D44/D35 swap - Page 2 - JeepForum.com
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-14-2018, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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I RARELY go to the local yards. Hilltop is inconvenient for me in both location and hours, I'm not driving to the Valley unless I'm going wheeling, and Northwest is really proud of their prices (as is Alaska Jeep Parts). But there's a really good network of wheelers here who all look out for each other, and generally know who has what for part-outs. At this point the big forum we all used is essentially dead, supplanted by Facebook groups (which is inferior for a number of reasons). Nonetheless, there's still a large network of Jeep owners, submodel specific groups, and general wheelers--but you need to get on Facebook to access this.

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post #17 of 17 Old 06-29-2018, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Well, I got it done fairly painlessly. Here's what I ended up with:

I picked up a D44a for $80. It had an LSD tag, but unfortunately had an open carrier with 3.73's. The PO who pulled it filled it with motor oil for storage. The gears look great. The suspension connections were all a direct fit. I had to re-bend the brake lines just a touch, but not a big deal. All the used drivelines from V-8 models I found were about 3-4" longer than the one from the 4.0. I ended up having mine shortened an inch and rebalanced at a cost of $120. Upon installation, I learned the 44a has a different yoke than the 35. $24 for a new U-joint, Spicer PN 5-134X. It's kind of hard to find, however it happens to be the same setup as my TJ so a good part number to keep track of. The brake shoes, pads and rotors on the 44 were good, but the calipers had seized. I swapped the calipers from the 35 and reused the other parts. All the brake components are interchangeable.

For anyone considering this upgrade, it's pretty simple if you find the parts. You'll lose about 3/4" of ground clearance.

WARNING - I found out what killed the 35! The Previous Owner! There is a distribution block for the brake lines on the driver's side of the pumpkin. It has a hole in it for a bolt to attach to the axle tube. When the PO added the extended brake line for the lift, they must have decided it did not need to be attached. This left an open hole in the top of the axle tube. I never saw it until I went to dismantle the brake lines. The pinion bearing sounds like a bucket of rocks and the gear oil looks like mud. So when you're looking at a used rig to buy, there's something to look out for.

Thanks to everyone for your input.
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