a Dana 35 (3.07 ratio if matters - not limited slip)?

Is there anything else other than new gear oil to consider while I am in there?

How easy is it to replace the front seal too? It has been leaking.

Also how much play should there be when pulling on the rear tires. Mine moves in and out about 1/8". If that is too much, then what would cause that?

Thank you in advance, experts.

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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashenden View Post
I pulled the rear cover off my daughter's Dana 35 because of loud clunking from the rear and found that the spider gears are shot. Ring and pinion look fine.

I've read many articles on people's opinion that it is easier /cheaper to replace the whole rear axle but I can't find one that is cheap on CL or at a junk yard within 200 miles. Also no 44s or 8.08s that I can find using links in other posts on this forum.

A spider gear kit is about $110 - that seems hard to beat if replacing them is not overly difficult (this is not a Jeep that goes off road). Is there a you tube or step by step instructions on how to replace spider gears on a Dana 35 (3.07 ratio if matters - not limited slip)?

Is there anything else other than new gear oil to consider while I am in there?

How easy is it to replace the front seal too? It has been leaking.

Also how much play should there be when pulling on the rear tires. Mine moves in and out about 1/8". If that is too much, then what would cause that?

Thank you in advance, experts.
The spider gears are easy to replace, much easier than swapping out the axle housing. I don't have an install link handy, but will look.

The front "seal" you're talking about is the front d30 pinion seal? If so;I did a write up on the replacement and the link to that thread is in my signature below.

The rear d35 shaft movement is due entirely to the c-clip that holds each shaft; passenger side/drivers side in place. When you swap the spider gears you'll see the c-clip in there. Nothing to worry about.

In this link you'll see how the d35 shafts are removed, and should be able to use it as a guide to swap out the spider gears, too. Good luck.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashenden View Post
I pulled the rear cover off my daughter's Dana 35 because of loud clunking from the rear and found that the spider gears are shot. Ring and pinion look fine.

I've read many articles on people's opinion that it is easier /cheaper to replace the whole rear axle but I can't find one that is cheap on CL or at a junk yard within 200 miles. Also no 44s or 8.08s that I can find using links in other posts on this forum.you looking for 8.8? or 8.08? if 8.08 thats why you can't find one you want 8.8

A spider gear kit is about $110 - that seems hard to beat if replacing them is not overly difficult (this is not a Jeep that goes off road). Is there a you tube or step by step instructions on how to replace spider gears on a Dana 35 (3.07 ratio if matters - not limited slip)?Check ebay of classifieds here on JF $110 is more than I paid for my 8.8. Someone has a set you can have

Is there anything else other than new gear oil to consider while I am in there? A good cleaning to get all the metal out

How easy is it to replace the front seal too? It has been leaking.A good impact will help a lot

Also how much play should there be when pulling on the rear tires. Mine moves in and out about 1/8". If that is too much, then what would cause that?sound right because it is a c-clip axle and with spider gears being messed up that may add to it

Thank you in advance, experts.
With all that being said I would keep looking for new axle. Something caused all that to break (if no off roading was done as stated) and if not fixed it will happen again
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Unread 11-16-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f126/...parts-1438461/
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Unread 11-16-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
mashenden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedOleMan View Post
The spider gears are easy to replace, much easier than swapping out the axle housing. I don't have an install link handy, but will look.

The front "seal" you're talking about is the front d30 pinion seal? If so;I did a write up on the replacement and the link to that thread is in my signature below.

The rear d35 shaft movement is due entirely to the c-clip that holds each shaft; passenger side/drivers side in place. When you swap the spider gears you'll see the c-clip in there. Nothing to worry about.

In this link you'll see how the d35 shafts are removed, and should be able to use it as a guide to swap out the spider gears, too. Good luck.
Thank you - the link definitely helps a lot. Enough to convince me that replacing the gears is probably the way to go. I also appreciated your insight on the shaft movement.

The front seal I was interested in was actually the seal on the rear diff - the seal in the diff at the yoke that attaches to the rear drive shaft.

RnEmOvr, I am not trying to be argumentative - just discussing it... I would be all for replacing the whole rear axle if the goal was to upgrade to a D45 or 8.8, but to swap a D35 for a used D35 seems to be harder than replacing spider gears... and the internals would be used. Alternately, I am thinking that replacing the spider gears for $115 to get another 80K miles still seems like sound logic. Am I missing something? Yes it did fail, and probably will fail again, but if I get another 80k miles, then that is $115 well spent.

Thank you for the explanation on the movement in the rear shaft - makes me think there isn't something worse at play here. And the suggestion to remove the metal pieces is good advice.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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@ mashenden; I also did a rear pinion seal replacement on the d35 I had at the time. I followed the exact, same procedure on the d35 pinion seal replacement, as I did on the d30 pinion seal replacement.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashenden View Post
Thank you - the link definitely helps a lot. Enough to convince me that replacing the gears is probably the way to go. I also appreciated your insight on the shaft movement.

The front seal I was interested in was actually the seal on the rear diff - the seal in the diff at the yoke that attaches to the rear drive shaft.

RnEmOvr, I am not trying to be argumentative - just discussing it... I would be all for replacing the whole rear axle if the goal was to upgrade to a D45 or 8.8, but to swap a D35 for a used D35 seems to be harder than replacing spider gears... and the internals would be used. Alternately, I am thinking that replacing the spider gears for $115 to get another 80K miles still seems like sound logic. Am I missing something? Yes it did fail, and probably will fail again, but if I get another 80k miles, then that is $115 well spent.

Thank you for the explanation on the movement in the rear shaft - makes me think there isn't something worse at play here. And the suggestion to remove the metal pieces is good advice.
I know a full swap is harder, what I was saying is search around on here in the for sale section and find a set of D35 spider gears for cheap or free. $115 is way to much when you can buy full axles for cheaper at local junkyard. I just see spending that money on better things than spider gears.

I pretty sure my local junkyard has D35s in stock. I can prob get you a set for cheap and mail them but it would be next weekend before I could get up there
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Unread 11-16-2012, 09:40 PM   #8
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I've got a set of side & spider gears in a box in my garage I pulled at around 5-6k miles when I put in my powertrax. I'll go pull them out, look them over, and assuming they're in good shape (they should be, they've been wrapped in oiled paper in a box for 10 years) if you're interested I'll send them your way for shipping & whatever you feel is fair. PM me if that's useful to you.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashenden
The front seal I was interested in was actually the seal on the rear diff - the seal in the diff at the yoke that attaches to the rear drive shaft.
This, combined with bad spider gears, makes me suspect that you may possibly have more problems than you might imagine.

Thoroughly check the pinion bearings for "slop" and smooth operation, or roughness. Pinion bearing failures are the hallmark of Dana 35's, and tall geared versions like your 3.07 are the most susceptible ones.

Max
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Unread 11-18-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
mashenden
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Originally Posted by RnEmOvr View Post
I know a full swap is harder, what I was saying is search around on here in the for sale section and find a set of D35 spider gears for cheap or free. $115 is way to much when you can buy full axles for cheaper at local junkyard. I just see spending that money on better things than spider gears.

I pretty sure my local junkyard has D35s in stock. I can prob get you a set for cheap and mail them but it would be next weekend before I could get up there
My bad. I must have read it too fast because it seems clear enough now that I re-read your post. Thanks again for the good info.
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Unread 11-18-2012, 03:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
This, combined with bad spider gears, makes me suspect that you may possibly have more problems than you might imagine.

Thoroughly check the pinion bearings for "slop" and smooth operation, or roughness. Pinion bearing failures are the hallmark of Dana 35's, and tall geared versions like your 3.07 are the most susceptible ones.

Max
That sounds like a good idea. How do I do that?
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Unread 11-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #12
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I fear the worse...

After removing the lock screw (which was not overly difficult) I cannot get the pinion mate gear shaft to come out.

How long is the lock screw? Presumably long enough to go all the way through the hole in the shaft, which means if the one I have in my hand is 3/4" total, of which 3/8" is threaded, then something sheared off and remains inside, right?
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Unread 11-26-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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I don't have exact length, and it's been a LONG time since I pulled that lock screw out, but according to this picture: http://www.itsatj.com/gallery/v/Ronz...stuff.jpg.html (which matches my fuzzy memory of my own install) it looks like it should be significantly longer than 3/4"...
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Unread 11-26-2012, 04:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by PyroXian View Post
I don't have exact length, and it's been a LONG time since I pulled that lock screw out, but according to this picture: http://www.itsatj.com/gallery/v/Ronz...stuff.jpg.html (which matches my fuzzy memory of my own install) it looks like it should be significantly longer than 3/4"...
There is HOPE after all .

Thank you for the pic. I knew I had seen more detail on the lock screw somewhere but I kept thinking it was a U-Tube video. It looks like the threads are on the head side and that the rest is an unthreaded pin (an odd design but then again it is a D35). Apparently my lock screw sheared at the transition from threads to pin.

I am hoping the screw sheared when the gears blew out, rather than it sheared because it is stuck. If not the latter, then maybe (hopefully) the rest of the screw (the part without threads) will come out if I use a magnet or something to pull it out. If not, a replacement axle is the next approach I'll have to consider since I have no idea how to get the pinion mate gear shaft out with half a lock screw buried up in there.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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Would a Ford 8.8 3:08 work?

I have not given up on the spider gear set replacement, but a '85 8.8 axle from a F-150 with 3:08 gears is available in my area. With some fabrication/welding to get it to fit, could this rear be a suitable swap that would mean I would not need to mess with the front? The current rear is 3:07.

Update - in reading more on 8.8 swaps, it sounds like the 8.8 F-150 axle is not ideal. I need a 8.8 Explorer axle. Did they make one for the Explorer with 3:08 gears?
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